I tested the MCD201 with a
BAT VK-5i preamplifier (XLR), McIntosh MC1201 power amplifiers, and Carver
Amazing Mark IV ribbon speakers. Cables were Nordost.
This is a
new Telarc SACD release, called The Big Picture (Telarc
SACD-60437). It is a compilation of movie themes.
All of the
tracks are wonderful, but in particular, I loved the detail
that I could hear in the Apollo 13 takeoff. The
engine sounds have very sharp transients (it is liquid
oxygen and fuel essentially exploding).
new Telarc SACD release, Russian Nights (Telarc
SACD-60657) has some thunderous classical music from the
likes of Borodin, Moussorgsky, and Tchaikovsky.
"Procession of the Sardar", from Caucasian Sketches
(Prokofiev), flute and oboe were easily distinguishable,
even with cymbals going in the background.
Dances", from Prince Igor (Borodin), also had
some sections with oboe and clarinet, and with harp and
violins, all of which were distinguishable.
from Capriccio Expagnol, Opus 34
(Rimsky-Korsakov) has full orchestra, with triangle -
delicate but discernible - in the background. Tough to
do, but McIntosh can do.
canto gitano", also from Capriccio, has drum roll with
brass. There was no midrange congestion. Again, a
What I listened for in this SACD (Telarc SACD-60658)
were the choir voices when the violins were playing
("Sequence: Dies Irae"). The vocalizations were not
muddied by the strings. Perfect.
Marche Funebre, full orchestra was playing, with a
huge gong and kettle drum introduction. All were
lack of midrange congestion is, to me, one of the
best features of high resolution audio.
Ah! One of my favorite Telarc discs, now in SACD
form (transcoded from 50 kHz original).
Copland Fanfare for the Common Man is just about
the toughest music I know. It is not compressed
at all, and the bass drum and gong they used
Brass instruments could be heard, and
individually distinguished, with all that
crashing and booming in the background. I used
my McIntosh MC1201 power amplifiers here (1200
watt RMS output into 8 ohms), and, for the first
time, it was loud enough to satisfy me without
clipping (it reached 1200 watts output during
Overall, the MCD201 delivers some of the smoothest audio I have ever
heard from a disc player.
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