I'm back now to my CDP

Just when I thought had discovered the joy and improvement of my iMac as my source, I'm back to my TEAC PD-H600 as my primary way of listening.

All it took was the puzzlement I was going through as to why my CDP didn't measure up, sound wise, to my iMac, which led me to rummage through some of older ICs. (I can hear/feel/sense the wry acknowledge of those who have gone before me).

Initially, I've been using the same make of wire for the speakers, power cords, and both sets of ICs (between CDP and integrated and between DAC and integrated) and was quite content with the full bodied sound. They are Zu Mission and are quite nice.

My only caveat was the clarity, detail and extension that I was getting over my iMac set up compared to my CDP, which now came across as denser, unable to unravel the intricacies and equal the extension in the upper regions.

With a 5 week layoff and not much to do, I went through my collection of wires and first tried the RS Audio Cables silver ICs with Eichmann Bullet contacts. Gone were the clouds that masked the upper regions. Cleaner was the midrange. But what happened to the body? Bass was there, taut, defined and tuneful but more than several rows back from the upper mids and highs.

Next up (and thankfully last) were an old set of Mapleshade copper ribbon ICs sheathed in a kind of cellophane. Epiphany time! Now my TEAC is back at the top of my food chain.

iMac convenience be damned. Everything at my fingertips phooey. Back to old school. What I now have is the most realistic, convincing playback I've had in my rig. Right now I'm driving my neighbors nuts playing this and that.

The sound experience is akin to what I felt at the Newport Audio Show in the Brooks Berdan room when their TTs took me back all those years to the beauty of LPs and what is possible. Right now I have it all.

Call it what you will: synergy, symbiosis, happenstance, Dickensian. It all applies.

I've now called off my search for anything digital be it amp, integrated, music server. This is delicious. I'm so impressed. I want to marry Melody Gardot.

I couldn't understand why in two reviews at 6moons both reviewers preferred their CDPs over the server but one ended up buying it himself for the convenience (my take on it). The letters section had some whining (my take, again) responses: you didn't take this into consideration, you didn't try this, how dare you, etc.

Now I understand. Digital can be what it's cracked up to be but I'd have to invest more to better what I'm hearing right now: a new room (out of the question), shorter iMac path to rig, better music app, etc. Or I could buy a music server, an expensive remote (iPod Touch, Pad). Why bother?

The only downside is reverting back to getting off my lazy ass and rearranging my CD collection and getting used to CDs lying around where they shouldn't be.

Looking forward to it.

I know this part should be in the cable section but thank you, Pierre Sprey, for making these ICs.

All the best,
I hope this is not a trend. I was looking for some great mark downs prices on all those great but outdated CD players.

Hopefully, most will not read this post, and keep selling off there Hi-End CD player on the cheap.
It's amazing the conclusions you can come to when you actually use your ears instead of listening to all the BS. Audio should be enjoyable and it sounds like you are enjoying your system. That's a good thing.
Thanks guys for the support. I feel like I just went through some 12 step program as I figured this out.

I, too, was perusing the ads for a better CDP after posting this thread but the really good ones still cost more than I can afford and this TEAC PD-H600 has been called 'Esoteric LIte' for a good reason: it sounds fantastic with the right recording.

I promise I won't tell anyone.

All the best,
Exactly why I'm staying with my CEC and 1865 Dac, thanks for having the
guts to post this!

I was going to try, but detected sledgehammers and machetes nearby.

The IPad I was given as a gift is only used for convenience at wi-fi spots.
nonoise, I loved reading your post. It's like Luke Skywalker in Star Wars, close your eyes, open your mind, ignore what you read, and "listen to the force"! Computer playback is complex when you have to choose the proper drive, proper playback software, proper USB cable and proper Dac, plus all the others cables. A single box is preferable if it turns you on. Push PLAY and sit back! It's a great feeling!
I'm with chayro.

I also tried an external DAC with my mac and it was not at all impressive, tried apple tv via toslink-- too bright and I tried a transport and its better compared on my mac. however I'm still not contented on that route hence the DAC is going back to the dealer
I use Samsung Laptop music server with two external USB drives connected via Wifi to Squeezebox Touch running an mdht Constantine DAC I picked up for $350 on Agon a while back. I listen for hours without wanting to stop + the sound is spot on and hard to fault I would say. Total cost for those three items including 1-2 Tb USB disk: in the $1200 range I would say. I have heard CD players well into the 5 digit range and feel little need to look any further.
Thanks, again, all, for the responses.

While at the Newport Audio Show I ran into a guy who simply had a Dell notebook, running some music app (J River?) and he played it through a Schiit Bifrost (which I use on my iMac) and it sounded really good and he claimed it's really all one needs. Even Chris over at ComputerAudiophile prefers Windows over iTunes in his design of the C.A.P.S. 2.0 music server, and from all the feedback, it's right up there with the best of them.

I was seriously considering going the laptop route with the JRiver or at least trying Audirvana using memory playback on my iMac when I stumbled upon that old pair of Mapleshade ICs. Believe me, upon hearing the improvement, I truly feel that to get that kind of performance from a PC rig would require much more of an investment. I have no doubt you're hearing what you're hearing.

The sound I was getting via iMac was pretty damn good. At the audio show, all the computer rigs sounded great but nothing really trounced my simple set up at home. I thought I had it all. The only thing I heard that really bettered it was the MSB DAC fed by their CD transport. At first I thought it was fed by a music server but lo, it was just their transport. That was the revelation that stuck with me all this time.

I can't convince, in words, the level of improvement I'm at right now. All caveats and denouements aside. I'm still looking forward to something like an Olive music server that does it all without the trouble some seem to be having and I feel it will take some big name like Sony or NAD to come up with a trouble free unit that does it all: touchscreen selection, ripping, DAC, etc. Until then, I'm content with farting around with computer audio but my main, serious, and pleasurable listening will by with my TEAC PD-H600 cd player.

I hope PO doesn't read this.

All the best,

I feel similarly about the DNM Reson ICs I use throughout my system now, from phono and DAC and from pre-amp to amp. I strived to get both my vinyl first and then digital up to snuff and both now have more in common in terms of musical reward than not. I am a happy camper!
I`m happy for you.All that really matters is a system that lets you relax and completely enjoy your music.I believe many will relate to your conclusion,probably more than you`d realize.
Sorry to resurrect this thread but just for the heck of it I went and dug up the matching Mapleshade speaker wire and things really opened up. A lot. But the lower mids and bass were somewhat weakened, taking a backseat to the rest.

With a whole box of cables I decided on bi-wiring with some Clear Day silver speaker wire and boy oh boy, what a combo! If I had the ability to combine these two types, I'd retire.

I'm getting all the bass and body of the Zu Missions with the clarity that's always eluded it. My CDP is now strutting its stuff with deftness, aplomb and agility, way beyond what I thought possible.

Long live the CDP!

All the best,