Cary Audio Design CD-303 CD Players

5/5 (19 Reviews) MSRP : $3000.00


Product Description

HDCD decoding, 96 kHz/24 bit, PMD-100 digital filter, Phillips CDM-12 mechanism, dual c-core power transformer, fully regulated power supplies, fully shielded drive mechanism.


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Reviews 1 - 5 (19 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Discriminator a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: April 26, 2007

Bottom Line:   
Not much to add to the reviews below except to say that this is *still* a very competitve CD player. I found that I had a lot more HDCD's than I thought and they sound very compelling with the 303/200 - not just detailed but *present* in the room with outstanding imaging and microdynamics, but not at the expense of sound harsh or in-your-face. Really brings out the emotion in a performance as well as in the listener. Mates exceptionally well with my tube hybrid preamp but I expect that it would still sound great with solid state. I looked hard and couldn't find anything that came close for under $1500 (and several costing considerably more didn't sound anywhere near as good in my system). Cary was very good about answering my questions on the phone, too. I have no buyer's remorse after having bought this player used - it's definitely a fine bargain and built to last.

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2002

Price Paid:    $1325.00

Purchased At:   audiogon



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by augwest a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: April 26, 2007

Bottom Line:   
I bought a used 303/200 without auditioning it and could not be more delighted with the value I received. I had conducted in-home auditions of new and used units from Rotel, Wadia, Jolida, Naim, and others and while each had their appeal I found shortcomings in each instance that kept me from plunking down cash to replace my 1998 CDR-800 HHb Pro Burner with Pioneer Stable Transport. I was looking for a dramatic, as opposed to incremental, improvement and none of the aforementioned machines sounded dramatically better to my ear in my price range. The areas where most failed was in bass and smoothness of midrange.

Enter the 303/200, purchased on the strength of the reviews posted here. At $1300 used it was about the same price as my HHb new and considerably less expensive than other machines I auditioned, but this one sounded dramatically better! Add to that the rock-solid construction of this 37 pound beast including solid metal CD tray and remote control, selectable 96kHz upsampling, and Cary's reputation for durability, customer service, and performance and this is an irresistible deal. The bass coming out of my Vandersteen 2Ce Signature speakers and 2Wq subwoofer is palpable, natural, and very quick but never bloated. The midrange is very convincing, my test being piano and female vocals. I didn't know my speakers could sound this good. I haven't tried it without the preamp yet - it's hard for me to imagine it could sound much better. This may sound hokey but I cut some squares out of cheap polaroid sunglasses and affixed them over the bright blue LEDs with black electrical tape to attenuate the output. I also put Symposium Rollerblocks and a Svelte platform under it which took the sound and detail to an even higher level, particularly with upsampled or HDCD playback. HDCD recordings sound amazing. Highly recommended!

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2001

Price Paid:    $1300.00

Purchased At:   AudiogoN



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by mike kletecka a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: May 30, 2003

Bottom Line:   
I wanted to wait and see what would happen with the whole sacd / cd thing, but my 6 year old linn cd had seen better days, forcing me, very reluctantly to buy a new cd player. With this in mind, I did not want to spend more than $3K on a player which, leaves in this price range a lot of good players to choose from.

Based on my system "tubes" and "mini monitors" for speakers, the Cary was the best choice for me. It is everything that the other reviewers have said. I am most happy with it, and it appears to be getting better and better ( so far I mabey have 50 hours of play time on it)so it still needs futher time to break-in.

In closing, I know that this player will keep me "very" content until this whole SACD thing fully comes into play. I highly suggest that if one is looking for a cd player in this price range to give it listen.

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2003

Purchased At:   upscale audio



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by EZ a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: March 25, 2003

Bottom Line:   
I have to admit that when I first hooked up this unit, I liked what I heard, but I was not bowled over. Since then, I've let the unit run for about a week straight and put on a classical cd last night. Wow. Break in really makes a difference. The low level information, ie., fine details just jumped out. Extraordinary, detailed music is the best way to describe what comes out of this unit.

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2003



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by rayd a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: September 12, 2002

Bottom Line:   
FIRST OF ALL I WOULD LIKE TO THANK ALL OF THE REVIEWERS ON AUDIO REVIEW IN HELPING
ME MAKE MY SELECTION. I PURCHASED AN ADCOM
GCD750 APROX 15 MONTHS AGO AND I THOUGHT
IT WAS EXCELLENT AFTER HAVING A PIONEER ELITE CD PLAYER AND A CAL AUDIO DAC
WHICH I HAD FOR MANY YEARS AND WAS HAPPY WITH. AS TIME WENT ON WITH THE ADCOM I FELT THEIR WAS SOMTHING MISSING NOW THAT
I HAVE THE CARY I KNOW WHAT IT WAS DEPTH
THE ADCOM WAS OK BUT IT IS IN MY OPINION
LITE YEARS AHEAD IN SOUNDSTAGE,DEPTH,SMOOTHNESS WITHOUT LOOSING DETAIL.

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2001

Purchased At:   AUDIO CONNECTION VER




Reviews 1 - 5 (19 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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