I have not heard the TEAC. Heard the Krell yesterday I was not impressed at all.
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I have not heard the Krell, but I do own the Teac/Esoteric DV-50 universal player. I am curious as to why Michael Fremer in his rave review of the Krell player, states that the Linn Unidisk 1.1 is the only universal player worthy of serious audiophiles attention, when his fellow writer Paul Bolin gave it a very positive review in the August Stereophile, and the magazine lists the DV-50 as an A+ component in their recommended components issue.
Larry: In my opinion, the DV-50 has many strengths, including great flexibility in selecting the type and degree of oversampling, an outstanding transport, and superior sonics on all formats. It also has outstanding build quality (weight is 47 lbs.). The only weakness I've found is that on DVD-Audio, you must toggle through the tracks to get to the one you want to play, rather than simply selecting the number of the track you want on the remote. (The remote works fine for regular CD and SACD.) I recommend it highly!
I have the Teac, bought one month ago. Before I had the MF A3.2CD. The difference in quality for CDs is abysmal. It's a very good cd player, but not excellent: the CEC mechanic + Conrad-Jonhson P9 DAC wins the challenge for CDs, in a comparison head to head.
For the new formats, I had not yet done a lot of test, but the first impression is: wow! More dynamic, details and soundstage.
I heard the Krell SACD last week, not in my room. Like Arf, I was not impressed at all. The dynamic is great, but the sound seems a bit cold and with less body. In any case take this opinion with "tongs", because I haven't done a direct comparison between the two players.
I have the Krell and I am shocked at how good it is playing regular cd's. It has been in my system now for 30 days and left on constantly. I have not listened for a week or more and was blown away by how much bigger more defined the staging has become. Will it get bigger and better? The stage is wall to wall and floor to ceiling now. If it grows more I wiil have to remove a wall and jack up the ceiling..Tom
I auditioned the Esoteric DV-50 and thought it's way overrated. The sound was thin, digital and tinny, like most Japanese digital. I have also heard a Krell KPS28c in my system and it was marvelous. I understand the SACD Standard is derived from it and sounds similar. In short, the Esoteric stinks, stick with an American player.
The two new bigger brothers of the TEAC DV-50 really look like killer machines. Both use the new VRDS-NEO CD/SACD/DVD mechanism. The big questions are price and availability in Europe and the US.
See http://www.teac.co.jp/av/index.html (babelfish.altavista.com is your friend...)
Qualified guess: VRDS-NEO will be the mechanism in Wadia's new multiformat-transport that is due this summer.
I now agree with Keithr that the Linn Unidisk 1.1 is the best I have heard. After a friend got all the bugs worked out of the Linn (two trips back to Linn), the sound he is getting is superb! As much as I like my DV-50, it simply does not have the air, dimensionality and overall musicality of the Unidisk. Alas, I cannot afford it, so I will continue to enjoy the fine (but not ultimate) performance of the Esoteric.
I now am using a Pioneer DVD 59avi as a transport with a Musical Fidelity Tri Vista DAC 21.
Very musical, warm with 96 upsampling, not warm with 192 upsampling. Very detailed with both.
Although it is not broken in, I am very impressed. So far, I just may keep it.
Had a totally modded Denon 2900 prior to the Esoteric and it didnt cut it.
I'm going to stick my neck out and say that the Krell SACD Standard is the best value in digital right now. $2800 used and it is equal to the Wadia 861 I had on cd and equal to the Marantz SA-1 I had on SACD. I've had dcs and Pass dacs with a cec transport that sounded better on cd, but it should for that much $. I find the cd replay on the Krell just great and the sacd is a bonus. Spend your money on music.