Need Recommendation on Best CD player under $1,000
I have Wadia tastes, but not the budget. My electronics; Rowland preamp, Edge power, Thiel 2.3 speakers (w/Vandersteen sub.) Tastes range from Hildegard Von Bingen to Korn and everything in between. I've gone the used "out-of-business" route with a Kinergetics KCD-20, but when the transport died and no parts were available, I had an expensive boat anchor. Recommendations?
While I basically agree with Tvad, remember that today's $1,000 CD player, technologically was a $3000 to $5000 player 10 years ago. Your other gear was about the same 10 years ago.
If they took the guts out of any of these players, put it in a fancier case and put Mark Levinson on the front, a lot of people would gladly pay 3 to 5 times as much and not know the difference. We all (me included) focus too much on the price.
I believe a used, modified player in the $1000-$1500 price range, from one of several respected modifiers will be more satisfying than an equally priced stock unit. Primarily, this is due to optimization of the player's performance through re-design of the power supply and output stage, and due to the use of higher quality parts.
Another option would be a used Sony DVP-S7700 DVD player used as a transport (about $150) and a new Paradisea+ DAC (about $650 including shipping).
You said $1,000. If that number can be stretched it a bit, you can buy a new Doge 6 for roughly $1,500 delivered. Not be be pretentious, but a number of people with very high-end systems have purchased this player over the last year -- it is currently a hot player among insiders. It uses six tubes in a hot-rodded triode output stage. The same player, rebadged with the name "Lua", after the designer, is sold in Europe for 5,000 Euros. I bought one about six weeks ago and it is VERY good. My only knock is that the drawer and buttons on the front panel are cheap -- the build quality is otherwise high and it is a solid, beefy component. If you google "Doge 6", you will find the U.S. distributor, Pacific Valve (they are in Chicago).
Find an old Magnavox 1041 or 2041 with a good transport and swap it out to the KCD20. It's an easy swap. Just take the top off and unscrew the single center screw holding the transport in place. Gently remove the cables and pull out the old transport.
You need a transport from a TDA1541 and it reads CDM2/10 on the transport.
Do a search for the Sterremuur website on google and include TDA1541.
I have a KCD20 with the KCD40 chip upgrade and I've replaced my transport twice. This last time it runs like new.
Some good recommendations here. You might consider trying a Music Hall CD25.2 Cd Player and replace the analog output stage opamps with a pair of Burson Discrete Opamps. Pretty easy to do, comes in under budget, and (to my ears in my system)has the best sound under $1K. The Bursons take a decent CD player and turn it into a real contender with just about anything I've heard in my 20-plus years of neurosa. I have the Music Hall paired with Thiel 3.6 speakers and I think it would mate well with your 2.3s. Good luck...