CD Player Brands and Manufacturers

By Chuck Hawks

Yamaha CD-S2000
Yamaha CD-S2000 player. Illustration courtesy of Yamaha Corporation.

This is a list of CD brands and manufacturers. Some are relative newcomers in the field and some have been making and marketing CD players from the beginning. (Sony and Phillips, for instance, jointly developed the compact disc.)

CD players vary widely in quality of construction, as well as electronic sophistication. Those from the top manufacturers (like McIntosh) are very well made and durable goods, so there is an active used market for CD players. Buying used audio components is a way to get a higher quality component that you could afford to buy new. However, CD player technology has improved dramatically over the years and continues to do so. Buying a model that is not current probably means that you will not be getting the latest advances. In addition, unlike amplifiers and tuners, CD players have motors and moving parts that wear out, like any other mechanical device. I would only recommend buying a used CD player that was current generation and in "like new" condition.

Many component manufacturers are very small companies that are not exactly household names and with which I have had zero experience. The list that follows includes only brands that I at least know a little bit about, either first hand, through audiophile friends and reviewers, or by reputation. They are at least recognized in the audiophile community. This list is far from complete. I am sure there are many other good brands (and some bad ones) that are not included. If I have left out your favorite, it doesn't mean I think it is no good, only that I am not familiar with it. If you are looking for a new CD player, this list is, at least, a place to start.

CD Players

    Arcam
    Audio Research
    Ayre
    Bang & Olufsen (B&O)
    Boulder
    Bryston
    Classe' Audio
    Krell
    Linn
    Luxman
    Marantz
    Mark Levinson
    McIntosh
    Meridian
    Musical Fidelity
    NAD
    Nagra
    Naim
    Nakamichi
    Onkyo
    Phillips
    Pioneer
    Quad
    Rotel
    Simaudio
    Sony
    Teac
    Technics
    Yamaha




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Copyright 2011, 2014 by Chuck Hawks. All rights reserved.


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