Under $500 - Used CDP or DAC/Transport?

I've recently sold a couple digital sources (MH CD25.2 and HRT Streamer+) that I found to be too much compromise. The MH throws a huge sound stage, but doesn't sound very accurate to me. String and acoustic guitar sound processed, not very believeable. The HRT made music sound more life like, but was rather dull and lacked the fullness of the MH.

I want to spend around $500 for a replacement. I am thinking a used CDP like an Apollo or an inexpensive used DVD player as transport with a budget DAC. Top DAC choices are audio-gd NFB-3, Beresford Caiman, VDAC, and some others.

Is this price point not worth buying a DAC? I still listen mostly to CDs, I haven't fully taken the computer audio plunge yet (HRT experience was mostly good though). Would it make sense for me to buy the best $500 used CDP now and wait a year or two to target a DAC? I'm particularly interested in the audio-gd DAC, but not if it's just going to be a headache and lateral move at best.
I would not get a separate DAC - in that price range with a cheap transport I don't think you win.

Consider stretching your budget and look over CD players on Agon right now by: Exposure, Modwright Sony, Opera Consonance, Cayin SCD-50T, Quad, maybe Jolida JD100a, Rega Jupiter and Roxsan. Or as you suggest a Rega Apollo or maybe Cambridge 840C if you can find one used. These will wipe the floor with a VDAC or similar based system IMHO.

If you want the flexibility of a DAC, you might wait till you can afford the next level up, Musical Fidelity M1 or Rega DAC or similar, but don't uderestimate the importance of a good transport = > $$ to get same sound as some of these players listed above.
Once again it is time for a refurb Sony 595, often available from SonyStyle for $60. Can you handle 'cheap', and still be an audiophile?

I have seen you recommend the Sony 595 in many posts. I have looked several times and have never seen this available on sonystyle.com. Can you please provide a link?
I'm interested in the NAD C 565BEE, does anyone have anything to offer besides it being a good value at the price point? I like that it has digital in, would be nice to hook up an Apple TV or something along those lines.

Spearit has them refurbed for a good price. Any reason to not look into this more closely?
Recommend a Pre-loved Arcam DV-88. Superb sound, HDCD decoding and you have a great DVD player in a pinch.
the C565BEE is a nice player but not remarkable. If you like smooth, warm and safe sound - this is a good bet. For the same money a used Cambridge 740C will give you input capability with more detail and bass. Take your pick. The Cambridge 840C is in a different league.

Here is the link to the Sony SCD-CE595 that Buconero is referring to:

Oppo 93
Oppo 93 does not have analog outs, right? The 95 sounds great but out of my range at moment. To be clear on my goal, looking for 2 channel only, no video.
Of course ir has analog outs, multi-channel as well as two channels. But it and enjoy it.
Hi Raymonda

The Oppo BDP 93 has multi-channel analog outputs only. It doesn't have a seperate 2 channel set of analog outputs along with the multi-channel analog outputs like it's predecessors or the BDP-95.


Although one could use the FR/FL of the multi-channel analog outputs for 2 channel only if you like though.
(Analog Audio: 7.1ch, 5.1ch, or stereo
Digital Audio: Coaxial, Optical
HDMI Audio: Stereo, up to 7.1ch high-resolution PCM, up to 5.1ch DSD, bitstream or LPCM conversion of Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD, DTS, DTS-HD High Resolution Audio, and DTS-HD Master Audio.

The above is directly from their web site. It indicates that it plays stereo and is a universal player. The back pannel pictures indicate stereo outputs. So, I'm miffed as to why you think it doesn't output a stereo signal.
I see your confusion. There are a number of player that do not have labeled stereo outs and you go through the front L and R for your stereo signal. You then access the menues to configure your stereo outputs, which in turn gives you the pure stereo signal. This is not unusual and should not be interpreted otherwise.

So enjoy the 93! I know I going to pick one up because It will also take a direct signal from a hardrive and allows me a lot of options and flexability. I have a few DA's so if ultimately I don't like the DA I can use an outboard one but from ears I trust, it is most likely the best value in the here and now.
Any chance someone here has compared the Oppo 93 to one of the other CDPs discussed here (Apollo, C 565BEE, etc.)? Just want to know that the 93 would be a sonic upgrade from the others.

I don't need video so Blu-Ray feature is literally of no use to me. The input from hard drive is nice, but I assume it isn't Async USB. Probably better to go optical for computer based music.
I don't think it needs to be async if it going HD-Oppo. There is no computer inbetween. Correct me if I'm wrong but it is basically bit bucket(HD) to interface(Oppo).
For $569 shipped you can get a refurbished NAD C-565BEE here on AG and it is superb. Very involving and accurate.
Yes...my choices seem to be the refurb NAD, used Apollo, new Oppo 93 or used Cambridge 740C. They all sound like good choices, and I can now go a bit above my initial price range (~$700).

I have a somewhat bright system so looking for a source that is not. I am currently running a PS1 (the only decent source I have on hand) it's actually really good sounding. Not interested in it as my long term solution but that's the type of sound that I think works best with my gear.

Leaning towards NAD...will post decision and review in time.
Check out the offerings from Emotiva. I have the new XDA 1 pre/dac and it sounds great. They also have their new cdp/transport that would be a great match with it.
I hope Emotiva has done a better job with the second CDP.
I replaced the ERC-1 with the NAD C-565BEE and it is 10X better.
The way you find the Sony is to stay on that site 24/7 I've never seen ever.
For a brighter sounding system I would recommend the NAD.
I'm going with the NAD, should arrive in a few days. I'll post a follow up after I've had a chance to listen for a few days. Thanks for all your input!