Wanted, Analogue Sounding CD Player.

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lydeard said:
Many Thanks folks for your interest and replies. With respect however I think that you might be missing my point a little bit. My issue is that I am more than happy with the sound I get from my analogue front end so, as I see it (but will be corrected) there is no point in thinking about upgrading amp or speakers. I accept that doing this would likely give me an overall improvement but the performance gap between Vinyl and CDP would still be there. Anyway, to give you a bit more info for you to comment on my system is as follows:- Rega Planar 3 with Denon DL160 Cartridge. Marantz CD17 KI Sig CDP with Van Den Hul D102 Mk3 interconnects feeding - Unison Research 'Unico' Amp Gale XL315 speaker cable Castle Avon Speakers. I am using just standard Mains supply and cables as I live in (I think) a relatively 'clean' Mains area, ie well out in the countryside. I did audition one or two Mains cables at home a while ago and failed to be excited by them. Yes, I would be prepared to go for a separate DAC if you feel strongly this is my best option - any suggestions on what make/model ??. I note that 'The Record Spot' suggests valve based CD players. What are the strengths and weakness's of these ?. Compared to vinyl I would say that my Marantz sounds closed-in, hard and 'glassy'. It also has a less firm and tuneful bass and generally less attack. In summary, when I go to listen to vinyl after CD it's like someone has removed a thick blanket from front of speakers. Majority of music listened to is Soft Rock and Blues with a bit of Folk mixed in for a change. Very interested to hear what you all think. Lydeard
Hi lydeard

Thanks for your reply.

I am fully aware of he CD17 KI MK1 as i used to sell them.

For dedicated cd players then Rega's Saturn, Naim's CD5XS or CDX2.2 are ones to look at.

If you are happy to use your Marantz as a transport then look at using it with the Rega DAC or the truly superb Chord Electronics QBD76 DAC. The QBD76 DAC is also one of the few digital sources i've come across over the years whose performance is reminiscent to record players.

One of my clients uses a CD17 KI MK2 (which itself was quite an improvement over the CD17 KI MK1) with a QBD76 DAC. The improvement the QBD76 gives over the CD17 KI MK2 is stunning across the board. All things being equal then i have no doubt this result would also be repeated with the CD 17 KI MK1.

Btw, using a DAC such as the QBD76 will also give you the option of using other digital media.

All the best

Rick @ Musicraft


I've heard 5000 pounds CD players and I used to own a 2.500 pounds DAC but none of them sounded vinil-like. Actually, they even got close to a high-end turntable.

There're digital sources like DCS and Wadia but I'm not sure you'll get the sound you are after even with them.

High-end SACD players (playing SACDs) are good approach to turntables. I listened to Krell Standard SACD player in a 20.000 pounds system and was under the impression I was listening to a high-end turntable. It was a vinil-like presentation without any type of noise. Unfortunately there's just a few SACD recordings to justify a purchase of such expensive machines.

Anyway, if your current player is Marantz CD17KI, there's still the possibility of great improvement moving to a more refined CD player. I've never listened to your player, but I've already heard it plays in the same league as its newer brother Marantz SA-15S1/S2. The latter's not the best digital source around. You'll not get a vinil-like performance, but I'm sure it's possible to get a closer vinil-like presentation with some sources listed above.


Dear friend,

I have a Unison Research P70 amplifier (integrated tubes), and a Marantz cd player I'm going to change. Recently I've heard the Unison Resarch CDE player, and...... the seek it's ended. Big and "analogue" sound.

Dynaudio Contour 1.8 speakers. Atlas cables and Eos power cables.

And if you hear music like jazz, classical, voices.... It's perfect.

I hope this helps to you.



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