4 responses Add your response
I too was all excited about demoing the BelCanto/PioneerDVD/Toslink setup as recommended by BC, and compared it to my old Rotel CD-855, both alone, and driving the DAC coaxially. I expected to be overwhelmed by the BelCanto, but found my reaction was a function of CD quality. The 'Canto removed immediacy in the treble, but replaced that edgy crispness with a whitish glow that served to make individual notes less distinct. Thus the soundstage appeared more laid back, but the tonal balance seemed lighter and uptilted, rather than sweet, as some have suggested. The dealer said ALL 24b/96k processors sound uptilted, as treble info is better resolved, therefore more noticeable.(Perhaps this is a psychoacoustic byproduct with highly-revealing systems?) On most pop recordings (new Paul Simon: try Pigs, Sheep & Wolves!) my listening panel preferred the Rotel (!) as the gritty treble, although suggesting hypercontrast and edgy detail, sounded better balanced and more appropriate. Trying the CDP as a drive for the Canto resulted in intermediate reactions, but I can't say the improvement over the naked 855 was worth it! On truly outstanding CDs like Ref Rec Nojima:Liszt did I find the 'Canto/DVD combo truly satisfying. Violinist listeners thought that the 'Canto portrayed violins and sopranos with more elemental recognition, but again the upper partials and individual notes seemed slightly smeared together in a whitish haze. On most well-recorded classical and jazz CDs I was less than satisfied.... My system: ParsifalEncores/AlephP/Aleph2s/RedDawnII. I'm not sure if it has an inherent upward spectral tilt, or whether it is SO resolving that I'm now able to dismiss even the venerable 'Canto as too flawed! I'm prepared to demo the Canto again with a "warmer" IC if necessary, or perhaps try another DAC, like the EVS or Perpetual. Sorry, I have no experience with the CAL, but was simply told that it was no longer competitive with the current generation of affordable DACs. Can others comment upon whether the EMC1 or the Linn Ikemi are viable alternatives? The Res Audio CD55's lack of digital outputs seems unattractive, as well. Thanks. Ernie
Tweak1 - Sorry Tweak1 I listened to that P-3a for 2 weeks and couldn't disagree more. How long does that unit take to break in BTY? It would have had to make a magical transformation to improve on what I heard in my system, major lister fatigue after 10 minutes towards the end of the audition period.