Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by LakeMountain, May 27, 2021.
Ayre DX-5 with dedicated power and power conditioner.
So good I got rid of my vinyl.
Esoteric K-01XD and Luxman D-10X. Set for a few years anyway
Consonance Reference 2.2. I use it through it’s balanced outputs which bypass the tube output. My budget was $1500 when I was looking back in the day. It still operates perfectly and I listen to CD’s a few times a month. It’s biggest issue is that its incredibly unattractive.
I love my bone stock OPPO DV-980H. Bought it new as their first CD Deck (1997 ?).
If it ever does stop working, I'll probably go with a Marantz.
Seems like an impressive example how new technology emulates a fascinating sound signal from CD resolution! Waversa is doing a similar thing and people who listened to it are really impressed.
And there seem to be more more manufactures who develop such technology.
That Naim,is just incredible .Off to read about it
To me it means that I have wow’ed out to the max, that there is no feeling that something could be missing, that I have no thought about buying something else even if I have the budget. But it may mean different things to others, of course.
I can fully understand that now. 3 years ago I would have told myself that he is crazy to this, but not anymore.
I am keeping my analog set up, because I love the mechanics side of it and I have lots of older records that are not available on CD and I still find some treasures in garage sales etc.
I do not want to de-rail this thread about CD playback improvements and catching up to vinyl playback, however, in my system it has been a slightly different horse race. In my system it is SACD playback almost catching up to vinyl playback. You can see my entire system on my profile.
My vinyl front end is a VPI Classic Direct TT with a VPI Fatboy 3D tonearm with an Ortofon MC Century cartridge. That goes into a Bob's Devices SUT ( 1:10 ) and a c-j TEA1 S3b phono preamp. This gear has been stable for about a year.
My SACD gear started in 2002 using the original Sony SCD-1 SACD/CD player. The SCD-1 served me well for about 14 years and as it started to play erratically I switched to the PS Audio DirectStream Memory Player ( DMP ) and the PS Audi DirectStream DAC ( DS DAC ) with Windom firmware ( FW ). The two are connected using an I2S interface between the two. A Wireworld Platinum Starlight 7 HDMI 1 foot cable makes the connection. I mention this because using a very short top notch HDMI cable makes a noticeable improvement in the sound. Also, as some of you may know, PS Audio supplies free FW updates to owners that improve on the sound when they are available.
I was very happy with this digital front end and thought it sounded great until October of last year when I traded in the DMP for PS Audio's new PefectWave SACD Transport ( PST ) and then about two months ago upgraded from the Windom FW to the Sunlight FW on the DS DAC. The combination of these two upgrades have raised the SACD playback performance to a level that the horse race between the SACD playback and the vinyl playback is now neck to neck.
While I am very please with my digital front end I am holding my breath ( not literally ) because PS Audio has announced that the Sunlight FW will be the last upgrade to the DS DAC and that coming later this year they plan to announce a replacement for the DS DAC that has been in the works by Ted Smith ( the digital genius who designs PS Audio's DAC's ) for the last three or four years. All I can say is I cannot imagine how he will make a better sounding DAC but I sure hope he does.
Dcs vivaldi 4 box stack, dcs rossini player and clock, both fantastic
I've hugely enjoyed digital sound (CD) since the 90's. Especially from a Meridian 508.20 player. Years ago I moved to streaming my collection to a Benchmark DAC and never looked back.
No urge whatsoever to go around searching for other digital sources. (Being in to tube amps maybe helped )
Quad Artera CD+. Sweet, detailed and acts as a hub for other stuff. It showed my Linn Karik & Numerik the door.
No home should be without one.
How does it compare to your vinyl playback?
Nice set up ! Good transports seem to be important, too. And DAC’s are still getting better and there must be a (positive) reason that they replacing it.
In this video Paul McGowan uses all the industry correct statements, but in the end I think he indicates that with the latest developments you can also reach Audio Nirvana with a CD resolution.
And regarding the horse race with analog, you know what triggered my quest for this CD Nirvana? It was a post by the late Warren Jarrett who stated that for the first time in his life he has heard a CD playback that was as good as any of the best vinyl systems! It was an Aesthetix Romulus Signature CDP, btw.
I think there may be good (audio) times ahead of us!
I really liked the CD555. When I went to a music server, the Naim NDS, I thought the CD555 still sounded better--a bit more full and rich sounding and more of that relaxed, natural sound typical of analogue sources. I kept the CD555 (loaned to a friend). When I upgraded the music server to a Naim ND555, I sold the CD555 to partially finance the new server. I now have a digital source that is comparable to the CD555, but, a lot more convenient (I burned my 5,000 CDs to the server).
My analog front end sounds so great, I hardly ever play CD's even though I probably have 2000 of them. A couple of years ago I got a Oppo-205 which plays SACD's alright but still not satisfied enough. I dont think that CD's sound that great through the Oppo. My long time CD front end is a PS Audio Lambda transport and a home built DIY DAC
JT DAC from someone in Finland back in the 90's. Before I got my turntable setup, I loved the sound of the Lambda/JT DAC
After I got the turntable, I hardly ever listen to it. Early this year, I audiotioned 75 ohm digital cables from the Cable Company. My old digital interconnect was initially a 75 ohm DS3 bnc coax (I work in telecom) which was changed out 20 or so years ago to a Nordost purple flair.
The three cables I borrowed were two Nordost(Heimdall and TYR) and a Stealth Audio Varadig. I wasnt too impressed with the Varadig even though the Cable Company rep raved about. I could live with the Heimdall as it was an improvement over the Purple Flair. But when the Nordost Tyr was in the system; the sound from the cd frontend improved drastically. The decay on notes, resolution, soundstage ...everything. This cable will make my cd frontend competive again and one of these days I will have to ante up the cash to buy one
My digital front end is overdue for an upgrade but I have to wait a few years for financial reasons. I am currently using a Opera Consonance Reference8 Pro 25th anniversary Streamer/DAC with an X1 CD ROM and hard drive input (now also Roon Ready) Mono & Stereo © 2021: CONSONANCE REFERENCE 8 MUSIC PLAYER
I do have all my CD's ripped as FLAC and stored on the hard drive. I access this direct from the player or through Roon (which also links into Tidal). Despite this I still listen to CD's from time to time.
This existing system works well but I would love my replacement to be dCS Rossini Player. If one comes up second hand at anywhere near half RRP I am going to have to find some money quickly.
Failing that coming up second hand I would lean toward a Jay's Audio CDT spinning disks either directly into good DAC or maybe through something like a Auralic Aries 2.1 to facilitate the streaming better. What is a good DAC? Currently thinking of a Holo May or a Mola Mola Tambaqui. Given I am not buying for a few years these will have been replaced by then and I will look at what is new and better.
I’m very happy with my Doge 6 tube CD player. Much better than my streaming / LineMagnetic tube DAC setup. This CD player can stay with me forever hopefully.
Wow, this review certainly states that this a “nothing left to be desired” CD set up - see this quote : ”I was able to enjoy disc after disc without the audiophile voices in my head questioning this or that element of the performance”
And all this for a very reasonable price!
I also like the top loading, it should be a more robust mechanical solution and it adds this feeling of putting on a record. Only downside would be that it can be cumbersome to access in tight racks.
The Lector player is quite good. It has a warm, relaxed, and full sound while not being murky or dead sounding.
The CDP 7TL is indeed easy to listen to endlessly. I’m so glad I trusted my instinct and bought the 0.6T here in the classifieds four years ago, especially at the bargain price I paid. Discovering Lector was an audiophile godsend. When I located the CDP 7TL earlier this year here un the U.S. at a very reasonable price I simply had to get it.
Indeed the top loading is a plus in my opinion, but it does present placement challenges. Another issue is needing room for the very large PSU.
I also own a Lector VM200 hybrid power amp in my NYC set up, a lucky find through Craigslist. I would certainly add more Lector components in future should the opportunity arise.
Reading about the technology of the Lector there seem to be some similarities with the Sparkler design, like top loader and attention to phase and harmonics (tube section in Lector, but a selected tube harmonics emulator by transistor in Sparkler).
The Lector technology is more complex and it has big PSU, but then the Sparkler is even a bit lower in price and the design is....unusual.
Here is review of the Sparkler. I could fully identify with the findings of the reviewer, although I am using the DAC part with D/A processor only and the Cambridge as transport.
Sparkler Audio Spiral, Ether | Review | Part-Time Audiophile
Not a great fan of "digital", but my Naim CD5si paired with my Naim Nait5si amp sounds very pleasing to these old cloth ears...
I've also heard that Lector player it is indeed excellent a very dimensional organic but detailed sound, their standalone Dac is also excellent.
My personal best CD player was a little known UK product the Tube Technology Fusion CD-64, a combo of the original Chord 64 WTA Dac with a tubed analog output stage. A really wonderful rich analog sounding player sadly it developed issues and was beyond the ken of my local dealer to repair. Since moved onto streaming only and am very happy with that sound an Auralic Aries Mini into an older Audio Note Dac.
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