A Transport needs a DAC (digital to analog converter), while a CD player already has a DAC built in.
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dint ewe have this thread in another topic? re: speakers, there were a pair of thiel 3.5's adwertized here for $650 - yer receiver may not have enuff grunt to drive 'em (they're not wery efficient, & they're rated at 4 ohms), but yule have a hard time getting better sound for the money. *and*, they're full-range - an honest 20h-20kh, +/-2db...
Would't recommend Thiel for an AV receiver. Notoriously revealing and need careful system matching, I'm told. Would definately recommend used, check out NHT or Paradigm or used Vandersteen 2ci/2ce. I may be prejudiced because I have the Vandersteen, but if you check out many posts on this and other sites, you will find that the Vandys are know for sounding good with almost any reasonable electronics.
I heard the Monitor silverline speakers with a harmon reciever, and it sounded really good. At the time my budget was was $2000 for speakers, but I almost bought the silver line 7 for a grand i thought they were so good. I believe that line of Monitor speakers goes from $500 to $1400. I would also recommend the B&W 600 series, but the Monitors were more impressive.
I know Im gonna get hammered for this but Ill post it anyway. Speakers on a budget to me mean that you dont have $2k to spend. I had a used set of Polk RT800s that I really adored. I have heard other models in Polks line up and would not reccommend them. Only the RT800 for its type and configuration of driver. They drove very hard and sounded very good compared to anything even close in price. I had purchased them for $450 used but in new condition with not even a scratch, and when I decided to move up I was easily able to sell them for the same price. Just my experience Im sure there are better speakers to be had but on a budjet I was very happy with the Polks
thiel's *are* notoriously revealing, but are *not* difficult to system-match. which means that a mid-fi receiver *won't* be the best match for them but, i *still* say thiel 3.5's can't be beat, for $650 if the receiver has enuff grunt. *and* when the source/amps can be upgraded, yule have something still worthy... ;~) doug