CD players for soundstage depth

Recommendations please!

What CD players give the best soundstage depth, and layering?

I listen mainly to classical, a lot of orchestral, and I like to hear that the brass and woodwind are sitting towards the back of the stage, *behind* the strings, not floating in air above them.

I really think that other factors like speaker placement, room dimensions, room acoustics, then your amp/preamp and cables will all have a much larger determining factor on soundstage depth, than what CD player you are using.

Or is this the final tweek after you have done all of the above? Many years ago when I was sampling various interconnect cables all with the same CD player; the main instruments playing went from pretty forward to fairly deep, just from a cable change. So I am not sure how to recommend a CD player.

I want a CD player that sounds great and is true to the source material. The rest can be adjusted elsewhere in the system and listening room.
I agree w/sugar - especially room acoustics

Speaker placement is a good place to start for improving soundstage depth, as Sugarbrie stated above.

Also, reducing the system noise floor using some power conditioning and/or good power cords goes a long way to improving resolution, thereby making the image sound larger and deeper.
Thanks guys!

The thing is, I *am* getting good soundstaging and layering from LPs, but CD playback falls short in this regard, hence my question. The CDP in the system currently is an older 777 Sony model, which is to be replaced soon, but by what?
Just get a better CD player period. If it outputs nice clean detailed sound, that will in itself produce the good soundstage, if you have the rest of the system in good order.
ime the Meridian 808.2 is excellent in that regard.

I'm in agreement with Sugarbrie. Any highly resolving CD player should provide the type of soundstage you seek if the rest of your system is already proven to have these qualities.

I was just at a friend's house to hear my CD player in his system. He has a highly resolving system and was demoing the JMLabs Micro Utopia BE speakers. His system produced a beautifully seamless soundstage that was both deep and wide. The speakers just diappeared leaving the sound of the venue where the recording was made. We used his analog rig and his Meridian 802.24 CD player. We then istalled my EVS Level 2 mod'd Oppo 970 univeral player into the mix and it was also excellent at producing a realistic soundstage.

BTW, the only players I've owned in recent history that did not produce a decent soundstage were Sony DVP-S7700ES, Sony DVP-S9000ES, Sony DVP-NS999ES and a moderately prices Sherwood Newcastle unit. All were OK players, but did not produce the soundstage width and depth that I've heard when using higher priced dedicated CD players or digital seperates in my system.

What's your budget for a new CD player? Based on your budget, maybe some folks can recommend players in that price range. Also, are you looking for new or used?


Simaudio Andromeda will do that, amazing in my opinion. I enjoy it. For lesser cost perhaps Supernova or CD1. I have not heard CD1 or Supernova, so I cannot say for certainty on those, but there is technology flowdown.

Other good CD players seem to do same, like Marantz SA-11s1 (I did have it for a week, it has been replaced by 11s2 and 7s1). Also, Linn Karik Numeric out of production for many years, it has lesser detail but good layering of instruments in my opinion.

These players have been heard in my system, ARC hybrid preamp, Levinson amp, Transparent cables, and Spendor SP1 speakers.

There is a difference in CD players, its not always dramatic, but it is important in my opinion. And more noticeable after listening long term.


It seems to me that full orchestral recordings provide the greatest challenge for convincing reproduction on home systems--logical, I suppose, given the number of players and the size of the platform they're on and of the auditorium they're playing in.

Perhaps I've just been listening to some congested recordings of late--the sound engineering of the recording is key to all this, I'm sure.

Anyway, as I do hear fairly significant differences between CDPs, I was just wondering if there were any soundstage champs out there, and thanks for the recommendations.

Unfortunately Meridian 808.2 and Simaudio Andromeda out of my league.

TIC, my budget is $1.5-$3K, probably new (warranty worries), possibly used for the right piece with the right history. (B.t.w. rest of system: Sonic Frontiers, Cary, ProAc.)
In the $2K-$3K used price range, I like the Resolution Audio Opus 21. You might even be able to find a Great Northern Sound mod'd version for less than $3K. It is a great player backed by a great US based company. Although I haven't owned the highest end models, I think the Carys are also probably a good bet.