The best CD player under $5000?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by antonkk, Sep 29, 2007.

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  1. spock2

    spock2 New Member

    Location:
    New York
    if i were seriously interested in one, i definitely would. as of now, just something i noticed when i looked at the player. wouldn't mind knowing the answer, but it's not at the top of my mind.
     
  2. spock2

    spock2 New Member

    Location:
    New York
    i was looking at this player but decided that i didn't have enough SACDs to make it worthwhile, so went with a proven red book. but i would like to hear this Marantz. it was recently recommended by TAS as one of the best players in the $3000-$5000 range (prices are based on retail/new).
     
  3. motorcitydave

    motorcitydave Enlightened Rogue In Memoriam

    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV, USA
    Ok, no problem...:cool:
     
  4. KT88

    KT88 Forum Resident

    I don't believe that "fully balanced" means anything to anyone outside of marketing. Components have balanced outputs to reject noise during transmission to other components having balanced inputs. It does not enhance sound quality, it merely maintains it over a distance. It is not only entirely possible but fairly common to see components with only single ended construction outperform components with balanced construction.

    One of the problems with using a balanced design any further than the output or input of a component is that it can raise the noise floor. That's by using twice the circuitry that is required to do the job, the noise floor can be raised and defeat the very purpose of the design. Further, a larger component count in any design statistically increases the failure rate of the component. It is not necessarily so that a balanced component will be less reliable but it does have twice the components to experience problems as an otherwise similar circuit laid out in a single ended fashion.

    The Bryston player is very well designed and laid out according to all accounts that I have heard. We have one of these players on order and it will be available for demo in a month. I will be able to compare it directly with two other top performing players at that time, the Cambridge Audio 840C and the Rega Saturn.

    I have a customer who owns the 840C and who has taken it to an audiophile society meeting in a major metropolitan area. It was "bring your digital playback device" day ;-). He reported back with his findings. He is very critical of components and is very much interested in digital audio playback. His report included the following quote: "The only machine there that had anything for the Cambridge was a player by DCS which cost $16,000 and it was really too close to call but if anything, I actually prefered the 840C!".
    -Bill
     
  5. grbl

    grbl Just Lurking

    Location:
    new york
    Another vote for the Meridian G08 - I absolutely love mine. Since I bought it (2 years ago), I can finally say that I enjoy cd's as much as vinyl.
     
  6. FastEddy

    FastEddy Member

    Location:
    North Californie
    The best CD player under $5000?

    The best CD player is not a CD only player. If your CD player won't play DVD-A (and DVD videos) you are missing out on the best optical media recorded music.

    AudiophilePhil's list is nice. but out of date by about three years. Examples:

    Resolution Audio opus 21: http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews/r...on/opus21.html ... " The Opus 21 is his statement on affordable peak performance RedBook playback, with the absence of SACD or DVD-A functionality perhaps an implicit statement that optimized CD performance at $3,500 cannot mean universal excellence. "

    Audionet ART G2: http://www.audionet.hifi.pl/pdf/ART G2 eng.pdf " ... Thus optimized, the audio data is rendered to 192 kHz/24 bits by an asynchronous upsampler ..." 16bit in = upsampled 16bit out is the same as garbage in = upsampled garbage out, IMOP.

    Densen B-400XS: http://www.densen.dk/index.php?page=products&produkt=b400xs " ... Audio designers normally focus on improving the conversion process, resulting in the use of 18, 20 or 24 bit converters; however the source material remains 16 bit. ..."

    ... ... ...

    Rega Saturn: Unavailable according to the US distributor. ... Because they are soon to announce a "universal" player for SACD & DVD-A (and DVD video).
    ............

    My point is that if your US$2000 + player won't play DVD-A and/or SACD, then you might as well find something else ... If you can't listen to this, you are missing the best of Muddy Waters, period. (IMOP the Muddy vinyl does not come close.)
     
  7. KT88

    KT88 Forum Resident

    Rega Saturn

    The Rega Saturn is available, and is alive and well. There are no plans to replace it any time soon. There are no plans to build a "universal" player.

    This info is actually from the Rega distributor.
    We are actually an authorized Rega dealer.
     
  8. bhazen

    bhazen Giles Martin fan!

    Location:
    Newcastle, WA
    I'm rather fond of the Naim CD5X, which I own.

    The only other player I'd consider near that price would be the breathtakingly musical Rega Saturn; for $2,500, a real value.
     
  9. FastEddy

    FastEddy Member

    Location:
    North Californie
    " ... The Rega Saturn is available, and is alive and well. There are no plans to replace it any time soon. There are no plans to build a "universal" player. ..."

    My appologies to Rega and to anyone who may have misunderstood = all my fault. (My information was that Rega was updating their player to become a "universal" in the near future, but, then this may be just a rumor.)
     
  10. visprashyana

    visprashyana New Member

    Location:
    Chicago
    Gosh, I don't know what I would do with the $30k Naim cd player that doesn't play DVD-A's! In reality, it doesn't need to because it already smokes the DVD-A with a 16 bit cd.
     
  11. The original poster is asking for the best sounding dedicated CD player <$5,000.

    My point is there are many excellent sounding CD players from unheard high-end manufacturers that we are not aware of.
    It's not just Naim, Rega or Meridian and some of the unheard ones are even better.
     
  12. Jim G.

    Jim G. Geezer with a nice stereo!

    Audio Research CD3 mkII is unbelievable! You owe your self a listen!
     
  13. TONEPUB

    TONEPUB Forum Resident

    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    Yes, my son this is true.....

    But the CD5i is a nice little player for 1500 bucks too!
     
  14. bhazen

    bhazen Giles Martin fan!

    Location:
    Newcastle, WA
    For sheer rockingness, the CD5i is all you need! That modestly-priced (for Naim, anyway) little sucker has such grip...
     
  15. motorcitydave

    motorcitydave Enlightened Rogue In Memoriam

    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV, USA
    What is so special about the naim cd players...I'm curious.
     
  16. bhazen

    bhazen Giles Martin fan!

    Location:
    Newcastle, WA
    They Rock!

    Probably better answered by Jeff or one of the other knowledgeable gear experts, but here goes: Naim make very good CD decks from a sonic perspective, but hifi attributes are not viewed by the company as an end in themselves (like some U.S. high-end firms I shan't name seem to be). Musical involvement is what Naim is always concerned with; the old PRaT (Pace, Rhythm and Timing) cohesion that the U.K. audio scene got onto years ago. Naim players are perhaps not the absolute last word in 3-D imaging, tone colour or whatever*, but what they do, from the CD5i to the CD555, is extract as much of the groove, emotion, and heart of the music that's there on the disc as possible (at their price point). They rock, that's what I'd say. Some other CD machines show you what a recording sounds like; a Naim CD deck communicates what it means. The emotion and motivation behind the recording - as a musician (and listener), that's what I want revealed. Naim gets this.

    Cheers,
    Bruce

    *Although they are no slouches in the "round-earth" qualities, either; the CDX2, CDS3 and (particularly) the CD555 are breathtakingly rich, transparent and cinematic in their presentation when partnered with the appropriate downstream kit.
     
  17. The following two groups of CD players were chosen in different hi-fi magazine publications all over the world as their Editor's Choices in the $2,500 to $6,000 price range. (Please see post #54)

    Note: Don't limit your choices to the Meridians, Naims and the Regas.

    If you like your CD's to sound like vinyls, you should consider the following dedicated high-end CD players:

    Resolution Audio opus 21

    Audionet ART G2

    Densen B-400XS

    Sugden Masterclass PDT-4

    Tube Technology Fusion CD64

    Rega Saturn

    Otherwise, you should choose these superb models:

    Naim CDX2

    Gamut CD3

    Gamut CD1

    Meridian G08
     
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  19. bhazen

    bhazen Giles Martin fan!

    Location:
    Newcastle, WA
    In addition to the well-considered list AudiophilePhil posted above (Densen and Sugden are great stuff), I'd also consider the current Primare CD31 (reviewed recently on the Stereophile website), an exceptionally well-made deck that sings nicely, well into the same price range as the thread author specified.
     

  20. Another good choice from a Danish manufacturer.
    I also like their I30 integrated amp. and the preamp/amp combo PRE30/A32.

    Denmark is fastly becoming popular in the hi-fi world.

    Other Danish brands include:

    Dali speakers
    GamuT amplifiers and CD players
     
  21. motorcitydave

    motorcitydave Enlightened Rogue In Memoriam

    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV, USA

    I see. Interesting. Thanks for the review...
     
  22. bhazen

    bhazen Giles Martin fan!

    Location:
    Newcastle, WA
    You're welcome; but I'd call my post an opinion, not a review. Also, I'm a long-time Naim customer (read: member of the cult) and fan, not the most objective source!:D YMMV, and all that.
     
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