add audio aero prima to your list
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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.
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.
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.
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.