Ruminations On CD Players

After multiple factory rebuilds, I'm ready to replace my twenty year old Arcam CD-73 CD player.  I've looked through lists of recommended CD players in the $2000 range, and have noticed that some are all-inclusive while others have separate transports and DACs.  Other than ease of replacement, what are the benefits of having the transport and DAC separate?  Any recommendations on CD players in this price range?  I only have music CDs so don't need anything that can do more than that.



John Cotner

New Ulm, MN


If you purchase an MHDT Orchid and you're handy with a soldering iron, you can do much more to upgrade this DAC to a more analog sound by not only tube rolling but replacing the large 2 uF caps with much higher quality caps and investing in an 'S' grade chip(but these can be expensive....takes some hunting to find one for less than $200). I'm using an Audiolab CD transport. This combo comes very close to sounding like my very expensive analog system fed through high quality speakers.

Regardless of the format the key is to enjoy the music. 

@jimmyblues1959 Big +1 there brother.  In the end we all pick what’s most comfortable and sounds the best to us. That’s the ONLY thing that matters in the end.

I’m using a Cambridge Audio CXC CD Transport @$599.00. It requires an external DAC. My DAC of choice is the Jolida Glass FX Tube DAC III @$750.00 and uses twin 12AX7 tubes in the input stage. The sound of this combination is miraculous in that the Cambridge is exact and sonically pure in its bit-perfect output. The DAC, with its 12AX7 dual-triode front end returns the audio character to a softer analog presence reminiscent of a vinyl format. The pair of components won’t break the bank either.

Project rs2 transport is amazing... A bit over budget in US maybe so next one down rs transport is under a grand and top loading like the Rs2 so no tray wobbles ever. I matched mine with rs2 DAC as perfect partner but a SH chord qutest is great value for money too. 

The Nuprime CDP-9 with LPS212 Linear power supply. The best CD playback

I've ever had-