Your player is fine.Listen to the MF DAC its not what is said to be.
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The marantz players have a lot of jitter on the digital output, but are otherwise fair transports. Therefore make sure that you either :
1) purchase a DAC which reclocks the digital input.
2) Budget for a jitter reducer such as monarchy DIP (about $150 used).
I have a CD63SE driving a monarchy 22a DAC. Without the DIP the DAC was not much better than the CD player itself. With the DIP the differences in clarity and imaging were much greater.
I used to have a couple of Marantz players before. Now one of them is in my badroom(CD 67SE). Either way I've connected it either through external DAC or just by itself it didn't bring enough bass. Although for its "welter-weight category" they perform almost on the champion level -- let's even say on the "challenger-champion" level.
I would prefere a heavier weight category since it's able to bring more bass and certainly more clarity. You can even get the "former heavy-weight" machines that will still sing to your pleasure.If you deside not to upgrade at all you can get a portable CD-transport that is able to hold upto 30 CDs in Best Buy:)
Transports make a huge difference - I found out when my Meridian 200 was sent in for repair and I sustituted a Rotel 855. The meridian is much more refined, smoother - a digital cable is also extremely important. My transport also reacts to power cords more than dac's or any other component in the chain. Just my .02
I disagree on spending more for a new transport. As has been said earlier, the digtal signal MUST be reclocked to get satisfactory performance. I would NOT trust the opinion of anyone that does not have specific experiance in owning and using a reclocking device such as the Monarchy DIP's. As to limited bass responce, make sure the transport is fully tweaked with a proper stand, isolation and vibration control, as well as as much mass on top (20 lbs) to damp vibrations further. Upgrading transports gives you the LEAST bang for the buck you can get. Due to changing technology, upgrading processors gives the MOST bang for the buck.
I meant not only transport as a "former heavy-weight" machines. I meant both. At the same time I've never experienced any sonical or musical improvement of a new digital playback in comparison to high quality "former heavy-weight champs". I believe that transport and DAC are equally invovled in the digital playback and the only least part to think of is digital cable. I do not believe into correction engines like Monarchy DIP and consider them to be no more than enhansers or even painters. More over some of these components already lost its value to the point where it will not go too much down. You can even re-sell them at the same or even higher price.
Do the reseach!
Marrakanetz says he 'doesn't believe in...
Stereophile suggested that a midpriced transport, fed into the Monarchy DAC, and then feeding a MSB Nelson DAC by way of the balanced connection gave great results. Indeed, I set my system up in exactly that way. I believe in my own ears. I also believe most of what Stereophile says to a point. I hopefully don't have any preconcieved notions of what should and should not be in a system.
I suggest once again only valueing those opinions that have direct experiance with the products suggested.