After some time I finally got back to looking for a new CDP. My short list came down to Audio Note, Theta, Muse and a combination of transports with a Bel Canto Dac 2. I used 4K as my cut off point for pricing. I ended up going with a Muse 10 with the attenuator module (a little more than the 4K but worth every penny). I found it the most detailed and musical. The sound has a warmth, if I can use that word, that just involves you. It is balanced, neutral and musical. Nothing is lost and nothing is exaggerated. Its mid-bass and sound stage is as accurate as can be and clearly better than the Theta Compli. Instrument placement was amazing and the best of all the players. The highs float and have no edge whatsoever making it more transparent and musical than the Audio Note CD 1.3x or the CDT 1 and DAC 1 sig or 2 combination. It is also more open and cleaner on top than the Theta. The Bel Canto Dac was an improvement over both the Audio Note dacs. But I could not get the same soundstage as the Muse. This had to be a function of the transport. However, AN was wonderful to listen to. At the under 3K price range, it would be hard to find a better red book digitial source. There was an ever so slight midrange veil in the AN CD 1.3X but I understand that by changing two caps, you can seriously upgrade this player. Bass is very tight and accurate in the Muse. No mush or loss of impact. The new generation of Muse digitial sources are clearly winners. Muse delivers nothing less than music and superb build quality. Hope this helps.
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