The Prestige is a far superior sounding product to any of the other players.
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Orion, Posters are mostly likely to recommend the player they use and like. I like the CD-5s because it is superbly build and designed & has a warm, dynamic "live" sound with great resolution. I also think it offers tremendous value given you're getting a full tube dac, pre-amp & high end transport in one. The CD-5s is also hand-built in Austria. The mentioned AA is a great sounding player, though I have heard of some reliability issues with AA which is something to be mindful of. Re: the Mac, if you read the Dagogo review of the CD-5, Doug Schroeder said his friend's MCD-500 was not in the same league as the Ayon. Not sure how the MCD-1100 would compare to the CD-5s. Perhaps another AG'er can chime in?
I wish I could chime in because this is very important to me. I would like to add my Burmester 089 into the ring, just to know where things stand. One thing, the price difference is fairly obvious, but we know one cannot go by price alone. These are 3 things I would love to compare (NOT which one is better!): Burmester 089, McIntosh MCD1100, and Ayon CD-5. The Prestige has no value to me.
Hi Audiofreak, I managed to dig out my old listening notes from the a-b-a test I did when I sold my old CD-5 vs the buyer's Audio Aero Prestige -
The buyer was using an Audio Aero Prestige player and we a-b-a tested it on the same music & the differences were certainly clear to me; the AA was more rolled off in comparison, the dac section was less detailed and accurate & the midrange was bloated. I also felt it had a 'sheen', like a veil clouding the music. The AA certainly sounded warm, though I felt that quality was compensating for omissions elsewhere. In comparison, the CD-5 had better weighted bass & extension, the above-mentioned veil was lifted, sound came from a dead quiet background & you then felt like the band were in the room playing for you. The buyer also noticed the improved detail and accuracy of the dac, whilst his wife noticed the above-mentioned veil being lifted, though on first impression said she preferred that quality in the AA.
...the end result? The buyer kept the Ayon and sold the AA.
Talk, sorry I don't have any experience with your Burmester or the Mac, hopefully some other members will post their experiences!
I own the MCD-500 and can tell you that the Prestige was initially on my list, but an audition disclosed that this player (the Prestige) may sound soft and glamourous...but it does not sound like real music.
Can't speak to the CD-5...but I chose the Mac over numerous others and will likely purchase the MCD-1100 before the end of the year.
AA has a certain quality that makes the other players sound dead. I have yet to find a player on this planet that manages to unleash the music so superbly off CD's. And when you hear that sound coming out, who can do A/B's, do critical listening, etc.? I sure can't. I have MUSIC in my ears and that's all I care about.
I've not heard the MCD-500 and may well be more advanced based on year of production 2010-11.You've got to already like the Mac gear. The Prestige started production in 2007. The Prestige which I also own is a very nice piece and very musical.The balanced and RCA outputs work simultaneously so you can drive to an amp and to a sub at the same time .Don't forget its not the only piece in the system.As far as the Ayon CD-5 I may have listened to either a system not balanced correctly or a system that may not have been broken in. It was nothing I expected and was dissapointed based on the reviews it has received.
I sold my Burmester 089 and bought a CDP w/ digital inputs and volume control- the Wadia S7i, and had it modded by Steve Huntley at Great Northern Sound Company. This is best digital gear I have ever heard in my life, including a $70K Burmester combo. I did pair it with a tubed pre- the Concert Fidelity CF 080. I believe tubes belong in the preamp and not the sourse. Just my humble opinion
Had the Mcintosh mcd1100 around 9 months now, can't compare it to the other players but can to the Meridian 808.2 which it replaced. Please excuse my lack of fancy words as I'm only a blue collar feller with expensive taste. The Mcintosh in my system, (c1000 preamp, 1.2kw monos, B&W 800ds, AQ Wild cabling and 3 dedicated 20amp w/isolated ground outlets in a large room with no reflection issues) is a step above the Meridian. The Mc goes higher, has greater transparency with more detail, keeps the same level of natural tonality, has improved imagining, has an even lower noise floor and much stronger bass response. That being said the Meridian was very easy to love, and on lesser recordings is much more forgiving and in some cases improves on discs with digital glare. If I could afford both I would buy another Meridian, but since I can't I'll keep the Mcintosh. just my 2 $ YMMV