Replacement CD on a tight budget?

Hello, all,

After some time away from audio due to apartment reasons, I finally have some time to reassemble a system. At this point, it consists only of an Audio Refinement Complete Alpha integrated and a pair of Boston Acoustics Bravos, wall mounted. Due to space reasons, I cannot use other speakers or equipment.

In any case, I'd been pairing my Oppo DV-80H with the Alpha and playing with the video stage shut down, but have never had much love for the unit - in terms of video performance in another system (already in for repair once, free), and in terms of audio: this morning, it began not playing redbooks, and also exhibited problems ejecting, forwarding, stopping, powering off, etc: basically everything.

The problem is that my budget is in the $100-$150 range. What's available that I should consider - both used (links to Audiogon adverts would be appreciated) or (ghasp!) new?
Hey, folks,

I'm sorry: I don't know why I typed Oppo - that's the awesome budget player in another system. The one I need to replace is an older Pioneer DV-563A.

Still: the rest is the same.

Thanks, again, for your thoughts...
You might be able to find a Denon DCD-1520 or DCD-1560 for that budget. Maybe also a NAD BEE series for a little more.
Stretch your budget to $200 and look at this Denon 2930 universal player reduced from $850. Vanns has the 1940 for $90. Denon must be introducing new models.

Best regards,

that denon 2930 is a steal!. just called my brother who's in the market for a universal player too. he was about to spend 2x for something not as good. he's all over this one now. great player for $200! thx for the heads up!.

Thanks for the responses so far.

Not sure if I can make it to $200. Might be flexible up to the cost of the original player - $170. I'll try to read more about these Denons this evening...

Thanks, and please keep any opinions coming. ;)

I bought a Denon DVD-1930CI to replace my Oppo DV-970HD. The Denon is better on music and movies to the Oppo. The current Denon DVD-1940CI or a Pioneer Elite DV-48V should out perform your older Pioneer.
my favorite inexpensive cd player is a ps1 (the first model of them, that is, with the rca outputs - model scph-1001, i believe).

you can usually get them for 20-40 bucks on the auction site who must not be named, and they are just a he** of a lot of fun.

they are the most "analog" sounding cd player i've heard for under $750 or so. they resolve detail pretty well, but their best trait is that they are musical. i listen to a lot of rock and the ps1 makes the bad recordings that most rock albums are sound quite good (and better than my more expensive transport).

stick a ps audio power punch c7 cord on one for $50 more and they sound even better.

good luck!
About the only thing I see on the Audiogon sale pages that would fit your budget is an Oppo dvd 981hd for $130. Truth be told at your price point, pickings are going to be slim. Occasionally you'll find an older Denon, NAD, or Rotel in your price range, so it might worthwhile to check the listing daily. Also, remember in most cases you'll have to budget some additional monies for shipping cost. Also, you might want to check some pawn shops, music/audio stores, in your area. Every now and then, you can come up with a good and affordable find.
I am in a similar situation...looking for a player to play all formats with the exception of Blu-Ray or HD.

I'm intrigued by the Denon 2930 recommendation. I would consider the 2930 to be old (3-4 years), particularly in terms of electronic technology...even at $200. For less money, I think you can get newer technology even if you buy new. Perhaps using the 2930 as a transport and purchasing an external DAC (later when the upgrade bug hits) will provide the excellent video and sound for which you are looking.

The Oppo you mentioned, 980H, is a newer model with a considerable number of improvements over the 970, including an upgrade to the DAC. I've owned the 970 before and while I was very impressed with the video, I too was not impressed with the audio. Another thing to remember, the Oppo 980H is actually a newer model than the 981.

FWIW - I'm leaning toward a 980H now and adding an external DAC later.

Funny you think the 980 is better than the 970. When both were both available from Oppo, before the 970 was discontinued, "The Absolute Sound" has said the 970 sounded better than the 980, but the 980 had better picture. The 980 was harsh in their listening session and felt the 970 was a killer player for a budget music system they put together.

While it was nice for the money I felt it had a flat sound stage and lacked involvement that adding the Benchmark DAC1 alleviated, but we are talking about a DAC that cost over 3x the Oppo.

When I bought the Denon 1930 for $45 used, which Hi-Fi Choice raved about, it blew away the Oppo, and now the Oppo is long gone. Funny thing is that the Denon was available at the same time but America was enamored w/ the Oppo units. Europe on the other hand loves the cheap Denons.

The Denon 2930 is better but the 1930 is awesome and built better than the Oppo too.
Do you want CD or DVD/CD player?

For CD only - look at used NAD, Rotel, Cambridge or Sony ES players as suggested above. ebay is going to be another potential source for this type of purchase if selection limited on Agon.

For DVD - suggestions above are great. My guess is that used market for Denon 29X0 just tanked if you can buy a new 2930 for $200!!! Look for one of that series used and pound them on the price - very good overall player, although older versions wont upscale video if that is important to you. Maybe not quite as good on CD sound as dedicated CD players from the above manufacturers, but truly outstanding video for the $$$.

As suggested above, a used Oppo 970 will sound pretty good and will play movies too.

I have a little Toshiba DVD player in one of my systems my wife found at the Good Will for $25 bucks and the sound on CDs and DVDs is adequate while the component video output is great. I would not recommend this for your main CD player, but could provide video at a very reasonable price, leaving most of your dosh for a good used CDP.
Hey, folks,

Thanks for the continuing stream of thoughts re: this modest-priced replacement.

I actually don't mind losing video capabilities at all, as we were planning to hook up this kit as audio only.

I'll continue to look into available Cambridge, Rotel, NAD, and S. ES options ... Maybe something nice will come of this.

Another option is a vintage CD Player like the Magnavox CDB-492. What makes this 1989 CD player so special? How about being made by Philips utilizing the TDA1543 dual 16 bit DAC and Philips CDM4/19 swing are transport w/ glass lens.

The 1543 DAC has been rediscovered and is used in many high-end players of today like 47 Lab and Opera Audio. Acclaimed for its analogue ease of presentation w/ outstanding detail and bass.

The transport is the same one used by many high-end players of its day like Meridian.

Before this the vintage players used a 14-bit Dac or the earlier 1541 dac. Both exhibited a softer and less detailed sound. After this every thing went to the lesser 1 bit and 18 bit dacs.

This Magnavox and the equivalent Philips model are the crème le crème of vintage players.
Like what Crugby said ...PS1 ...first model will do good.Actually Ps Audio power punch c7 cord is on sale for $29.99 plus shipping is about $42.00...You will be amaze and it is really sounding good and lot's of fun to listen with.