Lector CDP 7 Mk I, II or III ?

I plan to part with my second system Ayre gear to refinance a purchase for the main system and am considering to retain only the Yamamoto headphones with another good cdp. And so I came accross Lector, unknown on the local market and thus even more interesting.

Now, I did a search on Agon and found several people specifically advising the CDP 7 Mk I, clearly prefering it over the later versions.

Is the original Lector CDP 7 sonically better? Any specific reason for that?

Thanks in advance
be careful about buying a product for which there may be no customer service unless you are going through a dealer, which is the best route on esoteric brands.
Hi Larryken, thanks for your words of warning, I'd probably go through the Dutch distributor/dealer, but then of course I'd be restricted to Mk III, hence my question

If you like Lector ,there 2 other players that approach the design as Lector,but with better sonic results:

1]Metronome esp CD 4


Both are significantly better than Lector IMO
... sadly also rather more expensive. This is a second system and I'm working on a budget, I'm afraid. Nevertheless, thanks for the information.
the mimetism seems to be a solid state cd player, while the lectors are tube-based.

does the mimetism sound more tube like than lector ?

if not in what way is it superior to the lector ?

my friend has a lector 7 --not the mk ii or mk iii.

there is one for sale on audiogon. i have been tempted, but am leaning toward an amr.
Mr tennis,

Have you actually has any experience listening to the Mimetism,any Mimetism products?The CDP will put a lot of so call 'tube'cdp to shame...

I will not describe it for you,just go and have a listen
I owned the Lector CD 7T Mk 1. I sold it and got a Bluenote Stibbert Mk II, sold it and am now very happy with my Raysonic 168
hi fafafion:

who carries this product ? is there a us importer ?

the virtue of the lector is its very romantic and forgiving character. i would describe it as a euphonic presentation.

most 24 bit players are not forgiving of problem recordings. the 20 bit lector has the advantage of not upsampling.
I have owned the CDP 7TL MkII and two MkIII's, either of which should sound better than the MkI. Lector made improvements from the MkI to the MkII in the power supply, chassis damping, and top drawer slider. The only difference from MkII to MkIII was changing the DAC board to accomodate the BB PCM-1704 24-bit chipset instead of the PCM-63 20-bit chipset. I have been told by two people who should have pretty good ears that they believe the MkII sounds better than the MkIII. I have been told by more people that the MkIII sounds better. HP from TAS implied the MkIII sounded better to him. My ears tell me they both sound great, and not so different from each other. The MkII projects a "creamier" slightly richer, fuller sound. The MkIII has better resolution and also falls on the rich, full side of the sonic scale compared to many others, but slightly less so compared to the MkII. I believe the bass is tighter with the MkIII, and also just as deep and powerful. The difference in sound is due to the two different DAC's used. I find the August 2007 Soundstage! review of the MkIII pretty much describes the sound. I kept the MkIII. It may not be the "best" but it is highly musical and highly enjoyable in the under $5K (used) price range. I preferred the sound of the MkIII Lector over the Blue Note Stibbert in a side-by-side comparison in my system, and I kept the Lector. The new price in the US is $5365, and there is now one for sale here for $2,100. I have no idea why it has been listed for 19 days without being sold.
Much obliged, thank you very much!

I'm located in Germany, otherwise I would probably have jumped on the Agon offer. By the way, contrary to what I said before I found out Lector is distributed in Germany after all. Price for the Mk III over here is just over EUR 3k, more than I wanted to spend for the second system so I'll be monitoring the market. (Meanwhile, I've seen a "young" YBA Classic Sigma 3 = same as the Passion CD 400 on offer in France, aah, choices, choices, is this hobby some exotic form of masochism?)

"I have no idea why it has been listed for 19 days without being sold."

"Used" cd players of just about any make have been very slow to sell. Just take a look at the current listings, many great players for sale, with no buyers.
"I have no idea why it has been listed for 19 days without being sold."

zero feedback is a liability.
That was a strong statement, and my point was simply that IMO the MkIII for $2,100 is a great deal. I have been thinking about trying other players, but dispite months of looking at options, every time I listen to my system with the Lector I think to myself, "can it really sound much better than this?" Even considering the current market conditions, as Reb1208 points out, anything I have strongly considered as a potential replacement has been in the vicinity of $4K used, or above. While I have had no problems whatsoever with any of the 3 Lectors I have owned, my other self-imposed criteria for a new player is that it be made in the USA, or at least have easily obtainable service in the USA, like Esoteric or Meridian. Of course, Tgyeti is correct about the zero feedback liability. I sometimes offer those sellers the option of COD.
Once you get to a certain level of cd playback, a "better" sounding player becomes more difficult to find. One option is to consider modified players. And if your handy, do the mods yourself. Having look at the innards of many costly players in the 5K+ range, many if not most of them use atleast some "cheapo" parts.
My CD player exposure is somewhat limited, though I have heard some high end players like an Accustic Arts transport and DAC. In my own system, I've owned a Njoe Tjoeb (w/ upgrades and upsampler), the Musical Fidelity A5, and now the Lector 7T, I assume the MKI version. For my ear, taste, room and my current system, I think I'd half to spend a good deal of money to better the Lector. I can't speak to the later MKII or MKIII versions, but the Lector is everything I could ask for in a player. It has a wonderfully warm and engaging sound that just draws me into the music. It is quite tube sensitive, and the presentation can be dramatically altered by trying a variety of different 12AT7 tubes. I also liked the Musical Fidelity A5, but the seamless soundstage is closer to my experiences with vinyl than the more layered stage that was presented with the A5 and other players I've heard in my system. Hope this helps in some way.
I know of no cd player under $10k that is more natural sounding and involving , sure there are some players better in one area or another the Esoteric 03-SE comes to mind, or the new Cary pro, or Mcintosh. To buy the Lector MK-3 is a solid all around performer and at it's price under $5k a superb bargain ,with the upgrade from the BB-pcm63 dacs which are classic 20 bit to the 24 bit -BB pcm 1704 dac chipset it is just a little more accurate with better resolution. p.s whoever said there is no service for Lector products
does not know squat. there are over 6 repair facilitys in the U.S alone I have owned mine for a year with no problems at all , also Vintage tubes take this player to another level !
PS - I have owned a Lector CDP-0.6T since 2011 and it is great.  Nicest sounding player I've ever owned.  Warm and as analog sounding a digital source that I've heard - esp when played next to an Ayre Codex.   Probably should have saved an extra 6 mos. and purchased the CDP 7T but was told at the time that the less pricey model was 90% of the performance of the 7. I have upgraded power cords and bought NOS tubes and both those tweaks improved the performance.  I have owned Cary CD players  - was excellent for the time but could sound edgy and it's transport failed ultimately.  A REGA Apollo cd player was ok but didn't last long in my system. A little dull.  I thought i was having problems with the Lector player and i sent to their authorized service center in Connecticut and the issue was an NOS tube.  Cary on the other hand, did not want to service the older unit.  So much for their customer service.  Moral of the story, a Lector CD player is a good, safe purchase.  

Resuscitating and old thread here. Any of you guys still enjoying this CDP in 2023?


Happy Listening!

I’ve owned the Lector CDP 0.6T for six years and the CDP 7TL MKII for over three years. They are definitely the most musical players I’ve encountered and aren’t going anywhere! the 7TL is in my main system, the 0.6 T in a living room setup.
I was lucky enough to get the CDP 0.6T via a Steve Hoffman Music Forums classified sale for just $550. To date I’ve had no issues with it. I currently have a pair of Amperex Orange Globes inside, previously I used RCA Blacktops.

When I found the 2005 CDP 7TL MKII in a listing by The Music Room around three years ago I knew I had to go for it, the player and PSU cost $1,499. About a year and a half in it started skipping on the final tracks of CDs, a sure sign that the drive was failing. I contacted Connecticut audio repair man Steven Lekrone (aka The Service Department), and got on his wait list which was going to nearly a year.

After more than a year had passed I learned of George Meyer AV right here in Los Angeles who were able to fix it and save me a lot in shipping costs. In went a NOS Philips mechanism, one capacitor and the PSU’s power chord was also replaced too. It was a pricey repair mainly due to George Meyer’s very high hourly rate not the parts. But it was well worth it to me, I feel lucky to have this player and look forward to enjoying it for years to come.

The 7TL came with Chalmer tubes which I understand to be rebranded UK military stock. They sound very good so I haven’t ever replaced them.

Both players sound so good, and their Redbook CD playback bests SACDs of the same mastering every time, highly recommended!

I also have the Lector VM200 power amp in another system at a second residence and am thinking about getting the matching ZOE preamp to go with it.




Thank You for the informative post. Good to read that George Meyer AV was able to service your 7TL player.


Happy Listening!


You're very welcome, happy to contribute to the thread!