stereophile class b cdps of the past....late 90s

Any sleeper class "b" players of the past that would be great finds on the used market? Budget is $500...dedicated cd playback changers...thanks...20 bit or higher a quality a must as it will used as a transport down the road...
Well, I had the Meridian 500/563, Parasound CDP2000 and the CAL Alpha/Delta which seems to be in your $ ball park. The Alpha might be a slightly better processor, but the Delta is the worst transport of the trio. The Meridian is mid way. The Parasound is my fave although it wasn't in Stereophile. The Parasound's transport is very good too. It is only a 19bit player (advertised as 20) though.
It's hard to go wrong with a used Rega Planet for around $400.00 or Planet 2000 if you can find one under $500.00.
EAD DSP 9000 or Resolution Audio Quantum. These 20-bit DAC's still more than hold their own with current offerings.
The Cal Icons with HDCD and Powerboss are within your budget and still sound darned good. I have one in my second system. They were either A or B years ago.

The Planets are good, especially if you like to rock'n roll, as are the Arcam Alpha 8/8SEs which are also great for classical. Meridians still sound good too.

You may not get SOTA at this price, but you can certainly get enjoyable players.