I've found the cd player for analog lovers

I'm the guy who said on Audiogon, "When is digital going to get the soul of music?". Let me just say that I've found the digital player that rivals or beats analog. No, it is not $40,000. Please read me on my thread! I do believe that there is much variability with cd's. So not all cd's are created equally. The player in question is APL Hi-Fi's Denon 3910. I've found that volume is really critical. Alex voiced his player while comparing it to analog. Let me just tell you that I used to get tense from cd. I'm not saying that all cd's will sound great. For instance, my friend bought a cd from Walmart that was Van Morrison's greatest hits. It was hard to listen to through the digital haze to the music on Alex's $19,000(not your price)cd player.
wow! I need a translation for this statement. Read your other thread? Wow again. Who you talking to there? Analog Led Zep? That be your barometer? Go for it Mmakshak, obviously you don't require feedback...lol..
Warrenh, you are probably right, except that I come from music. Is there certain music that is more correct? I had a dream right around the time that I received the APL Hi-Fi Denon 3910. It consisted of me receiving gifts. I finally figured out that it had to do with the APL Denon! Can you excuse me, there are some people with white coats knocking on my front door?
Well if it's only $19K or whatever--sure can't tell from the post--AND it beats analogue--I'll keep my Thorens TT and buy a car with the savings.
Oh wow, another 'Mak Attack'!
I want to apologize to Warrenh. In fact, can you recommend any albums or cd's for me to listen to? My musical tastes have to broaden. Tarsando, I posted on the price of the APL, but maybe it hasn't gone through yet. If your finances don't permit, you might want to investigate Ori's(of Oritek Audio) Zhalou DAC. I don't know if it will satisfy like analog can, but it is considerably cheaper than the APL. I have problems with a lot of cd players, so if you are like me, I wouldn't buy one unless it satisfies. I also have problems with lp's made after 1981.
I've got a cd for you Warrenh. It's called, "Celtic Spirit", from the Narada Collection Series. I'm not sure this is the proper way to contact them. Let me just say that cd people have been less than honest. This cd is honest. You won't find digitis with this cd. Cd people need to get honest(or they are deaf)! I have heard many cd's , and cd players that are unbelievably unmusical. Come on, are you guys that deaf? Cd's and cd players are not created equally. You guys are unbelievable! Do you actually like listening to music? Why don't you have, at least, an analog system to get grounded?
The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Meat Loaf and Pink Floyd.
That CD you're suggesting is one of the best sounding I have. Nice pick!!!!
Heard the Rega Apollo last weekend. Not in the market myself, but the Apollo is quite a CD player. No negative artifacts (at least as usual from sub $1000 CD players), tremendous jump, musicality, and tone. Sounded very live. Maybe a little short in treble and bass resolution compared to the Ayre CX7 or new Linn Majik ($3500), but a lot of fun. Don't think the minor perceived shortcomings will matter to music lovers.
are you hearing voices? who you be talking to? double up on your meds...lol..no takers for this thread? ...I wonder why!
Warrenh, go ahead, but maybe you missed an insult? I'm sorry, but I thought I was asking for advice on cd's? I don't worry about takers. Why is that? I want to mention that that I'm new to cd. I need education. I re-read my post, and it was a little weird, but it is not an analog versus digital traditional post. It is just a wondering. In fact(and this is something that suprises me), I've found with my cd player(APL Hi-Fi Denon 3910), if I get digital glare, that I need to turn down the volume. I don't know what this is due to(I have several ideas.), but I would suggest that if you get digital glare, that you turn down the volume. I wonder, as a neophyte to digital, why I'm the one who suggests this? As far as a pissing contest, since I'm almost 55, I will have to check my pants first.
How much did Alex get for his newest APL mod?
Warrenh, are you a Scorpio? You are very suspicious. When I asked for cd's and records that you would advise, I did it to get possible exposure to music that I might appreciate. You may have asked an extremely insightful and reasonable question here. Let me just answer that question with my integrity. Think about it. I'm the guy who asked, "When is digital going to get the soul of music". I also have a $10,000(circa 1992) turntable setup. Also, look at my reviews of Alex's 3910 before the recent upgrade. What would be your conclusion after looking at these facts? If you are looking for the price of this APL Denon 3910, I don't know. I suspect that it is under $3500-maybe approaching $2500? I do suspect that my comment on volume might be more applicable to this new 3910 than to other players. I would need to get some feedback to see if this is true.
I tried..I'm outta here..
Why am I, a cd neophyte(but not a digital neophyte), the one who has to say this? It's about volume(and I thank Hi-Fi Answers for this). When it comes to volume and cd, I'de suggest that if you get digital glare that you lower the volume. You see, volume is not how you think it is. Maybe my APL Hi-Fi Denon 3910 is super-sensitive in this area. Anyway, do not use volume to highlight something that you know is there. How's that? Each disc, or record(with analog, it's not quite critical-in a way) has a certain volume that makes things correct. This may involve compromises. You may know that the highs include something that the correct volume doesn't do justice to.
I don't know if Alex, of APL Hi-Fi is even offering this particular Denon 3910. But, boy, you guys better ask him to. It's that good! Don't you guys realize that I am a skeptic when it comes to digital?
Alex says that his Denon 3910 is $2500. That's the one that I am talking about. Please ask for it. It beat my $10,000 analog. If you don't know, I am an analog lover. I also heard this past weekend a $500,000 system with Meitner digital gear. I don't want to suggest that APL Hi-Fi's Denon is comparable(actually, in a way, it is).
Mmakshak, who are you talking too? Hearing voices? Take your meds big guy.
He has been brainwashed by Alex. Pay him no mind.

The most interesting info on this thread is that you "find volume really critical". You've said this several times.

Needing to play at one very precise gain setting to avoid distortions or edginess is a symptom. The problem is usually somewhere in the amplification chain.

This symptom can be caused by inadequate power supplies, poor circuit design or poor quality components, but in any event it's clear that one of your components is a weak link.

Not trying to raise a ruckus, just trying to raise your awareness. The inability to play cleanly at different volumes is a problem that can be solved.
I kinda' disagree with Dougdeacon. First, there is a "natural" volume for any purist type recording that relates to the distance from the microphone to the performers. It's not critical that you playback at that volume, but if you do it will present a more realistic portrait of how the musicians actually sounded in the original recording space. This obviously doesn't apply to studio manufacturered/multitrack/overdub type recordings. Second, if there are problems when the volume gets too soft or loud it's usually a problem with room acoustics and not amplification. That's not some hard and fast rule, but just a general observation.

Mmakshak, you sing the praises as one newly converted. Hallelujah, brother!

We don't disagree. We're talking about different phenomena.

I agree that "purist" recordings sound most lifelike within a certain volume range (though it's hardly a knife-edge adjustment). As classical listeners (and a little jazz), all of our good recordings behave this way.

They do not, however, suddenly become distorted or harsh when played back at other volumes.

Room acoustics can of course cause harshness/distortion of certain frequencies. But IME, when one PRECISE setting on the gain control tames the problem then a component is to blame. Room mode problems often ramp up with volume. They don't appear out of nowhere when the knob is twisted .1db too high.

We've experienced this with several (well known and non-cheap) amps and preamps. Our present equipment does not behave so. Since our room has stayed the same...

At any rate, we both agree that there's room for further improvement, even as he's enjoying his newly musical digital source.

P.S. I have a stock Denon 3910 and I've demoed an Underwood-modded one. I haven't heard the APL version but I doubt it's involved in this particular problem. Amp and/or preamp are more likely candidates.
"I haven't heard the APL version but I doubt it's involved in this particular problem. Amp and/or preamp are more likely candidates."


I agree with you that the APL unit is not involved with this problem. I have the APL Denon 3910 with the new AKM chips and I do not experience digital glare/edginess/harshness/distortion even at very loud volumes. Mmakshak's problem must be elsewhere in his audio system: amp, pre-amp, AC quality, room acoustics, etc. I do agree with Mmakshack that the APL unit is superb. I prefer it to some units that cost as much as $14,000.

Best Regards,
I agree with you that the APL unit is not involved with this problem. I have the APL Denon 3910 with the new AKM chips and I do not experience digital glare/edginess/harshness/distortion even at very loud volumes.

Best Regards,
Puremusic (Threads | Answers)
In order to avoid any misunderstanding, it should be made clear that Mmakshak's APL Denon 3910 is not the same as Puremusic's APL Denon 3910. Mmakshak's does not have AKM DACs, nor does it have the APL designed tube output stage, Upsampler, H-Attenuator, or Linear power supply. It does have an APL designed MOSFET output stage, APL Master clock and power supply improvements.

So, while it's likely that neither player is responsible for Mmakshak's volume issue, they are apples to oranges players.
Actually, we prefer our stock 3910 to both our previous Arcam FMJ CD23 ($2400), the Underwood modded 3910 and two $8-10K dedicated CDP's owned by friends. This makes our audio budget very happy. :-)

This particular 3910's over-achieving is greatly due to our very special line stage. Without that, we would still be searching for a digital source without glare. But a stock 3910 + this line stage provide very satisfying and enjoyable sound.

This setup performs so well it was worth putting a $1K (list) power cord and $2K (list) Nordost Valkyra interconnects on it. Not that we paid that much, but it is amusing that the wire connecting the 3910 to the world lists for double the price of the player itself. ;-)
Doug, grammatically you cannot refer to yourself as "we", unless Doug and Deacon are 2 separate individuals. ;)

I did have the opportunity to listen to a few 3910, albeit through different systems at the last RMAF, and I would agree it is pretty analog sounding. I can't recall exactly which modded version is was, but I believe it was the ModWright.

There are other ways to smooth analog sound from digital, mine was the CEC TL2 with the Benchmark DAC1 and JPS digital power cords for both. The JPS digital along with the PS Audio P300(using sine only) made the music sound smooth without the digital edge/glare.

Paul and I are in fact two individuals: he's the smart one, I'm the chatty one. We own and enjoy the equipment, the music and the two cats in common.

Our Exact Power (which also corrects sine wave irregularities) also helps smooth analog output from digital. But our real breakthrough was the way our line stage handles inputs from digital sources. There are several ways to skin this cat, as you said (with apologies to ours for the analogy).
I am sitting back trying to learn from what I read here. I believe TVAD described my APL 3910 correctly, though. I don't think that I was brainwashed by Alex on this player, because before this latest version, I preferred my vinyl(which I think Alex took exception to). The people here have probably correctly identified my problem as not being due to Alex's player. For instance, my preamp is the RGR 3 from the 1980's. BTW, I've doubled my meds. Do you think it will help?
You guys must think that I'm kidding. Let me tell you, I have 2,000 lp's and maybe 5 cd's(although I've accessed many more). Do you think I want cd to beat lp? Ask Alex for the Mmakshak version of the 3910. I want lp to beat cd. In fact, Alex said he has an upgrade(minor), that I'm looking forward to, as it will allow me to lower the tracking force on my nude Archiv, with the corresponding anti-skate-which I'm a current expert on(due to those that know being not-forthcoming). I'm not kidding here guys!
I can't help it. I am interested in music. I don't care about me. I'm too old for that! I don't know how Alex did it, but he did. What I'm trying for here is to get my analog(circa 1992) to equal Alex's 3910. Don't worry, I've not given up! In the meantime, you ought to investigate what I've said.
Boy, I bet you have a grand ole time in a room all by yourself. You can never get lonely when you can carry on such a conversation with the voices in your head........

All, please keep your posts respectful of your fellow Audiogoners. Remarks ad hominem are in exceeding poor taste, are completely unacceptable, and reflect extremely badly on the poster, especially when derogatory of someone's diversity. If you require further explanation on the subject, please feel free to contact me offline. Regards, Guido
Dear Guido,

What posts do you feel weren't respectful? Mmakshak comes off like he is in dire need of medication. When calling it like it is, how does this reflect on his diversity, or lack of. I don't see the connection.

BTW, don't be so serious. I doubt anybody's feelings were hurt in the making of this thread.

Thanks Ozzy, I have answered offline. Please see your eMail. Thanks. Guido
Guido, lighten up. This is Audiogon for god sakes. I don't think anyone's statement, including my own, was mean spirited. It's life here on the 'gon. Makshak hasn't expressed any negative feelings, has he? In fact, he has emailed me on the side with only very positive remarks.
Hi Warren, I have answered offline with a PM. It's in your eMail in-basket. Guido
Chill Pills for One and All..Tom
Thanks for coming down from the mountain top to share your wisdom.
Dear Mmakshak : I read carefully your thread and I'm trying to understand the whys your CDP even/beats your analog system: if it that possible I would ask you which audio items form your 10K analog rig, which electronics/speakers and cables?

Regards and enjoy the music.
This is for you Raul: How many Lps do you have? Your pix are a tad dark so I cannot really get a good stare at your speakers...sweet turntable & arms...
I like good music and I don't care where it comes from. Let' face it digital keeps getting better. Some things it always did better than analogue. I've never heard the Denon. When I invite friends over I am not not going to get up constantly to clean records and turn them over. That means that except for the most critical listening sessions that's digital.
However digital remains like a clone without a soul.
...digital remains like a clone without a soul.
Gregadd (System | Threads | Answers)
Precisely my description of chip amps. Lordy, help those poor souls who combine chip amps with digital sources. They got no Ba-donka-donk.
OK Granto man, pardon this poor Wappoley ol' boy, but you got me real stomped real good this time. . . what on Earth be a 'chip amp'. . . never mind the Humpa-Zumpa-Dunk that came after it. . .
Chip amps. Amps that use chips...aka digital amps...(but don't tell the NuForce people they own digital amps)...so, chips amps covers it.

No soul with chip amps. No meat-n-gravy. No rump shakin'. No baby makin'.

No Ba-Donka-Donk.
Dear Warrenh: I think around 5.5K

Regards and enjoy the music.
is that all? lol..happy listening to you, as well...


Of course Grant, why didn't I think of that. . . I thought 'chip' was some kind of mystery acronym, like Constantly Hypertrophic Insertion Processor (CHIP) or something else to that dreadful effect.
Dear Mak: I have to insiste ( in good shape ).

Like you say your thread is not the usual CDvsLP, your thread ( if you are serious about music ) is different and important for almost all the people in this Analog Forum: +++++ "
I've found the cd player for analog lovers . " +++++ ( I hope that all the analog lovers being music lovers too. )
Your stament is exiting for say the least.

I have several experiences ( own design between them ) trying to find the " soul " in the digital domain and the near I been was with the DVD-A where the digital can even and in some ways beat the LP. Much of those experiences were in my own system but other ones in friend/dealer systems too.

Till today I never find the CDP and the CD and LP where ( in the same circumstance: about recording process. ) the CD beat or even its LP counterpart: it can even/beat the LP in some limited and specific areas but never like a " whole " medium and talking about " soul " I can't remember any single CD that could transmit it ( obviously I don't hear every single CD out there ). Till today I'm trying hard to find that CDP with Redbook.

Why is so important your thread ?: because you think that you FIND IT !!!!!! through the Alex design ( that I have no idea about ).

In my last post ( maybe you don't have the time to read it ) I ask to you for something extremely crucial for sustain your find about: the description of your whole room/audio system with the high lights on your 10K analog rig, now I can add something else: with which CDs and with its LPs counterparts.

With out those information your serious thread can lose its importance, meaning and sense for almost we music lovers.

One think that worried me in this thread: +++++ " . I've found that volume is really critical. Alex voiced his player while comparing it to analog. " +++++

Regards and enjoy the music.
I've been drinking again guys, but I really appreciate all your responses. I've not seen a response that is not worth reading! I appreciate all the responses in defense of me. I have to address what Rauliruegas has said, though. My main objection to cd was my physical response to it, which, in many cases, was tension. My $10,000 analog was what it cost in 1992. I actually paid $3700 plus shipping. It is a Linn, Ekos, nude Archiv, Mana Sound Table, Lingo. I've not given up on analog, as I will try to lower my tracking force(which is in the correct parameters-except that it is higher than the previous owner had it set.) Previously, my APL Hi-Fi Denon 3910 wasn't used much, as my analog beat it. Now, it is the opposite. I will try to improve my analog to compete(as I have 2000 lp's and 5 cd's-with access to many more). Anyhow, listen to Warrenh, as he is able to read the internet(and Audigon) to an extent that exceeds my abilities.