The CD5 in our opinion, is a “budget” masterpiece the when compared to the more expensive Reference CD7 that we sold previously. The Reference CD7 may have more technical advantage over the “scaled down” CD5 but in terms of sound, its only slightly better than the CD5. And just by that alone, the CD5 should be taking home the trophy. For it to achieve that level of greatness without costing just as much is truly a dream in design from Audio Research. Just like the CD7, the CD5 is a top loader, which has many advantages over a tray slot design where mechanical vibrations is almost non-existent. The on board conversion is nothing over too fancy where it basically uses a 24 bit DAC chip. The analog stage and the laser assembly however, is where it got all the attention. The Philips PRO2M laser mechanism is bolted down to their proprietary mounting platform which reduces the jitter level and with an all new FET direct-coupled analog output stage and bigger power supplies, the CD5 became the incredible CD player it has been raved about by many reviewers and users alike. Resolution was impeccable and the mids were rich and smooth. The bass had tremendous impact and presence in our system when compared to other CD players used in the same setup. For under $2,500 now, this is probably the best player you can get for the money.
Cosmetically, the player is in great shape. Just some minor scuff marks here and there but nothing major. Original remote, manual and box included.