Disc Players

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Review: Andrew Everard, Lab: Paul Miller  |  Apr 01, 2018
hfncommended.pngWith an upgraded specification including an asynchronous USB input with DSD capability, ATC’s CD player/DAC/preamp aims to be a complete system front-end

Is this a new twist on the CD player? Or yet another new variation on the DAC? Well, neither actually, for as that ‘Mk2’ suffix suggests, this is a revised version of ATC’s innovative CDA CD player/DAC/preamp combination, selling for £2950 and designed as the perfect partner for the company’s £3375 P2 power amplifier [HFN Mar ’17], or its range of active speakers.

Review: David Price, Lab: Paul Miller  |  Feb 01, 2018
hfnoutstanding.pngHugely flexible, hugely capable and, well, just plain ‘huge’, dCS’s flagship Vivaldi four-box digital stack has been condensed into a one-box solution. So why a limited edition?

There comes a time when you have to pop the champagne cork, relax and have fun. That’s what dCS (Data Conversion Systems Ltd) has done with its new £55k Vivaldi One single-box disc player/upsampling DAC/streamer. It’s a limited edition of just 250 pieces, designed to celebrate the company’s 30th anniversary. In that time, the company has gone from being an Official Secrets Act signatory supplying advanced radar systems for the RAF towards the end of the Cold War, to one of the most respected high-end digital audio specialists around.

Review: Tim Jarman, Lab: Paul Miller  |  Nov 01, 2017
hfnvintage.pngWith components sourced from Dutch giant Philips, does this slick-looking CD player from 1986 still represent the 'last word' in 14-bit sound? We take it to the test bench

The step change in technology that came with the introduction of CD was too great for all but the largest hi-fi manufacturers to handle alone. As a result, those that lacked the resources to design and produce their own machines had instead to buy completed assemblies from either Philips or one of the larger Japanese brands.

Hi-Fi News Staff  |  Jan 30, 2015
Back in the 1980s, Compact Disc’s tantalising promise of ‘perfect sound forever’ was taken as gospel in many quarters. However, one man was dissatisfied with its performance and set about improving matters with typical fervour. The engineer in question was Stan Curtis of Cambridge Audio and the result of his labours was the CD1 player. Introduced in 1984, it effectively changed the face of CD reproduction – and not just due to its multi-box construction.
Hi-Fi News Staff  |  Jan 14, 2015
Many designers have tried to give their products a unique visual identity, but few have succeeded as well as Dieter Burmester. The 101 integrated amplifier and 102 CD player/DAC comprise Burmester’s current entry-level range, the latter a slim standard-sized unit, which would look conventional if it weren’t for all that chrome. Behind its shiny metal front, the CD drawer has a plastic tray, but it operates with a solid and reassuring precision when you touch the leftmost button on the fascia. The fascia button marked ‘Audio’ switches the player’s upsampling between 96kHz and 192kHz, and another switches between coaxial and optical digital inputs.
Hi-Fi News Staff  |  Jan 13, 2015
Producing a solid-state version of a valve CD player is nothing new for the Minnesota-based company, although, for many, ‘Audio Research’ means valves. But at least the CD6 can be sited in a cabinet or other enclosure with doors, whereas the REF9 CD player/DAC [HFN May ’13] needs ventilation. Both players confront the current need for a plethora of digital inputs and sampling rates with a full complement. The CD6’s four digital inputs comprise asynchronous USB 2.
Hi-Fi News Staff  |  Jan 13, 2015
Weighing over 20kg, the Loit Passeri CD player is the first product from the talented young designer Lup Yoong Kam of Singapore. Clearly a perfectionist, Kam has come up with a product that simply exudes quality. It is also a great piece of industrial design. At the outset, Kam commissioned well-known Russian designer Artemy Lebedev who envisaged the CD cover as a simple flat disc, ringed by a glow of blue light.
Hi-Fi News Staff  |  Jan 13, 2015
We were bowled over by the technical performance and subjective sound quality of Simaudio’s Moon 380D standalone DAC [HFN Aug ’13]. The Moon Nēo 260D CD transport with optional DAC is a new addition to this Canadian audio company’s portfolio, so we were keen to get our hands on it for a review. Simaudio’s new Moon Nēo designs are built into casework with sculpted front panels akin to the aesthetics of the firm’s luxurious Evolution Series components. Here we’re assessing it as a CD player which, like the majority of players today, features digital inputs for playing additional sources via its digital-to-analogue converter stages.
Hi-Fi News Staff  |  Dec 22, 2014
In the early 1970s Sanyo was a UK market leader in the field of music centres that were extremely popular here, but its separate hi-fi units were not as successful. It was intended that the acquisition of the Fisher brand (in 1975) would solve this problem and less than a year after the CD format had first been made commercially available by Philips and Sony, it launched its first machine, offered in the UK as the Fisher AD 800. A vertical front loader, the AD 800 was a confident entry into the digital field. One reason Sanyo was able to bring this model to market so rapidly was its use of integrated circuits made by Sony.
Hi-Fi News Staff  |  Nov 13, 2014
These are just the first two models in Roksan’s new Oxygene series. In the amplifier, the use of Class Dor switching-amplifier technology provides high power and excellent performance from a physically compact package. There’s very little heat dissipation, so the amplifier doesn’t require big heatsinks or a lot of ventilation. The designers have chosen one of the well-known range of Hypex UcD modules, which have a high reputation for sound quality.
Hi-Fi News Staff  |  Nov 11, 2014
The 111 is Burmester’s take on what a 21st century music centre might comprise, albeit with an eye-watering price tag. It is a high-end analogue preamplifier with a built-in DAC and a slot-in CD drive for playing CDs; it can rip CDs to its HDD, and since it has both Wi-Fi and Ethernet network connectivity it has internet radio functionality built in. Once music is stored as a ‘digital library’ on its internal 3TB HDD, the 111 can further function as a music server to distribute music around a networked home. It’s driven via an iPad that is included in the price (Burmester’s iPad app is attractive and works well).
Hi-Fi News Staff  |  Nov 11, 2014
Flagship front-ends don’t come bigger than the multi-box dCS Vivaldi, comprising an upsampling CD/SACD digital Transport, an outboard DAC, outboard Upsampler and dual-mode Clock. Its new industrial design is realised in spectacular, sweeping curves and matching, full-colour TFT displays (albeit run in greyscale). Each box has a limited range of soft-touch buttons to navigate through the various configuration menus. There’s a heavy alloy IR remote but most users will gravitate towards the dCS app available on the iPod/iPhone/iPad, Android, Mac OS X and Windows PC platforms.
Hi-Fi News Staff  |  Nov 11, 2014
Rated at 180W/8ohm, Quad’s Platinum Mono power amp is for those who crave more power than offered by the Elite QSP. Concurrent with its release is the Digital Media Player: a logical progression for those enthusiasts who have long enjoyed the earlier 99 Series CDP-2. While there are no analogue inputs, the DMP does adds a USB input and digital outputs include one each of Toslink, coaxial, BNC and AES/EBU via XLR. Both the Monos and the DMP provide balanced connection via XLRs for the main line-level output from the preamp and input to the power amps.
Hi-Fi News Staff  |  Nov 11, 2014
New to the UK market, the CDD-1 and AMP-150 are Gato’s flagship products, the visual design being the work of Kristen Dinesen. They are both so compact that you might even think that the 150W (rated) per channel integrated must be a Class D amplifier. In fact, it uses a single-MOSFET output stage (actually, a pair for each channel). The CDD-1 uses a Philips CD-Pro 2 mechanism and balanced dual-differential Burr-Brown D/A converters.
Richard Holliss  |  Nov 07, 2014
Metronome’s T3A Signature CD transport, despite its not inconsiderable price, is substantially more affordable than the company’s ‘sculpted art’ Kalista and Calypso models. It’s a manual top-loader with an integrated power supply, housed in a sturdy chassis with a thick fascia of brushed aluminium available in silver or black. The unit sits on three substantial feet with circular recesses, into which inverted Delrin cones magnetically locate for maximum isolation from any external vibration. Sliding back the top plate cover of the T3A to load a CD reveals its transport mechanism, a Philips CDM12 Pro 2 v6.