Entry level CDP

In the Audiogon classifieds are a Rega Planet, NAD C542 BEE, and a Musical Fidelity E624. If price means much, then the NAD must have the most use, followed by the Rega. Which one will give the best overall performance with rock, classical, and jazz? Which one will still be going strong years from now? Thanks

I have not heard these units so I cannot comment, but seeing that you are not getting replies here go my very humble 2 cents (of a yen??): I have a Rotel RCD-1072 and like it a lot. I've had it for 5 years without any isues whatsoever.

What's going to happen in years to come is a good question. Might we be listening to as many CDs as now? Maybe. Or maybe we go digital from hard drives, in which case maybe spending the same amount on a DAC is wiser, assuming you have a CD player with digital out to start with.

I know my answers don't answer your questions, but thought this might be better than getting nothing. I hope it helps...some.



Those are some mighty ponderous and indefinite questions. Doubtful anyone can fully give a for sure answer given the way you prefaced them.

Which is better? Which one will last for years going forward?

Beats me. I’ll say Regga…. For no real good reason either. Just a shot in the dark… and as that’s exactly what you’ll be doing regardless of what is said here.

Being more pragmatic I’d say either of the 3.

Typically CDPs lasers last 4-7 years of normal operation and there are always exceptions to that rule in both directions.

As a source unit is mighty important, but not the only reason a system will be better in one area or another, I’d not be terribly worried on the pick here. I’d not think it the end of the line either. In the $500 area, and if it were the ONLY source unit, I’d think to get more flexibility and opt for a multiformat player, myself, like the Oppo BDP 83. Even one of the lesser priced Oppo units could be as good a solution.

From a grand to two grand, I’d look closely at the new Sony 5400? Or the Cambridge 840c and some others.

The digital surge is in full swing too, and server based HDD units are fast becoming great solutions affording users more versatility and variety while equaling or surpassing performance levels of many one box solutions.

I’d ask your questions of the sellers and add in their feedback section to gain more insight on those short list considerations you have available to you now.
Thanks to both of you. I'm not lookinbg for a an A/V unit. I have 2 audiophile retailers in my area. One sells Rega and NAD, the other sells Music Hall and Marantz. On a strict cash budget, I have to consider the security of a new unit warranty, and the ability of close p2p support. That said, the only second hand unit left in the mix is the Music Fidelity. The issue of formats is a good point.
To sum up: NAD, Music Hall, or Marantz? I heard that an old Planet wont play compressed formats, but am attracted by the top loading. FYI, I'm running a NAD C326BEE.
"I'm not looking for a an A/V unit." Even at the cost of performance and versatility? Beside CD's, there is plenty of great Jazz/Classical titles also available on DVD-a and SACD for you to explore.
I know guy's, I am a broken record on the Sony 595 for $60 on SonyStyle, shipped free. Why spend more when its sound is great and it also plays SACD's. If you figure four years that is $15 per year. What am I missing with people willing to spend five times as much?
Mlauner-- Naim = $$$. Eldragon -- Off topic? Shakeydeal-- a better forum? Buconero -- I am looking for a single disc player.
I heard Buc recommend the 595 so much,I bought one.It's a really good player(changer) for the price.I'm not quite as enamored with it as he is.It's not going to replace the Cary in my main system,but it will remain in my bedroom system.
Boiling it down ---As new units: NAD C515BEE, or NAD C545BEE, or Music Hall CD 25.2, or Marantz CD5003 for best bang for the buck, best overall music style flexiblity, best dynamic range performance, best sounstaging.
And is a used Musical Fidelity E624 better than any of the above?
there's really no comparison btwn the musical fidelity and the consumer-grade nad and marantz stuff--the mf is a really well-built, over engineered high end piece, while the latter are mass-market, mass produced stuff--sorta like comparing a lexus to a honda civic. now, i should make the personal disclaimer that i've had bad luck with the reliability of nad and marantz units, but you'll never regret opting for quality.
LJ This goes to show that there is good and there is GOOD.
In my budget NAD IS above mass market. I guess I'll opt for the E624 when I'm ready and if it has not sold. Thanks
If you are on a limited budget and looking for better sound you might consider a website called Audiogon. I've purchased several units from this site and it helps bridge the gap between high fidelity and quality at a lower cost.

I can't remember the address but you can probably search it on the web and find it. Once there, read the forums and trust the advice of 3/4 of the members and you will probably find twice the quality and reliability as buying new, for less.

There is always the risk associated with buying used vs. warranty, but you know your risk/potential higher fidelity/quality factor better than I.

Learn, don't be discouraged by the fancy's, and spend wisely. That's what we do when we're on a budget. Mistakes will occur, and if you are looking for the best sound on a budget, mistakes must happen.

Also post questions in the appropriate forum.

Good luck.


If as you say, there are two dealers in your area that together sell NAD, MH, and Marantz…


Ask to take one home for a weekend, provided it’s run in already, and see for yourself, then another, then another! Then buy one.

That dog probably ain’t going to hunt for you though, right? No home demos? No returns either?

Thems’ your options for first hand testing…. Or you can mule in your other pieces to the dealer and try that deal.

Uh oh… you wanna buy used, not new. Right? So OK… shoot me.

Then it’s just which type of chocolate you want.

As for multi format plaers mentioned here…. I have two. Both opo’s. just because they play more than SACD & CDs, doesn’t mean you have to put those types of discs into it. Nor does it mean that those disc players which play ONLY CD & or SACD, are better.

I had a $3K Sony CDP a while back. Got the $175 oppo. The Sony was better indeed. How much? Not a lot. New tech? probably. The 980 oppo came likely to about 85% maybe 90% of the Sony’s performance level…. Give or take a tad.

Build quality? Sony. Hands down! Quality pieces do last and are great means to ends. Digital changes mighty fast though.

I’d take that $300 and get a used 980 for about $100. Save up another couple bills and find me a Bel Canto DAC 1 or the like and do it.

For a vivid CDP… a strong voiced box, Sony is really tuff to beat. I’ve read here though that the Regga’s are strong, NAD to me is simply a value item with performance over it’s head usually. An over achiever. Marantz might be the more polite sounding of the bunch. Music hall?? Beats me completely, I’m no help there.


When ya find out you don’t like which ever, sell it and buy the other one and increase your feedback in the doing!

That was easy huh?
look here...


should help confuse things a bit more.
Actually 3 audiophile stores. Here they are --
1.Moon Audio, Holly springs, NC. www.moon-audio.com
2.Serious Hi Fi, Raleigh, NC. No website, works from house, Brit and Canadian stuff -- Nottingham, NAD, Naim, PSB, KEF, etc
2. Audio Advice, Raleigh, www.audioadvice.com. Has Rotel, but Rotel seems to have upriced without justification.
Only looking for single disc players, btw
Loomis-- I can't find any info on the Music Fidelity's CD format compatibility. MP3, MP4, and WAM is a must, without fussiness.
MP3, MP4, and WAM is a must, without fussiness.

The NAD C515BEE is the player you need to be checking out.$299.00 new at several NAD authorized online dealers.
Seems like the others are shootin' themselves in the feet.
I can get the NAD in person
Moon Audio has a very good reputation, FWIW. Dealt w them 1 or 2x and had good experiences, but 'net sales of cables so not gospel.
R a couple of moon audio sites. This one is a dealer in Holly Springs, NC. www.moon-audio.com
Swamp -- there are a couple of moon audio sites. This one is a shop in Holly Springs, NC. www.moon-audio.com