New Budget CD Player

Hello All,

My Rotel 855 CD player is getting quite long in the tooth and I'd like to replace it. While I realize that I could get a DAC and use the Rotel as a transport, its age makes me wonder whether that would result in my having to get a new player in a relatively short period of time anyway.

I have read encouraging things about the Onkyo C-S5VL, as well as equivalent models from Marantz and Denon (all around $350-$400) and wonder if any of you are familiar with these units or if there are others I should be looking at.

Buying used is always tempting, but at this price point, I don't know that anything I could afford would give me reliability and good sound. In the Philadelphia area, audio repair is a dying art and older higher end parts are not easy to come by.

In any case, I'd appreciate any suggestions.


Sony WEGA 32FS13, Rotel CD855 CD Player, Oppo BDP-80 Blu-Ray / DVD Player, NAD T-163 pre/pro, Front /Center Amp: Emotiva XPA-3, Rear Amp: Emotiva UPA-2,
Front Speakers: Klipsch KG-4 (1986), Rear Speakers: Acculine A-1 (2009), Center Speaker: Emotiva ERM-1(2009), Sub: Dali S 1.2 (2008)
Why not play CD's thru your Oppo?I don't think your budget is big enough to buy a player that will do a better job.Just a thought.
I second the Oppo suggestion. The BDP-80 just came out didn't it, so it's brand new. I'd give it a shot.If I knew I was going to need a new cdp, I might would have paid the extra to get the BDP-83, from the reviews I've read it is a real giant killer. One more option is a Cambridge Audio cd player, research the Audio Advisor website for the various models.
Thanks to both of you for your responses.

Tpreaves - I listen to music more than I watch movies and the display on a CD player is much easier for me to use for music than any of the DVD players. As you suggest, I do wonder about whether I have enough money for the CD to really see a difference. I have already tried the Emotiva in this price range and found it wanting.

Ben - I am delighted with the BDP-80 at the price. It was only afterwards that the itch about the CD player began to develop... Nonetheless, I did get a PM about using a DAC with the BDP-80 and that may have merit as well - subject to what I said about the displays (to say nothing about eggs in baskets - redundancy being a concern for me).
Hello Opteron05. I went from a Rotel 855 to a Marantz DV-6001. I love it. The old Rotel is one fine sounding budget player that served me for a very long time, but the Marantz is more accurate sounding and still quite musical.
Opteron05,save up for a while longer and grab a Cary CDP-1.Great player for around $800.00(used).I own one and am absolutely satisfied with it.Below is a link to Cary so you can check it out.Good luck.
I would still consider buying a DAC for the Rotel. I realize it could die any day, but they have been reliable from what I read. That way you would have a much better sound than any CD player in your price range. I own a PS Audio Digital Link III. They sell for about $500 on AUdiogon. Also, the Cambridge DAC and V-DAC are well reviewed but I have not heard them. They are in your price range.
If you buy a new Dac, you could use either, Rotel and/or Oppo, as your transport. JM2C's
Marantz CD5003 very good sounding for the money
I'm not sure you would be getting a better CDP than the Rotel unless you're willing to spend quite a bit more. This is a really good sounding CDP in stock form, but w/a few simple and inexpensive modifications, this CDP will be more of a "giant killer." (1) Replace stock fixed PC and install a new chassis IEC plug. (Furatech-$13 to about $23 plus. Depending on model chosen.) (2) New chassis RCA plugs. (I chose to use Vampire. $25) A good quality power cord. Good Luck!
As usual, you all come up with a bunch for me to do and I thank you for all the ideas!

Just for clarity, I am reluctant to use the video source for audio since I want to keep things simple. I've been careful to wire things so that I don't have to turn on the HT just to watch TV: an approach my wife prefers as well.

If I may add here, I appreciate your "modding" approach, Kotta - I am bit cautious about doing electrical work inside the box, but I'll see what's involved...
Opteron, I'm using an Oppo DV-980h connected to a CAL Sigma DAC, which I retubed with a NOS 1960 British made Mullard 12ax7 tube. The results are better than than the sound of my $1800 Doge 6 Tube CDP. In fact I sold the Doge, it sounded laid back by comparison. CAL Sigma & Alpha DACs come up for sale on A'gon regularly but you have to act fast-they well within two hours of posting.
I just opened up my 855 and unless you move the transformer(which I did) the IEC chassis plug is a tight fit (vertical mounting w/the factory transformer location or horizontally mounted w/the transformer relocated.)Replacing the stock chassis RCA plugs is a relatively easy job. You can use the stock wire. (I replaced this as well w/something better sounding, but the circuit board must be removed in order to solder/resolder.) If you don't feel comfortable, do not attempt. By all means do open it up, you will be impressed w/the quality. BTW, the Cary looks very nice. Regards, Bill
Thanks for the blow by blow description of the mod, Bill. Just now, I want to hold off on trying that and see what else might be available.

The Cary is certainly tempting, albeit above budget, considering the other things I want to do to the system, but I plan to look into it and see what might be out there.

I note that Emotiva has announced that their yet to be released DAC will be coming in around $400, so that may be worth considering. Since they offer a 30 day trial, it gives me a chance to see what a DAC can offer without tying myself up. in a pinch, I can always hook up an unused DVD player until I can find a replacement transport.

Love / hate this hobby!!!
Hamms006 ,

"Budget" is relative?