dCS, the British digital audio component manufacturer, has announced the Vivaldi digital playback system. Vivaldi is a four box digital system which represents the “pinnacle of their ‘no compromise’ approach to product design” and which the company claims sets a new standard for the future of digital audio playback.
Comprising separate Digital to Digital Upsampler, CD/SACD Transport, DAC and Master Clock, the Vivaldi is a “radical redesign and major enhancement of the dCS architecture”. It can be used a four box system or as a combination using one or more of the individual components.
Vivaldi has been designed to play music from any source and can process all high-res musical formats up to DXD plus DSD.
Over the coming months the system will be premiered at the following events:
China – Elegant Music Garden, Guangzhou, August 17-18 2012
United States – Ears Nova, NYC, September 16-17 2012
United Kingdom – National Audio Show, September 22-23 2012
Japan – Tokyo International Audio Show, November 2-4 2012
Building on the past performance of its C 545BEE, NAD announces the release of the new C 546BEE CD Player. Supporting a wide range of program material including CD, CD-R, CD-RW, the C 546BEE will play encoded MP3 and WMA music in their natural, intended form.
In addition to supporting all of today’s latest optical formats, “NAD’s engineering and design team has overhauled all of the circuitry and component choices to improve low frequencies, for a level of musical precision and detail that can be heard”. Using a 24-bit high-resolution DAC and two separate power regulators for analogue and digital audio, NAD has limited electrical interference and produced low-level linearity for all digital music.
A number of user-friendly features and a full function remote control allows for navigation and programming of up to 20 tracks.
Suggested Retail Price: NAD C 546BEE – £499.00
I’ve had this particular silver disc spinner for a little over a two years now and so I thought it about time I put fingers to keys and write a review about it.
The first thing that strikes you about the Italian unit is its distinctive appearance. For sure this isn’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea, but I quite like its styling. Apart from the wooden ‘badge’ with its gold and silver Unison logo the front panel is dominated by a large LCD display and then just 4 small buttons controlling the player’s main functions. There is also the infra red receiver window for receiving instructions from the substantial wooden, yes wooden, remote control. I’ve found that the remote is pretty much obligatory as the front of the unit quickly becomes a little grubby if you use the onboard controls. The remote control looks and feels absolutely glorious, but in use it’s actually a little bit fiddly for a sausage fingered oaf such as me. More »
Having been impressed with MF’s most popular player on the block, the A5 CDP, I was curious to know how its diminutive sibling the XRay V8 would fare so managed to get hold of one for an audition. It arrived neatly packaged with the separate off-board power supply unit, leads and remote. Initial impressions on build were quite good. Well screwed together and quite an unusual design with the long slim casings and separate (and quite beefy) psu. Assembled and left to warm up, I had a look at the remote which is a plastic affair with far too many buttons and a confusing layout. The remote is intended for the matching amplifier and tuner operation too and the overall impression is that MF intended this to be bought as a package with those units (X100 amp and X-Tuner). They share a trademark casing design meant as an upgrade to the older cylindrical shaped units . More »
This is one of the more, errr, ‘controversial’ CDPs of recent years. It got a thorough online blasting by that Lampizator chappie, who discovered that the DAC chipset used was a cheap and cheerful variety rather than the upmarket leading edge hi-tech item that was claimed! Nonetheless it received many very favourable reviews and online comments by others and even Lampizator gave it 10/10 for sound quality!
It’s a top loader with a neat sliding dark plastic panel, and a magnetic puck is supplied to hold a CD firmly in place. A remarkably hefty item as well, it definitely inspires confidence. Balanced (XLR) outputs as well as RCA. Switchable by remote (when a CD is not playing) between the standard Red Book 44KHz and a choice of 88 or 196KHz upsampling.
I spotted one on a well known auction site and I thought it was worth a punt just to hear it for myself.
Well – I’m very, very glad that I did! More »
Ho-hum … Cyrus? Not a lot of audiophile credibility there!
Cyrus comes in for more than its share of flak on some of the online hifi forums, especially some of those that I frequent. So I was more than a bit biased against the brand and I never would have gone out of my way to try it, to be honest. But a swap deal was offered, so I thought I might as well give it a try – after all, Cyrus gear is easy enough to sell on.
In due course, the Cyrus CD8X arrived. Neatly packed, well made in the famed half-size ‘shoe-box’ format. More »
Build and design
I first came across this CDP whilst auditioning a set of speakers a few years back. The dealer had a CDP3.1 sitting on the equipment table next to a particularly tasty Horning Sati SET valve amp.
The first thing that strikes you about the player is just how misleading its name is…there’s nothing “mini” about it! In fact it’s one of the largest CDPs I’ve so far encountered, but boy is it beautiful. I remember thinking at the time that I’d be quite happy to pay the asking price and never play it, just keep it on a pedestal as a work of art! More »