Sony SCD-CE595 SACD CD Changer. You won't believe the great sonics for < $125.00.
14 responses Add your response
The Oppo is a great bargain for a multipurpose player, but does not compete head to head with newer dedicated entry level HiFi red book players. You are paying for video and multichannel audio DACs and design compromises that dedicated players don't have to make. I think there are other better choices unless you need to be able to play DVDs too.
Music Hall CD25.2
as stated above, very nice sounding - resolution plus neutrality
Cambridge Azur 540C v2 (do not recommend v1 if buying used)
resolution champ if that is your bag - forward
laid back and musical, but a little rougher around the edges than the other two
Cambridge Azur 640c v2 (v1 very similar to 540C v2)
lots of resolution but smoother and more musical presentation than the 540 v2 - 2 DACs
NAD C542 (or older NAD C54X)
C542 on sale on ebay, C522 for sale on Agon for cheap
Music Hall CD25.2 (or older better model)
same as above only cheaper
Rotel RCD-970 (or newer RCD-1072 if available)
a little forward but good resolution, also on Audiogon
Musical Fidelity A3.2 just sold on Agon for $490
smooth and musical player
Some places to start.
I have an Oppo.. it rules for Divx, standard DVDs.. and only $169. See if it is good enough as is, if not.. get a cheap DAC.
I haven't tried this particular one but a lot of people seem to like it at $250-300... the Paradisea DAC.. (i think it's tubed):
Then you can also experiment with a computer based music server system.. if you haven't already.
Or get a Sony Playstation SCPH 1001 off craigslist for $40 and see what you think...
If you are looking for a universal player you can't go wrong with OPPO for the price. If you are looking for player I would suggest the Cambridge Audio 640 V1 or a V2 (if you find one used it will be in your price range). Of course the NAD 541 and 542 are always safe choices. I agree you could go with a little money in an old rotel or a sony (most models solid players) and add a DAC (Adcom DGA-600 or a Channel Island VDA-1 would be two lower priced ones you could consider).
Sony SCD-C2000ES is a fantastic SACD/CD player. It retails for $400 and is worth every penny. It is similar to the SCD-CE595 recommended in a previous post. Although it is an ES model with a 5 year parts and labor warranty. It also has an aluminum face, gold plated outputs, headphone output with volume, two power transformers and upgraded caps that the 595 doesn't include. Both are excellent sounding players on SACD and redbook CD. Highly recommended.
Well, I went ahead and ordered the Music Hall CD 25.2 from Underwood. The reviews are fantastic, and as far as I can tell, the thing is built like a tank with a really good transport mechanism. I'll report back when I have it up and running in my system.
Many thanks to all of you for helping me out in this decision. I really appreciate it!
And while it's hardly "cheap," it seems like a good value.