CD Player w Volume control-Suggestions?

I am looking to run direct to my amp as the majority of my listening is digital. I am looking for a player which is upgradable, and has an excellent volume control. Unfortunately, I don't get the opportunity to audiotion alot of peices, and therefore have to "dwindle" down the choices and go from there. My budget is about $3000US (I'm from that's about $4500CDN). Any suggestions? This is my system I'd be connecting it to: HT TruthLink 2m XLR Plinius SA-100 MkII Transparent Ultras (single) Castle Winchester speakers with mods. Thanks alot folks and happy listenin'!!
at that price point, yule get best sound running an inexpensive cd-player thru a nice $3000 tubed preamp - especially if ya buy used. i'd put my $350 ($500 retail) nad cd-changer + $2000 ($4600 retail) melos music-director preamp up against any comparably-priced cd-player run straight-in. i *do* confess that the preamp has *also* improved the sound of my vinyl & fm considerably, too! :>) personally, i'm gonna wait 'til there's a decent sacd/cd/dvd-a player out there for ~$500 before i spend any more money on digital hardware.


there have been multiple threads on this topic. please just search before posting. BTW, why is it, do you suppose, that you and numerous others on this site think "alot" is a word?
LOL .... Alot....hmmm, must be my Canuck upbringin'.....just like ain't in the US or "yous guys" in the Maritimes?? I've seen a few posts, but was hoping someone had luck with the Plinius and is familiar with the Castle speakers (namely the Winchesters, which there was only 1000prs built). Doesn't hurt to ask.....
ALSO,...... Am looking into DAC's with volume controls as well. I am only familiar with Camelot and Wadia's. Any others??
I think you are on the right path. If I had a cd player with a volume control and enough output, I would drive the amp directly. By putting another piece of equipment between the cd and amp you are introducing an entity that may color the music. To my ears this is not a desireable thing. When it is time to upgrade I will try to buy the most transparent amp I can afford and if I can not find a good CD player with a volume control I will add a good set of attenuators between the CD and amp.
See if you can audition the Theta Miles. It has a nice and punchy rythem, good seperation on instruments and is very musical. If you like your sound not quite as much "in your face", then check out the Resolution Audio models 50 and 55. I use a player/DAC combo, but only did so due to budget restrictions. An all in one player is less hassle and can sound just as good or better, plus you don't have to juggle more cables (tone controls) in your system.
I recently pulled my Audio Research preamp out of the chain since all of my listening is digital and I am now running my Wadia 850 directly to my Mark Levinson 331 via Harmonic Technology Pro Silway Mk. II Balanced. When comparing the Wadia's w/out a preamp make sure the internal DIP switches are set to match your systems sensitivity. I recently adjusted the internal DIP switches in my Wadia 850 in order to maximize its output level. I am now listening between the 70-90 range comparred to the 45-65 range. This allows me to operate the 850 well beyond the top half of its range and the resolution and overall weight of the presentation has been incresed dramatically. Also, with the exception of some of the best preamps available I have found the Wadia's to always sound better w/out a preamp
I'll save Carl some time and tell you to check out Resolution Audio's CD50 (or maybe the new CD55). I think the Birdland DAC may have volume control?? The EVS Millenium DAC2 has it as an option (two added attenuators), but it doesn't seem like Ric Schultz is in much of a hurry to get those done (I've been waiting 6 months). Info at
my brother-in-law woodn't consider running his res-audio cd-50 straight-in to his a-r 100.2 amps driving his proac 2.5's - he sez it's better run thru his a-r ls-16 preamp - more relaxed, less etched & fatiguing, w/no loss of detail. he'd rather run his alchemist cd-player thru the pre (~half the cost of the res-audio) than run the res-audio straight-in. matter-of-fact, he sez there's wery little diff between the two when run thru the pre, & only noticeable on a direct a-b comparison.

i a-b'd the same alchemist cd-player w/my ~$500 nad cd-changer thru my melos pre, & there was *no* difference whatsoever between the two...

so, while intellectually, it may seem that putting a pre between the cd-player & amp will degrade the sound, in reality this is not always the case.

regards, doug

I run the Theta Miles through balanced interconnects into Atma-Sphere amps and I am quite pleased. I have not heard it through RCA interconnects. I feel it sounds as good, if not better, than when it was run through an Atma-Sphere preamp (which is a very good preamp). I see no reason for a pre-amp in a digital only system.
Sedond, my sister-in-law says your brother-in-law ought to post what he hears himself. That way it wouldn't have to be filtered through you, thus degrading the sound....
hey carl, do ewe have anything useful to say? yer ears must be *really* good, if ewe can hear email...
hi cblly,

i understand that there are folks who prefer their digital run straight-in. perhaps, as in your case, the tube amp is a key that helps smooth-out what i find to be etched, fatiguing digital sound, when run thru solid-state equipment. i also find it telling that ewe say "it sounds as good, if not better than" when using a pre. at least, in your case, the pre doesn't seem to be degrading the cd-sound. for those of us who use other sources, this is good to know.

prior to getting my current tubed preamp, i had a linn kairn feeding signal to my solid-state electrocompaniet amps. the only way i could tolerate digital, even when run thru the linn, was w/an ase z-man tubed buffer-stage w/nos mullard tube. i don't need that buffer-stage anymore, & as i said, even my cheap cd-changer now sounds as good as i'm gonna get for any reasonable amount of money.

regards, doug

Yes, like I said, I think we ought to hear directly from your brother in law. If you had the stones to ask him to respond to us here, I guess you already would have. So the question is: Doug, is anything YOU have said here, useful? I submit that it isn't, and that we need to hear from this imaginary brother in law...once and for all. To be frank: I'm tired of hearing from you on this, since you have essentially NO FREAKING EXPERIENCE WITH WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT!!!!
And learn to type, instead of using your voice synthesizer. I'm tired of reading your stupid phonetic spelling. If I read *ewe* one more time, I'm gonna start calling you "Dud Sod-on-it".
carl, others seem to find it helpful, sorry ewe don't. i've heard my brother-in-law's system, & it's great. as i said before, i don't wanna drag him into your pettiness. i have no reason to misrepresent him - what rationale do you tink would make me wanna? so i could win some imaginary contest w/ewe? HA HA HA!

as i've said before, i feel this forum is for people to give useful info on experiences, so they can then make their own decisions on what equipment may or may not better their musical enjoyment. what useful info have ewe *ever* given on the thread as to the usefulness of a preamp improving cd-sound?!? all i know is ya love yer res-audio cd-50 run straight-in; i & no one else knows what preamp yuve tried w/it; why are ewe so reluctant to discuss it? what are ewe hiding?

ewe say i have "no freaking experience with what i'm talking about" - at least i cite all the pertinent data - then everyone can decide for themselves whether or not it's worthwhile. even if ewe *do* know what yure talking about, if ewe refuse to give all the info, it's not worth much to anyone. yer an odd bird, carl.

So are *ewe*. I've said it before, I'll say it again. Give me your brother in law's e-mail, and I'll tell you my linestage (after I've established and verified everything you claim). WHAT ARE *EWE* HIDING, dug sodonit???
carl, i've got nuttin' to prove to yew - if ya got nuttin' to ad to this thread of any relevence, why bother posting? the only thing i'm hiding is insipid comments of yours, from my brother-in-law. he's a decent fellow, & i'm sure he woodn't appreciate email from the likes of yew.
I AM decent, and you are a coward!!! Unless I am provoked, I would have no reason to be anything other than cordial to your (imaginary?) brother-in-law, and you know that. AND IF YOU HAVE "NUTTIN" TO PROVE TO ME, then you need to pipe down on this issue, and let those who have more experience than you, share their insights...intstead of guessing that youe little philosophy can somehow be easily applied to all CD players, especially this one.
Every thread with "CD" in its title seems to go this way....
That's a brilliant assessment, John. I guess that's why they pay you the "big bucks"...
Sometimes simplicity is a good thing.
Try a MOD SQUAD Line Drive, it is a passive switching device. Used, it’s about $350.00(US) or less. Then depending on your system and EARS find a CD player you like. Keep in mind formats will be changing to either SDCD or DVD-Audio, so you may what to keep it cheap.
"The best preamp is no preamp" i presume you are quite knowledgeable into what you are thinking of. Running a cd directly to a power amp just is the best thing to do. However very few CD players have an output which is variable in order to mate with the power amp. From my previous experience i was able to have one model from Marantz. Yes, Marantz may not be such an esoteric name but it has quite a history of favorable reviews. Check out British magazines as WHAT HIFI, HIFI CHOICE. Oddly enough i was able to hear a Cd player's output directly connected to a loudspeaker! I was skeptical at first but when i checked out the connections..yes it was. IT WAS CONNECTED TO A HORN LOUDSPEAKER "AVANTGARDE" The sensitivity was so high it managed to put out that loud volume in the room! WHAT ABOUT THE LOWS,HOW WAS IT ABLE TO BE DRIVEN? The engineers were brilliant in designing the lows driven by it built in power amplifier. !@$#$% reviewed in stereophile mags .
I doubt that the output impedance of this Marantz player was any lower than that of my CD50...perhaps not even as low.
carl, i will address each of your statements, one by one

"I AM decent, and you are a coward!!!" - tell me what i said to deserve such venom from you on theis thread - you consider that decent? as for being a coward, i have nothing to be afraid of, the least, being worried about what others may think about my refusal to drag another party into this *discussion* w/yew.

"Unless I am provoked, I would have no reason to be anything other than cordial to your (imaginary?) brother-in-law, and you know that." - ?!? this is laughable, i know absolutely the opposite to be true - i said absolutely NOTHING to provoke yew, or anyone else, in this thread, & you have been anything but cordial to me.

"AND IF YOU HAVE "NUTTIN" TO PROVE TO ME, then you need to pipe down on this issue, and let those who have more experience than you, share their insights...intstead of guessing that youe little philosophy can somehow be easily applied to all CD players, especially this one." - what little experience i have is put out there for all to make their own judgements about - i only make my opinions known when they are on-topic. regardles of experience level, some folks agree w/me, others not. of those who don't, you're the only one rude about it. at least everyone knows what *my* experience is, whether or not they agree. your experience is a secret - however great it may be, how can anyone gain anything from it? as far as *piping down* cuz i have nothing to prove to you, if i'm not mistaken, it was rcoppens' thread, not yours - i have every right to answer him, w/my opinions, your objections notwithstanding. or is carl eber the new censorship authority on audiogon?

btw, carl, can yew please explain why yoo doubt the marantz' impedence is as low or lower than that of the res audio? is it some superior experience? familiarity w/the specs? or yust another example of carl eber making a wild-assed guess? don't get me wrong - i have absolutely *no* idea of the output impedence of any res-audio or marantz gear. but i'd either *know* or *not* know...

Sedond, once again you prove my point. You are cowardly in your *secret*, and I am not. A few know the answer to your quest, and everyone will at a non-disclosed future time, in the not too distant future. I can't say the same about your infantile hushings regarding your supposed brother in law. You are disrespecting me, everybit as much as you presume I am, to you. I'll say again, IF INDEED YOU DO you have a brother-in-law who owns the CD50, you need to take a quarter, go buy some guts, and reveal him to me, right now. HOW ELSE CAN I VERIFY YOUR CLAIMS AS TO YOUR EXPEREINCES? It's like you say, you'd "either have them, or NOT have them". If he exists, he is a man, and can handle himself without your motherly coddling....that is, IF he exists. You have my word, I will only ask specifics about when he bought the player, what he thinks of it in his system context (and what that context is), and also how long YOU have listened to it, and under what circumstance. I am an honorable person, ask anyone I have done business with. I can't do the same for you, since you haven't done business with ANYONE! THAT'S RIGHT SMARTY PANTS, YOU HAVE NO FEEDBACK, AND I DO. I ASK ANYONE WHO READS THIS, WHO HAS CREDIBILITY HERE AT THIS SITE, AND WHO IS A POSER? Hint: I HAVE THE CREDIBILITY...
carl, it's simple - you can verify my claims as to my experience because i tell the truth. if that ain't good enuff for you, so be it - i don't really care whether or not you feel i'm making this all up, that's your hang-up, not mine. as i said before, i have nothing to prove, & no reason to lie. this ain't a contest, yust a forum to share opinions about audio. end of discussion.

doug *the coward* sedon

carl: who do you think really gives a damn about your *positive* feedback? i suspect you faked it, anyway. we don't need your stinkin' feedback. we can see you for what you are every night. live. disgusting. dishonest. cowardly. congatulations on screwing up yet another thread.
Maybe you should find a third hobby.
Rosecud: Coming from an anonymous poser, I'd say it is you who is all the things you claim, and you are probably incarcirated with net priviledges, besides...see, I can tear you down like you enjoy tearing others down, rosey bud...You don't know what you're talking about, YOU AREN'T TALKING ABOUT THE THREAD TOPIC, WHERAS WE WERE......and I suggest you now assume room pansy poser puke! Oh yeah, I left out one word which you used..."damn"...well, how's this? "damn you"...
John, who do you think you're talking to?
Sedond, it's simple: you just saying that you're honest is no way of verifying ANYTHING!!!! I say I am honset too, and others stand with me on that, and it IS verifyable. And if you have nothing to prove to me, then why do you keep responding to me?
John elle, read my thread in "site related"...
Dont get me wrong here I dont want to gang up on this carl guy, but I have to say that the resolution stuff is great gear,however this carl is a little too crazy on it and I have to say that this is more of an obsession considering I have read the same thing on several threads from him...PLEASE STOP>
"Why is Ride of the Valkyries always coming from that house?" "Lousy stereo ..... Bass isn't too bad..."