Better CD Sound: The Search

Went Big into Vinyl last 2 years, then re-discovered my many CD’s, mixing it up plenty now.

I continue to try and find a CD Player with better sound than my existing cheapo Sony Changer that surprisingly keeps on keeping on.

I am hoping recent upgrades to the system will more readily reveal differences:

99.9999 copper speaker wires and interconnects, locking rca connectors, mx110z tube tuner/preamp overhaul by Audio Classics; cayin a88t bias by VAS; 16 ohm L-Pads replacing 8 ohm pots; and finally a I bought a sound meter to balance/refine the speaker’s L-Pads (it ain’t easy) for the best sound ever.

CD Quest So Far:

I want dual processors, go used to keep cost down, even consider older vintage.

1. my Onkyo Grand Integra (DX-7500 I think), fixed the damn drawer opening problem several times.

2. This cheapo Sony Changer given to me, eh, use if for parties, why not.
surprisingly sounded as good as the Onkyo to me and friends, gave the annoying Onkyo away.

3. tried used Oppo 83 Video Player for it’s audio

Laser was weak, ’no disc’, found it is a common problem with heavily used lasers. Back it went

4. lightly used Oppo 105. Everything worked, but didn’t sound better than the Sony. Oppo is big, single, expensive, not sellers fault, so I sold it myself rather than return it, lost $205. on that attempt.

5. ’new original stock’ KLH (made by?). played a few discs, then the discs started mis-tracking on discs I know are ok.

found small black bits clinging to the surface in the area of the problems (cds play from the inside out, just guess how far out). Turned out, the belt(s) were dried out, thus when put into motion after years of storage (where?), they shed bits of rubber. Back it went, full refund including return shipping. never compared it to the Sony’s sound

6. Resolved: if vintage, make sure belts are available, get a low price, open it up when it arrives, watch it move ... use, replace belts, return as last choice.

7. Just Bought Two, in transit, One Single; One 6 Disc Changer. (both with oem remotes and power cords, most for sale are missing).

a. Denon DVD-2910 Single Player (big dent on the top. $52. del’d, eBay) (crutchfield keeps old info on their site)

b. Onkyo Integra CDC-3.4 six disc changer (open box/demo) ($51. delivered) (

c. a bag of belts. because I will be keeping something, and I have other old stuff with belts

d. spare rare OEM remote for Integra 3.4, eBay

Keeping My Ears Crossed!

If you want to do something budget-friendly, I use my Sony Blu-ray player for a CD player.  The sound quality is a significant improvement over the Yamaha CD changer I had been using.  The issue is finding one that has RCA outputs, as most of the new ones only have an HDMI output.  I was lucky enough to find mine at Goodwill for $10, but I'm sure you could find a gently used one for just a little more than that.  And if it isn't to you're liking, you're not out much.
thanks everyone,

I will research the suggestions when I return home from this trip.

Let me clarify my goals,

I am never going to stream, not against it, just prefer hands on content. Thus all I need is L & R RCA out. Option: thru McIntosh mx110z tube tuner/preamp; or direct to Cayin A88T. I prefer the existing Sony thru the mx110z now. 

It seems to me these are the essential issues (combined unit drive/dac; or two units)

1. solid transport/prevent/eliminate jitter (some OEM’s have unique ’extra’ processing)
2. enough bits/oversampling for SACD (no need by me for ’extra’ for streaming bit rates)
both ordered units have 24 bit/192khz
3. dual processors, separate L/R for synchronized clocking, perfectly timed output
4. what dual processors?
the Denon 2910 I chose has Dual Burr Brown 1791s (not 1791A)
the Onkyo Integra CDC-3.4 I chose has Dual Wolfsons
5. single unit transport/dac(s) simplifies needed space, one remote, one set of interconnects.

I didn’t mention, but the existing Sony mechanism is getting noisy, I think either fix or discard.

IF neither of these beat the existing Sony, I have 3 systems, so the changer stays in main system replacing the Sony, or to the Garage/Basement and the Single Player stays main or to the Office.

IF either of these vintage units improve CD sound, Oh Happy Day, I stop searching

OR, same/equal to the existing Sony: I stop searching (after all they both will probably sound damn good);

OR, I go for ’super solid’ transport (Onkyo DX-7500 and the mentioned Luxman’s claim) and Separate DAC as most suggest.

What DAC? The Original Integra DX-7500; Oppo 83 and 105, and both of these choices have ’superior Dual DAC’s inside.

Reminder: no streaming.

thanks again everyone,

Charles the RS2 came with the upgraded power supply , I understand from Terry London’s review he used the LTS power supply that made a even bigger difference with playback . Side by side comparisons with the Evo Aeon and RS2 were remarkably similar in performance, I sold the Evo Aeon and returned the RS2 , my eye is on a Innuos Statement , ,.a previously enjoyed one that is . 

You are right in regard to how the P.S. Audio PWT functions. I've had mine for 9 years and it has been reliable and has excellent sound quality. I saw the special OCT pricing for the current SACD/CD model. Tempting, but I have no interest in SACD just Redbook CD.

I really like the idea/concept of the Pro-Ject CD BOX RS2 transport. single minded focus and dedicated to CD only function at a very high level. Reports and positive owner feedback certainly seem to confirmed this is successfully achieved. An  upper tier no nonsense CD transport. I'm sure the new P.S.Audio transport is terrific as well.
Sorry you sold the 105. Yes with the oem power supply it is merely ok, but aftermarket linear power modules are readily available on ebay @ ~ $250 (also recommend the replacement IEC and jumper to bypass the 110/220 switch), both are fairly simple DIY PNP. It took my 105 to a much higher level of enjoyment, though I only use it for SACDs and DVD-As. I left the cover off and use a el cheapo air con filter on the top