I haven't done any comparisons in terms of CD, but the video quality is excellent.
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Top Nuc, I used the DV 18 briefly as a CD player (while my Forsell was being upgraded) and DAD player to hear what it sounded like before I switched it to be used solely as a 24/96 transport. My impression was that it was a very smooth player, not especially dynamic (though no slouch) but pleasant to listen to because of its non-abrasive highs and rich (for 16/44) midrange. Can't compare to any of the CDPs you mention, as I haven't heard them; clearly better than my son's Marantz CD63, but couldn't touch my Audio Logic 2400 DAC, which is why I use it as a transport. However, for some reason it did not read regular CDs as well as either my Forsell (and that machine was VERY tempermental at the time) or the CD63, skipping on a few discs either of those machines would play with no problem. It has no problem with the 24/96 discs I feed it. Hope this is of some help. Anyone else out there have similar experiences with DVD players having a little more trouble than CDPs reading CDs?