I was having the same feeling as you before owning a Opera. But my forward step to grap one make me turn my view up-side-down.
I have ever owned few sets of Sonic Frontiers SFCD1 in a period ciz I cannot give it up, even comparing with famous gears like Wadia 8, 830, Meridian 508.24 588, Linn Ikemi, Sony SCD777ES, Marantz SA12S1, etc. But with Opera, I know its chance that allow me to change.
Man, this is real live experience, not a story.
I just borrowed a reference 2.2. Compared to my Meridian 508.24 it is extracting subtile nuances from cds the Meridian is missing. The Meridian sounds muddy in comparison. I am still evaluating but it may be the bargain the review, you stated says it is. The remote volume it has is a plus.
please inform us later about your final conclusions.I would like to know if you have that feeling of listening to real,live performance(that be there feeling),is it musical ,or too analitical? How is it about pace-rhytm, timing ,coherency, bass performance.Is it envolving,does it throw your attention on details,analysis, or on essence of musical performance?
I have another question for you...
Can you compare a track from a CD played on the Consonance reference 2,2 CD Player with the same track played from an SACD on the Sony SCD777ES?
can someone interpret the post from Lafish for me?
I'll be purchasing the Reference 2.2. It is extremely neutral. It is definately musical. It has the pace and timing the Meridian has. The bass is quick, deep and powerful but only when its on the source. Its soundstage and imaging are top notch. It draws you in you want to keep listening. You hear wonderful detail (crystal like quality on bells). The presentation is definately not laid back but it can sound warm if its on the source material. I think it will better a Sony SCD 777ES and Philips SACD 1000 on standard cds. Try and audition it if you can.
May be you havnt use Sonic Frontiers SFCD1 CDP before. This is the only CDP (from my knowledge) that SF offered in its product line. SFCD1 doesnt come with any digital output coz designer from SF believes this is the best ever and no need to use another DA to intepretate the sound.
I have ever use SFCD1, then tried a lot of CDP at the course of time. Wadia 8, 830, Meridian 508.24 588, Linn Ikemi, Sony SCD777ES, Marantz SA12S1, etc...........all lose to SFCD1 which is using Ultra analog 20bit DA chip. This is ancient technology comparing to the 24/192 or 48/384 digital technology. But it wins
It gives the kind of sound sweetness and involvement especially when you are listening to vocal player like Norah Jones, Shirley Bassey, Diane Kral, Aaron Neville, etc. Others players mentioned are just giving rather cool and non-live sound. Though may be giving a little bit more details. But it is just like a piece of paper, never feel about 3D when comparing to SFCD1.
Opera 2.2, well, I hooked it up to play with the recent SFCD1 then I played for 5 months. And it is no way that SFCD1 win over as Opera is offering high level of resolution, 24/192, sweetness level is better than SF. Emm.........I will say SFCD1 is a strong man and Opera is a nice lady when playing with vocal. Sound offering from Opera is very gentle which you never feel fatique after long time listening.
May be you will have complaint about the nevigation button for Opera 2.2 operation. But I think this is an innovative design which offer greater level of interest when you are playing with it. Look is COOL, whereas SFCD1 looks a bit old in appearence now.
I have ever did a direct comparison with Electrocompaniet EMC1UP vs Opera 2.2. Both models can win over each other in all aspect. EMC1UP give higher level of resolution and more lively music (LP feel, it even wins over my P3+Exact MM Catrridge, hard to believe, but its true), but sound is still a little bit bright comparing to Opera. Never compare both on XLR performance. But I think EMC1UP which offers 24/192 XLR analog output will win over Opera whose giving 24/96 (without tube buffer) XLR analog output.
NOW, think about it and give me a shout if you still have confusion. Again this is not advertisement, but live experience.
We chose the Consonance 2.2 to carry after being extremely impressed with what we heard at CES2003. The 2.2 is a natural, transparent, open and overall musical performer in comparison to the competition. It has the "magic" that is partly due to the wonderfully designed 6H30 tube stage. A very analog sounding player that has a remote volume control( motorized analog) for running directly to an amp and XLRs for balanced performance. One of a handful of fine players that emotionally attaches you to the music. It looks as good as it sounds.
I have used Counterpoint CD + DAC, TEAC VRDS25, and now Consonance Ref 2.2
This CD player is all what i want, it is not a sophisticated player, but it is a natural sound cd player
some people never consider with product from china, but after reading many comment above I think you have to try to listen
So, its really good cdp eh? I've gotta try it.
But, is it really eight inches in thickness, and 18 kgs in weight? Woa, this cd player is huge! That dimension reminds me of the old (early units) of Betamax video player circa 1980s!
Pls. advice what interconnects work best with it. I wonder if Silver Audio SB4 will match, or the Audio Note KSL-SPz, or if copper will still work fine, like the Analysis Plus Oval 1.
The only concern I have is whether to leave the unit turn ON constantly as there is a tube output (RCA). I have it hooked up both XLR and RCA but mostly it play through XLR -more headroom and presence.
Just wondering what is the opinon of the other owners?
Other than the minor concern, the Consonance is rather impressive sonically, especially given the price point.
Add to it, there are postings which have made A/B comparsion with the Meridian 508 and Sonic Frontiers - all have found favor with the Consonance. I have had the pleasure of keeping a Wadia 860x for awhile and when I sold it, I regretted it immmediately.
The Consonance while can not fulfill what the 860x can do, I have to say it is rather a close subsitute. The 860x still has great realism which I only miss now.
I too heard very favorable reviews about the Consonance 2.2 Reference CD player. I never had the opportunity to hear one in person, but, because I had heard how it won ''best in show'' at the Europian Consumer Electronics Show,and got favorable reviews from dealers,( The dealer I bought mine from said it was the best CD player he had ever heard )and thinking it would be an upgrade from my present player, a Rega Jupiter, I deciced to buy one. The one I bought was a store demo that had a couple of hundred hours on it , so it was pretty well broken in. I sat and listened all afternoon to CD's I know well, and compared the two players, and my Rega Jupiter beat it easily. The Jupiter has a much wider soundstage, better bass , and to my ears is more musical. And if you like to ''rock and roll '', the Jupiter is a much better player. I will give credit to the Consonance for rich midrange, and nice detail, but thats about it. In my opinion, it is little better than average, not this ''super''player it has been hyped up to be. I sent it back to the dealer. Sorry folks, but thats how it sounded to me.
Has anybody compared a Copland CDA822, a Audio Aero PRIMA CD player or a Arcam FMJCD23T with the Consonance reference 2.2CD player?
Hi lovers of audiophile,
i´ve read your postings with great interest. Has anyone had the chance to compare a ref2.2 to the also very much hyped ah njoe tjoeb 4000 (with upsampler, which would be a fair comparison)? both a nicely build an use good hardware, although the tubed autput stage of the njoe tjoeb is more sophisticated. In Germany i will never get a chance to listen to the njoe tjoeb or either compare both - so I rely on your opinions ;)
thanx a lot.
greetings outta Munich
Does the Opera CD player play CDRs.
I bought a Consonance Reference 2.2 today...just breaking it in. I listened to a Primare D20, Myryad something, Cary CD 308, and the Consonance. I actually bought the Cary, based on a very brief audition whilst purchasing my speakers a few weeks ago - and was very impressed with the Cary CD 308. The day before I picked it up another dealer came around to my house and hooked up both the Primare and the Consonance (note here the Cary audition was using my speakers, cabling and amp, but taken in to the dealer's listening room), all three units had between 30-60 hours breakin. The Myryad I won't comment on because it wasn't auditioned on my components - but I didn't take to it.
The Primare was, to put it mildly, hopeless - just no excitement whatsoever, very "nice", kept changing discs, going through the motions (I have a standard 6-7 Cds and fave tracks when I audition), but not enjoying the sound much. Transfer to the Consonance. I forgot I was auditioning, I just was digging the music, in fact I didn't want to change discs at all I was enjoying listening so much. I wasn't really looking for detail, or soundstage, or bass/midrange/treble the way I normally would, I just FORGOT to and thought "gee I love this song, this sounds great" and such. I felt a real emotional connection and involvement with the music. I was hoping my earlier audition of the Cary would match up - as it was my regular dealer, and I got a very good price on it, and had committed to buying it.
I picked up the Cary on the strength of the earlier audition, which was very brief. Yuck. Lots of detail, yes, but so electronic sounding, and I wasn't remotely connected to what I was listening to. Granted it wasn't fully broken in, but neither were any of the others...
Next day (today), listened at higher volume, still no real connection, or even enjoyment. Goodbye Cary, hello Consonance Reference 2.2. Straight out of the box it sounded better than the Cary 308, although nothing like the partly broken in Ref 2.2 demo unit I'd heard. So now it's on repeat, and I'm waiting...
Something interesting to note: the feelings I had about the Ref 2.2 being warm, and natural, and analogue like, and being emotionally connected and involved with the music, and very musical, and wanting to keep listening - well, no-one had mentioned this to me at all, had read no reviews, this one dealer just suggested I give it a listen, and that's it, no real preamble on it. An hour ago, I read professional reviews that said EXACTLY the same things I had observed during audition re emotional connection, involvement, natural warmth, wanting to keep listening etc etc. Guys, girls, it's no hype. Can't wait for the burn-in to finish, out of the box it doesn't have that, in fact it sounded a bit boomy - but as I say, the demo unit had only 40 hours or a bit less, and it had all those yummy sounds happening. Maybe it isn't for everyone, but I bet it's a GREAT choice for many. To sum up, if you would like to LOVE the music you listen to, not the player itself and electronic trickery, give this unit an audition. I have to say it again, it's the FIRST time I have auditioned a player and just plain FORGOT to analyse it 'cos I got so wrapped up in how much I love this album etc - just heard the music without wanting or trying to analyse it, and not wanting to stop listening to it, and regretting having to change discs because I was enjoying it so much!
I know I've given this player a big rap - but it's worth it! Make sure the demo unit has been broken in a bit though - I made the dealer break in both the Primare and the Consonance for the 40 hours before I listened, don't be shy to ask the dealer to do so if it hasn't had some hours on the unit yet - you have a right to know what you'll be buying before you splash the cash. Has plenty of detail by the way, without making the mistake of over-detail, which gets ridiculous, and is artificial, not to mention fatiguing and detracting from overall listening pleasure.
I've had my 2.2 for a week now (150 hours) and so far so good. I'm using the stock cord, and I have it plugged directly into my PS Audio HCA-2, also with the stock cord. I want to get used to the sound as is, so upgrades will be more apparent. This combination sounds better than anything that I've had, or anything in the local shops. -- Hard to believe that it can keep getting better, with more burn in, and a PC upgrade!
Haven't had a chance to listen with the balanced outs yet. I do wish that the volume control worked on the XLR side. I will be looking for a pre now to try it that way.
My search for a source is over!
Just a little note to add on from my rave (firstname.lastname@example.org) nearly a year ago. Get a new power cord, the difference is VAST compared to the stock cord (and even with the stock cord the Ref 2.2 is wonderful), when this gem is connected using a good audiophile cord - I just got one a week ago and WOW...and make sure you get a Ref 2.2 which has the factory option Auricap not Solen capacitors, the Auricap capacitors in the tubed output stage give so much more detail and clarity than the Solens. The Auricap IS an official Opera Audio option, the extra cost (minor) is well worth it - more nimble and extended bass, more detail and transparency overall. My unit I bought with the Solens, this was before I found out about the Auricap option and had it upgraded a few months later, so I had plenty of listening time to compare the two, and I haven't looked back since. Check with your dealer which capacitors their stock is, the wait for the Auricap version is worth it if they have to order one in for you.