Solid State CD Player under $2000

What would you consider to be the best solid state CD player (with XLR balanced outputs) money can buy for under $2000 (new or used)?
Cambridge 840c; plus you can use the internal DAC seperately for Squeezebox, etc.
The best is up for debate, but you should take a look at the Oppo BDP-95.
The Resolution Audio Opus 21 is one to consider. Used they run around $1,500.

It is solid state, (as are most CD players though).

It has three different outputs:
1. Standard RCA (i.e. single ended).
2. Xlr (i.e. balanced).
3. DIN

Note: The first two outputs go through the built-in analog volume control. The DIN does not, (and therefore is the absolute best one to use if you're going to be using a preamp, as it by-passes said built-in volume control). The built-in volume control is very good, and will allow you to go direct into the amps. However, in speaking with Jeff Kalt, the owner/designer of Resolution Audio, he states that you will get better, (albeit only very slightly better), sound if you by-pass the volume control. (FYI, I do this myself.)

This unit also can be used as a DAC, as it has digital inputs. (However, it does not have digital outputs, so it can not be used as a transport.)

The unit is somewhat old in design, however, it still sounds good to my ears. I've owned this unit for about 5 or 6 years now, and I still enjoy it. (Although, I will admit that I primarily listen to my turntable, as I prefer analog to digital.)
The Opus 21 has an almost analog type of sound, as it does not sound as digital to my ears as most other CD players.
So if you're looking for state of the art, or an extremely
resolving type of CD player, this may not be the one for you.

FYI, service is also topnotch. Jeff is a great guy to work with, and he is located in the USA, (San Francisco). I had a laser go out a year or so ago, and he fixed it quickly and rather inexpensively.

You might want to check out all the reviews online.
My two cents worth.
Sony XA-5400.
"Best" is in the eye/ear of the beholder. There is no definitive "best" anything, it's all subjective. When you ask a question like this, the answers will always be what folks think is "best" to them in their system.
I'll second the Resolution Audio Opus 21.
Naim cdx2or 5x are both outstanding and can be found at comparable prices.
FYI, Naim does not offer XLR outs-- just DIN.

I would think that Ayre should be on your shortlist as they are said to be designed with balanced connections in mind.

Haven't heard any myself but there are definitely players in your price range.
I agree with Bar81. Check out the Oppo BDP-95. It's resolution, staging and presence are miles above anything in it's price range. Plus, it's a universal player that gives you tons of options. I bought it primarily as a two-channel audio playback system (with XLR out). And I'm floored with it. It's also well under 2K. I think they are around 1,100$ new. Just my opinion.
Oppo 95! without a doubt
I dont know which is best (such a subjective thng anyway) ... but two worth checking out are the Oppo BDP-95 and the Sony XA5400ES. Unfortuneately the Sony is discontinued and you will have to look for a resale.
You have been given some excellent recommendations in this thread. I would add Bryston BCD-1 to the list. I own it and it is superb. I have also owned Naim CDP in the past. With your budget, look for BCD- in the S/H market.

I can't help but ask, with all the developments/options with digital sources, are you sure you want to invest in a CDP?
I have a CA 840c and was considering adding the Bryston D/A to take advantage of their class A analog circuitry (the CA is OP2134 opamps). Agree that adding yet another CD player alone might not make sense for the future. At least with the Bryston D/A I could add a file player later and still use the D/A.

But along the lines of a file player, how do you catalog music when everything is on a USB thumb drive? I miss the jewel cases and LP album covers. You can't label or put LP cover art on a thumb drive!
Used Ayre CX7eMP
Has anyone done a direct comparison with the Oppo 95 to other higher cost players in the same system?
Another point re the CA 840. It will OUTPUT a variety of digital formats all the way up to 24 bit 192 KHz. This makes a combo with the Bryston BDA-1 very interesting as it will accept inputs up to this level as well. This allows potential bypassing of the Bryston up-sampler, going direct to its D/A.