Is there some reason not to stick with Arcam? Others in their line are HDCD players.
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You got quite a selection of cadidates there. I own a Linn
Ikemi and lov it. Before you spend your cash on a new HDCD player check your CD collection to see how many of them a recorded in the HDCD format. Unless the CD is recorded in that format the player won't decode it in HDCD. HDCD was developed a few years ago as a superior method of recording
CDs. For some reason it lost momentum, to give you an example I own about 2,000 CDs the HDCD indicator has come up in less than a dozen disks.
In other words HDCD won't enhance the sound of every cd in your collection, it will just decode those CDs recorded in that format.
As an option, you may want to consider an "Upsampling Player", they will make every CD in your collection sound close to SACD. I have only heard the Classe CDP-10. I was
amazed with this player. Hope this helps, Hector.
I live in an area where I can audition HDCD, DVD-A and SACD and, yes there are very valid reasons to invest in each format.
However, the above post reminding us that the vast majority of titles are available only in redbook compels me to stick with a really good upsampling CD player.
There are several marvelous units around, the best being the Audio Aero Capitole Mark II and the new kid on the block which is the EMM.
I am going to stick with my Audio Aero at least until the various other formats sort themselves out, and perhaps long after that as the AA's circuit board is upgradable and my investment is in Redbook and I don't want to go out and buy it all over again.
I have an unmodified BAT and like Hepl I haven't enuf HDCD disc's to make it worthwhile for that function alone. The reason I bought it was basically I agreed with those who felt that the chip that facilitated the HDCD decoding also was superior with non-HDCD coded information. I've been interested in the up-sampling mods available and find it interesting that there seems to be, at least in the audio forums, some reservations and regrets being expressed about the real benefits of upsampling. So, I'm sitting on the sidelines until I can actually hear the new products in my system - I'm concerned that the additional detail that up-sampling provides might be similar to the additional detail provided by some amps, preamps, cables, etc, that is just some added emphasis in the upper-mids and highs to impress the unwary consumer. By the way, I'm quite fond of my BAT and the manufacturer has provided excellent warranty and back up service promptly and at a reasonable charge.