My best cd players



The best cd player I have ever owned is the Wadia 581. And it is probably the best I have ever heard untill now. The three-dimensional soundstage is just breathtaking. So is the resolution and the transparancy. First, I was a bit sceptic, because it doesn't use the famous VRDS drive from TEAC anymore. Instead, they mounted a South Korean cd-rom(!)drive. Doesn't really give you a lot of confidence, right? Well, I don't know how they have done it, but the engineers from Wadia knew what they were doing. Because, of the new drive, it reads SACD too. Not, that I am a big fan of that, but it surely is a nice option. In fact, I must admit, the SACD sounded sligthy more natural than the CD. Of course, the Wadia is not cheap. Back then, you could buy a new one for 12000 Euro. It is discontinued now for more then two years. Rarely, you see them appear on the second hand market nowadays. If you have the money, it will be a good investment. It is giving you a big smile, each time you will use it. Isn't that priceless?

Also the Wadia 860x, is a great player. Not as good as the Wadia 581, but it still belongs in the top section of cd players. The famous three-dimensional soundstage is there, also the stunning bass extension that other cd player manufacturies only can dream of. It uses the TEAC VRDS drive, which is still one of the best you can get. Yes, this will be my number two of the best I have had. Be careful, when you need to repair your Wadia. I once had the top damaged. Wadia asked 700 Euro for a new one. I had no choice than to purchase it. It is like, buying a new hood for your Ferrari. Doesn't come cheap also.

Now, becomes the hard part. The third place, I am doubting to give the honor to the Wadia 830 or my current Rotel Rcd 955 tubed cd player. I have never compared them with eachother in the same hifi setup. So, I need to use my experience and instinct. In the end I will give the credits to the Rotel. The musical performance is just paramount. I am sure the Wadia would beat the Rotel in some cases. But in overal the Rotel will be the winner. The Rotel , I bought for 100 euro and It got modified by a friend. So, here is the proof that good hifi doesn't have to cost you huge amounts of money. Just, by some good research and most of all keeping your eyes (and ears) open you can find really nice high-end.

Meridian & Marantz



One player I listened to for a long time is the Meridian 206B player. The 'B' stands for Bitstream and it uses a chunky drawer with the reliable Philips cdm 4 drive. It has a good reason, I owned this player for long, because it is incredibly musical involving. No sharp egdes or with an artifical sause. It can be yours now on the second hand market for a very reasonable price. Ebay is your best friend! Same goes for the famous Marantz CD 10. With almost 17kg you can be sure it is built like a tank. It sounds good too. Very deep and powerful bass and a laid back presentation that is typical Marantz. I used it with a seperate DAC from PS audio. If not for its sound, it is ideal to use it as a drive when using a good DAC. Although I am not a big fan for bitstream players, these two I like and recommend.