Way back when, I mentioned that I'd discovered Tangent Audio while working on the 2007 Buyer's Guide. Initially, I was attracted to the Tangent gear because of the affordable prices. Later, that attraction grew. First because I'd seen how handsome the gear was, and then because Richard Kolhruss, Tangent's US distributor, sold me on the company's attention to detail. I was intrigued, and wondered if I'd wandered into something special and new.
Richard and I discussed the possibility of securing a couple of review samples. Time passed. Seasons changed, and so on.
Finally, during a recent visit in Brooklyn with JA, Richard dropped off the Tangent CDP-50 and AMP-50. I was delighted.
Even more delightful was the packaging. Each piece comes in its own sturdy, handy enclosure. Each enclosure comes equipped with a plastic handle, so you can carry your gear easily, as you'd carry a briefcase. This is especially nice when you've just spent the last hour wrestling with a couple of 200-lb speakers and you're about to get back on the subway and hoof it through Manhattan. The handy, thoughtful packaging made the trip easy-peasy.
Later, at home, I came to find that the interior packaging was just as well sorted. The gear is simply, but tightly, secured in Styrofoam and cloaked in a surprisingly stylish and durable gray cloth proudly displaying the Tangent logo. Gear will almost always come wrapped up in something, but that somethingplastic or paperusually rips apart upon unpacking. Not this Tangent wrap. It's almost woolly in texture. It's not an afterthought, not merely functional, reminiscent of the velvety royal blue satchels adorning the Aperion Audio speakers. A small luxury, a nice touch.
Inside, you'll also find a small, handsome, plastic remote control unit. Batteries are not included. Some might consider the remote to be too small, or feel that the buttons are too tightly grouped, but not me. I like the remote. Though I do wish the batteries were included.
In a clear, plastic bag, you'll find not one, not two, not three, but six individual user manuals: English, Spanish, French, and a few other languages I'm not sure about. Gosh. This is either a waste of paper, or cool. I'm not sure. Unfortunately, there are no AC cords. I guess this is the price you have to sometimes pay for such low-priced gear. Fortunately, I have a couple of AC cords on hand.
Richard Kolhruss accidentally left me with one black and one silver unit. No big deal. And, as Richard said later, "At least you'll get to know what each finish looks like." Indeed, I thought I would prefer the silver, but, upon unpacking the black CD player, I was torn. Each piece sports an attractive brushed aluminum faceplate, and, in the end, I was quite impressed by the clean, sharp good looks of the deep, black finish.
I have not listened yet, but, at this point, my expectations are high. If the sound matches the attention to fit and finish, I think I'll be enjoying some beautiful music. Each unit goes for a cool $259.
Affordable? I think so.