Need Advice on a Low End CD Player Giant Killer

I'm on the lower end of audiophiledom - I have Paradigm speakers, an Outlaw receiver and a Sony multi-disc CD changer that had the first modification from Tube Research Labs.

My original intent was to send it back to TRL for them to do their latest modifications on it and tighten it up a bit since discs skip a lot or don't read well, but in doing my research online it seems there's a lot of controversy about TRL.

Basically I want to spend $500-$700 tops for a new or used CD player that's a giant killer. I'd love to have a modified multi-disc player if those exist that equal the sound quality of a single disc player, but I'm open. I need suggestions, and if anyone can give me any info on the work and honesty of TRL I'd appreciate it as well - I haven't updated my set-up in a LONG time but am ready to make a change.
Oppo 103

Wrong forum but.
Anyone s/h that uses an R2R Ladder Multibit dac a PCM1702 or even better a PCM1704 dac chip.
Do your home work from this massive list for which uses what.

Cheers George
First off, the term "Giant Killer" is so over used it has lost most of it's meaning. You get what you pay for......mostly. Secondly, I've never heard a multi-disc player even match a decent single-disc player, so let's slide that off of the table.

The Rega players are about as consistent as any line. Quite musical, solidly built and with digital out for a DAC. I would place my money on an Apollo R and save for a decent DAC for future.
I'm not sure about "Giant Killer" but I have the Onkyo C-7030 Compact Disc Player that I think is an excellent piece of gear for the money.
Jump on OPPO 103 ASAP!!
Don't forget the used market. Ebay is a good source. Look for a used Kyocera that's in good shape. They were built back in the 80's.

This looks like a good one:
Oppo is a good recommendation.
Emotiva ERC-3

I know a couple of guys who have had a lot of gear and really like how it sounds, and with a 30 day return policy.

Just my 2c
I have been quite surprised at how good my daughter's old Onkyo DX-C390 changer sounds through the Parasound Zdac.
I noted that Emotiva seems to have the same turntables Music Hall has been producing ? partnership in analog?

No one likes to talk about the one piece of audio beside the tube which has a limited lifespan and its your disc transports. I have gone through a couple of CD players and know several other who had similar experiences. The only one which I have owned and used for 12 plus years that I use every day is my mmf CD-25 by Music Hall. I am sure there are new and better DAC chips etc. but the player should still represent a bargain
You can't go wrong with an OPPO! I've got a BAT in my listening system, but two OPPOs in my viewing/theater system(Maggies, etc), on which I also listen to music(Bluray, SACD, etc) occasionally. It's easy to hear the quality of the OPPO's playback. Read the user and professional reviews. There are plenty on the Net.
I own a OPPO-105 now and used to have a OPPO-95 also. go for used OPPO-95, will get excellent sound.
Yet another vote for the OPPO. Don't look further just get one!
Soulgoober, I know you are asking about a CD player, but I'd be curious to know how well your receiver handles the signal it receives. IMO, the sound quality of whatever giant killer CD player you find will likely be hampered by your receiver.

I had a decent stereo receiver once. I added a more robust amp because I was convinced I needed more power. Then I bought a entry level preamp and removed the receiver from the system. All things being equal (interconnects, speaker cables, CD player, amp and speakers), the only change in the system was the removal of the receiver and the insertion of the preamp. The difference in sound quality was rather noticeable. I won't use all the cliches but clearly I preferred the preamp over the receiver.

Now, let me share another more recent experience. I purchased an Oppo 103 to put in my HT setup. Before I did, however, I wanted to play with it in my office system. Because of the digital volume control on the 103, I hooked up my 103 directly to my amp. That was fun and I enjoyed the music. Then I hooked it up as a transport driving my Monarchy Audio M33 (a DAC/preamp about 13 years old but with the newer 24 bit chips). The difference was rather surprising to me, especially when I had my Maggie SMGas hooked up. I had planned to sell the Maggies, but once I inserted the M33, my attitude toward the Maggies changed entirely. I am now interested in moving up the Maggie line. Admittedly, I don't know how much of the sound quality improvement was due to the preamp and how much was due to the DAC. In hindsight, I'm not sure why I didn't try using the M33 as a preamp only; probably because I was too impatient. Regardless, it was the M33 that made my speakers sing, not the 103.

If you did get the 103, you could do what I did; hook up the 103 directly to the "main in" of your receiver and use the volume control on the 103. This way you could hear for yourself how good the preamp section is in your receiver as compared to the 103.

Any rate, I like my 103 and am happy to recommend it; but, I don't think it is a giant killer.
Got one for you...

It's called the Meridian G98DH transport. They book for $800 to $900 used, and NOTHING under a grand can touch it.

At the same time, you are buying some risk. Meridian no longer makes the board for the G98, and they will replace a G98 board with one from a G96. Also, if it needs service, the Meridian authorized repair is $800. For these reasons, among others, the G98DH is soft in the used market. That, and you'll need a Dac if you want it to make sound. :-)

I bought one for $876.00 used. Kept it for 3 years (which is when it was announced that only G96 boards would be used for servicing), and promptly sold it for $850.

If you can deal with the underlying risks, you can partake of a Killer transport.
Paul at TRL is a great guy. You are referring to one thread on another site that is full of immature, child like posters. No reason and reasonableness in those couple of posters. No worries.

He may not want to do it, but just call him and ask. I actually buy from Paul and have owned many pieces from him and always with good service and supreme sound. His modified Sony single disc players are giant killers but hard to find now.

Get a used Rega as they are certainly musical.
I would go for a Sony XA-5400ES & get that sent off to Dan at Modwright for the truth mods. You would be hard pressed to find a better bang for the buck SACD player.
Thanks everyone for your advice/assistance - got some research to do! And btw, it's been years since I posted on Audiogon - which forum should this have gone in?
Hi,i use a mhzs cd88,got some good amperex 12ax7 in there and a better power cord.That goes pretty strong
Hi, I am in the market for a CD player after my Marantz SA 11S1 crapped out after years of use. I really loved the sound of the Marantz and now I am looking for another player in the $ 1200 range new.
Have any of you heard the Marantz SA 8005 ? If so how does it sound compared to say the Oppo 105? What other player should I consider in this price range?
Thanks for your opinions, much appreciated.
Now I am curious about that "other thread with childlike posters".
I am dealing with my own set of obvious yutes concerning...shall I say smaller systems... Discretion is the better part of valor... I was told, but it's clear they are young. Not sure what gives it away but the definitive nature of their statements is a red flag.
Onkyo DX-7555. Look it up.
the DX-7555 also works great as a transport...
I bet it does! For any particular dac, or?
I used it with Simaudio 100D
Ok, thanks! :)
A used Meridian is an excellent recommendation. However, my limited experience with the Rega line, I owned a first gen Planet, says it is not a giant killer. It is a slow, soft sounding player. Non offensive but limited in resolution and attack.

Oppo are the way I would go.

That being said, I agree with the comment about limited transport life, which is why I refuse to invest too much on a player.
I recently saw a Proceed PCD2 for under $700 that retailed for like $2250 back in the day.  I was lucky enough to pick one up years ago in mint condition at an audio show for $400 and never should have sold it.  

I see this is an old thread, what did you end up getting?
Another vote for the Oppo

and, if you can find one, the venerable and highly lauded Rotel 1072
OP, if it's just red book CD, in the price range you've specified, you certainly want to consider an Emotiva ERC-3. Better than the OPPO if just red book CD is the goal.
Parasound Zdac sounds way better than it should for the price. I've used it with an old pioneer elite player & it sounded good. I suspect it would sound even better with a new cambridge transport. They run $450 through audio adviser. You should be able to find a used Parasound Zdac for a couple hundred or less.   
I had the CXC and zdac. Great combo. Pair can be found under $450 used...
I have always heard good things about Yamaha. Here's a multi player and and looks like an excellent single player. I'm thinking of a standalone CD/SACD player to replace my oppo.
Why use a cd player👏 these days when you can get better sound using a music server!🎶😜👍
real music777,
Habit. I've got around 600 redbooks. I'm continuing to buy them because they are so cheap right now. Kind of like how vinyl was 25 years ago. If I was just starting out, the server would probably be the direction I'd go though. 
A single disc player will outperform a multi. I would purchase a used DAC with a new transport.
A single disc player will outperform a multi.....


I just looked up the Oppo 103.  Those above recommending it, are you using this Blu Ray DVD player for audio?  Just curious.

I have an older Oppo DV970 and for $100, I don't think you can beat it.  But it's getting older and I'll need to replace it at some point.
I love my 103 for home theater, do not like it much as a CD player
i agree with jl35 on the 103--it's very impressive for video and streaming, but i'm disappointed in it as a 2ch cdp--for cds i've actually had better results with an integra dps 8.3 and pioneer elite dv59avi, tho neither does bluray.
the Nakamichi Music Bank multidisc system is best I have heard, As implemented by McIntosh Labs in the MCD 205
" the Nakamichi Music Bank multidisc system is best I have heard, As implemented by McIntosh Labs in the MCD 205"

What have you compared the Nak Music Bank with?

Does your receiver have a digital input? If so, using the digital output of the disc player may well be the cheapest/best solution. Sound quality is almost entirely depedent on the quality of the DAC in either the disc player or the amplifier.
Second, do you also watch video (if only for concert recordings)? If so, connecting the stereo system to the tv is a great way to improve video sound on a budget.
As above,
the Pioneer Elite DV-59AVi is a real sleeper on both music and video.
The DV-79AVi is even better for music.
Happy Listening!
Outlaw (I assume it is an older version) does have USB input, but it is very poor quality.