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Sony SCD-CE775 SACD 5-Disc Carousel Player

Sony SCD CE-775 SACD Player

“There are those who still debate the merits of (or need for) higher resolution digital formats, but I am not one of these, having mastered numerous CDs over the past few years on my 96 kHz DAT recorder, and having also worked at 192 kHz on occasion. The real question is whether two currently incompatible hi-res formats can coexist and find an audience that is large enough to sustain each format…”

NAD/PSB Alpha Home Theater System

PSB Alpha C

“Here’s a system designed and assembled in Canada, though the origins of the components lie far to the east. Since being bought by Lenbrook Industries, NAD has done all product development at its international headquarters in Pickering, Ontario, while PSB loudspeakers are designed by founder Paul Barton and his team in the same facility…”

Rotel RCD-951 CD Player

Rotel RCD-951

“Fortunately there’s nothing non-descript about the sound of this player. Impressed at the very outset by its smoothness and musicality I listened casually to the 951 for a couple of weeks to ensure that it was completely broken in before making any notes or comparisons. Even during this stage it was abundantly clear that this was a lot more CD player than $600 was supposed to buy…”

Redgum Integrated Amp and CD Player

Redgum System

“Redgum is an Australian hardwood that, when finished in a glowing lacquer as on this company’s products, looks stunning. It’s used for the faceplate of both the amplifier and CD player, the latter flipping down to reveal controls and disc drawer. Redgum audio is an Australian company(obviously), based in suburban Melbourne, which makes amplifiers and CD players….”

Rotel RCD-991 CD Player

Rotel RCD-991

“Initial impressions indicated that the family resemblance between the 991 and the 951 was strong, with the former being more musically inclined than its smaller sibling. With a head for detail the 991 came off sounding more refined, making the 951 sound a touch coarse by comparison. Both players sound quite laid back and very smooth, but direct, level matched comparisons confirmed that the 991..”

TEAC CD-RW 800 Recorder

TEAC RW-800

“The TEAC RW-800 has a single tray, recording entirely from external sources, but unlike many other double decks has some interesting features of its own, including microphone inputs on the front panel with their own level controls beside the 1/4″ input jacks. Analog line (RCA) and Toslink and coaxial (RCA) inputs and outputs are provided on the rear panel…”

Talk Electronics Integrated System

Talk Electronics Duo

“I think the product names of this company from England are an inside joke about talking about the weather. But, as I joked myself to distributor Angie Lisi the other day, they’re unlikely to call a product, the Downpour or the Monsoon…the Tempest, maybe, with its Shakespearean implications. At the moment they’ve covered Storm, Hurricane, Tornado, Whirlwind and the other meteorological phenomena noted above. How about the cold spring this year, eh?..”

Pioneer PDV-LC10 Portable DVD Player

Pioneer LC-10 Portable DVD Player

“…In listening, this player was outstanding with DVD audio discs like the Chesky Remembrances by Jon Faddis (CHDVD176), the big band sound beautifully portrayed through the player’s 24/96 DAC. I also listened carefully to our Chuck Israels CD, The Bellingham Sessions, Volume 1, and liked what I heard from this disc that I know better than just about anything else…”

Yamaha DVD-C900 5-Disc DVD Changer

Yamaha DVD C900 DVD Player

“This year it’s DVD carousel changers, and next season it will be 100-to-300-DVD jukeboxes, the path already followed by CD. The DVD-C900 handles 5 discs, and has quite a few features you wouldn’t expect on a changer, including 96 kHz audio playback, though it outputs only a 48 kHz digital signal…”

NAD L 40 CD Player/Stereo Receiver

NAD L 40 CD Player/Stereo Receiver

” If the reviews in this issue are any indication, the CD/receiver is the hottest new category in electronics, at least for stereo systems (in home theatre it seems to be multidisc DVD players). The NAD L40 comes without speakers, so I thought a good coupling would be with the wonderful Paradigm Reference Studio 40, though Paul Barton, designer for NAD sibling company PSB might not agree…”

Pioneer Elite PDR-09RW CD Recorder

Pioneer Elite PDR-09 CD Recorder

“As owner of a PDR-05 CD recorder, I didn’t find too many surprises in its Elite successor, with all the same features and a few more to boot. The main extra capability is that of recording rewriteable CD-Rs, called CD-RWs. These can be erased starting with the last track recorded, or by erasing the whole disc for re-use…”

Audio Refinement Complete System

Audio Refinement Complete System

“Giving the name “complete” to the components in this system of French origin and oriental manufacture reminds me of an old insult: “Everyone wants their life to be complete, and yours is, because you’re a complete (fill in appropriate word).” I suspect the word “complet” has different connotations in French, but I think the whole idea is to get you to buy the whole system…..”

Myryad MI 120 Integrated Amplifier, MC 100 CD Player and MT 100 FM Tuner

Myryad MI 120 Integrated Amplifier

“Myryad Systems came together in the partnership of Chris Short, former owner and managing director of Mordaunt-Short, Chris Evans, a founder and director of Arcam, and David Evans, a veteran of NAD. The M Series components are their upscale line, and handsome they are, as well as very competitively priced for what they are….”

Pioneer Elite DV-09 DVD/CD Player

Pioneer Elite DV-09 DVD/Cd player

“The DV-09 weighs almost 35 pounds, with a great deal more internal damping, bracing, and shielding than any other player in my experience. In addition to dual composite and S-video outputs, it also provides component video outputs (3 RCA). There are also dual stereo analog audio outputs, and optical and coaxial PCM/Dolby Digital/DTS RCAs, with an additional straight PCM RCA coaxial out…”

Arcam Alpha 9 CD Player

Arcam Alpha 9 CD Player

“There’s something special about this new top model from Arcam, and that is the DAC, which comes from their Huntingdon, England neighbour, dCS. Having spent the better part of a week this past summer listening to this company’s professional ADC and DAC gear while recording the Chuck Israels Quartet, I was very curious in August to have a chance to audition the Alpha 9 with its dCS Ring digital-to-analog converter…”

Panasonic DVD-L10 Portable DVD Player

Panasonic DVD L10 Portable DVD Player

“The DVD-L10 has a 16:9 CD screen that measures 5 1/4″diagonally, and is 5″W x 2 9/16″H. It’s a double clam-shell design, with the screen section flipping up first, and then the DVD/CD lid. Power switch, headphone jack, and volume control are on the left side, while S-video and mini-jack A/V in s and outs, and an optical digital out are on the rear…”

Rega Planet CD Player

Rega Planet CD Player

“This could be the CD player Clark Kent would have used had there been CDs in the world of Metropolis. The Planet (Daily or otherwise) is Rega’s first crack at playing the silver discs, and brings designer Roy Gandi’s unique approach to it. It’s a top loader, reminiscent of a Philips portable I once owned, the weighted magnetic clamp contained in the hinged lid so that it automatically seats properly…”


  Outside the Speakers

    Random Thoughts on the Music Mask
    NPR on Whether Audiophiles Still Exist
    Audiophile Grade Mics?
    CDs Sales Die, LP Sales Fly
    Some High End 'Phones from CES

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