CD Player Upgrade

It is time to replace my Nad C542 CDP.

Here is my system

Nad C542 CDP

VTL 2.5 preamp

Sumo Andromida 3 Power amp

Praadigm Reference Studio 100 V3 Speakers

2 Paradigm Servo 15 V1 subs

Cheapish but well built AR interconnects

1 inch wide unshielded copper speaker cables. (can’t remember the name)

Up until 5 months ago I was using the Aragon 8008st amp but it failed so I bought the Sumo dirt cheap as an interim measure while it is getting repaired. To my surprise the Sumo sounds better in my system.

Now the CD542 has developed issues and I anticipate replacing it soon.

Way back I started with a Cambridge Audio D300 CDP then promptly upgraded to an Arcam FMJ CD23. I loved that player but I needed cash so I sold it and picked up the NAD.

The FMJ blew the 542 away in all respects save bass attack. I really missed the airiness and detail of the FMJ at first but appreciated the added weight and bass dynamics of the NAD and it has been in my system for several years.

So now it is time to replace the NAD. As a rule I buy all my equipment used save speakers since there is no way I can afford the equipment I desire new.

I thought I had it figured out and was going to pick up a Rega Apollo. Then I found multiple threads highlighting disk read issues with the Apollo. Since I purchase used I’m not sure I can take the chance with Apollo.

My memory of the Cambridge was that it was lifeless. Having said that it was a cheap model. After using thee Nad I see what the CD23 was missing and of course what it had.

Since I listen mainly to rock and I like it loud, bass weight (as long as it is still tight), and dynamics are hugely important. Shrill is to be avoided at all costs at high volume.

This is the reason I don’t have the Arcam CD73 on my short list. Not that it is shrill but I believe the CD23 was a better unit and have read the CD73 is less suited to rock.

My budget will be 1K used. I’d like to get something with the bass attack of the NAD and the detail of the CD23.

Perhaps a Naim Cd5.

Maybe I’m expecting too much.

Does anyone have suggestions?

I see you are pretty fond of the sound quality of your C542.  Too bad it has developed problems.  I too own a C542 and it has been the best sounding player I have ever owned and that is compared to some stiff competion(Denon DCD-3520, CA 840C, Yamaha CD-S1000).  Fast, punchy/weighty, detailed are best how I describe the C542.   

Have you considered another NAD?  Perhaps the C545BEE or C565BEE?


Have you considered another NAD? the C545BEE or C565BEE
I will consider those. I believe my CD23 was a far better player than the C542 but its one "weakness" happened to be in an area of utmost importance to me due my taste in music.
I find the 542 to have sufficient detail but the CD23 was on another level in the detail department and still wasn't shrill at volume. Thats tough to achieve. Just wish it had the bass of the 542.
Can you give me your impressions of the CA840C against the 542?
" Can you give me your impressions of the CA840C against the 542?"

Tough comparison because they are currently in two different systems with different purposes.  The 840C is in my main HT/music system(NAD T175HD pre/pro, Acurus A200/A200x3 amps, Klipsch RF-63/RC-64/RS-35 speakers) in a 5000ft3 family room/kitchen while the C542 is paired with an NAD T773 AVR driving a pair of Klipsch Heresys in a 13L x 13W x 10H bedroom.  Both sound awesome in their perspective rigs.

I do like the fact that the 840C can also be used as a high quality outboard DAC.