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I am using a retro mod Hafler DH500 from Musical Concepts and a similar moded Apt Holman from Tom Holman and Ed at Audiographic.
Speakers are VMPS IIa/R Limited Editions.
Q#1: Do I refurbish an old California Audio Labs Icon MK II CD player or simply buy a new unit? If restore the Cal Audio - by whom? If the new route, which one and why?
What is the cost to refurbish the CAL Icon? For those monies, what could you get? After the refurbish, will it have a new laser and last for a long time?
I had a CAL DX2 a few years ago that I really liked and also have an Oppo DV970. It's cheap, sounds very good, and Oppos don't seem to break down.
Is this posting in the wrong category? Very limited responses so far (1). Maybe my ramblings need some coherence.
Thanks Lou for bring things into a clearer view regarding investment and return. You are correct, sir.
Others out there please give me a hand with what I see today as an assemblage of opinion disconnected from years of previous research / observations. Costs are obscenely high for equipment and what is 'heard' not in alignment with what I have learned to date (albeit w/ a 15 year gap).
Help me get back up to speed or at least understand.
I can't believe it's a sound investment to put any money into the CAL, because the transport will give out sooner rather than later, and then it will be unusable. Better to invest in something new(er).
So general advice w.r.t. that and other components: start new thread(s) posing specific questions in new terms. E.g. looking for new or used CD player between $X and $Y. OR: recommendations for someone to refurbish my amplifier manufactured by ABC.
"Q#1: Do I refurbish an old California Audio Labs Icon MK II CD player or simply buy a new unit? If restore the Cal Audio - by whom? If the new route, which one and why?"
I agree with twoleftears in not putting money into the CAL. If it were me, I would pick up a NEW (or at least one not more than a couple years old) DAC & use the CAL as a transport for however long it lasts.
What does something like a streamer and Tidal Subscription cost? Is that anything like a Squeeze Box? I'm very old school myself with a vinyl, CD, and Cassette collection - no 8 tracks though - Ha!
I've noticed that since I got rid of all the cd jewel cases and have put them into case logic notebooks to take up less room, that I don't listen to cds as much. I also have Spotify Premium on an old Iphone that I use. How much better is Tidal then Spotify?
I'm using a very inexpensive Oppo DV970 dvd/cd player that sounds really great. For $99, you can't go wrong and I've heard that the Oppos are indestructible.
Okay ... so its agreed. I should look at the new Marantz SA-10 to replace the Cal ICON.
Now can you help me understand about the resurgence I found when returning to VINYL !?
I have an old TD126 MkII w/ a Stax Unipivot but that is only for TRYING tom transcribe the old records into digital.
Vinyl? Why? What happened?
Could it be the non-existent volume wars on the vinyl era?