If you can find one used, I've been thrilled with my BOW Technologies ZZ8.
22 responses Add your response
I have a modded JD100 and recently puchased a Sony 999ES DVD player (only $545) to send to Modwright for one of their Signature Truth mods. While I've said in the past I believe that mods ultimately don't turn out to be worth it, the feedback on this particular player and mod has convinced me to give it a go. The redbook playback of this modded unit is documented by users and reviewers as exceptional; Dan Wright has a great reputation for doing high quality mods at reasonable (for audiophilia) prices. The Modwright Sony 999ES is my next pick.
AA Prima is the one to beat. There's been a lot of discussion here about the Canary being better. I can't comment on that because I've never heard one. The Prima beats the Cary hands down IMHO. Not to mention the latest version Prima has a new face plate and looks better too! I just bought one here with a few hours play time in your price range........
Speaking of Mod's and Wadia, None of the players can touch a Wadia 21 if you have the Clock and Caps replaced for about 500.00, its just real digital, if you like the neutral aspect of Wadia and very powerful sound then its the player.. But if you are looking to skew Digititis of the rest of your system then Coloring it with Tubes or any other Dampening device to soften or alter the signal might be the way to go.
I think most of the players mentioned above will beat the Jolida in detail, but going from a tubed player (Jolida got the tube sound right) to a SS cause you to lose that addicting quality but give more detail and blah blah blah. The Cary 308T will give a tube sound with more detail. I have a used and modded (superclock II only) Sony XA777ES which I got used for $1,550. It is smooth sounding (no digital harshness if you will) - and the low level detail is just amazing making it impossible for me to go back to a player that doesn't give as much detail. It is much better than the Cary 308T which I had before it.
Just got my Sony 999es back from Dan from Modwright. I did own a Cary 303-100 previously and this player is better. Not fully broken in yet. Already the slight digital etch I had with the Cary is now gone with the Modwright and the soundstage is more three dimensional. I did like the Cary very much.
Thanks for all the info so far guys. I am going to be using Dans own pre amp SWL 9.0SE .I believe in Dan's products.. and what he does to make his modded Sonys truly great according to many who have gone this route. Now that said..I just have an aversion to bringing home a SONY to be the center piece of my Audio system. I have awefull memories of owing them, and was a certified Sony basher in the 80's.(mostly a fundimental philosophical issue with a huge company that was just out to sell as many products as possible..I felt Id rather support the smaller home grown talent)and yes...I know the AA is French made. ;-)
But that said..if you were to look at my system you'd find Usher speakers and a few Chinese based amps along the way..
But, I think Im leaning to the AA Prima in the end. Any other thoughts welcome..Thanks
I love my APL Denon 3910, and I wouldn't trade it for anything else at the moment. Having said that, I have heard the Modwright Sony 999ES in my system and I have compared it to the APL. The Modwright is darn close, especially with the clock upgrade. What really stands out is the smooth and solid feel of the Sony's transport. It makes the Denon seem like a cheap toy in comparison.
Hi Ken :-)
Since you were at the house, my system is completely different. The only thing that remains from then is the 400CX.
I am one of the TRL Marantz sa-14 users. If you can get one, you might be, impressed. :-) For the money I'm not sure how it can be beaten. If you feel like making the drive - "stop by" and have a listen. ;-)
best of luck in your search.
what about a dac? something like bel canto dac2 for example. its in your price range. I have it and really like it. very musical. you can sell your jolida and get this dac and pick up a sony s7700 on e-bay to use as a transport. pretty good combo. just a thought. oh, and bel canto is something you can try before buying - Audio Advisor has 30 days return policy...
I wrote in an earlier post:
What really stands out is the smooth and solid feel of the Sony's transport. It makes the Denon seem like a cheap toy in comparison.
I've been recently educated regarding the Sony 999ES and Denon 3910 transports. Apparently, the Sony loading mechanism is nicely done, but the actual Sony transport is significantly worse than the Denon 3910, and is comprised of cheaper parts.
The Denon 3910 loading mechanism does feel flimsy in comparison to the Sony's. Perhaps Denon could take a lesson from Sony and Marantz in this regard.
FWIW, I upgraded from a JD100 to the Cary 308T and - in my system - the Cary has been a nice upgrade. In my experience, the Cary is more detailed and generally speaking is just more "refined" than the Jolida. My system was suffering from a treble edginess that disappeared when I swapped for the Cary.
Just took delivery of a real nice 2001 Muse Model 9 Signature player. A $4K unit that can be found for under $1500. even with the Signature upgrade to the analog board.
I talked to a few owners of the 9 signature and also to some owners of other Muse products like the Model 2 and Model 296 Dac owners who speak of the Muse sound as unhyped,smooth and resolving and utterly musical.
After just 2 days of playing the 9 Signature, I am left amazed at how good this thing is! It is leaps and bounds ahead of the Jolida JD-100 that it replaces, in every way. Much in the same way that I found my Cary CAD-50MkII monoblocks make my old Manley Stingray sound like a toy by comparison
Many Thanks to all who have contributed to lend a suggestion. I highly recommend the Muse players to anyone who is looking to upgrade from the JD or Cary 308....Ken
Well... there ya go! In reading the review in UltimateAudio Magazine's Winter 2001 issue..reviewer Jarry Kindela makes mention of his familiarity with the standard 9 and his high regards for its sound in CD/DVD,The Linn CD-20 at 16K more was better at soundstage and halographic imaiging, but the Muse 9 Sign. has the same ability to capture the recording venue in the same way and is as coherent as well ....Most of his review was for the redbook CD of the Signature model, noting the upgrades made by Muse to the Analog board.
The funny part is,I had just read this review and saw an Ad fo the Muse 9 Signature for sale only a few days later. Good timing for once!
I had also been concidering the cary 300/300 player. List is $4K but signifigant price drop on units that are now showing up used..my biggest concern was the fact that there are currently no less than "5" used players on Audiogon at the moment....That made me nervous about going with that model.I really like what I hear out of the Muse!