The Audiolab did get a great online review. I picked up one of the CXCs on Ebay for about $300. I see the have the new V2s for $350. I think the Audiolab is $550. Unless you compare back to back you can never know which is better, but if you're a bit on the neurotic side and the $200 doesn't bother you, just get the Audiolab and forget it. That aside, I have no issues with the CXC.
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Now that the list was expanded, take a ponder at the new Denafrips Avatar:https://www.vinshineaudio.com/product-page/denafrips-avatar
The price shown is in Singapore dollars and works out to just under $1200.00. And you won't have to worry about the Philips CDM4/19 sled as they have 3,000 of them in stock should something go wrong.
And, it's about $500 cheaper than the Jay's CDT2 Mk2.
All the best,
Thanks so much for all the advice. The Cambridge Audio still looks good but there seem to be reliability issues. If I get a refurbished one possibly it had its problems and is fixed. I am leaning to the Audiolab and the Marantz HD cd1 so things are narrowed down. Kennyc, that was quite a fine list of alternatives! Jchiappinelli, all of your points are well taken and those are all important considerations; I have zero toleration for flimsy and poorly laid out stuff. I should have said from the outset that I have been delighted with the Rega Apollo R. You guys are great.
Having heard most of these in my own system, the lower priced units perform as that, they are not giant killers if that is what you are looking for. My friend has the CEC TL5 that he is selling that was converted from a Japan model to now able to use in the US. I think he has it listed on US Audio Mart. Anyway I heard that compared to the CEC TL-3N, an older high end Metronome CDP/transport, and Jays Audio. Alos compared these lower priced units Rega (I do like the Saturn as a transport for the money), CXC, Sim Audio (don't remember the model #), NuForce transport, Nano transport, etc. There is nothing bad about any of these used as a transport. Even the Electrocompaniet is a very good option. TO me the CEC TL5 was the best especially for the price and conversion. Followed by the older Metronome with separate matching power supply (may be a CA-1 model?), then the TL-3N, then the Electro 1 Up, then the Nano with a better power supply. The Jays Audio is a nice player but when we compared that to the Metronome, it lacked the depth of sound stage and it was not anywhere near as musical. This may be a preference thing but that was the groups decision.
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