Replacing a NAD C541i CD player - ~£300 CD player choice


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Aug 10, 2019
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Sadly, after just over 4 years, the drawer mechanism on my NAD C541i has bitten the dust and after some deliberation I've decided that replacing the CD player is the best plan, rather than spending the probably ~£120 to get it fixed (the main benefit being the warranty and piece of mind of a new CD player versus the worry that the old one would break again and the fact that I would only get a 3 month-ish warranty on any repair).

So, unless convinced otherwise, I'm on the hunt for a CD player in the £300 or less region. My system consists of a NAD C370 amp and Dynaudio Audience 42 speakers which are staying till they give up the ghost, so I'm looking for something to complement them. I haven't been keeping abreast of the Hi-Fi world since buying the system 4 years ago, so am in the dark as to what's worth a look and listen any more.

The most obvious choice is to get the NAD C542, since it's the current equivalent of my previous CD player, and is easily obtainable from Hi-Fi Corner in town (I'm in Glasgow) for £330. However, I'm also quite intrigued by what I've read about the Cambridge Audio Azur 640C v2, which comes in at £250 and again is easy to get hold of from Richer Sounds of course. Hi-Fi Corner also have some Marantz and Rotel stuff and I know that Glasgow Audio do Denon within my price bracket, but I haven't paid them a visit yet.

What's worth considering, and any advice in particular on choices that might suit my amp and speakers?

Broadly my music taste could be classed as "rock", though that's an incredibly blunt definition of my listening habits. Thanks.

Andy Clough

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Apr 27, 2004
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You might also want to take a listen to the Rotel RA-04 (£250) and Pioneer A-A6-J (£350). Both are excellent 5-star products, although the Pioneer needs careful partnering as it tends towards a slight brightness in the treble with certain speakers.

Andrew Everard

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May 30, 2007
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[quote user="d_a_n1979"]Theres an excellent Arcam alpha 9 CDplayer on Ebay currently for c£299[/quote]

How do you know it's excellent? It might be knackered...


I'd prefer to buy new rather than secondhand, as the conservative worrier in me likes the comeback of a solid warranty if anything goes wrong.


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Sep 6, 2007
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[quote user="Andrew Everard"]
Sorry, just we've had a spate of people suggesting other users look at superb products on e-bay, and they turn out to be the seller.


Deffo not me, wouldnt sell my Alpha 9 CD player


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