What have you researched so far ?
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the arcam fmj 23 is a nice player.
Going to add to more to the list :
By "very open airy sound", I'll take that to be transparent.
I owned the Naim cd5x, which I really liked but it wasn't transparent in that it has a small soundstage. Also had a Cambridge 840, which plays way beyond it's price point and I can highly recommend. From my limited experience your amp and speakers will have a bigger effect on transparency.
My opinion will via you off course but I must excuse and state that power cables, inteconnects, and speakers hold an important key to get the airy sound as well.
As for CDP, I think you're better luck with most Japanese and American CDP's for the airy sound. Rega Apolo has a very deep and rich warm sound; "The England sound". Is that what are you chasing after?
Goodluck and keep us posted.
Reb1208, have you facts to back up your statement about no solid state pre/cd combo will deliver the goods in the air department? Have you listened to every possible configuration? I find it hard to believe a statement such as yours can be substantiated. Is it possible you just don't like solid state? Please clear this up for me.
I own a solid state amplifier. What I posted here about "airy" digital is my opinion. IME, I prefer the air and instrumental separation of tube pre-amp vs solid state. I also said at the very least a tube pre-amp is needed to deliver the "air". I myself run a solid state phonostage thru a tube pre-amp. For digital, I prefer that source to also use tubes in the signal path. That's about as clear as I can state my opinion on this topic. If you want facts, then look at the specs in your owners manual.
Now I see that this was just your opinion, not a fact. I thought I may have to buy me a tube pre so I can get some good air. But as I grow older, I find that I enjoy the system the way it is, and that I don't enjoy sitting very long in front of the unit when I could be doing other things. This is probably a good thing, since it will sound that much better with more time between sessions.
As far as the original question goes, the only way you're going to be happy is by listening to one in your system, as your associated gear will make a difference, as will the room.
Best of luck.
"But as I grow older, I find that I enjoy the system the way it is, and that I don't enjoy sitting very long in front of the unit when I could be doing other things. This is probably a good thing, since it will sound that much better with more time between sessions.'
We must be the same age or there abouts as I feel the same way.