I tested the CD-3 using a Lamm L2 Reference
Preamplifier, Lamm M2.2 Power Amplifiers, BAT VK-5i Preamplifier, McIntosh
MC1201 Power Amplifiers, Carver Mark IV Ribbon Speakers, and Strata Mini Speakers.
Cables were Legenburg.
Mozart, EMI Classics,
Concertante": Full orchestra has violins in several octaves
with woodwinds, all easily distinguishable.
Concerto No. 4": The soloist's violin exhibited all of its
natural harmonics, without any of the harshness of harmonic
distortion that can make a CD sound so metallic.
Spirit of the Moment, Telarc - SACD-63653
Place": Piano, bass, and drums lay across the entire soundstage,
each in its place. There is no merging that would be caused by piling up
of midrange THD. I could almost see the drummer with his brushes
on the snare drum. This is a very good album for depth imaging,
as the drums were clearly to the right and deeper onto the stage
than the piano.
Schubert, Piano Sonata D958, EMI Classics,
"Pflicht und Liebe": Ian Bostridge's
tenor voice and Leif Ove Andsnes piano formed a perfect duet
across the front of the room. Each note of the two artists
were separate and detailed, a good demonstration of the very
low THD that this player has. Ian was placed towards the
center, with the piano behind him.
Rachmaninoff, Symphony No. 2, Telarc, SACD-60670
Symphony No. 2: The opening bars with several stringed
bass playing raised the hackles on my skin with the
vibrations of each instrument seemingly individual,
rather than simply as a single bass. Then, a moment
later, the other strings – violin, viola, cello – join
the melody line to open up the entire room with glorious
Again, no midrange mush even with all those
strings playing in numerous octaves. The CD-3 really is
a high performance player at a mass market price. It's
worthy of any audio system.
These orchestral pieces are perfect to show off
the benefits of 24/96 upsampling. As you will see (On the Bench),
the noise floor is improved substantially in the high
frequencies (called Amplitude Resolution), which will add that
extra bit of detail to the leading edges of music, and along
with lower THD, will make it
sound more realistic (more "you are there").
Click Here to Go to Part III.
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