Audio Research Reference cd-7 CD Players

Reference cd-7

Tube based reference cd player

User Reviews (1)

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Gammelhagger   AudioPhile [Dec 08, 2009]

First let me say that you schould`nt listen critically to this player before it has been burned in for at least 200 - 300 hours. It sounds hmmm.... very "cheap" in the beginning. I knew this, so I did´nt panick when I heard it out of the box. I would have though if I had not known.

But after breack in things changed.
It is not the most dynamic cd out there, and it does not have the bass capebilitys like the Wadias. But it is the first redbook cd I have heard that coms close to a highend vinyl setup.
When you listen to it the first time, you might be disapointed. It does´nt impress you much. It is more like the women you would like to marry. Stabil, honnest and easy to live with. It does everything kind of right.
In the long run it has grown on me, and I dont see my self changing it any time soon. I am never angry with it if you know what I mean !! It is not layed back, but it is not "in your face" either. It seems very ballanced both in terms of the tonal qualitys, and also regarding immaging and space. It is very airy in the top end which create a lot of room around instruments or vocals. It does not sound like a typical tube product. It is not warm and boomy but nor is it clinical... just right to put it short. It sounds very mucical, much like a good recordplayer. I find myself tapping my feet when I listen to jazz for exampel. It manages to reley the soul of the music like no other cd I have ever heard... the Emm Labs CDSA comes close.... but no cigar like wiht the cd 7. It is not owerly fast, but the power supply upgrade that ARC offers should remidy this to some extend. I had the plesure og owning the new Wadia 381 for a few weeks before I got the cd 7. So I had the possibility to compare them. The Wadia winns on bass, dynamics and timing, but the cd 7 winns on everything else to my oppinion. Tha Wadia is the girl with the long legs and ampel bussom that all the guys desire at the disco, the cd 7 is the quite girl in the corner that ends up blowing you away in the long run.

ARC Ref 3.
Pass Labs XA 100.5 monos.
Wilson Audio Watt/ Puppy 6
Clear Audio Champion level 2 record player with SME Series V tone arm and Benz Micro Ruby pickup and Audio Note cabeling.
Interconetcts: Transparent music link ultra XLR
Speaker cables: Transparent music wave Ultra.

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