C.E.C. TL-5100 CD Players

TL-5100

User Reviews (17)

Showing 1-10 of 17  
miroalien   AudioPhile [Dec 26, 2003]
Strength:

Heavy, very good build quality; space; very details; solid front panel like a tank; Rich midrange and highs; Bright sound presentation, sometimes some good records, CD`s plays exellent and magnificient; all the connections you'll need...

Weakness:

-Rear panel no info were made in?; Probably in China :(; -Very cheap remote controller in these price level is not acceptable!; -Bass is weak and not deep!; -Difficult read problems with some CD-R`s and original CD`s!/10 original CD`s from 100 CD`s completely no play or hiccup!!!/ My 600 CD`s collection are in perfect condition without scratches and fingers tips; -Display the same like in old models from 7 years ago /C.E.C. CD2100 from 1996/; -Very slow search function; -In program optiion"time"is no function!; -Inside some chassis screws was too loose and I must use screwdriver!; -Highs are too sharp sometimes; These weaknesses in these price level are shame,disgraceful and S C A N D A L! After few weeks I sold out these player without sorrow. Old C.E.C. model /CD2100/ was better than new TL51ZmkII. Old model was best because : MADE IN JAPAN!!! I have much more nostalgy for old C.E.C. compact disc players.

C.E.C. CD Player TL51ZmkII Gold /Brand new in original box closed/ Summary: Well. What can i say, it weight 10 kg. surely the best cd I have ever heard. the sounds great (try Lustmord, Diana Krall, Brian Eno-Apollo, Mark Knopfler Dead Can Dance - Into the Labyrinth)and the disk-weight-prism is a nice option for solid stable for anti-resonance. Even old cd's sounds better. Just be sure you have good cables. Looks like a million dollar cd (with exaggeration :). If you can afford one-buy one, but on own risk. You must read it! I must write sad truth below in weaknesses label. MY EQUIPMENT NOW: rotel rcd-991; rotel amp.991; rotel preamp.995; Tube amplifier Amplifon Audio WT-40; DVD Sony 930; tuner Sony 211; CD Recorder Onkyo DR 700; Panasonic DVD Recorder 60; Speakers : Pilot "Concorde CD2000mkIII" /100kg per one speaker, 178 cm high/; Connects: VdH The First Ultimate, Monster M1000 and speakers cable AudioQuest "Midnight+", StrightWires "Chorus" and others from AudioQuest.

Similar Products Used: Rotel RCD-991AE; C.E.C. CD-2100; Wadia 16;
OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
2
Mikhail   Audio Enthusiast [Jan 09, 2000]
Strength:

Very good construction quality (except front pannel buttons), very quiet transport. High resolution, natural troughout the range, balanced, not cold but reserved and controlled sound, excellent soundstage, good dynamics.

Weakness:

Only minor: loading the disc is not very convienient, no power button on remote, requires a lot of space between shelves (top loading)

Bought it a few days ago for less than half the price from audioadvisor.com. I did not compare it to anything in its price range (m.s.r.p $1795) except similar Parasound 2000 Ultra. To my and my wife's ears the CEC is better in everything but "musicality". Parasound strives to be a turntable, but it is not; neither is it a real good player. Excellent choice for those who value accuracy and balance over false promise of delivering analog-like warmth with digital clarity and resolution.

Similar Products Used: none.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Armeen   Audio Enthusiast [Apr 08, 2000]
Strength:

Incredibly natural sounding. This unit adds no coloration to the music. You hear the music as it was meant to sound. I have never heard voices and instruments sound so real! The transport's ability to retrieve detail is amazing. Also, very warm sounding, highs are not harsh. All in all, it's quite analog sounding! Also, I have never seen a CD Transport built as solid as this in the $795 price range (well, keep in mind that it is on sale at AudioAdvisor.com from MSRP $1,495). Incredible deal!

Weakness:

Remote is goofy looking. Loading compact discs is a pain. They give you this heavy stablizer puck that you must place on top of the CD, and the unit is top loading. Also, the unit lacks the bass punch that you get from other CD players. I guess this is the trade-off of such an analog sounding CD Transport. I have a 1,000 watt powered sub which makes up for weak bass.

When you buy this unit, give it some time to break in. I have only had it for a weak, but the sound improves daily, and I loved it just out of the box!

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Harry   Audiophile [Mar 10, 2000]
Strength:

Great build quality, ability to retrieve detail, nice aesthetics

Weakness:

Remote control - could be better

The ability of the CEC to extract information from a CD is incredible. This also means if the CD is badly recorded, it will be clearly heard. With great recordings from Reference Recording, Chesky, Sheffield Labs etc, the sonic is wonderful. I also believe that the partnering gears are equally important.

I've placed DH Cones (Jumbo) & Squares as the CEC footers and they yielded greater & better bass extension / control, as well as a richer mid.

For the price, I think it is hard to find a better transport. The belt-drive is really something special and i do think it contributed immensely to its great performance.

Its partnering gears includes Parasound 1600HD DAC, Anthem Pre1L, Bryston 3B-ST & Hales Rev 3 speakers. Cables are Silver Audio's Silver Stream digital, 6.0, Appassionata & Symphony 48 speaker cables. Power cords used are LAT International AC-2, Wireworld Aurora & Silver Audio's Power Burst. Everything conditioned by API 212P power conditioner. Tweaks include DH Cones (Jumbo, Large & Medium) & Squares, ferrite clamps from Radioshack.

Similar Products Used: None. Previously used direct drive CD players like Parasound CDP-1000, a great unit but CEC is better.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Ed Strelow   Audio Enthusiast [Apr 05, 2000]
Strength:

Best CD sound I have heard, neutral, detailed, good dynamics, very much reduced digital harshness.

Weakness:

minor quibbles about remote.

This player substantially outperforms my old Denon 3000 which was in the same price range ($1,500 -2,000). How much is due to the belt-drive and weighted platter, and how much to newer electronics I cannot say. Unlike the Denon, its sound was not improved by using with the discontinued Music Fidelity outboard X-ACT, DAC so at least some of the credit goes to CEC's electronics. I do most of my listening through Stax Lambda Signature electrostatics which tend to register high frequency harshness in excruciating detail and this unit sounded very smooth in the treble. Like other reviewers, I think that the sound has an analog quality.
Even though the unit is very heavy, mounting it on Sorbethane feet improved the sound somewhat. Using the CD Blacklight CD mat did not seem to help the sound overall, but I was more impressed by using a Sorbethane sheet, cut like a doughnut between the clamp and the cd. The bass became quite formidable.
Minor quibbles: the remote lacks some features and the unit is slow to react to commands, probably because the heavy platter takes more time to reach speed.
Overall, a great unit and while not cheap, good value for money.

Similar Products Used: Denon 3000
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Maurice Jeffries   Audiophile [Jan 26, 2000]
Strength:

Lovely build quality

Weakness:

Flimsy front panel controls; cheap remote for an otherwise well-designed and built unit.

I received a new TL 5100Z CD player from Audio Advisor
yesterday at the incredible price of $795.00. Unfortunately, the laser mechanism appears to have sustained damage in transit, so I am unable to comment on the sound quality of the unit.

However, I do have some observations concerning the unit's construction quality. As the other reviewers correctly
noted, aside from the somewhat flimsy front buttons, this unit's build quality is above reproach. The exterior case work exudes a solidity that few if any products at this price point can match. I find the disc loading mechanism rather elegant: it is vaguely reminiscent (sp) of the top- loading Rega Planet, if a bit more cumbersome because of the heavy stabilizing puck you must place over the disc before it will initialize and play.

The 5100's low profile contributes to its sleek appearance, while the minimalist front panel arrangement reflects the unit's high-end pedigree. I have not weighed the unit, but would guess that it tips the scales at about 20 pounds, quite substantial for an affordable cd player.

My discussions with the AA sales staff suggests that this is essentially the same unit as the now-discontinued Parasound CD/P 2000, the unit about which the Absolute Sound's Robert Harley raved last spring, albeit slightly repackaged. If you want to purchase a unit, I suggest that you do so quickly. I understand that the unit's are selling briskly through the Audio Advisor.

A final thought for audiophiles with large cd collections and who are on the market for a good red-book CD player: these are great times to buy!!! The Audio Advisor is currently offering a Cambridge Audio unit for only $700.00 (MSRP of $1400)and the CEC unit for a scant $800.00 (MSRP $1795).

I suspect that we will see similar price drops for comparable high-end units over the next 6-12 months, especially as more manufacturers embrace the new DVD audio format, or issue 24 bit red-book players to replace the 20 bit units in their store rooms. For most of us, well-designed 20 bit players such as the now-discontinued Parasound unit (and, I hope,the CEC unit), the affordable Rega Planet, and a handful of others, offer the promise of high resolution sound at what will become increasingly affordable prices.

Anyway, I'll give you my thoughts on the CEC's sound quality when I get my hands on a working unit. My provisional ratings should be interpreted in light of the comments above, and in the context of the unit's build quality alone.

PS: The Audio Advisor has a well-earned reputation for providing after sale service. They have agreed to replace my unit with a brand-new working model, and to credit my account for the shipping charges that I will incur.

Peace!!

Similar Products Used: Naim CD 3.5 ($2150 MSRP vs. the CEC's original MSRP of $1795); Rega Planet (price-compatible at $798 new with the CEC unit at its new deeply discounted price of $795 from Audio Advisor)
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Rene   an Audiophile [Jul 19, 1998]

This is a very nice CD-drive for your money. Just like the more expensive CEC drives it is belt-driven and top-loading too.
I compared this drive with a Rotel drive, Philips CDD 882 and Teac P2 on Audio Synthesis DAX + DAX 2 and Teac D2. Compared with the Rotel and Philips it wins by a large margin, as it is sounds very analog-like and has so much more well defined bass. So it is no choice.

Compared with the Teac P2, it is a different story. Here it shows that the Teac has more definition and again better bass, but it doesn't have the analog -like sound. So I feel if I were a Jazz lover I choose the CEC, but as I am a Classic and Pop lover I choose the Teac, as one feels more taken by the music and enjoys these more.

If you own one put a lot of atttention for setting it up, with spikes under and bricks on top. Also another stabilizer from Korian (plastics) will help.

The CEC TL5100Z with in-board is again very good value for money. You have to spent a lot of money to better it.

I give 4 because there are better things in the world but it is cheap for its performance.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
Maurice Jeffries   Audiophile [Apr 11, 2000]
Strength:

Superb build quality; liquid, coherent sound; detailed and neutral presentation

Weakness:

Flimsy remote and front panel buttins

This review is a follow-up to my previous posting. The laser mechanism in the first 5100 that I received from Audio Advisor (AA) sustained damage in transit, so I could not comment on that unit's sound quality. I received a replacement unit about a week ago, so I and can now correct that oversight.

My earlier comments desribed in some detail the mechanical and operational feautures of the 5100. On build quality grounds alone, I concluded that the 5100 deserved serious consideration. I'm pleased to report that the unit's sound quality matches, and perhaps exceeds, its fine build quality.

A few preliminary observations seem in order for those of you unfamiliar with the CEC TL 5100Z. First, this is a belt-driven CD player, one that should be seen as an affordable distillation of of the belt-drive technology pioneered in CEC's earlier and critically acclaimed CD transports. Second, its low price notwithstanding, this is a serious high-end contender, the sonic equal of any unit in the sub-$2000 price range. Third, as far as I know, you can only purchase units from AA via an exclusive arrangement with CEC's US distributor, Parasound.

Enough small talk already!!! So how does the player sound? In a word: fabulous. The CEC produces a beautifully detailed, liquid sound that at times, made me question my undying alleginace to analog replay. The first aspect of the 5100's sound that captured my attention was its dynamic performance. Those who have read my other reviews know that I consider the accurate recreation of micro-dynamic shadings to be of paramount importantce. A piece of equipment should possess the ability to startle me at both moderate and loud playback levels, and here the 5100 succeeds admirably.

Shirley Horn's dynamic mezzo-forte piano shadings on the sublimely recorded "You Won't Forget Me" (Verve 847-482-2)certainly possess the power to startle. The opening seconds to "The Music That Makes Me Dance" feature Horn on piano; her rythmic, incisive playing is both harmonically rich and strikingling dynamic, a model of hi-fi definition. The 5100 also accurately reproduced Miles Davis' haunting, plaintiff trumpet ruminations on the title selection, capturing both the dynamic intensity and velvety texture of Miles' horn.

The 5100 is also highly detailed, although it never sounds bright or etched. It convincingly recreates the ambience of the recorded venue, revealing subtle temporal and spacial cues that I had not heard from my previous reference, the CEC 3100. Much credit goes to efforts to minimize stray vibrations and phase distortions introduced by the unit's several power supplies. This cascaded power supply configuration is rarely seen in players at this price, and goes a long way towards minimizing harmful phase distortions that could blur the sound.

Bass is deep, tight, and more importantly well-delinated, combining outright power and extension with superb pitch definition. I do detect a slight tubbiness at the very bottom of the range, but nothing that would qualify as perjurious.

The 5100's midrange reproduction is beyond reproach. Elvis Costello's sophistcated but sometimes off-pitch delivery on "Painted in Memory" (Mercury 314-538-002-2)is reproduced with stark clarity. Costello has never sounded better than on this fine recording, but when he glides off-key, if only for an instant, the 5100 lets you hear it.

In short, this is an outstanding player for the money ($795 from AA while supplies last). Hell, I would even recommend it at the original MSRP of $1795. Fortunately I didn't have to pay that much. This may rank as the high-end bargain of the year, so get yours while you can!!!!

Good listening!!!



OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Bob   Audiophile [Apr 11, 2000]
Strength:

Build quality is incredible.

Weakness:

Front panel buttons, remote

sound is really truly different, I disagree with some detail is amazing and even the bass is better than most. Quite a deal for the price. Buy a break in CD and in 36 hours of repeat play you are broke in. Of course you should use a break in CD every month or so.

Similar Products Used: Anthem Cd 1;Tojab 99; Jolida 603; Marantz 17
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Nike Teng   Audiophile [Apr 13, 2000]
Strength:

warm,analog-like sounding,very high potential to get good and extra-ordinary sound reproduction

Weakness:

need to service it almost every 1 year plus.

CEC TL 5100 transport is a high potential unit.Pay some afford on it you will get an incredible sound improvement like detail,soundstage, bass extension and control, high frequency transient and extension and some more.
Buil a sand box with 3/4 inches or 1 inches thick MDF or HDF board, place the 5100 transport ontop of it, sound improvement is most significant. I gain all the good things that I had mentioned above.
How hight is the box is,how deep is the sand needed , or what material is use will really affect the sound .
Next thing I will try spike up my TL 5100 transport.I hope I can get some more sonic improvement again.
Anywhere, it is a very good transport and I love it very much.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 17  

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