I have the Cairn Fog (with upsampler) and like it very much. Make sure you have balanced inputs if you consider the Fog.
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Read the latest Stereophile with review? or show comment on replacement for Jupiter Cd player... Something about Sony no longer making the servo mech for the laser and the company has been serching for replacement, found one and it is a whole noe ballgame. far better.
(I have forgotten who made the Jupiter CD player.. anyway that soounds like the sort of thing to wait for.
Sound promising.. (maybe Rega? made the Jupiter CD player?)
I was in a similar position until I heard a BAT CD player, but I could not afford the $6000.00 asking price. I went about looking and found the Arcam FMJ33 CD player. On more than one occasion I went to take an album off my TT and was shocked to see it was not moving, oh it's a CD playing. I have heard other CD players that are more detailed, or have bigger base, higher highs etc. But the Arcam is blessed with playing very musically with deep and large sound stage. I am very happy with it. I used to be 90%vinyl 10%CD now I am about 50-50
Marantz SA8260 does not sound analog to me. Benchmark DAC1 in my system prooved to be very digital sounding. After about 30 minutes of listenning I would not want to play another CD. The unit I kept was the Bel Canto DAC2. I use Sony S7700 as a transport hooked up to Bel Canto DAC2 with WireWorld SuperNova 5 optical cable. I find the sound of this combo to be detailed yet very smooth through my B&W N803 speakers, which show immediately if the component is bright. Bel Canto DAC2 could be tried out for 30 days. Your player would work fine as a transport to give you an idea of what the dac sounds like. Give Audio Advisor a call regarding the Bel Canto. What's the worst that will happen? You loose money shipping it back if you find it's not for you. Good luck.
About a month ago I Sold my Jolida JD 100 after I bought a Cairn Fog with upsampler. Just last week I recieved a used Arcam FMJ CD 33.
Try to keep it short.
In my system the Cairn was better than the Jolida at capturing detail and timing. The Cairn also had sweeter highs and seemed smoother, easier to listen to than the Jolida.
The Arcam has a larger soundstage and more depth. Bolder bass lines and a more foward presentation than the Cairn. Also seems more detailed. Fantastic.
The Cairn however has sweeter highs, a better sence of timing and is even a bit smoother sounding. Very refined.. My wife likes it better than the Arcam.
Right now I can't make up my mind between the Cairn or the Arcam.
If you have speakers with agressive highs I would lean toward the Cairn because of its wonderful handling in this area , very sweet, smooth yet detailed.
If you need a little more bass impact want more depth and boldness and don't have an over agressive mid and treble ( or bad acoustics ) then maybe the Arcam is for you.