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Old reference cd player bettered by new mid range players?

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by vc820, Aug 10, 2003.

  1. vc820

    vc820
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    Hi everyone,

    Around 1992 I bought myself a Meridian 200 transport with a 203 DAC 7 digital converter. It cost around £1500 at the time and produced to my ears anyway the best sound I had heard from CD. I used it until about 1997 before selling it on. After a fair few years without a decent system I've been bitten by the Hi-fi bug again and am in the process of putting together a new system. My question is, how much will I need to spend in todays terms to at least equal or hopefully improve upon the Meridian combo. My budget for a new CD player is £500 maximum and I don't like buying second hand or ex-dem models. I had in mind either the Rega Planet or maybe an Arcam CD72T or it's replacement the CD73T. So what do you guys think.
     
  2. alexs2

    alexs2
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    Don't dismiss second-hand/exdem out of hand...there are some excellent machines out there at good prices.
    As to the original question though,the Arcams are good machines,and better I think then the Planet(to my ears anyway)....there is also the possibility of upgrading the DAC at a later date.
    Also worth a listen are the Marantz models in the price range if you want a "smoother" sound.
     
  3. puddleduck

    puddleduck
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    Consider a Marantz CD63 MKII KI - I got one mint condition second hand, and its much nice than the Marantz 6000 OSE I previouly owned.

    This used to be considered a reference player about 5 years ago...
     
  4. vc820

    vc820
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    Thanks for your input.

    I've more or less decided it's going to be between, not going too mad i.e. a Rega Planet or totally loosing my mind a Naim CD5. Auditioned both today and liked their tonal balance and rhythm and drive. The Naim bettered the Planet slightly in most areas but it's £700 more. Decisions, decisions. Still I would be happy with either one if pressed.
     
  5. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    clock your transport and it will out perform all of the above and save you a stack
     
  6. Kali

    Kali
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    beekeeper - he sold the meridian combo :)

    Again I'd say look out for second-hand bargains, I picked up my CD72t for EUR400 (£280).. absolutely mint-condition (although I cleaned the lens anyway)... its a real nice player and I'm well impressed with it, however the 82t is meant to have a nicer all-round feel if you have the budget.
     
  7. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    good point! Still say clock an older bargain ot buy a new Arcam
     
  8. vc820

    vc820
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    Hi

    I went to listen to some CD players a few days back. I listened to Arcam CD72, 82, 92. Rega Planet, Jupiter. Naim CD5. System was Naim Nait 5 plus flatcap 2 amp and some floorstanders costing £750, don't know what they were, I forgot to ask. I was largely unimpressed it didn't sound any better than my Denon DVD 2800MK2 and Denon 3802 amp. In fact I found it worse! Nearly all the CD players sounded the same, just slight differences such as one was slightly brighter, the other slightly smoother e.t.c. I wouldn't want to bet my life on which one I was listening to in a blind test. Just as I was leaving the shop I had a breif listen to a Cyrus AV setup on display, now this sounded really great. It totally blew the other system away. Only problem nearly £10,000! I'm going to have to go back and have another listen with components that are more similar to mine. That might give me a better idea. Now I'm more confused than ever.

    My system

    Denon 2800 MK2 DVD/CD player
    Denon 3802 AV amp
    Mission M74i speakers

    Various Kimber mains, interconnects and speaker cables
    Russ Andrews Purifier and silence mains filters
    Atacama Equinox stands
     
  9. alexs2

    alexs2
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    I think one of the problems is that most of the "cheaper" CD players are actually very good now,and a lot of the things that used to be found only on high end players have trickled down into mainstream units,with the result that the only audible differences are small differences in tonal quality,many of which are lost via the partnering equipment.

    It's only when you start to throw a lot of money at it that you find really big differences in sound quality,and by that I mean getting into the £2k plus bracket....or worse!
     
  10. ditton15

    ditton15
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    This thread was made for me!

    I returned to HiFi upgraditis about 12 months ago, when I was assured that children had left home and so I had time and money for prior pleasures. I first started the AV thing (DVD player; 32 inch widescreen; 5.1; etc) then started listening to CDs and with advice from the likes of GaryG, Sounddog, Michaelab, Lowrider, CJ and others, I first upgraded on the stereo amp side and then on the CD side. And at present I find myself the owner of both the Meridian combo you speak of and the Arcam you have seen/heard. Frankly, they are comparable. I bought them both s/h. Both have upgrade paths. If you see either on offer s/h then I recommend them. Having both is an embarrassment - though one that I am on the verge of resolving: I'll tell you how when the deal(s) done.

    But as to your general question: I have found that older stuff really sings. If you really want to know prices then send me a PM.
     
  11. vc820

    vc820
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    Hi Ditton

    Thanks for your input. Yes, the 200 / 203 is a lovely combo. I haven't heard better from any other digital source. Interestingly if you go to the Naim audio website forum there's plenty of people on there raving about it. A couple of people claim this combo is every bit as good as the latest Naim players which retail for several thousand pounds! Not bad for an old boy is it! I could kick myself for selling mine, totally mint condition, not a single mark, for £350 on e-bay last year. I used to have a Naim Nait 2 as my amp. Sold that last year as well on e-bay. Now I'm reading stories on the web of people saying it's one of the best sounding amps Naim ever made and that they are quite a collectors item. I think one online magazine 'stereophile' compares the Nait 2 to a mega expensive Krell amp and comes to the conclusion that they could live with it if the Krell had to go away for repair and finally I had a pair of Epos ES11 speakers which too are a bit of a collectors dream. Oh well, you live and learn! Like you say just because it's old doesn't mean it's not any good. Still I'm relatively pleased with my current Denon gear it doesn't sound half bad considering AV equipment isn't supposed to be very good in stereo. Buying mains filter units, expensive power cords, interconnects and cables has really helped it sing. However like most of use so called audiophiles hi-fi is in the blood and we just can't wait for our next fix. So that's why I thought a really good dedicated CD player could push me even closer to hi-fi Nirvana. I think after I've got my CD player I will definately consider an add on integrated amp to power my main speakers and further improve my 2 channel sound. Cheers mate.
     
  12. ditton15

    ditton15
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    ... upgraditis may have set in: I'm sniffing around a s/h Meridian 602/606 combo !!
     
  13. vc820

    vc820
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    Very good combo Ditton

    I listened to this at the same time as when I bought my 200/203. From what I remember it was slightly more transparent and cleaner sounding than the 200/203 which had a slightly warmer and fuller sound. However the 602/606 was more than twice the price something along the lines of £3000 rings a bell. Way over my budget I'm afraid.
     
  14. mick23

    mick23
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    ditton are you saying that arcam cd72 and your merdian combo sound simular. thank you
     
  15. ditton15

    ditton15
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    'suppose I am. The plan had been to get a s/h Meridian 200 Transport and then source a top-end DAC. But a CD72T became available s/h at a good price, so I went for it. It also has a good upgrade path, and when I auditioned the CD72 against the CD82 in a shop, I much preferred the CD82 - which was much less 'warm'. But that was using the shops's Arcam 85, and I have a 'cleaner' AudioLab 8000S.

    I've tried various ways of putting the CD72 against the Meridian combo, and maybe I just dont have the analytical ear to do this successfully. My way out is to go up a league, but I must confess that I could happily live with either the CD72T or the Meridian combo - they both sing.
     
  16. vc820

    vc820
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    I've finally decided on the Cyrus CD6. I bought one today although I've got to wait a few days until new stock arrives. Anyway I decided on this as it has good upgrade potential. The CD6 can be upgraded to full CD8 spec and a PSX-R power supply added later after the CD8 upgrade to push the envelope further. Really wanted the Naim, but too expensive, the Rega Planet has been out for about three years now and is probably getting a bit long in the tooth and no upgrade options. At least the CD6 is a new design. It's just had a glowing review in the latest What Hi-fi Sound And Vision mag. Comes out top when compared to the Arcam CD82T, Creek CD50, Exposure 2010, Roksan Kandy MKIII, Rotel 1072 and Talk Thunder 1.2. They are calling it their new mid range reference. Had a brief listen last week to a Cyrus AV system nearly £10,000 all told. I was really impressed The source was a Cyrus DVD player so the CD6 should if anything be even better.
     
  17. Boxinghris

    Boxinghris
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    The best CD PLyers I've heard at an affordable price are the Heart range, which are basically Marantz models with the op-amps replaced by Valve output stages and other mods.

    Very natural, smooth presentation and the range starts well within your price range.

    Failing this, the Marantz CD63 variants are also excellent at their price point and the KI Signature is the one to seek out on the used market.
     
  18. mick23

    mick23
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    not heard of heart cd players but the njoeb-tjoebe (new valve) is simular marantz chassiss with valve , starts at £450 can be upgraded with oppmamps etc rising to 24 bit upsampled model which costs approx £1000 they are sold by icon audio leicester,
     
  19. pwiles1968

    pwiles1968
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    Can you explain what you mean are you talking about external jitter correction or actually replacing the internals of an older player or all of the above, mods are still a bit new to me but I am interested as the CD player will probably also be my next upgrade.

    vc820 – of your Russ Andrews stuff what would you say has given the greatest improvement per pound? I found the power amplifiers have done wonders to my system but am always after possible improvements especially if they do not cost the earth.
     
  20. vc820

    vc820
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    Hi Pwiles

    I've found all the Russ Andrews stuff that I've bought to be very worthwhile. As you can see from the list below I've bought quite a lot of his stuff and yet I'm still eager to come back for more. Why? Because it works. If you are starting off I'd try one of his Yello power cords and a silencer mains filter. Both of these can be bought together for less than £80 and I guarantee it will be the biggest improvement you've ever had in your system for the money. I've taken a lot of flak in this and other forums for spending so much on cables and accessories but let there be no doubt it has been worthwhile. Check out his website russandrews.com and download some of the booklets. If nothing else it makes interesting reading.

    Cue the snipers!! Phut, phut, phut

    Kimber Monocle x speaker cable main pair
    Kimber Monocle x speaker cable centre channel
    Kimber 4TC Jumpers for Main and centre channel
    Kimber Kwik 12 speaker cable for surrounds
    Kimber Select 1011 interconnect
    Kimber Hero (Russ Andrews Crystal CU) interconnect
    Kimber PBJ interconnect
    Kimber DV-30 Digital interconnect
    Russ Andrews Kimber Reference power cords x 2
    Russ Andrews Yellow power cord x 2
    Russ Andrews Purifier mains filter
    Russ Andrews 6 way power extension x 2
    Russ Andrews Silencer mains filters x 3
     
  21. alexs2

    alexs2
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    Have to agree with that vc820....I also have a fair selection of Kimber(and a smaller amount of XLO)and the only reason is that it actually does provide a good increase in sound quality.

    8TC speaker cables
    PBJ and XLO interconnects
    High power mains cords
    2 distribution blocks.

    My advice would also be to start with the mains leads and distribution.
     

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