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The BEST Redbook CD player? - Page 3  

post #61 of 122
Has anyone here compared the redbook sound of either the Modwright "Signature Truth" or "Level III" Sony dvp-s9000es or 999es to that of top-flight SACD/CD or CD-only players such as the Linn Ikemi, Meridian, or Theta/Wadia setups? Or even to an unmodded Marantz 9600, Denon 3910, 5910, or some other?

I'd appreciate any and all comments on sound, especially that of classical and jazz CDs (SACD also, but that would be off-topic).

Also, please mention which of the units being compared you actually owned, as well as their approximate MSRPs.

I'm currently evaluating a used Sony dvp-s9000es with the future intention of selling my Ikemi in order to finance a Sig Truth modding.

For those who are interested, here's a link to a review of the modded 999es in which Levi, the author, also mentions the likelihood of the 9000es potentially benefitting from the mod to the same degree.
He claimed that the Sony 999es DVD/SACD/CD player, when fully modded by Dan Wright, was the best digital source he'd ever heard, and fully trounced digital and lp rigs costing upwards of 12 grand.
To the extent that Levi's listening experience correlates with that of other audiophiles, a fully modded s9000es or 999es (the former unmodded available used for $400-550) might represent the very best value - purportedly one without compromise - for both redbook and SACD playback alike. Plus it would play DVDs well to boot (the unmodded one does, at least). Total cost would be around two grand incl. shipping, assuming one found a used 9000es/999es for $500.

Audio Review of Modwright Signature Truth Sony dvp-ns999es/s9000es

Has anyone heard of this guy Levi? Do many audiophiles tend to respect his opinions?

I'm currently evaluating a used Sony dvp-s9000es with the future intention of selling my Linn Ikemi in order to finance a Sig Truth modding, but would be reluctant to part with the Ikemi without getting more feedback.

thanks in advance for any experienced feedback.

post #62 of 122
Originally Posted by gostan
Over the past 6 months I have had a Jolida JD100, an Arcam Cd36 and a Cary 303/300 in my home system. I have to say that the Cary did the trick for me as the best redbook player for my system.
that cary 303/300 sounds like a real nice CD player.

interesting review on stereophile


one definetely to add to my list to check out in the search...

my biggest problem with cd players is have such a nice transpirt in the p700 teac/esoteric that everything else seems a little disapointing in the build and almost a bit fragile by comparison ! ...just me being a little picky perhaps !

the other one keen to check out is the nad mentioned in the review. Anyways have to save some pennys before start heading out listening to these kind of players other wise might want one and won't be able to get it.

Any one checked out the chinese made consonance and shanling players. Bit of an unknown quantity in my mind. Wonder if anyone else had any experience with them ?
post #63 of 122
I've heard sony xa-777es with Modwright absolute truth mod. It's a very good unit. But for the same money or much less (if you get lucky) you can get modded Museatex Bidat DAC that is the best sound I've heard. I have compared it (without the latest and greates John Wright mods) to Emm Labs DCC2 and much preffered the Bidat. Look no further if you like analog like sound. You will need a matching transport for it though.
post #64 of 122

Do you know what DAC the Meitner Bidat used? Wasn't it a product introduced in the early 90's? I'm curious as to what you think accounts for its performance.

post #65 of 122
I don't want to go off-topic.
Here is a couple of links where you can find
what DAC's Bidat was based on.
http://www.museatex.com/bidatman.htm the manual talks about problems with digital signal. My guess is
1) low jitter design
2) adaptive digital filter
account for its exceptional performance.
post #66 of 122
Thanks for the links. I'll check them out.

post #67 of 122
Originally Posted by Capfacsurf
What else should I listen to? Can the 3910 or 5910 compete in terms of audio quality on redbook CDs?
Consider the Eastsound CD-E5 for about $750 shipped to the US.

It has been getting very good reviews over at Head-fi.com and other places like referenceaudiomods.com

For the money it is one solid unit, and gets you $3-$4K sound.


post #68 of 122
I just ordered an Ayre Acoustics C-5xe Universal disc player. I went way over my budget at the 6k price, but the reviews are great and the company takes good care of its customers.
post #69 of 122
Thread Starter 

I looked at the E5. My son is a HeadFi troll. We went to a recent HeadFi meet but no one had the E5. Then after reading the big E5 thread, I got scared off by the transport issues. They sounded simple to fix, but I guess I am too lazy to worry about reliability.
post #70 of 122
Thread Starter 
Paul Bee,

That Ayre was one of dream choices. I read some reviews on it as well. You must be thrilled with it. Congrats.
post #71 of 122
Originally Posted by Paul Bee
I just ordered an Ayre Acoustics C-5xe Universal disc player. I went way over my budget at the 6k price, but the reviews are great and the company takes good care of its customers.
Nice! Let us know how it works out and what did you compare it to. One of these days I'm going to audition one. I have another piece of Ayre gear and I can atest that you more or less get personalized service from Ayre. They know how to treat their customers.

post #72 of 122
Thanks Guys, for the responses about Ayre. I should get it in about a month. They are backordered. I will keep you up to date.

post #73 of 122
Good stuff. I would interested as well. I am sure it is a solid player. I ended up happy with the Esoteric DV50S. Let us know how it performs in your system.
post #74 of 122
I notice several Ayre CD players being sold in the classifieds at audiogon.com.
post #75 of 122
Originally Posted by Rysa4
I notice several Ayre CD players being sold in the classifieds at audiogon.com.
Yes, they are quite popular and are a good stepping stone when going from ~3K MSRP to the next level. Prior to the "e" upgrade, CX-7s used at around $1700 didn't last long at all. I haven't paid much attention lately since I'm no longer in the market for gear.

post #76 of 122
Audio Aero Capitole MK2 is fantastic, and has tubed stage with remote volume control.
There is the newer SE version of it, and also optional analog inputs, making it a full-flegded active pre. It uses "digital software" from Anagram, which is also used in some highly-rated players from Audoimeca, Electrocompanient, Orpheus, Calmet Ujter DAC, and others.

I have always been drawn to CDPs & DACs that incorporate unqiue software / digital-filters, not just off the shelf chips. Wadia products, Chord DAC-64, and of course DCS have their own digital specialities inside.

One of my favourite "budget" CDPs is the Classe CDP-10, mated to a passive pre like the Placette.

- Andy
post #77 of 122
Originally Posted by vancouver
try the Rotel RCD 1072. It brought new life to all my CDs, like I heard them all for the first time.
Which amp and speakers have you combined this player with?
post #78 of 122
Thread Starter 
Week three with my new Musical Fidelity A5:

I can't say there hasn't been just a little buyers remorse. The day I bought my A5, another dealer had just gotten in the new CJ edition of the McCormak UDP-1. And I backed away from a best offer compromise I had struck with a Lector owner on Audiogon. And I also realized I hadn't listened to a lot of great players. So there was some buyers remorse.

However, I watched a DVD last night. Which was the first time in three weeks I had even turned my Integra universal player on since getting the A5. I guess what that says is that I have been enjoying listening to my CDs so much with the A5, that I haven't wanted to do anything else.

Buyers remorse aside, I reckon the hours the A5 has logged in the three weeks I have owned it has validated my decision. The player sounded wonderful right out of the box, but snce it has broken in, it sounds even better.
post #79 of 122
You are not the only one who has had a little buyers remorse. Mine was centered on if I should have gotten a AR cd3MrkII instead. But, my player just sounds so good and I can not find anything wrong with it. And the fact that it plays SACD's and DVD-A disks mean that I can play just about anything out there and play it well. Also, like you, I find myself wanting to listen to music allot more now. I still watch movies, but there may be 3 days when all I do is listen to music.
post #80 of 122
My Ayre C-5xe was delivered a week ago. I let it play 24/7 for the first couple of days for break-in. It is an amazing player. Noticeably better than my former player, Sony SCD-XA777ES, and better than the Denon DVD 5910ci that I picked up a couple of days ago, which was in a way disappointing since I had hoped that maybe I could return the Ayre since it was a stretch to get them both. (I ordered the Ayre before the 5910ci was even available, I have a Ruby and the Denon was the logical choice) Maybe the Denon will catch up after it breaks in more but I doubt it.

I compared the Ayre to a Wadia 861se, a Meridian G08, a Pioneer Elite DV79avi, and a Krell SACD Standard in the store.

The Ayre is the first player that I've heard that sounds better on analog direct rather than analog DSP through the Anthem D1, not even the 5910 can pull off that trick, at least so far. Speakers are B&W 802Ds, which seemed to be waiting for the Ayre to show how amazing they can really be.
post #81 of 122

What was your opinion of the Ayre compared to the Pioneer?

post #82 of 122
It was an interesting comparison. Since the Ayre uses the same transport, both can be operated by the same remote control. If connected using the RCA outs for both, the sound was actually pretty close, with the Ayre having a slight edge on the usual suspects, clarity, bass, air, and I do mean slight but it is noticeable if you listen for it. I thought the Pioneer for $1K SRP a bargain as a universal audio player, not counting the video. At that budget, it is what I would buy for a CD player. And the Pioneer does multi-channel. If you are going to use the RCA outs, its harder to justify the extra money for the Ayre, i.e. IMO no receivers for this puppy.

The Ayre on the XLRs widened the gap, and it is here that the Ayre really shows what it can do. I don't know why that is the case, the 6db and such of course, but it is the same DACs, transport etc. whether using the RCA outs or the XLR outs. I can only report what I hear. And the better your speakers are, the bigger the difference. When playing the Pioneer through the 802Ds, they sounded starved for information compared to the same CD played on the Ayre. That is true for the Denon 5910 too. That I suppose is what the extra $5K buys and why I will be on a budget for the next 6 months. The Ayre C-5xe and the 802Ds are a seriously addicting combo.
post #83 of 122
Lots of luck with the Ayre CDP. It is a fabulous unit. I really loved it, but I could not bring myself to spend that much $$. And I got a great deal on my Cary player-which I am very satisfied with.
post #84 of 122
The Ayre CD-5xe disc player and the Ayre K-1xe preamp arrived. The are somewhat broken in by now and I am absolutely in love with the sound and quality of these units. Best hifi purchase I ever made. Wonderful dynamics and resolution, and very very musical. Closest thing to live I have yet experienced. Using them with Linn Klimax Solo amps and Sophia 2 speakers.

Goodbye Audio Research gear! You won't be missed!
post #85 of 122
Paul, that's great.
That is quite a setup you have there.
I am thinking about adding a K-1xe to my setup down the line. Either that or the new Boulder pre that is coming out. I have an Esoteric DV50S that I use as my player. My system is a HT/2ch setup and I just got a Halo C2 that I am going to use for music and movies. My amp is a Bryston 4b-ST and my speakers are JM Labs 927be's. Can I ask what AR gear you had?
post #86 of 122
Paul, I am also in the market for a great CDP-Redbook-maybe SACD. I listened to the CX7e and the K1xe preamp in my own home. At the time, I did not have my new Wilson Sophias 2.

I came very close to purchasing an AR CD3 MK1. I was intrigued by the Philips Pro-2 transport mechanism. Then, I started looking for a Wadia 861SE for the TEAC VRDS transport.

I found the thread interesting in that another poster compared the Ayre to the Wadia 861se and preferred the Ayre.

I am also curious about which AR cdp you owned?

As a side note, if you would like to PM me, what amps did you consider prior to the LINN? I'm looking at Mcintosh 501 monoblocks to replace a Bryston 6BSST which I no longer need its center channel.
post #87 of 122
Originally Posted by MIkeDuke
Paul, that's great.
.... Can I ask what AR gear you had?
I have had trouble with four pieces of Audio Research equipment. The original CD-1 and the CD-2. Then they created a cable that solved the problem with the CD-2. I had an earlier preamp that had a mysterious problem which after I got rid of it was discovered to be a "cold solder" problem. Then I bought the Ref I preamp and upgraded to the Ref 2 Mk 2. I had nothing but worries with the Ref 2 Mk 2 because it kept blowing the big tube in the front about every three months. Reliability and the expense and trouble of changing tubes every whipstich was the reason for my dissatisfaction with Audio Research. ARC equipment sounds good, but not as good as the Ayre gear, and if you want trouble at great expense......
post #88 of 122
Thanks paul. That sucks that you had all of those problems. Like I said, the K-1xe is at the top of a very very small list that I am considering. It is going to take me a looooong time to save up and get it though. I am not in a position to constantly be trouble shooting and having gear in and out of my system so reliability is an important concern to me.
post #89 of 122
Mike, best of luck in your quest. I don't think you would be unhappy with the Ayre K-1xe. The sound is wonderful, and the equipment is handsome with a minimalist sort of look.... My only hesitation was that it only operates the volume through the remote. But now I kind of like the simplicity of it... That to me is beautiful too. And it is certainly easy enough to turn a knob a click or two for changing source input. The Ayre K-5xe has also been highly rated and has more features at less than half the price. But I don't think it quite compares with the dynamics and awe inspiring musicality of the K-1. The K-1 seems to be built like a tank, so I fully expect it to be very reliable. In my experience some good sounding equipment can be more trouble than it is worth.
post #90 of 122
Let me ask you this. Does it have a HT pass through. If not, then chances are if go Ayre it will be the C-5xe.
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