Save your $$$ until you can afford the DCS new or used...the clock is a good addition too!!! PH
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Thanks for the suggestions!
Well, the trouble is, I have also auditioned the CD5 and could even compare both to a DAC8 with my CD3 putting out the digital signal. I liked the CD5 better (more organic and better timbres) but it was not worth the price differential IMO, because it was not a vast improvement over the CD3.
Likewise in combination with the DAC8 the presentation was different though, similar to that of the CD3 rather than that of CD5, punchy, with very good timing and slightly better imaging, maybe not so natural as CD5 but altogether better suited to rock and pop music than the CD5. Again here, the improvements were not worth considering buying a DAC8 alongside my CD3.
To sum up, the contenders were slightly better in some but not in all or most areas that are important to me.
I have to add that I listen 50% to alternative and rock, 20% to singer/song-writer, 20% to classic and 10% to jazz music.
I have the 781i and love it. The 381i may not have the punch and snap because you are not using the correct power cord. Wadia CD players generally have excellent low end presentation, I experienced that on an older 861i.
If going with the 781i, make sure you get the version with additional ventilation on the top as heat had been a major problem of the original design. I have this new version, and even with the additional ventilation, it sounds better when it is not placed inside a cabinet.
thanks for your response! Since I have experienced machines with mediocre CD drives in the past, I am eager to know whether you had any problems with the CD drive of your 781 other than excess heat, esp. while reading some RB-CDs or CD-RWs?
The good thing about the Philips Pro mechanism which AR uses is that it reads almost everything you throw at it.
No other problems. I only have original CDs and SACDs and cannot answer your questions regarding other disc types. Also, I am not sure why they will be any different with respect to generating heat. Wadias are not universal players but will play XRCDs although not advertised.
I believe the 781i (dual toroid) has a better power supply than the 381i (single toroid).