cd player for $250-$300?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Talal, Feb 28, 2002.

  1. Talal

    Talal Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm looking for a good cd player in the 250-300 dollar range.

    It really just has to play CDs well. I don't need a recorder.

    A CD changer is fine, but I really want the quality of the sound to be good.

    Any suggestions?
     
  2. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Talal, here are a few players to consider in your price range:

    * Sony CDP-CA70ES five-disc carousel changer ($215-300)

    * Marantz CC4000 five-disc carousel changer ($250)

    * Denon DCM-370 five-disc carousel changer ($250-300)

    * Cambridge Audio D300SE single-disc player ($300)

    * Sony SCD-CE775 five-disc carousel changer; plays stereo and multi-channel SACDs as well as CDs (ca. $300 by mail)

    I own the Denon changer and have listened to the other changers at one point or another. The Denon is a good changer for the money. I feel the sound is quite warm for the price. Build quality is average, as the carousel drawer is a bit clunky. It has an HDCD decoder, if that matters to you. The Marantz and Sony ES changers are good players as well. You will probably find that the Marantz changer sounds warmer than the Sony, but that the Sony offers more detail. Both offer better build quality than the Denon changer, and the carousel mechanism on the Marantz unit is excellent (fast and smooth). I feel the 'CE775 is lacking as a CD player, but you do get SACD playback (stereo and multi-channel), which is a huge bonus. Some people on this site and Audio Asylum have responded favorably to the 'CE775 as a CD player, so give it a listen. Finally, I have not listened to the Cambridge Audio single-disc player, but their players generally get good reviews.

    Oh, you might also look at the NAD C 521 single-disc player and the NAD 523 carousel changer. You might be able to find the C 521 for $300, but the 523 will likely run you a bit more. Both players are well regarded.
     
  3. Thomas_Berg

    Thomas_Berg Screenwriter

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    i think you might be able to find a used Rotel CD player in this range. www.audiogon.com for all used A/V gear.
    i personally own the Marantz CC-4000 and love it! great sound, and an amazingly good disc carousel. i like it. [​IMG]
     
  4. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Thomas, I was only considering new players. If one doesn't mind buying used, there are some real bargains out there. For example, the Pioneer Elite PD-65 often sells for $350 on Audiogon. It's a wonderful player at that price.
     
  5. Eujin

    Eujin Supporting Actor

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    Give the NAD 521 and 541 a listen. I have the 521 and I think it's a wonderful player. The 541 is similar but will do HDCD. The only downside with the 521 is that there is no power on/off on the remote and it has a disc tray that can sound a little noisy. The other player I flirted with getting was the Rega Planet 2000, but at more than double the street price, I decided to wait. I'm still waiting. If that statement surprises you, it should. I'm just as surprised after more than a year with the 521.
     
  6. Talal

    Talal Stunt Coordinator

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    Well, I've done a bit of research, and here's my list right now...

    All i really want now is good CD playing.. SACD is not something I want right now, so that puts that to rest.

    the players I've narrowed down to are the Marantz CC4000, the Denon DCM-370 , and the NAD 521.

    Considering that I'm looking for the best sound to come out of a pair of JBL S38s, what would your recommendations be?

    I'm still looking for my stereo receiver, but it will most likely be an onkyo or pioneer.

    Also, about the Marantz, should I get the OSE version? I read that it's better, but can't find where to buy it.

    So I guess it comes down to sound quality.. which of these players gives the best sound? Does teh NAD posses sound good enough to pass on the 5-disc capability of the marantz and denon?

    I know there are too many questions, but this is my first purchase.. so I want to make it right.. On top of that.. stores around me don't carry these models.

    Thanks again to all those helping...
     
  7. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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    If SACD wasn't a priority I would seriously look at the Marantz changers having owned one previously. IMO its transport quality was head and shoulders above the comparable models. I really enjoyed its sound quality as well...very warm and musical.
     
  8. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Talal, I still highly recommend that you look at NAD integrated amps, especially in comparison to stereo amps from Onkyo and Pioneer.
     
  9. Talal

    Talal Stunt Coordinator

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    Sorry about that, Keith, I didn't see that post before posting here.

    Your suggestion about the amp is something I didn't even think about, so I posted a newbie-like topic in the amps/receiver forum...

    MY budget for the whole thing is really around $850-$900 max.

    Yes, I'm getting the S38s for $300.

    and I also wonder which cd player you would choose from the last post I made.

    Then the question of the receiver/amp... is stil up in the air...
     
  10. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Talal, regarding the CD players, I have not compared them side-by-side. The Marantz changer is known for a smooth sound, so you may find that it competes with the NAD 521. If so grab the changer. As I said in another post, the carousel mechanism on Marantz changers is excellent. I like the sound of the Denon changer for the money, but the build quality lets it down. If you can up your budget a bit, definitely go with the Marantz CC4000OSE over the CC4000. Given a budget of $900, here is a nice system, in my opinion:

    JBL S38s: $300

    NAD C 350 integrated amp: $325 (Sound City)

    Marantz CC4000: $250

    The above system comes to $875, so you are in the ballpark. I still might consider other options for speakers, but that's just me. Again, for a little more money you can consider the NAD C 370 integrated amp and/or the Marantz CC4000OSE changer.
     
  11. anthony_b

    anthony_b Screenwriter

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    Marantz cc-3000 $180...same as the 4000 without the headphone jack...
     

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