What you hearing may be a simple bad mastering. Or it could be one of those rare pre-emphasized CD and your CD player doesn't de-emphasize it properly. Instead of purchasing a new CD player I would look to find a newer release of the same album with better or high resolution master. If you can find newer release then it would be cheaper and more compatible down the road than buying a CD player.
speaker placement and the room.
I would highly recommend the NAD C565BEE.
It sounds like there's a tube upgrade already in it.
And it still has great detail.
If you have a digital output on your player, consider the Neko Audio D100 DAC. Very relaxed sounding. It won't make "hard" sounding early digital CDs sound beautiful, but it can make them more listenable.
Hey, interesting suggestions! Thanks everyone.
I too was facing the same question. In my system (live room and solid state amps) I auditioned the Meridian 808.3 intrigued by the apodsing filter as well.
Meridian was well made and sounded fabulously realistic on fabulous CD's, but on steely or congested recordings such as Springsteen and Dylan harmonica and Mahvishnu Orchestra it sounded just slightly less harsh than what I was used to.
Next I auditioned the Ayon CD5's extensively in the same room same equipment. It was even better made and also sounded fabulous on fabulous recordings but on the steely congested stuff it was markedly better at making the recording listenable. To me the Ayon was also wetter, more natural, more holographic and weightier without bloat in the lows. At about half the price the Ayon was a clear winner. making more recordings sound like music.
Both sounded great without a preamp.
Hope this helps
Consider either an used Audio Research CD7 (one of the best deals at Audiogon) or the CD8. Many CDs I could not listen in solid state designs sound great on these players.
I use a tube preamp just as a glorified 'tube buffer' between my DAC and regular preamp.
It 'fixes' those pesky problem discs, yet is not too damaging the good discs, and so becomes a one size fits all solution for me.
I use a VAC Standard tube preamp for my 'special' tube buffer. A bit over the top for a buffer, but it does a great job.
Watch for a Resolution Audio CD50 to come up for sale. When you see one don't hesitate as they usually sell pretty quick.
Another option would be a Bel Canto Dac2. The two smoothest sounding digital products I've heard.
When I had it I thought the Pioneer Elite PD D9 J was a warm sounding SACD/CD player.
OK, thanks everyone again.
You might want to check out the Rega Isis. 5 years in development from a company that made its name in analog. Most audiophiles won't consider the Isis because of their reputation of budget value oriented gear. If you are looking to impress your audio buddy's buy a Esoteric but if you want music check out the Isis. Most high priced cdp's do have that digital glare like EMM Labs & Esoteric. The Isis has that analog sound, also check out Burmester belt driven 001 & 089.
Thanks Bob. That Rega is new to me, I'll look into it.
Yeah, those players north of $15K make me wince.
No, I keep my audio habit to myself entirely to keep a low profile.
'don't want to impress anyone-- just the opposite.
I notice that the Rega Isis comes in 2 versions, one with tubes, one without. Any comments on this? Thanks.
I have only heard the w/o tubes Isis. There is a review on the tube version on Positive Feedback I think. Also check out the Tone Mag. review on the Isis. Most who have heard both liked the ss verison better. YMMV.
Thanks again Bob for your time. I was wondering if you heard the Burm. 089 and it also deals well with glare and lesser-mastered CDs. Sorry to take up your time.
I have heard both the Burmester 089 & 001 but in different systems. Both have the beltdrive systems that makes them unique and very analog sounding and quite smooth. Although
quite expensive the built quality is top notch. How they rate with the Isis I don't know. But all 3 will not have the typical digital glare. I believe there is a 089 for sale now on this site.
I use a Levinson DAC for taming down hard sounding disc's . In fact I use it most of the time that way .
I have found that when I plug my cd player directly into my modified Dynaco and use the Dynacos volume control and eliminate the preamp all cds sound natural. You would be surprised how much of that glare comes from the preamp- tube or solid state. Also I have found that when u do this u do not need an expensive cd player at all. I use 2 cheapie Pioneer cd changers and they sound great when plugged directly into the Dynaco ST-70 tube amp. When I use the preamp in between the glare returns. Also detail and realism are increased when u plug directly into the amp. Hope this saves u some money and lots of frustration. Another option is to buy a cd player with a volume control. There are some available new and used.
Hey Shay, my first speakers long ago were a new pair of Dynaco A25s, so I can relate! Thanks for the advice!!
After reading your thread a few days ago , I went and listened to a bunch of older CD's and compared them to some newer ones and did not hear higher levels of digital glare . I have always felt that the early days of CD and CD glare were do to the CD players of the day . The players made in the last three years or so seem to be much smoother .
You might try a NAD M5. My Doors and Zeppelin CDs are tolerable, even pleasant, through that player.
I also like the Naims, from the CD5X and up.