JVC XL-Z1050TN CD player Aunt Silly Airy Gear

Sidebar 1: Aunt Silly Airy Gear

Just about the only change I've made to my system has been replacing VTL's Compact 160 monoblocks with their larger KT90-version Deluxe 225s; I need more juice than the 160s were able to swing, and the triode-wired Deluxe 225s are just the ticket. The new 225s extend the virtues of the Compact 160s (triode mode only for these amps) further in nearly every direction, with even clearer midrange textures and Amazing Space. And as the new VTLs are too big to fit on the books I had the 160s sitting on, I've got the 225s up on sky-blue plastic milk crates courtesy of the local Safeway one night when I went to steal them (footnote 1).

Other gear used to evaluate the CD players under review included my own buffered passive preamp, Spica Angelus speakers in cahoots with the Muse Model 18 subwoofer, and the Theta DS Pro Basic and Audio Alchemy DDE v1.0 digital processors for comparison.

Interconnects included Straight Wire Maestro, AudioQuest Lapis, and XLO type 1, while speaker cable remained the Straight Wire Maestro. All gear was plugged into the Audio Express NoiseTrapper Plus and NoiseTrapper 2000 AC line conditioners. The book most often read while listening in order to avert my attention and thus achieve the highest right-brain sensitivity was Greil Marcus's Dead Elvis (Doubleday).—Corey Greenberg

Footnote 1: I'm pretty confident none of our readers are audiophile grocers; if you had to listen to Muzak underlaid with subliminal "Don't Eat Those Ding Dongs And Then Shove The Empty Wrapper Behind Those Cans Of Cling Peaches" messages all day long, the last thing you'd want to hear at quitting time would be music.
Elmwood Park
NJ 07407

BradleyP's picture

I have one of these in near-mint condition that I bought new in 1992. That's a 24-year old CD player that has been my main digital front end all along and still performs flawlessly. A couple of years ago, I decided to see how much difference it would make to use it as a transport and bang a $1000 DAC on the end of it. The sonic difference was miniscule. I'm not sure if it was even better, just a little different, so the DAC went to my desk system instead. I certainly got my money's worth!

Allen Fant's picture

It's all in the measurements, specifically, the S/N ratio. The players from Japan always did well in this respect. Denon, JVC, Yamaha, Sony ES and Pioneer Elite. In 2016 and moving forward it is difficult to find a spinner go above 110dB.

Oldsport's picture

My first CD player was a Yamaha. I didn’t know any better. Then came the JVC. It really wasn’t bad. I sold mine to a cute woman I wanted to ask out. I don’t think I ever actually did ask her. The fun thing I remember about the 1050 was that it could actually show that green markers could make a difference in the sound. I had two identical copies of the Gregg Smith Singers doing, among other carols, In Dulci Jubilo. They were a fine group of disciplined, well-trained voices that never went for a “hoity-toity,” pretentious sound. Out of curiosity, one disc got green-penned, one didn’t. The CD without greening sounded quite pleasant, but if you tried to follow the individual parts of the polyphony, it could be difficult. Throw in the marked CD and it would become a piece of cake to follow any part you wanted. I (and who am I, anyway?) figure the green absorbed stray light and the eye pattern got tightened. Who knows? But I swear you could hear it, though my best friend still laughs derisively at the idea. Nowadays, my CD player is too good for the green pen to make any difference. I prefer it that way, but I know what I heard...back then...when we ate rocks and we liked it!

Sal1950's picture

Bought my new back in 92 after Corey's and others positive reviews. Had it till 2010 when I needed to downsize my system to move into much smaller retirement digs. It was and is one awesome player, I tried it alone and against a number of high end DACs on the digital output. Never could justify the expenditure on the newer big buck DACs. The JVC sounded just as good as anything I tried it with. To boot the whole thing is built like a tank (18 lbs!) and with good care should last a very long time, it was built using all top notch components. Besides it was MUCH better looking than my computer system that houses all my music today. :(
I hope the gentleman that bought it off ebay is enjoying it, it worked and sounded "as new" when the UPS man handed it to him.
One of the all time great classic CD players!

PaulW's picture

I've been using mine since 1992 as well. I've got it connected to a Micromega DAC into C-J pre and power amps and it sounds just fine to me!