CAL ICON MKII CD player replacement

Hello all,
I have an older cal icon mk ii CD player in need of replacement. While I really do enjoy its sound, I opened it up the other day and it looks like some of the caps are about to go. I fear it's days are numbered and I will be in search of a new CD player shortly. I am capable of the necessary repairs if I can find the parts as I have an electrical engineering background. Due to its age however, I am wondering if anyone knows of a current model player with a similar sound. As I've stated in previous threads, I live in a very rural area and the nearest audio shop is over 4 hours away. I know the best way to pick one to to go audition some, but I would like to build a list of candidates before I make the 4+ hour trip and come home empty handed.
Any suggestions would be appreciated. I am more of a vinyl listener, so cd is my secondary source. Looking to keep the price around $500.00. If anyone has another icon mk ii or cl-15 you are looking to unload, please let me know. I really love the CAL sound. It just seems to work great in my system.
Thanks in advance,
The skipper
I own and enjoyed the Icon Mk2 for many years. A warm, mellow cdp w/good bass. I presently own a Rotel RCD-971 which I believe is a superb CDP. However, it is an older unit and you may be trading one problem/issue for another. I've heard good things about NAD cdp's. (I own the Nad C521i and it is very, very good but the Rotel is better.) So, I'd consider the NAD. (542 older unit or the newer 545BEE or the current C546BEE.) If you really like the Cal., replace the parts needed but who knows if it will sound exactly the same? Certainly much more afforable unless something else goes wrong (laser) w/the Cal. Good Luck! Bill
I should of said I owned the Cal. I sold it many yrs. ago, but I still remember it well! Sounded better than the Denon DCD-1500 mk2 which it replaced.
I replaced a CAL Icon mkII player that I owned for years a few years back when it went up for teh second time (had it fixed the first time).

I found players have improved immensely in the last 15-20 years or so and the Cal was not hard to replace.

I replaced it with a $600 Denon player/recorder initially and that was a big improvement.

I still have the Denon but play most my audio from a music server these days using two inexpensive mhdt DACs, a tube Paradisea and a SS Constantine. Both are top notch. The tube DAC provides the benefit of rolling tubes to tweak the sound which can be useful to get the best results in any particular system.

Bottom line, there are many choices to replace that player today that need not cost a lot. You might elect to explore teh music server route. That will provide some extra challenge to get your arms around initially but will likely pay bigger long terms dividends in terms of good sound as well as usability/flexibility.
Look at OPPO's entry level player. I believe they may offer a 30-day trial/return.

Former CAL owner here, too.

Good luck in your search.
I am leaning towards the marantz 6004. Any thoughts?
I have a similar (sightly older) Marantz DVD player that also plays CDs. Good sound + solid value. You can see it in my system pic montage in the wood audio stand just below the old Dual turntable.
I once had a newer Marantz CDP which I bought new a few yrs ago. Model I'm not sure of, it might of been the 6004. I personally did not like the sound. I sold and bought my Rotel RCD971. If you buy one, make sure the merchant has a return policy. Right now there's or was ? on Agon a Marantz 63 SE for $125. I'd get that and see if it works for you. I think the NAD sound is closer to your Cal. Perhaps look for a used Nad 542. Hope things work out! Bill
I'm down to looking at a new marantz cd6004 or a used Rotel 991.
Any input?
Both are good. Take your pick...
Thanks mapman,
I am slightly concerned about the age of the rotel. The seller says it was built in 2001. Are the internals (dacs, etc) way outdated compared to a new marantz or nad, or does the rotel rcd991 still blow them away since it was the flagship player at the time.
Thank you
Age can be a performance inhibiting factor in any device, including CDs.

Personally all other things aside, with CD players and digital in general, I would tend to go with more recent products (3-5 years old max) that many have been proven to enjoy. DIgital technology continues to evolve and improve, so there is a dividend there in general when you buy something newer rather than older.

The older device may still be in good condition and fine as well, but I would expect a large discount due to age and wear and tear accordingly and only buy if of particular interest for some reason. Sound quality would only be a good reason for me if say perhaps I had actually heard a particular older device years ago and still judge the sound quality to be a good value compared to other more recent competition. Retail prices alone are not a reliable indicator.

In general, I keep my digital devices that I like around as long as I can, often until they give it up in some way, or I see and hear something better that forces me to pull the trigger. The longer you wait to buy new with anything digital, the better off you will be again because the technology continues to improve at a rapid pace overall and older devices can become outdated quickly. That's not to say though that ones you already own and like are not good, just that things inevitably always move on sooner or later, especially with digital technology, where it is often sooner rather than later compared to many things.
My RCD-971 was the model below the 991. The RCD-971 is one heck of a great sounding CDP. I'll bet the 991 is even better. Either one will sound way better than the Marantz IMO. Just make sure all is working properly w/the unit you are considering. The 991 uses a Sony KSS-213 transport. The 990 used the Philips CDM-9Pro transport which I've heard is no longer made and parts are very hard to find. You should be fine w/the 991. Talking about age, my first CDP from the early 80's is still working perfectly after a belt change.
The search continues for a new CD player. Anyone have any experience with the rega Apollo or Saturn? I've also heard good things about the Primare cd21. Any input?
I owned a CAL Icon Power Boss. CD has come a long way since the days of the Icon. You can buy a Rega Apollo for under $500. It's got the big boned sound you are looking for. It's a fun player to listen to.
Teac PD-H600, Naim CD5i-2
Hi all,
I ended up going with a Rega Apollo . Great sounding unit!
Thanks for all your help and opinions