Olive kit and new CD player

I just wanted to share my experience with a Rotel CD11 Tribute CD player and my 72/HiCap/180 olive system into MK1 Linn Kans.
My main source for music is my LP12 built by Cymbiosis.
I have about 200 CDs that I occasionally listened to using an old Arcam DVD player. Recently the Arcam has been playing up, stuck draw and making a terrible vibrating sound when pressing play, so I have decided to retire it from the system.
As CD is not my main source I wanted a decent sounding player with a £400 budget.
After reading many reviews I decided to take the plunge and buy a brand new Rotel CD11 Tribute CD player. Although reviews were very favourable I wasn’t expecting much from this player as my amps and speakers are very revealing of source.
I have been very pleasantly surprised by the sound quality through my system, there seems to be a synergy with this CD player resulting in a very non digital, dare I say almost analogue sound. CD players have certainly improved in the 16 years since I bought my last one and it seems that great sound can be had at a very competitive price point.
The CD11 Tribute has just the right balance of dynamics, detail, soundstage and musicality that makes it very easy to listen to for long periods without fatigue, I’m so impressed with it. I was worried that it might sound bright with Olive kit and Kans but it’s the opposite, it has a kind of warm almost analogue sound signature in my system. It’s got me interested in CD again and I’m finding a ton of great albums on the format at unbelievable bargain prices.
Just wanted to share my findings in case anyone out there was thinking about a new CD player but was not looking to spend a huge amount on one. I actually got mine from a HiFi dealer that sells via Ebay for £279 delivered, brand new with warranty. I think it’s a great HiFi bargain.


Good news, nice to see the legend of Ken live on from his work with Rotel following the move from Marantz.

I only owned one Rotel CD player but it was the one to own, a RCD965 Bx, which was I think the 300 or 400 quid champ way back when.

It’s still going strong in parents system and was often paired with Pioneer A-400 amp, another budget classic of the day.

They are on a bit of a run at the moment with the higher end Michi’s being really well received and their tech trickling down to the Rotel range and just announced the diamond series I think.

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Many contributors to this thread who have Naim CD players* won’t be getting much enjoyment from them, as Naim can’t replace failed transport mechanisms at the moment.

*(Sadly, I’m one.)

Not now true… They can replace some, I understand… :thinking:
According to posts on this Forum…

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Spoke to my dealer couple of days ago on unrelated matter and they now have some cdx2 transports in again.

Hopefully I won’t need one and I’d seriously consider the Rega Saturn 3 if I ever need a new one.


Ian/Adam, are you able to say more about the mechs? I have a lovely CDS II, which I’m desperate to get working again.

I’ll ring Salisbury tomorrow to see what gives.


Hi Graham, I just saw on this site and then confirmed by my dealer (Tom Tom) that they had a supply of CDX2 transports, sorry can’t offer any more than that.

Definitely worth getting in touch with Naim to see how widespread the new supply is, fingers crossed for you.

I hope I’m not in the position of needing to make a decision any time soon but good news to see there are still some new CD players coming into the market. I’d still rather have my cdx2.2 for a good few years to come.


There seem to be a number of manufacturers still supporting the format with new product. The CD format is not dead yet and now seems to me to be a golden time to buy CDs especially in the used market at absolute bargain basement prices. I hope this continues to be the case but who knows s resurgence in interest in the format could result in pushing up prices same as we have seen with Vinyl LPs.

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Definite balancing act on the cost of ownership, was chatting to a professional recording artist who is friend of the family and streaming is killing the career.

I’ve got thousands of cd’s and continue to buy both them and vinyl, cds can defiantly be a bargain, tend to be more selective with vinyl investments.


@graham55 - It was the CDX2 mech - and it was mentioned on here. A mech for a CDS2 is probably too much to hope for, I think…

Search should be your friend. It was in a thread somewhere about Naim CD Mechs…
(if I can find it…)

PS. Maybe this one… CDX2 Issue

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My first CD player whilst at University was a Philips CD 473 for around £250 - great reviews at the time, but it really sounded ‘digital’ and I quite disliked it. My mate had a cheaper Yamaha CD player for around £180 - it was sublime and sounded completely natural by comparison, I was quite envious.

System synergy is so important, sounds as though you have landed a great deal, enjoy!

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The Yammys of that era even had Natural Sound on the face plate! Didnt you believe them? :wink:


Think they still do!

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Yes I think they did, maybe it was the Yamaha CD player, his amp (maybe Arcam like me) and the Heybrook standmounts that just worked so well - incredible midrange and vocals for I guess £500. Maybe he just picked items well, after all he was a musician!

Of course I could equally argue that he had the better room sonically in student digs!

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That presupposes that most other manufacturers do have the ability to service and repair their older models. Which in many cases they don’t…

Naim can replace laser mechs on CDS3 players. Mine sounds fab again and was worth the wait!

Interesting !

As a happy owner of any CDS/CDi edition and CD5, CDX editions as well, I’ve realized the scarce parts scenario and went to Rega CD players, not sure if they have other current players than Saturn though.
I had my old first edition Saturn supported and serviced a couple of years back, now as good as new. If I didn’t have an Isis I would have ordered the new Saturn for upstairs.

Rega Isis would be my choice if a new CD player was required however it is expensive. Rega and Cyrus make good mid-level players as well.

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Yes Rega do make a great CD player. I read on Grahams HiFi website that Rega are discontinuing the Applo CD player due to lack of availability of components. That was there entry level CD player so I think the starting price for one of their current models is around £1300.
I dug out of the cupboard today a couple old Audiophile Base isolation platforms that I’ve had since the early 90s and as an experiment put both under the Rotel CD11 Tribute and to my astonishment a huge leap forward in SQ more clarity, dynamics and separation. I really am astounded at how good this CD player is. As the player was so cheap I’m think about getting a better mains lead to replace the standard one. I would be grateful for suggestions on a brand to try that might give me another jump up in SQ.

Yes this Rotel is definitely on my list, I stream a lot more but I still buy CD as my way of owning the music. My aging esoteric cd/sacd player is starting to skip now and I compare it to external Dac (Topping D90SE) Esoteric still wins with better sound stage, but to me that’s the only it does better Topping has better detail and more engaging. I have read and watched reviews on Rotel reviews (Steve Guttenburg) and like you said he thinks it sounds great for the price especially in a decent system. Have you compared it to external DAC?