CDP Upgrade: Around 2k Used


Contemplating upgrading from my Jolida JD 100 CDP w/ "level 1" mods. I like it pretty well, but it has a chattery transport (although I've not heard others make this complaint about the Jolida). Rather than investing time and money in sorting that out, I'm thinking of trying something new. Frequently mentioned possibilities at my price point:

Consonance Droplet
Cary 303-300
Wadia 302
Ayre CX-7e
Audio Resolution Opus 21

Associated gear:

Odyssey Stratos Dual Mono
Marsh 2000b
North Creek Eskas

Room is 13' X 13' X 9', with large openings on two sides.

I listen to a lot of female vocals from jazz to, 50s-60s jazz, a bit of baroque, and some grungy rock.

I suspect my taste in sound favors "laid back" over "bright."

I've some inclination towards 1 box, for simplicity.


add audio aero prima to your list
Pick up a used Modwright (Signature or Platinum) "Truth" Sony 999ES and upgrade the PS to the new tube rectified one. Will come in under your budget.

In any event, stick with a tube player.
Krell SACD Standard.Don't bother with SACDs (they're great,btw)but get it for CD playback.You will not regret it.Nothing comes close.
Two worth a listen to would be the Musical Fidelity A5 and the Consonance Forbidden City Turandot (unusual looks but sounds cracking - a little cooler sounding than the Droplet, but truly transparent!
I'm surprised no one has mentioned getting something like a modded Denon 3910. Even a stock unit has terrific sound and they're built like tanks. There's a RAM modded unit here for $1600 right now...


If you're looking strictly for an awesome redbook cd player, look at the Cary CD 306/200 (this unit was replaced by the new CD 306 SACD). For redbook CD player, this Cary CD 306/200 is hard to beat for the used price range it is selling at. It has solid build quality (35 pounds), very reliable metal transport, can be used as a DAC or transport, balanced XLR outputs, and lastly awesome cd playback. Give it an audition if you can find one.
Look at the Cary 303-300 and listen to the tube output. It is special.
I am on a similar search and have a similar list. I have narrowed down to Ayre or Resolution opus 21. Having spoken to Steve Huntley at Great Northern Sound, who sells and Mods Wadia and Resolution, I feel he rates Resolution more. I am going for the Resolution with his mods when I can find one 2nd hand. You could get a Resolution now, perhaps mod at a later date, the mods have very good reports. I rate them both above the Consonance, good though it is, I havent heard the Cary. I get the impression the Ayre is better with Ayre amps and certainly better through XLR.
Does anyone who has heard the Rega Saturn as well as several of these choices think that the Saturn should be included in this list?
The Wadia 302 produces very nice music.
IMO the Resolution Audio Opus 21 would be the best of that group with Ayre coming in second. I am also a believer in the GNS upgrade to the the Opus 21 but it is a bargain either stock or modified. The Wadia 302 is Ok but somewhat colder and more digial sounding.
You may not hear all the differences with the Marsh 2000b preamp though.
I am with David 12. Having heard Resolution, Ayre and the Consonance, I would rate the Resolution highest. And yes, I also feel both rank quite above the Consonance.
Thanks for imput so far!

Sws2: Not a fan of the Marsh pre? I might be hijacking my own thread, but could you elaborate? Do you think there are price comparable options that would present with readily audible improvements? I suppose one option would be to omit the pre, and go with one of the volume control CDPs.

Thanks again,

Droplet, no doubt.