You're the second person today to ask me that in a thread, the other was in AudioAsylum, by a fellow Melbournian. No, I didn't listen to the Prima, I saw the list price and thought "forget it", only to discover the Prima (one only) was on Greg's website for $2,200, exactly my upper limit, and what I paid for the Cary, too.
Actually I bought my Ref 2.2 at Audio Lifestyle, which stocks almost all the Osborn speakers. I rang Osborn today to ask some q's about the Ref, and asked if he still had the Prima. "Yes" - but he said the Ref was better value and sounded better.
I LOVE the sound, I can't believe how good it is, so incredibly good, so natural, so BIG, so lifelike, so detailed without being "look how detailed I am" - what a superb CD player. If the Ref was made in Europe or the US we'd be paying $5000.00 for it, I swear - but, people get put off by the made and designed in China thang. Me, I don't give a SHIT, it's extremely well made and most importantly, sounds amazing. Who CARES where it's made and designed? So analogue sounding, I can't keep away from it when I allow myself to take it off repeat, it's only been burning in for 36 hours, so another, er, 264 before the sound stabilises;)
I WILL listen to the Prima, sooner or later - but I don't think it will top this. I'm bloody glad I dumped the Cary 308, that hyperdetailed electronic sounding thing. AND, the Ref has MORE detail than the Cary, yet doesn't scream about it, I LIKE that, that's what annoyed me about the Cary, it pulled everything apart and made you hear every component on the disc - supposed to be impressive but in reality just ANNOYING and hard to listen to, where was the MUSIC? Oh man, this thing makes me so excited, it's hard to believe how good it is, especially at the price I paid (list $2100 but with a pair of Osborn Silverlinks (they were $385 at Audio Lifestyle) thrown in) - and, they are goooood ICs, I connected them to my Nakamichi tape deck and the extra detail I got out of the recording I played compared to the good but basic copper ICs I had on the Nak - wow! An instrument I had never heard, vocals that I'd never managed to catch were now audible, and this just from the change of IC. Was sad to change them back to the cdp, i need two more pairs :( Brave Greg, brilliant IC, brilliant cdp to import too. Sorry, this has been a real rave - but I'm astounded by this Ref 2.2, I've never heard CD so NOT CD before. Magnificent, natural, emotionally involving music (and I thought that during audition, BEFORE I read reviews saying the same thing) This is what CD should always have been, and never was. I wonder how long before the rest of the high-end set get rid of their (Western) blinkers and catch on? I sort of hope they don't in a way, 'cos if they do the price will skyrocket, and future models will be priced as the COULD be...
Again, sorry about the rave, but I am in love. One listen and you're hooked I reckon.