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post #1 of 49 Old 12-10-2018, 12:32 PM - Thread Starter
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CD player recommendations

I know a lot of folks rip their cds now and/or stream the digital files. I still like to play cds, and some sacds. I am looking for a good sounding reliable cd player for two channel music. Seems reviews of any player I read about- none are perfect. Also not sure where the cut off is in price vs.performance ( better dacs, weight, inputs, features etc).

was looking at the following:
Onkyo C-7030
Yamaha CD-S300
NAD C 538
Denon DCD-800NE
Marantz CD6006

Yamaha AVENGE BD-A1060 ( plays sacd too)

not sure if going over the price range of some of these players will return much benefit sound wise, besides offering full sacd support too. any thoughts, suggestions or experience with any of these players appreciated.
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post #2 of 49 Old 12-10-2018, 01:07 PM
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IMO... get the least expensive that fulfills your needs.
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post #3 of 49 Old 12-10-2018, 01:38 PM
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If your looking to play SACD's in your above price range I'd look at some of the Blu-Ray players. The Sony 4K player would fit the bill. For strictly CD's I've always been a fan of the Marantz players. The 6006 is excellent and well built. Has a nice feature w/a headphone jack.
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post #4 of 49 Old 12-10-2018, 04:05 PM
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How are the NAD CD players, I’m looking for decent player also. I do own 4K Sony Blu-ray player, but figured a pure CD Player may produce better sound quality??

Thanks!

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post #5 of 49 Old 12-10-2018, 07:51 PM
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Of the CD players you listed, none play SACD's so any of these will work well for standard CD use. I prefer the Marantz and NAD myself. With over 1000 CD's in my collection my Marantz has never failed me. As for SACD, I believe the cheapest player with this format would actually be a Blu Ray player. Dedicated SACD audio players start at around $1000 where a Blu Ray player with this feature starts around $100 for the Sony BDP-S6700 player at Crutchfield. I have seen it cheaper on sale at Best Buy and you may find it cheaper at Walmart if you check. I imagine a transport is a transport to most people so this inexpensive Sony may fit your need quite well.


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post #6 of 49 Old 12-11-2018, 01:56 AM
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If you want SACD and use one of the cheaper blu ray players form Sony, the aforementioned bpd-s6700m, you'll need to be able to accommodate hdmi. The cheapest blu ray player with analog outputs (2 channel) is the Sony ubp-x1000es. I can be had for a few pennies under 500 bucks. After that is the new pioneer udp-lx500, if you need analog. You could look for a used oppo 103, 105 etc. 200 series used players are still too expensive.

I am looking to replace my older oppo bdp-95 with a dedicated cd/sacd player. I'm considering the new arcam cds50. It's 1200 bucks, plays sacd, and most importantly plays music from usb and has some networking features for streaming services (which I don't use). It uses the ESS 9038 dac as well. I had some exchanges with the us Harman guy about the implementation of the 8 channel dac. I asked if they were running 4 channels parallel for each side, fr/fl. He said they had not decided whether or not to publish the configuration of the dac, however he did say he could say they are using more than 2 channels and getting the most out of the 9038. I also asked about DSD playback from USB as that's missing as a format from usb playback in the website and manual. It seemed odd that it could playback a SACD but not DSD from USB. It made me suspicious that the player was converting to PCM, which made no sense as the 9038 is surely capable. The harman guy got a response from Arcam and they tested DSD (DFF) from usb and it played back fine, but not at all sample rates. I'm guessing they played back DSD64, 128, and 256, but not all sample rates played back. I suggested they update the literature on usb capability. It will not play back DSD from the network. Player has two sets of analog outputs, balanced and RCA.

Another option I'm considering is the Marantz cd8006, but it doesn't have SACD playback. I'm looking at sending my SACDs off to a ripping service and having them all ripped to DSD. The marantz can playback DSD64 and 128 from usb devices, and 256 from computer hookup. I only have 30, so the cost is 150 bucks+ cost of a small hard drive, 50 bucks (a 256 gb usb drive would work). I've kinda of given up on SACD and limit myself to cd or high resolution downloads. Typically you can find the same album as a dSD download or flac hi rez download cheaper than the 30 bucks for the SACD. I also have an Oppo 203 in the rack and could just continue to use it for SACD only, but I'd like to take advantage of the marantz analog out stage of the 8006, which is supposed to be very nice.

For a while I considered the Marantz SA-KI Ruby SACD player, but at 4k, it might be a bit much. I still think about it sometimes, but at 38 lbs it's a beast. The usb port is in the back and pulling that out everytime I want to change or add something to the usb device would be a bear. The rear is not accessible in my rack. (It's an ethan allen furniture type TV stand). The manual says a usb extension type cord should'n't be used, so that kinda sucks. The player is a special edition, and a new player the SA12 is out in Japan, and I suspect will come stateside next year, will be a bit cheaper, and build quality a bit less, but still with the near same internals and specs. I may see what that sells for before doing anything. The 8006 has the USB port in the front, so that's why I moved to considering it.

Anyway, I'll be following this thread with any other suggestions anyone has. I may just also stick with my Oppos]. (95 for music play back, 203 for movies). Or could replace the Oppo with the new Pioneer LX500, which is the cheapest of all my options, but I'm really leaning towards a dedicated player for music vs universal.

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post #7 of 49 Old 12-11-2018, 06:44 AM - Thread Starter
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If you want SACD and use one of the cheaper blu ray players form Sony, the aforementioned bpd-s6700m, you'll need to be able to accommodate hdmi. The cheapest blu ray player with analog outputs (2 channel) is the Sony ubp-x1000es. I can be had for a few pennies under 500 bucks. After that is the new pioneer udp-lx500, if you need analog. You could look for a used oppo 103, 105 etc. 200 series used players are still too expensive.

I am looking to replace my older oppo bdp-95 with a dedicated cd/sacd player. I'm considering the new arcam cds50. It's 1200 bucks, plays sacd, and most importantly plays music from usb and has some networking features for streaming services (which I don't use). It uses the ESS 9038 dac as well. I had some exchanges with the us Harman guy about the implementation of the 8 channel dac. I asked if they were running 4 channels parallel for each side, fr/fl. He said they had not decided whether or not to publish the configuration of the dac, however he did say he could say they are using more than 2 channels and getting the most out of the 9038. I also asked about DSD playback from USB as that's missing as a format from usb playback in the website and manual. It seemed odd that it could playback a SACD but not DSD from USB. It made me suspicious that the player was converting to PCM, which made no sense as the 9038 is surely capable. The harman guy got a response from Arcam and they tested DSD (DFF) from usb and it played back fine, but not at all sample rates. I'm guessing they played back DSD64, 128, and 256, but not all sample rates played back. I suggested they update the literature on usb capability. It will not play back DSD from the network. Player has two sets of analog outputs, balanced and RCA.

Another option I'm considering is the Marantz cd8006, but it doesn't have SACD playback. I'm looking at sending my SACDs off to a ripping service and having them all ripped to DSD. The marantz can playback DSD64 and 128 from usb devices, and 256 from computer hookup. I only have 30, so the cost is 150 bucks+ cost of a small hard drive, 50 bucks (a 256 gb usb drive would work). I've kinda of given up on SACD and limit myself to cd or high resolution downloads. Typically you can find the same album as a dSD download or flac hi rez download cheaper than the 30 bucks for the SACD. I also have an Oppo 203 in the rack and could just continue to use it for SACD only, but I'd like to take advantage of the marantz analog out stage of the 8006, which is supposed to be very nice.

For a while I considered the Marantz SA-KI Ruby SACD player, but at 4k, it might be a bit much. I still think about it sometimes, but at 38 lbs it's a beast. The usb port is in the back and pulling that out everytime I want to change or add something to the usb device would be a bear. The rear is not accessible in my rack. (It's an ethan allen furniture type TV stand). The manual says a usb extension type cord should'n't be used, so that kinda sucks. The player is a special edition, and a new player the SA12 is out in Japan, and I suspect will come stateside next year, will be a bit cheaper, and build quality a bit less, but still with the near same internals and specs. I may see what that sells for before doing anything. The 8006 has the USB port in the front, so that's why I moved to considering it.

Anyway, I'll be following this thread with any other suggestions anyone has. I may just also stick with my Oppos]. (95 for music play back, 203 for movies). Or could replace the Oppo with the new Pioneer LX500, which is the cheapest of all my options, but I'm really leaning towards a dedicated player for music vs universal.
I do have the oppo 103 but its currently hooked up to a multi channel music system. I have a decent collection of blu-ray audio.DVD-A and multi channel SACDS I use it for. Whatever cd or cd/sacd player I buy will be for a two channel set up. I was looking at the arcam too, and like the fact it has good dacs- just not sure I want to go that high on price. I might, but would rather not but seems if I want sacd the options are very limited.

I am also looking into finding a way to play hi-res files in my two channel set up. But again lots of options and I am a bit overwhelmed with how to do it. I like the idea of the front USB port on some of the players that allows this. As of now I just play flac files on my iMac through VOX. I was thinking maybe easier to buy a laptop and hook directly to A-S801 to play hi-res files.

If hooking up cd player via optical or coax I can utilize the dacs in the 801. but If i listen to say a hybrid SACD then I am dependent on the cd player dacs, so that is important to me as well. of course another subject I am not familiar with outboard days for cd player. again not sure I want or need to go that route, more money, more equipment to buy.
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post #8 of 49 Old 12-11-2018, 08:49 AM
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I do have the oppo 103 but its currently hooked up to a multi channel music system. I have a decent collection of blu-ray audio.DVD-A and multi channel SACDS I use it for. Whatever cd or cd/sacd player I buy will be for a two channel set up. I was looking at the arcam too, and like the fact it has good dacs- just not sure I want to go that high on price. I might, but would rather not but seems if I want sacd the options are very limited.

I am also looking into finding a way to play hi-res files in my two channel set up. But again lots of options and I am a bit overwhelmed with how to do it. I like the idea of the front USB port on some of the players that allows this. As of now I just play flac files on my iMac through VOX. I was thinking maybe easier to buy a laptop and hook directly to A-S801 to play hi-res files.

If hooking up cd player via optical or coax I can utilize the dacs in the 801. but If i listen to say a hybrid SACD then I am dependent on the cd player dacs, so that is important to me as well. of course another subject I am not familiar with outboard days for cd player. again not sure I want or need to go that route, more money, more equipment to buy.
If you are still looking at the marantz the 6006 does not play flac and alac high rez from USB (or DSD for that matter). You need to step up to the 8006. It does flac and alac up to 192/24 via the front usb port and DSD 64 and 128. Via the asynchronous USB-B port in the back it will play up to 384/24 and add DSD 256 from a laptop. The front port will suffice for great playback. Marantz told me the usb device is navigatable via the HEOS app from an iPhone (android too I imagine). But if you want to play back your SACDs in two channel mode you'll need to listen that way on your multi channel rig or opt for the Arcam player or one of the blu ray players I mentioned with analog outs.

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post #9 of 49 Old 12-11-2018, 09:35 AM - Thread Starter
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If you are still looking at the marantz the 6006 does not play flac and alac high rez from USB (or DSD for that matter). You need to step up to the 8006. It does flac and alac up to 192/24 via the front usb port and DSD 64 and 128. Via the asynchronous USB-B port in the back it will play up to 384/24 and add DSD 256 from a laptop. The front port will suffice for great playback. Marantz told me the usb device is navigatable via the HEOS app from an iPhone (android too I imagine). But if you want to play back your SACDs in two channel mode you'll need to listen that way on your multi channel rig or opt for the Arcam player or one of the blu ray players I mentioned with analog outs.
yeah, I know. just need to determine if I want the cd player to perform the hi-res duty or use a laptop and connect to the 801 do it. laptop might be more practical since I can use it for other things. I also am contemplating maybe just get a nice cd player for my two channel setup and instead put together a nice desktop system to listen to Hi-res digital. maybe some sort of small integrated amp/dac and some good bookshelves along with a small sub. I feel like I am picking out flooring or tile for my house, so many options.
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post #10 of 49 Old 12-11-2018, 10:06 AM
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yeah, I know. just need to determine if I want the cd player to perform the hi-res duty or use a laptop and connect to the 801 do it. laptop might be more practical since I can use it for other things. I also am contemplating maybe just get a nice cd player for my two channel setup and instead put together a nice desktop system to listen to Hi-res digital. maybe some sort of small integrated amp/dac and some good bookshelves along with a small sub. I feel like I am picking out flooring or tile for my house, so many options.
Just me, I'd want to enjoy hi rez digital in a full size system, not a desktop system.

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post #11 of 49 Old 12-11-2018, 10:13 AM - Thread Starter
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Just me, I'd want to enjoy hi rez digital in a full size system, not a desktop system.
same here- it was just another option I was floating around. still undecided. which way are you leaning do you think. the arcam or the marantz?
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post #12 of 49 Old 12-11-2018, 10:48 AM
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I’ve read many good reviews about the Onkyo C-730 single disc player

I have 2 Sony blu-Ray players that play everything including SACDs. But was thinking purchasing a separate CD player for my vast CD collection

Would a player like this provide better music quality in 2 channel mode in a quality audio set-up vs. my do everything Blu-ray players?

Thanks.,

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post #13 of 49 Old 12-11-2018, 01:01 PM - Thread Starter
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I’ve read many good reviews about the Onkyo C-730 single disc player

I have 2 Sony blu-Ray players that play everything including SACDs. But was thinking purchasing a separate CD player for my vast CD collection

Would a player like this provide better music quality in 2 channel mode in a quality audio set-up vs. my do everything Blu-ray players?

Thanks.,
I did hear good things about this player when they were using the wolfson dac. I believe it uses another kind now. so not sure sound wise if it makes a difference. I would think ( hope) a quality standalone player would be a bit better- but who knows. If using analog outputs perhaps depending on the days of the player.

another contender I was eyeing is the Emotiva ERC-3. seems to be on sale now on their site. don't know much about it. anyone have any experience with it? again its just a cd transport- no sacd.
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post #14 of 49 Old 12-11-2018, 03:41 PM
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CD player recommendations

Hope it still has the Wolfson DAC that had good reputation. I’ll check the Emotiva one also.. but not looking to spend $500; I’ll stick with the Onkyo

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post #15 of 49 Old 12-11-2018, 03:46 PM
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Emotiva also has the CD-100 at $299 as well.
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post #16 of 49 Old 12-11-2018, 03:53 PM
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Thx Rgarc;

I’m wondering if that’s worth 2x the price of the Onkyo... wonder what DAC they use?? But Emo does back it up with 3 year warranty

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post #17 of 49 Old 12-11-2018, 04:44 PM - Thread Starter
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Hope it still has the Wolfson DAC that had good reputation. I’ll check the Emotiva one also.. but not looking to spend $500; I’ll stick with the Onkyo
I think it was discontinued. lots of info here on it
https://forums.stevehoffman.tv/threa...365660/page-28
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post #18 of 49 Old 12-11-2018, 05:08 PM
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CD player recommendations

Thanks thetman

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post #19 of 49 Old 12-12-2018, 02:20 AM
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same here- it was just another option I was floating around. still undecided. which way are you leaning do you think. the arcam or the marantz?
I think it's a toss up really. Depends on how much you'll listen to SACDs in two channel mode. If a lot, then I'd lean toward the arcam, in not, then marantz. For me, I might lean toward ripping my SACDs with that service since I don't have many and don't really buy them anymore and using the marantz, but I do like the arcam as well. I am a bit disappointed in the arcam not advertising the configuration of the DAC, or understanding DSD playback via USB, until I asked and I didn't get a definitive answer on what bit rates in DSD it could play. I've also yet to see any user reviews of the Arcam player where I can at least read some pretty detailed reviews of critics and users of the Marantz. I'm in no hurry, so I'll think about it a bit, but I'd probably be happy with either.

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post #20 of 49 Old 12-12-2018, 05:23 AM - Thread Starter
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Emotiva also has the CD-100 at $299 as well.
yes it seems the Emotiva's get pretty good reviews too. some complaints of disc spinning noise, but overall looks pretty good. looks like a newer ERC-4 might be on the horizon.
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post #21 of 49 Old 12-12-2018, 07:52 AM
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yes it seems the Emotiva's get pretty good reviews too. some complaints of disc spinning noise, but overall looks pretty good. looks like a newer ERC-4 might be on the horizon.
I hope so. They need a player that steps up to file playback as well as disc spinning.

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post #22 of 49 Old 12-12-2018, 08:58 AM
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I know a lot of folks rip their cds now and/or stream the digital files. I still like to play cds, and some sacds. I am looking for a good sounding reliable cd player for two channel music. Seems reviews of any player I read about- none are perfect. Also not sure where the cut off is in price vs.performance ( better dacs, weight, inputs, features etc).

was looking at the following:
Onkyo C-7030
Yamaha CD-S300
NAD C 538
Denon DCD-800NE
Marantz CD6006

Yamaha AVENGE BD-A1060 ( plays sacd too)

not sure if going over the price range of some of these players will return much benefit sound wise, besides offering full sacd support too. any thoughts, suggestions or experience with any of these players appreciated.

Speaking only from personal experience, I'd pick the Marantz. I have an earlier version, the 6004. Other than it's CD function, the USB port on front makes it easy to use your iPhone/iPad to stream through the player using its onboard DAC. Mine is matched up with my Marantz PM8004 integrated and it's a beautiful paring. I have the very excellent Onkyo CS5VL SACD hooked up downstairs. While I don't own any SACDs, it's a very good machine that punches well above its weight. Unfortunately, not available in the US any longer but a used one could be a deal. I bought mine on the close out for something like $375. Music Direct will probably sell you the 6006 for $450 if you ask nicely.
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post #23 of 49 Old 12-12-2018, 09:05 AM
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Speaking only from personal experience, I'd pick the Marantz. I have an earlier version, the 6004. Other than it's CD function, the USB port on front makes it easy to use your iPhone/iPad to stream through the player using its onboard DAC. Mine is matched up with my Marantz PM8004 integrated and it's a beautiful paring. I have the very excellent Onkyo CS5VL SACD hooked up downstairs. While I don't own any SACDs, it's a very good machine that punches well above its weight. Unfortunately, not available in the US any longer but a used one could be a deal. I bought mine on the close out for something like $375. Music Direct will probably sell you the 6006 for $450 if you ask nicely.
So a 10% discount. Is that something that Music Direct typically does if you call them instead of just place an internet order?

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post #24 of 49 Old 12-12-2018, 09:47 AM
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2 I have been thinking about are the Arcam CDS50 and Rega Apollo CDP.

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post #25 of 49 Old 12-12-2018, 10:34 AM
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Thx Rgarc;

I’m wondering if that’s worth 2x the price of the Onkyo... wonder what DAC they use?? But Emo does back it up with 3 year warranty

Thats a philosophical question. Emo makes great products and are great valued are built like tanks; although the ERC-3 is probably overkill for most users. To me the CD-100 is a good middle ground and not too expensive, but I would say that the Onkyo would be good enough for most people uses. The Teac CD-P650-B would probably also be a good option if you want a budget CD player. The EMotiva CD-100 would better compare with the Tascam models, which are the upper tier of Teac.
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post #26 of 49 Old 12-12-2018, 08:55 PM
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So a 10% discount. Is that something that Music Direct typically does if you call them instead of just place an internet order?

I can't say for a fact. I'd called them up last week about the 6006 and asked if they knew how it compared to the 6004 that I own. The guy wasn't sure. I asked what he could sell the 6006 for and he immediately said $450.
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post #27 of 49 Old 12-13-2018, 07:49 AM
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Try the Rotel CD-1072 single disc player, you can find them new for around $800.00 - $900.00 USD
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post #28 of 49 Old 12-13-2018, 11:24 AM
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Eastern Electric Mini max vacuum tube/solid state great player.The headphone amp is really good

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post #29 of 49 Old 12-13-2018, 12:42 PM - Thread Starter
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2 I have been thinking about are the Arcam CDS50 and Rega Apollo CDP.
leaning towards the arcam or the ERC-3. just have to determine if the extra cost for sacd playback is worth it to me. suppose i could still play them on my multichannel setup. Sometimes even the stereo discs sound good in 7-channel stereo.
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post #30 of 49 Old 12-14-2018, 05:02 PM - Thread Starter
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pulled the trigger on the ERC-3. won't ship until after the 28th. Figured over the next year there will be some new gear that might include some players with more options, but this should hold me over for a while.

Figured I could either hook up the oppo 103 to both the 801 and multichannel system or down the road get a sony 1000ES to play everything else. either way I am still under the price of getting the Arcam player. Also realized today I forgot I had a oppo 970-HD in the box sitting in my closet I could have used. but I might use that somewhere else or maybe sell it.
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