If you still spin CDs, this may be the cost no object best option.


On 25th, May, I went to Yongsan Electronic Land, Seoul, Korea.

With this combination, it sounds effortless, very detailed with clear focus, deep and wide soundstage.

It is one of the best high end sound that I had ever heard.


The front end was Metronome Kalista Reference 30 year anniversary model.

Ypsilon Aellus monoblocks and PST100 pre amplfiers was used to drive 150K$ Avalon Saga speakers.

http://www.avalonacoustics.com/models_saga.html

The specification of Saga is

Driver Complement:
1" Concave Carbon/Glass Neodymium Tweeter
7" Concave radial magnetic Ceramic Midrange
(2) 13" Nomex Kevlar Generation II Composite Woofers
All drivers utilize proprietary neodymium magnetic technologies.

Sensitivity:
92 dB

Impedance:
4 ohms nominal (3.8 ohms minimum)

Frequency Response:
20Hz to 45kHz

Recommended Amplifier Power:
25 to 500 watts

Wiring Methods:
Dual binding post

Dimensions:
68" high (178 cm)
14.5" wide (37 cm)
17" deep (43 cm)

Weight:
260 pounds each (118 kg each)



 

Kalista Dreamplay transport and Dac with two separate power supplies look grand.

https://www.hifiplus.com/articles/kalista-dreamplay-cd-transport-and-dac/

This 30 year Anniversary Reference  Kalista Dreamplay transport and Dac is not cheap with price tag of 100K$.

But it seems to match the sound of MSB Select II with transport.

I am getting strong temptation to snatch this beauty.

I have to check my bank balance after going back to my home in US.



This is my first encounter with Ypsilon amplifiers and I am also deeply impressed with the quality of its sound and relatively affordable price.

PST100 pre amplifier has both active and passive mode.

Passive give more transparent sound while sacrificing little bit of dynamics.



Yongsan Electronic Land used to house more than 200 high end audio shops about 15 years ago, while it had dwindled to around 100 shops now.

But it is still one of the best place to audition high end audio and vintage audio.

As I go through the top digital systems in Korea, it is getting more difficult to choose one to replace my 10 years old EMMLab Dac2( new price was 9k$).
7aeeb429 76a8 4040 a90e 93802cf27573shkong78
I don’t know about the other stuff but I would love to hear those Avalons in my room.
I had got strong tempation to get beautiful piece of Kalista transport and Dac.

It looks really impressive and sounds good.

Big Avalon Saga is no slouch either.

But as I am happy with my Lansche 4.1, I have no plan to change speakers for the time being.
https://photos.google.com/share/AF1QipMtNSB4H5MbCvLRW_yUOEOl3WRBxcf--Jdo_iBJFwEeTH1i-rg4WsWWn5tp03-W1Q/photo/AF1QipMysRleZBAHky56wooat1tldbJn4HwWEo-lFSJP?key=VjN1SHRiUWYxUGd0dk5qWTVQOEJNNXdMaEZ0RGZB

This is the listening room that I had listened to Metronome Kalista Reference CD system.

Although I am enamored by the system, I try to find best one under 25k$.

I will audition Trinity Dac and Formula HXD Dac with SGM Extreme Server on May 28th.

The owner of the shop who let me audition Metronome has high opinion about Trinity Dac.

Thus I am also curious how Trinity Dac sounds.
Unless a CD player has conquered the scattered light problem and the CD vibration problem it is a non starter. It's just more of the same. For that reason I'm out.
Wow,

 I’d love to hear this setup!  And if money was no object, the Kalista spinner and DAC would be on my test drive list.

All the best.

JD
Geoff wrote: “Unless a CD player has conquered the scattered light problem and the CD vibration problem it is a non starter. It's just more of the same. For that reason I'm out.”

It is too bad no tweak exists to fix these issues. 
You’re going to blow my cover.
Who can actually hear these issues?
@ curiousjim

I wish you to have a chance to listen to this system.

The sound was very impressive.

Metronome Kalista  looks grand and gracious.

Thomas
zarathu
Who can actually hear these issues?

>>>>How could anyone know the difference if no one even knew they were issues and if no one ever heard any CD player or any CD under ideal circumstances? You don’t know what you don’t know. 😳
At least, Kalista appears to be immune from vibration issue.
I tend to doubt it. It’s probably not isolated from seismic vibration and how could it prevent the CD itself from vibrating and fluttering during play, which is the particular issue I’ve been referring to here. The scattered light issue notwithstanding. As I said, manufacturers appear to be completely in the dark on both issues. Besides, how would you know a particular player is immune from vibration? You wouldn’t.
I don’t believe in self-promotion, so please consider this as a public service announcement to provide enlightenment:

https://forum.audiogon.com/discussions/machina-dynamica-new-dark-matter-cd-and-blu-ray-tray-treatmen...
celander, what’s the matter? Don’t you believe in self enlightenment? I’m just trying to participate in this thread as I see fit. 
I guess not every dog likes a free bone. 
One could perceive my penultimate post as an act of self-promotion as I’m the OP. But that is not my intent. 
Post removed 
Well, that’s offensive. Nice come-back. Don’t let any of it hit your face. 
Geoff, thanks for removing that offensive post. You’re a gentleman after all. 
Huh? I thought you did.
https://photos.google.com/share/AF1QipMtNSB4H5MbCvLRW_yUOEOl3WRBxcf--Jdo_iBJFwEeTH1i-rg4WsWWn5tp03-W1Q/photo/AF1QipNKxgfbDiMJdItxQ4wNW0D-8l0pgr7KO_ws9Vc3?key=VjN1SHRiUWYxUGd0dk5qWTVQOEJNNXdMaEZ0RGZB

On 28th, May, I had listened to combination of SGM Extreme Music Server and Trinity Dac,

Music flows natural and dynamic.

It would be very nice to compare top music server like SGM and gorgeous Kalista transport side by side in the future.
I happen to think scattered light is a positive in my system.  With my setup and my scattered light refraction balancer in analog mode I hear things others can’t detect.  Sublime!
I used to use CD Stoplight 20 years ago which is related with  scattering light.

It made subtle improvement.

But this kind of massive construction and separate power supplies of Kalista make huge difference of  50 times more than CD stoplight.
Stoplight only affected scattered red light. But most of the scattered light is not red, it’s invisible. That’s why the effects are relatively subtle. Massive construct and huge power supplies have nothing to do with scattered light.
After being back to my home in Pacific NW, I felt sigh of relief after listening to my system with EMMLab Dac2.

It still sound good enough to beat most of system that I had heard in Korea.



I had listened to Chord Dave and Blue II transport in Korea.

Dave without upsampling was just good not extarordinary.

But with upsampler, its details, nuanced texture, focus and deep 3D soundstage impressed me.



I found a good deal on used Dave and M Scaler and it got delivered this morning.

I heard that Dave and Mscaler is sensitive to power supply.

I plan to use LI ion battery pack to power M scaler.

Also I have 4 isolation transformers.



Although Pacific of Lampiziator was also impressive in Korea, it could be too creamy in my system since I already have tube SET amplifier.


I plan to set up Dave and M scaler up this afternoon.

I will update the progress.

Thomas
I had set up Dave and M scaler one hour ago.

Initial impression is very good with 768 KHZ upsampling using double BNC cables, it sound very transparent with clean details.

I am using supplied power supply with M Scaler.

Tomorrow, I will try Li battery with M Scaler and do also some comparison with several options of digital cables.

I started with pair of Blackcat Silverstar II BNC cables.

Jay’s Audio CDT2 Mk2 is being used now which give bang for the money.

I think Jay’s CDT2 approach 80% of the performance of CEC TL0X at less than 1/5 price.

CEC TLOx is the best transport that I had used for 5 years at my home.

Of course Kalista could be better than Jay’s by 30% or more.

But I can not tell since I had not tried Kalista at my home.
Started with Micromega in the past, moved to Aqua La Diva..now I am only using Forsell Reference CDT with full satisfaction.
@shkong78 have you looked at Stromtank?
They seem to have a very good solution for power cleaning. It is expensive but your systems sounds like it is top notch and the S2500 may suit it.

http://www.enjoythemusic.com/superioraudio/equipment/0218/Stromtank_S2500_Battery_Power_Review.htm

@shkong78 - I recently purchased an old Metronome CD1A transport with separate power supply.  I is a very nice transport and I recently compared it tot he Jay's Audio Transport.  The five people hearing the transports all noted that the Metronome was more musical, relaxed, better separation, dimension and depth to the soundstage.  The Jay's offered a wider soundstage.  I got the Metronome for a song!  Back in the say it was a higher priced transport.  What present better, I cannot qualify that but I was happy with what I heard.  As good as the Metronome sounded, my Audiomecca Mephisto II is better sounding still.  That sounds less mechanical.  Go Figure.  I used to own a CC Tl-1X which I liked very much but the new CEC's are even better than my old spinner.  Unfortunately the spinners I own are getting old and parts are getting hard to come by.  Personally, The Jay's transport did not wow me in anyway.  I would probably opt for a TL-5 CEC transport if I was going to look for a newer spinner.  The terminator DAC did sound pretty good for the price point but again I have heard older DACs that are going for reasonable prices sound equal or better for less that $4500.  I build my own components so I don't have a need for anything but the spinner and speakers now.

Happy Listening.


 

Guys 
Mojo Audio’s Mystique V2+ R2R Ladder Dac with Jays Transport and Black Cat Silverstar digital cable 
Extremely analog sounding with great dynamics.
Curious to try Denafrips Terminator Dac 
with Jays Transport and Black Cat Digit 75
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0791WDZTW/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I had tried above Li ion Battery pack on Mscaler.

It sounds slightly more transparent than included power supply.

But the difference was minor than I had expected.

It may be because included power supply had been connected to separate isolation transformer.

I have no plan to add external power supply to  Dave.

But Dave had been connected to separate isolation transformer.

That may be the way to go.


Although I have three different pairs of BNC digital cables, it will take time to give opinion on them.
@ bigkidz  

I had heard many CD transports.

Thus I do not claim that Jay's CDt2 is the best one but pretty good for the price.

That may be my last transport.

I will go up to music server which seems to give more natural sound than most of the CD transport.

@shkong78 I did not think that you were saying the Jays was the best one, you mentioned 30% for the Metronome or so.  I was just saying that in the comparison to the older Metronome, what the differences were.  I have not yet heard a server that competes with a good transport and DAC combination but I would like to.  I do not want to sink money into a spinner when I guess less companies are making them especially in the future so I have been buying the older top of the line CD Transport for cheap.

If you find something that you feel is really good, please send me a message.  I have a friend that is really into this and I am pushing him to built something for me to hear.


Thanks.  Peter

@bigkidz

Frankly speaking , the possibility to buy Kalista at 100K$ is almost zero unless I win some big lottery.

As I had been impressed with natural sound from nice music server like SGM, I am not interested in getting more CD transport.

Jay’s CDT2 will be my last one.

I am going to save money to buy top music server.

@shkong78 

    Not all manufactures of CD players are in the DARK concerning

I.e. Scattered light/ flutter/vibration. Look at the number of higher end

Transport Mfg & Players now offering (Top loaders with clamps/ weighted clamps to boot.) Scattered light. Same! with those like Cord Dave the reader is so close to the CD light leakage is almost a non issue.

As far as the Best Dac for playback irritation control.

 If a given CD was badly engineered. Try a different artist/different label same songs.

After say $4K for CD player the next 2to 9K+spent you may half to listen to the same song over & over just hear a 2 or 3% improvement.

                                  "That's a Bet."

@tubes444 

I agree if you cannot tell the differences within 30 seconds then don't worry about it.  If you can hear a big improvement, then you have a decision to make.

Happy Listening. 

I had listened to "The Trinity Session" by Cowboy Junkies for more than 50 times since 1990.

On 1990, my system consisted of Apogee Duetta Signature, Krell KSA 150, Passive Attenuator, California Audio Lab CD player.

This albums sounded spooky with transparent background on 1990.

Today, I played this album again with Lansche4.1, Line Magnetic 508 SET int amp, Chord Dave and M scaler with upsampling to 768 KHz.

It sounds as transparent as back on 1990, but with more details, wider and deeper soundstage.


I am happy with Chord Dave and M scaler after 20 hours of listening.

It may sound hot or analytical in bright system.

But with 4 separate isolation transformers, SET amplifier and plasma tweeter,, Chord Dave and M scaler sounds perfect not being too analytical.


I had auditioned MSB Select II, Premier, Discrete, Total Dac 6, Chord Dave and M scaler, Lampiziator Pacific, Metronome Kalista, Trinity, Aqua Formula XHD during last 6 months in the shops (not my home).


My guess is that In my system, only MSB Select II will sound significantly better than Chord Dave and M scaler in organic details, soundstage width and depth.

Trinity, Lampiziator Pacific, Metronome Kalista could be slightly better than Chord Dave and M scaler in my system but not worth upgrade from Chord Dave and M scaler.

Chord Dave without upsampling sounds just ordinary.

But with upsampler, its soundstage width, depth and transparency, details are extraordinary.


I think I can live happily with Chord Dave and M scaler for next 3 years or more.


If some innovative Dac with reasonable price of under 50K$ come out and crush all existing products in the future, then I will upgrade to it.


Thomas
Some hot discussion is going on my thread in WBF.

www.whatsbestforum.com/threads/if-you-still-spin-cds-this-may-be-the-best-option.28108/page-6

My final response is as follows.

It is known that tube amplifier tend to show higher distortion No. but with benign second harmonics.

SET tend to have less crossover distortion due to class A operation.

But important thing is how it sounds with your speaker.

I am happy with my current combination.

In Korea, most shops use SS amplifiers for auditioning product.

The reason is to reduce warmup time and heat in small soace.


I like the sound from Lampi Pacific coupled with SS amp.

But I get the feeling that it could be too full with tube amp.

Audio is personal choice.

I prefer transparent soundstage with lot of details but not lean or analytical.

With combination of Lansce 4.1, Line Magnetic 508 SET, Chord Dave and Mscaler, I am happy to get the sound that I want.

Please also note that I am using Spiritual Audio power conditioner and 5 separate isolation transformer for each components and LI battery pack for Mscaler.

With wrong combination, Chord Dave and Mscaler could sound analytical and lean.

My 9 years old EMMLab Dac2 is no slouch in details, dynamics, wide and deep soundstage.

But Chord Dave and Mscaler is better in more details and transparent and deeper soundstage.

Thus I am happy with this combination.

I am playing with several digital cables that I have.

R2R Dac s are very popular with organic sound.

But some of them has shortage of bass slamm (not MSB Select II and Pacific).

Chord Dave and Mscaler, could give excellent result with proper system matching.

If I could stretch my budget to 100k$, then I would have wandered between MSB Select II and Metronome Kalista.

But within budget of 20K, I am happy to get the sound that I want.
I am doing experiment on different combination of digital cables.

Chord Dave and Mscaler and Jay’s CDT2 MK2 combination appears to be sensitive to digital cables,

With some combination of digital cables, it sound too analytical and hot.

It is going to take a week or more to get the best combination.

But I enjoy the sound of Chord Dave and Mscaler combination so far.

It sound very transparent and detailed with 3D soundstage.

Also with Li Battery Pack on Mscaler, it sounds slightly more clean and transparent.

But my big Li Battery Pack (76000ma) lasts around 5 hours to keep 16 V.

Then I need 5 hours to charge fully.

But it is worth the try while it still sound ok with supplied PS connected to isolation transformer.
https://www.ramelectronics.net/BBP.aspx

This is really bang for the price.

This one give warm and round sound with deep and wide soundstage.

While Blackcat Silverstar II is pretty good for the price with lot of details, it tend to show slight hard edge.

Now pair of Ram BNC cables are placed between Dave and Mscaler.

I use Sablon Panetta BNC between Jays CDT2 and Lyngdorf 2170( just room correction only ).

I also use Zenwave D4 digital cable between digital output of Lyngdorf and Chord Mscaler.

This combination give best overall sound to balance details and warmness with super wide and deep soundstage.

I am pretty happy with sound out of Chord Dave, Mscaler, Jays’CDT2 combination.

Top music server like SGM or Innous give very natural sound.

I have not decided yet whether I will go for top music server this year.



Thomas


https://www.amazon.com/Wagner-Tannh%C3%A4user-Bernard-Haitink/dp/B0048P1IOK

Today I listened to all 3 CDs of this wonderful performance.

Lucia Popp is one of my favorite Soprano with clear voice.

I never heard of Klaus Konig before but his performance is also excellent.

The last time that I had attended Tanhauser Opera was back to 1981 (38 years ago).

I started playing this CD to test soundstage performance of Chord Dave and Mscaler.

But I ended up playing all 3 CDs.

Chord Dave and Mscaler is very excellent at giving deep, wide and transparent soundstage.

With Li battery feeding Mscaler, human voice has enough fulless not too bright.

I am happy with Chord Dave and Mscaler.

This one can last 3 years or longer in my system.

By the way, Sablon Panetta BNC digital cable work well with good balance of details, warmth and refinement.