I have enough cd’s to justify a new or newer one, just not home through the week to invest in streaming. Current player is a Myryad Z-122 nice little unit that has served me well. Using a Jolida FX Glass Tube DAC at the moment.
A slightly used Yamaha CD S2100 would fit into your budget, retain the current formats of your existing player (except video), and adds SACD capability and DAC inputs for increased flexibility. Check the reviews on this unit.
I concur with member two left ears that you should look for a Marantz SA-11S3 player. Sounds incredible smooth and dynamic. The build quality at 40 pounds is second to none. A great player all around. Used at $2000 is a sure steal.
I have the Yamaha S2100 and an OPPO 95. The 95 sounds much smoother and less grainy. When I first got the OPPO, I thought it sounded dull, but that was not the case.
Get any OPPO that ends in "5" (i.e., 95, 105, 205) and you can't go wrong. My 95 was $300 used with the remote and streaming dongle in perfect shape. But I got mine before they stopped producing CD players and their prices are going up fast.
Used 95s can be still be had for <~$400 if you shop.
I have no experience with the player, but given the manufacturer and its reputation, I would check out the Denafrips Avatar. They have bought thousands of the CD laser mechanism, just in case the transport mechanism fails. Around $1700.
+1 yakbob: The Yamaha S2100 SACD/CD player is an amazing player, and renders quality mastered SACD's with perfection. Added plus: I use a Wireworld optical cable from my Bluenode 2i streamer to the Yamaha DAC, with Tidal MQA as the streaming source, and the results are astonishing. Now if you don't need/want to render SACD's, then my prior experience points to Rotel, and perhaps Rega Apollo. Enjoy the hunt!
p.s. I managed to find the Yamaha S2100 on sale, new, for $1990 two years ago (MSRP is $3000). I did a quick check right now and found one company selling it for about the same, under your 2k bar; however, I have to add that I do NOT know anything about this company:
Just buy a Cambridge transport since you already have a nice DAC. If you need a universal player then Oppo’s are very good. I have a Cambridge 851C and an Oppo UDP 205 and the Cambridge is better but it’s only a Redbook player where the Oppo does more. Read up on the Cambridge CXC v2 Transport or the Pro-Ject RS2 T transport.
The Sony 608esd is a very good choice. I had someone that really wanted to buy mine once before I had even heard it.
So I plugged it in and compared it to a $2500 streamer / player hooked to a $5000.00 dac. First I ripped the cd to a flac file to compare. Me or my wife could not tell the difference when playing the same songs. I was so surprised. I kept it.
Apparently a new laser can be a fairly expensive repair though.
Thanks to all for the input, very much appreciated. I do plan to keep the Jolida DAC for now, so a transport is really all I need. Have read/heard good things about the Audiolab CDT 6000, yet not sure about the slot loading over a tray or even top load unit. The Denafrips will be something I look closer at. Goldnote Koala, Granite Audio 650/657, Line Magnetic 215 are CD players I have been considering. Bryson and Electrocompanient are probably out of my price range, even used. Sony ES, OPPO, Rotel, Marantz, Ayre all give me more to search out.
Any CD player you buy will be lower in quality than a Tidal HiFi stream. Tidal HiFi is loss-less so your cd player would have to play each disk with 100% perfection every time to achieve the same outcome. For $500 you can get a BlueSound Node 2i and then with the remaining $1,500 you get Tidal Hifi for 6 years.
That said, I’m keeping my old 30 pound battleship (Sony CDP-620ES) for the extremely rare occasion that I can’t find what I want in Tidals’ 50-million song library or on YouTube. The unexpected benefit of being easily exposed to hundreds of great tracks that I never would have found without streaming is just icing on the cake. And I didn’t have to go shopping, wait for the mail, or think very hard about it - I just clicked on a link.
Also, you can stream to any portable device so add a portable external dac to your ipad or phone with a good pair of headphones and you’re streaming high quality away from home. Tidal is just one choice; there are several good services and anything loss-less at 44.1Khz or more will be as good or better than a CD.
Best CD player under $2000 is NO player at all. Just rip all the CDs to FLAC files. I have an old Adcom CD player which luckily has digital (coax) output, I let the external DAC (RME ADI-2 DAC) do the job of converting digital. But I hardly use the CD player at all.
I agree with what @alymere said before, except that I'd recommend Qobuz instead of Tidal for true lossless and Hi-Res. Tidal uses lossy MQA a lot.
Get a cd transport if you like your dac. All the cd player does is read 0's and 1's and feeds that signal to the dac of your choice or the internal dac of the player. Just find the transport or player that has parts for repair for the years to come, running a NAD from the 90's. I've had it for years, best ebay find for me. Cost 150.00. Feeding whatever dac I choose. Good luck on your journey.
Very happy with the Yamaha CD-S 1000. plays SACD. Already own 2 Uber expensive transports and DAC's The Yamaha was an extra CD player for my auxiliary system. Smooth and open sounding. I find myself using this one 90 % of the time. Also would take a look at riley804 recommendation. Great player for the money
I am extremely happy with my Cambridge Audio Azur 851C! (Cd Player/DAC/Preamp) for $1,499.00. Great detail, dynamics, and with some additional isolation products like Symposium Acoustics Rollerblock Jr.'s HDSE to go under it, you won't believe your ears! (Especially if you have very revealing components).
Cary DMC-600. You should be able to find a used one for right around $2K, although they don't come up for sale very often. If you see a DMC-600SE used for around $2K buy it right away - it has upgraded caps, etc. in the analog path and external clock input. Awesome CD player with number of tweaks you will not find on other CD players, also includes tube output that you can turn on manually via a dedicated button. From carydirect.com: ***
The DMC-600 Digital Music Center combines the past with the future and
is designed for traditionalists as well as new-age music lovers. Now,
one can continue to enjoy their extensive CD collection while exploring
the virtues of high resolution and super high resolution Asynchronous
USB computer audio. The DMC-600 supports PCM up to 32 bit/ 384 kHz
native audio as well as native DSD 64 and 128 audio. Additionally, the
DMC-600 includes; CSR aptX® lossless Bluetooth,
SPDIF coaxial and Toslink inputs, AES/EBU inputs and both fully
balanced XLR and RCA outputs. To further enhance your listening
enjoyment, The DMC-600 also includes our TruBit™ Upsampling technology
and our DiO™ vacuum tube and solid state analog outputs, as well as many
other benchmark features.
It has a volume control on both sets of outputs, so it can act as it's own preamp - I tried wiring it directly into my Denon monoblocks and it sounded great (not as good as my Cary SLP-05 :-), but pretty good via XLR output. Also, it's an excellent DAC, and an awesome way to stream your Bluetooth-sourced music to your system. If you have a Bluetooth source that supports aptX Lossless (my Samsung Galaxy tablet does) quality is great, not CD or hi-res digital great, but for an evening when you feel lazy it's perfectly OK. Built like a tank (weighs 35 lb.!) and comes with a great remote. I love mine and I doubt I'll be looking for another CD player any time soon. My CD collection is not huge, but it's big enough to justify a good CD player. Plus, if I really like the album, I will buy it on CD anyway, if it's available. I guess I am old school like that, but I like to have a hard copy of music I bought in my hand. Happy hunting! https://carydirect.com/shop-now/digital-sources/dmc-600.html
A while back I bought a used Cambridge Audio CXC CD transport for my second unit. Recently, I bought a new Cambridge Audio CXC for my primary unit. If you have a decent DAC, I recommend this CD transport. This device does one thing only but does it very well. It reads CDs. With a decent DAC, this combo will sound great. Happy hunting.
One of the best CD players I have ever heard or owned is the Denon DCM 560, it has a coaxial output. Even though it is a carousel the dual burr brown DAC’s were outstanding. It painted a life like portrait of the performer’s. Amazing and transparent with a ever so slightly warm sound. I am searching for a used one on eBay. They are hard to find. Currently I have a nad 514 that is nice sounding but not quite on the same level.
I too have the inexpensive Onkyo 7030. Has a headphone jack that I put to good use. Play it loud too. Great player for the $, for sure. So, what does that mean, if I hadn't heard any others A to B? It sounds good.
I have a turandot Opera Audio CD player that has great built and sounds wonderful . Some of my friends which have heard it in my system say it remembers them of the sound of Wadia . The one Opera Audio has right now on the market is not the same one I have but it should be good sounding too . When new it sold for 2,400.00 dollars so if you can find one on the use market , which they don't come out often you should be able to pick one up for about 800.00 dollars . I second the person who recommended the Marantz SA11 CDPlayer . I've heard it and it sounds very good too . Happy listening !
I know several have posted that no CD player is the best. I am sure streaming HiRes has its positives, yet as I said I am away from home through the week and do not even have internet, and a Tidal, Qobuzz, Roon or other monthly bill is not needed. So with the amount of cd’s I still have, I want to continue with a transport or CD player. So many interesting players have been posted on this thread, thanks again for all the help in my search.
For my ears I've been really impressed by the Musical Fidelity M3scd. When A/B'd against a Bluesound Node 2i playing an MQA stream (which I also think is excellent for the money) I found the MF presents a wider soundstage with a comfortable balance and control of the sound.
+1 on separate transport. I recently approached just this question and got a Cambridge CXC and an MHDT Orchid DAC. The CXC is solid (there are other solid transports, of course) and my DAC is great. I may be repeating things you've read, but here is my bullet list for the separates route:
CD's are yielding to streaming. I already find myself using my streamer way more than my CD player.
Good DAC can accept multiple inputs — I run both CXC and Node 2i streamer through DAC. Thus, improving sound of either digital source (and a third if I connect my laptop) could be done with one switch of DAC.
If you get a tube DAC you can tube roll. Cannot do that with most CD players.
A CD transport has no money spent on an internal DAC; it does one thing well (if it does it at all)
Do yourself a favor: convert your CDs to flac! I've done my 900 CDs a while back and now, i have all my collection at my fingertip! CDs are know to degrade with time. So ripping them fix that degradation problem.
On Windows, use EAC (Exact Audio Copy), on Linux abcde. On my case, i play my music with free Volumio on a Raspberry Pi 3 hooked to my DAC via USB (async).
The only one I would buy is a bit over - the little Luxman at $2695. However, the Cambridge Audio Transport at $450 is really good - so that with a DAC is the way to go if funds are tight. Again, over budget, but the Ayre Codex with the CDC transport at $2250, sounds better than the $2695 Luxman. If you separate the physical transport, you eliminate the weak point of ALL CD players - the fact that the transport breaks. I’ve seen too many $8k Esoteric CD players that are now pretty boat anchors...