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Saturday, 01 January 2000 ,  Written by Dr. Milton Chu
Mark Levinson No. 39 CD Processor/Transport
Introduction I am not your stereotypical high end audio reviewer. I am a self employed physician who's interest in high performance audio stems from a love of performing and listening to music. My current reference system consists (working backwards) the Wilson Watt Puppy system 5.1, the Mark Levinson No. 332 amplifier, the Mark Levinson No. 39 CD processor and Transparent Reference cabling. Since I am a physician and a musician (trained in classical and jazz piano) and not an electrical engineer, I will not pretend that I have a technical superiority over anyone. I will therefore concentrate my reviews on the emotional content and quality of the music playback associated with a particular system or component. The Mark Levinson No. 39 CD Processor... A new trend The integration of CD transport, digital to analog converter, and preamp has recently developed as a new trend. Wadia, Madrigal and others have recently released integrated CD/preamp products. When I first ...
Friday, 01 October 1999 ,  Written by Greg Petan
Wadia 830 CD Player
Introduction The Wadia 830 compact disc player is the latest addition to the Wadia family of CD players and digital separates. At $3250 including remote, the Wadia 830 is the most affordable member of the line up and is based on many of their design achievements pioneered on the more pricey reference 860 CD player. On the 830, Wadia uses the same DAC board design and analog technology found in the 850 and 860. The DACs in the 830 are the top of the line Burr Brown 1702s. These are essentially the same as those found in the 850 and 860, however the chips in the 850 and 860 are the 1702K's, the K representing matched pair status. The other mechanical difference between the 830 and it's big brothers is it's Pioneer Stable Platter Transport. The 850 and 860 use the Teac CMK Mk.4 and Mk.3.2 respectively. The 830 features the digital volume control ...
Wednesday, 01 September 1999 ,  Written by Jerry Del Colliano
Wadia 860 CD Player
Introduction The Wadia 860 is a $7,450 CD player and digital preamplifier housed in one complete, highly refined package. Seven inches tall by 17 inches wide by 16 inches deep, the Wadia 860 is an all-in-one, high-power front end that needs only an amplifier, loudspeakers linked with a pair of speaker and interconnect cables to make beautiful music. The Wadia 860 has an elegant and simple design throughout its chassis. The philosophy behind the 860 is to keep as much circuitry as possible out of the signal path in order to reproduce a traditional 16-bit CD (or other future sources via digital input) with the highest level of resolution and emotional impact possible. Wadia, a leader in cutting-edge digital playback since the late 1980s, uses three unique technologies in the 860 which make it truly special. The Wadia Digital Volume Control challenges the ...
Saturday, 01 May 1999 ,  Written by Jerry Del Colliano
Pioneer PD-F07 CD Player
Introduction Long ago, a myth was sold to the audiophile community that CD changers were not at all good for real music lovers. After listening to a first-generation CD carousel, you could understand this myth: the early changers sounded brittle on the high frequencies, limp in the bass and lacked any sense of depth. To compound the damage, most of the early units didn’t even come equipped with a digital output to resurrect their sound via an outboard digital to analog converter. Today, CD changers are loaded with technology and features that make a strong argument for why even a hardened audiophile should consider owning one for his or her music and film playback system. The Pioneer Elite PD-F07 at $500 is one of the best values in today’s AV market, in that it is a very well-built 101 CD changer loaded with many of the slickest features and packed with advanced laser and transport ...
Sunday, 01 November 1998 ,  Written by Kim Wilson
Pioneer CLD-79 CD Player
Introduction Unlike many manufacturers who are dropping laserdisc players from their product mix in favor of DVD, Pioneer still offers several models. The most notable are the three carrying the prestigious ELITE designation. Sitting firmly in the middle, is the CLD-79. While it incorporates a well designed 1-bit DLC D/A Converter (DAC), this, unfortunately, becomes irrelevant in a state-of-the art home theater. To take full advantage of Dolby Digital and DTS encoded Laserdiscs you must bypass the CLD-79's internal DAC and use the DAC incorporated in other devices such as digital processors, decoders and A/V Receivers. For this reason, I didn't do an extensive review of the CLD-79's sound quality. I wish Pioneer would just offer a laserdisc transport at a lower price, though I can understand why they feel it is necessary to cover all the bases. The CLD-79 provides two digital outputs (one coax and one optical), in addition to the RF (AC-3) ...
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