California Audio Labs Icon CD Players

3.13/5 (8 Reviews) MSRP : $750.00


Product Description

CD player circa 1990


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Reviews 1 - 5 (8 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:2
Submitted by Joseph a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: November 17, 2015

Bottom Line:   
It is sad - though I spent so much time researching - trying to filter out the lies associated with advertisement - I still get burned.

The circuit boards being used these days do NOT hold their programming - so eventually you have a box worth nothing! The real repair shops do not want to even touch these units.
But an Audio unit I had - they were able to quickly see the 'CAN' that needed to be replaced and fixed it for $25.00.
WOW - replacing an optical reader for 40% of the cost of the unit! And you are happy?!

I have a Friend that spent $150.00 to replace the display unit. I found the part for $30.00 - it is easier to replace than a single spark plug.

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2010



Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:1
Submitted by doctor_ivan a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: March 28, 2004

Bottom Line:   
The Nightmare That Sounded Terrific!

Sorry, there's absolutely no more accurate way to describe the California Audio Labs Icon and their other CD players in general. When they worked... heaven on earth. Unfortunately these damn machines had the worst quality control of any high end product I've ever sold.

Transports that never worked properly, discs spinning aimlessly and software that refused to read 80% of what was placed in front of it. Even the buttons on front panels would sink behind their aluminum faceplates when firmly pushed. It was truly a shame because those who engineered these products ONLY KNEW SOUND. They were absent the day that CD school taught reliability.



I sold this line of CD players with Myer -Emco (Washington DC area) and have had a great deal of experience with this product.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   Pre 1995

Purchased At:   Myer - Emco



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by bachlogic101 a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: August 19, 2002

Bottom Line:   
I understand a few of the reviewers concerns. I had one issue with my player around 5 years ago. Lost the optical reader. Sent the unit back to CalAudio and they fixed it for around $200. Other than that this player is a great value. It has great musicality and extension throughout the ranges. Bass extension is low and the mids and highs are sweet yet not overbearing. If you ever have a chance to pick one up used in the market it will be a good choice.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   Pre 1995

Price Paid:    $500.00

Purchased At:   audio haven(Now Gone



Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:2
Submitted by AudioBob a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: March 2, 2002

Bottom Line:   
This product is a sad mix of good and bad.
The build quality of the digital/analog output board is of very high quality, among the best I have seen (I own Krell and Levinson). In its day, the sound was exemplary, no digitits in the treble, warm sounding with good bass. Unfortunatly, the transport is terrible. On many disc, when trying to read the TOC, the transport goes crazy, spinning out of control. Attempting to press stop does nothing. The only way to stop this is to press the open button, which does open, but the rapidly spinning disc does not stop before contacting the drawer mechanism, causing circular scratches in the disc, the worst type for damaging a CD. This would happen with brand new, pristine disc. It was completely unpredictable. All the unplayable disc would play immediately on any other player, from portables to dedicated transports. I received excuses when contacting CAL, was told to clean the laser lens, and not connect the unit to an AC filter/surge protector. None of these fixes made any difference. I am not certain, but I think the transport was sourced from Matsush*ta (A. Review sees the sh*t as sh eye t) (Panasonic, Technics). In my opinion, CALs customer service was terrible. They would not admit to having a flawed product, and did
nothing to repair it. Needless to say, I never have, nor ever will, purchase another CAL product. Avoid this product on the used market at all costs. I keep mine around to demonstrate to other audiophiles. I have a $39 portable on top of the Icon that I play the disc on that was just unplayable on the CAL. A truly pathetic product.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   Pre 1995

Price Paid:    $700.00



Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Nate a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: December 31, 2000

Bottom Line:   
I've owned my Icon since 4/90. I've been delighted with this CD player from the first day, originally comparing it to an Adcom CGD-575. I enjoyed the machine so much, and wanted to keep it, so a couple years ago I sent it back to CAL for a significant upgrade, going to the Power Boss HDCD upgrade, which while costly was worth every penny. It significantly opens up and smooths out the Icon without taking away any of the dynamics. A winner, that has been dead reliable!

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   Pre 1995

Purchased At:   Sounding Board




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