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Hi Scott: I own the CAL Icon Mk II and have been very happy with it. I place it on a sheet of MDF over Vibrapods and have also switched the power cord to a Harmonic Tech. Pro 11. These additions cost another $150.00 but were worth it to me. It has a very smooth analog sound and is not shy on bass as many players are. I recently purchased a Bel Canto DAC (just hooked it up for the first time today) and though this added further improvement that I was looking for, the Icon's performance on its own is very good indeed in comparison to the CAL/DAC combo. I have auditioned the Icon with the Boss upgrade and also their 10 and 15 models. The upgraded and newer models supplied more detail but it was at the expense of musicality IMO. They sounded more digital and my Icon with the tweaks sounds more analog. It is pretty hard to beat at the used price. The HT PC which does not really smooth the highs makes the player quieter (background noise) and increases the dynamics and detail in my setup. The difference with and without the upgraded PC is not a subtle one. However, if you have a good power source (I do not in LA) then you may like the sound with the stock cord. Isolation is a must for any player to sound its best and I have found the inexpensive Vibrapods to work well with the CAL. I guess what I am trying to say is that without the tweaks it is good, but with the tweaks it is surprisingly good, in my system. If you go with the CAL, I would recommend that you just start with the Pods ($24.00) and that may be all that you need. Another good player (that I owned for a short while) is the Audio Refinement Complete (smooth and musical). I paid $600.00 used and believe that they go for less than that now.
Scott99, I would audition the new Sony S9000ES. It is a progressive scan DVD and plays SACD(as well at all CD formats). Looks pretty cool too. The retail is $1500, but generally you can find Sony for a discount price. I haven't auditioned unit yet, but have heard good things about this player as well as SACD superiority to CD. Good Luck.......LR