I'd go with an Audio Aero Capitole MK2. Used will be a little over your budget but well worth it!
If it were my money I would buy either a Wadia that has been to GNS, the Classe Omega (I think is the name of their flagship model, it's been a while...) or a Krell SACD standard.
There are lots of good units out there, but I don't have experience with the others...
I love the GamuT CDP if still available. Reviews are excellent. I have been using one for 2yrs. + and no desire to change.
Look at a Space-Tech Lab DAC at about 3200$ cdn. It replaced my Gamut CD-1 ( I had it for 3 yrs).
The Gamut is no even close to the musical quality this Space Tech Lab DAC brings to my system. And at the moment, I am only using a cheap DVD player as my transport while I am looking for a quality transport. I am using an Atlas Opus as a digital cable ( an UHF recommended cable).
I am curious to hear this DAC with a quality transport.
Care about multi format or DVD? The Esoteric DV50s is a steal used at about 3k. Beat my Wadia 850 (unmodded).
i was only lookin' for a cdp for now.as good as you can get used for this budget.thks for ideas,i hear the Aero is recommended lots....
Consonance Droplet. I had one for an in home audition last year and it's still at the top of my list.
Another rec. is the Ayre CX-7e. Heard several in other systems but not in mine.
I could go for either one of these.
Resolution Opus 21 at about $2400 used is hard to beat and if you send it to GNSC for the reference mods it is real hard to beat.
I have a GNSC statement modded 860se which I have compared directly with the modded opus (very little to pick from...I slightly prefer the wadia but could easily live with either)
I have owned many higher priced digital front ends and to me the opus with or without GNSC mods is a real value champ.
Mac Mini with a Wavelength DAC.
go vintage young man.
the cal aria or cal tempest are good picks.
nothing wrong with a sonic frontiers cd player.
if you want to go on the cheap, under $1000, try an audio note cd2, with a ge 5751 black plate tube.
Please add the Ayre CX-7e CD player to your list. I purchased the Ayre CX-7e CD player to go with my Ayre AX-7e Integrated amp. Breakin time is 100+ hours so the unit is still "cooking". It sounds good with my ProAC 2.5 speakers but really needs more "cooking" time.
Heck put away your 3-4K. Just put up 1K for the Cayin 17. If anyone thinks they have a madel that can beatout the 17 I'd like to hear it. Excluding Jadis of course.
The Krell SACD Standard offers Reference quality CD sound + SACD playback. Last month's TAS article left no doubt that this is a very high quality CD Player that will also play SACDs. If you listen to Jazz & Classical, you'll be able to appreciate the benefits of SACD. The build quality and looks of this Player are first-rate, take it from one very happy owner!
at that Price range its unbeatable - had mine for over 6 months and its just stunning - just keeeps getting better!!!! Sold my Electrocomapniet for it!!!!
thks for ideas all,i went with a RA Opus 21 Ref. mod by GNSC.that should be ok for my little system.Steve's gave me a good deal..thks
Hifijunkeoz...which cd player are you talking about? The Droplet?
I have one of those as well, 2bigears. I think you'll enjoy it. A very smooth ,relaxed presentation.
I think the best value in this price range is the Audio Research CD3. Wilson has been noted for using the CD3 to demo their speakers. That is what convinced me. Also you get the quality and service that is legendary. Makes every cd sound better than ever. I have some older cds that were pretty grating. This player takes the edge off and restores the detail. Hard to explain but easy to hear.