my rant on new single disc players under $500

WHERE IS THE FRICKEN REMOTE VOLUME CONTROL OPTION!!!!!!!! ok, now i feel better. unless i am missing something, in north america you can not purchase a new, current model single disc cd player under $500 with this feature built-in. what frosts my ass is they are available overseas in models from marantz and yamaha, but not here! in the good old u s of a it's denon and yamaha 5 disc carousels with volume control. it seems i would be forced to buy an older single disc player to meet my criteria.

i don't want to buy old technology or current carousel players to get this feature. i have a marantz pm7001 integrated amp and quad 11L's that i want to mate with a new budget single disc player with volume control. i am currently using an older yamaha cdc-685 carousel and do appreciate being able to make fine volume adjustments thru the player but want to move on to a single disc unit. i live in an apartment building with thin walls so the volume is usually fairly low. i have found that using a typical fixed voltage output cd player with my integrated amp gives me a very limited range of useful volume control. the volume just increases too fast for me. however my yammaha carousel allows a greater range of control at lower volumes.

are there any models out there that i am overlooking that would fit my criteria? would putting a resistor in-line be an option or just degrade sound quality? the used players listed on this site with volume control are all over $500. maybe i should just resign myself into having to use a carousel for my purpose. thanks in advance to any input on my ramblings.

Sorry about your luck.... Why not just bite the bullet, buy a Theta Miles for $700-$900 and have the volume control, and a CD player, that will tromp all over the one's you are mentioning for $500 and under?

A used QUAD 99 CDP runs about $500. You'll have to be patient and wait for one to pop up though. Personally I feel the digital volume controls in most CD players isn't up to par when sound over convenience matters most.
i have been considering both these possibilties and may spend the extra money to do it. the quad would at least be a relatively recent model and match up well with the quad's. thanks for the input so far. appreciated!
You have a remote volume control on your amp, correct? It sounds like you just need some attenuation. Many players these days do have a little more than 2.0 volts output, particularly the cheap ones. You might do some research on older machines to see if you can find one with a lower than average output. Or you can get an analogue attenuation device on the line outs, rather than the horrible digital volume control.

I think there are a couple of ways to solve this problem without "frosting your arse".

A simple pair of Rothwell in-line attenuators will solve your problem of "too much gain". Here's a link to a pair for sale here on A-goN:

And, as stated by previous posters, a quality used CD player for a few more dollars will outperform the current crop of sub-$500 players.

I've owned Theta Miles, Cary CD-308, Quad 99-CDP and Quad 99-CDP2. I can highly recommend all of them if you find a good deal.


metralla, thank you! those attenuators should work nice for my needs. this will give me more options in a future cd player instead of feeling like i have to get a cd player with volume control. do these attenuators degrade the sound at all?
Here's a company that makes stepped attenuators Endler attenuators. This way you can make adjustments easier.
I believe the remote for the Oppo 970HD has a volume key on it for controlling volume of the player

I believe you are correct. I recall having an e-mail exchange with the folks at Oppo concerning the variable volume control for the Oppo 971. The 970 may also have it.


You are correct about the Oppo but when you attenuate with a digital volume control you chop off bits when turning it down. One way to get by without losing high resolution sound is to build the digital volume control with much more bits than are required. Accuphase made their CD players with a 24 bit volume control for this very reason. There are some companies that use analog volume controls but unless you run the CD player directly to the amp, you will end up with two volume controls in line which can also cause much consternation.

When I spoke with the tech folks at Oppo they suggested that their digital volume control implementation did not lose resolution with a decrease in volume. This would indicate that they had added bit width in order to overcome that issue. I can't verify that, but the Oppo may be a unit to try. Heck, the 970 is only $149 and in high demand. If he didn't love it, he could sell it for only a few dollars lost. It also plays SACD and DVD-A and provides very good video quality.


I have used the Oppo and I like it but I didn't use the volume control. I did notice the player seems to have less volume than some others though.
reubent, thanks for the tip on the rothwell's. i will check those out. i do not need a dvd player. call me skeptical on an oppo dvd player being a nice sounding stand-alone cd player, but i will at least check that out as well.

great input gang. i have some more options now to look into. has anyone used these rothwell or similar attenuators? any change in the sound good or bad?

thanks again,

I've seen the Rothwells mentioned many times here. I would highly recommend you start a new post asking for input from folks that have tried them. You'll likely get several replies.