CDP or DAC/Transport for $1300 new?

Arcam FMJ CD23 conked out. What's new and exciting for about $1,300 nowadays?
That is what happens to CD players I was told much to my amazement with an Audio Aero Prima which I really liked and had tweaked to suit my taste. I was told "Well you have to toss it now the repairs are worth what the player cast" I was really bummed. I tried every which way to make it work but no go. "They" were right !
Hard to say as each response will be different based on personal experience and even those with vast experience will differ.

DACs are always improving so you can always upgrade.

Transports are a bit more difficult unless you luck out on a good one and if you read about you'll find various and sundry reviews so it's hit and miss, unless you trust the reviewer. There are some great ones out there, but in your price range, I couldn't say.

CDPs can and do still sound great in the price range you have. Sometimes there's something advantageous to having it all in one box. That, and you can always use it for a transport further down the line, better reliability this time around.

I have a TEAC PD-H600 that I tried to use as a transport and fed its output to a Schiit Bifrost and the TEAC sounded better by itself. The Bifrost is no slouch and has gotten great reviews but I only have two good coax cables so it could be that there's better out there (for more money) that would give me better results.

See the quandary?

If you can hold off and look around and experiment you will come to something you like. Just don't rush.

All the best,
I have been acquiring CD players over the last few months. I like CDs. I don't see myself ever embracing vinyl as my preferred listening source and I can't mentally wrap my head around converting my music over to a server system. Though, I really like how turntables look.

I have been using a Rega Apollo for 6 years or so now. I have been happy with the Rega. I also have a Musical Fidelity CD PRE 24, which is 9 years old. I half fear that the cd players will start biting the dust.

I read a review about the XTZ CD 100/ 11 in HIFI World (July issue). The reviewer couldn't praise the cd player enough. He was definitely implying that it could be a giant killer.

So, I pulled the trigger and purchased one for about $600. I dealt directly with Olle Eliasson, XTZ' owner. I have been using the player for about a week now and am very impressed.

In the new weeks, I will be posting my impressions about the XTZ cd player, as well as the player by Emotiva.


The basic audio CD (as opposed to computer based DVD/CDROM) drives are becoming extinct as manufacturer after manufacturer (the two big ones Sony/Philips) stops making them. The writing is on the wall, folks.

That is why I went with a PWT from PS Audio. Uses a computer style DVD drive (combined with a SS memory playback) that is less likely to go obsolete. No, its not perfect but pretty good considering the limited 16/44.1 media. It also will play high res stuff in the right format if burned to DVD. Its more expensive than your $1300, but you can get them for about $2K at Underwood.
I used to think I would always prefer to play CDs. Then I was auditioning some new speakers and the guy handed me an iPad and said pick your music. I was hooked. I did some research and bought a Mac Mini, Arcam RDAC, and started ripping. Using lossless file type, (disk space is cheap), and playing back using Pure Music player which sits on top of iTunes, I now have my entire Cd library available at a touch. I've played songs I haven't listened to in years. All this can be done right about the price you are willing to spend ( and some time ripping).

Just a thought.