DAC: 4 x 24 Bit Burr Brown PCM1704 DAC, PDM-200 96kHz HDCD Digital Filter, Crystal CS8420 upsampler for 96kHz upsampling Frequency Response: 20Hz to 20kHz Distortion: <0.002% (1kHz) Signal/Noise Ratio: 110dB Dynamic Range: 115dB Crosstalk: <100dB Output Level: 0~2.2V adjustable Tubes/Valves: 4 x 6N3P (compatible with WE 396A & 2C51) Transport: Philips CDM-1201 with Philips CD7 II servo circuitry
The tube (valve) output stage is silky smooth but still full of energy and life. The player also benefits from a digital output as well as the tube output (and coax out). There is also a separate tube fed headphone socket and built-in volume control which allows you do connect the player directly to a power amp for minimal signal interference (if that's your thing) plus an upsampling mode to 24bit/96KHz and HDCD capability.
It does take some time to warm up, about 30 minutes or so before it really starts to settle down but the end result is well worth the wait. It has one of the most natural sounds that I have heard in a CD player, the closest sound to vinyl that I have found. The sound is full and weighty, the midrange breathes easily and the top end is crisp and clear but never annoying. You could quite easily listen to this player for hours on end and it's never get tired of listen to.
The player is top loading (manual) and the arm is weighted down with a thick glass disc for stability. Considering that the CD is visible the unit is surprisingly quiet when the disc is spinning. The brushed aluminium and gold finish plus the blue glow from the CD arm and the warm orange glow of the tubes is something special. You just know that every inch of this player is top quality and highly engineered.