Home Digital Drive

Upsamplers, DACs, jitter, shakes and analogue withdrawals, this is it.

You have reinforced all the good things I hear about this player and the company.

Yes, that upgrade path possibility is a big plus.

I will be surprised if the player is not the weak link in my system, however. It will be a new experience to have such a CD player in my system - it's always been the weak link in there for me it seems. But I have never budgeted truly high-end players for my system except the Sony SCD-777ES.

I also have a very high end phono system and I know it also is not perfect, and I know it can be greatly improved upon. So it's difficult to pinpoint the weakest link - speakers or source on this. The electronics I have are closest to being perfect. Enough trial and error shows little gains to be had in that area at this point.

I will love it if the CD player allows me to start enjoying CD in a way I have never had before.

My system in the front room is all analog right now. The SACD/CD player (Sony SCD-777ES) is in my HT system which is doing alright there. I moved it over there because it is my "winter home" (smaller room with a space heater) and I like some music sometimes there.

The front room system is a Teres 255 TT with JMW-10 arm, Koetsu Urushi cartridge, a custom wound step-up transformer, a custom built tubed phono preamp, a custom wound autotransformer volume control and input selector, a custom built 45 SET amp with 01A DHT driver with custom passive equalization for the overall system balance, and a pair of B-D Design Oris 150 horns with 110 dB sensitivity.

With a system like that, there is no problem obtaining PRaT from a decent digital player, the horns are mighty quick on the transients and do not compress the music crescendos. So ultimate PRaT is not the ultimate quality I seek in a player.

There may not be enough gain in the passive volume control for the CD player's output, but I think it will be okay. If not I do have a custom built 27-based tube line stage for gain.

This is so tweaked for overall balance, it actually comes out pretty neutral but with some midrange sweetness. I don't expect full midrange harmonics from a CD player like the output of a Koetsu Urushi, and that's where I considered the Audio Notes and other tubed players, but Accuphase proved to me that it can be done with transistors to a satisfying level. I expect that in the least, I won't feel it's all missing with the Ayre. And if not, I can always add a euphonic tweak to the 27-based linestage which sacrifices little in transparency while doing that.

How long before I dial all this in? Probably months! See, this is why I have almost given up on the formal "unfamiliar system" auditioning ritual. Only one other system I have heard enough to trust to make a good opinion of. That's Elliot Kallen's system at Santa Rosa's "The Tweak Shop". I have heard it all there, too, and am very familiar with his house sound. So he has the Accuphases, and I know those are good. Just wished they were down to $3K.


Kurt


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  • You have reinforced all the good things I hear about this player and the company. - kurt s 21:12:15 01/14/07 (0)


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