So, I thought I'd get myself a new CD player. Easy. How difficult could it be - plenty on the market, some nice models around the £600 mark, just pick out a few, have a listen and go from there.
My old Linn Mimik had come to the end of its useful life to my ears. 14 years old and like most teenagers, it had started to wear my patience out a little from time to time! The sound became a little more veiled, or maybe it was just the ears that were the problem. Easier to change the CD player however.
And off I went on a journey that's resulted in the purchase or auditioning of two CD players, a pair of new (to me, used to anyone else) floorstanders and two interconnects to replace my Van den Hul's.
The CD player that turned up first was a used Audio Analogue Paganini. Lovely machine, build quality to die for, about three years old and oozing Italian chic. Mrs. R_S didn't like it, but the depth plundering bass and sweet treble were going to be missed. After a week, it went back (but if you see one and don't mind going down the used route, take it for a spin - good value around the £350-400 mark IMO). Where next?
Marantz, that's where! After much reading around, their SA7001-KI started to tick all the right boxes; I've been a longstanding fan of their gear for years having previously owned the venerable CD52-II way back in the early 1990s and currently have a 2001 PM6010-KI amp doing the engine room duties. An end of line, 55% discount couldn't be overlooked and off we went, back home together.
Oh dear. Very underwhelmed. Lovely treble; wonderful midrange. No bass. Eh? Eh?!? C'mon, what's the story here Ken?! Where's my bass?!?
New cables ought to do it; the van den hul's were always on the warm side, so in came a pair of Nordost Blue Heaven's - aha! Things were looking up.
Still a bit short on the depth charge front though - grrrr!
Took my moans into (the excellent) Audio Merchants in Glasgow on a day trip over there. "Ah", they said, "try this!". One AudioQuest Copperheard interconnect and £50 later, out I went. I like the guys in the shop there; good advice, always willing to chat and no sales pressure ticks all the right boxes for me, so buying another cable wasn't a stretch too far.
Back home, all plugged in and ready to go, we had.....success. A bit of speaker repositioning and we were really in business; the sound was back, and better, than before.
Finally, there was balance in my hifi life. At last!
At least, it was until I saw those Mission 752s yesterday...
It's all part of the fun I guess isn't it! (Did I say fun?)
The interesting thing is that the better cable for the system was the cheaper AQ than the Nordost. I'm not totally convinced about cables after a certain price point (I refuse to believe that you can justify a £1500 interconnect for example, but I might just have a flat earth viewpoint here!), but in the right combination it can make the difference. The tonal character changed overnight. The Mission 752s added more character and we have a balance I can live with for the time being. I've kind of promised Mrs. R_S no more changes for a while, but the 752s need a bit more power on tap than the 65w the Marantz.
Still, that's an upgrade for 2010 I think....I'll enjoy what I have for now!
(Thanks for all the kind comments, glad you liked the post!)
That's more of an error on my part if anything Rik - I've made a blanket assumption that where copper is warm and a bit heavier, the opposite applies to all silver cable based on my experiences with the Blue Heaven.