downsize from ARC CD3 MKII to $1500 CDP happily?

this poor economy is forcing me to make cuts everywhere & unfortunately my system is next. I would like to sell my pristine ARC CD3 MKII and downsize somewhat to something that won't be too much of a downgrade sound-wise. Budget is $1500 used for a replacement one-box player. Maybe there is something I could find I might like even better? I've owned a Rega Planet & a couple of Cary (306/200 & 303/100) players in the past which seem to synergize well with the Cary amp. I have a couple players in mind but don't want to sway any suggestions would be greatly appreciated....
You could consider a solution such as an Oppo DVD player (<$200 new) and a Lavry or Benchmark DAC (<1000 new). You'll need a digital cable (Stereovox, <$200).
If you enjoy the sound of your ARC, you won't really like the Benchmark IMO. I personally don't and prefer the sound of the ARC which is quite different. I would suggest you look at an Audio Aero Prima mk2 or mk3. They have a similar style to your ARC, and even the Carys, with the mk3 being a little smoother and the mk2 a little more dynamic. Either can be had in your price range. You will have a hard time going to a SS cd player after having owned a CD3 IMHO.

Pehare, the Prima is a pretty good CDP. I owned one for 6 months while my Capitole was being serviced and destroyed in shipping on the way back to me. The Prima is an excellent CDP with the following understanding:

It excels with small performance recordings - this is the units greatest strength. 3-4 piece jazz, female vocals, small venues and the like are superb on this unit. If this is your listening preference, it is hard to beat this unit in this price range ($1,300-$1,500 for the latest version - which is what you want)

When you get into driving rock, large scale orchestra, large venue sound, the unit performs only average. It has a tendency to loose a lot of the focus demonstrated with the smaller performances. Here, this unit is just average in my opinion. If this is your primary listening, then I would not recommend this unit, there are others that do better in this area than the Prima.

Personally, since it sounds like you have tubes elsehwhere, I would not rule out a SS piece. A Wadia will add resolution, detail, focus and they are somewhat rolled off in the top end so they are not grainy - like an 830 (which I also owned). Benefit here is that may be be able to run this direct to your amps (check impedence matching though). If you get an "i" version, you could run another digital source into it as well. This may allow you to sell your preamp as well and still be happy (there are many threads on the adjustable volume control CDPs if this is an avenue you may want to consider - allowing you to sell the preamp as well).

Also, what about a CD2 from ARC?

I would also consider a Lector 7, which is pretty good too and the price has really dropped due to the dealer demo sales lately.

What are you selling your CD3 for? Do you have it listed already? Let me know via e-mail or this thread.
ARC CD-2, Cary 303-200 or Arcam CD-23
If I were you I would seriously consider the tubed Raysonic cd 128. A new one may cost you a little bit more than $1500 but with a discount you can come close. In my system, The Raysonic is detailed and open, with solid firm bass and smooth extended highs. You can likely get a nice discount now. I highly recommend it as a player that punches in a higher weight class than is indicated by it's price. It has build quality, good but esoteric looks (if you like them), and excellent sonics. In other words, it competes with players that cost more than its price.

Check this link:

Sorry this poor economy is stripping you of quality gear.
Buy a used ARC Dac3/2 for less than 1500 & a generic CDP as a transport...?
taking a haircut on selling audio is not advised...cut back elswhere if possible, or you'll just live with the angst of wanting to buy it back. there's nothing worse than selling in a strapped moment, and then loging to get it back.
some of these are already on my list...& some I hadn't thought of thanks
belcanto dac2 / oppo 980 dvd player
under a grand and since money matters this would prob be very tough combo to beat at 1500 standalone cdp
Agree with Jaybo... you won't recoup much more than $1500 for the CD3, and you'll end up just rebuying higher-end gear. If you really like the CD3, I'd keep it.
First off, sorry to hear of your unfortunate economic situation. If Jaybo's advice doesn't work for you, Dpac996's advice is pretty good. I haven't heard the ARC CD3 but I'm listening to the OPPO 980HD through the Bel Canto DAC2 as I type this. Bill Frisell's "Nashville" sounds great.
Good luck which ever way you go.