Best CDP to buy?

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Kevin Biller, Mar 30, 2003.

  1. Kevin Biller

    Kevin Biller Agent

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    I have been looking for while as to the best CDP to buy. I have set an arbitary limit of about $1000 CAN or $700US as my price limit. I been considering the following players from the used market as I think they will give the best bang for the buck: Classe CDP .5, Music Fidelity A3, and the Jolida JD100A. The Music Hall player would also meet my budget, even a mod one.

    I have only listened to the Classe so far. As these are all used, a direct comparison would be all but impossible. Has anyone had any experience with these players? I would appreciate any insite. Thanks.[​IMG]
     
  2. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Kevin, those are all good candidates. You should also be able to find a used Rega Planet 2000 for around $700 USD. I don't really like the sound of the Planet 2000 (too warm), but you might. A new player to consider is the Ah! Njoe Tjoeb 4000 (www.upscaleaudio.com). Although I just sold mine, it's a good player for the money.

    Something else to consider, though a bit different than the models you have listed, is the Sony SCD-C555ES SACD/CD changer. It was discontinued some months back, but you might be able to find a used one. At the time dealers were blowing it out, you could get one in the US for $600-800 USD. It's a great CD player, plus it plays stereo and multi-channel SACDs. The build quality is excellent too.
     
  3. Seth V

    Seth V Stunt Coordinator

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  4. DanaA

    DanaA Screenwriter

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    And, of course, I'm going to recommend that you audition the Arcam 72T and hope that you can talk the dealer down from list to your price range.
     
  5. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Dana, the minute I saw you as the last to reply to this thread, I knew there would be a recommendation for Arcam ([​IMG]), and I couldn't believe I failed to mention Arcam. Rotel should also be on anyone's short list.
     
  6. DanaA

    DanaA Screenwriter

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    Huh??? Me predictable. [​IMG] Anyway, don't think I didn't talk to my wife about the Ah player you just sold. That was a very tempting price. Never heard the player, but it gets rave reviews everywhere. And, I'm considering redoing my living room system with a pure two channel system now that my bedroom HT is complete. But, can you believe it, we owe a lot on taxes this time around. Ughhh. [​IMG]
     
  7. Kevin Biller

    Kevin Biller Agent

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    I am curious about the Ah! Njoe Tjoeb 4000. Has any purchased/listened to it vs some of the other players I mentioned. Again the problem is these are used players and it would be difficult if not impossible to compare many of these directly. Any insite would be appreciated.
     
  8. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Kevin,

    I have not compared the Ah! to the players you mentioned. It is a very good player at its price point, however.


    Dana,

    Well, the Ah! is a current player, so you could always get a new unit at the right time. Also, you may find other used units on eBay or www.audiogon.com .
     
  9. Hank Frankenberg

    Hank Frankenberg Cinematographer

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    I've read good things about the Jolida.
     
  10. Scott_N

    Scott_N Second Unit

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    The Arcam 72T is the best in that price range IMO.
     
  11. Kevin Biller

    Kevin Biller Agent

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    Well Guys,

    I am pulling the tigger on a used Arcam 72T this weekend. I have been watching the used market for monthes for the right deal. I almost bought the Classe .5, but it was black in color (my gear is silver) and its DAC is only a 20 bit.

    Based on what I have read on the Arcam, and the fact that it is still a current model, it should be safe. If I am not happy with it, I will be able to get back my purchase price.

    I will post a comparison at a latter date comparing it to my current Denon 370 changer.
     
  12. Scott_N

    Scott_N Second Unit

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    I doubt you will be unhappy with the Arcam. Very nice player for the money.
     
  13. DanaA

    DanaA Screenwriter

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    Congratulations Kevin,

    Hope you enjoy your 72T as much as I do. I'd make sure that I used the DAC's on the 72T on analog feed first, then compare them to the DAC's on the pre-pro/receiver you're using. I found that the DAC's on the Arcam easily bested the route of feeding them through my Rotel via digital coax. Only in one instance, that being a particular HDCD reference recording of Copeland's Fanfare for the Common Man, did the Rotel outperform the Arcam. On other HDCD's, the Arcam always won out. The Rotel, by the way, decodes HDCD, whereas the Arcam doesn't, unless you upgrade, but that is costly.

    In a way, I'm glad you're buying a used one. I bought new analog cables when I got my Arcam. Not sure which one was breaking in, but the sound did become more refined after many hours of break in.
     
  14. Kevin Biller

    Kevin Biller Agent

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    Here are some of my initial impressions on the change to the Arcam:

    I have left my Denon (DCM 370) hooked up my intergrated amp so I was flipping back and forth between the arcam and the denon. I will still use the denon as it is nice to have a changer to leave play for background music. Very obvious difference in sound though . For one the arcam is much 'blacker' or much quieter noise floor. The Denon in comparison almost sounds like the treble is turned up. Another big difference is the improvement in imaging, focus and depth. To my ears anyways the arcam pinpointed instrument and voices more precisely vs the denon. Lastly there is definitely more detail present. For example some guitar pucks sounded much more obvious and noticable on the arcam than on the denon.

    My comparison thus far has been brief but I am very happy that there is such a noticable improvement. I must admit I was a bit worried that the 2 players would be more similar as the both use similar Burr Browns DACs. Obviousily though there is more in player design than the DAC design. I purposely picked CD's tonight that I really didn't like the sound of before on the Denon. They are definitely much more enjoyable on the arcam. I will give it a more thorough listen over the next few week before I pass final judgement, but my initial impression is definitely a big thumbs up.

    If I can make a comparison, the improvement in sound with this CDP is more noticeable than my change to the Classe intergrated (from my receiver). The fact that I can hear this much of difference now with only B&W 602's bodes well for my next upgrade to Nautilus 805's. My 602's have never sounded so good. I just might put off the speaker upgrade a little longer.
     

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