Conrad Johnson DV2B; an excellent player that well outperforms the Jolida. I know, I own both. Perhaps hard to find used but occasionally shows up here.
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The Njoe Tjoeb 4000 that Upscale Audio sells would be an option in your price range. I have the previous version, the Tjoeb 99, and it's very nice. It uses two tubes from the 6DJ8/6922/7308 family so there are lots of options for swapping tubes at a wide range of prices.
I've had a JD100 but my Audio Aero Prima Mk2 is much better - more resolution, better pace and timing, larger soundstage, and definitely better macrodynamics. Both make music but the Prima makes it in a much more interesting and enteraining way. I have seen them sell here for just over $1k. It is tough to tube roll though because the tubes are directly soldered to the board. But you needn't worry about it because those 6021 will last for years and sound great.
Otherwise, I have also had a Consonance Reference 2.2. The balanced connections use opamps but the unbalanced are straight from tubes. This player sounds great. Very similar style as the Jolida but with better resolution. But it doesn't have the impressive dynamics of the Prima.
Then I also had a Granite 657. I didn't care for this player. I thought it lacked transparency and dynamics. Everything sounded a little dull. I don't recommend it but your mileage may vary...
I also had a Cayin CD50T. This was a nice player. It did everything well with no real shortcomings other than the soundstage width being a bit narrow compared to the others. This one can be a great buy used.
I second the Audio Aero Prima - IMO the best CDP I heard so far below 3-4K. Excellent resolution, very realistic portrayal of instruments. Piano is reproduced with natural decays and resonances. My only complaint about the Prima is that the bass could be just a tad tighter (which is true for many tube players.
As far as tube CDP go, I also had a Unison Unico, which allows you to change tubes, but I would avoid that one unless you like singers to have a permanent cold.
If you can stretch your budget to $1,400, the Doge 6 CD player at Pacific Valve is really excellent for the money. I understand that the CDP is manufactured in the same Chinese manufacturing faciity that produces the Jolida electronics. The Doge 6 CDP uses six tubes in its output stage - four 12AX7s and a pair of 12AT7s in a shunt-regulated push-pull circuit.
I am running the Doge 6 in my SET system and have found the sound quality to be excellent - significantly better than you would ever expect in this price range. The MHZS CD players mentioned above are also imported by Pacific Valve. They are more affordable than the Doge 6 and are also said to be a step down in quality of sound (but excellent in their own right).
Thanks guys for your imput.
The one thing about the Jolida that keeps calling me is the fact that I can taylor the sound with different tubes.
The others are a bit higher priced than I can afford, $1000 is the max, unfortunitly.
I did notice the Consonance CD-120 LInear seems to be going for a decent price. Any thoughts on that player compared to the Consonance reference or Jolida or my Rotel? Can you change tubes in the CD-120 Linear?
I'm really looking for a bit more sparkle in the top end compared to my Rotel 1072.