Comments on Cary 303 CD Player

I am looking for current comments on the Cary 303 CD Player. My budget is between 3,000 to 3,500. A used Meridian 508.24 is another option I am considering. I own the Bow Wazoo integrated amplifier and Sonus Faber Grand Piano Speakers. Thanks
Hgeifman, Hi. I am quite sure I've seen the new Cary 306/200 on A'gon for $3400.00 not too long ago. I think it may even be new in the box? I've not personally heard the 303, but a friend has heard both and says the 306 is much better. I owned the 306 and now own the 306/200. Both are excellent, musical players, but the 306/200 adds that extra bit of air and inner detail. I like the sound of the 306/200 to the point of having SRA custom make an isoBase for it. I believe The Inner Ear Report and Stereophile will both be positively reviewing the 306/200 in upcoming issues? That will mean backorders soon! Good luck.
I own the Cary 303/200 and have had it in my system for a few months. For the money, I would think that you would be able to find a new one with a 10-15 percent discount, you will not regret owning this player. I use the upsampling on all disks that are not HDCD encoded. I find that the upsampling solidifies the images being presented and tightens up the bass. On HDCD recordings I leave the upsampling off because it bypasses the HDCD filter. The realism of the sound coming from an HDCD encoded disk is amazing.
It could be said that this is a CD player that those who listen to analog would love. It is not a hyper-detailed CD player. The Meridian 508.24 is an excellent CD player that falls more into the hyper-detailed category. I would say that in general the Meridian CD players, I owned a 566 processor with a 500 transport a while ago, tend to be analytical. I was told, however, that there new 588 player is much more musical than their previous players and I believe that it retails at under $4,000.
For what it is worth, I love the Cary 303/200 CD player. I did not hear $2000 of difference between the 303/200 and the 306/200, but the 306 was more detailed in the frequency extremes. Feel free to Email with any questions that you may have.
Hi, i've had the cary 303 100 for almost a year now, and can't recommend it highly enough. havent heard the 200's but im a big fan of the pc100 chip. This cary is to my ear one of the most analogue sounding cd's made. There is simply no digital harshness at all, it makes sense of the music and puts it first. It's slightly less forward than the resolution audio cd55 (which clips of the decays a bit). Does take a lot of running in though.
good luck
My Cary 303/100 cd player is one component that I virtually NEVER think about changing. It just sounds damn good and has plenty of detail too, for my taste. As I have been upgrading various components in my system (new preamp, better cables,...) I find that the Cary continues to sound better as well. I am just now discovering how refined and nuanced the overall sound it (having just upgraded to CJ 17LS preamp and borrowed some Valhalla speaker cables). This is in contrast to other cd players I've owned where system improvements inevitably revealed weaknesses in the cd playback.
I purchased the 303/200 about a month ago. The basic nature of the player has not changed since I opened the box. It has, however, matured with use. I would characterize its sound as emotionally involving with an excessively low fatigue factor. I would also describe the player as very accurate without being in your face about it. I drove myself nuts trying to compare CDP's both in terms of sound and value before I purchased this player. There could be other players out there that I would be willing to spend another $$$ on for some level of incremental improvement. I'll never know. I have reached the end of my rainbow. Good luck in you search.
Thanks for your excellent and useful comments. I plan to listen to the Cary 303 CD Player next week. cheers..