Music Hall CD-25.5 vs CD-25 w/mods??

I was going to pick up a NAD C542 but now thinking of going for a Music Hall CD-25. I can get a C-25 w/level 3 mods for $200 more then the NAD but now found I can buy the newest Music Hall MMF CD-25.5 for $540.00 brand new(which is $60 less then the 25 w/mods). My question is: did they improve the 25.5 to the point where it would be up there with a MMF CD-25 with mods?? Unfortunately I can't go much higher $$ wise, $400 was my limit but might as you can see I'm pushing it a bit. Also thinking it maybe overkill considering my system. Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated..
My modest system:
NAD T752
Paradigm Studio 20v3
Technics SL-Q2 Phono
AudioSource Sub(next on my list for replacing)
Yamaha CDX-710 CD-Player(15 Yrs old,getting replaced now)
I would email them and ask what they specifically changed in the new model before making a decision. It looks like there are mods being offered on the new model as well.

You'll probably get a quicker response asking a dealer. You'll get a honest answer from Spearit Sound in Northampton, Massachusetts.

You should consider an Onix xcd-99 which sells for $399 for the stock machine. Onix is the same player as the MH internally, from what I understand. There are mods available for the Onix as well.
You may also want to take a look at 6moons where they compared two levels of mods on the CD25 to the stock unit. This will give you an idea on how much to expect from mods and a basis of comparison for what you learn from Sugarbrie's suggestion.
I would go for abetter player to start off with, Why mod a music Hall it is an entery levek poayer at best. Put your money in a better source right off the Bat. WHATS YOUR MAX BUDGET?
Mapleleafs's quote: "WHATS YOUR MAX BUDGET?"

I would have to say between $400 and $500, possibly 600 if it was something I just couldn't resist.. Money is quite tight these days with 3 teenage girls :).
If you were to really get objective reviews of players before, and after mods, I bet the results would be a mixed bag. Perceived improvements in some areas, tradeoffs in others. Mods don't always improve the subjective long term listenability and thus enjoyment of a specific player. There is a lot of hype in this business. My advice, as has already been mentioned, is to go with the newer player. In most cases, you will be better off. This is a generalization though, and there will be plenty of exceptions.
I hear what your saying Nealhood, I would think the newer the model the better components and tweaks in it would be. For example a New NAD C-542 improved over the C-541i. In my case I would think a NAD C542, Stock CD-25.2 or Onix xcd-99 all in my price range should blow my 15 year old Yamaha CDX-710 away, right? Which was not a cheap player back then..
Look for a used naim player. Spend the extra money it will be well worht it.

I had a 15 year old Adcom GCD-575, which was a great player and cost me $650 in 1990. The transport finally gave up the ghost. My Onix XCD-88, $250 for a B stock with warranty, blew it away. I'd expect your Yamaha to suffer the same fate.
NAD C542 + Signal Cable Power Cord should take care of your requirements. The power cord improves imaging, soundstage and cleaner backgrounds. The NAD also plays HDCD - if you are interested.
Mods can be useful. Companies make products to hit a particular price point. If Music Hall wants to keep the price under $600 then they have to make choices of where to cut.

The modder has no such restritions. He/she can make that $600 CD player into a $1000 player by upgrading certain parts.
If the modded player is a lot better than what $1000 will get you elsewhere, then it is a good investment for the listener.
Milpai's post
"NAD C542 + Signal Cable Power Cord should take care of your requirements"

The NAD's power cord isn't detachable? I would think altering their power cord will void the warranty.. correct?
Look for a used naim player." .

I've read about the Naim players, seems like an awesome players but even used it's out of my league :( ..
The NAD C542's power cord is detachable (the BEE's is not). I am not sure if using a better power will void the warranty.
Milpai, the power cord is not detachable... Below is the link to the C542's Owners Manual, page 3 shows the rear of the unit .
I received a e-mail giving me the lowdown on the Music Hall CD-25 and CD-25.2. The 25.2 uses a new transport as well as a 24 bit/192K DAC versus the 24 bit/ 96K DAC of the CD-25. The new 192K DAC's do not support HDCD. The not supporting HDCD kind of threw me, why would a newer version of this player not support HDCD?? Is it a non issue or is HDCD going to go the way of the Beta videotape?? Also found out the Onix X-CD99 is the older CD-25 with nicer cosmetics and a better subchassis. The guys at Underwood were great, very fast response.. I was impressed.. The non HDCD has me backpeddling a bit..
I bought the modded CD-25 because I want HDCD. I have a lot of HDCD, mostly Grateful Dead. If you don't have many HDCD, and chances are you don't, then don't sweat it.
Yes Pmt1209 - I stand corrected. I was thinking about the C352 integrated Vs the 320BEE integrated. So what decision have you made? I know - it is exciting and confusing - all at the same time :-)
Seditious3 so your saying HDCD isn't going to become mainstream for future CD release? Funny thing happened tonight though, I went to Audiogon's classified and there was this NAD C542 that's been up for auction and there was only an hour left so I decided for the price I would buy it and if I didn't like it I could always sell it and go another route. Problem is I couldn't get to it to put a bid in, tried for an hour straight but both my IE6 and Firfox browers timed out before letting me into the listing.. I could get in and view to bid any other listing but just not the one for the NAD C542... Maybe an omen lol.. worse part is I wonder of others were having the same problem and the seller lost chances to sell if for an higher price(listing site listed below).. anyone else ever see this happen?? Although it was an impulse on my part, I could buy one brand new for $60 more new and delivered.. Just very strange.. and so the decision making goes on//
Save some cash and look at a used NAIM. For around 800.00 you will get a player you can live with and will allow you to upgrade around it.
I think that if HDCD were going to become mainstream, or at least more popular, it would have already. It's been around for a while.

BTW, I love the modded cd-25, although I haven't heard a stock one. What did you end up getting?
A Onix Rocket UFW-10 Sub lol.. I needed both a CD Player and a new sub. I haven't been able to decide on a CD player yet, just got the sub friday and haven't had time to really set it up with my system yet but will work on it the next few days.. Still in the CD Player hunt though.. just having a hard time deciding.. I think I've narrowed down to:

Music Hall CD-25 w/mods
NAD C542
Rotel RCD-1072

Without HDCD
Music Hall 25.2
Arcam Diva C-73
Cambridge Azur 640
My choice was narrowed to the Rotel and the Music Hall also. I chose the Music Hall because I got it with mods (secondhand) for $500.

My speakers hit about 35 hz very strong (down a lot at 30 hz), and I live in a NYC apartment, so I'll pass on a subwoofer.
"02-21-06: Seditious3
My choice was narrowed to the Rotel and the Music Hall also. I chose the Music Hall because I got it with mods (secondhand) for $500."
Ditto Seditious,
I also just bought a Music Hall CD-25 w/Level 1+ mods, it has best of both worlds, HDCD plus it has the mods that brings this player up to a great player. Not to mention even if I find it isn't a "fit" with my system(which I highly doubt will happen, been happy with this ole 13 yr old Yamaha CD player and this MH should sound be a HUGE improvement) the CD 25 w/mods sells within hours here, seems to be a hotter item then the 25.2.. Thanks to all for your help and guidance here, it is GREATLY appreciated! Paul T