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Question Should I replace my CD player up to £1200?

CC75

Standard Member
Hi everyone,

Now the kids aren't doing quite has much mauling I've recently upgraded my speakers from MA BX2 to Kef R500's and then my amp from a Yamaha AS500 to a Rega Elicit-r. I'm really pleased with this set up which I'm using with a Yamaha CDS300, and the sound is amazing and much more enjoyable to my ears from what I had before. The CD player is working fine but at a cost of £150 new is this now a complete mismatch with my system?

I have no interest in streaming or adding a dac and using the CDS300 as transport.

I am limited to a shelf height above my amp of 100mm so it rules out quite a few including the Rega top loaders. And Marantz which I really fancied.

My hifi store suggested the Naim cd5si which is just under £1200 and said I could bring my own CD player to compare, but do I need to spend so much. I've also looked at Audiolab 8300cd, Roksan Caspian M2 (which they don't stock) and Rotel cd14. Obviously the Rotel is much cheaper than the Naim, but Would it be enough of a step up from CDS300 to show an improvement.

I'm still in the process of getting the funds together, so would like some advice of your experience of these CD players and your opinions if I need to spend as much as £1200 with this system.

Thanks in advance.
 

muljao

Well-known Member
You said yourself the sound is amazing, I just saved you 1200 quid :)
 

dollag

Well-known Member
Whats the issue with a dac and transport?
 

CC75

Standard Member
No issue really, just like a dedicated CD player. I'm stuck in my ways, didn't even no the difference until recently whilst I've been researching CD players through various forums. Not much info out there on CD players more recently with so many people streaming, so that's why I've posted.
 

dollag

Well-known Member
thats fair enough. I see the appeal in a dedicated cd player but at the same time do not like it due to it being in one box.

I take it you do not see yourself in the future streaming?

For me the way i look at it is i want the best product for that specific price point. sometimes a cd will be bloated in price but thats just my experience.

for your budget you can buy one of the best dacs out there in the chord qutest. it's a great product and imo is well priced considering it's a chrod product. no cd player will match up to it and its benchmark numbers back that up. are they audible? thats another discussion but it's nice knowing your dac is very clean in it's reproduction of the cd you playing.

personally i think naim gear is overpriced for what it is and never been blown away by any of their products but thats just me.

Roksan had their k3 dac which retailed for £1300 and has been reduced to silly money recently (£400) and doubt you'd be able to match that regardless what you buy.

Roksan Kandy K3 Charcoal Digital To Analogue Converter - DACs - AudioVisual Online - UK Home Cinema and Hifi Specialists

just giving you some alternatives to think about.

tyhe marantz cd players are well regarded also but as you stated, cannot find the space. fwiw, the chord qutest is tiny.
 

dannnielll

Well-known Member
Could i reformulate the question for you in a slightly different way?
The LP was 1950, technology
The magnetic tape was 1960s technology
The CD was 1980s technology...using an infrared light source.
The SACD was mid 1990s technology
The DVD was 1990s technology using a red light source.
The Blueray was 2010 technology using a bluelight source.
Each of these 4 optical disc technologies is backwards compatible with earlier stuff.
Streaming at high resolution is 2015 ,and a user resolution 4K etc is current technology. .
The volume production of quality equipment,tends to be just behind the state of the art. Therefore a high quality bluray player from one of the major brands will have the best reliability and longevity. .I I would be suggesting therefore a Sony X800 or similar.... Any CD player is now using very old technology, maybe even very old chips.The only people manufacturing CD players are the dirt cheap offerings from discount stores,and the uber expensive almost bespoke boutique brands . The middle range is gone. Similarly the simple dvd player market is winding up . The really expensive CD units may lose in reliability because they are no longer in volume production
No matter how expensive the CD drive and electronics, it is still limited by the encoding system. It is like comparing a superb 480 line plasma screen with a modern 2140 line 4k OLED .
Actually I would be recommending a different approach, but i am sure you would not like it... it involves transferring all the CDs as non compressed digital files, loading them into a hard drive and using the Sony ,or some other device as a hub.
 
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CC75

Standard Member
Thanks for your comments, and I've picked out a few bits of info which is really quite helpful from the last two post's. And though I don't want to be talked out of buying a CD player, both of you mention what the quality of new CD players might be like and the bloated price of some. I think I would of chose a Marantz, but we bought a new unit and the shelf height and depth wasn't quite what I was expecting. Rega also advise not to put any other gear on top of the unit, so removing the shelf and stacking isn't a option.

I'm not great with computers and don't have the time or patience to be transferring my cd's to a hard drive. I also enjoy collecting cd's and occasionally adding to my collection. I'm also thinking of adding a turntable and getting together a much smaller collection of classic (my idea of classic) lp's from over the years. I did buy a arcam miniblink with my new amp, just for convenience of using Spotify which my wife as free with her phone contract, but still prefer to choose a cd load into my player and listen.

The main point of me starting my post with 'Should I' is because £1200 is a lot to spend if I don't need to. I wold like to improve on the build quality of the Yam if I can't necessarily gain much on sound. It's a little slow at loading and the draw is quite flimsy. And another slightly annoying thing is if I power off before forgetting to close the draw, the draw doesn't auto close on power off and just stays open. I have a Onkyo CR515 upstairs (micro) and that doesn't do that.

So the Naim is almost £1200, like dollag says could this fall into the bracket of a bloated price.

The Roksan M2 is about £1000, other than WHF can't find any user reviews and maybe still bloated.

The Audiolab 8300cd is about £800 and I like the look of it being a slot loader. But again can't find many reviews.

So at just under £500 is the Rotel CD14 going to be better than the Yam CDS300.

Thanks again.
 

dollag

Well-known Member
Cambridge audio do a good transport designed to be used with a dac.

sorry i cannot comment on the other cd players as i haven't heard them

I gave up a few years ago when using a cheap dvd player with my dac and sounded a lot better than my marantz cd6003.
 

RBZ5416

Distinguished Member
Some questions:
  • Is the HiFi unit combined with TV & if so, would you like to put the TV through the amp?
  • Do you have a Bluray player in this setup & if so, what?
  • Have you actually listened to the CD6006?
  • You imply that the shelf for the CDP is above the amp. How much clearance does the amp have at the moment?
 

CC75

Standard Member
IMG_2788.JPG IMG_2787.JPG
 

adamdavid

Active Member
For what it's worth, I'd stick with what you've got and keep the £1200 or spend it on something else. As you say, your current system sounds amazing. A little while back I asked a question about whether I was missing out with my system. A wise member of these forums responded with the comment;

There is lo-fi and hi-fi and somewhere in the middle there is satis-fi.

If you're happy with the current sound your getting, stick with it.
 

dollag

Well-known Member
The op has a few niggles with the current player that are not ruining the experience but could be improved. I can relate to that.

NAD C 538 CD Player

seems like a solid player and a decent dac chip, although that doesnt mean it's good.
 

CC75

Standard Member
Hi, the unit is a 1600mm wide unit. One side is a cheap blurry player and sky q box. The other side is my amp & CD player. I have no interest in running the tv through the amp, I have a Canton dm75 which comes on with the tv and is enough for me. The amp is for music only.

The amp has a 1" clearance between the top and the shelf above. But it gets quite warm, I leave the door open in use and the base of the unit is vented. I've only had the amp a few weeks and the speakers a couple of months.

I haven't listened to the Marantz, but there seems to be a lot of good reviews on the brand in general. I always regretted not getting a Marantz CD player when I bought my last stuff, so that is why it was in my mind this time. My mate recently bought the CD6006 and offered to bring it down to compare, but there is little point if it won't fit. And finding free time isn't easy, my kids are still only 5 & 7 and my wife works every other weekend. I want to decide on a price level and I can take my Yam to Audio T and compare the sound. If it's not worth spending £1200 on the Naim I don't see the point in listening to it, especially if I can get something cheaper that will be solid and reliable and improve on the Yam.
 

CC75

Standard Member
Adamdavid, I may end up doing. But I have changed everything else and feel I can get a better build quality than what I have. And sell the Yam why it still works and is in good condition.

Dollag, thanks again. I'll have a look at the Nad and see what I can find out.
 

DT79

Distinguished Member
Would you consider second hand? If you bought something that is in great condition and not too old you could get something really good, better even, but escape the bloated prices. For instance there’s an Arcam CD37 on eBay at the moment for £750. I used to have one and even though I don’t use CDs much anymore, I regret ever selling it as it was the best player I ever owned. When I bought it, I home demoed it against and preferred it to a Cyrus CD8SE and Naim CD5X. Later I owned a Naim CDX2 and whilst that was great and I never had the opportunity to compare it to the Arcam directly, and they were in different systems, I’m sure the Arcam was at least as good if not better.
 

dannnielll

Well-known Member
Hi, the unit is a 1600mm wide unit. One side is a cheap blurry player and sky q box. The other side is my amp & CD player. I have no interest in running the tv through the amp, I have a Canton dm75 which comes on with the tv and is enough for me. The amp is for music only.

The amp has a 1" clearance between the top and the shelf above. But it gets quite warm, I leave the door open in use and the base of the unit is vented. I've only had the amp a few weeks and the speakers a couple of months.

I haven't listened to the Marantz, but there seems to be a lot of good reviews on the brand in general. I always regretted not getting a Marantz CD player when I bought my last stuff, so that is why it was in my mind this time. My mate recently bought the CD6006 and offered to bring it down to compare, but there is little point if it won't fit. And finding free time isn't easy, my kids are still only 5 & 7 and my wife works every other weekend. I want to decide on a price level and I can take my Yam to Audio T and compare the sound. If it's not worth spending £1200 on the Naim I don't see the point in listening to it, especially if I can get something cheaper that will be solid and reliable and improve on the Yam.
Your cheap blu ray player may have either a coaxial audio out or a tos link optical out for audio. Either of these fed into the appropriate input of a dac and then into your amplifier will give as good as it can. These DACs can be small and hid away. Prices range from 50 quid upwards with devices from well established UK audio houses from 120 up. They can be viewed simply as a extension cable , the power consumed is so low,they can be left permanently on. That is the approach that a number of us adopt. Indeed the native DAC in the bluray player, if available on RCA plugs, might very well surprise you with its clarity.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
A man after my own heart. Stick the streaming, the silver disc rules.

I have a Marantz sa8005 running through my Elicit-R and it sounds superb, especially with SACD discs. Although it's impossible to source one new if I were to be buying new right now, with SACD essential, it would be the Marantz sa-14s1.

https://petertyson.co.uk/marantz-sa-14s1-se
 

DT79

Distinguished Member

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
Let me tell you a little story. Once upon a time I was dreaming, dreaming about having a Luxman 505 Amp which costs about £4000, and I was OK with that price. But then I looked at the matching CD/SACD Player which also cost about £4000, and I asked myself, what can this CD Player possible do to justify that price? My gut is OK with £4000 for an amp, but just balks at £4000 for a CD Player. End of Story.

So, rather than ask yourself how much you can realistically spend, ask yourself how much do you realistically need? I believe you said, the Yamaha CD-S300 sounds fine. So, what can you gain by spending SIX Times more money just to play CDs?

In short, just because you can spend £1200 doesn't mean you have to. Though you are certainly welcome to if that is what you decide.

I would expect the ROTEL CD14 to do a pretty damn good job -

Rotel CD 14 CD Player - £500 -

Rotel CD14 CD Player

If you want to take it one step further -

Rotel R-CD1572 CD Player - £750 -


Rotel RCD1572 CD Player

But, there Yamaha CD Players that are well within or just skirting the edges of your budget -

Yamaha CDS700 CD Player - £400 -


Yamaha CDS700 CD Player

Yamaha CDS1000 CD Player - £900 -


Yamaha CD-S1000 CD Player

Yamaha CDS2100 CD Player - £1400 -


Yamaha CD-S2100

There are many CD Players to choose from, but given that you are generally satisfied with a £200 Yamaha Player, how much Player do you realistically need? Only you can answer that.

While others are free to disagree, I would expect either of those ROTEL to hit a pretty high standard, but ...again... that's your decision to make.

And that ... is my opinion to give.

Steve/bluewizard
 

RBZ5416

Distinguished Member
From the pic that you posted the gap appears to be the exact same as the spec for the CD6006 at 105mm. Given that you have the tape end inside the unit then you also maybe have an extra mm, so the Marantz may just fit.

It also appears that the shelf sits on the usual pegs. If so you could carefully drill another set of holes for them to slightly lower the shelf. Or remove the pegs & sit the shelf on some improvised wooden uprights. You have plenty of space to the side of the amp so something like this cut to length & stained black would pretty much disappear in the cabinet. You could use Velcro to fix it in place so that it can be removed in future.

I'd say it was definitely worth a loan of your mates Marantz to see if it will squeeze in.
 

mcarpe

Active Member
Just a thought, but have you considered replacing both the blu ray and the CD player for high end UHD player like the Cambridge CXUHD or the Panasonic UB9000? Both review very well on visual and audio quality.

The only other thing worth trialling is a small DAC like the irDAC from Arcam or one of the Chord ones and leaving it permanently on and placed out of sight at the back of the unit. You would connect the digital out to the DAC, then the DAC to the CD input on the amplifier. I don't think you would need to touch it again afterwards and use the CD player as normal.
 

CC75

Standard Member
Gibsy- I haven't got the space for the Marantz, do you have your on a separate shelf? Or do you stack on top of the Elicit-R, as you probably no it can get quite so it presume it needs the space.

DT79- I may consider second hand but unsure about buy something 10years. I've looked at the ones you mentioned on your links. They both look good, not familiar with Bryston. I had been looking at the Roksan & Naims but when the price gets within £400 of there new price it gets silly. I was looking out for a Elicit-r on there, when I did finally bid on one I missed out but the price made me go and buy a new one. That goes to show something about 10years old would be more of a bargain.

BlueWizard- Your little story is pretty much the reason for my post. When I got home with the Elicit-R, set it all up including cutting some holes in the back of my unit, and settled down with some JD honey on ice for a long listening session for the evening. I turned to my wife and said I don't see how a £1200 CD player could improve this. Like you say something doesn't sit right with spending a large amount on one. And reading through all the posts people agree.

It also seems I can improve on the build quality, I have looked at the Yamaha cd-s700 and it would fit but I could imagine the build being similar to what I have, and the next models up are to big for my space. Dollag mentioned a Nad C 538, but at only £50 more than what I have I may be better looking at the Nad C 568. I'm going to look closer at the Rotel's to.

Anyone else with an opinion on stacking a CD player on the Rega even though they don't recommend this. Removing the glass shelf would give me an extra 25mm to play with and give me more choice.


Thanks everyone.
 

CC75

Standard Member
RBZ5416- your right perhaps I could do some modification. The amp does get quite warm and I am a little worried about reducing the space around it. Definitely something to think about.

mcarpe- I did briefly, but think I want to keep the systems separate. There probably is room for a dac and separate transport but I would still want to change the cdp for better build.
 

mcarpe

Active Member
mcarpe- I did briefly, but think I want to keep the systems separate. There probably is room for a dac and separate transport but I would still want to change the cdp for better build.


I see, if there is a local hifi shop they may be able to sort out a home demo for you to go through a few options to see what works best for you.

Arcam CDS50 is one to consider as height is 87mm with feet.
 

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