Four 3rd-Generation CD players: Adcom, Magnavox, Onkyo, Yamaha

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.

I don't know that you will need to lose even 10%. Unless, of course, you have a turntable like a Versa Dynamics 2.0 or a Goldmund Reference.

Now, if only the cost of CDs would come down.

That may happen soon. The New York Times reports a growing CD glut. (Goody-goody. Goody got it and he has to get rid of it.) Joe Epstein, of Berkshire Record Outlet, hints of impending CD cut-outs. (How do you "cut out" a CD? Gouge a hole in the edge of the disc?) The Wall Street Journal reports that GE has developed a new resin, which will make it possible for CDs to be molded quicker—that should worsen the glut! And sale prices for "full-price" CDs have already dropped to as little as $9.99 per disc in New York.

There's more encouraging news.

Designers such as Dan D'Agostino, of Krell, and John Bicht, of Versa Dynamics, are turning their attention to CD. Both Dan and John are looking into transports—or rather, the whole "front end" retrieval system, which includes the laser assembly. Audiophiles may be paying as much attention to CD transports as to turntables . . . and perhaps as much money! Expect to see top-loading players with innovative clamping and damping mechanisms, which may obviate the need for such devices as CD Rings (footnote 1).

The transport does make a difference—or, to put it another way, not all digital outs are created equal. Recently, at Definitive Hi-Fi in Mamaroneck, NY, a few of us Thursday night 'philes were listening to CDs through Mike Moffat's Theta outboard digital processor. We tried different players. There were differences. It's hard to say something definitive (ouch), but subjectively it appears that sturdier players retrieve the encoded data with fewer errors. Sony transports sounded particularly good.

Now, some promising players.

These players—from Magnavox, Adcom, Yamaha, and Onkyo—are in four different price ranges. Strictly speaking, none is competitive with any of the others, so all comparisons will be "unfair." But what the hell? What's interesting is what you can get for your money, and whether it's worth spending the money for a more expensive player. If you're expecting a survey of players in a particular price range, forget it. No one could listen to them all, anyway. More interesting to make unfair comparisons. And more in the spirit of The Audio Anarchist.

Most of my listening took place through the line stage of the Forte Model 2 preamplifier. Three of the players, all except the Magnavox CDB582, had variable outputs, so I auditioned these directly into a Threshold SA/3 or B&K ST-140 power amp. Interestingly, the B&K amplifier was better at revealing differences than the Threshold. Interconnects were Discrete Technology Platinum and the very promising new Audio Prism Ultima ($160 retail for a 1m pair). Speaker cable was $5.75/yard Naim Cable, which sounds at least as good as, if not better than, some very costly cables with bullshit stories attached to them. Speakers were MartinLogan Sequels.

I ran the dropout tests of the second Pierre Verany test disc on each machine. I also tested a couple of damaged discs in each player. Then I sent all the machines to Santa Fe, except for the Onkyo, which weighs 60 lb. Santa Fe already has another DX-G10. So the Onkyo DX-G10 John Atkinson measured is not the DX-G10 I heard.

Magnavox CDB582: $249
This machine is basic and uncluttered—no frivolous features like Favorite Track Selection, unless you count the headphone jack with no volume control. It comes with an uncluttered wireless remote, but lacks digital out. The transport looks improved over previous generations of inexpensive Philips-made players, and the drawer lets you use 3" CDs without adaptors.

Soundstaging was good, but not spectacular. It shrank during tough-sledding passages, like the fourth movement of Tchaikovsky's Manfred (get Riccardo Chailly's stunning performance—London 421 441-2). At the same time, dynamics became compressed—as they do, say, on a cheap receiver. Bass extension was good for a player in this price category, but the bass was not particularly tight.

Resolution of low-level detail was fair—I have yet to hear a Philips-made machine with really great resolution. I think the Philips fog helps explain why modified Magnavoxes have enjoyed such popularity.

But it wasn't the fog that bothered me so much. My sample of the CDB582, furnished from a dealer and not via North American Philips, exhibited a roughness and coarseness on strings that I don't recall hearing with, say, the Magnavox CDB650. And, as of early January, you could still find CDB650s around, here and there, in small quantities, for around $270. That is a buy!

Footnote 1: The problem with CD Rings is you can't always remove them without disc damage if you change your mind . . . or change players and then change your mind. We need to see hard evidence—tests, not testimonials—as to what CD Rings do or do not do when used with a variety of players. You might try piggybacking a CD-Ringed disc—or a ringed Mod Squad CD Damper—atop a naked disc. Warning: this will not work in all players, and might jam some. If my ears are not mistaken, you get an effect similar to ringing each individual disc without actually having to do so.

rschryer's picture

When Sam (Tom Gillett) bailed on Stereophile in 2015, he predicted the mag wouldn't be around in four years. I think it's safe to say that as good a writer as he was (is), he was no clairvoyant.

Or maybe he mistook Stereophile's changing of the editorial guard for its demise.

Wonder if he's still writing...

hnickm's picture

...will CD players be around in four years. ???

rschryer's picture

...CDs will make a comeback. CD players will follow, a sub-category of which will be CD-only players designed to satisfy the appetites of people who care about sound quality.

Bogolu Haranath's picture

'CD only' players probably won't be around after 2025 :-) ..........

rschryer's picture

...informs me that CD-only players will do well as a sub-genre *forever*.

Ortofan's picture

... your last ever new CD player, which one would you buy?

rschryer's picture

All I can say with certainty is that I'm very happy in my current relationship, with my Simaudio Moon 260D player.

The two of us spend many enjoyable moments together and I feel no lust to look elsewhere.

volvic's picture

I tell you I felt the same way until I ran into the venerable Gerard Rejskind and he convinced me to look past my CD players and go to computer audio. I emulated exactly what he had in his system and was blown away by how much better it was than any of my CD players. I still use my CD players when I want to hear something without the need to boot up the computer and HD but to sit and do critical listening with the CD player is a thing of the past. Funnily enough considering buying a Karik III and Numerik just to relive old times. I am though considering getting the Technics Network SACD player as I have been getting into SACD more, and would like to link my computer setup through it, those Esoteric reissues are quite good, but to buy a new CD player without a digital input and SACD capability is not a viable option. Can't wait to come back up to Mtl and visit the folks and raid L'Echange and all other stores up and down Mt. Royal Est. Happy listening.

rschryer's picture

...but I was never able to work up the courage to install a computer-sourced audio system in my main listening room. (In my office is another story, but that's because it already had a computer.)

But I do respect both Gerard's and your opinion, so if you don't mind, do tell: what is this computer-based system Gerard recommended that blew you away?

BTW, the record stores along Mount-Royal miss you. Their sales have plummeted since you left, and I can't do all the heavy lifting by myself. :-)

Note to fellow 'philes: Gerard Rejskind is the editor of UHF Mag in Canada. The man knows good sound.

Bogolu Haranath's picture

"Misery"? ......... Just kidding :-) ........

volvic's picture

I had a spare MacBook Pro, purchased a 3TB Glyph HD and uploaded all my records in AIFF, Apple's version of WAV into iTunes. I connected a Stello U3 to a Moon 300DAC into my Kairn preamp, and the rest is history. Since then Gerard has updated his to the Bryston DAC, as they got better results with it. But I am very happy with my results and the costs were minimal to purchase. The Stello U3 has since been discontinued, but it can still be found on the used markets. I have a YBA CD1a and a Linn Ikemi, all were sent packing in comparison to the Stello/Moon combo, it was that much better and by a wide margin.

I have over 4000 CD's most were purchased in Montreal before I moved down to NYC, fact I need a 4TB HD now as I am running out of space. Montreal has some great second hand CD stores, there used to be more but sadly some have closed. Still it is always great to come and visit my old haunts and support these great local stores that have offered me so much in terms of musical enjoyment. Don't worry coming in for Columbus Day Weekend and intend on making a dent along with six cases of Naya water and Keith's beer. Cheers

Ortofan's picture

... "feel no lust to look elsewhere", take a gander at this item:
If nothing else, the styling should make it a guaranteed conversation piece.

tonykaz's picture

CD has proven itself as a reliable system.

Over 200 Billion Music CDs have been manufactured and sold making it the most popular Music Storage Medium ever devised, by Far!

It can easily compete in Sound Quality with the finest Record Players i.e. the PS Audio Player designed by Ted Smith, costing a mere pittance compared with an equally high performance Vinyl Player/Arm/Phono Cart./Cable System/Phono PreAmp/Record Cleaning System aaaannnnnndddd the required Room full of Sturdy Shelving and thou$$$$$$$ands of Dollars in actual Fossil Fuel based 33.3 Music. Phew!!!

Vinyl Guys Collecting are very much like the Old Geezer Car Show People that Collect 57 Chevy Convertibles to show off at the Weekly Parking Lot Gatherings where they play BeBop music over the PA and rev up their engine to quickly leave right after the 50-50 drawing winners are announced.

Vinyl and CD both have hoarders but CDs can be Downloaded, copied and stored in a damp basement. Vinyls need careful storage and probably an entire spare Bedroom of Heavy Duty Wood Shelving with Climate Controls and Mold remediation systems. Asthma alert

CD will outlive us, RedBook is the Gold Standard

Tony in Venice

ps. Futuristically we'll have iPhone Music Players playing music from the Clouds making our CD collecting the last hard music format, doncha think ?

ps.2 Some time in the Future we'll be buying Entire Audiophile Music CD Collections from Estate Sales, Chad Kassem might be the King of the CD World.

rschryer's picture how far the sound of CDs and CD players has come. I can dig them now!

That said, my enjoyment of CDs does not preclude my enjoyment of LPs.

What do you got against 57 Chevy convertibles anyway?


tonykaz's picture

I owned one...

and I'm GM Corp.

Having said all that, all Cars from the Post WW11 era were 11 year durable goods meant to be crap quality lasting about 11 years before they were nearly completely re-cycled. GM Corporate was the earliest Proponent of Re-cycling. The Cars were UnSafe at any Speed and horrible polluters.

All that remains is the Mid-Century Style. Fatalities are forgotten.

Tony in Venice

volvic's picture

I remember reading years ago when the CD12 came out that Ivor said that 16 bits was more than enough for our listening pleasure. I was skeptical then but now believe he is right, we didn't know for a very long time how good those CD's were (sorry Mikey), but through a HD has really impressed me.

volvic's picture

Missed your familiar comments against vinyl. Actually Tony you'll appreciate this, I'm building another LP-12, I thought you'd get a kick out of that. Decided to build my fourth turntable and not pay $5k to fix the transmission on my 1988 325. Pained me to sell it, but the LP-12 won't rust and vinyl will long outlive any questionable tranny rebuild, and I felt it was better money spent. I miss it tbh, but an LP-12 with an SME IV on a Geddon PS will make me quickly forget.

tonykaz's picture

I don't own one now but I can see having one in my Museum.

It will have an Ittok Arm, ASAK MC phono cart and an Afromosia Plinth with clear cover ( I love the original 1983 Look )

I still own a large collection of 33.3 and have owned an extensive collection of Koetsu Phono Cartridges.


Vinyl demands & commands obsessive commitment, it's a high maintenance mistress that often misbehaves causing extravagant expenditures. I was a Vinyl Slave in the early 1980s but broke free in 1985. My wife's Attorney convinced me to abandon my Love Affair that kept getting more and more expensive. He ended up buying-up all my best Vinyl Playback gear in my Esoteric Audio Salon Closing, now his wife is cursing .

It's nice to be "back on the Air" after a 3 month long vacation / hiatus .

Tony in Venice

ps. I've shut down all my Business in the Frozen North, Sold all my Real Estate and most of my larger possessions.

I've Re-located to a NEW Sub-Tropical Location ; Venice and bought into another Real Estate project/holding that promises to not loose as much as I've been loosing in my last bad deal.

I'll continue to support B.Sanders Campaign Transportation Systems along with my fellow GM Corp. retirees.

325s are dam nice Cars.

volvic's picture

Try owning an 1988 325 that is a money pit - constant preventive maintenance, change timing belt every 4 years lest it snap and your engine is a coffee table. No vinyl rig does that. Let me know when you might want to part with some of those Koetsu cartridges and if you have old DG, EMI, London classical recordings let me know.

tonykaz's picture

I'm Car Industry.

Those prices you pay are designed into the Ownership Experience.

Japanese Cars are the exception ( including Korean Cars like Kia ).

Record Players are even more expensive because of the obsessive need to upgrade. Cartridges like Koetsu cost a fortune per play because they don't last all that long before sending back for repair.

Phono interconnects are super expensive with improved performance actually possible from the better ones.

Comparing the LP12 to the latest VPI will end up costing $30,000

A designed Stand for the Player will cost $1,000, much more if you
get one of the suspended ones.

Record Cleaning Systems will present significant improvements in playback and phono Cartridge longevity so 30 minutes per record of Cleaning time ( each ) is required. Figure $1,000 initial investment.

Vinyl collecting is a separate hobby onto itself, it's Curating a Museum of Civilizational Culture more than it's a Music Hobby. It's Mid-Century Collecting. A Vinyl Collector seems like a CD Collector type of person.

Vinyl Collecting is Hoarding. Just look at the images of Vinyl Collecting in Analog Planet Home Base or Todd the Vinyl Junkie's or the personal Home or Chad Kassem or mine ( back in the Day when I was importing and most of my Spaces were dominated by Vinyl Gear and Vinyl. Digital Homes ( John Darko ) look like Better Homes & Garden compared to a Vinyl guys Home ( Steve G ) .

However, playing Vinyl has that High Voltage Sizzle in the Air when the needle drops into the groove. Synapses are trained to be thrilled by that Sizzle. Digital presents the Silence of a Funeral Home accompanied by the feeling that something is missing here and it is, great Steak but no exciting sizzle.

Sizzle missing is the problem with the Tesla Car and the new Porsche Electric. People love that deep throbbing of the Mustang V-8. The Tesla is the Performance Winner but it has no Sizzle.

Diesel Pickups have that Authoritative Sound and Commanding presence but the new Electrics are superior.

Tony in Venice

ps. I feel like I've been thru all these cycles since the early post WW11 years. I'm delighted with what the 21st Century is bringing.

volvic's picture

You're like Joe Biden, but in a good way- all over the place. Where to begin....

Cartridges like Koetsu can last a long time, again I asked Gerard Rejskind many many years ago about this and he told me they can last a very long time, in excess of 1000 hours, the investment in a Koetsu can last well over a decade of regular play.

You can buy a second hand LP-12 and upgrade as much or as little as you want, third party upgrades are cheaper and offer great performance. Where you want to go is up to you. That's the same for any source component you want to own, in most cases a DAC or CD player cannot be upgraded, you have to buy a new one. Not the case with turntables for the most part.

No designed stand for $1,000 is necessary for the suspended design, a nice Target stand or a built in will suffice and provide great sound. All for under $250.00.

Again don't need to dish out $1,000 for record cleaning nor spend 30 minutes per record. Harry Weisfeld of VPI has spent enough time researching and says his vacuum machines suffice, I agree although love the cavitation machines, but not necessary. Total cost $600, that's how much I paid for mine.

All kind of collecting is hoarding. People I know buy first edition books, their house is full of them as are stamp collectors, watch collectors. It's human nature, we love collecting things we like, big deal.

As for streaming it is not my cup of tea but recognize it's advantages. It does though remind me of a very lovely old lady I once knew. Years ago when I worked in Mtl at a hospital foundation, a very thankful woman sent me a blank check with the amount to withdraw from her account every month as a way of thanking the hospital and her doctor. Years later her son phoned me to let me know that she had passed away a few years ago and had only recently noticed that the $$ were still being withdrawn from her account. That is how I feel about the online services like Tidal, I might expire and my card will continue to be charged without any tangible thing left behind. Tim de Paravicini has said that he would rather have a really bad vinyl pressing next to a decent quality audio file stored on a hard drive. He said "for me it's like owning a thought that will soon disappear and you're left with nothing." - Well said.

tonykaz's picture

You might get long life from a cartridge ( I hope you do ) or you may not.

You may get satisfactory performance and remain delighted for decades, most people find themselves upgrading on a semi-regular Basis. New and Improved Phono performance is what Show Coverage is all about.

The Linn LP12 ( I've owned many ) are Stand sensitive. The heavy VPI tables are far less sensitive to Floor Vibrations and Wooden Floors in general.

VPI Cleaning Machine is a good one, does it take less than 30 minutes? , maybe only 10 ?

I have hoarding leanings, so I can recognize the patterns.


Streaming probably isn't your "Cup of Tea", of course! You're an Audiophile.

I'm World War 11 Vintage, I've been thru all the Home Audio Phases.

For me, Music is a mood altering drug, I'm scaling down the emotional impact by limiting my listening to fond memory music while I work on all my other activities.

On the plus side, 33.3 is a happy Club with their very own Planet ( where $$$ falls from everyone's Tree and Mono Phono Cartridges are only $14,000 ).

Bon Vivant

Tony in Venice

volvic's picture

Keep your comments coming! While I sometimes don't agree with all you say, still glad you're back. Nick L.

tonykaz's picture

When any two people agree on things, only one is doing the thinking.

Tony in Venice

Jim Austin's picture
With all the DACs around, there will be a new generation of transports. Pro-Ject is ahead of the pack. Jim Austin, Editor Stereophile
JRT's picture

Rip once, read many.

The very best real-time transports can only match but not exceed the performance of well implemented inexpensive computer based digital audio extraction. While well implemented inexpensive computer based digital audio extraction can match or exceed the performance of the very best real-time transports. And that really has been the case since the late 20th century (available in mid/late 1990's Plextor Plextools digital audio extraction software tools used with then market leading high performance Plextor optical media drives).

I can see obtaining a nice lightly used Oppo BDP-10x for ripping DSD from SACDs. And the same device can be used for playing various video discs. And occassionally it can be used for playing a CD not yet extracted to server storage, and the digital output can be connected to the audio system.

But I cannot see much sense in spending any money on another new simple CDP deck with such low system utility. That is a 20th century solution to a problem that no longer exists. I can get a couple of top notch ribbon tweeters (eg. Viawave or Raal) for that same money that would be spent on that Project unit, with some left over.

Jim Austin's picture

>>The very best real-time transports can only match but not exceed the
performance of well implemented inexpensive computer based digital audio
extraction. While well implemented inexpensive computer based digital audio
extraction can match or exceed the performance of the very best real-time

Perhaps, but there are many people with vast CD collections and no interest in either ripping or selling them.

Jim Austin, Editor

Bogolu Haranath's picture

Stereophile could change their minds by reviewing a few latest generation CD-rippers/music servers :-) .......

Jim Austin's picture
I ripped my collection years ago. By "some people" I don't mean "me." Jim Austin, Editor Stereophile
Bogolu Haranath's picture

Of course, no surprise ...... You are a scientist ....... Not like some 'luddites', I was referring to :-) ........

Bogolu Haranath's picture

Stereophile has already reviewed NAD M50.2 CD-ripper/music server :-) .........

JRT's picture

I have a lot of CDs and other media, and won't likely sell any of it.

Ortofan's picture

... the CD players available in various price points made by Pioneer/Elite and Sony/ES.

Glotz's picture

But after several years I sensed he was more concerned about the politics of audio playback, rather than its quality.

He was a curmudgeon and the opener to his column above points to that. He would give up 15% SQ for convenience..?? Was he really that lazy in getting up to flip an LP?

Bogolu Haranath's picture

If ST is reading this, he could get a server like the new Aurender A30, which has a CD-ripper and 10 TB storage, or similar products from other manufacturers ....... He doesn't even have to get up from his listening chair ........ He can keep listening as long as he wants :-) .......

Kal Rubinson's picture

Yes and he does not have to give up anything in sound quality for that convenience.

Bogolu Haranath's picture

Yes ..... He can also, bring-up and listen to any track he wants, in seconds ........ He can also, make multiple playlists of his choice ...... He can also, listen to his favorite radio station(s) anywhere in the world :-) .......

JRT's picture

The hard drive storage capacity was not inexpensive in the last century, but capacity/price ratios were rapidly improving. For anyone involved in that at the time, it was plainly obvious then that home servers would soon become inexpensive and with increasingly high storage capacity, and that would enable networked high quality digital audio and audio/video solutions.

Plextor had high quality fast CD-ROM drives and burners then, and offered free Plextools software that included ability to quickly and very accurately perform digital audio extraction from CDs. That Plextor based solution was the best available solution for doing that at the time. No real-time CDP transport was better, if as good, though there were many that were very much more expensive.

Yamaha had a slightly better performing CD burner, but Plextor had the better ripper. The pinnacle of Plextor's CD ripping solutions was their 52x-speed PlexWriter Deluxe CD burner that came out around the turn of the century, and is still considered to be top shelf in fast accurate digital audio extraction, though it is now long out of production.

Before FLAC became popular, Monkey Audio's Ape files had good lossless compression in the late 20th century. It took longer to process Monkey's lossless compression than some other lossless compression software, but the resulting files were small and required less processing to decompress, advantageous at the time.

Before Voyetra acquired Turtle Beach in 1996, Turtle Beach had an excellent for the time MultiSound line of ISA bus sound cards. The 2nd generation of those, the MultSound Pinnacle and MultiSound Figi supported S/PDIF on an optional digital I/O daughter card.

Around the same time, Monarchy Audio offered their DIP (digital interface processor) which had S/PDIF input and several outputs, including S/PDIF, AES/EBU, and TOSLink fiber optic. It served to clean up the clocking, and it provided galvanic isolation, removing any significant influence of a noisey computer switch mode power supply. Outputs were nice clean square waves with sharp corners and straight perpendicular flanks, and AES/EBU could drive a longer interconnection to an external DAC in the HiFi stack.

You are well aware, but other readers should know that good external DACs were already available in the late 20th century, but were not particularly inexpensive then. The AD/DA processor that I very much wanted but couldn't bring myself to purchase was the circa 2000 Pacific Microsonics model 2 HDCD capable processor, with truly excellent performance. Though today there are modern inexpensive units that sound as good and offer better flexibility in systems integration.

John Atkinson's picture
JRT wrote:
Plextor had high quality fast CD-ROM drives and burners then, and offered free Plextools software that included ability to quickly and very accurately perform digital audio extraction from CDs. That Plextor based solution was the best available solution for doing that at the time.

Very much agree. The Plextor drive and Plextools were my constant companions until first one then the next PC in which I had them installed gave up the ghost.

John Atkinson
Technical Editor, Stereophile

Robin Landseadel's picture

Or he can get a high-quality DAP and carry his collection in his pocket.

Bogolu Haranath's picture

Or, he can get one of the new smartphone/DAP/servers, and even make phone calls with that device ...... See, JVS (Stereophile) review of LG smartphone :-) .........

Robin Landseadel's picture

There's refurbished LG-V30 'phones on Amazon for $149.00.

I would give Kal Rubinson a big "like' for noting how good server-based digital has become, a bigger one to Tonykaz for his justified cynicism as regards "Bespoke" analog.

Found a used Sony BDP-S570 Blu-Ray player at the local Value Village for all of $5. Works fine. Found a remote for it at Amazon for $8. The S570 is one of the last cheap Blu-Ray players with analog out, plays all formats save DVD-Audio, have no doubt it sounds better than anything reviewed here.

After getting bawled out in no uncertain terms over at Analog Planet, I ran across Audio Science Review, looking for distortion measurements for phono cartridges. Kinda the opposite of AP, it's the land where you find out what bespoke gear measures like crap and what cheap gear measures best. The guy running the show—Amir Majidimehr—appears to be rational, some of the objectivists on that board are as "cult-y" as analog evangelists. But Amir's tests indicate that the engineering in some $100 devices outshine $5000 devices.

Something to think about. I'm sure the "audio cheapskate" would dig ASR.

I'm seriously considering getting the LG-V30.

Bogolu Haranath's picture

LG V30 DAC mesurements can put some of the hyper-expensive DACs to shame :-) .........

Bogolu Haranath's picture

I forgot to mention ..... Hi-Fi news measures phono-cartridge distortion levels, along with the other cartridge measurements ....... Hi-Fi news also measures turntables and tonearms along with their reviews :-) .......

Regarding some $100 devices outshining some $5,000 devices ....... Really? :-) ........

Robin Landseadel's picture

US $13,816:

US $70:

Bogolu Haranath's picture

See, Stereophile review and measurements of AudioQuest DragonFly Black ($99) and DragonFly Red ($199) :-) ..........

Robin Landseadel's picture

The E1DA 9038S BAL Portable DAC & Amp has better measurements. Cheaper too. Not that I have anything against Dragonflys, mind you.

Bogolu Haranath's picture

There are other 'new kids in town' ........ iBasso DC01 and DC02 ....... Could be even lower price Euro 50 :-) ........

Bogolu Haranath's picture

The new DragonFly Cobalt could have better measurements ...... Of course, it is more expensive than the other DragonFlys :-) .......

Bogolu Haranath's picture

Jim Austin could watch movies on his laptop while listening to the sound via headphones/IEMs fed by iBasso DC01 or DC02 :-) .........

JRT's picture

Looking at the link that you posted reviewing the "E1DA 9038S BAL Portable DAC & Amp" (I reposted the link directly below), I noticed another nice review, this one of the "Monoprice Monolith THX 887 Balance Headphone Amp" (link posted further below). These are both very good values. The new Monoprice Monolith THX 887 measures slightly better than the excellent Massdrop THX AAA 789. I would like to see another variant of either that adds preamp functionality, with a similar quality buffered balanced pre-out on the back, with a separate volume control on the front and separate switched mutes for both. But regardless that, it is truly a great time to be interested in high quality audio.

misterc59's picture

I've got the LG G8 Thinq and it's great. It will never replace my vinyl and my system is WAY less than $10K for turntable playback, but it still sounds great. However, I might not know good sound, so one pro digital commenter here may not agree. Not you Mr Bogolu, but your comment best fit mine...


mmole's picture

...after his (imaginary?) friend Lars died.

Per Sam, Lars "tweaked himself to death."

Glotz's picture

His joy seemed to die shortly thereafter.

I don't think he was imaginary, but his convictions did seem to dovetail into Sam's feelings pretty often.

One cannot tweak oneself to death...exhaustion is more appropriate.

Good to see Tony back as well... Venice is all the excuse one needs for forgetting about audio!

jgossman's picture

But Lars was very real indeed.