Audio Aero Capitol Mark 2
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Audio Aero Prima. The Capitole's baby brother. I own this baby. A real gem. It's got some toasty little tubes and a lovey sweet sound. Killer player, at a great price. This little baby can go tete a tete with the big boys--and hold its' own. Very hard to find, but I can turn you on to the dealer I bought mine from, if you decide to go that way. peace, warren
With careful patience, plus trial and error; the right interconnect cable selection (for that particular player), can make most decent CD players sound pretty close to analogue.
All three CD players I mentioned really are analogue sounding. Analogue as in a budget Music Hall turntable; not a $10K vinyl setup.
Sugarbrie, I know I am sounding argumentatively, but I've heard the Planet on my system, the same day as Pioneer Elite, Music fidelity, and a Jolida 100. I think a record player would have to have a really gunky needle to sound anything like a Regal Planet. Even the Pioneer beat it in spades in listen ability. The Jolida, with it's tube outstage, sounds the most analogue of that group.
Muralman, I owned both the Planet and the Pioneer PD-65 at the same time. No contest, the Planet beats it in every area with the exception of build quality. BTW there are no CD players that sound like analog, just as there are no solid state rigs that sound like tubes, but many like to apply a bit of self-hipnosis to believe that the Yeti exists.
Lot's of good suggestions & it comes down to personal preferences. Whichever CDP you choose, you can take it to the next level with mods. I have a Meridian 508.20 & had Blackgates & Schottky's put in. Absolutely no digital glare.
I also auditioned the ARC CD3 & thought it was very smooth. I was tempted to buy it but upgraded to an Ayre V-5x instead.
Despite all the great suggestions, there's always got to be one that has to regurgitate what they read in Stereophile a few years ago. Have you ever actually listened to this unit? The original poster asked about CD players that sounded like analog, not a piece of junk that sounds like.....a piece of junk.
Why would you want a CDP to sound like a turntable? My turntable sounds like a turntable. LOL
Just joking. :-)
Anyway, for price per performance below the Wadia 861 and the Capitole, I would go with the Ayre CX-7.
You can find my review of this player at this link:
For $3k retail, the player is a great value. If you can find it used (good luck!), it is probably a steal.
IMHO I really do not think digital will ever sound like vinyl. It may get close, but vinyl will stall have it's sonic signature and digital will still have it's sonic signature. Basically both have their plusses and minuses. I have both to cover all bases.
Viridian, there were four of us at that particular cd player audition. No one picked the Planet first, although the Pioneer edged it out only a bit. I use to really like the Planet. Compared to what the Sony clones had to offer back in those days, the Planet was a gem. It is just showing it's age now going against the much more revealing DACs of the new players. Sugerbrie is right, though, to include it as an option for low budgets.
Audiomeca Mephisto IIx -- the new kid on the block -- I presume this will be the top dog IMHO. I don't believe there are any in the US yet, but they will be here very soon.
With its upgraded power supply, I expect this unit to have increased impact, making it more appropriate for a wider variety of music.
Other than the IIx, there are quite a few CD players available which have what some proclaim as "analog like sound" however the trouble is that the digital format itself offers music so far from true analog sound that no CD player can realistically "fix" the damage. Often listeners presume the electronic-effects of a good CD player as being analog like (warmer, richer sound) but the truth is, analog has a sense of completeness that digital lacks. Don't let a warm sounding digital front end fool you. That is not "analog like". There is simply more music in an analog recording and no CD player is going to make more music out of a CD. Yes. There are some very, very nice digital recordings out there -- they sound fantastic. But think of how good they would sound if all the music was captured in analog & put on a 45RMP record.
It all boils down to the source. How much of the music is left on the material. Hey.. what's the most analog sounding MP3 player out there?? (just kidding)
For the best sound in digital at various price points, the choices are the following:
Budget Setup for those who want 1st rate sound at under 1500 bucks (used). -
Transport: EAD T7000 or Theta Data II (simply awesome)
DAC: Audio Note -- This offers a great upgrade path i.e. start with the DAC 1x and work your way up. The transports are flakey -- go to the Theta for better reliability.
One Box -
Small Scale Jazz -
Audiomeca Mephisto II (or the new IIx)
Rock and High Impact Classical
Electrocompaniet EMC1 MKII
All around performer
#2 Audio Aero MkI (I don't trust the MKII but admit to know very little about it - I only know what I've read on this unit regarding reliability)
#1 Linn CD12