DCS Elgar with DCS Purcell, period.
16 responses Add your response
I have to second the dCS suggestion followed by the Accuphase DP-75V. Depending on your musical tastes these two units will definitely fit the bill. dCS is also going to release two new products soon - a SACD transport and an upgrade to the Purcell called the Grieg. For more info see http://www.dcsltd.co.uk/News/ces2001.htm Keep the vinyl too so you can have the best of both worlds. Have fun and enjoy the music. - Cheers Dan
Khirkpa, The price for both is around 10k OUCH! They are the best I've heard. I was reluctant to buy at this price but was told they could be modified to play all the new formats. I hope this is true IF they come to fruition. As far as reviews I have not seen any although Pierre Lurne has been very popular for some time(france)
Having listened to most of the gear described above I would highly reccomend the Audio Note DAC5 Special Edition. It is absolutley better than all of the above without even breaking a sweat. The sweating starts when you have to pay for it. But I have never heard digital sound so satisfying in all of the areas we consider sacred as through the DAC 5.
As for transports, the CEC and Forsell are definitely in the lead though I have not heard any of the TEAC based transports like the Ensemble, which are also reported to be excellent
Red book spec digital cannot provide you with what you are seeking. My advice is to go with a SACD player. The lack of music is a serious problem, but the sound quality is reputed to be better than any available red book playback. My experience with SACD is that it's equal to my RPM/Benz/JRDG analog rig.
The Theta Pro GenV, while not as good as the DCS, is certainly more affordable. If you want smooth, then try listening to a Bel Canto dac. It is not the last word in resolution, but if you hook it up to a good transport like a CEC, with a jitter reduction device, it sounds pretty smooth. It is also really cheap.
Didn't like Krell, Classe, or Wadia? Are you sure you like digital at all or is the price/performance of those high dollar pieces vs the more real world, say maybe 1-2k range of players the issue? Maybe the SACD format will float your boat a little more, kind of limited on the software right now though.