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  1. #1
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    CD player recommendation

    Hi fellows
    I'm currently using my old marantz CD5001 with rotel ra-1062 amp and paradigm reference studio 20 speakers. I'm looking to obviously upgrade the player since I feel this is the main weak link in the system. I'm thinking the following models.

    1) marantz CD6005
    2) Cambridge audio azur 351c or 551c
    3)Nad c545bee

    What is the general opinion, which one do u think will work best with the components listed above?

    Any advice is much appreciated

  2. #2
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    I tend to favor the Marantz for the Marantz sound. But if you really want to upgrade the sound, you should consider a DAC. You can get a Schiit Bit Frost with the analog upgrade and usb for $519. It has good reviews and one of the guys here-Feanor- has one.

    Schiit Audio, Headphone amps and DACs made in USA.


    If you don't mind factory refurbished, there are some great deals here on a Marantz SA-8004 SACD player for $699

    CD & SACD Players | Accessories4less

    And take a look at the price of the Yamaha CD-S700 on the same page as the Marantz above. I haven't heard it but it has some good reviews. At $499 it looks like a bargain.

    Here is a good review on the S700

    6moons audio reviews: Yamaha A-S700 & CD-S700

    With your system the Marantz would be the best match IMHO. The Marantz units lean to a warmer sound. The Marantz SA-8004 is an updated version of the Stereophile acclaimed Class A SA-8001 from a few years ago. I have heard both the 8001 and 8003 and they sounded very good and very similar in sound, so I expect the 8004 to be the same.
    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

  3. #3
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    Thanks very much blackraven
    About the DAC, would that mean, I can use it off the marantz CD5001 that I'm currently using? Sorry, my knowledge of dacs is very poor, never used one before.

  4. #4
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Tony, rarely play CDs anymore. I buy them but immediately rip them to my computer and play the content back through my Schiit Bifrost Uber DAC, (which Blackraven alluded to). Accordingly I can't really recommend a CD among those currently available. Since I listen to a lot of classical music for which the is a good selection on the medium, I would buy an SACD player if I were looking for a disc player.

    But not everyone wants to go the computer route. Personally I'm committed to computer playback because I find it much more convenient to retrieve and play my music with at few mouse clicks rather than by wrangling physical CDs.

  5. #5
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    This is very interesting indeed, never thought of a dac. Thanks very much. How is the overall sound thru the schiit? (Still trying to get used to the name :-P) also if I were to plug it into my current CD player, will the marantz 5001 be ok to work along with the schiit?

  6. #6
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    Would like to also add, that I have a large CD collection that I've acquired over the last 20 years and still love listening to them. So I would really need to either keep my current player and hook up a dac like blackraven has adviced me, or to get a dedicated player. All inputs would be much help indeed.

  7. #7
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    Good call on the DAC option. I play CDs thru an old Sony Bluray player with the optical digital output to an outboard DAC then to my CA integrated and it sounds pretty damn good, much better than it sounded from the analog outputs of the player. If your old Marantz operates faithfully you may not need to replace it yet.

    D

  8. #8
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    Tony, as long as the Marantz has a digital out, either coax or optical, then you can use it with the Schiit.

    I would imagine that the Marantz SA-8003 is at least as good if not better than the Schiit although I have not heard the Schiit. The SA-8001 was Stereophile Class A recommended CD player a few years ago and the 8003 sounds about the same. Plus it plays SACD's. I have heard your amp and speakers. The Marantz would be a good match.
    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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    Thanks for all this really great info.
    I really like the idea of the Schiit, only thing is that I can't audition it obviously so will need the recommendations from others using it about sound quality etc. What's the real deal regarding the uber analog mod? Hows the overall soundstage, detail etc

    I also can't audition much equipment here in Vietnam where I'm at now and I do make occasional trips to Singapore but I can't find any shops selling the marantz SA8003. They all have the 8005 which is way off my budget. It's difficult not being able to audition anything with my setup so all inputs will be appreciated.

  10. #10
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    If you live in Vietnam you may want to give this Grant Fidelity DAC-11 a try. It is a tube DAC that can also be used as a preamp. It is very good but needs a tube upgrade to a 6DJ8 or a better 6922. I have one and love it.


    Digital Converters

    I also think that the Marantz 6005 will still be a good choice.
    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

  11. #11
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    How much did u pay for the Grant fidelity dac blackraven?

  12. #12
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    I paid $325 on sale 2 years ago. The price has gone up this year. I am not sure how it sounds compared to the Marantz. The Marantz 6005 would be the safe bet, you would not have to mess with rolling tubes.

    You could consider one of the yulong DAC's.
    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

  13. #13
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    Thanks black raven, yes I'm also thinking of going with the 6005, but am still open to opinions about anything that anyone can share regarding any CDP's and dac's like the schiit and the Grant fidelity. I'll be getting whatever I decide by next month. So there's still time to research

  14. #14
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    I believe that Schiit has a money back guaranty.
    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

  15. #15
    Forum Regular harley .guy07's Avatar
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    I am like the others here and think that if it were me then I would keep the CD player you have(if it is in good shape) and get an outboard DAC. But I am also one that has their entire collection on a dedicated media computer hooked up to my system through a PS audio NuWave DAC. If you never plan to go the computer route though and want to keep using CD's then the Marantz will probably at least give a slight increase in sound quality to what you are using now. I would not say that it would hold a candle to any of our outboard DAC's that any of the other posters and my self own but for a dedicated CD person it might be the best option.

    Marantz SR5008(HT)
    Nu Force P8 Preamp (2 channel)
    Pass Labs X150.5(2 channel)
    Adcom 545 mk2 power amp(rear channel amp)
    Spatial Audio M3 Turbo S Mains Speakers
    Dayton 8" HO custom sealed subwoofer(2 channel)
    Yamaha NS-c444 center channel
    Emotiva ERD-1 surround speakers
    JBL e250p subwoofer highly modified
    Samsung 46" LED TV
    OPPO BDP-83 blue ray/multi format player
    ps-audio NuWave dac (2 channel)
    Dell I660 music server running fidelizer windows 8 audio optimizer
    PS Audio Quintet power center



  16. #16
    Charm Thai™
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    Add me to the camp of keeping your existing player as a transport and adding a dac. The Grant Fidelity seems like good value option but i haven't heard one before. Heck so does the Yulong for that matter.

  17. #17
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    Ok, all u guys have basically convinced me to keep my current marantz and get a dac :-) now the question is which one. My budget for this upgrade is $500 bucks, blsckraven has adviced me on the schiit and grant fidelity. Both these I tried to find but there's no dealer here. I'll have to get it shipped from the states,. That's fine, I'll take u guys expert opinions, I've always had nothing but great advice on this forum. So now that I've decided to go with the dac, I'm hoping some of u can help me get the best for the buck. Thanks guys

  18. #18
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    Tony, you should be able to order direct from Grant Fidelity.

    Tony, an outboard DAC is great but with a $500 budget for a DAC, you may not be any better off. Don't rule out the Marantz 6005 it is a good player and has great reviews and it may be the way to go. If you had a $1,000 or more budget than a DAC makes more sense unless you go used and find a Benchmark DAC-1 or PS Audio Digilink III.

    With the Grant you are going to have to replace the stock tube to get the most out of it. I run a 6DJ8 with a large Halo Getter from 1960 or a Telefunken from 1960. They run about $40-$75.

    Marantz CD6005 review from the experts at whathifi.com

    Marantz CD6005 CD Player Review | Audioholics
    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

  19. #19
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    Blackraven, I'm contemplating this, I know $500 is nothing but the wife wouldn't be that pleased if I spent over 1k on this upgrade :-P anyways, about the schiit Bifrost, I could get it shipped to Singapore to a friend's address and collect it when I do go. I don't really need the usb option but am curious to know what the uber analog mod really does? The budget for the schiit is well within my reach. But would like to hear opinions from those using it. Also I heard from some reviews about a clicking noise from the schiit, Any one experienced this? Thanks alot

  20. #20
    Charm Thai™
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackraven View Post
    ...Tony, an outboard DAC is great but with a $500 budget for a DAC, you may not be any better off. Don't rule out the Marantz 6005 it is a good player and has great reviews and it may be the way to go.
    Raven you may be right on this one but I think it would still be worth it to go the dac route just for the added versatility in the future. He may also want to hook it up to other digital devices like a Roku, WDTV (i do this), computer, etc...

    Quote Originally Posted by tony340 View Post
    The budget for the schiit is well within my reach. But would like to hear opinions from those using it. Also I heard from some reviews about a clicking noise from the schiit, Any one experienced this? Thanks alot
    The Schiit has a dump load of good reviews but I've never heard one. I can say that my EAD dac makes an audible clicking sound when a digital signal is detected, for example when i press play on my cd transport for the first time or when I change digital inputs from optical to coax and a new stream is detected, and it's not a problem at all. I actually like the audible verification as well as the visual from the LED. It does not click when the stream is paused though which it sounds like the Schiit may do but I'm not sure how big a deal that is either.

  21. #21
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    Tony, this may help regarding the Uber upgrade and the clicking noise-

    Schiit Bifrost Uber Analog Upgrade - Page 2


    The upgrade will give you better clarity and detail while the clicking is a switching relay.
    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

  22. #22
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    Here is another review of the Uber upgrade-

    I installed the upgraded analog board a week ago. I have always held the belief that there are not BIG differences between various DACS and analog stages of various digital components. I've heard what I would only call small differences between them. I will say that most of my experience with digital gear is with what most here would call mid-fi. I've had the standard Bifrost for almost a year, and while it is good, I did not find it that different from what was already in my system.

    However, the installation of the new analog board truly threw me for a loop. It was immediate to my ears that this is significantly better than any DAC/analog stage I have previously heard. I could not believe the differences. If this is what "hi end' sound is like, then I really have been missing out all these years. Both the lower and higher frequencies are extended. The other big difference is that there is more separation and more "air" around each instrument and vocals.

    Playing my standard CDs made them sound like some of my better SACDs and DVD-A discs. That is the probably the best way I can describe the difference it made. I can without hesitation say it is the single best digital upgrade I have ever made within my setup.

    Tony, just remember that if you like the Marantz house sound (Warmer) that the Schiit will sound completely different.
    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

  23. #23
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheHills44060 View Post
    The Schiit has a dump load of good reviews but I've never heard one. I can say that my EAD dac makes an audible clicking sound when a digital signal is detected, for example when i press play on my cd transport for the first time or when I change digital inputs from optical to coax and a new stream is detected, and it's not a problem at all. I actually like the audible verification as well as the visual from the LED. It does not click when the stream is paused though which it sounds like the Schiit may do but I'm not sure how big a deal that is either.
    My Schiit Bifrost sounds great: it far exceeded my expectations esp. in transparency and palpable imaging. However it does click under two circumstance:

    1. When it switches back or froth between 24/192 and any lower resolution
    2. It will click continuously when I pause my CD player; not a big problem for me because I rarely use the CDP.

    As blackraven has pointed out, this sound comes from a relay switch.

  24. #24
    Charm Thai™
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    OK good info Feanor. I can't see either of those scenarios being that annoying. How often does one pause a cd track for an extended period anyway? Probably not often.

  25. #25
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    Awesome info black raven, and feanor, thanks a million, also to thehills, great, I'll definitely consider the schiit, the most important thing is the final sound quality, and according to what I'm gathering from u experts, the schiit seems to be the best way on getting the best bang for the buck!! I'm having a very small budget, the marantz 5001 as a transport is working very well, hats off to this player, which I think I got for $200, great value, but now I'm looking for something to open up the detail, the over all soundstage, musicality ur whatever term, I know my current amp and speakers deserve something better, so thanks guys for helping me out, I'll be getting this probably next month or so, but any input from anyone till then Is very second welcome! Cheers

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