Disc Players

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Ed Selley  |  Dec 12, 2010  |  0 comments
Arcam CD37 - £1,300 SACD playback has a low profile in the case of the CD37, but the presence of a Wolfson DAC is definitely a bonus As SACD players go, this one is remarkably low key. There is an SACD logo on the front, but it’s not immediately obvious and the legend at top right clearly says ‘Compact Disc Player’. But it does handle the hi-res discs, thanks to a DAC which handles DSD (the SACD ‘bitstream’ format) in native mode. That’s an interesting detail, as most DACs these days convert both high-bit PCM (CD, DVD-A etc.
Ed Selley  |  Aug 27, 2011  |  0 comments
Audio Analogue Maestro Elegant Italian has the technical ability and the sonic skills to charm our blind-listening panel Audio Analogue’s Maestro range represents the pinnacle of its achievements: the Special Edition power amplifiers that carry the same badge cost in the region of £20,000. The Maestro CD player is the penultimate Audio Analogue disc-spinner, second only to the SE version which comes in at twice the price. Our test model is the second revision of the design, or CD192/24 REV2. 0 as they call it in the technical dept.
Ed Selley  |  Aug 15, 2010  |  0 comments
Audio Analogue Rossini VT 2. 0 - £1,200 The addition of a valve in the output stage gives this player a distinctive character all of its own Version 2 of a product can signify something as trivial as a new front panel layout, but this CD player looks distinctly different internally, from the original Rossini. It’s unique in this group, in that it incorporates a valve; a 6922 twin triode (one section per channel) in the audio output stage, which is likely to give it some degree of distinctive character. In fact, Audio Analogue acknowledges, with admirable candour, that the valve adds some ‘colour’ to the purity of digital sound.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Jun 21, 2019  |  0 comments
Audiolab’s 6000CDT is a rarity – a great-value CD transport
Ed Selley  |  Dec 07, 2010  |  0 comments
A reason to love CD As Richard Black discovers, Audiolab's new CD player ups the ante with a host of technological innovations Well, it’s a funny old world. Here we are with CD allegedly dead in the water and one of the most keenly-awaited products in a while is a – wait for it – CD player! The experienced audiophile won’t be too surprised at that, given the history of LP replay since the 1980s. And, as for the brand that’s making the splash, Audiolab has been on and off the radar a bit over the years, including the spell as TAG McLaren Audio and is now very keen to ensure a lively future by launching eye-catching products. So just what’s so eye-catching about a CD player? Basically two things: funky new design and internal technology.
Ed Selley  |  Nov 28, 2011  |  0 comments
Flexible friend Audiolab’s superb 8200CD gets new filter options and internal upgrades: Richard Black reckons its value remains unbeaten It’s just a year since we first encountered the Audiolab 8200CD (HFC 340), which we quickly came to consider one of the finest sensibly priced CD players we’ve had the pleasure of testing. Although there’s no hint in the nomenclature that anything has changed, Audiolab has, in fact, recently put a few tweaks and upgrades into the design, so a re-test seemed in order. As the main photograph shows, this is basically a CD player like any other. Take a squint at the back, though, and you’ll see that it’s not quite so normal: it has digital inputs (electrical, optical and USB), as well as the more common outputs.
Ed Selley  |  Mar 13, 2012  |  0 comments
Pre- possession Richard Black tests the preamp-equipped 8200CDQ player/DAC from Audiolab, and finds himself falling in love all over again. . . Audiolab’s ‘basic’ CD player, the 8200CD, already does a lot more than just play CDs, equipped as it is with a set of digital inputs including electrical, optical and USB.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Aug 19, 2019  |  0 comments
Building on its predecessor, this next-generation CD player/DAC/preamp is as versatile as it gets
Ed Selley  |  Nov 30, 2011  |  0 comments
A touch of glass Can this substantial valve output CD player mix it with the hardcore contenders? Jason Kennedy finds out Ayon is an Austrian company that produces sources, amplifi ers and loudspeakers, as well as glass audio components. It makes its own power valves at a facility in the Czech Republic and builds some very high-end products – it’s most affordable power amp, for example, costs nearly £20,000. The CD-07s sits at the opposite end of the scale and looks to be an attempt to break into a sector of the market with more potential buyers. A deeply competitive sector, of course, but this player is heavy on features.
Ed Selley  |  Dec 12, 2010  |  0 comments
Cambridge Audio Azur 650BD - £400 The budget-priced player of the bunch, the 650BD is remarkably good value and holds its own admirably Is it hi-fi, is it home cinema, or is it a bit of home computer equipment? In the days of Blu-ray, USB and internet with everything, the Azur 650BD is all three – with bells on. The 10 front-panel logos denoting specific technologies suggest at once that this is a pretty well-featured unit, while closer investigation doesn’t disappoint. It handles almost every variation of silver disc – CD, SACD, DVD and Blu-ray. Despite that, the insides are not really any busier than most CD- only players.
Ed Selley  |  Nov 09, 2011  |  0 comments
Far from creeky Simplicity is an admirable virtue, opines Richard Black, as he considers the performance level of Creek’s new Evolution 2 CD player For less than the price of the Evo 2 CD, you can buy a universal disc player that handles all the various flavours of digital discs, reproduces moving and still pictures as well as audio and generally makes this machine look a bit lacklustre. So what’s the point? If you didn’t already know the answer, you probably wouldn’t even be reading this magazine, but there’s more to it than simply knowing that the player has been optimised for one task alone. Just before reviewing this, we had some time with a Blu-ray (etc. ) player and there were times when we could cheerfully have heaved it out of the window.
 |  Jan 21, 2015  |  0 comments
And so it goes. The humble Compact Disc player, once a vestigial box with no inputs and a single pairof analogue outputs is increasingly becoming a preamp with a DAC and optical disc transport built in. Gone are the days when it was seen as an end in itself, now it is to all intents and purposes a digital music centre. Creek’s new Evolution 50CD silver disc spinner is precisely this, and costing under £1,000, is being positioned to take on the market leader, Audiolab’s 8200CD.
Ed Selley  |  Aug 15, 2010  |  0 comments
Cyrus CD 8SE - £1,300 Cyrus has included its own servo evolution platform, bringing CD replay close to perfection we’ve seen this model before (HFC 310), but it has been very slightly revised, so we thought a re-test might be a good idea. Many of these revisions are cosmetic, including a new window for the display and a redesigned bezel, which fronts the slot-loading transport and puts the mind at rest about scratching discs (not that we hand any such concerns in the first place). But there have also been some changes to the software which controls the disc-reading servo. This servo was the ‘big news’ about the 8SE (the letters standing for ‘Servo Evolution’) and was something of a novelty for a specialist manufacturer such as Cyrus, in that it optimised disc-reading from a high-quality audio standpoint, rather than the more common trade-off between read quality and performance with dodgy or damaged discs.
 |  Jan 23, 2015  |  0 comments
History appears to be repeating itself. The sound of vinyl never really came good until the format looked distinctly over the hill, and now we see the same thing happening with Compact Disc. As DAC technology gets ever better, suddenly we’re finding that the little silver disc is actually capable of really rather fine sound. Digital-to-analogue converters are at last able to properly do the job they were designed for, and CD is finally beginning to sound right.
Ed Selley  |  Aug 27, 2011  |  0 comments
Densen B-420XS Naim-esque Dane with a sublime design and stunning remote is high on pace and energy In many respects Densen is Denmark’s answer to Naim; it eschews feature counting, but provides upgradeable power supplies on its amplifiers and emphasises that audio components should be all about enjoying the music. We couldn’t agree more with that sentiment, so the question is; does this latest version of the company’s midrange player provide enough entertainment to warrant its asking price? One factor that you have to consider when it comes to price is he remote handset. The Gizmo, as its dubbed, adds £150 to the cost of the player so is not a minor consideration. It is beautiful, but a plastic ‘freebie’ could be just as practical in this day and age.

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