the best CD player between 6'000 - 10'000 $ ?


I need to replace my old Denon DCD 2700
I hear mainly classical music (don't need a huge bass ;-) )
I am looking for precision, precise stageimaging, high definition & warmth ... ;-)

thanks
clavil
I'll open the ball with a player about which much has been written the last couple of months

AMR CD 77
(whereby I take for granted 1) that you're looking for the "warmth" of human performance, not coloration or even tonal distortion, and 2) you do want to hear deep, clean bass if and when required)

You can surf through my threads/answers and will find other Audiogoner's systems with the AMR at the digital heart (some of which have a classical music priority)
you cant go wrong with esoteric
esoteric xo3se
I had an EAR Acute that I liked a lot until I discovered the Ancient Audio Lektor Prime. Both are excellent.
10k
Emm Labs CDSA SE
PlayBack Design MPS 5

6k
CARY CD 303/306
Ayre C 5xe
Ayre C x7e
I listen almost exclusively to classical music (both small and large ensembles) and I suggest you save some cash and get a Marantz SA11-S2 CD/SACD player (around $3500 new). It does everything well for acoustic instruments in both CD and SACD. I've enjoyed mine going on 9 months now and has been a stellar musical performer. If you want to burn some more money, there's always the top-of-the-line Maranta SA7-S1 (which I have not heard). That one costs $6500 new. Good luck.
Esoteric X03-SE - awesome on both redbook and sacd.

...sacd...

WOW!
Ummmm...how about an Imac to a MHDT Havana NOS Dac? Sure gives my Exemplar a run for the money :)
I have not heard the Marantz SA 7s1, but did the 11s1 very good. I heard the X03SE at a NYC store last year very impressive detail and dynamics. I have not heard Simaudio Super Nova, I have heard the Andromeda but its more than 10K now. All of these are excellent in my opinion, and may match in some sytems better than others. Thanks

Bill
I've been running an Esoteric X-03SE for the past few months and am thrilled. It replaced a Naim CDX2 and surpasses it easily. Can't say I've heard many others at this price point though.
thanks a lot everybody!

what about a Jadis Player?

I have heard yesterday for 1st time the Jadis jp80 mkII (a preamp) compared to the ARC ref 3 ... I was deeply impressed ...

so that's why I ask if somebody knows whether the Cd player is as good as the preamp ...?

thanks again

PS I will to try to hear all your recommendations
Clavil,
Now that is an excellent question! I still have an 11y old Jadis JD3 (one box cdp without tubes) in the second system. This player kept the edge over the likes of Burmester 001, Accuphase DP-78 and DCS P8i when I started auditioning for a new player two years ago because of its beautiful musicality. Eventually - and unquestionably - it had to show the white flag when compared to the AMR CD-77 that I have in the first system since last year.
I have never looked back after the AMR, but all the time I had been auditioning, I much regretted not to be able to hear the new Jadis JD2 Tube or the Jadis JD2 Pro drive + JS2 MkII DAC (sadly > EUR 10k and not within my budget at the time, so I have abstained from asking the distributor). These new machines are technically very much alike the JD1.
Meanwhile, there is the more affordable Jadis Symphonia Evolution Tube (EUR 5,200 over here). Again, I haven't heard this myself (yet), but by all means I can only encourage you to include this on your list of machines you want to hear.
Good luck
hi karelfd:

are you aware of a cd player that is more colored, i.e., more euphonic than the amr 77, for less money ?

thanks
3 players i've been looking at recently to replace my meridian G08: the meridian 808, emm labs CDSA SE, Cary 306 sacd Pro (hard to find used though).
I've checked out the Cary 306 SACD Pro and Esoteric X-03se. Both are exceptional in terms of staging, detail and warmth. I ended up getting the Esoteric and love it. Rest of my system is ARC VT100Mk3, LS16Mk2 and AP Virgo3. Interestingly, I've heard a lot of comments about the Virgos being bright and sterile and some about the X-03se being bright. I find the opposite. But it just reinforces how important it is to match your components.
But it just reinforces how important it is to match your components.

so making it (too?) simple, the first step of a searching process could be:

with a solid state preamp-amp- speaker analitical / bright combination, look for tube CD or "warm" players (AMR 77, Jadis, AR ref 7 ...)

with a tube preamp-amp-speaker combination, look for something with high resolution and analitical

wrong?
I've heard this top Marantz SA7-S1 with the top ref pre and mono's from Marantz. I'm still in awe of the dynamics when I think back a few months. I also heard Musical Fidelitie's top SACD player swapped in and out fully broke in while the Marantz was'nt broke in.

The Marantz sounded better in all areas and only wish I could have heard this player a couple months down the road fully broke in. Anyway, It was indeed a very special cd spinner and when you factor in the fit & finish with price. I could'nt help but be very impressed.

The Marantz Reference Cd Players have acheived something very special at this juncture.
I have shortly heard the Marantz 11s1, not on my system

imo a "politically correct" player ...

not fast, not slow
lacking precision and definition for my taste
but neither warm like some tube CD Players

musical? yes but like a musician whithout a strong personality

just my subjective impression

PS what about Lua appassionato Mk III ?
Lua Appasionato MkIII had a rave review in the German magazine "Stereo" (trustworthy imo) but I have never heard it. As far as general statements have any validity, then, I have found Lua gear to be euphonic (eú-phonos: I use the term without any aftertaste) yet detailed, painting broad stages, "breathing". I have the Lua Con Fuoco speakers and find them excellent both with tubes and ss amp. Then again, a few years ago (i.e. before Appasionato saw the light) I auditioned the Lua Cantilena SEL and found the Jadis JD3 better in every respect, more lifelike and emotional.

Clavil, since you ask specifically for European players, may I ask where you are located? Depending thereon, there might be a few further alternatives, such as the Pink Faun.

Mr. Tennis, sorry for not coming back yet, I have to dig in my memory some quiet moment.
I'll throw the Denons modified by Exemplar and APL into the mix to consider.
I would recommend listening to the:

Ayre C-5xe
Krell SACD Standard MK3
Esoteric SA-60

All 3 retail for around $6K, all 3 play both CD & SACDs, and all 3 sounded amazing in my System - as good as is needed - sonically close enough to $10K plus Machines for price not to be an issue. I personally went with the Krell to front my $32K rig.
Karelfd,

at the moment in Bangkok but living mainly in Europe

PS amazing high-end scene here in BKK
The Playback Designs MPS-5 fill all your needs. There are reviews here on A'gon and Positive Feedback just published a review.

Dave
EMM LABS CDSA if you like accuracy
AMR if you like musicallity
Playback Designs if you like accurate musicality. ;-)
The cheerleaders have invaded another thread.

Rah rah rah

No mention of Rowland???
When we talk about digital playback there are 3-4 companies which are the pioneers and EVERYBODY else is following.
These companies are:

dCS
EMM LABS
WEISS and one more I cant remember their name. Period
Just because the Playback Designs designer left Emm doesn't mean he's following Emm. Perhaps he's now free to design without restriction.

Dave
hi dave:

i understand what accuracy menas and i believe i understand what musicality means.

i'm not sure what you mean by accurate musicality means .

could you explain this term ?

thanks.
I'm glad you asked Mrtennis.

If musicality is accurately recorded and played back well it's accurate and musical. Where did the idea that they're mutually exclusive come from???

Dave
An audiophile pas de deux!

Time to pop some popcorn and settle in for the dance.
musicality & acuracy....Where did the idea that they're mutually exclusive come from???

I believe because when you hear a lot of details, pink and white noise on the strings for example, the sound can become a little bit agressive in the mid-high range and the whole picture may not appear so organic ...

it's like standing on the podium in front of a symphony orchestra, your hear "strange" noises and sitting in the hall on the 21th row where the whole acoustic information arrives mixed at your ears ... and loses some details

make the test with a violin player, stand very close and then at some 5 meters ...

the pratice on cables:
-Shunyata Antares gives me less details but shows an organic musical whole picture of the music
- NBS active III is faster, show more details but is less pleasant to hear

hi dave:

if a recording preserves the attributes of music and is played through an accurate stereo system, the result is as you state.

the key is that the source be well recorded and that a stereo system should be minimally inaccurate, as perfection does not exist.

with regard to a component, i believe you imply that the amr will preserve the musical attributes of a recording if they are present. if they are not, i believe the amr will reveal the inadequacies, as well. this means the amr is relatively uncolored.

is twhat i have described what you mean ?

the basic distinction between accurate and musical is that one may use the term "musical" to describe a recording and "accurate" to describe the sound of a stereo system.

a stereo system can't always be "musical", because some sources are not "musical".
Mrtennis said:

"...with regard to a component, i believe you imply that the amr will preserve the musical attributes of a recording if they are present. if they are not, i believe the amr will reveal the inadequacies, as well. this means the amr is relatively uncolored.

is twhat i have described what you mean ?"

I've not heard the AMR. I believe that what you said applies to the Playback Designs MPS-5.

Two people have written me saying that they replaced their AMRs with PD because the AMR was too colored for them vs. the PD.

Dave
Clavil said:

"I believe because when you hear a lot of details, pink and white noise on the strings for example, the sound can become a little bit agressive in the mid-high range and the whole picture may not appear so organic ...

it's like standing on the podium in front of a symphony orchestra, your hear "strange" noises and sitting in the hall on the 21th row where the whole acoustic information arrives mixed at your ears ... and loses some details"

If the violins' sound contains pink and white noise, then something is wrong. I suspect you're talking about the edge on the sound when string instruments are heard up close. I play trumpet in orchestras, so I know very well the sound of which you speak, I think.

If the mics were set so close that you hear that, then I want to hear that. Starkers Bach Suite recording has that, along with him breathing and his fingers on the fingerboard. It's like he's playing for me in my living room (I've heard cello in my living room) and I want to hear that.

It's the reoording engineer's choice. Most give a slightly more distant perspective which I also find pleasing. I want my sytem to give me whatever the engineer was aiming at. If the perspective seems too close then I can always move my chair back a little. I don't want my CDP messing with perspective or smoothing or rounding the sound.

Dave
Simaudio Supernova CD.....$6200.00
Nice BIG display that can be seen across the room.
Also has a digital input!! Fast, fast remote.

Pepe
A 2k cd player with between 4k and 8k sitting on the top to be used for something that will make 4-8k's worth of difference.
Metronome Cd One
Marantz sa11s1 which i had was very precise , detailed with excellent pin point imaging NOT MUSICAL. does rock music very very good.

Sold it and i brought audio aero capitol reference - this is less precise, less detailed and no pin point imaging like marantz. BUT VERY MUSICAL .

Both are good , depends on the listeners taste.
all components are imperfect. thus a component cannot be musical, its errors may be pleasant or unpleasant. in all cases there will be inaccuracies of timbre, thus a stereo system and component are not musical.

recordings may approach accuracy of timbre and the sound of a minimally uncolored stereo system, playing a minimally erroneus recording will approach the sound of instruments.

it is a mistake to speak of components as musical. components don't make music, rather instruments do, and recordings are an attempt to recreate the sound of instruments.

it makes sense to discuss components as more or less inaccurate and describe the nature of the inaccuracy.
perhaps, by musicality, you mean euphonically colored.
Mrt, if a tree falls in the forest with nobody around does it make any noise?

Hi Mrtennis

May be musical is 'right timbre with continous sound and less digititis'
Electrocompaniet EMC-1Up
I have got the ML 39 to try at home. As the J.R. monoblocs are brand new and not broke in, to take for what it is

ML 39, great change after the Denon 2700
more details, definition, better defined soundstaging, some frequencies (middle high range less agressive)
... some adjectives: analitical, clean, precise but without warmth ... but please remenber monos not fully broke in

that said I am impressed and wouls like to know how it compares to all your recommendations
Nice cd player.Bit comprised sound, but enjoyable. Apogee rosetta way better dac. So I guess,nowadays, you could buy a better player. But ultimately, your taste is the most important here. There is no warranty for second owner.It is likely that soon you have to change its transport. 300 euro, if you can do with a local technician, to get an appropriate philips transport. ML charges 1000 usd plus shipping cost.
Arg, there certainly isn't another company following EMM in the reliability (LACK OF) department. Wadia might be the name eluding you?
Zieman,

EMM is not unreliable, only gitchy in how it operates. It reads the disc in a very different way than most CD Players and as such the controls at times don't work instantly. But the machine always works, just sometimes you need to wait or eject the CD & reinsert it. I believe (a guess) that it holds some information in ROM instead of reading direct from the disc. I don't think they publicize it, but since there is a 6 second gap before it plays and further, that upsampling happens at the software level it makes sense. In this regard, a small price to play for the phenomenal sonics of the machine. There are comparable machines but IMO they all cost much more money.
The CDSA is the one they are having trouble with. Look in the forums, it is a real problem.
I own the CDSA and I have absolutely no problem with it!
"Glitchy" is OK at 11500? Your machine is not glitchy, it is defective. Are you under warranty?