Thinking about a new, lower end CD Player

My current CD player is a basic, older Sony, probably 10-12 years old. Works fine but I could use it in another location with a lower end system. It seems to sound about as good as my Arcam CD92 that lost its DAC a while back.

So now thinking about buying a new CDP and have a couple of questions.

I’d like to keep this in the $300-500 range for units with internal DAC. Not looking for SACD player. Other than a remote, not looking for special features or multi disk players.

I’m guessing that in this price range SQ is probably comparable to other units in that range.

First, is a CDP in this price range going to sound any better than the old Sony?
Second, if not, is there any reason not to just buy a comparable $200 unit?
Third, for units in this price range ($300-500) is there any reason to look for one with balanced output capability and if so, is there any way to know if it is truly balanced.

Thanks all,



Do I need balanced? I just assumed that we all do.;-) Isn't it better? It has to be since it costs more.

Seriously, I doubt that I 'need' balanced but my line stage is equipped for it. I did (do) honestly assume that it is an improvement over single ended if implemented properly but I have never tested that theory on my own equipment. My tuner has balanced outputs but I've been told that doesn't mean that it actually provides balanced output. But, if that's not a 'thing' with higher end CDPs then chances are I'd never hear the difference anyway.

At this point I'm just exploring options. In the last 3 months I've had two old CDPs bite the dust. If I'm going to pay more than the average $200-$300 I'd like to think it would still be working in a few years and I'd like the possibility of improved SQ.
rlovendale, that's interesting. I don't know much about Schiit stuff. I have a Modi 2 Uber and it seems to perform as advertised.

The marketing is appealing. Their aesthetic is appealing to me. But what really appeals to me is their attempts to deliver bang-for-buck gear. Reviews suggest that the bang is there for so many of their products. Not sure how long I'll be able to wait for that product but will certainly keep my eye open.
You didn't mention what other components you have in the system you want to add the new CD player to. If you have a Bluray or DVD player in that system chances are very good that player will also be able to play CD's and you can save your money to buy more CD's. At least until they stop producing CD's.
@n80 - You wrote:  "I am not interested in streaming as my primary listening source at this time. Prefer to own my music in a tangible way. Call me a dinosaur, whatever. But really enjoying CDs right now and getting good recordings at great prices."  Amen to that, brother!!

Also, I have an Arcam CD-23T and Arcam CD37, both in mint condition that I may part with soon.  PM me if interested.
lots of good players in your price range, really just a matter of personal preference...I doubt any are truly balanced