I have been shopping for a $3,000 to $5,000 one box cd player for 9 months. Have listened to the new Wadia 301, the Naim CDX, the Resolution Opus 21, the Moon Eclipse, and even compared the Ayre cx-7 to the top of the line Linn cd player. I heard the Ayre at Advanced Audio Systems in Tacoma, WA (good people) . I was very impressed. The sound was very articulate but without the digital hash that is usually associated with open and transparent players. Excellent on vocals and bass response. I am planning to do a head to head with the Resolution piece soon because to my tastes these two are at the top of the heap in anywhere near my price range. I would definitely give them both a listen. fyi the Resolution piece can bypass your preamp and the Ayre will not.