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World Power saves the solo Naim CDX2

As many of you know, I have tried mostly in vain to get acceptable performance out of the solo Naim CDX2. I know, I know, you guys are dead-on correct when you assert that I should stop f------ around, and get the XPS2 dedicated external power supply. But holy mackeral, the XPS2 retails for $4800 here in the US. That's more than my other CD player, the Meridian G08. Hell, that almost makes my Koetsu Rosewood Signature Platinum look reasonably priced.

Well, I recently acquired World Power's (http://www.audioexcellenceaz.com/) Power Wing 8300XP. My company has had one for a while, but I never really got to check it out. This second unit is purely mine.

I do hook up my entire system to the PW 8300XP, but I did try it in isolation with the Naim CDX2. When the whole system is plugged into the PW 8300XP, there is an honest neutrality, a well-balanced clarity that lets the equipment and recordings speak for themselves. My other PLCs can make the system sound kind of blended, kind of fuzzy.

But when the WP 8300XP aids the solo Naim CDX2, finally you get to hear some of what that CD player can do. Finally, here is a PLC that doesn't reign in the soundstage boundaries, and doesn't fiddle with the imaginary equalizer.

First up was Anthrax's "Taking The Music Back." Finally, there was enough room for the music to breathe. Charlie Benante leads with the kick drum. If you've been following thrash, this will bring back sweet memories of "Among The Living." The two guitars are simply laid out left and right, and on this song, the riffs are tastefully under control. And yes, when The Who's Roger Daltry lends a hand, you hear his tracks.

Next up was Megadeth's latest album, "The System Has Failed." This isn't an expansive recording, but there's enough space so that you can block out the rest, and key in on Chris Poland's technical mastery. There's too much compression on the drums, and the CDX2 will do nothing to alter that. And that's why eyebrows are raised when you find that former Sting drummer Vinnie Colaiuta is effortlessly doing the drums on this 'Deth album.

The PW 8300XP lets the CDX2 reveal Neil Diamond's "Heartlight" for what it is. Co-written with Burt Bacharach, this song has Diamond trying too hard to be smooth. You wish he'd just chuck it, and bust out into full throttle emotion. That is why, when you see people sing this song, they don't hold back; they do it with flair.

Next up is Wilson Phillips' "California," an album of covers about California, or by artists from California. With the PW 8300XP, the CDX2 finally captures the glossy production in its hideous ugliness. It makes it sound as if Wilson Phillips are at the karaoke machine. That's too bad, because Wilson Phillips seem like decent singers, seem like they're having fun, and seem to have a different perspective of these classic songs. So their version of "Monday Monday" comes off like the A*Teens at the end of a Disney movie.

Finally, the CDX2 finally captures some of the drum's skin textures on Romeo Void's "A Girl In Trouble (Is A Temporary Thing)." With other PLCs, the CDX2 loses the sax in the mix, or makes it too thin and harsh.

All of the above is in conjunction with Shunyata's Anaconda Alpha. Other Shunyata users tell me that, given my complaints about the incorrect timbres and textures, I should, on the CDX2, use the Anaconda vX version. If I ever get around to that, I'll certainly post my findings here. But in the mean time, I do point out that the World Power PW 8300XP's honest neutrality is not only welcomed on high-end gear in general, but on the solo Naim CDX2 as well.

-Lummy The Seahorse

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Topic - World Power saves the solo Naim CDX2 - Luminator 09:53:37 07/21/05 (0)

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