Have you compared the sound difference between a Rega Planet and Rega Planet 2000? Is there a big difference?
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The Rega Planet 2000 is a fine player. I had previously pursued the Ah! Njoe Tjoeb 4000 based on the enthusiasm and frequency of its being mentioned as a superb modded player.
I enjoyed it for a while, but wanted an upgrade. I posed a question for the Agon community on which player might be considered as an upgrade to the Ah!'s sound. The most frequent response was the Planet 2000. So, I got myself one.
They were right, emphatically so! The Planet 2000 is quite a nice step up from the Ah! in resolution (by the way, I had the Ah! pretty tricked out with most of the upgraded mods, including upsampler, power cord, Telefunken tubes, etc.
When the two were compared side by side, the Ah! was neither as revealing nor as kind on the ears. It reproduced treble precisely, but rather harshly in comparison. I was surprised to hear a solid state unit sound more tube-like than the tube player, but I couldn't deny my ears. I really wanted to think that the $1,000 plus I had put into the Ah! couldn't be outdone by a stock player, but it was. And not by a little.
The Planet 2000 was a screaming great deal used for about $700 and I highly recommend it for Jazz listening and light rock. And besides, this top loader's lid looks vaguely like the Starship Enterprise, which really impresses Star Trek fans!
Based on my experience, if had the chance to do things again, I wouldn't have chased a tube cd player, but rather introduced tubes via preamplifier. The effect of having a tube preamp was far more beneficial than a tube cd player, and with such rich solid state units as the Rega Planet 2000 around, I see very little need (at least in this price category) to chase modded/tubed cd players.