Help me upgrade my 22 year old CD player

MajorFubar

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Afternoon guys, I’m needing a bit of advice.

I’m looking to spend about £300 on a fresh CD player to replace my relic Technics SL-P777 that I’ve owned now for nearly 22 years!

Thing is I’m not sure what would get me a better player for that price: new or used? The continual drift away from physical media means £600-700 players from a few years ago are within my price-range now, as they become less sought-after on the used market. But will they still comfortably beat today’s £300 new players, or has technology really not advanced that much?

To give a case in point, a year or so ago my dad bought a NAD C515BEE: very highly rated at its £250 price point. Compared to my ancient Technics it sounds more refined and smooth but it doesn’t have nearly the resolving power. Basically you hear more stuff going on with the Technics, though it doesn’t present it in as sophisticated a fashion: the SLP-777 sounds more ‘digital’. But it was a decent midrange player in its day (22 years ago, £350 wasn’t cheap) and that’s reflected in its resolving power.

I’ve been looking at mid-90s favourites such as the Marantz CD63 mkII KI. I’ve never heard it but the press went mad on this player when it was launched and at the time I assumed it would be much better than my Technics, but I couldn’t afford it. Nowadays it easily falls within my price bracket, but internet opinion seems to be very polarised about it.

I don’t just want something different, I want something definitely better in terms of resolution, presentation and overall musical refinement. Surely a more modern player now worth £300 either new or used should wipe the floor with my old Technics?

Thankyou for your time.
 

matthewpiano

Well-known member
The Marantz CD63 SE or CD63 MkII KI-Signature are well worth exploring. I've had one for some time and though I've had an Arcam CD17 in between, I've ended up keeping the CD63SE for its overall performance. The sound of these players is wonderfully involving and played through a good quality amp and speaker combination they achieve things that none of the affordable current players I've heard can. The minimum I would change my CD63SE for now is a Rega Apollo or a Creek Evolution 2 although I am more likely to buy a Rega DAC to use with the Marantz when I eventually upgrade the source.

Regarding your current player, those older, higher model Technics machines were excellent and in my opinion can still compete with the current crop of £300 players. I'd be very cautious about jumping into something that could well end up being a sideways move if your current machine is still working well.
 

chunky70

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Does your technics have a digital out? If it does how about a dac. Cambridge dacmagic or beresford caiman would be a good upgrade option.
 

bretty

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Hey,

I'd add my CDP to the list, Rotel RCD-991. It's a true high-end player that you can get for sensible money, second hand. Expect to pay £300. It has an evenly balanced sound and the amount of detail that it retrieves from discs is about as good as it gets.
 

nads

Well-known member
any real reason to want a CDP?

there are sugestions of DAC upgrades but there are music streamers thatr are as good as those dacs and would be better with a dac upgrade.

Have some thoughts about what you really want.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
For £300 in the used market, MF A3/A3.2/X-Ray, Arcam CD92/FMJ CD36, Rega Apollo, Cyrus CD6 (be wary of disc type) - those are about the best of the bunch. Arcam CD36's are on sale for £450 (brand new) just now if that's something you could stretch to.
 

MajorFubar

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nads said:
any real reason to want a CDP?

there are sugestions of DAC upgrades but there are music streamers thatr are as good as those dacs and would be better with a dac upgrade.
To be honest music streamers do not interest me at all as I'd much rather have real physical media. I can see in the not too distant future that will mark me as an 'eccentric', along with those people who still like vinyl, but that's the way it is.

Things have moved on since I last posted: thinking she was doing the right thing, my loving wife has gone and bought me a CD63 mk2 KI off ebay as a surprise. I don't like to tell her that I was in two minds about it which is why I didn't buy it. Let's hope it's a goodie.
 
T

the record spot

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Ah the old CD63-KI - a stalwart if ever there was one and still able to hold its own. Good call Mrs. Fubar!
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A

Anonymous

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I would recommend you think about using a top quality DVD player, such as an Arcam DV135 as your digital source. The DV135 is a stunning CDP that beats many of the Arcam CDPs IMO and will provide additional flexability should you want to listen to DVD Audio or SACD discs or simply integrate it into your AV setup - it is 1080i capable. DVD players resale value is ridiclously poor which means this DVD player that orignally retailed for £1000 just a couple of years ago can now be had s/h for as little as £200!!!! There is a reason why I have one and will get another one soon
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