Your CD Player history

I was talking to a colleague recently about playing music and it turned out he’s never owned a CD player. Never, not one. But his dad had gone through about 10!

I’ve only ever had 2, starting with a Rotel 820 in the late eighties and then a CD3.5 + flatcap since the 90’s.

Apart from an Audiolab transport for the study system, that’s it!

I’d be interested to hear others CDP history and perhaps which was your favourite and least favourite.


Started with a Nakamichi with my first CB system, then CDX/XPS followed by CDS3/555PS and (finally) CD555 with two 555PSs. Significant improvements each time.

I still have all of them but the Nakamichi is u/s.

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Hi Jamie,

I had a lovely Arcam Alpha CD player
Denon SACD player
Sony CD player
Naim CD5Si
Naim CDS2 with XPS
Naim CDS3 with XPS2

And now nothing.

Naim CD players, particularly CDS2 and CDS3 favourites followed by CD5si and Arcam Alpha.

Am interested in having a CD player again or perhaps a CD transport. Suggestions very welcome. I have NDS with 555PS which can be used as DAC.

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I had the original Philips 101……unfortunately like everything i subsequently bought from them it failed just out of warranty. A then Technics mash dac cd player……before proper hifi…….an Arcam cd transport into a deltec pdm dac. Then i heard and bought a Naim cds……the last proper cd player.

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First was a Philips Cd 634 bitstream player, replaced by the amazing Rotel RCD 965BX, which was an absolute giant killer and still going strong in parents system.

That was then replaced by a Teac VRDS T1 transport into an Audio Alchemy Dac in the box, which was then replaced by a Cambridge Dac magic.

Arcam Alpha 9 (another giant killer) after that and then Densen B-400 Plus which I still have.

Naim cdx2.2, then replaced by another cdx2.2 to get a newer version as they were discontinued.

In the second system Rega Apollo CDP, which then had a Musical Fidelity Mx Dac attached to it.

That’s the lot, I think , had some real gems in there, first one was definitely the worst, after than became very selective on what I bought.

The Densen was interesting , I wanted to buy the Copland of the day and auditioned that and the Marantz cd 17ki, Densen absolutely slayed both of them. My wife was able to pick out the Densen each time it was swapped in, even when I bluffed a change, had to agree, even though the Copland was what my predisposition wanted.

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  1. Phillips CD 104
    I think there must have one between these two but I can’t recall
  2. 1999 Pioneer pds703 with the upside down CD
  3. CD5 which failed under warranty. I was loaned a CDI
  4. CDI which i ended up keeping.
    That was retired when it started playing up and I switched to streaming.
    I still have the CDI but not installed, last year I stripped it down and found loose screws in the tranport mechanism, once tightened it works a treat

Far too many to remember but the highlights were ( in no particular order of preference)
Meridian 506 20 bit
Trichord (pioneer) cd turntable and trichord dac
Sony 337esd (tda1541a)
Pimped arcam alpha 5
Marantz cd63ki ( pimping project)

Probably several more I can’t remember!

  1. Phillips CD 104
  2. Denon something or other, which outperformed (or at least equaled) Naim CD3.5
  3. Naim CDi
  4. Naim CDX2
  5. Naim CDS3

Then I bought a naim HDX which is still going strong, plus I now have a NDX2. I no longer have a CD player as such but the HDX plays CD’s if needed.
Since switching to streaming, I haven’t missed my CDS3 once.

1989/1990? Harman Kardon HD500 cd player. It was a bit temperamental, I remember having it adjusted at least twice as it stopped reading discs.
Arcam alpha 5+
Cyrus dad3q24
Simaudio Moon nova - my “high end” player. I traded this in against a unitiqute 2. Was happy with the £500 I was offered.

Today I have a Sony xb 930 qs. Hardly gets used since owning the ndx2. Built like a tank. I like the magnetic puck. Cost me very little on eBay. Maybe £75.

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  • Marantz CD67SE used in second system sometimes with digital out into Auralic Altair G1

  • CDX2 (sold) and added an XPS2

  • CDS3+XPS2 in main system

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Relucantly the demise of vinyl in the 1980s drove me to CD. My first was an Acam Alpha which was as good as it got for the money. I then stopped cutting off my nose to spite my face and got a Naim CD5/Hicap which was very good to my ears and I preferred it to a bare CDX2 on demo. I then made the mistake of trading it in for a used CDS2/XPS. This wasn’t much better than the CD5 and kept failing to play or skipping unless the puck was tweaked or replaced on a regular basis. The only bit of Naim gear that disappointed me.
Then streaming came along and I dumped my CDs without a nanosecond’s regret. Viva Qobuz!

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*Denon purchases in Dubai in 1992, can’t remember the model number.
*Linn Genki 2001’ish
No CD player currently although an Audiolab 6000CDT might be added once an appropriate Streamer/DAC is purchased.

Sorry first post but been reading for ages!

A cheap Akai Mini System CD player
Kenwood 6CD multichanger
Marantz CD53SE KI
Quad 77
Audiolab 6000CDT

There was a huge no HiFi gap between the last 2


A JVC player (no idea of model)
Technics 580?
Arcam CD72T
Sony DVD player 910ES?
Audiolab 6000CDT

  1. SONY CD501
  2. QUAD 67
  3. Naim CDS II (hoping this can be repaired with new mech)
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In order of ownership…

Marantz CD 65 IISE.
Linn Karik.
Naim CD3.5.
Naim CDX.
Naim CD 5i.

Then started ripping discs. I love the convenience of ripped files, but I do miss having a CD player.


I have had a:
Mission DAD7000
Arcam Delta 70.2
Arcam CD23
Naim CDX2
and still have the CDX2 with XPS2.

The Mission had a 14bit with 4 times oversampling DAC, the first Arcam gave the full 16 bits. The CD23 had the ring dac and the most prodigious bass of any player I have owned. The CDX2 with XPS2 has the most refined treble and a bit more boogy factor than the Arcam. I just have the CDX2/XPS2 now, but wish I had kept the CD23 for a second system.


I didn’t have a CD player until 1991 – a my first was a Nakamichi CD Player 4:

In 2000 it was joined by a Marantz DR700 CD recorder:

In 2004, with the growth of CD burners in Macs, both were sold on and replaced with a Marantz CD6000, a brilliant machine which I sold on in 2012 for more than I paid for it!

From 2012 to 2018, I then had the brilliant Marantz CD6004, another built-like-a-tank machine with amazing sound for the money.

Since July 2018, my disc spinner has been the marvellous Oppo 205 – it plays 4K UHD Blu-ray, Blu-ray, DVD, DVD-A, SACD, CD, and even Video CDs. In fact, the only thing it can’t play is the short-lived HD-DVD format.


Philips CD840 (I think - first bitstream model anyway)
Cyrus dAD 7 (with PSX power supply)
Naim CDX2 with XPS then XPSDR (current)

Yamaha CD-1a 16bit x1
Marantz CD63KI
Exposure CD 2010s2

NAC-N 272
NAC-N 272 / 555DR