Marantz 8260 vs Musical Fidelity 3.5 vs cary 308

Hi guys. I'm contemplating an upgrade to my Rotel RCD 1072.Above are my targets. I know the 8268 is an SACD player too, not sure of it's redbook ability. Amp is a soon to arrive Rotel 1070 and speakers are Audes Blues(still evaluating). Input and or suggestions appreciated.
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It will be hard to beat the sound of the Rotel with any of those. I have listened to all of them in my system and I thought that the Rotel sounded at least as good as any of those mentioned and sounded much better than the Marantz. Just my opinion.
That's interesting. I've read great things about the Marantz. Basically, it is hard for me to audition gear as I live off the beaten path in upstate, ny. Therefore, I rely on reviews and input from fellow 'Goners. Thank you.
Ill tell you what, be kind of careful with absolute sounds reccommends, They are somwhat biased, Ive found out the hard way.
This is from a "Rotel guy", I've owned three of their players, including the 1072 and there was no comparison, the Marantz was FAR better in my system. More detail, more extension at both ends, much more musical overall. I sold the 1072 and bought the 8260.

BTW-this was only comparing CD's, not SACD's.

Thanks Guys- I do tend to follow TAS a bit. They were right on about the Quad speakers. I know the Marantz is highly rated, I had 2 of their universal player and wasn't overwhelmed by either. Interesting points.
Beernut, it so happened with me that I pre-ordered a Marantz 8260 with my dealer. The dealer gave me his demo 8260 which I enjoyed all the while. After 2 months I was a bit anxious and decided if I should wait for the 8260 or go for the MF 3.5 or Creek CD player. I could not audition the Creek. But I took the 8260 to the dealer and the setup he had was the B&W 804, MF 3.5 Amp and MF 3.5 CD player.
I played on the Scherazade (CD layer), Norah Jones - Come Away With Me CD, East Of Eden - Kalipse, Ravel Bolero and Diana Krall - Girl In the Other Room (CD layer). What I found was that the 8260 was as good as the MF3.5 CD player. I went through the CDs for almost 2 hrs and really wanted to find out if the MF was better than the 8260. Well, I went home and decided to wait for my Marantz SA8260. It arrived 1 month later. I am very very happy with this player and I feel that the reviews of the SA8260 on the net are for the older version that did not read some discs properly.
Again, last week I got a shock - a Patricia Barber SACD (Modern Cool) froze starting from Track 5-Track 6. I immediately got my other SACDs and started playing 1 by 1. No issues with any of them. At the end, again I put the Modern Cool, and it froze. I then switched to the CD layer and it played fine. So this time, it is NOT the Marantz at fault - but the SACD. I send it back to CD Universe and they promptly replaced it.
I will definitely recommend this player to anyone looking for a CD player. The added advantage is the SACD layer. The realism on the SACD is very stunning and sometimes I can hear instruments at positions further away from the speakers. On the whole I am pretty happy with this player. The only player I want to compare it is with the Creek CD MkII. But even if the Creek was better, I will NOT part with my Marantz. I suggest that YOU compare the players rather than someone or some magazine suggesting you. Let the suggestions be your starting point - not your end result. YOU are the REAL judge.
the marantz 8260 has some quality control issues...would suggest buying new (warranty)
Exactly what Mikesinger said above. I know first hand. Also the player is very slow to read a disc. For sound quality though I'd rate it excellent with both cd and sacd. If you check the forums at AA you'll see alot of people with issues and they haven't been resolved as the player I sold recently was made early this year which is supposed to be after the fixes.
Great input guys. I wasn't aware of quality control issues but I am now. I have a few SACD's left from when I owned a universal player so it might make sense. The lack of SACD software, at least around here worries me a bit. I think the format is stagnant in light of DVD audio, blue laser etc. I do however own over 600 cd's which get lots of playtime. I put a bid in for a new Cary 308 cd player on 'Gon. I always liked the Cary gear. I have been told my current Rotel RCD 1072 will be tough to beat without spending a whole lot more sheckles.
I am used to having very expensive CD players around - $2000.00 to $15,000.00. I also sell items for friends, so I get to audition them in my home.
I sold a system for a friend, (he does that a lot, for no particular reason?!) and the Marantz 8260 was one of the units he brought me.
I was very surprised by the quality of the 8260! Given its price, particulalrly in the Used market, it would have been just stupid to sell it! I kept it for myself for a second system.
You do have to read the manual. The player got a bad rap from dummies who just droppped a CD in and pressed "Close". You have to tell it what kind of CD or SACD you are inserting. You press a little button on the face that cycles thorugh SACD Multi, SACD Stereo and CD Stereo. Then it closes automatically and plays without a hitch. I prefer that to players who automatically default to a particular layer, which forces you to stop it and select another layer that YOU wanted to play.
Thanks Goldenears, good food for thought.
i have had 3- 8260's over the last 2 years ( i bought it new with warranty intact..) this made me move to seperates (a 60lb pioneer dv-10 and a electrocompiet dac.. the pioneer is pretty good on its own with the xlr outs..)

they are a very good musical unit at the price point... however the quality control issue is something to consider and would really think twice about acquiring a used one (non transferable warranty)