What is the asking price?
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I heard it today actually, it was a dealer piece..Awesome looking, so cool to watch it open, and the magnet thingy on the top of the CD is cool. Love the size too, build quality is second to none. It has a nice sweet sound, pretty neutral as described earlier. But I gotta be honest, not worth the money to me. I have heard front ends that sounded better to me, for less money.
I have heard CDC with and without PL-L. The power amp was PMA. With PL-L, it sounds so warm and exiting. Without PL-L, it becomes cool and high resolution sound. But not so exiting.
I think if you have PL-L, CDP could be better. But the pannel face of CDC is so wonderful.
I wonder if I use CDC with VPA.
Kotara, thats helpful info but also what I expected. I have a feeling a lot of the magic may rest with the tubed preamp but agree the CDC looks great on its own unlike the CDP. Jc51373 If one already has 10000+ cds with what millions ? more already out there I don't see the worry in investing in a single box state of art cd player now as who knows they may not be making them in the future ( one can always buy a few extra laser assembles to last ones lifetime). If cds will be dead soon all that'll mean is there'll be available sooner at cheaper second hand prices but without many of the inherent risks second hand vinyl brings.
Downloaded, ripped and recorded music still sounds best when burned to a CD-R and played on a dedicated CD player/Transport. The CDs may disappear but the CD-Rs will not."
Sigh.....This is not only the most incredibly incorrect thing I have read, but I am now dumber from having read it. Kiddin...I just said that to make T-bone laugh.
You are incorrect though..And I would first ask you to support your statement with some sort of fact..Why are CD-Rs any different than a CD you buy from the store? The fact is, a HDD and CD are the ultimately the same thing, platter-type storage for a bunch of 0's and 1's. And and music ripped to a HDD lossless (a 1 to 1 file) is the exact same thing as a CD, except you can store alot more on a HDD. There are however still variances in recordings. Only negative with an HDD is they can/will eventually fail on you-which is why you back up.
The issue on sound quality is less about the medium though, than it is the actual DAC used to convert the 0s and 1s back to Analog. In the case of what I mentioned (Crimson) that converter is AMAZING, only thing different, USB DAC's are simply converting from a HDD not a CD-which is as I explained the same thing. Also keep in mind, the transport in a USB DAC is well.....Not there! And the transport is one of the essential pieces of a CD player that ads considerably to the price of any player at this level. CD players like the Nagra, have an excellent DACs, and AMAZING transports-at a price. So....If anyone were to agree with my predictions/assumptions, spending money on a high-priced CD player right now may not be a long-term decision for you.
My point is simply that in the grand scheme of digital media, the CD may eventually be looked upon as nothing more than a transitional medium we used for a while since an HDD provides the same, if not better quality in USD DAC applications..And I haven't even mentioned the convenience of HDD. And it is not accurate to compare a CD being replaced by HDD to CD replacing vinyl since one is true Analog and one is true digital. CD and HDD are both digital media, therefore can be compared head to head-follow?? Therein lies some of the reason vinyl always hung around over the years.
So since CD's like HDD are digital, require conversion, a CD player IMO is no longer the best way to do that. USB however, being bi-directional adresses all the inherent problems of jitter & SPDIF which was never designed to do what we do with it in HIFI. There are no timing issues with USB...Do I hear an applause?? Finally!!!!
USB DAC's in general make too much sense not to take a hard look at them and Gordon Rankinss DAC's are the absolute pinnacle in this category. I personally have put mine against a few of the ridiculously expensive players and think the sound is always better with Wavelength USB.
And again, I haven't even mentioned the convenience of accessing music from an HDD/Computer. Cd's?????? Never heard of em. : )
My opinion is based on number of experiments with computer based audio. The ultimate test for me is when vinyl is recorded to a PC, both to HDD or internal Compact Flash memory drive. Sampling rate is 96/24 or 192/24. Then using the same DAC, vinyl setup and associated equipment, the sound quality is compared between:
1. Vinyl in the pure analog domain.
2. Vinyl being just converted to digital.
3. Vinyl recorded to CF or HDD and played directly from the HDD or CF drives.
4. Vinyl recorded to CF or HDD, burned to DVD-A and played on a dedicated digital transport.
For some reason, #3 does not sound nearly as good as #1, 2 and 4 while there is hardly any difference between #1, 2 and 4.
This was done using heavily upgraded 67 bit audio card in the PC feeding the external DAC through S/PDIF connection. The reason why #3 didnt sound as good is NOT the S/PDIF connection since #1 and #2 sounded the same.
Wavelab and Disc Welder were used for the REC/PB/Burn processes.
Few local audiophiles witnessed the experiment and agreed to the above results.
There are many reasons why #3 did not sound as good but Id rather not discuss them here.
So, that is my truth.
Good question Kamil....I have not heard the Crimson, yet....It is just beginning to trickle out there to people now. There is a guy, Splaskin I believe who has one, loves it. I have heard the Nagra though, and I have heard more than one of the Wavelength pieces, and without making a direct a/b comparison I would say the Crimson would sound much better. The reason I say this is because the pieces I have owned Brick and Cosecant, sounded better to me. Especially Cosecant. But beauty is in the ear of the beholder. : )
The price of a Crimson is $7500, plus $1100 (Maximum) for a PC, preferably a MAC. I say a MAC because I fiddled with a Windows PC first and once I went to the MAC the difference was night and day. Mac's have MUCH better control over thier drivers in sound better. So you are still at a considerably lower priced then the Nagra, with a convenience factor that you can't put a number on. And a new MAC computer to toy with as well!
Aplhifi- There is NO difference between the data on a CD or CD-r, how the data gets there is another discussion.
So to keep in track here, all things considered, 1:1 file copying, convenience, mind blowing sound, why would one invest in an incredibly expensive CD player right now? Beyond me...Good to have one in the mix I guess, but to put alot of $$ into it at this stage is not in my opinion is not the best investment. Doesn't mean a USB DAC is the best investment since quite honestly the chips have not completely fallen on this subject...But I personally could not be happier with my set up, and I sure this will be for years to come.
There are many reasons why #3 did not sound as good but Id rather not discuss them here.
Unfortunately, that leaves us information-seekers in the cold.
If the reason is because of less-than-adequate implementation of the test, then the results of the test are dubious (and personally, I do not understand how the audio signal in #2 gets to listeners' ears and therefore do not understand the "NOT the S/PDIF" bit). If the reason for the problem with #3 is indeed structural and cannot be addressed using known technology, then surely given your prior comments in the thread, you can say that. If you'd rather not discuss it here because you have reached technological epiphany and wish to patent it and license it to the audiophile world for a gazillion bajillion dollars before discussing (and if this is the case, more power to you), then you probably should have said nothing in the first place.
I personally have not done the tests. I would very much like to participate in such a test. I have no reason to believe that with competing 'cost-is-no-object' implementations that one or the other will provide an obviously better solution TODAY, though I admit to tending to the idea that a high quality implementation of data transfer through transistors and software-embedded chips will in the near future, if not now, likely get a result of Quality Level X with less expense than a transport physically spinning a reflective disc. That said, I am completely open to being convinced of the opposite. While I have no reason to disbelieve someone of your obvious expertise and passion in the digital domain, I am perplexed by the thrust of your commentary, and the fact we are left hanging after such a detailed buildup.
If a CD player is what you want, then this player is it. Nicest I have seen or heard, although I think the Rega players are the best value for the $$, and they sound incredible...The Nagra stuff is totally overpriced. I say that or course because I can't afford it, and also because I think there are much better values out there.
If you want a CD player, and have the scratch to pay for it, by all means this player should be on your short list. The transport is insane. I would be willing to bet $$ though that the Crimson sounds better in spades.
The Nagra seems to be state-of-the-art in a single box:
The leading German HiFi-magazine Stereo reviewed the Nagra in its February, 2007, issue.
They found it to sound substantially better than their up-to-the-review reference, the Esoteric X-01. Wrote editor Matthias Böde: "The Swiss player defines audiophile and emotional categories partly anew. The most defining characteristics is a hereforeto unheard soundstage. The CDC shows a stage definition in width, depth, and height, and a three-dimensional sound, against which our reference (the Esoteric) sound more compact, less dimensional, and with less body...The bass was thicker and less well defined than with the Nagra....the midths were slightly coloured (with the Esoteric), which we heard never heard before, in comparison with lesser players (than the Nagra)...Until now, we never have heard our Soulution amps with Wilson Sophia 2 so perfectly, with digital sources. (Böde is an experienced vinyl head, too)
Goatwuss-you're entitled to your opinion. But I would ask you to substantiate your statement a little more, I already have.
Just keep a close eye on whats going in the markets, and you will see how Cd's will continue, emphasis on continue, to fade into the background. Give it a decade tops, and they will become an afterthought.
Like I said, if you want to pay for a super high-priced cd player, you are paying largely for the transport design (particularly in the Nagra) which is painstakingly designed to reduce transport-induced jitter. If you could eliminate the cost of that transport, and the possibility of transport related jitter. Why wouldn't you?
All you need to know is this, bits are bits, and if one were in the market for a new front end, and could get equal and/or better sound than Nagra, Esoteric, (or any other Uber player) and at the same time eliminate dealing with CD's, and ad a level of convenience that is unmatched at the same time. Why wouldn't you?
To each his own of course, and I could easily be considered an early adopter as well, but...And I say this with fact-based experience and research; after listening to ALOT of front ends (Nagra & Esoteric included), I feel blessed by the Audio Gods to have found Wavelength products, and blessed to have owned two of Gordon's DAC's. IMO they are a much better option than both of the aforementioned. It is really special stuff and the best digital I have EVER heard.