CD player or CD transport ??


Hey All.... I'm looking to upgrade my CD playback by moving the duties from my Oppo player to a stand alone CD player.. It'll be connected to a pre-amp/processor before it hits the amplifier.. So my question is am I better off using the money to get an upper tier transport and relying on the DSP/DAC in the processor (currently Cary Audio Cinema12) or better to get a CD player because of the synergy that might occur in the design the maker made in the assembly/design of the unit ? I'm assuming the transport does no processing and only delivers the signal picked up from the CD... I have about the $2000 range...  Any suggestions on which model in the budget ?  I prefer it can do SACD too... Thanks
oem-wheels
Emotiva ERC-3 stand-alone CD player. Incredible value ($500 or $400 if on sale). Only does redbook CDs, but that's what you want. Any integrated/universal CD player is a compromise somewhere (IMO). For SACD, stay with your Oppo. Not sure what upgraded SACD player there is from there. 
It really depends on what Oppo you have? But I will say that transports and DAC combos are important to get right. Every transport will sound differently with whatever DAC you run it to, then there is the connection (XLR,RCA,Optical,USB Audio) to consider and cable. So, a stand alone CD player is a easier way to get the sound your after. AYRE might make a model in that range. I would love to hear others offer suggestions as well.


Matt
Really enjoy my Cambridge 851C. Great Player and I suspect it will sound better own its own rather than the DAC in your Cary but who knows.
Really enjoy my Cambridge 851C. Great Player and I suspect it will sound better own its own rather than the DAC in your Cary but who knows.
Totally agree with mattmiller. There are many variables in a transport to DAC setup.
A dedicated CDP in the $2000 range would be designed with a high quality DAC, transport, isolation, and master clock. The clock plays such an important role, since it is responsible for jitter reduction.

A used Ayre should be at the top of your list. Folks around here seem to like Marantz for SACD/CD.
There is a Marantz Reference for sale currently...

https://www.audiogon.com/listings/cd-sacd-players-marantz-sa-11s2-sacd-player-2016-02-22-digital-037...
Just noticed you want SACD. The Cambridge doesn't offer that. 
There have been numerous posts on this site that suggest a used Marantz is  an excellent CD/SACD choice.
Charles,

Marantz , Esoteric or Sony ES should be considered.

Happy Listening!

thanks guys... and thanks lowrider57 for that link.. i checked it out but that unit is in Europe.. USA only for me.. looks like CD player is the way to go so far.. I'd never thought I'd consider a Marantz again but seems like it might be a very good choice.. I used to own a Marantz AV7005 for my surround sound set up.. I liked it but when I had to down size to a 2-channel set up the sound became thin.. Long story short, Marantz customer service blows.. Bought the Cary and it sounds great..
I'm guessing that for most  of the players being discussed, using HDMI out and letting a Cary Cinema 12 do the analog would result in excellent sound.  In one of my setups, I use HDMI from an Oppo 105 to a Cary C12 that goes balanced to a Parasound A 21 driving a pair of KEF LS50s.  The sound is excellent.

dbphd....  that's pretty much what I'm doing right now. Oppo 93 - Cary C12 - Classe CA2100 - Paradigm Studio10.. Sounds good.. But numerous threads says despite what the Oppo can bring there's no comparison to having a stand alone CD player..  
A used Ayre 7 series would be a nice addition. Arcam FMJ CD27 also has SACD and streaming.
N
I use an Ayre C-5xeMP through a Parasound JC 2 BP to JC 1 mono blocks driving a pair of KEF Reference 107/2s for stereo.  I do prefer sound of that setup to my Oppo 105D or Sony XA5400ES through the Bryston SP 3, but the claim of no comparison would be an exaggeration, because the sound from the Oppo with the SP 3 can be superb, especially with DTS-HD MA or Dolby True HD from a prime Blu-ray.  Front LR from the SP 3 is passed through the JC 2 BP to access the JC 1 amps.
Makes sense...  no matter how much resolution a $10,000 CD player has, the $500 Oppo  can match it and then some..  May come down to musicality ?  
Esoteric DV50S, I bought it here at Audiogon and it's amazing

I bought an OPPO 105D and got it modded.  I still prefer my Ayre C-5xeMP so I moved the OPPO to my HTS.  There is something about the Ayre that is very tough to beat.  Wish Ayre took the same direction as Esoteric.
thanks guys for your help....  Ayre, Esoteric, and Classe is on my list to buy.. nobody mentioned Classe here but read that it also sounds amazing..  only problem is Classe is a little more than I wanted to spend.. I left Marantz out because in the past i just didn't like their customer service.. 
I like Esoteric for SACD playback only.