CD Player/Transport Reviews

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Corey Greenberg  |  Jul 13, 2022  |  First Published: Dec 01, 1991  |  3 comments
"JAPANESE BUY ROCKEFELLER CENTER"

"JAPANESE PURCHASE PARAMOUNT PICTURES"

"JAPANESE ANNEX NEW MEXICO; DECLARE ROBERT HARLEY 'PHILOSOPHER-KING'"

John Atkinson  |  Apr 11, 2022  |  0 comments
Michael Fremer wrote about the Paradox phono preamplifier in the March 2022 Analog Corner, Jim Austin reviewed the CH Precision D1.5 CD/SACD player/transport in March 2022, and Herb Reichert included the EJ Jordan Marlow standmount speaker in his April 2022 Gramophone Dreams column. All three products get further coverage in Stereophile's May 2022 issue.
Ken Micallef  |  Apr 08, 2022  |  16 comments
In the 1990s, I was a globetrotter, interviewing musicians in diverse locales for several publications. My habit when arriving in London was to hit the duty-free shops for Cuban Montecristo cigars, move on to the newsagent for the latest issues of Hi-Fi News and Hi-Fi Choice, then take a leisurely romp through Oranges & Lemons, Richer Sounds, and Sevenoaks Sound & Vision—three major London audio stores.
Jim Austin  |  Feb 16, 2022  |  27 comments
There's a school of thought that maintains that among all hi-fi components, the D/A converter is easiest to perfect or come close to perfecting. Just make sure that every sample is converted accurately, that there's little rolloff in the audioband, that aliased images are suppressed almost completely, and that background noise is extremely low, and you have a top-quality D/A processor. Use of a high-quality DAC chip is assumed.
John Atkinson  |  Nov 16, 2020  |  First Published: Dec 01, 2020  |  3 comments
Three products are the subjects of lengthy followup reviews in the December issue of Stereophile: MBL's Noble Line N31 CD player-D/A processor, the GoldenEar BRX loudspeaker, and Alta Audio's Alyssa loudspeaker.
Guy Lemcoe  |  Oct 07, 2020  |  First Published: Feb 01, 1991  |  2 comments
At $1295, the Tercet Mk.III represents a step up from CAL's $750 Icon, which I enthusiastically recommended back in April 1990 (Vol.13 No 4, footnote 1). Externally, with the exception of a wider and slightly thicker front panel, it appears to be a carbon copy of that unit. Like the other products in California Audio Lab's stable, the Tercet Mk.III is designed from the ground up in-house.
Michael Fremer  |  Sep 10, 2020  |  First Published: Aug 01, 1998  |  18 comments
"Something's coming, I don't know what it is, but it is gonna be great!"—Tony, West Side Story

While the Sharks and the Jets rumble in the consumer electronics playground, knife-fighting for supremacy in the next software go-round, in 1998 we're still living in the 16-bit/44.1kHz audio world, and will be doing so for the foreseeable future. Maybe your idea of audio bliss is listening to the equivalent of computing with a Commodore 64, but it's not mine.

Guy Lemcoe  |  Sep 08, 2020  |  First Published: Feb 01, 1991  |  2 comments
The $1200 D-105u, the top of Luxman's CD-player line, is novel in its twin-triode vacuum-tube amplification in the analog output stage. This configuration is said to provide high linearity with low distortion and that hard-to-quantify musicality found in tubed products. In addition, the D-105u incorporates an anti-vibration laser pick-up mechanism and a high-mass magnetic disc clamper, the latter feature said to mass-load the disc center to minimize spindle-motor microvibration, thus improving tracking accuracy for lowest error rate.
Corey Greenberg  |  Mar 13, 2020  |  First Published: Feb 01, 1992  |  13 comments
My first CD player was a Denon DCD-1800, the grandpappy of 'em all. It was big, clunky, and sounded like, well, you can read back issues to find out what it sounded like. But I was living in a fraternity house at the time, the kind of place where you wake up the next morning after a blow-out to find five plastic cups half full of stale margaritas merry-go-rounding on your turntable because whoever broke into your room during the party snapped your cartridge's cantilever off trying to hear the backwards messages on The Wall and decided to leave you an artistic message to buy a better needle next time, dude.
Herb Reichert  |  Mar 06, 2020  |  19 comments
The Quad Electroacoustics Ltd. Artera Solus is a multifunction audio component that was designed to look smart on top of a bureau in a living room or office. It comes with a thick, removable smoked-glass top that complements its compact dimensions. It weighs 25lb, and, in addition to being attractive, feels genuinely solid and well-made. Like its Artera-series stablemates, the Artera Solus strikes an intriguing engineering and aesthetic balance between decorator-friendly lifestyle product and serious audiophile product worthy of the Quad name.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Feb 21, 2020  |  9 comments
In an era when polar opposites compete as absolutes, it can be a challenge to acknowledge the different and equally valid ways in which audiophiles approach musical truth. But the reality is that our perceptions of how reproduced music should sound are determined, to a large extent, by how we approach the live experience.
J. Gordon Holt  |  Feb 13, 2020  |  First Published: Feb 01, 1988  |  9 comments
Tandberg of Norway has a rather ambiguous corporate image among audio perfectionists. Long considered to make some of the best tape-recording equipment around, the firm has never been seen as a leader in electronics, despite some bold—and reportedly good-sounding—forays into the realm of $2000 preamps and $3500 power amplifiers. Perhaps this is why, when Tandberg started making CD players, high-enders were uncertain how to respond.
Jason Victor Serinus  |  Dec 19, 2019  |  45 comments
What kind of creature is this? Gryphon Audio Designs' new Ethos ($39,000)—pronounced EE-toss by its Danish manufacturers—is marketed as a CD player and digital-to-analog converter. It's decidedly au courant in that it includes two 32-bit/768kHz ES9038PRO Sabre DAC chips—one for each channel—with each holding eight individual DAC chips; offers optional upsampling to either 24/384 PCM or DSD128; and decodes up to 32/384 PCM and quadruple DSD (DSD512) via its USB input, or up to 24/192 (and no DSD) via AES/EBU or S/PDIF.
Robert Harley  |  Dec 13, 2019  |  First Published: Jun 01, 1995  |  7 comments
Making digital audio sound good appears to be a much more difficult job than its developers first realized. When digital audio was in its infancy, there was a tendency to think that digital either worked perfectly, or didn't work at all. This belief led the engineering community to devise ill-considered and flawed standards that affect the musical quality of digitally reproduced music today.
Sam Tellig  |  Sep 12, 2019  |  First Published: Mar 01, 1989  |  55 comments
I once told Stereophile publisher Larry Archibald it might be worth, say, a 10% loss in sound quality with CD not to have to jump up and turn over the damned record. Sometimes a CD saves you from popping up twice—Mahler's Fifth or Bruckner's Seventh on a single disc instead of three LP sides—or three times—Mozart's Magic Flute on three CDs instead of 6 LP sides. That might be worth a 15% sacrifice.

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