Music Hall Trio / Arcam Solo / etc.?

I am interested in the new generation of one-box players such as the Music Hall Trio and the Arcam Solo, but I can't find many reviews of them (particularly the Trio).

At the moment I have an NAD C340 amp (50 watts) and an 8-year old NAD CD-player. Could someone venture an opinion on whether one of the one-boxers would offer an improvement in sound? I'd also be curious to know how the Music Hall Trio's CD player would compare to the Music Hall CD-25.

Last, are there other comparable one-box players that I should be aware of? $1600 would be my upper price limit. I don't really care whether the unit includes a tuner or not.

Hi Quidnunc,

Since you like NAD, they also have an all-in-one device. They call it either the L53 or L54, if memory serves me right. Check it never hurts to have more options.

Personally I have only played with an Arcam Solo--I can't comment on the other units. The Solo has a lot of functionality packed into it and is very simple to setup and operate. If you are looking to hide the electronics in your room, these type of systems are a good choice.

FWIW, NAD also has an L-70 all in one.
Thanks for the responses. I would still be curious to hear from anyone who is able to comment on the sound quality of these units.
The Music Hall is a pretty good deal. Nice sound on a par with good entry level electronics (e.g. currently available NAD, Cambridge and Music Hall's own gear), and all in one box. It will not knock you out, but might sound a little smoother, more detailed and with better bass definition than your older NAD gear. I listened to this through little Epos speakers and liked it.

The Arcam Solo is a very classy little rig, better sounding than the Music Hall, but in this case the sound probably not exceeding the level of its looks or list cost. I would say the performance is closer to mid level NAD or Cambridge gear (that would cost about the same as the Arcam for a new stack of integrated amp, CDP and tuner). For example, I listened to a Solo at length with the very good B&W 705's and it sounded great, clear highs and smooth midrange. Bass was adequate. But played through the more expensive and revealing B&W 805's the unit started to show some rough edges and it had trouble driving these excellent speakers to their full capacity. Good speaker matching could provide a very enjoyable system for about $2k-$3k.

I listened to the NAD L53 (2.1 home theater system) and it sounded like NAD entry level electronics, which is pretty good. It was playing through Era Design 5's and B&W CM1's which are both probably too much speaker for this little amp to drive properly - so I would not call this a fair listen. This unit or its successor can be found online used or as a discontinued model for less than $400. It has now been replaced by the VISO TWO DVD/CD Receiver which is super slick looking and probably sounds at least as good as the L53.

Hope that helps.

This is very helpful! Thanks so much for taking the time to post.

I would also be interested to hear any comments about build quality that you (or anyone else) might be able to offer, particularly where the durability of drawers and buttons is concerned. I found one reference to "mushiness" of buttons on the Solo (though I guess that is not necessarily a sign of low durability in itself).