I have the ANT with all upgrades. Problems are the display which is too dim. The looks are not so high end. I thought the add ins are designed in Holland and don't know where the parts are sourced.
But, if sound matters to you more, at a $1000 I highly recommend this cdp. It is designed by the same people who put together the Primaluna so you know what kind of service and quality you are getting. Also the ANT is very tweeker friendly and messing around with tubes and such is encouraged by Upscale.
You might want to look at a modded Jolida JD100 also.
I am using the Cairn Fog v.2 w/ upsampling with my Prologue Two, and love the combination! At under $1000 used, I think it is hard to beat! It was my choice. I can't compare it directly to either of the CDP's above, and maybe you are strickly looking for a tubed CDP? One nice feature about the Cairn (other than it's looks and sound) is that it has variable volume output via the remote. It is in the digital domain, so if you take it way down, you loose something, but it's a nice feature for when you want/need to turn your system down from your listening chair when trying to listen to someone talk or answering the phone. I believe the Ah! player may have this feature as well? Good luck!
Don't overlook the Cary 308-T this is a tubed output CDP with great sound. They are $2,500 new but show up on A'gon for about $1200 - $1,300. Nothing "cheap" about this CDP it weighs 25 lbs and seems to be carved from a single block of steel.
Very very execlent sound as well.
I am running one with my Cayin TA-30 and enjoy it very much.
I did consider your Cairn Fog v.2 but correct me if I'm
wrong, I heard that it doesn't offer coax connections.
Only optical and balanced.
The Primaluna Pro Two doesn't offer balanced connections.
Markeetaux, the Fog offers both RCA and XLR analog outputs, as well as the digital output. I have mine connected to my Prologue Two with Kimber Hero RCA's. Feel free to email me if you'd like more information on this player.
Its going to be tough to determine which player to get without trying these out on your own. It always seems that everyone says all these players are great in this price range and I'm sure they are. In my case, with no dealers around me, I had to jump in blindly. Just be assured that you have a truly fantastic integrated in the Primaluna. My opinion has always been that the speakers and the amp are the most important components (controversial, I know).
I'm going to order the upsampler and a new set of tubes for the AH! soon. One thing to consider is that if you buy a solid state player, your spending is more than likely complete. Tube rolling costs money. If I do not hear differences when rolling tubes with the AH!, I will consider this purchase not up to what was advertised. So far, out of many online postings, I have only come across a few people where this was the case so I am optimistic.
I am a Consonance CD 2.2 owner, and I recommend it highly. On the RCA side it has tube output and a volume control on the remote. On the XLR side, no tube, but it is FULLY balanced. I think it still sells for less than $1500, and it weighs in at about 35 lbs.
Thank you ALL for your informative comments.
My problem is even though I live in a fairly large metro area (D.C.) I had real problems finding any of the above units. I was very attracted to the Cairn Fog and the Cary units. I couldn't find one to see let alone hear. Then, I decided that all the units mentioned would probably sound great anyways. So, my strategy to purchase was based on a very technical disqualification process.
The Njoe Tjoeb was first to go. Though I think with all the
upgrades it was very competive sound wise, the fact was, it
weighs alittle over 6 lbs and looks like it can be purchased at Best Buys. The next to go was the Cairn Fog.
That was easy, It's French. Next to go was the Cary 308T.
There was a Cary dealer in the area, that dropped the entire line because of customer service problems with Cary.
Then I started to read about the Consonance CD120. First of
all, I really liked the look. All metal construction with
a very simple clean designed front. 24/192 upsampler was
standard, both balanced and single end connections, and weighs in at over 22 lbs. Then the price NEW was less than many of the above used. I decided to take a chance on Consonance.
Well, It arrived yesterday. All I can say is, WOW!!! I definately made the right choice. Out of the box, this unit sounds truely wonderful. I can't imagine after a couple hundred hours of breakin time what this unit will sound like. The same applies to the cosmetics, it looks very high end and expensive. Even the remote is all metal.
As stated before, I'm sure all of the above recommendations
are great sounding players, and all mentioned would be more
of latteral differences in quality than anyone unit being
superior to the rest. This wonderful hobby is about being
totally satisfied with our choices regardless of the process we use. I'm on the winning end this time.
Marketaux, one question: what do the Chinese (Opera) have over the French (Cairn)? ;-)
FYI the Njoe Tjoeb is made in Holland (base players is Asia...but all others are too)and the upsampler is made in Switzerland.
The case (box) is basic but the Tjoeb has some of the best engineerimg and build you can get. The work is done in an ISO9001 certified facility. The Upsampler is made by the same people that do the upsampling build/design for the most expensive brands on earth.
Resale on the Tjoeb (and your PrimaLuna) are un-touchable. A standard Njoe Tjoeb...stock with no upgrades, and four years old, original tubes, just went at auction for $605 on E-bay with 11 bids. We sell them new for $699.
I'm love my AH! Supertjoeb 4000 with NOS Tungsram 6922s. You don't see many used ones on the market, because they're "keepers." When you find them used, you see that they retain their value.
i cannot make up my mind between the xindak muse 1.0 or the consonance cd120.The reviews of the cd 120 are great,my problem is that the dealer tells me the build of the xindak is better.Help.
I've had an AH! Njoe for a couple years and could not be happier.
It's the only part of my system that's not new.
I thought the AH! upsampler was engineered in Switzerland but manufactured in Asia.