Most Reliable CDPs?


I have for some time been searching for a CDP (2-4K used), and have been quite struck, in reading the forums here, how many players, including top makes, are said to exhibit reliability problems. I realize some of this may be inevitable, given the technology, but are there players out there known for being trouble free? (My first player, an early Sony purchased from a dumpster, never glitched.)

John

North Creek Eskas
Stratos Dual Mono
Marsh 2000b
Jolida 100
jdoris
Keep in mind that the transport mechanisms are often the most prone to failure and there are only a few manufacturers that actually build these while all the others source them as oem. There is far less diversity out there than what you might think.

I too have never had an issue with Sony. SCD-1 might be worth a look- or you could hedge your bets and go to a two box setup. The benchmark DAC is very tough to beat an runs under $1k.

-Rob
esoteric and they also build the best and most reliable transport mechanisms
I second Wwshull's recommendation -- besides being an excellent player -- Esoterics' have very, very good transports.
Esoterics are extremely well made and very reliable. However, they sometimes can be noisy, exhibiting varying amounts depending on the CD being played. If this kind of thing bothers you, then make sure you listen carfully to the particular unit you may be interested in buying.
i have heard several esoteric units from there very top of the line down to the sa-10 none of them have been noisy. dont know where you are getting your info from but i have never heard a noisy unit or nobody i know that owns one is noisy
Bigbucks5, Can you elaborate on the Esoterics being noisy? Is this a mechanical noise from the player or noisey from the sense that it is be conveyed as the output of the unit and through the speakers?
Top loaders obviate having to deal with failure of the drawer mechanism. Optical pickups (laser assembly) are not terribly costly to replace and have an average lifespan measured in tens of thousands of hours.

I've not owned a top loading player so don't know what choices are available in your price range.
Jb0194, I'd argue that replacing the entire drawer is a safer bet than simply changing out the laser head pickup by at least an order of magnitude. Laser heads are prone to instant (or, withing the first 72 hours of play) death via ESD (electrostatic discharge), and most people (including those who shold know better) that I see changing out the part simply do not follow the proper procedures (I've had several people tell me, "Yeah, that's true, but I know what I'm doing...").

Just about a year ago, I received an order for a case of Sony transports, and every one of the laser heads was dead - right out of the box from the primary Sony factory in China.

The laser head and/or servo board of the Sony transport assemblies used in most CD players is far more likely to fail than the drawer mechanisms, though the drawers are also far more failure prone than they should be so you are right there in that elimination of failure points can eliminate failure.

I would also put in a recommendation for the Esoteric. Nothing can beat a well designed and built transport/laser head assembly, and it sure seems like Esoteric deserves kudos here.

I'd also say that buying a high resolution player from a larger company such as Denon, Marantz, Pioneer, Sony, etc. seems like a good bet to me, as the average $99 DVD player from one of these companies bought in a big box store is probably two to three orders of magnitude more reliable than 95+% of the multikilobuck CD players from the high end audio CD player manufacturers. Funny, but I picked up a Samsung universal (CD, region free DVD-V, DVD-A, SACD) player a few years ago for $99 at Best Buy with the intention of having it modded (now, I'm thinking maybe a nice DAC), and even though it has been used primarily by children and adults with no concept of babying a machine as they play their DVDs, it has been the very definition of reliability.
Thanks to everybody for all the helpful thoughts so far. I will look very seriously at Esoteric, perhaps the SA-60.

I do have concerns about a noisy player-- my Jolida is chattery with many discs, and since I listen often at low volumes, this drives me crazy.

Also, I've heard the the Esoteric house sound is a bit cool and mechanical, which does not sound all that appealing -- I like the tubed sound of the Jolida.

Further thoughts?
04-03-08: Wwshull
i have heard several esoteric units from there very top of the line down to the sa-10 none of them have been noisy. dont know where you are getting your info from but i have never heard a noisy unit or nobody i know that owns one is noisy
---------------------------
Well then, you haven't don't much searching on the various audio sites. You will find plenty of posts where owners complain of mechanical noise of varying amount depending on the disc being played. This doesn't mean they all exhibit this 'problem', but some do, that's why if you are buying used (or even new) you should really take a listen first.
-----------------------------------------------

04-03-08: Ckoffend
Bigbucks5, Can you elaborate on the Esoterics being noisy? Is this a mechanical noise from the player or noisey from the sense that it is be conveyed as the output of the unit and through the speakers?
------------------------------------------
Purely mechanical transport noise; not thru the speakers.
Take a look at a used Wadia 850 with a mod from Great Northern Sound Co. Reliable and probably the best performance in that price range. I've heard the Esoterics and while they're good they're not in the same class.
Bigbucks, thanks for your clarification, sorry been on vacation so this is a delayed thanks. Nonetheless, I appreciate your reply.
My Pioneer Elite pd-65 has lasted 15 years without a problem. And it is the piece that has stayed in my system ever since it was introduced. It sounds as good, if not better than a lot of players out there today.