Is Exemplar the answer?

I'm looking for the best red book source I can find at around $5000 or under. I came very close to buying an Esoteric DV50, but reconsidered after hearing about John Tucker's Exemplar Audio mod of the Denon 2900. Have you heard this player, and how would you compare it to the best red book sources you have heard. It's fine to have a player that will play every format known to man, and having a universal player is a nice bonus, but my cd collection is almost all red book, and I want to get the most from the titles I currently have.

I think the exemplar modded denon is excellent and a terrific value.
John is also a great guy to deal with.
I know two dealers who on getting the early version of the Exemplar/Denon 2900, have been unable to sell TEAC DV50s any more. It is by far the best sacd and cd player I have heard, but I know others who agree on sacds, but think the Reimyo $14k cd player is better on cds.
I ordered mine one month ago and am still waiting. I'll let you know when i get it. Having a one box player with ability to play dvd's is perfect for my setup.
9 months? Why? I knew John was somewhat backed up, but I never of this long.

It is great not to have to deal with two units.
You should read the other Exemplar thread that by now is at a lower position in this forum. It has many respones about the Exemplar Denon. I have had mine for almost 2 months now and have about 250 hours on it. I am blown away by how good it is. It has steadily improved over the break-in period to the point where I can't imagine getting better sound than I heard last night listening to Bill Evan Sunday at the Village Vanguard SACD. I now spend all my time shopping for music.
Awe yes if you are in the Seattle area go to Premeir Audio and give Keith will give you a demo take a listen to the line stage at I beleive $2300 I could be a few hunderd off. All I can say it with the exempler line stage coupled with the modified denon runing through a pair of JM Lab BE edition it gave my bat vk-51se a run for its money I`m not going to tell you it sounded better I will tell for the price it`s not a bad buy plus it`s made up were I live in Everett Wa I was thinking of giving him a call to see if I could pick his brain. David
I can't tell you if exemplar is THE answer, I can say it is very good, and mine will hit my office in the am. with the siltech wiring. I also am waiting for Alex paychev to finish putting his new chip in my SACD 1000. Both units sound wonderful...And soon I will be able to compare. John is also sending me his new Pre-amp to check out. I have a feeling I will love it.
Tvad I have the October issue. No write up.
WAH wah wah, recieved the Exemplar yesterday and It was not back to John for repair....waiting SUCKS.
Well Guys,
John has had my Denon for 5 weeks and i'm still waiting. Hopefully it will be here soon. I have tried to call him a few times to see how it was going and he hasn't returned my calls. How long did you guys have to wait? I sent him the full amount, i hope that doesn't put me at the end of the list. I should have learned this lesson after working with home repair people!
John is great to work with, as far as timeframe, I cannot comment. I helped to sell a few extra, plus i am buying his pre-amp, so maybe I got a little ahead of myself. John is busy, don't call just once and wait, call again, and will talk to him...the not talking is the REAL issue here IMO.
Well, maybe you're right. I called and left him a message today and he called back and said it would be done today and shipped out Monday. Then i truely will be done. I have other things that are important, and can't keep spending all my money on audio!!!!
Streetdaddy, lots of luck! I know you will find it at least the equal of the very best.
I took the plunge and I can hardly wait for the player. How will it compare with my Electrocompaniet dac? How about different tubes? I could go on-- 711 is right that waiting sucks, but anticipation ain't bad!
Try 6829s and 7062s. I like the old 7062 pinch waists, but they are hard to find and expensive.
I dont think so. Look for :
SPHINX Project 32
Rmihai, have you heard the Exemplar Denon 2900? You dismiss it quite easily. Have you personally heard every player on your list?

Based on the fact your system's source component is the Toshiba SD-4900, I'm going to take your opinion with a pinch of salt.
Well, seeing how people who have either had, or a/b'd it with the meitner and audio aero capitole units think it's a contender, i think it deserves a shot. I will be getting mine in a week and i'll let you know what i think. I have owned a resolution audio cd 50 and opus 21, electrocompaniet emc1 and the audio aero prima. These are some great players, and with the addition of dvd and sacd, for under $4000, i think it will be a good multi-format player.
Rmihai,since none of the players you mention are up to the level of the EMM and since I find the Exemplar clearly superior to the EMM, I can only conclude that you have not heard the Exemplar. I recently heard the EMM DCC2 and the new EMM transport in a good system for many hours. I would not even consider replacing my Exemplar/Denon 2900 with the new EMM.
Rmihai has given us an impressive list to consider. I agree those should be on the list when you think about good cd players.

Modded players have never been of interest to me. There are warranty and resale issues that I can't get past, and I completely understand why someone might choose to never buy a modded player. However, the buzz on this player made me think twice, and eventually I decided to take a shot.

I spent several days trying to decide between the Exemplar and the Esoteric DV50. I'm sure you really can't go wrong with either player, but I went with the Exemplar because I came to trust the designer. The Exemplar is for the person who wants good video, and the absolute best audio. Most of the effort and the dollars are spent on getting us as close to the music as possible, and John Tucker has years of experience turning good products in to state of the art audiophile quality products.

Will this player live up to the hype? Is it one of those products that is red hot for a few months and then fades? I have never been so uncertain about any purchase, but, I'm counting the days until delivery, and can hardly wait to try the player in my system.
Man oh man, this audio game is a real headtrip, I am still waiting, not only for the exemplar, but for the new dac chip from apl too, than wouldn't you lmow it, denon comes out with the 3910 which plays HDCD too...yeah, what mindgames we play on ourselves here in the audio search. I guess I will just have to be patient, which, is not one of my bets virtues. I have 10 different sets of tubes to roll with the exemplar, and will be AB'ing with the will come soon. At a $$$, just hope it's worth the $$$ and the wait. In time I will see, Or hear...
For years we have been buying cars only to find that the next year's cars were improved. Computers were another example. I too would like to hear HDCDs as I heard them on the Lindemann, but hey they still sound very good on the Exemplar.

I do wonder if the Denon 3910 will be modifiable. Does it allow the room for the tubes?
Alex over at APL-hifi has designed a tube mod for the new Denon 3910.
What are the major diffences between the mods made by Alex and John ? Is there a preferable approach?
Jean, I will let you know soon, but I will not have Alexes new denon, just the SACD 1000 with his new DAC chip/volume control. Alex says the denon bests the SACD 1000, but is mor expensive too, he really replaces most all internal, Alex says. Time will tell, he is sending his new denons to the show in Colorado next month. I will have both, hopefully, in my system next week, I also just recieved Johns pre-amp today, so tonight I will play with that.
Does the denon play cdr's?
Streetdaddy: I cannot speak to all the different kinds of CR's and ways of making them, but I have put two burned discs into the Denon and they have played.
I have many CDRs. All play on the Denon. Actually, I have nothing that will not play on the Denon.
RE: 3910 - I've have communicated with John regarding the potential modification of the new Denon 3910. He informed me that he would be receiving a unit on 9-20-04 to inspect and to begin working on a mod.

The link below is a picture of the 3910 interior.

Denon 3910 Inside
Alex Paychev, and Dan Wright are already modding the 3910, so I really do not believe John will have any problem whatsoever in using his mods. Alex says his modded denons best his SACD 1000 which is a GREAT player. Dan says, IHO the 5900 is his best. I best John will have a field day with this new player. I just hope the HDCD/SACD/DVD-A sounds as good as his Redbook enhancements(hopefully better, much better)
I geuss John is really backed up. He told me initially he could get it done in 2-3 weeks. Now it's been a month and a half and still no Denon. How long did you guys have to wait for yours? I waited 6 months for a supratek, and i don't think i can wait that long again.
40% of my hi-end audio purchases have been on time, and 60% have
been four or more weeks longer than promised. It just seems to be the
way things are done.

It's difficult to know when to pull the plug and move on. The Exemplar
is probably worth the wait, and it's unlikely you'd be able to take delivery
of a comparably modded machine any sooner. But, on the other hand,
several folks are working on Denon 3910 mods that have the potential
of being better than 2900 mods. So, the wait continues, or the choices
expand. Either way, it's a little painful.
Tvad, I have talked to Alex, Dan, and John about the 3910, Alex is the only guy who actually has modded both the 2900 and the 3910/he said sonicly on his machines, which he says is like a custom paychev special/no longer denon, they sound the same. The real difference is the HDCD capability and higher grade video/but with alex'x mod they are ONLY 2 channel.
Streetdaddy, did you pay him up front?

Yes the denon has never not played a disk for me, yet.
711smilin, I've read about Alex' 2900/3910 mod. In my post above, I was really looking into the crystal ball. It only makes sense that at some time in the near future, there will be at least two modders tweaking the 3910. My point was that new and better machines and/or mods will always come around, and one can be fairly certain that what's best today won't be best for too very long. In my case, I just hope that the Exemplar is great enough to quench my need to have to search farther, and that during the wait for delivery, some other sweet something doesn't catch my eye.
Tvad, join the ImnutzImsickIwannadabest club. Dan is modding his first 3910 as we speak.....AND technology will always be, will it be better? Only your Ears in Your system can make that decision. wink wink John is still waiting for his, as far as sonic differences for the 2900 vs 3910, I do not believe there will be any.
TVAD: I waited 6 weeks for my 2900 player. That was fine with me. It was totally worth the wait and the only cassified section on Audiogon I have been visiting these days is the software (CD's, SACD's and DVD-A) section. Hang in there, and don't forget to allow the player some break-in time. Mine really opened up after about 250 hours.
I should have the Exemplar tomorrow, It better be Great cause I have some competition, I also recieved my newly modded SACD 1000 with Alex's new DAC/volume control...sounds
pretty frikin good(Biggersoundstage/betterimaging/tighter,more controlled bass/sweeter high end). Needs some time to burn in, but, I am looking forward to my own shootout with these 2 premium players. More to come.....
smilin, remember that you can expect the Exemplar to not reach its best for 200 hours of use. It will sound pretty good immediately but will then go bad for a while.

I should also say that today I treated the 7062 pins and sockets with the full three step AudioTop Contact treatment. All that I can say is that the improvement was the equal of the use of the Siltech wire. Much recommended.
Tbg, what is this AudioTop contact treatment? And please do explain the improvement, along with explaining why the Exemplar sounds only pretty good at first, than bad, than great. I really do not understand.
The Audiotop cleaners are made in Switzerland. If you look up the name in the AudiogoN Manufacturer list you will find the website link for more information.
smilin, I find it a common experience that components sound quite good initially only to loose their luster and sound poorly for some time. This is the case with the Exemplar also. I suspect it has to do with forming the capacitors and cables, but it may also be getting the old tubes up to performance levels. Solid state gear shows this less than tubes, but it is still there.

The AudioTop contact treatment must improve the conductivity through the tube pins. It makes the unit sound more immediate and dynamic. The ambience of the recording venue are clearly reproduced making you feel as though you were there.
I purchased a 3910 three days ago & have been breaking it in 24 hours a day. Admittedly I haven't spent much time in the past several months with digital gear - so I've lost my digital-bearing slightly - but I must tell you, the stock Denon sounds pretty decent (after a bit of break-in).

I'm sure the Compass Lake ICs don't hurt but the Denon is sounding respectable even when the stock power cord is in use.

I'm pretty excited about the potential for this unit once the Exemplar mods are ready.
I just recieved the exemplar, I am going home to check it out...ttyl
I finally received mine today. It sounds really good out of the box. I haven't really had much time to sit down to listen today. I did open it up and it looked really well thought out and quality of workmanship is excellent. I am going to run it in for a few days and i'll post what i think.
Please don't say anything for at least a week and keep it running 24/7.
Boy, John will get no sleep now.
what about the static issue mentioned in the 6moons review? Is there a lot of it, and when do you hear it.
It really is more of a connection pop or snap, when the unit recognizes the type of disk. It is never there with the music.
Also, I recently cleaned the tubes and sockets within the Exemplar with the AudioTop contact cleaner. The improvement is at least of the magnitude of the use of Siltech wire. This stuff maybe from an alien culture given how much better it is than any other cleaners I have used.