It is much more than a player. A fine integrated preamp.
12 responses Add your response
I heard an early version of the full aurum system including the cd/pre, 330b amp (w/ bryston for the woofers), and speakers and it was a very compelling. The sound was full an warm with great detail. The presentation was slightly on the dull side for my ears, but the system was using cardas g. ref cables and I thought with valhalla it just might be perfect.
The Aurum CD player appears to have been derived from a combination of technology seen in the Orpheus Labs and Audio Aero products.
However, it can't use the patented STARS process that Audio Aero uses, so it does not quite measure-up to that standard. It can be easily heard, partcularly in the higher frequencies,detail and over-all musicality.
It is understandable that one manufacturer can not use others patented processor but reviews in the Ultra Audio, AIG and Secrets of Home Theater & high Fidelity are quite indicative of superlative performance of the Integris CDP. However, I am looking forward to the users comments.
Have you compared the Capitole Reference & Integris side by side?
Side by side? No, but I sincerely doubt that you are going to find anyone who has. I have heard both and I reported what I heard to be the differences. To be fair, the performance of the player may have been handicapped by the components downstream. To be sure, one would have to have both in the same system, but like I already said, that's probably not going to happen.
As to what reviewers claim to hear, and their motivations? Let's not go there...
Aurum is a very small Canadian company that markets their components as a whole system: CD player/preamp with active speakers. You're usually not going to find the CD player off by itself somewhere. However, under the pressure of a Digital-Crazy North American market, they may have to market the CD player separately...
I have listened to both extensively side by side and I own both players (Capitole Reference). Both are superlative players, however if I had to pick only one, I would choose the Aurum. I have listened to both players in a variety of systems including Edge and VAC electronics, and SF Stradivari's and Hansen King's. We have put the Aurum, Cap Ref and DCS P8 head to head in these systems, and fairly consistently the Aurum edged out the other two players. I don't claim to know why this difference exists, but I suspect it has do with the tube output of the Cap ref versus the solid state output of the Aurum. Again, these differences are not major, but among the 4 of us listening at the time we all preferred the Aurum. The Aurum is more detailed, has a more tight bass response and overall was more musical. The Cap ref has a more bloomy bass response and is not as detailed in its presentation. It is an appropriate choice for an all solid state system.
Another player on par with the Aurum is the Audio Research CD7- outstanding, but I don't need another CDP!
I used a mix of solid state and tube equipment. The main system was composed of Edge power and pre amps, with the SF Strads as our main speaker. We did substitute the battery powered Edge pre with an all tube VAC. The exact model numbers are unknown to me as I was not interested in the electronics. We also tried the Capitole with the Integris 300B Active system, and found that it was not synergistic. The Integris CDP player is obviously a great match with the 300B Active system, and I in fact purchased this entire set up. I have found as every one else will tell you that synergy is the key to putting a great system together, but I did not want to experiment with thousands and thousands of $$$ to see what would work, nor do I have the time to be buying and selling equipment on the 'Gon. The Aurum system has synergy built in it and it is appreciated by those who do not wish to experiment with components and cables (or at least to a minor degree only). Derrick Moss has done this work for you. My retailer and myself figure it would cost 2 to 3 times to surpass the Aurum system's musicality.
The Capitole, btw is very synergistic with Rowland gear. I am going to use mine either for a second system or upgrade it to a Prestige SACD player to use with the Aurum.
I would also like to respond to Golden Ears' comment regarding the Aurum Acoustics Integris CDP vs. the Audio Aero Capitole 24/192 MK.II.
I own an Aurum Acoustics Integris CDP unit, and prior to purchasing it, I auditioned it side-by-side with the Audio Aero Capitole 24/192 MK.II unit in my system for several days. While the Audio Aero unit is very fine in its own right, it is, frankly, not quite up to the task against the Aurum Acoustics unit.
I would tend to characterize the Capitole as having a slight warmth or excess bloom throughout the midrange, and as Vargas has stated, not as tight in the bass region. The Integris CDP, in my Pass Labs / B&W Nautilus system, produces an extremely balanced presentation from top to bottom, with exquisite levels of detail and soundstage reproduction, and tight, tight bass. I have recently added the Aurum Acoustics customized version of the Cardas Golden Reference power cord to the Integris CDP, and it has taken the performance of the unit into yet another stratosphere. This is one HECK of a digital front-end.
Golden Ears also seems to be downplaying the merits of the Integris CDP, due to being the product of a small Canadian company. Well, this small Canadian company appears to have its act quite together, and I would tend to think it won't be small for much longer.
Ihave listened to the complete Aurum system, most recently in Montreal at the audio show. I would buy it in a minute if I won the Lotto!! It just was so "together ïn is't presentation of the music, just seemless.
I hope someday one of the major journals or sites gets to review the complete system, as I think done correctly, this is the ideal way to design an audio system. It certainly does depend a great deal on the vision of the designer, but it seems to me the best way to integrate all parts of a system is ideally from one socalled "sonic cloth"
Just my thoughts, but I did love the Aurum system!!
I had the opportunity to do an early review of a pre-production edition of the Integris CDP for "Audio Ideas Guide". This was a departure for the magazine but Andrew Marshall, the Guide's editor, felt that the opportunity to alert the world to this important new Canadian audio company and it's products could not be missed. This was after he heard and reviewed the complete Aurum system,the CDP and the 300B. I have had the chance to hear it too and agree it is amazing. Since then, designer Derrick Moss has made a couple of simple easily implemented improvements in the CDP. These include the use of the Isoclean gold fuse, and the effect of interconnects and power cords. He has settled on the Cardas Golden Reference interconnects and his adaption of the CGR power cord (implimented by Cardas) that includes Wattgate terminators. I liked the CDP from the "get go". Now I am completely in awe of its ability to retrieve information from the lowly "red book" CD. In what I would call my "mid range" system, (Bryston 3bs bridged, one each per channel, and PSB Goldis), the sound I am getting from the CDP is nimble, supple and very refined. I also listen to vinyl and can report the the Integris CDP's pre-amp (sometines overlooked in the debate) is also in the referance class. (I am waiting for an Aurum phono section). I cannot say how the CDP compares to other hi-end products that performe the same tasks but I can say that anyone with a large collection of vinyl and/or conventional CDs sould make the effort to hear the CDP or, better still the complete system, so as to share in this exceptional audio experience. In the end, you will be glued to the music which is, really, what it is all about.