Best CD Player for 800-1500 Used

could you guys help me out? i'm kind of confused choosing what CD player i should use, I already got Dynaudio contour 3, Pre-amp is Pass Labs X 2.5, Amplifier is Pass Labs X150 or X250, so which CD player would match up well with my system? thank you much

I'm leaning toward Theta Miles, Classe and NAD S500, which one will fit my system better? thank you guys
Classe CDP 1.5 is what i meant on my last thread
Classe CDP is a nice choice, Audio Research CD2 would be better.
I've owned the Theta Miles (superior balanced version) and I currently own the Quad 99CDP. I prefer the sonics of the Quad 99 CDP over the Theta. The Quad is also a current version, so you can buy one new or with low hours. Also, the Quad had 6 digital inputs so you can take advantage of its excellent 24bit/192Khz DAC. The Theta has a 20bit/48Khz DAC.

The Quad does not have that Theta "overbuilt" look, but it is a great value in a CD player. The TAS review is right on. Lastly, the Quad has a truely excellent built-in volume control and an independant non-variable output. This is a great feature allowing you to connect direct to your amp if you choose to have a single source or all digital sourced system.


I too own the Quad 99 CDP.I also own a modded(parts connection)Music Hall 25 and a modded(parts connection) Jolida 100.I have not reached the 50 hour mark with the Quad.The more i am listening to this player the more engaging i find it to be as the hours roll by.I am really enjoying it.I also enjoy the other players as well.They are all very good but this Quad has a different presentation that just seems to sound right.It just may end up being the pick of the litter. As Reubent pointed out you also have the added feature of being able to run the amps directly and also the digital input capabilities.I will be utilizing the former once my new SET amps arrive and see how that works out.With an integrated amp the sound is warm and inviting and full and also dynamic.A very nice player indeed so far.
The Arcam FMJ CD23T might be another worthy unit to consider.

I replaced my NAD S500 with an upsampled Njoe Tjoeb 4000. In my opinion the Njoe Tjoeb is FAR better than the S500.
Buy one of the used Ack dac's for $300 and mate it with a $45 Toshiba 3960 DVD player and you will have a CD player far above what you expect and as good as any mentioned above. I have owned the Arcam, Opus 21,AA Prima, Consonance 2.0 Reference and this combo is every bit as good. yep, spend only $350.

Ditto on the Audio Research CD-2 mentioned above. How about the good old Sony CDP-XA7ES? I just listed my Audio Research DAC-5 for sale hereon. I believe it to sound slightly better than the CD-2 when connected to a decent transport with a decent cable (at least in my system).
I would go for a Monarchy DAC/preamp and a transport of your choise such as a Vecteur, PS Audio, CEC.
If you want soundstage depth that will knock your socks off, you should get a tube Jolida JD100. Put NOS tubes in it and you will be surprised. No SS CD player I have ever tried even comes close to this (Arcam CD23 and Classe 1.5 included). Arthur
Second Grannyring's idea.You can't beat it for the money, or a lot more. I'm using a Tosh 3950 with an Ack dAck and when playing CDs it walks all over my $2K Sony XA777ES.
Where do you get a Toshiba 3960 for $45? A Froogle search returns
prices around $69.

I did see RAM Audio mods the Toshiba for $375 for a one box solution.
my recommendation is the Conrad Johnson DV-2B.
I bought one from a fellow Audiogoner for $1,000. It originally retailed around $2,500. I'm very pleased with
it's performance. I should mention that the DV-2B is tube based.
Tvad, Best Buy has them for $49.95...check their website.
I got my Tosh 3960 at Best Buy new for $45 new. You can get them used on Ebay for $30. I know for this little money many of us audio nuts say " right grannyring your out of your mind and must have tin ears". Not! Just buy the original Ack dac and the Tosh as a transport and you will believe. ($350 total). It is that good and buy more music.


You could look at a tosh3960 from RAM. I have one with the full mod[superclock 3]. This is very analogue like playback. And you'll save a few bucks in the process....good luck with whatever you choose.
wow thanks alot for all the response :)
Have to demur on the Conrad Johnson. I had both the transport and the tube dac, cost me about $3600, and was replaced by a Pioneer 414 DVD player at less than $300 which sounded better and was a damn site more reliable. I love CJ electronics, but their digital stuff is a different matter.
Bluenose is right as I have owned a Tosh with the mod's. Very good for the money. Still found the Ack dac better to my ears.

SimAudio Nova-about 1799 used-absolutely wonderful

Rega Jupiter 2000
Grannyring which Tosh did you own with what type of mods? Did yours have a Super Clock 3 ,power supply and output upgrade ? If it didn't have these upgrades, you haven't heard it yet.
I just got word today the owner of a $8000 NAIM recieved his RAM modded Toshiba a few days ago.I hope the Toshiba sounds better than the money!This person is head over heels about it's sound in comparison. Maybe he will get the nerve to post a comparison review in the future. I'm not sure but the Naim maybe looking for a new home!
Arcam cd 92,one of the very best.
My Tosh only had the famed "Vinnie mod" and I am sure not as good sounding as the RAM mod. My only concern is spending lots of $$$ on what is a $45 player in terms of longevity. At $45 when it breaks down - get another!

OK it's been confirmed by the owner, that his Naim Flagship CDX-XPS has been laid to rest by a $750 RAM modded Toshiba ! LOL From what I gather from reading his comments.The NAIM took a good old fashion @ss whippin! :-)
He will post a review on Audioasylum or Audiocircle once he burns the player in a little more.
I figured this was the mod you were talking about Bill. There's also a guy who owns it and the Ram Toshiba. He's planning to post a review soon. I love Vinnie's products! After all.. I use his battery powered integrated daily. But there's no comparison between these two players what so ever. Infact this fellow says his Vinnie Modded unit has been in the basement since the RAM arrived!
At $45 dollars I agree. I would rather spend $45 for a new transport, than hundreds when one of these pricey players go down..which happens all the time.
...maybe the Tosh. up against entry level transports/players, it might hold its own.
I have a 3950 and it does not approach the magic of my Levinson # 37 transport (at least in my system).
Without a doubt, the Shanling T-100. What is not to like here? Incredible looks, compact yet heavy stainless steel work of art, choice of regular tubed output,regular ss output, tube upsampled sound, solid state regular output....full remote control, heavy gauge quality power cord with hubbel plug, tubed headphone amp built-in (that's worth a couple of hundred bucks by itself), the cotton glove, leather polishing chamois, at last, some class ! PLUS a very smooth and sophisticated sound. I think NOTHING touches this for sound and sheer fun in this price range. Forget this is made in China - this is a unbelievable unit, built for enjoyment. This is no mundane black or silver box (reliable too, I've had mine for two year's worth of daily use, no problems whatsoever). Buy one and be done with the audio rat-race !

Have you heard the CJ DV-2B? I think it exhibits a wonderfully warm analogue sound. It replaced an
older Rotel CD player which was very good as well.
Perhaps, your taste leans toward a more digital sound.
I just wanted to make that clarification. BTW, I'm running
the CJ DV-2B through a fully modded Cayin TA-30 and
a pair of GMA Europas. I quite like it!
Mnaudio. Your right on the money with your system. I am convinced it is the best system for the money on the planet. Perhaps the Act dack would better the CJ. I have owned both and both are very, very good. You know what you say!

Hello Grannyring,

Thanks for the thumbs up on my system. It means alot given your years of audio experience. Thanks for turning me on to the GMA Europas. You were'nt kidding! I'm constantly blown away (a nice thing) when I put a cd or lp on. Although, they are not the last word in high end monitors, they certainly take the prize for being the
most accessible entry into high end audio. Thank you
Roy, and ,thank you Bill!

Great to hear from you,
If the CJ DV-2B is the single-box unit, no I haven't heard it. My experience with the tubed dac and transport was so miserable that I wouldn't take one as a gift, which I recognize is an unfair assessment. The $3600 transport/dac combo I had was frequently in the shop (luckily I live within a half hour of the CJ plant), and the transport wouldn't recognize CDRs, CDRWs or about 10% of my CDs. And as I said, it was RESOUNDINGLY outperformed by a Pioneer DVD player. AFTER I got rid of it, my audiobuddies all told me how much they disliked it (thanks, guys). Yes, it did sound warm, laid back ... and really veiled.

I now have an Ack dAck 2.0 with the teflon cap option, playing thrugh a slightly modded Toshiba 3950 and it is an outstanding combo, sounding quite a bit better on Redbook discs than my Sony XA777ES SACD/CD player.

I do confess that I loved the LOOK of the CJ combo, enough to stick with it way too long. As the saying goes, YMMV. Dave
The DV-2B is the single box unit.
I have to confess that I have'nt had the pleasure of
hearing the Ack DAck 2.0. I'm sure that I'm missing out,
but, given the budget constraints I've worked within, I'm
more than satisfied with the system I've put together
over the past couple of years. I owe a huge debt to the
Audiogon community. Without this wonderful resource,
I'm sure that I would have made some serious and costly blunders along the way. My hats off to everyone
within the Audiogon community.
Hi, Mmaudio, just a thought. You can put together an Ack dAck and a Toshiba 3950 or 3960 for well under $500 and have a real world-beater of a CD system. The earlier version Ack dAcks (1.0 thru 1.3) are going for $300-400 here on Audiogon. I saw a MODIFIED 3950 here for $150. Sorry, but these will really demolish the CJ, I truly believe. And you can probably get well over $500 for the CJ. In any event, good luck. Dave
I would recommend a Cary 303/200 - Class A sound at about $1500 +/- used, a heckuva player for that price.

Do a search on Cary 303 here and at Audio Asylum for comments and rave reviews. The 303/200 is a highly regarded, very musical player that has just been replaced by the new 303/300 model. You should be able to pick up the 303/200 easily as people upgrade to the 303/300.

I've used a Theta Miles (now that one's getting pretty long in the tooth), heard the Classe and purchased the NAD used for a friend's system. No offence to anyone who has these players, but the Cary 303/200 is in a another league from these. No comparison.

The Arcam CD 92, The Jupiter, and the Meridian 508.24. are also good players.
Arcam cd92 for 7 bills,great value and sound and $ left over for other things,keep in mind law of diminishing returns.