I only have one cdp(Audio Aero Capitole 24/192), but it would be intriguing to try to find a sleeper out there... either a classic (older Arcam 192 or FMJ 23T), or the latest flavor of the month from China.
However, in the grand scheme of things, I have other audio purchases I'd prioritize well before getting a 2nd cdp... upgrading my preamp, tuner and maybe move up the REL model line (Stadium or Stentor) to name a few.
What I can do is alternate between:
a) Denon A11>Benchmark DAC1 via RCA>Pre
b) Denon A11 (universal player)
c) Denon A11>Benchmark DAC1 via XLR>Power
I usually use (a), but when listening to SACDs, I switch to (b). (c) is on an odd night.
I alternate between CD's and LP's and 45's. Only one cd player, that's enough for me.
I use two in my home office system; an Eastern Electric Minimax (w/ Telefunken NOS) and a Raysonic. Though the Raysonic is, IMO, a much better all around machine, the Minimax with the Telefukun tubes is a detail monster.
To my ears, the Raysonic has a much more physically wider presentation of music and seems more balanced tonally vis a vis the Minimax. Thus, for most 2-channel music I stick the Raysonic. However for certain particular CDs where solo music, accoustic guitar, is emphasised etc., the Minimax is called up for duty.
In line with the above, due to the narrower soundstaging, the Minimax gets nearly all the word for listening via cans as, by definition, the soundstage is naturally limited.
I'm running low on shelf space to have more than 1.
My standard cdp is a Resolution Audio CD-50 with a Linn Genki as an alternate. Just as you stated in your question I like a different perspective once in a while. For a while I was picking up a used player every couple of months and have been able to try quite a few "flavor of the month" players. It was very educational. Some of these players were less than enjoyable.
As for the Linn, I was the only bidder in a Agon auction but don't want to part with this little gem.
i have 2 cd players and a dac. the cd players are the audionote cd 2 and the vincent cd s6. the dac is designed by john tucker of exemplar audio.
i purchased the vincent, earlier this year when the audionote exhibited tracking problems, i purchased the dac this month, as i thought it provided a more robust presentation than the dac in the vincent.
i prefer the audionote. it is much "darker" in its presentation.
when i review other components, i use the vincent, as it provides greater resolution which is necessary when attempting to uncover the characteristics of a component under review.
I use two CDP one tube and one solid state, as you stated it keeps the listening interesting.
I have two CD players, one is a Sony SCD-1 that I use for more serious listening and the other is a Sony C333ES that I play whe guests are over. Although the SCD-1 is clearly the better performer, the 333 sounds decent, all things considered. As an aside, I'm into vinyl, so the two players get less time combined than the turntable.
Thanks everyone. Interesting responses and explanations. I haven't heard of some of the brands mentioned such as Resolution and Minimax but that's what this forum is all about. Learn!! Hey Timhru, what have you done with all of those CD players you've picked up. Sell them on Audiogon? Just curious.
Yes, I can understand that one CDP may be enough. I have a 7 year old NADC541 but purchased a Rotel RCD1072 after comparing them at my hi-fi store. The Rotel produces more detail on the higher end but I still love that NAD sound. I just purchased a Marantz DVD (720p/1080i) player to match with my new Sony LCD TV. But the audio from this guy is superb too. Now I have in reality 3 CD players. I may consider selling the NAD if any of your gonners would be interested. It doesn't like CD-R's (skips occasionally) but if you only play factory original CD's and no copies, than it works well. Thanks again.
Pdreher - I have the same AA and the Arcam 23T. The AA Capitole is amazing. I've had it for a year. The 23T still can not be beat for HDCD. Simply amazing detail on HDCD. I finally got it a few months ago, brand new, unopened. WHat you heard is true. Arcam has only gone downhill since.
Pdn, do a search in the archives for Resolution Audio; excellent cdps. The CD-50 is their first player, I believe, with outstanding sound. Listening to HDCD encoded discs through the balanced outputs it is as good as I've heard from redbook.
The other players have all been sold, mostly on Audiogon and usually at a near break even price. I don't think I've lost more than 5 or 10% on any player. That's a bargain for the opportunity. If you don't mind crating boxes off to UPS or Fedex it's a wonderful way to listen to all the gear you read/hear about at little risk.
I have two: an Audio Aero Prima mk2 and a Sony C333ES. The former is for redbook and the latter is for SACD and parties (5-disc changer). Both do their jobs very well.