Details, details.

What is the best CD or SACD palyer that let's you hear the difference between natural and synthetic drum skins, or the keys opening and closing on a clarinet in the middle of an orchestra.
I am very happy with the transparency, analog smoothness, and overall presentation of the Accuphase DP-75V (upsampling) CD player, which can also be used as a DAC. A noticeable improvement over the earlier DP-75 (non-upsampling). Alas, the 75V is out of production, but can be found for sale on this site, although not as frequently as other premium CD players. But you can "go for the gusto", and grab an Accuphase DP-85 (SACD & Redbook). Accuphase has been around for years, making high end gear for the fanatical Asian market. They will probably be around for many years to come. Nothing hurts the resale value like a manufacturer going "bye-bye" or making drastic corporate/distribution changes (hello, Levinson/Madrigal owners). There has been a lot of positive buzz about the Audio Aero Capitol. The Mk. 2 version may finally be a great player, but they have had MAJOR production problems (programming in the software chip) and are reported to have a REALLY cheesy top loading draw mechanism. Too bad, because after hearing the Mk. 1 version at the 2002 CES, I was really considering the Mk. 2, when it came out. After these problems (and 107% increase in list price), I'm sure glad that I went with the DP-75V! It is my understanding that Audio Aero is a subdivision of an aerospace corporation, which makes continued viability a question in the overall future corporate scheme of things.
If you will tell me what CD you have which has correctly recorded this information in the first place, and how you know this is so, then send me the disc I'll put it on my CD players and see if they qualify - assuming of course that my pre amp, amp and speakers are also up to the task. Yikes, what a task! :-)
I, like Newbee, would like info about any recording that allows one to hear the keys of a clarinet opening and closing in the middle of an orchestra. Seriously, though, I know what you're asking, and I found comparable details reproduced quite nicely on my Electrocompaniet EMC1-UP. I can distinctly hear the sound of a wood drumstick striking metal alloy on a ride cymbal (and I was in the drummer's seat for many years so I know what this sounds like). Also, the detail of a guitar pick strumming individual strings during a fast strumming passage is audible on the EMC-1UP, whereas on other players I've auditioned, this can become muddy. Hope this helps.
what's a "CD or SACD palyer"? have i completely missed out on an era of the highend?

That, my friend, is a typo. They show their ugly head once in a while. Saw one the other day where a McIntosh amp was making a "poping" sound. Being Catholic, I had to report it to the Vatican. Mr. CFB, where have you been? Still as prickly as ever I can see. Regards.
Cornfedboy, good to hear from you again! To explain, CD's and SACD's are little silver 5" discs that allow you to remain seated in your listening chair for 40 to 70 minutes of uninterrupted music instead of jumping up every 15 to 20 to replace your vinyl disc. In addition, you don't have to perform rituals similar to the mating dances of exotic tropical birds to prepare your vinyl for listening. After your courtship, you sit back to enjoy, knowing that somewhere in your next 15 minutes of listening, a random pop, click, or crunch will occur, no matter how thoroughly and lovingly that you have performed your vinyl voodoo rituals! You try to ignore that slight phono section hiss that you KNOW will occur while listening at moderate to high levels, as the song fades out. Is that a little high end muddling? Is it time to clean the stylus, adjust the VTA, or correct the ant-skating? If it's a dirty stylus, try not to "f**k it up", especially if it's late night/early morning, and you might happen to be tired, or in an "altered state" as well! Hey, is there a segment of the song that you want to hear again? On CD/SACD, a push of one button on the remote, and there it is again! Like magic, you can even get this passage to repeat indefinitely! Well, at least on vinyl, you'll be able to burn plenty of calories on many repeated trips to your turntable and cleaning apparatus! (Fatparrot is going to patent the "Burn Calories and Lose Weight while Listening to Vinyl Diet)! Buying used vinyl? Is that pristine looking LP a real gem, or have the high frequencies been stripped out of the grooves, by an ancient ceramic cartridge tracking at 6 to 8 grams? Yes vinyl has advantages over CD's! There are tons of titles on vinyl that will never make it to CD. Also, if you listen to lots of orchestral music, you can immediately, hear the fidelity improvement on bowed violins and violas on a vinyl LP. SACD is supposed to be a VAST improvement over redbook CD, but titles are still very limited, mastering, especially remastering techniques, are still suspect, and now is NOT the time to jump into SACD (give the technology another 2 years, and we'll see). I hope that this helps, as I know that you are a relatively inexperienced novice in the field of high end audio!! (Note: for those who don't know, cfb has probably heard more equipment than the audio rag reviewers, and is a truly chronic and habituated high end junkie! He's also one of the most knowledgeable and intelligent members here on Agon!)
It is obscure, that no one so far has mantioned the MBL dac and transporter. It is one of the best transperent, detailed and yet natural and non fatighing digital system. The Accuphase DP-75V is very good and very natural either, but uncomperale to the MBL (by the way I own an accuphase DP-75V)
You want detail, Wadia is the route.
hello Keithr,
have u or anyone compare the wadia861 to Accuphase DP-75V.
I wander if a tube CDplayer can produce such a good detail like those premium CDP??