Audio Refinement CD Complete CD Players

CD Complete

Complete Alpha CD Player in Silver

  • Advanced 18-bit DAC with 8-times oversampling
  • Three-stage finite impulse response filter
  • Custom-designed transformer
  • Highest-quality parts used throughout construction
  • Only non-magnetic materials used
  • Hand soldered components
  • Custom-designed YBA output terminals
  • Custom-designed YBA AC connection
  • Custom-designed YBA internal wires
  • Custom-designed YBA external AC cord
  • Custom-designed YBA fuses
  • 8mm-thick brushed aluminum front panel
  • 2mm-thick non-magnetic aluminum cover
  • Non-magnetic aluminum feet with nonresonant special rubber material

  • User Reviews (24)

    Showing 1-10 of 24  
    amperidian   Audio Enthusiast [Jun 08, 2004]
    Strength:

    Awesome sound, surpassed my expectations

    Weakness:

    none that I found but then I have never heard CD players over $2000

    Just an update on my last posting. I have replaced the Kenwood receiver with a Denon avr4802r and it sounded excellent (in Pure Direct mode). However I did find that bass definition was rather poor, sloppy. I recently upgraded the power cord provided by Audio Refinement to an NRG-2 by Audioquest and ... WOW ... I could not believe my ears, was this the same music I was listening to? ... yes it was! All I can say is that if you do own this CD player you owe it to yourself to replace that awfull powercord that comes with it. You will find accurate bass with slam (if your subwoofer can reproduce it) as well as an openess never before heard from this CD player (I'm not refering to that annoying in-your-face type of brightness that you get from other CD players in the Cambridge Audio/Nad/Rotel class). So much for those crying about this CD player not managing bass accurately, CHANGE TTHE POWER CORD and you'll stop crying. Vocals also became more natural and effortless. And throughout all these changes, this CD player was left as smooth and musical as it was before. Not only did I notice an immediate improvement, but so did my wife who is not as critical. All in all I have just realized what an awesome product this is. A sonic masterpiece in its price class, worthy of its name (Audio Refinement). I hope that in the future I can afford to try some of the YBA line of products, because if this is their bottom line, I KNOW I will not be dissapointed by their real line. I know that for the money spent, I got more than I could have asked for.

    Similar Products Used: see below
    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    amperidian   Audio Enthusiast [Apr 12, 2004]
    Strength:

    clarity and finesse sturdy front pannel floating transistor skip forward/rewind, slow forward/rewind, repeat and timer available coaxial/analog outputs very easy to install/set up nice blend of black with silver accents on front pannel

    Weakness:

    remote has to be purchased separately (USD 55)

    I purchased the AR CD Complete alpha recently, upgrading from a nice sounding Cambridge Audio 640C. For those who don't know, this player is manufactured in Taiwan and the first model I got was a disapointment. It failed to read ANY CD's. I returned it to the retailer and was loaned a display model until a new one arrives. This one works great, hats off to it. No problems so far. In terms of reading speed this is definitely one of the fastest CD players I have seen in the under $1500 market. Let me take a moment to assure you that I am not the most critical audiophile out there. I enjoy MUSIC and I firmly believe that I can enjoy a good piece on any system be it $600 or $5000. There are considerable diferences in playback between the two extremes and those can be taken into account systematically, but they should not be used to take away from the nuance of the musical piece. At higher cost, I find that it is simply EASIER to sink into the music because it is all laid out for you very clearly. Cheaper means more difficult to do the same. Now, with all that in mind, here is my impression of this player: Its sonic qualities surpass those of the CA 640C considerably. Imaging is very good and soundstaging is excellent provided that high-end interconnects/ speaker cables/ amps/ preamps/ speakers are used. If you compromise on any of these you will not hear the full potential of this player. I use a Kenwood 6060 A/V receiver and it definitely takes away from the sound, but I have also heard it paired with the integrated amp in the AR Complete alpha series and Martin Logan Clarity's and although the integrated amp puts out a mere 50W/channel the sound is very clean and can easily fill a medium sized room with the volume turned to half only. However, a separate amp/preamp is desireable to get the best sound out of it. I use a pair of Mordaunt Short 914's with Monster Sigma Retro gold speaker cables and Audioquest Coral interconnects and the results are surprisingly pleasant, given that I use a mid-end A/V receiver at present. Break in takes about 30 hours preceeded by an additional 2 hour recommended warm-in period. In my opinion this player is worth every penny ... you pay for what you get. But you get no more than that, don't be disillusioned if it doesn't make it into the $2000 range.

    Similar Products Used: Panasonic F65 Cambridge Audio 640C Sony Super Audio Cd player (can't remember the number) beat the AR player but costs almost double
    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    4
    Paul Hill   Audio Enthusiast [Nov 25, 2003]
    Strength:

    Very musical. Outstanding fit and finish.

    Weakness:

    None yet.

    This is the new Alpha Comlpete. This is definatly one of the best under $1500. Very musical and smooth. Great improvement over the Sony ES it is replacing. Fit and finish are outstanding, as good as I have seen at ANY price. Also, the buying experience at Sound Mind Audio was one of the best I have ever had.

    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    KPerry1960   Audio Enthusiast [Apr 10, 2002]
    Strength:

    Great build. Great value. Almost a perfect visual match for my silver Anthem AVM20.

    Weakness:

    Will get back to you on this one. My dealer has a call in about a particular problem. As an engineery and after looking at AR''s product line, I can see how this problem may have occurred. From what my dealer told me, I am very impressed with how AR is going after the issue. Not a bad company to buy from.

    This CD player will give you your moneys worth. Very detailed, plays all of the music equally. When I compared this unit to a lesser CD player, I found out what that meant. For some reason all my music sounds great on both CD players except for Sada. But Sada sounds great on the CD Complete. I did notice the unit sounds better on the mids to highs and is a little base shy. The unit I compared it with had more base, but lacked detail the entire freq range. What I wasn''t able to find was a CD player around the same price range that came in sivler and sounded as good or better. Not saying they don''t exist, I just didn''t find one. I use this unit as a second source for a multizone preamp and I couldn''t be happier.

    Similar Products Used: Toshiba DVD players and Marantz CD players. I really didn''t see anything in this price range in silver. While researching a problem I was allowed to take home a Marantz CD player.
    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    john jones   AudioPhile [Mar 13, 2002]
    Strength:

    TRIHORD CLOCK

    Weakness:

    UN MODIFIED NEEDS CLOCK RUN OFF SEPARATE POWER SUPPLY

    this cd player is open. thin. in the bass warmish but lacks real punch dont get me wrong ilove the sound UPRGRADE ASAP WITH A TRICHORD CLOCK 2 FOR £49 BARGIN USE A TWELVE VOLT BATTERY ((NOT CAR TYPE))RUN THE CLOCK OFF THAT THIS PLAYER WITH A CHANGE CAPS IN THE DAC, SECTION. AND THE VOLTAGE. NOW THIS PLAYER IS IN £2000 WORTH OF CD PLAYER BEFORE UPGRADE IT WAS ALL MOST AS GOOD AS A MERIDAIN 200 TRANSPORT AND 263 DAC, SINCE THESE MODS IT BLOWS THE MERIDAIN OUT OF THE WATER TONS MORE DETAIL SPACE VERY GOOD DO YOUR SELF A FAVOR AND TURN A GOOD CD PLAYER TO AMAZEING ONE I WOULD SAY MERIDAIN 508 WATCH OUT

    Similar Products Used: MERIDAIN TRANSPORT AND DAC £1500 POUNDS WORTH
    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    Derrick   Audio Enthusiast [Jan 21, 2000]
    Strength:

    smooth analog-like sound for cd player.

    Weakness:

    no weaknesses for the price range.

    The auidio refinement cd complete is a much better player than the marantz 67se and the rega planet. both which I've heard in my system. the cd complete is much more open and detailed than either the marantz or rega. but it also retains the smoothness that both players are known for. This player is definitely a diamond in the rough.

    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    Sean Heisler   Audiophile [Apr 28, 2000]
    Strength:

    Smoothness, neutrality, engaging, high resolution and detail, refined tone, pace, rhythm and timing.

    Weakness:

    Sonically none in my opinion. Lacks preouts. Even though the nice metal remote is very stylized and solidly built it takes some getting used to.

    Chances are if you are interested in this integrated and/or CDP you have considered others under $1,000 like I did. Over the last year or so I have been steadily upgrading my components, home auditioning several integrateds under $1,000 and CDP's under $1,000 looking for sonic nirvana somewhere in the "entry level high end" bracket so to speak. I went through Rotel equipment, heard some NAD, Musical Fidelity, Jolida hybrids, MSB Link DAC, the Ah! Tjoeb, Rega (Mira and Planet), and others. I thought that at one point I found it with the Jolida hybrid amp, then with the Rega system. When I heard the Audio Refinement Complete, in a home audition, I knew this was it.

    Yes it is extremely smooth and nuetral. Yes it is very refined in tone. Yes it sounds "tube-like" in some ways. But what this amp and CDP do very well is soundstage and imaging as well as pace, rhythm and timing. Out of all the equipment I have heard under a grand this system is the very best I have heard in these regards. Soundstaging is truly high end. I found that with most of the other equipment I had heard, the soundstage is relatively flat and has some but little "true" depth. The ARC system excels in this area, presenting a "see-through" soundstage that is extremely well defined where images are clearly delineated giving you an extreme sense of space around instruments and the distance between them. The layering of images is excellent. With the right recording images seem very holographic. This system crosses over from the sub-entry level high end equipment into true high end musical reproduction in this regard in my opinion.

    Beyond that the sound is very smooth and refined like everyone says. Beautiful midrange, excellent bass, refined, focused and smooth treble. I have seen some say the treble can sound rolled or that the bass is shy or that the system can't rock??? Maybe even lacks detail? Polite? Now, what now? I suppose every situation is different, componentry-rooms-taste, but in my view this amp can play rock big time, exhibits the best "quality" bass I have ever heard in my system and the treble is extremely extended yet smooth and refined. Near perfect treble in my view. Of course this system does excel with well recorded music- acoustic, vocals, small jazz ensembles and like just sound beautiful. And detail? Huh, this system by far has the very best detail retrieval and resolution out of any system I have owned or auditioned that I listed above. Beats the Rega Planet and Mira in this regard. Transparency, palpability and air are again, by far the best I have ever heard in my system. And again, the quickness and speed of the system is the best I have heard as well, in my view exceeding the pacey Rega gear. Playing rock or fast and upbeat music, even at high volume levels, is no problem at all. The integrateds 50 watts by the way is one of those "feels like more" than 50 watts, I can crank it as loud as any amp I have ever owned with no strain at all.

    Build quality is excellent with great "high-end" aluminum styling and design as well. The CDP is fast, quiet and smooth. The remote itself is a piece of work too, like a high end remote, metal, simple and sparse. It takes a bit to get used to because the remote controls one unit at a time, you toggle between the CDP and integrated (and tuner too) via three buttons, where hitting "CD" the remote then becomes fully functional only with the CDP for example. You use a like set of buttons that work with all the components. It's "smart" but a bit quirky. Both units come with three feet as opposed to four, with damped rubber bottoms. I have have found Vibrapods and Polycrystal Isolators work well to tune the sound. I have also replaced the stock power cords with good after market power cords, the amp with an LAT AC-2 and the CDP with a DIY Belden cord, both make for even better sound.

    This is one amazing system and one I plan to settle into for a long time. For people looking for an integrated under $1,000 or a CDP under $1,000 you have to give these a listen. I have been around the block with equipment under $1,000 and I haven't found any better. This system is extremely musical and involving and is versitle with any type of music. Trust me, it has the sparkling and extended highs, deep bass and is very powerful. Mid-fi people wanting to move to high end sound on a budget, check these out. Even if you are already into the high end this system is definitely worthy of consideration.

    Associated equipment:
    (The Audio Refinement integrated and CDP I have are fully broken in)
    B&W CDM1's
    Harmonic Tech Truthlink interconnets
    Tara Labs Prism Biwire
    Monster HTS-2000 line conditioner
    LAT AC-2/Belden power cords
    Heavily modded Paradigm PDR-10 subwoofer

    Similar Products Used: Jolida JD-1701 hybrid integrated, Musical Fidelity A2, Rega Mira/Planet, MSB Link DAC, Ah! Tjoeb, Rotel, NAD
    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    Alfred Fredel   Audio Enthusiast [Feb 22, 2000]
    Strength:

    Detailed sound that is delicate and brings pleasure to the listener.

    Weakness:

    Remote is sold seperately

    This player is the finest that I have heard for under $1000. It is built like a tank and there is obviously a high degree of thought put behind the design. The laser is quick and the player is really smooth sounding without being muddy. Bass is tight and the player gives a presence to the music with such a sense of realism that it gives me an occasional chill. The only thing that bothers me is that the remote must be purchased as a separate unit and is designed for the whole system. The remote needs to be re-designed because it is uncomfortable to use and manipulate. The overall quality of the unit is excellent and the price is good for the sound that you get out of this unit.

    Similar Products Used: Rega Planet, Cambridge D500, Arcam, Rotel
    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    Dale Grigg   Audiophile [Jan 16, 2000]
    Strength:

    Well balanced sound with good sense of acoustic space. Really nothing to complain about particularly considering the price. An excellent match with the Complete int. amp.

    Weakness:

    May not be quite as dynamic as some players and may not extract the last bit of detail. But it gets the music right.

    I have been using the Complete CD with the Complete integrate amp for about six months and have been extremely satisfied with the combination. I have not tried it with another amp. It renders just about all my CD's musically satisfying. May not be the last word in microdynamics and bass slam, but it does provide an excellent low end, a natural midrage with good detail and a sweet top end. As good as the Rega is for the money, I feel the Complete is a quite a bit better. It may be a tossup between the Ultech UCD100 and the Complete. My preference is the Complete as it just seems to let you forget the equipment and enjoy the music (the Complete intergrated amp also has a lot to do with this). My suggestion to all of you out there who are continually mixing and matching seperatesto achieve the "perfect sound" is to check these two pieces out. They may turn out not to do it all for you, but if it is MUSIC you are after with a minimum of hassle, you can't go wrong with the Complete duo. Try them with Nordost cables. They seem to bring out the best in them. I'm driving a pair of JM Lab Daline 3.1's with this system and it all sounds wonderful. 5 stars all the way.

    Similar Products Used: Rega Planet, MicroMega Stage Six, Ultech UCD100
    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    Darren   Audiophile [Apr 03, 2000]
    Strength:

    Incredible analog-like musicallity to the unit

    Weakness:

    Ever so slightly rolled off highs

    My favorite cd player for under 1200. Compared to the NAD(at $1500), the CD complete held up almost as well. The NAD provided a little bit more openness, but musically, the Audio Refinement (to me anyways) sounded like music.
    I hate cds, but vinyl is such a pain in the ass, so of
    course I had to get a cd player. All of the others I compared (except for the NAD and the Mccormack(which I now own)), this was the most musical. Definitely a great player if you enjoy music, not the analytical style of the
    Adcom, ROtel, or Cal Audio Labs.

    Similar Products Used: NAD silver series cd, Mccormack DAC-1, Cambridge Audio D500
    marantz, Cal Audio Labs, all Rotel & Adcom
    OVERALL
    RATING
    5
    VALUE
    RATING
    5
    Showing 1-10 of 24  

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