i have a hard time believing that either of those fantastic naim cd players wouldn't be sufficient for what you're looking for. naim, like linn, is virtually synonimous with PRAT, and they are detailed and musical to boot. if you thought either were lacking in any dept, that you should look to you pre, amp, and speakers. while i believe that the source is the most important part, there is still a balace to be maintained throughout the chain.
I own the 303 and have heard the 303/200 sounds similar in the areas I am going to concern you with. The tonal balance is midrange happy; no bass slam. What Linn calls prat is not Cary at all. The 303 is smooth, detailed = pretty (like Cardas sound), but I doubt if it is the rock player you are looking for. I listen to rock and love it to death. So if it was not for the description of your past experience, I would not have replied.
As you said, the rest of your system after the source (if it is really mid-fi) is going to dramatically limit your ability to distinguish between different source components. IMHO, a really good source does not a system make, if the rest of the system can't resovle what is being fed into it.
Beware of used CDP. That being said, a Wadia 850 ( or one of the others such as the 830, etc.) will fill the bill for your type of listening.
Lazarus28 & Pardales you could be right about the rest of the components.
The amp is a Plinius 8200 integrated(175w) and the speakers are Paradigm Studio Reference 100's.They are both on loan and this combination is what I have been using to compare the CDP's.My personal set up is a Yamaha DSP-A1 (110w) Cinema reciever and B&W DM303 bookshelves.Now you know why I am looking for more.I realize that a cinema reciever is not going to cut it for quality reproduction of music,especialy at the sound levels that I wish to attain.
I think that maby the Plinius doesn't have the ummph to push the Paradigms 8inch woofers.The power requirement if I remember correctly is 100w-300w.
The Carry 303 with no bass slam? I have read a few reviews that stated it does have a good slam.Maby more hyp to sell CDP'S.I do like a smooth midrange though,guitars being my favorite instrument.
What are some bands you listen to?
Lazarus28 is on the money.
The Naim CDX, with or without the XPS, is utterly fantastic for rock and roll. It RAWKS! It's a great value used these days now that Naim has released the CDX2.
Not to challenge your ears or your spinal column, but if you have a chance spend a little more time with the Naim.
I have listend to it quite a bit for about two weeks. I actualy bought a CD3 out of curiosity from someone at Ebay and gave it a quick listening to today.It had been plugged in and allowed to warm for one day.
I put on Iron Maidens Somewhere In Time and listend to the first track(I forget the name).About one minute into the song the dummer is quickly double bassing while Bruce Dickenson is going off vocally.This very quick double bassing is where I am making my observations.
Though it doesn't match up to the CDX's detail,extention,or imaging,I believe that it has the best bass slam.
I thought maby I was imagining things so I actualy put my DM303's in place of the Paradigms thinking that since the DM's are lacking in bass (being a bookshelf) to begin with, the one with a better bass slam would make it's self known.
The CD3 still led the way with bass slam.Remember I'm talking bass.Not midrange,imaging,detail,highend,or imaging.
The CDX is a better all around player.I am just looking for something comparable with more slam.
I should have qualified my statement with a comparison with the Rotel 971. The 971, having more prominent high and lows is more of what I consider rock 'n roll. The Cary has signficantly less 'thump', so I made a generalization. Its not a total wimp. The bass is nicely done, and I have no problem with the bass output. You might though as I have Hales Rev Two (8" sealed, (86db 1w,1m)) with about 100 watts. There is large difference in bass output between this and 175 watt-driven 100s.
I don't know anything about the conditions of other reviews, so I can't even begin to bridge our two positions together. I still don't think of it as a typical rock CDP, like I consider studio 100s to be typical rock speakers.
I don't think the bands I listen to aren't going to help you out, but: NIN, My Bloody Valentine, a little Metallica, S. Pumpkins, Rolling Stones, Velvet Undergound. It seems like you are doing the best thing by trying CDPs in your home. Keep going until you find one that floats your boat.
Hard to go wrong with a Rega Planet...which is synonomous with a warm, analog sound(great for rock recordings)...if you feel your system is revealing enough to warrant the extra...then keep the Meridian...to go beyond that will cost you and arm and a leg...and unless you upgrade across the board...there is probably no need
The upgrade is comming.
The Meridian is on it's way,funds have left my command.
I am currently looking at all the reviews I can find on the Wadia 850 in case I don't like the 508.24.
I am just browsing the reviews of the 850 and then printing them to read for later.Looking at a damned computer screen for long periods bugs my eyes.
Anyone know if I saw this right,the Wadia 850 doesn't do HDCD? Not that it matters that much to me.Most of the music I listen to was never recorded in HDCD.
Electrocompaniet used EMC-1 MkII, about $2800.
Most of your classic rock list will be coming to SACD probably in the near future...The Who have already been confirmed...and MFSL is releasing SACDs as well...the Kinks come to mind..at any rate...with the Stones,Dylan,and Floyd...not to mention probably the Beatles(EMI agreement)...and new hybrid manufacturing facilities...as well as a SACD recording/mixing console at ABBEY ROad studios...there will be new rock releases as well..
The EMC is a good choice. So is the Ikemi, which can be picked up for around 2k used. Build quality on a par with anything I've seen and very nice sound.
Now there is one I haven't herd of before.
Know of any good reviews?
I try to read all the online reviews I can to research.
Then search the posting boards for pro's & con's.
WADIA... transparent and extended
i gotta say Arcam cd92 if you can find one used,i think these are a STEAL at 7 bills or so,7 seems to be the going rate,dont even bother with the lower Arcam stuff its not anything like the cd92.The 92 is outstanding,Al
If you go to pinkfishmedia.net (UK's unofficial naim board) you'll find many posters have dumped Naim players for Densen B400 CDP. It's only available in the US via audio outlet in NY state (www.audiooutlet.com), and I've never heard it myself (though I own a Densen amp, which I really like) but if you can demo it you might like it.
The Densen sound is rhythmic like naim, but with better treble, stereo imaging and detail. They're better known for their amps than the CD players, but if you can demo or find a rare used one it might fit the bill.
The meridian is supposed to be a refined polite player, so I'll be interested in your reaction.
Tweakster, I have a Cary 303 player and I listen to all types of music except Rap. Rock is Zep, Floyd, Govt Mule, Southern Rock, Hendrix etc. I have been upgrading my system over the last few years and the Cary is the one piece that has stayed. The biggest sound changes came when I upgraded my electronics from older McIntosh gear to Herron... and the amp made the biggest difference. The electronics tightend up the base and it was now deeper. The soundstage grew and air between the instruments was better defined. So the Cary is good selection, just don't forget the rest of the electronics.
This might be a little off track but here goes,music is music even though a person might listn to say only one type of music a player damn well better play all types of music,not this Oh this player does rock and roll better or classical better,it has to do it all.I mean cmon,audiophiles can be picky.Im just saying these things need to play music,the its ok for rock music but it cant do clasical but hey it works for rap or whatever.If it would be more specific for one type of music compared to other types,then I just plain look for something else
In my experience, CD recordings of rock & other popular music can be harsh and artificially grainy & scraping on systems with components (speakers especially) that have lots of detail in the highs. The speakers have more influence, I believe. More forgiving speakers (notably the Aerial 10Ts & Apogee Stages I used to own) were excellent on rock, even bad recordings, removing that scraping, acidic sound in voices & guitars. On classical, a more detailed sound (Wilsons and Kharmas) can bring life to instruments like piano & strings. I'm not sure one approach can be best for both. That said, my Accuphase dp75v was much smoother with rock than the Meridian 508.24 it replaced using Wilson WP6s.