Review: APL Denon 3910 CD Player

Category: Digital

Phenomenal APL Modified Denon 3910 CD Player
with new AKM D to A converters

I would like to share my impressions of the APL modified Denon 3910. I just got mine back from having the new AKM - D to A converters installed. I now have about 100 hours on it.

First my system (from the source to the speakers):

· APL Modified Denon 3910
· Purist Audio Design Venustas - RCA to XLR interconnect
· Ayre K1x Pre-Amplifier
· Signal Cable - Silver Resolution - XLR to XLR
· Gamut D200 MkII
· PS Audio X Stream bi-wire Speaker Cables
· Martin Logan reQuest Speakers with TRT DynamiCap upgraded caps

I have sought fast and accurate components. My system is very fast and detailed, with excellent sound staging.

Soundstage and Image

I believe that soundstage and image are directly dependent on the speed and accuracy of timing within the source, pre-amp, amp; and effect of the wires on that speed or timing. The more accurate the timing, the more precisely located the image of the instrument. This modified CD player has the widest, deepest soundstage that I have ever heard in a CD player. It also has the most precise instrument location that I have heard. Each instrument has a very natural space around it, with an extremely quiet background to work within. There is no crowding together of the instruments.

Tonal Accuracy

This player portrays each instrument with a very natural character. The tone is accurate, the resonant qualities are consistent with the instruments, and each instrument seems to benefit equally. Some CD players may produce big boomy drums, but hollow and thin horns or strings. Others may present beautiful hi frequency interaction, but bass instruments that do not sound substantial enough. I have also heard others with beautiful reproduction of a triangle, which does not sustain for more than just a brief second.

I have seen live concerts where each musician may be featured individually. With this CD player, you can almost see the spotlight move to the featured instrument, and feel the emotion the musician has put into this special moment in the spotlight. There is no frequency range or instrument that I can hear being reproduced with inappropriate gain, or lack of natural resonance, nor no artificially fat resonant characteristics.

Easy Flow and Hanging Together

One of the elements that has always bothered me with Red Book CD playback, is the lack of smooth playback; or digital qualities. I have always preferred my analog playback for enjoyable listening due to this quality. The work Alex has done here has produced an extremely smooth flowing sound. If you have kids taking music lessons, it doesn’t take long to recognize that practice leads to smooth transitions in chords, and a less staccato effect to the playing. The piece is easier to listen to and follow.

The new AKM D to A converters have really brought the level of improvement that you might see between the piano virtuoso, and a beginner who is hesitant and thinking about what the next note should be. This music flows. It is easily the most enjoyable Red Book listening experience that I have had. The nature of listening now is enjoying the presentation, for the skill of the musicians. There is no sense of missing detail, no sense of compromised instruments, no artificial boundaries on the size of the stage, no constrained area around each musician, and no sense of jumping from digit to digit.

This is the best CD player that I have heard.

An engineer brings the latest and best technology to an application. The excellence of the engineer determines if the product stands out as better than other products. An artist brings the best presentation to the experience. The excellence of the artist determines if the experience is the most enjoyable. Alex has excelled on both counts with this design and implementation. He has brought very artful engineering to this project!

Associated gear
·Purist Audio Design Venustas - RCA to XLR interconnect
·Ayre K1x Pre-Amplifier
·Signal Cable - Silver Resolution - XLR to XLR
·Gamut D200 MkII
·PS Audio X Stream bi-wire Speaker Cables
·Martin Logan reQuest Speakers with TRT DynamiCap upgraded caps

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Musical Fidelity
Welcome to the fanatical following of those who own Alex Peychevs magical digital. Report back as it cotinues to improve with gradual break in . the new AKM dacs are a substantial leap in transparency for this player . It makes it a top contender in digital playback . ...I see you have the Gamut mk2 . Thats a fabulous amp and I am reluctantly letting mine go next week to a friend who wants to move up in the audiophile world. I am going back to tube amps . The Gamut mk 2 amp is stable , has a liquid top end with no trace of glare and has a lush , beautiful midrange . Congrats on the APl player and nice review!