I have an audio aero capitole mk II and that seems to be the king of analog sounding one box players at this time. I have heard many many players, and very few challenge the capitole. Honorable mentions would have to go to the audio mecca mephisto II. I am told there is a new two piece unit that is phenomenal though I have not heard it yet, it seems to be getting a wonderful review from the first reports. Mine will be in around May-June so I will know more then, but for now with in a sane price range the capitole II is where its at!
A $37k MBL Transport and DAC front end is about as close to analogue as I have heard. It made the Capitole II sound well... not-so-good (it better for over four times the price).
Anyway, most 16 bit digital just does not sound at all like decent vinyl. My digital sounds very, very good (Ayre CX-7), but when I play my Rega P9 Turntable, my digital pales in comparison.... It is not even funny.
I am becoming more and more convinced that 16bit digital (ANY 16bit digital) can not EVER sound like vinyl. Even the MBL gear I stated above, I am willing to bet if I had a $10k turntable setup in that reference system, the turntable would blow away the $37k MBL gear.
Keith- Now I didn't mention that MBL for a reason :)
I am very Pleased with the Audio research CD2 . Very smooth and relaxed, but still a rocker !
Muse Model Nine Signature.
I like the musical presentation of the Levinson 37/360S combo very very much and don't think of the "format" at all while listening-- well, unless the recording is poor.
I haven't heard the stand-alone 390S in my system, but would expect it to be similar in music quality. I do think the rest of the system is also very important to a musical presentation though. Cheers. Craig
There is NO digital that I have ever heard that can come close to a good analog rig with good components.Some of the SACDS are very good but still .............. I take the vinyl.
I'd find your suggested MBL is extreamly digital having an extreamly large 5-digit $number won't ya?:-)
Marakanetz, aside from the price, the $37k MBL combo is the most analogue sounding digital I have ever heard. It is flat out the best sounding digital I have ever heard. But I still think that $10k of phono could make it sound like so-so.
My point is that if you want a source that does not sound digital, get a turntable setup. If you want to listen to digital, get a good digital setup. Off of sheer sound quality 16bit CD digital I do not think is ever going to topple vinyl. SACD may one day.... and whatever surpasses SACD, may exceed vinyl as well.... But this is sheer speculation.
There is a definite reason vinyl has been with us so long.
The Audio Note 2.1x is very sweet, Dynamic & open. It
does not sound "digital" to me at all. Very smooth. I like it so
much, I just ordered a 3.1x.
I love Electrocompaniet EMC-1 mkII sound.
I don´t miss my old turntable and don´t have $15K to start making comparisons.
Hey, Rrsclyde: Have you heard the 308-t? Isn't like about $800 more?
The LINN CD12 is the most "analog", NON digital CD player I've ever auditioned by a long shot. A must hear, even if you can't afford it!
the marantz 8260 & sa14 for "reasonable" priced cdp's. the redbook is pretty amazing and you get sacd to boot.
I have a new Resolution Audio Opus 21 and the word that immediately comes to mind when listening to this player is "non-digital". It is smooth and natural sounding. Instruments sound like they should, there's nice decay, and it captures the ambiance of recordings.
The most of dissapointment of so-called the most analogue device may come after looking-up inside the box finding simple cheap DAC-chips(can't be expencive by default as generic production units) and CD-Rom drive unit.
The analogue domain after-DAC makes all differences in digital playback that's why "modders" such as Dan Wright and Stan Warren take a simple generic $100...200 components, recap it, replace to one-piece rectifiers in PS as their standard procedure. Going this way will give you "analogue" with only three digits instead of 5 or even 4.
As to quality "analogue" ones I guess that Electrocompaniet EMC1 is a good contender but certainly overoverpriced. Infact, if Electrocompaniet were Burmester or MBL it would cost accordingly so name is the largest price figure here.
My GamuT CD1R approaches live performances at times. I played the opera Tosca after returning from the live performance of the same and was very impressed by the simularity. Associated equipment includes Pass X2.5 preamp, GamuT amp, Chapman Speakers, JDPS Lab wires.
Funny, no one mentioned the Audiomeca Mephisto 2 X.
Check my post from 3-19 ;)