cambridge 840--as neutral as they come. transparent, well built.
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Your description of "way too bright" leads me to believe that your speaker setup may need tweaking, since poor speaker set-up is probably the leading cause of excessive brightness, IMO. So, I would suggest that you revisit your speaker set up, i.e. toe-in, listening distance, etc., before investing in another player. Also, brightness is a common complaint related to Paradigm speakers, although I personally believe the characterization is overblown. Nonetheless, I would do some experimentation before investing in another player that may not solve the problem. As for player recommendations, I would look at the Rega Apollo or Jolida JD100 in your price range.
Cruz123.... I've tweaked my speaker positioning and think it's as probably as good as it's going to get. I have had my Paradigms for 6 years and know their sound very well,so they are not the problem,they even sounded good with my old Philips CDR !!! I just got the NAD about 3 months ago to replace my dying Philips.I know another player will get me to the next level.I'm considering a Cary CD308T player also the Jolida unit.New speakers are in the plans also. Thanks
Your brightness issue will be solved more effectively with a speaker change than with a CD player change.
Sell the Paradigm speakers, and use your $1200 budget on a used pair of LSA Model 2 or Silverline Prelude.
Either will surpass the Paradigm speakers, and both have a sweet upper midrange and top end.
For a solution within your budget get a pair of used Vandersteen 1C speakers usually <$500. You'll be amazed at the improvement in smoothness. I did this years ago switching out a pair of Paradigm Studio 60V.2s. It was a NAD 541i cdp I was using at the time.
Since then I have only owned two speakers with metal dome tweeters that have been tolerable.
At $500 for the Vandys you'd still have enough for the Jolida cdp mentioned above.
Tpreaves, I've owned the Cary 308T and the Jolida. Although the 308t is a "better" player in my opinion, it is not what I would describe as a "warm" player. Rather, the 308t is a transparent and dynamic player that I would not recommend for a bright system. Between those two choices, i would go with the Jolida if I were in your shoes. However, I would still suggest considering Tvad's advice of new speakers first. Its likely that your NAD is simply more detailed that your old Phillips and its exposing the weaknesses of our Paradigms. That is the curse of this hobby :).
From my experience, NAD CD players are not bright. I agree with the above, look elsewhere for the problem.
If you want to pursue a new CD player, then the Rega Apollo already mentioned is a good choice. The Creek Destiny comes up from from time to time around your budget. This player IMO is vastly overlooked, and is a giant killer. It mates very well with tubes.
"From my experience, NAD CD players are not bright. I agree with the above, look elsewhere for the problem."
That is my opinion also . I have owned a NAD 541i CDP and did not find it bright at all .
As above , I think that it is your speakers causing the top end brightness more than your CDP .
I had the same problem while using some very respectable speakers with metal tweeters . Upon moving to some lessor speakers (1/3 the price) with silk tweeters I was able to enjoy most of my previously "unlistenable" CD's ! When auditioning some new speaker possibilities I listened to both metal and organic tweeter speakers . Each time the metal tweeter speakers sounded the worst in the highs , tizzy and brighter , using the same upstream equipment and CD's .
Good luck .
First,thanks to all who posted. After reading your posts and talking with different people, I am changing speakers. I have purchased a pair of Tyler Acoustics 7U's from a fellow Audiogon member. They have the Seas "Millenium" tweeter which was a special order item for the 7U's.After they arrive and I spend some time with them, I'll post my thoughts.Again,thans for the posts.
I also have a Tyler 7U. Did you buy it at $1400? It is a real bargain. I bought it used at over $2000 2 years ago, and I still very much like it.
I also have Rogue Magnum 99 preamp. 7U really works well, but my NAD C541i is bit too bright and lacks detail. Currently on the pursuit of upgrading the CD player.
Tpreaves.......Congratulations on your new speakers, and I really hope that they sound absolutely wonderful with your system. I personally think that the Rogue Audio line is terrific, and the Cronus matches amazingly well with my Vandersteen 1C's, Rotel deck, and Rega table. Everything fits perfectly within my system, and I have no doubt that your new Tyler/Rogue/NAD combination will be a delight for your ears and your soul. Please keep us all advised about how it all works together. Happy Listening !!
Picked up the Tylers this morning. WOW !!! I can't believe how good these speakers sound. I only moved them once(slight toe-in) after initial set-up. The midrange is to die for !! Highs have no glare at all. Bass is very musical,real natural sounding(kick drum sounds like a kick drum), it doesn't go super deep but what's there is very clear. The soundstage opened up immensely ,wider and deeper. I'm hearing things I've never heard before on some recordings. All of this is after only 4 hours of listening !! When I spend some more time with them, I'll post again. Thanks to all who have posted.
Well,I've had a full week with the Tylers and my first response to them carries on. These things sing!! I really lucked out buying these without ever hearing a Tyler product. I bought them on the merits I've read from other owners and the numerous reviews I have read online. I did not read a single bad thing about them and now I know why.Ty Lashbrook makes a helluva product.I am using a pair of DH Labs Q-10 cables. I have just purchased a Cary CDP-1 cdplayer on e-bay and will post again when I spend some time with it.