Review: Musical Fidelity SACD/CD KW CD Player

Category: Digital

Today I received the Musical Fidelity SACD/CD KW player. I am quite delighted with the very smooth and revealing sound. Great transparency and air. It has completely solved my problem. It was not my totally hard-surfaced gigantic room, nor the IRS Infinity Beta speakers. It was the Sony SCD-777ES player that was the problem.
Academic information: The equalization is entirely different than my Sony SCD-777ES. The Sony required me to attenuate the treble on the speaker adjustment at the speaker to its lowest level. (There is no frequency or equalization adjustment on the Musical Fidelity KW.) The new player was just the opposite. No matter high I turn up the treble on the speaker adjustment the sound remains delightfully soft and smooth. I now keep the treble at its highest level.

Playing CD through it is great. Although It does not achieve SACD sound, (I do not believe those that say it is possible to achieve SACD sound from a CD player) I am surprised that the sound is substantially improved in all regards compared to the Sony CD output. I checked it out with many of my previously unplayable CDs (terrible sound). The Musical Fidelety player is unique in that it has both a solid state and tube output. Although the solid state was excellent, I preferred the tube sound, it being unquestionably a better sound. In SACD mode it clearly outdistanced the Sony . The door and slide-out mechanism on the Sony is far superior.

I would have preferred the CD drawer to open fully rather than 90%. The loading although faster than the Sony is moderately slow.

You cannot choose whether it plays in CD or SACD mode. I cannot however fault the sound. The appearance of the unit is impressive. Value-wise I think it is terrific. I was prepared to spend a much larger amount to get this level of performance.

It is a very heavy unit (0ver 50 pounds) and appears to be built like a tank.

I will not be taking advantage of the dealer's offer to take it back if I was not pleased.

I hope this review is useful.

Paul Sandy Cooper

Associated gear
Audio Research Amp and pre-amp. Infinity IRS Beta speakers

Similar products
Sony SCD 777ES
Dear Paul

I have the kw sacd player and i use it on KW 500 integrated amp. I have a problem the sounf is bright. detailed, clear but so sharp that it hurts my ear. my speakers are eggleston andra. I don't know what to do with this player.

any suggestions?
It seems that some of the Musical Fidelity player share this trait. To get the sound tailored to your liking you are going to have to experiment with various interconnects and power cords. Although on the power cord I eventually returned to the stock MF power cord. I found that the Tara Labs RSC interconnects worked best for my application.

Once you get a MF CD Player dialed in. it is just magical.