Looking for dedicated CD player suggestions....

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Randal, Jan 27, 2002.

  1. Randal

    Randal Extra

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2001
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    0
    At this point, I'm only interested in stereo CD listening. Please make some suggestions for great sounding dedicated CD players in the $200-$500 range. Also, please give your opinion on what percentage of improvement you think I will notice over the old inexpensive Sony CDP 397 that I'm using now.

    The rest of my system is Harmon Kardon 3370 amp/receiver and Mirage frx 7 speakers.
     
  2. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2000
    Messages:
    9,413
    Likes Received:
    0
    Randal, this subject has been discussed quite a bit here over the past month or so. Do a search for some relevant information. In short, a quality CD player priced around $500 should show a noticeable improvement over your Sony player in your system.
     
  3. Randal

    Randal Extra

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2001
    Messages:
    17
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks Keith. I've done just that and not only was there a lot of info, but I was the one that started the thread in the first place. Jeeeeeez, this gettin' old and senile business is for the birds.

    What I've garnered from that other long post is that I should try to find a 333ES somewhere and if that's not possible a 222ES would be OK but a 555ES would be GREAT ! Is that pretty much it in a nutshell? Oh, by the way, my receiver does NOT have a dig in.
     
  4. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2000
    Messages:
    9,413
    Likes Received:
    0
    Randal, stereo receivers don't have digital processors, so I wouldn't expect your receiver to have digital inputs. Note that to play SACDs, you have to use the analog outputs on the player anyway. The Sony ES SACD players have excellent DACs and analog output stages, so I bet you will be pleased with the sound using the analog outputs, especially when comparing one of these players to your CDP-397.

    If you can find a 'C333ES brand new, jump on it. They are nearly impossible to find now, but when they were on close-out, dealers were selling them for around $500. Given the build quality, sound with CDs and SACDs, and the five-year warranty, the 'C333ES was an absolute steal at $500. I paid $600 for mine last April, and I'm thrilled with it.

    At $600 from Oade Bros. or similar mail-order dealers (authorized), the 'C222ES is a nice player. Of course, you get multi-channel SACD, which you don't need. Still, the 'C222ES is a very good stereo player. The build quality is not up to the standard of the 'C333ES (or 'C555ES), but it is a solid machine nonetheless.

    Finally, if you are willing to spend $800, grab the 'C555ES. Oade Bros. and OneCall sell it for around $800, and J&R Music World will probably match that price. I bought mine back in October from OneCall for $824 delivered, and it is a great player too. I couldn't be happier with it for the price. It looks just like the 'C333ES and offers the same excellent build quality. It's a multi-channel SACD changer, but it excels with CDs and stereo SACDs. If you can't find the 'C333ES and are torn between the 'C222ES and 'C555ES, I would definitely buy the 'C555ES. It's built better than the 'C222ES inside and out.
     
  5. JoshS

    JoshS Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2001
    Messages:
    88
    Likes Received:
    0
    Randal,

    I will second Keith's advise on the 333 es. I have this player and am absolutly thrilled with it. I payed @$500 for it at my local Tweeter store. About two weeks ago they still had 2 demos left. Try calling around.

    Good luck,

    Josh
     
  6. Marc H

    Marc H Second Unit

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2001
    Messages:
    497
    Likes Received:
    0
    Cambridge Audio has very strong stuff in those price ranges.

    Someone recently recommended AMC to me for good, cheap cd players too but I have no experience with them.
     
  7. Thomas_Berg

    Thomas_Berg Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2001
    Messages:
    1,422
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Dallas
    Real Name:
    Thomas
    Cambridge Audio and Rotel both make excellent products that will suit your needs well.
     
  8. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2000
    Messages:
    9,413
    Likes Received:
    0
    Randal, Marc and Thomas make good points. I am biased towards the Sony ES SACD changers since I have two of them and because I feel SACD is too good to pass up. Still, there are other good redbook CD-only players to consider. The Cambridge Audio D500SE is generally well regarded, though a recent issue of What Hi*Fi? (UK) trashed it. Along those same lines (i.e., around $500), check out the NAD C 541. It's gotten good reviews in British publications.
    For around $600, check out the Ah! Njoe Tjoeb tube CD player at www.upscaleaudio.com and the new Music Hall player at www.audioadvisor.com . Truthfully, I have no experience with the Music Hall player as it is new, but it looks to be a solid player. I own the Ah! Njoe Tjoeb 4000, and it is an excellent player for the money. Note that the stock Philips tubes are nothing special, but for $60, you can buy a pair of Siemens 7308s from Upscale Audio that are excellent. I upgraded from the stock tubes to the Siemens 7308s back in August, and the difference in soundstage is incredible. By the way, removal and installation of tubes on the Ah! player is a snap (literally and figuratively).
    Rotel makes some nice players, and you might also consider a used Rega Planet (the original model, not the current Planet 2000). The Planet (and the Planet 2000, for that matter) is not everyone's cup of tea, but you may like it. Note that the Rega players are top-loaders, so consider space allotted for a new player before purchasing.
     

Share This Page