Looking for CD player with remote and variable outs

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ricky T, Apr 6, 2002.

  1. Ricky T

    Ricky T Supporting Actor

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    I am looking for a cd player or DAC to hook up directly to my Citation 5.1 power amps (which drive a pair of NHT 3.3s):

    Must Have's:

    - variable volume control on remote control

    - under $700 street (new or used)

    - comparable dacs to Panasonic RP91 and Adcom GDA700

    Nice to Have:

    - 5 disc carousel

    - tube circuitry, or tubey sound
     
  2. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Ricky, though not a carousel, check out the Ah! Njoe Tjoeb 4000 at www.upscaleaudio.com . Upscale Audio is the sole US distributor for the Ah! player, and the owner, Kevin Deal, is great to deal with. As you may know, the Ah! is a tube-modified Marantz CD4000 single-disc player that is made by a company in Holland. The stock CD4000 offers volume control via the remote, and this feature is functional on the tube-modified unit.
    The stock Ah! player sells for $579, but you can upgrade tubes to various types for as little as $60 that will change the sound in different ways (more punchy, more laid back, etc.; search Audio Asylum for more information on tubes for this player). In addition, you can upgrade the power cord on the Ah! for $79. If you buy the better power cord when you buy the player, Upscale Audio will install it for you free of charge. Otherwise, it appears to be easy to install on your own. Upscale Audio provides instructions for installation with pictures on its web site.
    I bought the Ah! last April and have been very pleased with it. I haven't tried connecting it directly to a power amp though (not yet, anyway). The Ah! is a smooth-sounding player overall. I prefer the sound of my Sony SCD-C555ES SACD changer with CDs, which is comparably priced nowadays, but I feel the two players are different enough that some could certainly prefer the Ah! To my ears, the Ah! is not bad by any means, but I feel the 'C555ES is more lively and involving (better layering of the sound). The smooth sound of the Ah! is nice for a change of pace.
    Regarding tubes, I used the stock Philips 6922s for four months before replacing them with a pair of Siemens 7308s ($60 from Upscale Audio). The 7308s made a significant difference. The Ah! is much better with the 7308s than with the stock tubes. I found that vocals sounded a bit hard with the stock tubes, and the 7308s cleaned this up. Almost anyone on Audio Asylum will tell you to replace the stock tubes with something.
    Upscale Audio is supposed to be offering other upgrades for the Ah!, and hopefully soon. There is talk on their web site of a 24/192 upsampling chip becoming available for $300 or less. According to the web site, this chip will snap in place (no soldering iron!). Also, Upscale Audio is talking of offering a pack of three different op-amps for $60. The op-amps simply snap in place as well. So, you would have three different op-amps to try out. As you can see, the Ah! is a tweakers dream.
    As an alternative, check out the Heart CD5000 and CD6000 players at www.fsaudioweb.com . These are tube-modified Marantz CD5000 and CD6000 players, respectively, that are made by a different Dutch company than the one that makes the Ah! unit. Fsaudioweb.com is the sole US distributor of the Heart players. Note that the Heart players are based on better stock Marantz players than is the Ah! (Heart makes a modified CD4000, but fsaudioweb.com does not distribute it). Since the Heart players are based on better Marantz units, I imagine they have volume control too, but check with fsaudioweb.com. I have read good things about the Heart CD6000 on Audio Asylum, and some have said that it bests the Ah!. Note, however, that the stock Heart unit sells for $850. I have not heard of Heart offering as many tweaking options as the maker of the Ah! unit, though the Heart CD6000 does not use op-amps. Basically, I believe the only thing you can change on the Heart models is the tubes.
    Hope this helps.
     
  3. Scott H

    Scott H Supporting Actor

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  4. PaulKH

    PaulKH Second Unit

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    My Sony CA8ES fits your must haves (has fixed and variable outs, a nice remote, and it's a carousel. Wanna buy it?
    [​IMG]
     

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