SOTA Vanguard II CD player Specifications

Sidebar 3: Specifications

Description: One-piece CD player. Front-panel controls: Standby, CD/Line, Preset, FTS, Edit, Previous, Next, Open, Play, Pause, Stop, Phones output. Remote controls: all the above plus FTS, FTS 2, Title, Fast, Scan, A/B, Repeat, Review, Volume, and alphanumeric keyboard. Analog outputs: fixed and variable single-ended line and fixed balanced XLR line. Frequency response: 20Hz–20kHz ±0.2dB. S/N ratio: 100dB (A-weighted). Channel separation: 110dB at 1kHz. THD: 0.002%. Dynamic range: 92dB. Maximum output level: 2V (into 47k ohms). Digital outputs: coaxial, RCA, and optical.
Dimensions: 19" W by 33/4" H by 12" D. Weight: 22 lbs.
Price: $2495 (1995); no longer available (2018). Approximate number of dealers: 80.
Manufacturer: SOTA Industries, Lemont, IL 60439 (1995); SOTA Sales and Service Center, 436 E. Locust Street, DeKalb, IL 60115 (2017). Tel: (800) 772-SOTA or (608) 538-3500. Fax: (608) 538-3502. Web:

SOTA Sales and Service Center
436 E. Locust Street
DeKalb, IL 60115
(800) 772-SOTA

volvic's picture

Years ago when I lived in Montreal, a dealer who I used to buy products from time to time showed me the SOTA player, and said it was absolutely fabulous sounding at this price. I was sceptical, how a company that made great turntables could all of a sudden come up with this player, did they build it in house? Outsourced their components? Then I read this review in the 90's and confirmed my fears that it was simply an attempt to gain a foothold in the burgeoning CD player market - I purchased something else. The dealer whom I had known for over 15 years and had a relationship with never spoke to me again, and till this day if I ever make my way to Salon H-Fi et Image still ignores me, if he sees me. I thanked Stereophile then and thank them now for confirming my fears and saving me lots of $$$ on a less than stellar player.

allhifi's picture

colviv: A telling reply -on several counts:

The first is the sheer price distinctions from then (1995) to today. In fact, commencing in/around 2005 -prices began to skyrocket.

Secondly, it's also very telling (of the times I suppose) that 'after-market' accessories were used in the evaluation of a product, that by all rights should have been positioned/evaluated on a solid hi-fi rack -sans "pucks", sorbothane feet and similar. It should be obvious today that these "changes/tweaks" influence SQ considerably.
Other than cable choice, this is a laundry list of equipment used in the evaluation:

" .. Other accessories included RoomTunes CornerTunes, EchoTunes, and Ceiling Clouds; ASC Tube Traps; RoomTunes Just-a-Rack; Arcici Superstructure IIs; Audiostream equipment rack; CWD equipment cabinet; Bright Star Big Foot and Little Rock (for CD player); Sorbothane pucks (for amplifiers); Target speaker stands (for amplifiers); Fluxbuster; Shun Mook wooden pucks; The Original Cable Jacket wraps; Music and Sound ferrite beads; AudioQuest ferrite clamps; Chang Audio Lightspeed model CLS 6400 ISO power-line filter ..."

all of these 'accessories' are almost laughable by today's standards, and in any case should never have been used with/when a product was under evaluation -or used in addition to straight wall-power and component's factory footers along with detailed listening distinctions between the two.

So many "reviews" in the past, fatally flawed -on so many counts. Ouch.

And finally: " ...The dealer whom I had known for over 15 years and had a relationship with never spoke to me again, ..."

Not sure if that was not a good thing ! lol


volvic's picture

And finally: " ...The dealer whom I had known for over 15 years and had a relationship with never spoke to me again, ..."

Not sure if that was not a good thing ! lol

To be honest, he lost out on my potential purchases as I grew older and was able to afford more $$ gear. But I also lost out as well because that was another avenue for me make purchases. I no longer live in the city so it is no longer an issue. But it was an eye opener for me and the type of personality he was.

allhifi's picture

volvic: You say it 'right' !

By your remarks, it appears you were a younger guy at the time (regardless of age -it should not matter) and the chap appears to be management/owner ?

Again, regardless, we should all have time (not inordinate amounts, but) to discuss equipment/sound with ALL listener's and interests.

What strikes me is why you felt you couldn't return (to the store)? Perhaps chat with someone else ?
Yet, for some, it feels uncomfortable if unwelcome.

The "error" here falls square on the store staff -there's always ways to discuss what (if any) the issues are. It's called communication, and for merchants with poor communication skill, it's a surprise the store remained in business over those years.

As you say, it certainly does reflect one's personality.


volvic's picture

Yes, I was younger but not that much younger, in my very early 30's. I found another store that gave me fantastic service and they were Linn dealers which in the 90's was a great love. Still is to a degree but less. I could have gone back to the store he has other employees, but I don't believe you should reward bad behaviour with hard earned cash. Still, he had great gear, and now sells even more amazing gear, but I believe you take a stand and move on.

hollowman's picture

Query for JA:

We used to see linearity plots (as shown in Fig.5) above. But these seem to have been discontinued.
I do note that JA still MENTIONS linearity in Measurements section ... but no plot.
Why was this done?

P.S. I always find linearity plots useful. I realize that most Delta-Sigma DACs today have excellent linearity (compared to old-school multi-bit DACs).
But multi-bits seem to be coming back (TotalDAC, Schiit, various NOS and discrete DACs, etc).

jimx1169's picture

What, exactly, is a "CD Transcription System"? Googling the phrase yields no results. Is this a new entry in the Audiophile Dictionary/Thesaurus?

It is phrases like this that make me cringe when reading reviews. I hate to admit to my friends that I'm an audiophile because of this misuse of language.


Edit... Sorry I didn't notice the 1995 publication date. I guess "CD Transcription System" didn't stick?

Allen Fant's picture

I can remember reading this original 1995 article and wanting to hear this cd player.

allhifi's picture

Magazine editor: Attempt to make clear a reprint -and at the very least afford the original review date in bold font.

For indeed, if one missed the 'secondary' date (original review), one could continue not entirely certain whether it is current -or a reprint.