Don't know about the Sonographe, but the EE Mini-Max CD player is a great deal for the money. Very smooth and musical.
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I had this player for about three weeks. I want to emphasize that I was pleasantly surprised and pleased with the sound and performance of this product out of the box and not even broken in yet. I ended up returning it because the front face plate was ever so slightly off kilter and the four rubber feet were off balance. Other than the cosmetic and balance issue, I would have probably kept it and been very satisfied with it. Hopefully my case was just an anomaly.
Giant Killers! The Minimax preamp is one of those little known products that once audiophiles find out how good it really is, it will be hard to find one for sale. Further if the Minimax preamp is an indicator on how good the rest of the product line is, then they should qualify as a superb bargains as well.
I owned a Minimax cd player in the past. At the $700 to $1000 price point, it is hard to beat. The tubes are very easy to swap out for tube rolling and the fit and finish is top notch. The sound is every bit as good as a Jolida but I think the fit and finish is much better and you get the bonus of HDCD processing.
I've owned the Eastern player for a year now and have had no problems with it. I find it to be very musical. It does not have an 'aggressive' sound which I find so many players under 1K possess. My main love is still vinyl playback but I find I can really enjoy my CD's with the Eastern Electric. I bought mine with Electroharmonix tubes in it; I switched to Mullards and it only gets better. I haven't listened to it as a transport. I find experimenting with different interconnects is worthwhile.
PS. The remote is full of tiny buttons which is very annoying to use in the dark. (or day)
I recently replaced a CAL Sigma II tube DAC with the EE MiniMax CDP and unfortunately I have not been impressed. I'm hoping that the problem is due to the stock EH tubes, but with them I find the sound a little veiled, limited bass, lacking 'air', with a limited soundstage. ANY TUBE REPLACEMENT SUGGESTIONS ARE APPRECIATED. I did just buy a pair of Bugle Boys which I should get next week and I will report back on the sound with the new tubes. I am hoping I can find the magic people describe, if not I will try the Jolida. Good luck.
I have had one for a short time. IT has the Underwood 2 mod on it so I suspect that may make a little difference. It's a terrific CD player. IT outleagues my Rega Planet 2000, even with an external DAC on the Rega. What I wanted to add wasn't about the way the player sounds, but more about an amazing fit this particular deck makes in my system. If you are anywhere near my tastes, this is the piece that put it all together.
I use a Jolida 502b with Kimber silver interconnects and Acoustic Zen Satori speaker cables to connect with my Gallo 3.1 speakers. The addition of the Minimax CD player was incredible. I have used several decks that were fine and a little better than fine in the same configuration, but the Minimax excels noticeably here. Even my wife noticed it. If you are in a reference system of any sort this little player will provide more detail than these easily: Rega Planet 2000, Music Hall Maverick, Adcom gold plate CD player, or the upper level Cambridge Audio player (maybe the 540C?). I am not at home to check the dsetails, but this is a great match. Great player.