I am not sure if either of these are balanced or analog,but Cary Audio ,Resolution Audio and Wadia offer volume controls on their cdp ,if I am not mistaken.
Jayme, what would you be using for an amp and speakers to feed this volume controlled cdp with?
I have tired this several times..and each time did not like the sonics of a cdp directly into a power amp. Used the Resolution 55, the Levinson 39, two highest-end Sony's and some others..but the sound was always poorer than through a good pre-amp..esp. at low volume levels.
Actually for a minimalist system(needing only 1 set of interconnects) a cdp with a great integrated is the same number of boxes and interconnects as a voulme controlled cdp with a power-amp.
Best of success, Jim
The problems with the audio aero capitole MkII players have been remedied it was a software update, the players work fine- and all bugs have been worked out now. It was the first few batches that had the problems- I still have a P2 chip in mine and find no problems with it, the current standard is the P4 chip. I would not even think twice about trying this CD player, get it in your system and listen, I am SURE you will not have an ounce of trouble. To many(myself included) this player is the benchmark from which others are judged- yes it is that good! The only other player I would consider in this price range would be the Audio Mecca Mephisto II with a passive pre. Happy Holidays ~Tim
With respect to the Accuphase units (I have personally owned the DP-65, DP-75 and now DP-75V), I have never heard of any complaints concerning loss of bit resolution or negative sonic consequences of their digital volume control. It is my understanding that Accuphase also uses the same gain circuitry in their digital preampliers (the DC-300 and now the DC-330). In fact I preferred the sound of my DP-75V running directly to my power amplifier (Rowland Model 10) as opposed to the Rowland Synergy II (with optional battery power supply!). I now own The Accuphase A-50V power amplifier and love this combination. The Accuphase cd players are not balanced designs and in my system the DP-75V sounds better using the single ended outputs.
I must agree with Linkster, as a previous owner of a DC-300 I also experienced none of this bit dropping others have complained about. The audio aero and accuphase sound night and day different how ever and you should listen to both. My only concern with the 75v right now is the fact that it isn't being made any more and its price is going to start to fall if it hasn't already.
BTW Linkster I hope your still enjoying those diamonds! Happy Holidays Linc :)
Chuck- that's very interesting I tried a capitole MkI direct and through a cj art series I and it sounded VERY veiled through the art and much more resolving running direct, I suppose everyone has different synergy in there system. Moral of the story is try it in your system to make sure it will work for you.
Have to throw in my 2c. Having owned several Wadias and an Audio Aero, they are all excellent players. Do not get hung up on the digital attenuation of the Wadia system, it is not an issue in the real world if you adjust the player's max output level to correspond to your typical listening volume (not a difficult thing to do, but requires removing the top cover). Also, do not get hung up on the build issues of the AA, granted it's not in Wadia's league but it's certainly good enough. Like Tireguy said, afaik the chip problems were on the very first units and anything from the MkI 24/192 onward should be fine. As far as preamps go, IMO they are only needed if the output stage in the cdp is not up to snuff, and both Wadia and AA have very good output stages. After having seen a lot of these threads, the people who prefer a preamp over direct are almost always using a tube preamp (I can't think of a single instance otherwise), which tells me that they prefer the added colorations (warmth, ambience, etc.). It all depends on what you like. If your tastes lean this way, use an AA direct, you will not be disappointed.
What about a Levinson 39? Combines the 37 transport, and a 36 DAC (sort of). A fine player by all accoiunts, and has volume control. I also second the motion on an Audiomeca Mephisto II player. Some decent deals on them lately, and nice sounding units they are. Severely underrated - though you'll need a pre amp with one of them.
Karls- I guess I'll be the single instance. I've spent a little time with Wadia direct into amplifiers in a friends system. Once the top-of-the-line Gryphon pre-amp was installed, the sound became much more organic, believeable. Gone was the slight dryness and very fine grain via the Wadia direct. I guess I preferred the added colorations that made it sound more like music and less like a recording;^)
Tireguy, or anyone else, With all the applicable caveats: how would YOU describe the differences between the 75v and the Capitole? I am winnowing my speaker selection down now, no decisions yet; also, for the time being, I'll be using my dinosaur amp, the redoubtable Classé DR-8. Thanks, and Merry Christmas to all (and, again, thanks for all the help!).
Wow! I went through the exact same thing! All most made me go back to records. I looked at everything from Wadia to Audiomeca to Electrocompaniet to 47Labs to Accuphase and on and on. I also will not go ballanced. So I decided to buy a Mark Levinson No.37 transport with a Madrigal 1m mdc rca to rca digital cable. Now I can do what ever I want for a da converter with out ever wishing I had a better transport. I looked at the Big Dog, silver rock at 6k ?? Dont do that. Buy a single input Placette passive and be done with it- I repeat do not spend thousands on a passive if you have not heard Placette.
Jayme- This may raise some conflict but these are my thoughts on the difference between accuphase and audio aero capitole mkII- The accuphase is the best sounding digital out there, it will not dissapoint and it will always be easy on the eyes. The capitole is the most analog CD player going, it will make you want to listen all day and all night long, it isn't the prettiest player out there but it grows on you and now I couldn't imagine using any thing that sounds less analog then the cap. II. And of course you can tweek the sound to your preference with power cords, which on players of this level is a must. I wouldn't be affraid of trying the accuphase due to the digital volume and I surely wouldn't be hesitant about trying the Cap. II because of early software problems- listen to both if at all possible there are Cap. II owners through out the country who would be more then glad to let you hear there units.
Manhandave: Been there, etc. I had the Placette at the same time I had a CEC 2X transport going through Illuminati D-60 to my Dodson 217 MK II. Later, I switched out the Placette (which replaced, and bettered, the Morrison ELAD) for a c-j Premier 14: "brittleness" gone. Also, switched out the CEC: mistake. It's an excellent piece. But, now want to go the cdp route. Thanks---and Merry Christmas!
I second your opinion concerning the Accuphase DP-75V being the best one box redbook player out there.
In reponse to running direct I felt the soundstage lost dimensionality specifically the third dimension (depth). The music became rather sterile and just there especially the symphonies, on chamber music and solos it was OK, but still........not good.
My path is a little different from others, but the results may be similar. I go from CDP, to TacT RCS, EVS DAC, into Sim Audio Moon W-5. Results are spectacular, extreme transparency with no loss of dynamics. I think success in this venture is dependant upon system components synergy and personal tastes. Don't be put off by by those who have tried it and not succeeded.