Help choosing digital front end.

With about a $2000 budget, any suggestions please. I currently have a Wadia 830. I am considering changing to seperates with possibly a Bel Canto Dac 1, or the Sony SACD player. Any experience with these three.
I suggest you try a used Resolution CD50, why limit yourself to just the 3 above? The Bel Canto can't take advantage of balanced operation, and how many SACD titles are you going to buy, from the limited numbers available? I concede there are 2 or 3 SACD titles I'd like (I do have them on vinyl already, though), but that's not enough to make me want a Sony player, that is also "expensive" for a Sony product. Especially since they use cheap op-amps for the analog line output stage, instead of something worthy of their price range (and that's either the 777, or the SCD-1). Do you spend most of your time listening to CD? Did you use the Wadia straight into the power amp? Is your power amp balanced? I've found that the CD50 works extremely well straight into all the power amps I've tried with it (balanced or unbalanced). This would free more money to spend elsewhere, other than on a linestage preamp (which would be necessary for either the Bel Canto or the Sonys). If however, you spend an equal amount of your time listening to sources other than CD, then I understand your predicament................(Realizing that my enthusiasm about my player has actually put many people off from it, instead of encouraging, I'll leave you with this): If you really are excited about SACD, then I suggest you get a used 777, and start buying the music titles you want. If you aren't, then try the Bel Canto. If you aren't wild about whatever power amp you have, you might even consider the Bel Canto Evo, since it's DAC and power amp in one (I've personally not heard it before). Anyway, good luck.
Carl, I always felt that your comments on the RA CDP were very good. There's nothing wrong IMO with recommending a unit that one truly enjoys. I've not heard either the 50 or 55 yet. One thing I do wonder is that I understand RA makes other electronics besides this CD player. Do you know what they are and how I might get information on them? Thanks!
while never having heard the r/a cd-players, i know of others besides carl that are enthusiastic about them, so one of these used would be something to keep on your list. that being said, your current cd-player isn't too shabby, & i'd suspect that a good used $2k line-stage would offer more of an improvement that yust a cd-player-upgrade. i know 1st-hand what a line-stage upgrade did to *my* set-up, & my brother-in-law sez it did the same for him - but, he could afford a new cd-player *and* a new preamp! :>) as carl mentions, a preamp also upgrades other sources, if ya don't yust play cd's... one person's opinion. doug
If you get a chance---and I realize it's not a very great chance--listen to a Museatex Bidat DAC with wire remote volume. Dates from mid-1990s, though still upgraded by A/D/S, and, especially when used direct to the power amp, is an extraordinary performer, comparable to the best at any price. Occasionally comes up on the Internet, under $1K.
Baydude, can you not find their website?
The only thing Resolution has on their website (at least the one that I can find) is the CD 55. It has frustrated me in the past as well.
Hi Carl, the only url for RA that I've found is The bulk of info is on the 55 as Mezmo states. There's also manuals for the 50 and 55 and User Guides for the VT-960 and D-92. My impression was that RA had more products. If you know of anything else, please let me know. Later.
Carl, Well I brilliantly found the info that I wanted at that site. I was interested in their DVD player; it's the VT-960. Well, I'm not particularly interested in that unit. However, the CD55 is most intriguing.
Sfbaydude, I'm assuming from your moniker that you live in the SF Bay area, so you are not far from the HQ of Resolution in Palo Alto. I am currently listening to a CD55 on a trial purchase. I picked it up from Resolution in P.A. If you have questions about the product, you could call the contact number on the website and talk to Mike. He is knowledgable and friendly - no hard sell. You can take a CD55 home for 30 days trial if you are interested. I'm curious why you are not satisfied with the Wadia 830, reportedly an excellent player.
Robert, Thanks for the suggestion. I never thought of that one. Good guess that I live in the SF Bay Area! Heh heh. I would be pleased with the Wadia 830 if I had one; it's the original poster, Blbloom, that's got one.
I hope you find what you are looking for, I thought they still made the D-92 DAC (I've personally never heard it). I have no idea what they are up to, the past few months. Others have told me that the reason they don't have a big product lineup, is that they do consulting for other companies, thus not having the time to commit to designing and marketing a lot of different equipment. I recently e-mailed the designer, and instead got a form letter from someone else, so I have no idea what's happening with them. I knew from the outset that they weren't a big conglomerate like Harman (who owns Madrigal/Levinson), but that in no way discouraged me from trying the product. It was sort of the opposite, actually. Anyway, good luck.
I suggest you try a DAC and Transport from Ric Schultz at Electronic Visionary Systems, a Millenium 2 Dac with upsampling will run $850.00 plus Ric will be modding the next affordable generation Sony SACD player. Something you might want to consider and is in your price range. I have a complete digital rig from Ric (DAC,cable, & Transport) for about $1500.00 and it sounds wonderful. Check out his website and check out all the 5 star reviews in Good luck, Mike
I just received the bidat Its better than a krell kps30i when used with a sony dvd7700 there is no going back to krell sound this bidat with the dvd7700 and an illumanati d 60 dig cable is a keeper using lamm, silver audio and martin logam request combo really nice and musical
Mitch, bidat??? I've never heard of that one. Could you please share some info about it? Thanks.
I have recently gone the transport/dac route as it makes no sense to buy an expensive CDP and have to upgrade every two years. There are many excellent dacs now for @$1000 or less, like Bel Canto, Birdland, and EVS Millenium and these make major difference in sound quality of system. I have Musical Fidelity A3cd/Bel Canto Dac1 front end and am very impressed with results, Sam
Sam: Have you tried the Bel Canto or another DAC with the X-Ray? If so would you suggest it for a transport? You know that I like the X gear, but I have not gone with the X-Ray because of its stand alone sound (I like a warmer sound). If a DAC changes this and if it is a good transport it would be nice to have appearance wise. I suspect that they will be sold out sooner than I would like, just like the other X gear.