Which CD Player /DAC From The Following...

Hey. I'm gonna purchase a used CD player / DAC shortly and would like to hear people's experience with the following players:

CAL Icon mkII
Cambridge Audio D500se
Denon 1650AR

I've only heard the Icon player because I know someone who has it and I like it but I don't have the ability to demo any of those players and almost always buy used so I can sell it if I don't like it. I was also considering getting one of the CAL DACs and leaving my Sony CDP-CA9ES as the transport.

System is Rotel Pre, Adcom amp, Thiel 1.5s, MIT cabling.

Whachya think?

Thanks! leo.
I would get a DAC and keep the CDP, if it has digital coaxial out. If you plan to get a new deck to be used as transport, then the Cambridge D300SE would be a good way to go. That's what I use with a Soundstream/Krell DAC-1. The difference between the Cambridge 300SE and the 500SE is the upgradeable D/A board.

Another option would be the Granite Audio CDP with tube output. Try to talk to Steve Monte of Quest for Sound or search the threads to find more about it.

You can also get really decent D/A boards and clock boards to upgrade your unit from www.lcaudio.com/ The US distributor is Kevin Haskins (www.diycable.com).
i say go with a cal tube dac. good and not very expensive. this will add a great deal of flexibility in future upgrades. i think the cal will add some synergy to your current system. (there are a lot of other good dacs out there too!)
if your present cd-player has digital coax out, i'd get an art di/o for $130 shipped, then spend ~$140 on it to have it tweaked. check the threads on the a-gon forum & on the audio asylum digital forum. this is an outstanding piece - combined w/my cheap nad cd-changer, it's a significant improvement over an $1800 alchemist nexus & $3k resolution audio cd-50 i have auditioned...

doug s.

I had the Cal Icon Mk II cdp used as a transport and hooked up to a MSB Link III dac with good results! I also know someone using the Cal Icon Mk II with a Orelle dac! Both sound was good!
I have Cal ICon as a transport and EVS Millenium II as a dac
(blows away dacs 5 times as expensive)

for $1400 total this is a killer combo

I had a Sony CDP-CA8ES and upgraded to a Cal Labs CLD-10. One of the best upgrades I ever made!! I also upgraded to an EVS Millennium II DAC. It makes music sound REAL!!