Proceed CD Library Page 3

Now here's where the fun begins. Let's pretend I'm Richie Rich, and I'm sprawled naked on my giant bearskin rug with Wilson-Phillips (footnote 5). I'm grooving to The Black Saint And The Sinner Lady, but the girls aren't crazy about Mingus.

"I want to hear our CD!" chirps Chynna.

I roll Carny off the Communicator, aim it at the IR receiver, and press "On." The backlit display blinks on, asking me to choose a category from the ones shown on the screen. I press the blue thumb-button next to "HURL," then the "Send" button. The Communicator scrolls past several selections till I hit "WILSON-PHILLIPS," then I press "Play" and "Send." The CD Library churns for a moment as the carousel turns 'round searching for the W-P disc, then goes silent. A few seconds later, pure power pap for pubeless pawns pours out of the Proceed, and I didn't even have to sit up straight! Is that the coolest or WHAT?!

You can't imagine all the things you can do with the CD Library. Got your mojo workin'? Tell the Communicator to play all your blues discs back to back. Got an itch only James Brown can scratch? Tell the Communicator to play every JB song in the box in any order you feel like, even totally at random. Want to relive your old counterculture college days? Get out that Zig-Zag and tell the Communicator you want to hear every Grateful Dead album in chronological order (except Shakedown Street and Go To Heaven). The possibilities are endless, limited only by your imagination; even if you crawl home from work and JUST WANNA HEAR MUSIC, DAMMIT, the Communicator has a "Just Play" command which plays tracks at random and doesn't stop until each and every disc you've installed has played in its entirety. Or you hit "Stop."

The bottom line is, the Proceed CD Library offers you the ability to play any combination of 100 CDs, all from the comfort of your listening seat. That's all good and well, but this is Stereophile, not Couch 'Taterphile; how does it SOUND?

The system
I positioned the big Proceed right next to my Target equipment racks so I could hook it up with a 1-meter pair of unbalanced Kimber KCAG, same as I used with the Theta Data/DS Pro Basic II I compared it with. Both digital sources were fed to Aunt Corey's Buffered Passive Preamp and a pair of VTL Deluxe 225 amps. Speakers were ProAc Response Twos, Spica Angeluses, Eminent Technology LFT-VIIIs, and the mighty Muse Model 18 subwoofer. Interconnects were Kimber KCAG, speaker cables were Kimber 4AG, and all gear was plugged into Power Wedge AC line conditioners.

True story/obligatory Elvis mention
By coincidence, I was in Santa Fe visiting JA the same weekend Madrigal's Mike Wesley was in town delivering the Levinson No.30 processor and the CD Library for review by Digital Lad and The Incredible Publisher, respectively. When I saw the CD Library in Stereophile's listening room, I went ga-ga; the Proceed is just the kind of weird'n'wonderful gear I can sink my teeth into.

"Lookit this thing!!" I shouted, running my hands over the cold grey monolith in wonderment.

Suddenly, a light bulb blinked on over Mike Wesley's head.

"Hey Mike," I asked him, "What's that light bulb over your head?"

"Er, nothing, nothing at all," he said, nonchalantly trying to bat it away with his hand.

Back in Austin a few weeks later, the phone rings and it's JA, asking me if I want to review the CD Library.

"But I thought Mr. Archibald was going to write it up," I said.

"Well, Mike Wesley seems to think that you would do a superb job, so he wants to send you one too, if that's all right—"

A month or so goes by, and the new Stereophile comes in the mail. I'm flipping through it casually and there it is. The new ad for the CD Library:

"Have you seen Elvis?"

I just have one thing to say to a manufacturer who would try so blatantly to curry favor with a reviewer by appealing to his most private and intimate feelings of hero-worship: Well done, my friend!

Footnote 5: Even Carny—hey, what's the point of being rich if you can't be decadent?!
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