In Reply to: Mine too posted by Rodney Gold on February 11, 2003 at 20:20:20:
...that would intermittently stall. My copy of the Pet Shop Boys' "Discography" has a scratch in it. Sometimes, the Jade will not play through the scratch. It will just stall at that point. However, my other CD devices (CAL Delta, Linn Genki, Theta Data Basic II, NAD 5000, Creek CD43MK2, and Sony Discmen) didn't always play through the scratch cleanly, either. So I can't claim that the Jade tracks any worse than the other CD players and transports I've tried.
I also have the enhanced CD of Iron Maiden's "Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son." The Creek can't even read the TOC, let alone play the tracks. But the Jade plays this disc perfectly.
Theta's old Data Basic II didn't reproduce image depth as well as the Jade, but it had a see-through clarity which I sorely miss. It was also more precise and rhythmic.
Once you hear a truly transparent transport, like the Mark Levinson No. 37, you'll see why I called the Jade "bland." The No. 37 does a MUCH better job at getting out of the way, and just reading what's on the disc. The No. 37 allows you to hear the differences in sound quality from disc to disc. When the recording sucks, you'll be able to hear where, why, and how. The Jade, OTOH, has this play-it-safe, regression-to-the-means performance that just grates on listeners over the long haul. Over time, I hear the 25% it doesn't do, rather than the 75% it does correctly.
I can't wait to find a reliable, ergonomic, aesthetically-pleasing transport that sounds honest. I want one that does not alter what is on the disc. There is so much music buried on our CDs. If my transport screws it up, then nothing I do downstream can ever recover that lost info.
I give up!...the 37 is better than the "bland" Jade already!
(But I'm still enjoying my Jade.)
The Mark Levinson No. 37 retailed for $3995, while the Jade listed for $2495.
I don't want to give the impression that the Jade sucks. It doesn't. It's solid, if not spectacular. But while the rest of my system has improved, the Jade is becoming more and more of a weak link. And since the Jade sits at the very beginning of the chain, it is by far the most important piece.
The No. 37, though it sounds terrific and has neat ergonomic features, does have its flaws. Many people have complained about its thin, noisy, and grinding drawer.
BTW, I can get more out of the Jade by going to a better DAC. When I tried the ML No. 360S, it had a more relaxed feel than my regular No. 360. The S version simply decodes instrumental textures better than the regular 360. Yes, these differences are readily apparent when using the Jade as a source.
Unfortunately, I can't afford the S version. Perhaps some day I'll be able to upgrade my unit. I'm not holding my breath.
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