Review: Myryad MCD 200 CD Player

Category: Digital

Myryad is UK based manufacturer of high end audio. Primairly built in the UK as opposed to some UK gear built offshore.The MCD 200 CDP was one of the genesis products from Myryad and was a part of the M series.

Myryad Systems came together in the partnership of Chris Short, former owner and managing director of Mordaunt-Short, Chris Evans, a founder and director of Arcam, and David Evans, a veteran of NAD. The M Series components are their top of the line components, and put forth a luxury look and feel,that far surpass the competition. These are not entry level audio components.

Critical acclaim by the European audio journals put the MCD 200 on the map. U.S. distribution was a somewhat sparse. However the Myryad line was carried by a few high end bricks and mortar salons.

Clearly from the outset that Myryad was to be a mid high end audio manufacturer. Also available were a tuner,preamp,amp and integrated amp sharing the same cosmetics. Of late it appears that Myryad has decided to go head to head in the market place with Rega,Arcam,Musical Fidelity and NAD. Producing products that appeal to the casual audiophile as well as the jaded mavens among us,of which includes me.

The Myryad MCD 200 is an exemplary redbook CD player, featuring 24 bit 192kHz super linear dual dac.128 times oversampling,linear phase digital filter, with 6 pole active analog filter. Solidly built to a very high standard, but not in the leaque of a Classe,Krell or Levinson CD player. But nonetheless more than acceptable. This unit is designed and built in the U.K. Below are the specifications of the MCD 200.

Digital-Analog Converter: 24 bit delta-sigma
Regulated Power Supplies: Eleven,each purpose designed
Audio Filter op-amps: Dual low noise FET
Audio Output: DC-coupled,servo stabilised
Frequency Response: 20Hz-20kHz plus/minus 0.3dB
THD: 1kHz 0.0025%
Signal Noise Ratio: A weighted 104dB
Output Level at odB: 2.3Vrms
Digital Output: Coax 75 ohm to SPIDF std
Power Input: IEC Connector
RCA Inputs: Tiffany Plated
Dimensions: 17.1 inches wide x 3.7 inches height x 11.2 inches depth.
Weight: 12.3 pounds
Face Plate: 1/4 inch (6 MM)

CDs used for evaluation.

Ben Webster At The Renaissance (Contemporary Records OJCCD-390-2)
The Royal Ballet Gala Performances (Classic Compact Discs CDSCD 6065)
Peter And The Wolf - Boston Symphony Orchestra (Sony SK 64079)
Jurassic Park Motion Picture Soundtrack (MCAD 10859)
We Get Requests - The Oscar Peterson Trio (Verve 810047-2)
You Won't Forget Me - Shirley Horn (Verve 847482-2)
Sneakers Motion Picture Soundtrack (Columbia DIDP 078100)
On Every Street - Dire Straits (Warner Brothers 26680-2)
Trio Jeepy - Branford Marsalis (Columbia CK44199)
Paris Jazz Concert - Louis Armstrong (RTE 1001-2)
Braveheart Motion Picture Soundtrack - London Symphony Orchestra (London LC0171)
Patriot Games Motion Picture Soundtrack (RCA 07863 66051-2)
Hook Motion Picture Soundtrack (Epic EK 4888)
Highlights From The Plugged Nickel - Miles Davis (Columbia CK 67377)
Private Investigations Best Of Dire Straits (HDCD) (Warner Bros 49891-2)
Straight Up - Bob James Trio (Warner Bros 945956-2)
Land Of Giants - McCoy Tyner (Telarc 83576)
New York Reunion - McCoy Tyner (Chesky 5173324)
Jazz Roots - McCoy Tyner (Telarc CD 83507)
Nicks Bump - Ben Sidran (Liquid LIQ12139)
Tiger's Baku - Tiger Okoshi (JVC 6010-2)
Deep Into It - Larry Carlton (Warner Bros 9 48006-2)

Set up was straight forward and no problems or glitches encountered. Plug in the power cord to the IEC connector, attach the RCA analog cables. This unit is mean't to be powered 24/7, the on/off switch is on the back of the MCD 200,while the front switch is standby. I like that, a very nice touch there. CD players just sound better when continually powered. In fact I found over the years solid state devices have a better sonic signature when powered 24/7.

In a head to head comparison, the MCD 200 clearly exceeds the NAD 542,Arcam 72,73 and 82 Models, and the Cambridge 640 V2 and Rotel 1072. This is not mean't to disparage these models. These are very good CD players in their range but sonically fall far short of the MCD 200. Further listening evaluation using a Classe 1 CDP,Krell 280 and Theta Miles, at this point the MCD 200 was not quite as good sonically as these CD players. But with that being said the difference was marginal and the MCD 200 was deemed acceptable compared to these players. It is apparent with additional listening tests that the Myryad MCD 200 competed and oft times exceeded the Rega Jupiter,Creek CD 50 MKII and the Musical Fidelity A 3.5 and 308. This area appears where the designers decided to have the MCD 200 to compete in.And they succeded quite well.The MCD 200 is built to perform with these other stellar U.K. designed and built in U.K., single chassis CD Players.

The Myryad MCD 200 exhibits a musical signature free from grain and edge. A wonderful midrange and one of the most well defined bass signatures I have heard in a CD Player in this price/performance range.

Do not confuse the MCD 200 to the earlier MCD 100, two totally different units. It appears to me that the MCD 100 was basically an Arcam unit with a different face plate. The MCD 200 by far completely out paces the previous unit.

The front panel of the Myryad MCD 200 is in keeping with a minimalist design. To the far left from viewed from front is the standby switch,(on/off switch located on back)display screen, CD Tray,and to the right of the CD Tray is five additional buttons that preform open/close,play/pause,stop, and skip/scan. This player can perform a wide variety of other functions only accessible from the remote.

Another very nice touch is the addition of TEXT read for those CD's that are encoded with TEXT. Reads the title selection for each track.

The remote is of the prototypical plastic case variety,fits the hand quite nicely. Operates all the functions described above, as well as several functions only accessible via the remote.


The handset supplied with the MCD 200 has been ergonomically designed to be easy and comfortable to use.

The seven keys towards the top right of the handset (STOP, PAUSE, PLAY, SKIP, SCAN) function in a similar way to their counterparts on the front panel. The green STANDBY key at the bottom left of the handset operates in exactly the same way as the STANDBY button on the front panel.

Play and Pause: The handset has separate keys for PLAY and PAUSE. Pressing PLAY from STOP mode will cause the disc to start playing. Subsequent pressing of PLAY whilst during PLAY mode will have no effect. If PAUSE is pressed during PLAY mode, then the player goes into PAUSE mode. The player can be returned to PLAY mode either by pressing PAUSE again or by pressing PLAY.

Pressing PAUSE in STOP mode will set the player into PAUSE mode with the disc spinning and the laser aligned at the beginning of the first track. When PLAY or PAUSE is then pressed the music will start playing instantly.

Skip: The remote control SKIP keys carry out exactly the same SKIP function as the front panel keys, but they cannot perform the SCAN function. If one of the remote SKIP keys is pressed and held down continuously the player will skip repeatedly from track to track (forward or backward as appropriate).

Scan: These keys allow direct access to the SCAN function which can also be accomplished by pressing and holding down one of the front panel SKIP/SCAN keys.

Shuffle: When the SHUFFLE key is pressed 'SHUFFLE' will be shown briefly in the display and the SHUFFLE icon will light at the bottom of the display. When PLAY is pressed the tracks on the disc will be played in random order.
In SHUFFLE mode, when any track ends, the remaining unplayed tracks are 'shuffled' for about a second and a random new track selected. Pressing SKIP will cause the player to shuffle and select a new track. Pressing SKIP will cause the player to re-start the current track. It is not possible to skip back to the previous selection.

Pressing SHUFFLE again returns the player to normal operation.

Time: (including CD Text) When there is no CD text information present on the disc the TIME key controls only what

is shown in the time (MIN and SEC) section of the display. During normal play and in pause mode the display shows the elapsed time of the track currently being played. If TIME is pressed once, the remaining time of the current track is displayed. The remaining time of the current track is not indicated for tracks numbered 25 or greater. If TIME is pressed again, the remaining time of the whole disc is displayed and the track number is blanked. When remaining time is displayed, the time is preceded by a '-' sign. A third press of the TIME key returns the display to the normal indication of elapsed track time.

If TIME is pressed in STOP mode, the total number of tracks and the total disc time are displayed (i.e. the TOC) for a few seconds.

When there is CD text information on the disc the symbol 'CD TEXT' will illuminate at the bottom right of the display and the TIME key will have additional functions.
While playing a track, the display will normally show the track title.
If the TIME key is pressed the display will change to show the elapsed time of the current track. A second press will display the remaining time for the current track and a third press will display the remaining time for the whole disc. Finally, a fourth press will return to the track title display

If TIME is pressed in STOP mode, the display will switch from displaying the disc title to displaying the artist (and 'ART' will illuminate at the top right of the display). A second press will display the TOC (the total number of tracks and total disc time). After a few seconds, or if TIME is pressed again, the display will revert to showing the disc title again.

Repeat A single press of the REPEAT key puts the player into REPEAT ALL mode and 'REPEAT' will be shown briefly in the display. When the disc has played to the end it will immediately return to the first track and start playing again - ad infinitum. When the REPEAT key is pressed a second time, REPEAT 1 mode is engaged and 'REPEAT l' will be shown briefly in the display. Only the current track will then be repeated. A third press ofthe REPEAT key returns the player to normal operation. The repeat mode (REPEAT or REPEAT 1) is also shown by the small icons at the bottom of the display.

Track number keys: Direct access to any track is possible using the numbered keys on the remote handset.
To play a specific track (e.g. track 26) press the track number keys '2' then '6'. After the second key is pressed the player will play track 26. If only one key (e.g. key '2') is pressed, the player will pause briefly before playing track 2.

DIM: (Calendar and Display Off) The DIM key may be used to activate the track calendar or to switch the display off while a disc is playing. The first press of the DIM key will switch on the track calendar at the right hand side of the display. The calendar displays the number of the current track and all the other tracks that have not yet been played. It can be particularly useful when programming, when it indicates only the numbers of the tracks already programmed.

A second press of the DIM key will switch the player into DISPLAY OFF mode and turn the display off. A third press will turn the display on again. When the display is switched off, operation of any of the player's controls - on the front panel or remote control - will cause the display to switch on for about 2 seconds, before it switches off again.

If there is no disc playing (i.e. disc in STOP or PAUSE mode or no disc) the first press of the DIM key will not blank the display but it will still switch the player into Display Off mode - indicated briefly by 'DISPLAY OFF' in the display. In this mode, when a disc is played the display will switch off after about 2 seconds. The Display Off mode can be cancelled at any time by pressing the DIM key again.

Program An individual compilation of tracks may be played by using the PROGRAM function.
Up to 24 tracks can be included in a program in any order - including repeats of the same track if desired. The procedure for storing a program is as follows:

In STOP mode first press the PROGRAM key to enter Program mode. The display will indicate PROGRAM briefly and illuminate PROGRAM at the bottom of the display.
Next, using the SKIP keys (or the SKIP/SCAN buttons on the front panel)

Select the first track you wish to program. The word 'STEP' will illuminate at the top of the display with the number '1' below it and the selected track number will flash. When you have selected the correct track number press the PROGRAM key again to store this track as step 1 of the program. Then select the next track number and store it by pressing PROGRAM - and so on. The display will show the track number to the left, the program step number in the centre, and the total program time on the right .

The same procedure is repeated until all the desired tracks have been programmed - up to the maximum of 24. If an attempt is made to program further tracks, the display will briefly indicate PROGRAM FULL. The total program time will not be indicated if it exceeds 99 minutes and 59 seconds.

The programmed selection can then be played by pressing PLAY on the remote handset, or PLAY/PAUSE on the front panel.
AIl the other controls function as normal, but SHUFFLE is not available. The display will indicate track number, index and time as during normal play, but PROGRAM will remain illuminated to indicate PROGRAM play. The TIME function allows display of the remaining track time or the remaining time of program.

Check To confirm a program in STOP mode, press the CHECK key and the firsr-programmed track, STEP 1, will be displllyed - as in Figure 5. Each time the CHECK key is pressed, the display will move on to the next track in the program. Once the last programmed track is reached, a further press of CHECK will cause the display to read 'END' briefly and then return to the last program step. A further press of CHECK will return to step 1. CHECK may also be used during PROGRAM play, when the first press will indicate the track currently being played.

Clear: If, while programming a sequence of tracks, you make an error, just press CLEAR to erase the last track programmed. To erase a track from the middle of a program, first select the track using the CHECK key as above, then press CLEAR to erase the displayed track.To erase an entire program, press STOP to go,into STOP mode and then press the CLEAR key and hold it down for about 2 seconds until the display reads 'CLEAR'.

Make no mistake this is a thoroughly modern single chassis CD Player of exemplary build and sonic signature, that is not often found. In the arena of excellent UK designed and built CD players the Myryad MCD 200 is at the top of the list in my opinion. And certainly nothing I have heard from the asian basin, based upon price/performance ratio,comes even remotely close to this stellar performer.

In my opinion the release of the Myryad MCD 200, caused quite a stir and more than likely caused Rega,Creek,NAD,Arcam and Musical Fidelity to introduce new models to compete with this upstart player from Myryad.If I were Arcam CEO John Dawson, I'd be keeping a close watch on ex-partner, Chris Evans, and Myryad, they are raising the bar at this level and in a significant manner.

At this price point we come to expect at least 95 percent of the performance and sonics of the most high end esoteric brands. The MCD 200 does not dissappoint and more than delivers its price/performance ratio. No it is not a Wadia in sheeps clothing. But its outright musicality is nothing short of mesmerizing and it is very hard not to get spoiled by the sonics of this player. If Classical or Jazz is you bag, then you have found your CD Player. Contemprary Rock n Roll is a little laid back in overall presentation. With that being said it does have an uncanny way with Rock n Roll. The Dire Straits album Private Investigation was a joy to behold on this player.

The Audiogon Bluebook puts this as a $2,000.00 player with an used average value of $1,240.00. I am not sure if the retail price is accurate. However the MCD 100 did list for $1,295.00 so the MCD 200 MSRP could be correct. As far as a used value goes the $1,240.00 seems a little steep, by about 20 percent. In my opinion the used value should be about $800.00 to $1,000.00 depending on condition and whether or not it has box,manual and remote. At that price it is an outstanding used value. The $1,240.00 seems to be a bit of a stretch.

In conclusion I find that this is a very fine redbook CD player that most any audiophile would be totally satisified with. My only caveat is the lack of a toslink output, although it has a Coax output. Nice tiffany plated RCA connects though. Not quite in the leaque of Krell,Levinson,Copland,Theta, and Muse lacks that last inth degree of resolution,but then again the price differential is quite substantial. As far as UK designed and built CD Players the MCD 200 is clearly a top five contender. And its cosmetics are striking,the soft brushed aluminium face plate is more of a pewter finish, nicely done. Full metal chassis with a textured surface,another nice touch there. I cannot find one issue be it cosmetics,operation, or sonics that should keep one from owning this player. The MCD 200 stands alone on its own merits and is a solid consideration for anyone seeking an exceptional redbook CD player.

The Myryad MCD 200 has the prowess to impress and it does so.

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Rega,NAD,Creek,Arcam,Musical Fidelity,Onix,Classe,Krell,Levinson,etc