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 want to call if "Neanderthal", that’s OK -- I don’t take it personally!

@stuartk Sorry, that wasn’t meant toward you at all but rather how the act of spinning CDs today seems to me.  That said, I do find it surprising you’re not discovering tons of new music you’d like to explore and listen to.  I feel like a kid in the audio candy shoppe and am constantly finding intriguing new music all over the place, and more often than not when I go to Qobuz it’s usually there in CD — and often times better — quality.  But, in the end we all experience audio and music the way we enjoy most and that suits us best, and that’s really all that matters. 


Thanks for the clarification but the apology isn't necessary. I didn't take it at all personally -- I was simply attempting to be humorous, which doesn't always translate well  in a medium where non-verbal cues are absent!  It's all good. 

I'm familiar with that "kid in a candy store" feeling -- it lasted for a good 20 years while I was focusing on exploring Jazz but at this point, I have a very good sense of what I like and don't like and it takes very little listening to an unfamiliar artist or release to determine whether it's something I'm likely to enjoy playing over and over. In other words, I'm limited by the boundaries of my own tastes/preferences, which I haven't found to be very flexible. 


I will soon be listing THE giant killer-
Resolution Audio Opus 21 CD player with Great Northern Sound Co. reference level modifications.  Separate dac (BB 1704's) and new transport as of 11/22. It will meet your price range and exceed your expectations.  Just read the reviews.
PM me if interested.


@mbmi “…Streaming sucks. Why.......because people Don't sit there and enjoy a certain song or complete album...they bounce around playing 1 minute of this song and 30 sec. of the next song etc…”


That is typically only true when the sound quality of streaming is significantly below that of your other medium. In my system I get glued to a new streamed album I typically would not listen to and just can’t quit because I get immersed in it.


The “surfing” problem used to haunt me and my system until I finally raised the sound quality of my streamer / DAC. It put the musicality into streaming without loosing the detail. Both my main system and headphone system glue me to nearly anything musically in my sphere of interest… and a lot of things outside.




I appreciate your opinions. But for the benefit for those new to this pursuit I have to say your engineering background is getting in the way of your ears. This is not uncommon, that when you are absolutely sure something cannot mater it can cause your mind to focus on similarities and choose not to believe you hear a difference.


To those of use that developed our listening skills there is a huge world of difference out there. I recommend spending more time listening and a bit less time thinking about how there cannot be a difference. Find some audiophiles that can let you listen to great systems and coach your listening skills and your life will become richer in the nuance of music.