Get another CD player (that you enjoy the sound of).
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Assuming there's nothing wrong with your CDP and you really just want a cable recommendation, I would urge you to consider Cardas Golden Cross. It has a soft, warm sound with deep black backgrounds. It could fit your requirements. It is available used on Audiogon at or below your price range. If you buy used and don't like it, you should be able to resell it without taking a big hit on price. Good luck.
i would suggest the discovery plus 4 or essence.
they are on the "slightly" warm side of neutral but images well and allows the detail to come through.
the cardas can sound a little thick and midbassy imo.
the discovery plus 4 is $200 meter ( $600 orig) and the essence is $250 meter( $800 orig)
hope that helps,
If (especially after reading these posts) you want to hear what your Carey is supposed to sound like, I highly recommend the Harmonix Golden Performance ICs. I realize they are more than you want to spend, but if you can swing/rationalize (we audiophools have been here before, yes?) them, they will, allow your cdp to happen. Sounds like you should be hearing wonderful things from your cdp. The Harmonix will do it, BIG TIME. You may never need another IC again. Since they are so new, you never see them used. Probably won't for a long while. They are that good. peace, warren
The rest of my system is:
Audio Refinement pre-2dsp (surround sound processor and pre)
Audio Refinement Multi 5 amp
Harmonic Technology Pro9+
I am not sure why but maybe I am sensitive to bright sounding equipment. I intentionally use the spendor since they are very laid back especially on the treble.
With the Cary, it's not really the bright treble that bothers me, sometimes there seems to be a type of sound that manifest themselves into sounding almost like static noise.
I don't think it comes from the cdp because it only comes on during a musical passage that has a lot of high frequency contents. There also quite a bit of sibilance on the femail vocal, but it could be just extra details from the player.
I used to have a Nad541i and it rolls off the high frequency more.
I tend to agree with PA. I use the Audio Magic Eclipse which I'm mad about. There are, certainly, others out there that will do the job on your digital. The Shunyata Hydra and Sound Application are also excellent choices. You can (there's one on the 'gon for sale) get an AM Mini Digital. That, with an excellent power cord, should do it.
With all the suggestions on modding, I wonder if anyone has ever heard of a warranty? Besides the warranty issue, there are equipment manufacturers who will not even touch a repair on their own equipment once it has been substantially reworked by a 3rd party. The mod route could be the best answer sonically, but make certain you have checked with your manufacturer and have a strategy in place for future repairs and parts before you go this route.