Which sub $2k CD player would you recommend?

Rega Saturn
Cambridge 840c
NAD Master 05 SACD/CD
Bel Canto CD-1

All of these can be had either new or used for under $2k. I am looking for an "esoteric X-01 or X-03" kind of sound. meaning I want details, transparency and bass slam. Not a rounded out or smoothed sound that loses details. Thanks!
The Ayre CX-7e most definitely. Buying used would fit your budget also.
I own the Bel Canto CD1 it is a fine CD player just shy in soundstage relative to my Audio Research CD3 MK11
Posted just before your thread - you may want to check the responses to this thread as well as searching the archives to append what you get here.
Thanks...I don't want to get a modded player, just looking for something stock but very good. How about the Meridien players? I noticed some G06 and G07s out there.
I know this is an older player, but I love the sound of the Meridian 508.24.

look at the MHZS CD 66E, MHZS CD 88E & Doge 6

Also see: http://www.high-endaudio.com/RC-Digital.html#2007
Spend $1000.00 on a good CD player and the other $1000.00 on a pair of "The Phoenix" interconnect cables, Better than Transparent Audio Reference cables or MIT'S( which are great cables)at 1/10th the cost. If you hook-up a $500.00 CD player with them, it sound like a 2K player or better. Jim C.
I didn't think the Ayre CX-7e, Bel Canto, or Audio Research CD3 beat even my Arcam 23T! I had to get an Aero Capitole (well over $2k) to beat it!
buy a wadia 2000, a cal aria or a cal audio tempest.
I recently acquired an MHZS CD 66E that knocks the sox off of anything that I have heard under $5K. Bargain of the century at $699! Bob
AT the $2000 price range, used, you would be HARD pressed to beat the Electrocompaniet Emc 1-up 24/192. It is one of the most ""musical" and "detailed" players that can be had,regardless of price...
go for a used sony scd1 or the equal 777es. it does not get better then those two units and the best part is that tons of mods are available.
>>12-01-07: Bobburda
I recently acquired an MHZS CD 66E that knocks the sox off of anything that I have heard under $5K.<<

Please list all of the players under $5K you've critically evaluated. The associated components would be helpful as well.
I recently acquired an MHZS CD 66E.

I agree with Bobburda on the MHZS CD 66E. I would really look into this unit before spending anything above that price level. I would spend what I save on a used Pre,amp,or even software.
MHZS is a really nice looking player, similar to my CEC transport.
I am very skeptical of Pacific valve and their products. They look like they were cheaply made and the guy who sells it here online has ZERO feedback. Fishy that all these people are pumping MHZS and the lone seller has almost no feedback.
The Sony scd-1 I had sounded very good with the vsei mods it had, but was way too much of a pain in the butt for me to keep. It had read error problems soon after I bought it (used). It was repaired and within 3 years the same problems occured. If the machine is modded Sony won't touch it. Sony no longer has the sled motor for the scd-1. Also, Sony seems to only have one repair center left (in Texas), so repairs could take a while. I replaced mine with a Northstar transport and Northstar Extremo DAC. It sounds better than the scd-1 did (with the vsei mods)!

You have every right to be skeptical of posters here, so I suggest that you check what Arthur Salvatore has to say. http://www.high-endaudio.com/RC-Digital.html

The shootout included some pretty pricey stuff.

The darn things weigh in at 32lbs this is not cheaply made at it's price. Has far as pumping it up, it seems to me at the price of 699.00 and at used price's here on audiogon this makes it very competitive. I beleive it did very well in a all digital shootout with much higher price gear on the audiocritic. I most likly would if I were looking for a fair priced cd only based player with tube circuitry, then this would be on my listeners list.
I think at under $2k, the CA 840c is hard to beat. Very extended and detailed highs but equally solid base.
For lots of detail and great bass slam try the Cary 303\200 or 303\300. Each can be had for 1200-2000 used. They're superior "Class A" machines. When I a\b'd the 303\200 with the 840c I preferred the smoother sound of the 840c BUT your tastes seem to run to more detail and superior bass which the 303\200 does have.
Good Luck,
The Original CD MkII with Level 2 Mods as advertised by Moon Audio here (mods done by Kevin Carter at K&K Audio) looks very intriguing. I may be giving it a test drive myself.

Which unites were able to provide the deeper soundstage with the ability to separate out individual instruments etc? The worst thing to me is smearing of the soundstage. Thanks for the input!

Given me description of the sound I am looking for do you still think the MHZS is the player for me?
I would say the 840 has the deeper soundstage by a hair but either unit will be clear and present well-defined instruments and vocals. The 840 is just better at giving you the resonance of a guitar body while the Cary seems to have sharper leading edges and a less "full" sound (shorter note decays?). We have to talk about "different" as opposed to "better". Both are great. Better than either of these at defining instruments in space was the Marantz 8001, but it was too "cool" for me.
Thanks Manorraul....I got a great deal on the 840c so I jumped on it....will keep you posted.
for $225 get a Toshiba SD9200, add quality AC isolation/conditioning package(that 'every' system needs)--and you'll be surprised at the sound.