I have a new (modified Marantz) New Tube 4000 from Upscale Audio which has a variable output. Very sweet player, tube output, with variable volume out. $649 without further modification. Good luck!
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Be careful on variable outputs. Some have many more steps than others and may even put out more/less voltage. ie Marantz has very few steps compared to sony. The sony ES is much more adjustable than marantz and will play quietly much better for that reason-I'm not saying that one is better sounding than the other.
As mentioned in the earlier post, also be careful how the volume control has been implemented in the cdp. If the attenuation is done in the digital domain like the New Tube 4000 and majority of the cdp's, then at lower vols there is loss of resolution and the preformance is greatly compromised.
If the attenuation is in the analog domain, then you are safe.
Few players like Resolution Audio, Sony's, Quad 99 cdp have it and sounds fantastic. Some have buffers after the vol control which give better drive and dynamics.
Don't dismiss the ability to go direct merely because the cdp uses digital volume attenuation. I use a Heart 6000 which has a digital volume control and find that going direct is more dynamic and transparent w/ better transients/attack compared to using a pre-amp.
Yes it does sound better at higer volumes but even at lower volumes I still prefer plugging the cdp direct.
Jimi_p, one suggestion I would like to make is the use of variable attenuators between your amp and CD player. A couple of companies make them, and I picked up a new pair, with outstanding parts/build quality for $160. Using just one, high quality resistor in the signal path, the sonics are outstanding.
These gives you the flexibility of using any CD player you wish.