Look into an Audio Aero Capitole mkI you may be able to get one close to your price range and it is a great player. I have no experience with the Shanling but they do like nice.
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I would recommend against doing that. Yes, with CDPs with volume control, you can plug it straight into a power amp and be able to control the volume, but it just sounds flat. From a purist point of view, you would think that the signal path is more direct by bypassing the preamp stage so sound quality should be better, right? Wrong! The preamp does much more than just switching between sources and controlling the volume.
I am going to have to disagree with firstname.lastname@example.org with players that use a digital volume control it would be better, how ever those players that use analog volume control(even SS, not just tubed units) it has ALWAYS been better. I have tried it in a few different systems with a few different cd players and it is impossible to regain the transparency when running through a preamp- you may gain a little body and weight(even that is debatable) but everything else is just more "color" which some people like.
Tireguy is correct, I even prefer the Wadia players which use digital volume control without a preamp. I have tried it both ways and it has always been preferable straight to the amp. Also there is a lot more bang for the buck when you sink all your money into the best CD player that runs direct that you can afford as opposed to sharing between preamp and CD player. If money is no object it may be a different story
My thoughts on pre-amp are the same is Tireguy (my knowledge in this area is very limited though.) I have the Adcom GFP 750 which I only run in passive, didn't like the sound of active. Passive was much more open and transparent, overall, a great preamp I thought. However, if a passive preamp does its job well, nothing should alter the source signal. If this is indeed the case, then I can't see any reason why a passive preamp should be better in place of none. A tube or well designed preamp will color the sound that best suit your taste. I guess is if I want phono sound, that's the way to go. I'm planning to get a tube cdp, but if my budget allows I'll eventually get a tube preamp as well.
In the mean time, a good tube pcd is all I can get. I have heard that cdp with variable output should not deminish in sound quality but digital will suffer. Anyone with thoughts on why?
Gee, I've been so clearly outvoted here that I need to reconsider whether everybody else is right and I'm wrong. But if it's better to go straight from CDP to power amp, I wonder why more people don't do this, rather than spending a bundle on a preamp, quite often as much as the power amp. Many music only systems these days consist of only one source (CD), so why doesn't every CDP manufacturer provide 2 sets of analog outputs (one fixed and one variable) so there's the option of hooking up direct to a power amp?
Most companies that sell cd players like to sell preamps as well, hence make more money. I think there are fewer one source only guys out there then you think, but more are becoming one source folks, for a number of reasons. Also more cd players are equiped with fair-good volume controls then ever before, there is a demand for it and the manufacturer's are answering. Some of the best cd players I have listened to have volume controls- and even the good ones that don't have a built in volume control I would opt to use a passive volume control a unit like the placette RVC and that's it. Preamps add a lot of cost for what they really do- I do understand it is very difficult and expensive to build a good preamp- it just seems like a lot of wasted money.
I would agree with using a preamp with some of the units that use digital volume control, in some systems that sounds really bad. Wadia and accuphase are the 2 that come to my mind as using digital volume control that can detract from the music.
Search here and AA for my comments on the Xindak.Very good direct to amp with little loss in dynamics if any.Thinking of selling my BAT.Has XLR and SE varible outputs.Far and away the best Bang for the Buck at its price point and you get SACD.Better think twice and listen before getting any Shanling or Sony for CD or SACD playback.Why are folks spending more than 1k for modding Sonys and Shanlings.They spend more for modds than I have in my lightly modded Xindak.Not much to mod on the Xindak just some minor tweeking.Shanling mods only=$1240 plus $350 more to upgrade the op amps.Xindak has no op amps in the analog output stage.Name anyone who thinks ANY op amps are a good thing.JD