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Product Review
 

Aurum Acoustics Integris CDP CD Player

Part I

April, 2006

Jason Victor Serinus

 

Specifications:

 

Dimensions and Weight

 

Front panel width

Main body width

Depth

Overall Height

Net weight

Shipping Weight

 

483mm19.0"

458mm18.0"

355mm14.0"

112mm4.4"

13.2kg

14.5kg

 

29 lbs

32 lbs

 

AC Power Requirement

 

Frequency/phase

Voltage

Consumption

 

50/60Hz single phase

100V / 120V / 230V

20 watts

 

Input/Output Impedance

Inputs:

 

Analog unbalanced

Analog balanced

Digital SPDIF / BNC

Digital AES/EBU

25.0k

48.0k each phase

75

110

Outputs:

 

Analog unbalanced

Analog balanced

Digital SPDIF

 

75

75 each phase

75

Maximum Analog Signal Levels

Outputs driven from internal CD for discs encoded to 0dBfs and volume control set to +20dBu:

 

Unbalanced

Balanced

Outputs will never clip

7.75 Vrms

15.5 Vrms

 

Outputs driven from external source into analog Inputs:

 

Unbalanced

Balanced

Maximum before clipping

8.5 Vrms

17.0 Vrms

 

Nominal Analog Input Gain

12dB

 

Additional 12dB trim available in user-settings

Inputs before overload maximum analog signal level accepted from an external source:

 

Unbalanced

Balanced

5.0 Vrms

10.0 Vrms



US $10,800 / CDN $12,000

Aurum Acoustics
 

www.aurumacoustics.com

Introduction

You never know what you may encounter at CES. The well-organized displays and new products from the big players in the Kingdom of the High-End always attract the bulk of attention, with dealers making a special point to check out products from manufacturers who have received glowing reviews. But there are also a host of smaller companies, some of which are new upstarts hoping to break into the admittedly finite audiophile market, whose products await discovery in the proverbial room next door.

On my first day at CES 2006, I happened upon the Aurum Acoustics room in the Alexis Park. It had been a bleary morning, with my room-to-room treasure hunt for the most part turning up lots of organized noise occasionally punctuated by little bursts of what might by some stretch of the imagination be termed music. I was ready for a revelation I was longing for it and Aurum Acoustics provided it in spades.

As I soon learned from Derrick Moss, the personable young President and designer of Aurum Acoustics products, the company manufactures an entire, integrated system whose components are tuned to each other. In addition to the Integris CDP CD player/preamp and the Integris Active 300B active loudspeaker with external stereo tri-amplifier, Aurum Acoustics offers an equipment rack and two different power cables. (The power cables are the Golden Ratio cords manufactured by Cardas, optimized for either the Aurum Acoustics Integris CDP or Active 300B). Should the company ever release is its own line of speaker cables, interconnects, power treatment, and vibration isolation devices, it will supply everything one needs to reproduce music with startling fidelity.

I was pretty amazed by what I heard. Auditioning some of my favorite CDs, I discovered the sound remarkably transparent and beautifully extended on top and bottom. It also sounded wonderful, simply wonderful. Timbre was true, voices and instruments were alive, and soundstage depth and width were thrilling. The sound was liquid, flowing with an ease usually heard only in live performance in superior acoustic environments.

Because one infrequently encounters good sound in CES hotel rooms, I was especially delighted to discover a new company that seemed to have its act together. If I had not been on a mission visit a ton of manufacturers, line up new products for review, and say hello to as many of my old friends as possible I would have gladly kicked back and spent hours in the room.

After listening for a while, I explained to Derrick that, as much as I thought reviewing his entire system would make for a wonderful adventure, I preferred to leave my reference system mostly intact and review a single item. Since my reference source consists of a highly modified Sony transport and the Theta Gen. VIII DAC/preamp, comparing my front end to the Integris CD/preamp made the most sense.

Once back in Oakland, I held off contacting Derrick, having learned from prior CESs that it often takes manufacturers weeks to settle in after the show. Before I could even get to the pile of cards and literature, Derrick surprised me with an e-mail. It turned out that an Integris player was currently in Oakland for evaluation by Alon of Magico, and was available for me to review if I could turn it over fast before it continued on to LA. With a deep bow to Albert Von Schweikert, whose VR-4jrs have been awaiting review forever and ever and are next on the list (hallelujah, hallelujah), I leapt at the opportunity to review the Integris CDP.

Features of the Integris CDP

The Integris CDP can function both as a CD player (it plays CDs, but not SACD or DVD-A) and as a preamp. The dimmable front panel vacuum fluorescent display informs the user of preamp settings, CD transport playback, volume level, etc. The VFD's intensity can be adjusted by 25% increments between 100% intensity and 0%.

The player offers both single track and full CD repeat, four options for time settings (elapsed track time, remaining track time, elapsed total CD time, and remaining total CD time). By the way one depresses the scan button, one can choose between 3X and 15X scanning within a track. All other functions you'd expect from a CD player are available save for programming. This is a serious omission, one that would certainly affect my purchasing decision.

Click Here to Go to Part II.

Copyright 2006 Secrets of Home Theater & High Fidelity

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