The Marantz is pretty well built and sound very decent. I sent one to a friend and he loves it. Now it's mated with a Scott Nixon Chibi DAC and really sings, so it works well as a transport too.
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There is a JD-100 on Audiogon for $560. Tube rolling yields excellent results with this player.
The advantage of buying used equipment on Audiogon is you get more for your money and if you don't like it you can usually sell it for what you paid for it.
Or you can buy one of the inferior CD players you mentioned above.
While have I not listened to the specific Cambridge Audio models you have listed, I did own the original 640 and the version 2 and for the money they were excellent single disc players. In fact I preferred them to the comparable NAD models at that time with the exception that I have a fairly large collection of HDCDs and certain NAD models provided HDCD decoding. But head to head on a regular CD I liked the Cambridge Audio.
There is no single "best" new player in your price range. They're all going to have certain strong points and weak points. And, they're all going to sound slightly different, from one another, depending on who you ask. Unless you can demo and compare sound for yourself, you might as well just pick a number from a hat and go with it. Or, compare things like warranty duration, available service facilities, styling, ergonomics of remote, so on and so forth.
I just demoed the NAD C545BEE and Marantz 5003. Both are nice. I thought the NAD sounded fuller and more dynamic. The Marantz seems sturdier, but not as fun to listen to.
I owned the Music Hall cd25.2 and Cambridge 540C (ver. 2). The MH is very nice: super quiet transport, nice build, transparent sound. I liked the sound of the Cambridge 540, too, but at low volume I could hear the disk spinning from across the room.
Haven't heard the NAD 515 or Cambridge 340.
I am looking for the same, I want to remplace my NAD C525Bee. Nothing wrong with the player, very good for the money but wish to find something better out there, my main goal is to find a player that puts this analog touch to music, i know some might say, hey buy a turtable.
Not sure if is possible to get something good in the used market with such a low budget but i have read good reviews for Marantz, Sony and Rotel. But I will go for some japanese brand, i found them more realiable. I do not trust small boutique manufacturers (not so many in this price range though). They might sound good but they dont last. I like that sony and marantz are SACD wich is nice thing. There is also a nice New Onkyo for $ 300 something but I did not try it.