Review: Lindemann D680 CD Player

Category: Digital

I recently purchased through Audiogon a Lindemann D680 CD/HDCD/SACD player that upsamples CD/HDCD and also plays SACDs. This German-made player is truly reference. I compared vinly to regular CDs and am amazed at how closely the Lindemann out of the box gets to vinyl ("Muddy Waters folk singer" -CD and 180 gram vinyl, Oscar Peterson - "We Get Requests"-- CD and vinyl). Red Rose "Live at Sandy's
"SACD, you could hear individual ice cubes clinking in the background at times. On opera and classical, massed voices and strings are clearly articulated with lots of air and space and "hair raising palpability." Extended highs, full, controlled bass. Male and female voices life size and without any hint of distortion, contraction, or emphasis -- just natural with the correct articulation and projection of a live performance. Red Rose "The Art of the Fugue" SACD as reproduced on the Lindemann D680 brought the listener into the entire venue. I listen to pipe organ very Sunday, and the Lindemann is the closest yet to that experience. I have only been listening for a few days! I just wanted to let other music lovers know of this great player.

Associated gear
Pass Labs X-1 preamp
Music Reference RM9MKII-newly retubed
Sota Comos V5, Graham 2.2, Benz Ruby2
HMS Gran Finale Top Match, Nordost Quattro Fil, SPM speaker cables, Accoustic Zen interconnects

Similar products
Sony DVP9000ES, Wadia 830
How can you listen without speakers? :)

Welcome, you are obviously a brand new user and as this is your first post, it is quite a strong statement.
For what you have in store, see my review on AA.
I've not heard of this brand before, so thanks for the heads-up. Now, why is it that so many A'gon reviewers and thread-heads seem to forget to list their speakers when posting about their systems? It's like speakers are the only component people forget to list if they forget anything. I can remember almost doing this myself once. There must be some kind of underlying psychological reason for this, but I'm not sure what it could be...
I may be new to Audiogon, but I have been listening and tweaking for a long, long time. My statements were not made lightly nor without some experience and reference points. I only wanted to share with others, who must make their own choices and decisions. I had the privilege last Friday to hear Vivaca Genaux in live recital and later listed to her newest CD "Arias for Farinelli." The Lindemann did not disappoint, and was amazingly accurate in reproducting her voice, timbre and phrasing. My speakers are Snell Type A, which I purchased new in 1977 from one of Peter Snell's first dealers. They have been "maintained" by the factory, and earlier this year the woofers were again reconed and revoiced. I also use Furman Power Conditioning, their AR1215 voltage regulator and IT1210 Balance Power conditioning units.
A Lindemann D680 was shipped to me today with expected arrival date of Thursday the 24th.. It has only about 100 hours on it so I expect to suffer through some days of break in before making any comments.

I plan on a review of this unit as soon as I feel I am capable of making a fair evaluation.
Al Porter buying digital???

Good response Norm.

No, just a test in prep for a review. I would love to buy something like the Lindemann or the Audio Aero, but hesitate to invest when I have so much tied up in analog.

I guess if the Lindemann blew me away I would have to rethink my position. I have tried literally dozens of top digital rigs and although there are major differences I choose to stay with my inexpensive Sony 9000 and invest in additional vinyl software.

In an ideal test, I would love to hear the Lindemann, Audio Aero, Accuphase and Audio Note paired up with a CEC transport.

The CEC / Audio Note is the most analog I have heard to date, but admit I have not heard the Audio Aero or Lindemann (yet).

I promise to keep an open mind.

Which CEC and which Audio Note were you most impressed with?

It was the original (now discontinued) CEC-TL1 and Audio Note DAC3.1.
Al, I agree with you about the virtues of the Audio Note DAC and CEC transports. I had the CEC TL0 MkII Improved and the Audio Note DAC 4.1x Signature. Actually I still own the AN although I do not have it to compare with the Lindemann. The AN is in UK being repaired; a long story.

My Lindemann has been playing continually for the last 8 days. It will get better for about the first 6 days. You have to breakin both the cd and sacd portions.
Yes, break-in does improve on overall musicality, dynamics and liquidity (if there are such words). Upgrading factory-provided power cords also makes some sonic improvements, even with power conditioning and balanced A/C power, which I didn't expect. Sound reproduction by the Lindemann D680 now defies words or descriptions. You must experience it for yourself.
I am anxious to hear what folks have to say about this player. It would be especially helpful to all, I think, if the thread contributors that have listened to the Lindemann could compare it, if possible, to other players they have had experience with. I personally am most interested in a comparison to Audio Aero or Audiomecca or any other top rated player out there. I'm sure the d680 sounds great...but in what way and compared to what is my question. Thanks.
I agree with Avnut- it would be great to see a side-by-side comparison with other top players. Regarding digital, I owned the Capitole Mk I for about a year and a half. It did some things very well- i.e. a wonderful midrange, but ultimately found transport/dac combo far superior on a number of paramters. The Lindemann may be the new kid on the block, but until I could hear it myself and compare to my current digital setup- Esoteric (Teac) transport/Audionote Dac, it remains just that- a compelling review, but a good one none the less!
I cannot fully comply with your desired comparison. I have compared the Lindemann playing cds with a Accustic Arts Drive 1 and Zanden 5000 Mk II dac. It is very close contest despite the two divergent philosophies of these two companies. Zanden uses the old 16 bit Philip 1541 chip and no brickwall filter. The Lindemann on cds upsamples to 192 24 bits. The Zanden has smoother and sweeter midrange. The Lindemann has superior bass and much more extended highs. It is quieter and gives a much wider soundstage and more sense that you are in the recording studio.

All of this is for cds. When you put sacds on the Lindemann, there is no question either of the superiority of sacds or that the Lindemann far exceeds the sacd players of the past. It is not just better but eerily real. I have heard many sacd players, including the various Marantz, Sony, and Accuphase units. None even approaches the Lindemann. I bought this unit on the strength of a German review and comments that I heard from people who had heard it in Europe. It was the best decision I have made.
I just got my Lindemann D680 yesterday, have only had about four hours to listen to it. But it is spectacular. I have replaced the Sony SCD-1, itself a wonderful player, but quite honestly it can't touch the Lindemann. Before the Sony, it was a Meridian 508-24, again a wonderful player but not in the same universe with the Lindemann. The bass extension is as wonderful as I've ever heard from any front end, including vinyl, and the articulation and rhythm of the thing has to be heard to be believed.
Redbook CDs sound like SACD's, SACD's sound just glorious. Aside from my Headroom Blockhead headphone amp, I've never experienced any audio equipment that made it so easy to hear what the composer/conductor/musician was thinking.
As for associated equipment, for what its worth, its a Red Rose Affirmation integrated amp, Revel F-50 speakers, Nottingham Hyperspace turntable with VandenHul Colibri cartridge, HMS Grand Finale speaker cables, Monster HTPS Reference Power Source, Headroom Blockhead headphone amp and Sennheiser 600 Clou cabled headphones.
The most astonishing thing about the Lindemann is the naturalness, the solidity, the ease of its presentation, so different from anything else I've heard. And that's why my Sony SCD-1 is for sale. DJM
Isolate your analog power supply with either Aurios or Valid Points. Try different powercord for both analog and digital. They make a big difference. The Lindemann on the new Badboy from Neuance is spectacular. Your player will get better for the first three weeks. Great product!
Are still as impressed with the sound quality of your Lindemann compared to vinyl, now that you've lived with it for a few months.

Yes! It is even better now with CD and HDCD with upgraded power cables when compared to vinyl. SACD is extremely close, and while vinyl is very involving, I don't have to jump up every 20 minutes. I only got into CDs in the last four years or so, so most of my collection is well recorded at 20 bit or higher. I prefer some CDs and HDCDs to multichannel SACDs, as the mixdown to two channel doesn't seem to work as well as a well recorded two channel. The Lindemann is an absolute joy, and I still put on familar CDs and find new enjoyment and music that I didn't recall from even a couple of months ago. My only problem now is finding enough time to listen to all the music I have. By the way, another fun tweak for my listening room was the Shakti Hallographic Soundfield Optimer, which seems improbable but does work.
I have been away and didn't check Audiogon for a few days so please accept my apology in responding late.
It's shouldn't be so difficult to find good digital, but apparantly it takes work. I've heard about a Meitner DAC based system recently, where an audiophile liked the digital almost as much as vinyl, but I don't have first hand experience with that component.
Nevertheless, it is encouraging to hear your comments. I am enjoying my vinyl, but woulds love to add great digital.