I am in the market for a new home CD player. Does anyone have any good recommendations?
My components are as follows:
Classe CP-50 pre-amp
Classe CA-200 power amp
B&W 801 Matrix Series II speakers
Yes its older gear, but they still sound great.
Price range: up to $2000.00
Music Room: Marantz PM8004, Marantz SA8004, Audioquest ICs, Emotiva speaker cables, Quad 22L2, Pioneer DV610AUK universal player
Family room: Tascam PA-R100 AVR, Panasonic DMP-BDT220, Jamo S606 5.1 system, Dayton speaker cables, Sharp Aquos tv
Office: Teac CRH500NT internet receiver, Cambridge Audio S-30, Jamo 210 sub
Home Theatre Room: (under construction) Oppo 103
I hate the slot loaders. They do scratch the disks.
I hate slow transports. I use an old Rotel RCD 1070 for that reason in my living room. It sounds fine and is a pleasure to use. I used it's analog out for years into an all analog system. Now, PCM to a NAD 757 AVR.
I use an NAD 565bb in my office as it fits on the shallow shelf. It is reasonably quick and sounds fine. All analog ( Nakamichi preamp, my amp, my speakers)
I use an oppo 103 in my guest room. Slow, inconvenient, but the best darn BD players out there by a wide margin. Sends the PCM out to my Anthem 310 just fine. Analog out is not bad either.
I don't have any SA disks. I finally sold my very expensive Denon that could read them. The oppo sounded better anyway.
All three provide sound quality that is in almost all cases better than the source recording. All three leave me enough cash to built the next step up in speakers, go listen to live music, or by more CD's. For me, it is mostly about enjoying the music. I got over the bragging rights game 40 years ago.
Now, here is the big question for everyone:
Are you only going to play CD's into an analog only or are you going to send the PCM out into an AVR, external DAC, or into a preamp with digital processing?
OK, modern CD's and DVD players have much better transports than they used to. Even internal DAC's have buffering so jitter is not the issue it was in 1976. Modern higher end players may have decent power supplies and output drivers. ( may,not always). Modern DAC's are really, really good. Some have preferences to one brand or another. For some reason, I seem to prefer BB DAC's over Wolfson, but it just as easily could be the rest of the DAC, not the chip. I can't tell the difference between the NAD analog out and PCM through my external BB based high end DAC. Sure, I can tell the difference between my cheap Panasonic BD player analog out and my good ones. Getting old, but not that old. I believe I can hear differences listening through my Grado's, but only differences, nothing I can say is better or worse. I would not bet more than a pint what I hear is real between my NAD, Rotel and oppo or my BB dac.
So, if all analog, transport, power supply and DAC quality matter. If running into an AVR, digital preamp or even a stand alone DAC, then ergonomics probably matter more as all the listed features are no longer controlled by the deck. I like my old Rotel. Higher end NAD's seem fine. Some love Cambridge. Marantz sure has some expensive ones; up into the esoteric price range for sure. Their affordable ones seem well received. Music Fidelity is well known for theirs. They do make the best no BS external DAC. Really, once into the $600 or so range, everyone should make a great player. There really is not much you can't do at that price range except charge more and write better slick-sheets. If I had to replace any of them, I would most likely buy another of the same thing for the reasons I bought them for in the first place. Sound quality is fine, form-fit-function meet my needs. I could actually pay for them.
There, my buck-50 cents worth. Hope it helps someone think about the "best" for themselves.
Do you specifically need the Oppo for BD movies and its audio codecs? Perhaps you just have an itch that doesn't need part replacement.
Years ago, the Sensible Sound did a blind listening test with a cheap RCA changer compared with a $1k player. No one could hear any difference.
The lesson here is to buy the player that has the features you want. If looks matter to you, it is fine to buy based on that. But do not expect an expensive player to actually sound better than a cheap one.
Edited to add:
It seems my memory is a little off. A cheap $80 RCA changer sounded as good as a $3k audiophile player:
I personally like CD changers, because I like being able to put more than one disc on at a time (in some cases, because some of the pieces of music to which I listen do not fit on one disc). Many audiophiles have a prejudice against changers, likely due to the real issues with record changers. With record changers, the stack of records changes the angle of the needle relative to the record, thus making it less than optimal for every record in the stack except for possibly one, and the records can slip on each other, adding wow and flutter. So a record changer is never the best. Nothing like that applies to CD changers, but people often forget why something matters, and then continue their ideas on other things which are too dissimilar for the ideas to matter.
Carousel changers seem to be about as reliable as single disc players, and are what I have and the only kind I would buy (if all I want to play are CDs, as opposed to wanting a player that also plays BDs).
If you want to be really cheap, you can often pick up a decent CD player at a thrift store for next to nothing. If all you care about is sound and nothing else, that will be fine. If you want new, I would look at Yamaha for a reasonable value on a nice looking and performing player with a decent feature set. But you can go cheaper without losing sound quality.
I like the 6 disc capability of Onkyo, but there are too many complaints about reliability with the latest model for me to recommend or buy a new one. For my main 2 channel system, I use an Integra (upscale Onkyo) CDC-3.1, which holds 6 discs and exposes 3 at a time when the door is open. The newer Integra CDC-3.4 only allows access to 2 discs when the door is open, so I don't like it as well.
Anyway, I recommend that you look at features, how it looks (if that matters to you), reports of reliability (if you can find such info), and price.
But I will only use it as a transport, so it needs a coaxial out (preferred over optical in my case) to feed a separate DAC which is the core of my musical indulgences.
CD Players and Transports are nearly extinct, maybe another good reason to get one. Changers aren't on my want list.
I'm looking at Onkyo C-7030 $179 or so.
Another is TEAC CD-H750, $199 at Crutchfield at the moment.
Oppo 105 would suit me fine as well, but I have a 93 in service already.
With a single disc player, you can find a "silver" front instead of black, if you would prefer it. It is easier to see the controls on a "silver" front than on a black front (there is a reason why books and web sites typically have a light background and dark letters, instead of the other way around). The Onkyo C-7030 that you mention is available both in silver and black:
Even though the selection for CD players is less than it once was, there are enough that there still are many things to think about for selecting one. In order to select the right one, you need to know what things you want from it, and what you don't care about.
Thanks for your reply Phantom, I've heard good things about that Sony, but I'm thinking if it came down to a machine with the quality like the Sony, the Oppo 105 would suffice just fine as well. My search continues....