Older Cary 306/200 vrs a recent used Cary CD500?

How does the highly reguarded some 10+ year old Cary 306/200 CD player sound vrs the recent discontinued Cary CD500 player? I'm thinking of buying used. Both of these units look interesting to me. Of course I could wait for the newer Cary player due out this Spring...Currently using a Denon 1650AR which I like. Most of my listening is now CD. Really I just want a really good player and be done with it. All comments welcome.
After further thought finding a used Cary CD 303T Proffesional Version would be the best choice...
I'm seeking one in black....
don't overlook the 303/300 esp. at used prices. I owned the 306/200 for a long time & have enjoyed the 303/300 several years now. btw, I always run it in solid state mode.
I was looking for the same as you; I wanted a good player that would be the last I had to buy and just enjoy the music. I ended up buying a new Esoteric player that was used as a static display at a few audio shows. I got it for less than half price and the thing is built so well, I truly feel I won't have to worry about my next cd player.

You might want to consider something that is still quite new and built really well. I have no experience with Cary but I just wanted to add my thoughts.
I used a Denon 1650 for years. I still have it upstairs so I have something I can use in a pinch. It has not been turned on for at least 5 years. I think you will be amazed at how far digital has come, provided that you are able to hear some of the really good stuff that is available now. For the price of a used Cary 303T, I would suggest you also consider a new or used ModWright Sony or Oppo.
I've heard a couple of the Esoteric players. They are good, but I will stick with my ModWright Sony.
OP & Brownsfan,

what other gear are you guys using w/ that DENON 1650 cd player?
Thanks for responding guys. I've really only owned a couple of cd players since the mid eighties. A Denon dcd3300 kept me happy for many years until problems developed. Bought a used Rotel rcd1072 which was ok but the soundstage was smaller than the warmer sounding Denon. Then I found the Denon 1650AR. Soundstage was back! So, I'm really limited in hearing various quality players.
I now listen to CD's 90% of the time now. I collected to many CD's over the years. I do like the newer players and their flexability for future use. The Cary 303T seems to do everything..
You can check out my system. I do change amplifiers at times. Currently using a pair of Quicksilver Mid Mono's, Audible Illusions 3B preamp and Vandersteens. Other gear is listed. All the best.
To each his own, but the 303/300 was the single most disappointing high end piece I ever owned.

How do you like your 3B preamp? I have had the original Modulus3, a 3A which is in my secondary system and the new 3B in my reference system. I think there is a big difference for the better with the 3B. I really makes my system shine.
Hi Stereo5!

The Audible Illusions 3B is awesome. I've only owned two other preamps. A ARCSP6B and the older Quicksilver full function which I think is pretty good.
But, the 3B opens the doors on all my components. It makes my modest system shine as well. I just need a really good CD player and I think I'm good to go... I came close on a used Esoteric X05 but it was to much for me at the time.
Ok guys, I'm back to my original question. A used Cary 306/200 CDP some ten years old with all the great reviews.
Or, the recently discontinued Cary CD500?

All comments welcome. I'm leaning towards the older Cary.
Any thoughts? All the best...
one thing that always bothered me about the 306/200's remote is it's rather cumbersome & built like a lead brick versus the cd500 which is a nice light modern plastic unit. accidentally dropping or knocking the remote of the 306/200 off a table or shelf is like dropping a hammer. my 306/200 sure sounded fine & was very reliable.

I have to admit I like how steamlined your system is.
I take it you like the Cary 303/300 over your older 306/200?
thanks, I really like them both but never had a chance to compare the two side by side. I bought the 303/300 after owning a couple other units in between. Both have really good analog volume controls w/3volt output thru the rca's (more thru the xlr's) which works great direct if your amp is sensitive enough & of course - if the synergy is there. good luck I know you'll like either the cd500 or 306 a lot.
I pulled the trigger on the Cary 306/200. I'm not sure of the date built but, according to the owner it was a later model one year old when he purchased in 2007. I couldn't justify the cost of the Cary 303T. Perhaps, I will find one
used down the road. Looking forward to hearing this Cary as it's in transit.
when using a preamp make sure you have the analog volume control all the way up via the remote. I think it's going to blow away what you're used to - let us know how you like it:)

Thanks for the info. I'll make sure I have the volume all the way up via the remote. Glad you let me know. I will let everyone know how I like the older Cary 306/200. Give me a week or two. All the best...
Hi, I owned the cary cd-500,I,m sorry gentlemen,the cary was the worst sounding unit me and the wife ever experienced,the sound stage seemed cluttered and the treble was analitical big time,bass was lean sounding as well,thou the unit had clarity going for it,we quickly sold it and waiting for delivery of the Ayon 2s player,happy listening!
After several listenings the Cary 306/200 is much more analog sounding player than the Denon 1650AR. In my system it's like a change to tube amps vrs soild state. Lower bass is huge. Soundstage grew wider, deeper. Granted I'm a little late to cd players. I seem to buy older used players. But, for the price I just had to try listening to this highly reguarded Cary player. I'm now wondering what the 303T Cary sounds like. I may have to wait several years to find out as the current asking price is to rich for me. My humble dated system sounds pretty good to my dated ears...
Hi Exocet954,I understand the finances you want to spend,regardless I recommend moving on from cary audio,there is so much to choose from used here on audiogon that blows everthing cary out of the water!I would start with Ayon digital used equipment,you can not go wrong with this,thou,everthing else I own is American!,but the Ayon I own,Happy listening!

Thank you for the comments. Yes, the Ayon used looks like a great player. Ayon has some of the best reviews out there. Not crazy about a top loader. I know I'm late to the game here. But, I'm "slowly" making progress.

I like what I hear now...but, change is good!
Hi Exocet954,Yes the top loader is a pain in the xxx if you put the player in a rack versus on top,the transport you are speaking of is used by some of the worlds best digital companys out there,Audio research is one company that uses this transport in the cd-8,there top of the line player!,you get alot of performane with this transport,I only recommend The Ayon 2s,5s,3s,players,they are made in Austria in house with top notch quality control versus the other players they make that are sourced out,that may give you problems.cheers!
Not familiar with the CD500 but I own the 306/200 and I've been happy with my choice over the years. The HDCD decoding is an added benefit. I have no problem with the remote. In fact, I hate plastic remotes.

What I would like to know is has anyone paired this with a newer DAC and what were the results. I'm also thinking of upgrading the unit although it appears to be a rather pricey option.

Great question. Also interested in pairings with newer DAC's. I think the upgrade via asi-tek is pretty rich for a player that on the used market is selling for $1200-1400.
But, it would be interesting to hear from anyone that's done this upgrade. So far I like what I hear now. And yes, the HDCD discs really sound great.