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  1. #1
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    Best Budget CD Player??



    Time for a lil' upgrade....

    Looking for some solid opinions about your favorite budget CD Player (not a changer).

    Looking to keep it at $400 dollars of less. Looking at NAD, Cambridge, Marantz.... I'm open to any/all suggestions on different makes and models

    I'm just hoping for some real world experience in what sounds good w/o breaking the bank account.

    I've received some very solid advice here in the past about Amp selection - thanks again.

    Regards,

    mf

  2. #2
    Ajani
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    I've tried all three of those brands in that price range and owned two of them (NAD C521bee & Marantz CD5001)... I'd easily recommend the Marantz.... it was my clear favourite of the three.... Though all 3 are well regarded....

  3. #3
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    Thanx -- the Marantz CD5001 is the exact model I have bookmarked.

    I have a SonyES player/changer that I like however it's going to land with another system.

    Thanks again

    mf

  4. #4
    Super Moderator Site Moderator JohnMichael's Avatar
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    Just another vote for the Marantz CD5001.
    JohnMichael
    Vinyl Rega Planar 2, Incognito rewire, Deepgroove subplatter, ceramic bearing, Michell Technoweight, Rega 24V motor, TTPSU, FunkFirm Achroplat platter, Michael Lim top and bottom braces, 2 Rega feet and one RDC cones. Grado Sonata, Moon 110 LP phono.
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  5. #5
    I took a headstart... basite's Avatar
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    Marantz CD5001, NO DOUBT!

    if you can get a 5001OSE, it doesn't cost that much more, and is a little step up from the standard 5001...

    Keep them spinning,
    Bert.
    Life is music!

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    *Lehmann audio black cube SE
    Marantz CD5001 OSE
    MIT AVt 2 IC's
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    I'm a happy 20 year old...

  6. #6
    Forum Regular audio amateur's Avatar
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    I'll be different. Grab a 540c Cambridge Audio, or 640 if you can
    Besides they are much better looking than the Marantz detachable power cord too

  7. #7
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    Thanks Gents -- Looks like the Marantz is leading the charge.

    Thanks again for taking the time to post.

    Regards,

    mf

  8. #8
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    You might want to look at the used market.
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp,
    Thorens TD-145 TT, Bellari phono preamp, Nagaoka MP-200 Cartridge
    Magnepan QR1.6 speakers
    Luxman DA-06 DAC
    Van Alstine Ultra Plus Hybrid Tube DAC
    Dual Martin Logan Original Dynamo Subs
    Parasound A21 amp
    Vintage Luxman T-110 tuner
    Magnepan MMG's, Grant Fidelity DAC-11, Class D CDA254 amp
    Monitor Audio S1 speakers, PSB B6 speakers
    Vintage Technic's Integrated amp
    Music Hall 25.2 CDP
    Adcom GFR 700 AVR
    Cables- Cardas, Silnote, BJC
    Velodyne CHT 8 sub

  9. #9
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    Budget cd player

    New to this blog.....
    My CEC 3300 has gone down again for 2nd time in last 2 years.
    Please help to suggest some budget CD players to match with my integrate Amp melody-50

    Murgesh

  10. #10
    Retro Modernist 02audionoob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by murgeshjeg
    New to this blog.....
    My CEC 3300 has gone down again for 2nd time in last 2 years.
    Please help to suggest some budget CD players to match with my integrate Amp melody-50

    Murgesh
    How about a computer and a nice DAC?

  11. #11
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    Whats your budget? Without knowing it,here are a few recommendations for players $500 or less.

    Take a look at the Emotiva ERC-1 www.emotiva.com It leans a little to the bright side of neutral from some of the reviews I've read. Others claim it to be neutral sounding. Its on sale for $319 and is supposed to compare to players costing hundreds more. Check out Mr.P's review in the Digital section of this forum.

    Marantz SA5003 Leans to the warmer side of neutral as all Marantz do.

    Music Hall 25.2, I have this one.. It give's a very nice open and airy sound. It has a lot of transparency and detail.

    Oppo BDP 83 is an excellent Universal player-BluRay, CD, SACD for $500. It is rated a stereophile magazine Class A component comparing to players costing thousands of dollars.
    www.oppodigital.com
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp,
    Thorens TD-145 TT, Bellari phono preamp, Nagaoka MP-200 Cartridge
    Magnepan QR1.6 speakers
    Luxman DA-06 DAC
    Van Alstine Ultra Plus Hybrid Tube DAC
    Dual Martin Logan Original Dynamo Subs
    Parasound A21 amp
    Vintage Luxman T-110 tuner
    Magnepan MMG's, Grant Fidelity DAC-11, Class D CDA254 amp
    Monitor Audio S1 speakers, PSB B6 speakers
    Vintage Technic's Integrated amp
    Music Hall 25.2 CDP
    Adcom GFR 700 AVR
    Cables- Cardas, Silnote, BJC
    Velodyne CHT 8 sub

  12. #12
    Sophisticated Red Neck manlystanley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MudFlap

    Time for a lil' upgrade....

    Looking for some solid opinions about your favorite budget CD Player (not a changer).

    Looking to keep it at $400 dollars of less. Looking at NAD, Cambridge, Marantz.... I'm open to any/all suggestions on different makes and models

    I'm just hoping for some real world experience in what sounds good w/o breaking the bank account.

    I've received some very solid advice here in the past about Amp selection - thanks again.

    Regards,

    mf
    Go to Goodwill. Everybody and there brother are upgrading there CD/DVD players. I've seen some great players there for $15. Besides, having a GW setup is kind of cool..... But just make sure that you test it out before taking one of there beauties home. I've gotten some real dogs.....


    Best Regards,
    Stan
    Listening/Movie Room: ADCOM GTP-500, XPA-2, Denon 3930ci, Front: Jamo C809; Surround: Klipsch R-5650-S; Back: R-5650-S; Denon AVR-687,. Projector: Sharp XR-32X.

    Family Room: Denon avr-687, Denon CD player, Klipsch RB-5II

  13. #13
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    Hi the brands u mentioned are both good. I would read WhatHiFi online reviews, they review items, that might help with ur decison. All my equipmenet is old school but the old Marantz cd players, some of them are great so that might help

  14. #14
    Forum Regular Audioman00's Avatar
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    the Denon dcd-**** models have a nice sound with BB dac's usually duals.

  15. #15
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    Beyond a doubt the best budget CD player (in price only) is the Emotiva ERC-1. www.emotiva.com regularly $399.00 but on sale for the holidays at $319.00.

    The unit sounds like a much more expensive player. At the price i can't criticize it. When comparing to much more expensive players the bass lacks a bit of authority, detail is good, sound stage is huge and airy, I guess it could be called "bright" but it's not offensively so, it just lacks tonal richness and warmth of any kind. The ERC-1 walked all over the NAD
    c545 in my opinion. The only thing the NAD excelled in is the bass slam. The ERC-1 has good bass detail and the bass is there it just isn't as strong as some players I compared it to. The overall response is balanced though. You won't find anything better for double the ERC's price. Plus it's built like a high end player and gives an aluminum remote that most high end players don't.

  16. #16
    RGA
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    I would look into the Grant Fidelity Tube DAC -09 and then buy a used cd player at a local pawn shop that has a digital output for $100.

    Transports in players in the $500 range are not particularly good and I seriously doubt you will find a better cd playing sound that that DAC mated with really any transport. My review is in process so I can't go into it too much here but it was considerably better than my $800 Cambridge Audio CD 6 and even with the Tube DAC 09 on my mega changer I would take it over any $500 machine I've heard.

    Plus the unit works as a preamp and headphone amplifier. But it also serves as a USB Dac which may be appealing for use with your computer should you go that route down the road.

    Moreover - you could probably buy a better transport machine for $100-$200 on the used market than buying a new entry level NAD or Marantz.

    Anyway, it's another option. http://grantfidelity.com/site/Grant_...ty_Tube_DAC-09

  17. #17
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    RGA, what's the GF DAC retail for in USD?

  18. #18
    RGA
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    It's $300 US but the price will eventually go up to $390 US. They list all their prices on their website at the bottom of the page

  19. #19
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    If the sound quality is there this could be a hot item with the features at that price.

    One thing to consider is whether GF uses any type of buffer or reclocking on the digital input. If not the transport could be more critical and any cheap trans may not work.

  20. #20
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    I would recommend either a Cambridge Audio 640c V2 or a used Arcam CD73. These are both very refined sounding players. If I had to pick I would take the Arcam but could live with either.

    BTW I have owned both of these units. I currently use a Pioneer BDP-51FD blu ray player which happens to also be an outstanding CD player. I am currently trying to find an Arcam FMJ CD36 for a decent deal.

    Keep in mind that most any of the recommended CD players will sound very good but the better your equipment the more you will notice the differences between them. I currently own a Krell KAV 300iL (400xi twin) running into Dynaudio Contour 1.3 SEs. This system is very revealing and will quickly reveal poor quality front-end equipment. YMMV.

    Take with a grain of salt recommendations from product bashers. As a Krell owner I have taken plenty of abuse. If at all possible try to listen to a couple of brands in your own rig and compare them, this has always worked out well for me.

    Howdy RGA! Taking a mini break from CAM? Some of those guys up there need to stop bashing you.

  21. #21
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    ren, I agree Arcam make outstanding CD players. I started with an Alpha 9. Then I bought a Krell 300i integrated. The sound was alright but the synergy wasn't great. I tried a Krell 250cd and although I feel I gave up a slight bit of speed and maybe detail the synergy between the two Krell pieces was undeniable. My recommendation to you would be to find a used kav-280cd which would match your amp or even an older kav-300. The 300 wouldn't match cosmetically but the Krell player with the amp is a synergy you should experience. I'd also recommend using the XLR connections. There are also two version of the older kav-250, the 250 and the 250cd. The latter was quite a bit better and could be anoption. The former although good is Krell's most entry level piece. Later down the road I ended up with a 500i and 280cd. The 280cd is better than a lot of Arcam units. If you found a 280cd I don't think you'd miss the Arcam.

    If some one was on a budget the ERC-1 is hard to beat. It would be really interesting to hear it against the 73. Depending on taste I believe the ERC would out perform the 640.

  22. #22
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    Mr. Peabody,

    My top pick would be the SACD standard but I did not mention it because of the price limitation of the original poster.

    My 12'x20' room needs no more than these monitors to make thunderous bass and shimmering highs. Everyone just needs to find the right combo.

  23. #23
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    No, read the post again. You said you were looking for an Arcam. I was relating to you my experience with using Krell and Arcam. A used Krell shouldn't be out of your budget. And, you are speaking to the choir on Dynaudio. I'm quite familiar with their line. I've actually heard the flagship Evidence. Their bookshelf speakers are amazing. You don't normally hear bookshelf speakers play that low and have that type of bass authority.

  24. #24
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    Sorry Mr. Peabody,

    But I would be interested in either the Krell or the Arcam FMJ. They are both outstanding CD players.

    The Dyn 1.3 SEs are truly incredible aren't they? They are something that you just can'r describe without hearing aren't they?

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