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

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

  1. arcamsono

    arcamsono Forum Resident

    Nothing wrong with Onkyo.
  2. shug4476

    shug4476 Nullius In Verba

    I am still running my Arcam CD93T as a transport, feeding a Chord 2Qute DAC.

    If I could afford it, I'd drop for the Chord Hugo 2TT, but that is more than I'm prepared to spend. The original TT occasionally comes up at a good price, so maybe I will get lucky.

    I won't ever sell the Arcam and I have bought multiple spare parts, whilst they are still available, to ensure it can be kept going, including an entire replacement transport!
  3. Ted Torres Jr

    Ted Torres Jr Stereo Synergy for All

    SE LA
    No. My CD setup success was like a light switch...Vinyl Off-CD ON!

    From 1982 to 1988, had an introductory NAD CD player that got my CD library started. When the upgrade bug bit, I purchased a Philips CD880 player (TDA1541 As1 chip set-176.4kHz-Dual 16bit converters) that 33 years later, resides in my dedicated music room. With it's all discrete component design, durable/reliable transport and solid construction build, it is still creating Beautiful take-your-breath-away Live Music to this Day!

    My only reason to possibly perform a future upgrade would be to obtain SACD playback capability (have many hybrid CD disc), but the Phillips CD880 does recreate the redbook layer superbly!! :righton:

    Voodoo Child and LakeMountain like this.
  4. jonwoody

    jonwoody Tragically Unhip

    Washington DC
    Hi Lana that CD player is the only Sparkler gear I've heard but check with Brian Charney I believe he's based in MD.
  5. Larry I

    Larry I Forum Resident

    Washington, D.C.
    I heard the Charney room at Capital Audiofest the last two times the show was held. The sound was terrific. I suppose the CD player they employed could not be too shabby, given the sound. The Charney room employed reasonably priced gear, probably to highlight what is possible given that their speakers are also very reasonably priced for their level of performance.
    jonwoody likes this.
  6. Francois1968

    Francois1968 Forum Resident

    -Meridian 588 for redbook CD
    -Oppo BDP 83 for SACD, DVD and Blu Ray
    -Rega DAC-R, mostly used when recordings are mediocre or plain bad. This DAC is more forgiving than the Meridian and Oppo.
    mjcmt likes this.
  7. csgreene

    csgreene Forum Resident

    Idaho, USA
    I have three CD players, all listed in my profile. I'm completely happy with all of them so the idea of upgrading is really not anything I think or worry about. Even my ancient JVC sounds great in my little library system. But I'm not an audiophile and haven't even heard of most of the products you guys are talking about. Point being, I'm happy with what I've got already.
    Dred and mjcmt like this.
  8. Tony C.

    Tony C. Forum Resident

    Apparently you haven't heard that the grass is always greener on the other side. What are you, from Idaho or something? :D
    Dred, csgreene and Rich-n-Roll like this.
  9. Rich-n-Roll

    Rich-n-Roll Forum Resident

    Washington State
    Wow ! all these highend players "my nothing left to be desired cd setup" consist of a Teac CDP-650 (new) not a top of line like some mentioned here, but has really good Dac section (Burr-Brown) I buffer it through a tube pre-amp and I get... dare I say as close to a vinyl listening experience one can get minus pop and crackle
  10. Rich-n-Roll

    Rich-n-Roll Forum Resident

    Washington State
    That is all that matters, is that it works for you
  11. csgreene

    csgreene Forum Resident

    Idaho, USA
    It's not that I don't look but the differences between what I own and stuff that's 3-4 times the price is too subtle for me to hear so as to justify the worth of the investment. But that's been my approach to audio since forever. Sad not to have golden ears... ;)
    mjcmt and Tony C. like this.
  12. Tony C.

    Tony C. Forum Resident

    On a more serious note, I admire your restraint. Although I am not one who constantly changes or upgrades, I have purchased plenty of components over the years, and am well aware of the law of diminishing returns. Thus far I have managed to avoid the leap to something very expensive, and with relatively little to show for it, but coincidentally I am considering an amplifier change that could possibly fall into that category. :winkgrin:

    I'll let readers know in a few weeks!
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2021 at 1:30 PM
  13. Doctor Fine

    Doctor Fine Meat and Potatoes all day long

    I decided the under $1000 DAC market was owned by the top rated Denafrips ARES II so I bought one.
    It was the most natural sounding digital I have owned yet and I have a dozen DACs including a Bryston which had the tightest most precise soundstage I had ever heard and the current version costs five times what the ARES II costs.

    But the Denafrips simply smoked the Bryston in natural timbre (tonality) and that put it way above the Bryston as a performer.
    So I bought the twice as expensive Denafrips Pontus II to see how much more was left to go...
    It was just a little bit better in all respects.
    But it indicated that on my set I was getting close to maxxed out at two grand.

    This is using all my different transports/CD players/on-line streaming services and what not.
    I got similar performance out of whatever I plugged the ARES II into and ditto for its big brother the Pontus II...

    I fully realize there are better sounding DACs out there.
    But they simply CAN'T be in a completely different universe going by my experience so far.
    So I am DONE.

    By the way digital CD 44.1/16 bit STILL sounds muffled and dull.
    It still sounds WORSE to me than MP3 320k Spotify does.
    Spotify rolls off the top end right where problems begin surfacing with the filters used for 44.1/16.
    So it AVOIDS that dreadful choked up dead sound I always associate with 44.1/16.

    I HATE 44.1/16.
    It was the WORST compromise due to the extreme filtering it requires to control ringing up top.
    The Denafrips does everything possible to avoid molesting "CD sound" including NOS which at least avoids upsampling glare----but there is no cure for that awful collision of Nyquist Nightmare...

    I really only get a thrill out of 24/192 as it compares well with real natural analog off a turntable!
    So my go-to sources are naturally Spotify and Qobuz! NOT CD!
    bluemooze likes this.
  14. Tony Plachy

    Tony Plachy Senior Member

    Pleasantville, NY
    Ted, When I saw that you have many hybrid SACD's I checked out your profile and when I saw your gear and the kind of music you like my first thought was do you realize what you are missing by not being able to play the SACD layer on your hybrid SACD's. I know that you have a really good Philips player with the S1 sort of the TDA1541A chip and that it has a unique sound that has a cult following and I am not saying you should give that up. Am saying, if you can afford it, you should get a really good SACD player ( like the Marantz KI Ruby ) and give SACD a try. I am not sure what SE LA means ( southeast LA? ) but hopefully you can find a dealer or go online and get a chance to hear what SACD's on a good player sound like.
    rednedtugent and Ted Torres Jr like this.
  15. Ted Torres Jr

    Ted Torres Jr Stereo Synergy for All

    SE LA

    I have been looking to get a SACD player for the same reasons you mentioned...to "Hear" what I might be missing! Not familiar with the high end Marantz SACD players (except the SA-10), but the SA-KI Ruby does look to be a very musical source...thanks for the suggestion!!

    Yes, I reside in the heart of the Hurricane Ida coastal path. Some have more clean-up and reconstruction than others, however all family, friends and neighbors are Safe!! :righton:

  16. Ntotrar

    Ntotrar Forum Sciolist

    Tri-Cities TN
    Further update: Simply nothing left to be desired. Faultless in every way (my opinion of course).
    jusbe likes this.
  17. shakesomeaction

    shakesomeaction Active Member

    Robinson Mtn
    bhazen likes this.
  18. Tony Plachy

    Tony Plachy Senior Member

    Pleasantville, NY
    Ted, I am glad that you and yours are safe after Ida. It seems so strange and horrible that the remnants of Ida could do so much damage here in NJ and NY. According to the the US weather service the three highest death totals from Ida were 33 deaths were in Louisiana, 30 in New Jersey, and 18 in New York. The morning after Ida came through here people woke up in shock and horror as to how bad it was. :cry:
    Ted Torres Jr likes this.
  19. Ted Torres Jr

    Ted Torres Jr Stereo Synergy for All

    SE LA
    Thanks Tony,

    Hope all of your F-F-N also fared well! Back in 04' I flew over Hurricane Ivan to attend a wedding/reception in Allentown. That night, while preparing the home/property for the next evenings celebration, Ivan visited and flooded many of the low lying areas in the Lee High Valley! Thankfully, we were high and dry and the reception was a big success! With these tropical systems, Coastal areas get hammered with the wind and surge while further away, flooding becomes a nightmare!!

    Back-on-topic...the Marantz N30 also looks promising as it offers Network Streaming capabilities (new to me), but I'm also being seduced by the reviews and commentaries of the SA-KI Ruby's Resounding Sonic Attributes (very close to the SA-10)...any further comments or suggestions will be appreciated! :help:

    As of next week, I'll be replacing all of my MP interconnects with MA4s and Sub4 cabling from Morrow Audio, thus will be breaking-in/testing/evaluating any sonic differences/improvements before getting serious with a SACD player purchase!! :uhhuh:

  20. Morbius

    Morbius Forum Resident

    Brookline, MA
    My McIntosh MCT80 SACD/CD transport has a proprietary connection to the modular 8 channel, 32 bit quad balanced DXD/DSD compatible DAC installed in my McIntosh MA5300 integrated amplifier. For SACD and CD it's the best digital playback I've ever heard. It exploits the great sound that CD has always been capable of and shines with single layer and Hybrid SACDs and is an outstanding compliment to my vinyl playback which if I hadn't already experienced how good my vinyl front end is might be my favorite source.
    PATB and Ted Torres Jr like this.
  21. LeBud

    LeBud Born to be mild

    Recently upgraded from a Marantz CD6006 to a Gamut CD1 MkII .
    I wasn't expecting such a big difference in the sound, the Gamut is so much more natural sounding, more detailed and yet still smooth ...
    it really showed me what a good CD player can bring to the table.

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