Best CD player...for ME ;

This is NOT a question of which player is better, but which one is the best for me.

For me, I would like to have one that is as acurate and unforgiving as possible. But at the same time, one that has characteristics of tubes - warm sounding, not harsh, brite or edgy. I am totally into acurate midrange reproduction. And totally against piercing highs (I have a "recruitment" hearing loss where music past 65 dbs hurts my ears).

My current system is a set of Martin Logan ReQuest, PrimaLuna ProLogue One tube amp...and... a 1999... Panasonic DVD player

I can't afford the "best" out there, and my budget is only as high as the Music Hall CD-25 retails (~$550). NAD and Cambridge models are also in consideration, but not limited to just these. Can you recommend any others, as well as commenting on the ones I've mentioned?

I know the best thing to do is to "listen for yourself", but if you guys could kinda point me in the right direction so I don't waste too much time with auditioning players that don't even come close to what I'm looking for.

Thanks a whole bunch in advance!
------> Music Hall mmf cd-25

Brad Day
Atlanta, GA
May I say that IMHO you really cannot waste your time listening. Everything you hear will teach you something.

One trick I learned from reading UHF magazine was to make notes, during or after a listening session. This is a bit of an art but you pick it up in time.

The most meaningful thing I found to note turned out not to be my impressions of the gear--crisp highs or whatever--but instead how the music touched me. That kind of thing can become the basis of useful comparisons.

OK now, that said, I like the Music Hall CD-25 (Shanling CD-S100) better than the other brands' models you mention at a similar price. AND it's tweakable.
Unless you are insisting on new the Audio Refinement Complete might suit your taste. I owned the Alpha version andfound it very warm, easy to listen to. They usually sell used in your price range. Good luck.
You might want to check out the Rega Planet 2000. If you buy used, it can be had in your price range. I think that might be just what you are looking for.
I would call Ric Schultz at EVS and chat about one of his modded players. Disclaimer: I have one of his hand-built DACs. Very ruthless, accurate, yet liquid. Lots of PRaT. Give Ric a call.
There's a great review of the Rotel RCD 1072 in TAS Feb/Mar 2004 - very affordable.
How about one of those "Ah! Njoe Tjoeb" Tube CD players? they are not too expecive. under 700, has a tube front end.
Hey, would one of you please tell me what my favorite ice cream should be?! I currently have a big white bowl and a large spoon. I like the rich flavor of chocolate, but not when it's made too busy by multiple flavors (chunky monkey) or those damn jimmys! I also like strawberry, but definitely not mixed with chocolate, though with vanilla it is magical for me. Could one of you please help me narrow this down a bit. Baskin Robbins has 31 flavors, and I don't know how many possible combinations (forgot that math lesson), but it's quite a few!

Tobias- good advice!


PS Sorry Peter, couldn't resist! :-)
You might also consider a used Arcam CD72 or, among older s, a used Arcam 7SE or an original Rega Planet.
Thanks for the replies guys.
Look for a used Jolida 100 at about $580. I compared the Jolida against the $900 Rega Planet and the $1800 Rega Jupiter. The Jolida was much better than the Planet and came about 90% close to the Jupiter. It has a tube output stage, which you can spend another $50 when you have the money to upgrade to the Electro Harmonix tubes to get more resolution and detail. At a used price of $580, the Jolida 100 is a great value.

onyx x-88 from av123-399$
its a rebadged music hall -one heck of a deal