Question CD player advice for new system

TheHenster

Novice Member
Hi guys,

I have recently made my first serious investment in the audio universe to start building a proper system. After a fair bit of reading reviews, auditioning and scouting around various audio shops, with my given budget, I finally decided on the Tannoy revolution XT8F's powered by the Rega elicit r. On the amplification side, the naim nait xs2 and Roksan K3 were close contenders but I personally preferred the more transparent sound of the Rega and feel it is a better amplifier. The closest contender speaker wise were the Fyne audio f502's which are undoubtedly and excellent speaker, but the Tannoys sounded notably better to me on the elicit r. There was a presence, clarity and depth with the Tannoys which I just didn't feel with the 502's. Speaker cabling is chord clearway with audioquest golden gate RCA connection for CD player. Anyway, this is now the chosen amp and speaker combo which I am very pleased with.

I focused on using my budget for amp and speakers as I have been able to use my Marantz Cd67 special edition for spinning discs. It's a very good CD player especially considering it is 20 or so years old and cost a packet in it's day. This still does show. Has always been noted for being a reasonably neutral and clear player but does have a tendency to lack a bit off overall bass and punch which I am certainly feeling. The transparency and clarity of the system is exposing the signature and character of the 67se. With some heavy rock or bass heavy tracks etc at higher volume levels, yes, the bass is capable of lifting plaster from walls, but is lacking with quite a few recordings at lower to mid volumes. It's getting me by shall we say.. I mostly auditioned the elicit with the Saturn r player which was absolutely outstanding and lacked nothing I'm my opinion, but budget will not currently accommodate a £1700 spinner!

So... I'm looking for some experienced advice on a great CD player to join this system. Have considered the Marantz CD6006 which is currently an option and won't involve the wife removing my testicles. It may fix the issue, but again I'm worried that a £300 spinner just isn't going to really let the system shine, certainly not as it did with the Saturn. Think I want to go with a used player and get more bang for my bucks. Could maybe stretch to a transport and dac. Looking to spend a few hundred, possibly up to a grand. Have been looking at Naim, Cyrus and Meridian as possible options but am open to anything really. What players can you guys recommend and why? Now that I have the system, I obviously can't just keep buying players to solely audition them on this setup! Has anyone here upgraded from the 67se with some light they can shine on this?

I absolutely love the forward and engaging sound of the Tannoys with the lively but well balanced and controlled Rega. Timing, texture, clarity and warmth is superb. This amp really is making the speakers deliver now that everything is starting to run in properly. Even being fed with the Marantz a poor quality recording is instantly exposed, just as a good one will sound fabulous. Im hearing new things in tracks that I havent heard in 30 years. I definitely tend to prefer a forward and more engaging sound, not a fan of laid back or 'well behaved sound. It is by no means detail I am lacking here, quite the opposite, just some punch and grunt.

Appreciate any time you may have to steer me in a better direction and give some ideas!
 
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gibbsy

Moderator
I own both a Marantz cd6006 and the sa8005. Both share the same DAC, a Cirrus Logic, but both are different in performance. It's often said the SACD players such as the sa8005 can extract more from a standard CD than a bare CD player. I can concur with this thinking as when both have been connected to my Elicit-R the sa8005 brings out more detail, better soundstage and instrumental separation than it's cheaper stable mate.

That's not to say the 6006 is a poor relative and is a very good player indeed, certainly well built and for the asking price well worth the investment. My 6006 is usually sitting in my conservatory and just used with headphones but for the last couple of weeks it was with the Elicit as unfortunately the 8005 had to go in a warranty repair and has only been back in the cabinet since Friday afternoon. Hence the comparison between the two is very fresh in my mind.

I also listened to a Cyrus player, not sure of the model, connected to Rega Elex-R to audition a Lehmann Linear headphone amp last year. Very good sound quality to it, very rounded, more depth than the 6006, good detail.

The Denon DCD1600 is a very similar beast to the 8005 being almost the same under the skin and sharing much of the same parts. Perhaps that should make your list.

Denon DCD-1600NE CD Player
 

TheHenster

Novice Member
Thanks gibbsy,
Well, as you have had considerable experience with the 6006 and 8005 with a fresh comparison to boot, the 8005 is certainly higher in the list now. From what you have said the 8005 would seem to have a real and noticeable improvement for the not too massive increase in price. Marantz is a lot more prevalent than Denon with the audio stores around here, so much less chance to audition it but is also now on the list. I like the idea of the USB feature on the marantz. Is it strictly iPhone or iPod compatible? Do you use it at all?
 

gibbsy

Moderator
I have absolutely no idea about iPhones or anything to do with streaming, too 21st century for me. The 8005 is now only available used or maybe ex-display as it is out of production, that's why I mentioned the Denon 1600.

I'm using KEF R300s with the Elicit, perfect for the size of my room. For me it's a match made in heaven, bass control is beautiful, fast and agile, a bass guitar's notes are just that, notes, not a sound that blends into each other. I listen to a lot of singer songwriters and the KEF's ability with the shrill high notes produced by the Joni Mitchell on her wonderful Blue album is stunning. The Elicit and the KEFs are also very detailed at low volume.

It's the old R Series that I have which are heavily discounted at Peter Tyson whilst stocks last. Great speakers off axis. I also have the Elicit integrated into my surround sound via the HT by-pass alongside a Denon X6200. Looking at floorstanders the R500s are also a steal.

KEF R300 Bookshelf Speakers
https://petertyson.co.uk/kef-r500-floorstanding-speakers-r500
 

nomore landings

Active Member
Hi Thehenster,

Agree with Gibbsy, the Sa8005 is a step up from the budget models, having been built in Japan in their Reference quality facility. If you could stretch to the new Sa8006, that would also cover most future streaming options - no expensive extra box & cables.

I upgraded to the SA14S1se from the 8005, but used the front "ipod optimised" usb input on both as shown in the blurry photo. Streaming either Tidal or Radio Paradise FLAC/ALAC lossless sounds superb to my ears. The marantz remote stop/play/skip buttons control the ipod thus connected - skipping radio tracks just bliss! A smart TV is connected via optical and a squeezebox via coax. A true digital hub.

As Gibbsy says, the same CL chip used, but a SACD transport is a different beast - 4.7 GB vs 700MB- shorter wave length and focus laser, DSD enabled DAC and probably enhanced buffering, clocking, filtering and HDAM modules. The SA8005 was a steal when reduced from £1000 to £600.
 

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DT79

Distinguished Member
If you could stretch to the new Sa8006, that would also cover most future streaming options

Is that definitely a thing and do you know how much it will be? I searched but couldn’t find anything.

@gibbsy have you compared the SA8005 and Pioneer LX500 for CD and SACD playback at all?

I was thinking that I’d replace my Marantz UD7007 with a like for like device that adds UHD and app control for streaming, and if I did that I think I’d go for the Pioneer. However recently I’ve been feeling like the CD side of my system (and SACD albeit I only have a few), is a bit of an itch that needs scratching and given that TV and Hi-Fi are actually separate in our lounge, I might go for a separate SACD player leaving the UD7007 on pure blu-ray duties and upgrade to a cheap UHD player when the time comes.

If I went that route an SA8006 which also has network capabilities and app control would be ideal.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
If I went that route an SA8006 which also has network capabilities and app control would be ideal.
The Sa8006 is not SACD capable.

The Pioneer is pretty good at SACD at 5.1, although I've very few that are actually 5.1, more are from old quad recordings and basically 4.1 (Moody Blues) and I still prefer good old fashioned stereo, even on SACD. As an one box solution for the LX500 is a class act. I'll get round to connecting it by RCA to my Elicit one day and use it in it's direct mode. For blu ray audio and blu ray live video concerts it's superb. Hans Zimmer Live in Prague is stunning.

I love the Marantz, especially when I picked it up for a paltry £535 from the now defunct Audible Fidelity. Having the Marantz connected to just the Elicit (and Lehmann headphone amp) means not having to fire up my receiver which the LX500 requires.
 

TheHenster

Novice Member
Hi guys,

Appreciate the responses here, but just to clarify things;

I am in no way looking to gear or future-proof my next CD player towards streaming, apps or connectivity etc. It is intended solely for spinning CDs through an amplifier and two speakers. I would rather focus my budget on a single unit dedicated to playing just CDs rather than try and incorporate superfluous features which I do not need, hence my additional consideration of a used higher end transport and dac etc. If the player happens to have SACD capability and can genuinely offer improved playback of my traditional CDs then I will consider it as I don't have any SACDs. I'm a firm believer that spending more on a unit that is dedicated to one task, generally speaking, yields better results than one that tries to do more. In essence, I'm with you @gibbsy, I want to keep things simple.
 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
...then I’d consider this and use your cds digital output for now.

Rega DAC | eBay

And then one of these transports perhaps.

Cambridge Audio CXC (Black)



Or if you must have an all in one then certainly consider Naim.

Naim Audio CD5i CD Player @ HI-FI PRIME | eBay

MF

Musical Fidelity A3.2 Upsampling 24 Bit Hi-Fi CD Player with Remote inc Warranty | eBay

Creek

CREEK EVO CD PLAYER CLASSIC QUALITY BUILT CD PLAYER MADE IN UK VGC VGWO USED... | eBay

And of course Rega themselves makes sense.

Rega Apollo R (2017 Model) CD Player | Audio Specialists since 1974

And there’s this original Saturn close to budget

rega saturn cd player | eBay
 
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Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
Ps, I’ve recently sold my own 67SE after about a hundred years, though I haven’t used it for around ten of those. Great big heavy machines and by no means disgraced today.

But a 6006 would be a sideways step...

As you so loved the Saturn then I’d think the Rega Apollo R player makes most sense.

Or the equivalent dac?

Rega DAC-R Digital to Analogue Converter | Lintone Audio | Rega | Audio Specialists since 1974

Wait a month or two and then sneak in the Cambridge transport and you’re set for a decade or so of mighty fine music.
 
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dollag

Well-known Member
Hi guys,

Appreciate the responses here, but just to clarify things;

I am in no way looking to gear or future-proof my next CD player towards streaming, apps or connectivity etc. It is intended solely for spinning CDs through an amplifier and two speakers. I would rather focus my budget on a single unit dedicated to playing just CDs rather than try and incorporate superfluous features which I do not need, hence my additional consideration of a used higher end transport and dac etc. If the player happens to have SACD capability and can genuinely offer improved playback of my traditional CDs then I will consider it as I don't have any SACDs. I'm a firm believer that spending more on a unit that is dedicated to one task, generally speaking, yields better results than one that tries to do more. In essence, I'm with you @gibbsy, I want to keep things simple.


Have you considered getting a transport with an external dac?
 

nomore landings

Active Member
Hi guys,

Appreciate the responses here, but just to clarify things;

I am in no way looking to gear or future-proof my next CD player towards streaming, apps or connectivity etc. It is intended solely for spinning CDs through an amplifier and two speakers. I would rather focus my budget on a single unit dedicated to playing just CDs rather than try and incorporate superfluous features which I do not need, hence my additional consideration of a used higher end transport and dac etc. If the player happens to have SACD capability and can genuinely offer improved playback of my traditional CDs then I will consider it as I don't have any SACDs. I'm a firm believer that spending more on a unit that is dedicated to one task, generally speaking, yields better results than one that tries to do more. In essence, I'm with you @gibbsy, I want to keep things simple.
Agree. I started collecting SACDs 15 years ago with the purchase of a Pioneer UDP. Now have the Marantz UD7007 & Denon x6200 for Av, but bar a few BluRay Audio&Video discs now listen to music inc SACD exclusively in stereo on the HIFI.
My previous post was to answer your question:
"I like the idea of the USB feature on the marantz. Is it strictly iPhone or iPod compatible? Do you use it at all?",
but agree, a stand alone CD player is the way to go and I had not checked out the specs of the SA8006, no SACD or MQA which could be an issue in the future. The jury is still out.
 
I would have a listen to a Cyrus CDi, exception player for the money.
 

HenryHonda

Active Member
To follow-up on Gibbsy's posts.... I currently have the Denon DCD-1600NE on 14-day audition. It is playing into my system which includes the Rega Elex-R - feeding into a pair of Neat Motive SX1s via Linn K200 speaker cable's.

I've connected both directly (Chord Clearway RCAs), and digital coax (Chord Clearway) out via my OPPO Sonica DAC to the Elex-R (via Chord Clearway RCAs).

This is only my second full day - need to run-in the 1600 (whole disc repeat overnight) - but I currently have the following observations:

- compared to my old Arcam CD82, via Sonica DAC, I can fully agree with Gibbsy that the 1600 appears to extract much more from a standard Redbook CD when feeding directly into my Elex-R. If I have to describe the difference, the sound is more 'meaty and the depth of field and placement of instruments is improved. At the same time, the high frequencies - whilst sharply defined - are not at all bright or tiring.

- I have to say that, currently, I prefer the sound via the DACs (PCM1795) and analogue processing in the 1600 rather than that via the OPPO Sonica DAC or, indeed, the CD82 via the Sonica DAC.

- however, with poorly 'remastered' material (think Alan Parsons Project remasters etc)', this machine takes no prisoners. It reveals poor mastering in all it's gory, excruciatingly bright detail. Certainly not the machine's fault though...

- however, currently, I am not as impressed by the SACD playback... Perhaps it's because I am just not used to the higher dynamic range and much extended frequency range of SACDs, or that some of the SACDs I own were less than properly mastered - but the overall sense is of a bright and somewhat tiring sound. Yes, there is noticeably more detail there, but currently not enjoyable. Perhaps improving after some serious running-In...

I was always keen to get hold of a CDP that was solidly built - certainly not one with a generic computer drive. The build of the 1600 is impressively solid, and includes a very robust, in-house designed Denon SVH drive - with a rigid disc tray, and quiet mechanism.

See my thread, where I will report my audition findings :)
 
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