What is your “nothing left to be desired” CD set up?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by LakeMountain, May 27, 2021.

  1. jonwoody

    jonwoody Tragically Unhip

    Location:
    Washington DC
    I heard that Sparkler player in the Charney Audio room at Cap Audiofest once the whole system sounded fantastic so it certainly wasn't letting down the side at all and looked great. I think Charney may actually retail the Sparkler also.
     
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  2. Halloween_Jack

    Halloween_Jack Forum Resident

    Location:
    Hampshire, UK
    Currently running the venerable Meridian CD 200 transport into a Chord Hugo TT (subjectively I FAR preferred this to the TT2 and Benchmark DAC3 HGC both of which I owned also). If I ever come into some serious money I'd still keep the Meridian (love it's timeless looks and those Philips swing-arm mechs are still the business) but get a Chord Dave and M-Scaler (after a demo first!). But I'm really perfectly happy with the TT :)
     
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  3. MTB Vince

    MTB Vince Forum Resident

    Jay's Audio CDT2 MkII and a PS Audio Directstream DAC connected over I2S with a Revelation Audio Labs HDMI/I2S cable. I would describe my CD replay as being on par with my vinyl set up. As things stand, it depends on the original recording and the mastering as to whether a given recording sounds better on CD vs vinyl or visa versa.

    [​IMG]
     
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  4. Benzion

    Benzion "Cogito, ergo sum" Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    I own a Sparkler CDP with Philips TD-1543 NOS DAC chip, so - I'm already in a pretty good shape.

    To have "nothing left to be desired" I'd want to own three more units: Primare CD32 (bought one, lost by FDX en route, none to be found now), Hegel Mohican (too expensive plus none to be found), and, finally, Naim CD5 Si (limited supply available, I am debating with myself if I need another CDP for $1,700).

    Someone here mentioned the Lector unit - I'd be curious to hear that one, too.

    As to transports, a CEC belt-driven unit has me salivating, but there are no dealers in the US, only gray-market Japanese suppliers on eBay.

    The two DACs I'd be interested to pair it with are the Border Patrol tube-rectified DAC, and the Benchmark DAC3 B - the most basic configuration - sans all the unneeded bells & whistles.

    Plus maybe the PrimaLuna tube DAC.
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2021
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  5. jwoverho

    jwoverho Licensed Drug Dealer

    Location:
    Mobile, AL USA
    Same here, running balanced outputs into the A-S2100 amp.
     
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  6. Oatp1b1

    Oatp1b1 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sweden
    Both of my latest CD players were very much 'nothing left to be desired' although they did things a bit differently. The first one was an AMR CD777SE that sounded great but sadly had various hiccups that made it spend 10 months in repair during the year I had it.
    Luckily I could return it and got a Pioneer PD70AE instead which has got all the functionalities I need, i.e. robust playback of both CD and SACD and digital inputs. The only downside is that it doesn't have USB in so I had to use a DDC between it and my computer. Sounds great nonetheless and I hope it will run for many years to come.
     
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  7. Francois1968

    Francois1968 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Netherlands
    I am very happy with my CD and external DAC. Recently I had the chance to listen to the Hegel Mohican and in comparison I do not feel I'm missing something on my gear.After all these years I still love my Meridian 588. Even had it serviced a couple of years ago and I hope it will last another 20 years. This CD player is very revealing and with bad/mediocre recordings it is relentless. In those cases I use the more forgiving Rega DAC-R.
    The quality of playback of vinyl and any digital media very much depends on which source was used and what decisions the sound engineers did make, in case of vinyl the pressing of course matters as well.
    In my experience there is no such thing as a definitive superior format.
    I have heard vinyl that sounds like crap, even on my Rega Planar 8 and I own CD's that sound way worse than the LP.
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2021
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  8. LakeMountain

    LakeMountain Vinyl surfer Thread Starter

    Location:
    Netherlands
    Nice collection! Does your 507 Sparkler already have the D/A processor? It could be the predecessor of this model?
    [​IMG]
    If it your CDP does not have it yet , I recommend to get it. It adds an extra dimension and sparkle! Perhaps Sparkler could upgrade your player with the D/A processor or otherwise there is the standalone S512 DAC with D/A processor (~$800).
     
  9. LakeMountain

    LakeMountain Vinyl surfer Thread Starter

    Location:
    Netherlands
    Sorry, I see now on their site that S515 is a new model and that you have (the predecessor? of ) this model.
    [​IMG]
    But also here seems to be a MKII, with processor.
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2021
  10. TubeMon

    TubeMon Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Monterey, CA
    I use a heavily modified Pioneer UDP-LX500 player.
    Got the ModWright P/S & tube output upgrades and added my special touch to it.

    1) Sound dampening material throughout. (including on the transformers)
    2) Two separate power lines for the digital and analog inputs.
    3) Use of Bybees
    4) Use of ERS paper at critical points.
    5) Dab of RTV on all capacitors.
    6) Lead mass loading on top.
    7) Combination of brass cones and Sorbothane for vibration mitigation.
    8) Foundation Research LC-1 input power cables.
    9) Magnan signal cables.
    10) Tube rolled in the Amperex 6922, 1965 “USN”, White Label, Gold Pins

    All this together makes for one sweet sounding unit!
     
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  11. jonwoody

    jonwoody Tragically Unhip

    Location:
    Washington DC
    That's a nice looking player you really don't see high end Pioneer stuff like that here in the US too often.
     
  12. Gi54

    Gi54 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Scotland
    I hope you find a CD32 as can attest to its capabilities - very accurate and analytical yet warm too. The inboard dac is maybe a tad hash on trumpet trebles but as a transport via an Exogal comet dac it is superb.
     
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  13. timind

    timind phorum rezident

    I found my "nothing left to be desired" cd player about 20 years ago when I came across a Resolution Audio CD50. It convinced me digital could sound as natural as analog if the cd was properly produced. Before letting it go I contacted Jeff Kalt at Resolution Audio to see if it was possible to add a digital input to the player.
    [​IMG]
     
  14. jh901

    jh901 Forum Resident

    Sigh.

    Imagine so much more in terms of sound quality and that's where "nothing left" begins. I only just achieved a tremendous upgrade yet I can still have perspective. Wadax will wipe the floor. Heck, I'd sure hope that even dCS Bartok would outpace my Cary.

    Sincerely, there is no 15 year old competition. Heck, there have been advances in the past few years alone!
     
  15. Oatp1b1

    Oatp1b1 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sweden
    Cheers, I'm very happy with it. I've realized by browsing this forum that Pioneers higher-end products are never launched in the US for some reason. Pity since they are fairly priced for the specs they bring to the table.
     
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  16. Brother_Rael

    Brother_Rael Forum Resident

    Location:
    Scottish Borders
    The three I have right now :-

    Sony CDP-911E
    Cambridge 752BD
    Arcam CD37

    Done. Anything else is for hobby purposes and curiosity.
     
  17. siebrand

    siebrand Forum Resident

    Location:
    Italy
    my first one (the second CDP sold in my city) must have been 1983 or 1982
    Philips CD102
    [​IMG]

    my second one ADC (not sure if it was the model 2000, it was similar to this one)
    [​IMG]
    Musical Fidelity CDT-T (my most loved CDPlayer...)
    [​IMG]

    Marantz CD17MK2 (now used by my son. I bought it new, 15/16/14 years ago...) I don't know how many CD's played, here, but it still's sounding and working great)
    [​IMG]

    Labtek HiEnd.
    Great machine... played very well, but only 8 years. Now it's broken and cannot be repaired...
    [​IMG]

    Now I'm using Yamaha BD A1060 , not expensive SACD/DVD/SACD player, great sound for that price. Normally I use it for DVD & BluRay Concert films. Playes HDCD too...

    Yamaha CD-S3000, best CD Player I ever had. Especially whenn it's feeded with GOOD SACD's, really a MONSTER of a CDP.

    I could NOT live without CD's and CDplayers...
     
  18. jh901

    jh901 Forum Resident

    OP: "Nothing left to be desired" digital opinions?
    Response: See my profile.

    LOL.
     
  19. LakeMountain

    LakeMountain Vinyl surfer Thread Starter

    Location:
    Netherlands
    I understand where you coming from. “Nothing left to be desired” is certainly subjective. It was meant as being so impressed that there is no inkling that you want more - for the time being. Of course, there is always more. Clearly you are already a few steps higher on the ultimate sound ladder, taken in one step. And, I have seen here a few systems that may become very interesting for me in the future.
    It was my intent for the forum ( and myself) to hear about those exceptional components that fascinate people and may inspire others. It was not the intent to find the worlds best CD system, albeit it that it may have been mentioned here.
     
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  20. lana lang

    lana lang Well-Known Member

    Location:
    va
    anyone care to opine on the Sparkler "Ballade" CD Player and 10 watt ch Ether integrated?
     
  21. lana lang

    lana lang Well-Known Member

    Location:
    va
     
  22. Larry I

    Larry I Forum Resident

    Location:
    Washington, D.C.
    For something sanely priced, the Lector IS a terrific CD player. I will, someday soon, hear the WADAX in a friend's system. One of the very best DAC I've heard is the one made by a custom builder Aldo D'Urso (Italian) that uses the 417a tube.
     
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  23. MacGyver

    MacGyver Forum Resident

    Location:
    IRRIGON, OR. U.S.
    1988 PIONEER ELITE PD-91 the finest CDP i've yet owned, and, likely, the finest i ever will;


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  24. MonkeyMan

    MonkeyMan A man who dreams he is a butterfly?

    Accuphase DP-750
     
  25. Millimeters

    Millimeters Forum Resident

    Location:
    Norway
    I once pulled my Crane Song Hedd out of the home studio rack and hooked it up to the hifi. Transport was a Theta Miles. Best digital I have had at home, and one of the best I have heard anywhere. The Crane Song stuff is crazy good, so my nothing left to be desired CD system would be a high end transport with AES out into a Crane Song DA!
     

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