Philips 963 or NAD 541i

How about some experienced help on which one of these cdps would provide the best sound on 2 channel standard cds?

Krell kav 250a, NAD c160 pre-amp, B&W N805, Audioquest Bedrock cables.

Jazz: vocals and instrument

Hi, I did not like the Philips 963 for standard cd's. I would go with the Music Hall CD-25 ($450.- $500. discounted) over the NAD 541i. And you can upgrade the power cord on the Music Hall plus built quality is a lot better that the NAD.
Good luck, Jerry
I have to agree with Jgeyer. Forget the NAD. On the otherhand I have (and love) the Phillips 963 MarkIII AND really like the Music Hall CD-25. Don't forget, the Phillips models allow you to check out SACD. (Beck "Sea Change" will blow you away. Even if you hate Beck). I have not heard the new 962.
Sounds good guys. Geographically, I live in an area without audio retailers close to audition several of the players recommended here and on other sites. What some people find great, others find contrary. I'm trying to decide between hi end (Krell KAV 300cd), mid-fi (NAD and Philips) and possibly going direct to my amp with Cary or Wadia. At some point I need to make a decision and go for it. Thanks again.
Jgeyer, just wondering what rca outs you used to evaluate the 963sa?
The only other two negative posts i have seen on four audio boards on the 963sa, the users were using the rca outputs that are for tv hookup as opposed to the multi channel rca outs,which yield superior sonics.
Also, one of the posters had virtually no hours on the cd/sacd outs[no burn in]and the 963sa requires 150 hours minimum on both sacd and cd for a total of 300 hours before any serious evaluating imho.

I, had the rca's hooked up to the jacks next to the digital outs myself, and on any other player i have had,this is the correct and most of the time, only rca jack.

If not for reading about using the front right/left multi channel jacks on AA,i would have agreed with your opinion on the 963sa.
It is also in the manual of the 963sa to use the multi channel outs for two channel sound, only i usually don't read the manual.

As to the original post, i would take the 963sa over the NAD,if you decide to go for a player under 1k.
EARS, I was using the audio-out stereo pair till I read in What Hi Fi to use the left and right outputs of the 5.1 preouts that you mentioned. I just prefer a straight cd player and don't play DVD's or SACD's at this time. Thanks for your comments and reply. To mijkarf if you go for the Philips, go with a mail order co. that offers a 30 money back guarantee. Sounds like you'll by upgrading. Good luck.
Thanks for the feedback guys, looks like the Philips 963 is the way to go for me. I haven't heard anyone concerned about the absence of balanced outputs on this unit? Is this a concern, or for $400 is it not expected?
If you end up with the 963, let it run 24/7 for 6-7 days before doing any serious evaluating on redbook, same goes for sacd..
Use the 6 channel outs as they use superior sounding op amps and cap.
I added a used Virtual dynamics power 3 for 50.00 that lowered the noise floor quite a bit.

I also want to mention that any aftermarket pc will plug into the back of the 963 without a 2-3 prong adapter, and the unit responds well to high quality ic's and isolation tweeks, as well as Cardas caps for the unused rca outs.
Thanks alot. I will plan on a power cord upgrade along with caps and possible Cardas reference ics. I'm also planning on running this direct to my amp with EVS nudes in place of my preamp.
I want to run my 963 directly to my amps too. What are EVS nudes?
Hope I am not too late to chime in Mijknarf, but I have bought both the Nad 541i and the Philips 963SA in the past year, and the one that is still in my posession is the NAD. There was no contest in my system, Nad integrated and at the moment, PSB Image 4T's. Never got comfortable with the sound of Philips , but yes do agree that the Beck-Sea Change SACD was great. Good thing there is a HDCD available for the NAD. will tell you all about them. They run $350 a pair and are used as a volume control for a source run directly into your amp, thus eliminating your preamp & cables. Being relatively new to hi end stuff, I'm not decided on a preamp yet (ss or tube) and I wanted a clean low cost altenative to a simple system. Of course, these would be used on a system that only has one source. I'm very pleased with the performance of my ss amp and tube cdp in this configuration. There are many posts here that discuss the advantages/disadvantages of this type of arrangement. Hope this helped.
I realized I never did complete this thread. I decided to go with a Jolida JD100 tube cdp in place of either the Philips or NAD. After further discussions here and elsewhere, it was the right call for me. Ultimately, after much discussion and auditioning, I wasn't comfortable with the build quality of the Philips and I wanted to move a step or two beyond the NAD, I feel the JD100 did that for me. Now I get to mess with tubes! I do appreciate the feedback.