After further thought finding a used Cary CD 303T Proffesional Version would be the best choice...
I'm seeking one in black....
I'm seeking one in black....
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.
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..
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.