The Linn Genki is superb and right in the ballpark at around $900 used.
17 responses Add your response
1) Add a Bel Canto DAC 1.0, 1.1 or 2.0. These seem to be a little more indiscriminant about the transport than most.
2) Buy a new 999ES with a few mods from www.modwright.com.
3) Buy a used Sony XA7ES or a used Resolution Audio CD50. These can direct drive an amp and the sony's have volume control on the remote. Don't remember about the CD50.
4) Ah Tjoeb's are very nice too.
I'd try a BC first.
the marantz sa8260 is a very musical sounding unit and very close to a analog sound. that is very unusual for a digital source especially under $1000.
it is one of the few sources that is muscially invloving and that i can listen to a whole cd all the way through.
i compared it to a dodson dac, sony 333,555,999, aclemist, and electrocomponiet (big $$$) and philips 963.
there is a STEEP law of diminishing returns on digital sources despite state of the art and state of the art $$$.
i would say it is "class a" for the price it is at. i would be hard pressed to find a better unit under $2k. please note it does retain the marantz house sound, either you will love it or hate it.again, its greatest strength is its musicality ( like a linn turntable, once you hear it, you will know).
btw, there is quality issues with the TOC/servo/transport with some units, once it warms up, it wont read redbooks cd's. marantz service has had my 8260 more than me. this is the second time in for repair for the same thing. i dont hink they repaired the first time, it has been frustrating.
also, if you do buy one - get it from a authorized dealer. the warranty is 3 years and non transferable
hope that helps !!
The Resolution CD-50 is also a terrific cd player it also has a built in analog volume control. I upgraded from the Theta Miles Balanced to this CD-50 and it is definately better in all regards. There is more air, music is smoother. Many people comment that this cd player sounds like analog and I would have to agree. The sound is very vivid 3d and lifelike, and its smooth without warmth, I would say this is as close to neutral as you could come. It truly is like everyone says one of the best values in Audio. They can be found used for around $1000. I've also heard many people comment that the CD-50 sounds better then the newer upsampling CD-55 because that tends to sound a bit more digital like versus the smooth CD-50
Check out the Ah! Njoe Tjoeb 4000. It's the best cd player I've heard at any price. Order it with upsampler and all tweaks. Allow it 500 hours to burn in. It's a stunning performer. I bought mine from Kevin Deal at Upscale Audio this summer, and have been enjoying my cd collection like never before.