Copland CDA 266 CD Players

CDA 266

User Reviews (10)

Showing 1-10 of 10  
Joe France   Audio Enthusiast [May 31, 2003]
Strength:

Beatifully made, nice to look at, totally natural sound, detailed, but no digititis at all.

Weakness:

Not made anymore.

Well, the recent review of the Copland 266 CD Player, prompts me to write this update, if you will. I wrote here originally back in September 1998 about how great this CD player was. Frankly, it still is terrific today!! I know I wouldn't qualify as an audiophile since I still own the equipment I had in 1998, and haven't replaced it, or plan to until something major happens to it. Heck, Applause in Toronto (where I bought it) doesn't carry Copland; Copland doesn't make the unit anymore; Listener Magazine which first turned me on the Copland doesn't exist. This sounds strangely "old guy" for someone who considers himself a "kid" but audio, like so many other things these days, is a very fast changing and pretty strange. Anyway, Copland stuff is terrific, and nothing I have heard from Musical Fidelity; Audio Research; BAT or Audio Note, though very good, makes me want to run off to spend inordinate amounts of money on new stuff. Oh, wait a minute, I do buy new stuff, tons and tons of CDs to play on the glorious ancient Copland integrated amp and CD player. The party continues....

Similar Products Used: ARC, MF, Linn, Simm, BAT,McIntosh
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
albertab   Audio Enthusiast [May 31, 2003]
Strength:

Fluidity and musicality

Weakness:

noone (maybe sometimes too neutral?, if it's a weakness...)

Not much to say after all these comments. The Copland 266 just makes you listen to the music. (Of course at the beginning, you try to hear all the details of the music to see if you were not simply crazy to spend 2OOO boxs on a CD player!!!) But after that, you just have to enjoy a very very musical but yet neutral sound. My system: Linn Kairn SPS, Audiolab 8000 PX, Copland CDA 266, Linn Keilidhs.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
trondreinertsen   Audio Enthusiast [Dec 23, 2002]
Strength:

very musical

Weakness:

none

It was a purchase done on an impulse but I have not regretted it. The CD266 is very musical, any other CD player I have heard are flat and boring compared to it, without going over the top or becoming annoying. There may be better players on the market, but you would have to pay a lot more. It took some time to burn in though, and sounded awful just out of the box.

Similar Products Used: Mikromega Stage 1 Sony CDX20ES 2 different Denon something Arcam Alpha CD 1
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
david w 12   Audio Enthusiast [Jun 02, 2002]
Strength:

dynamic but very musical,suits every type of music.

Weakness:

The display is poor and loading noisy,who cares.

Like your other reviewers,I did the rounds of similarly priced cometitors.Meridian 506 accurate but too polite,Naim cd5 dynamic but too loose,Cyrus cd7+PSX too cold and analytical.The 266 seemed just right dynamic but accurate and musical.It's well built and looks good too.It's been superseded by the 277 but is still out there 2nd,do yourself a favour and find one

Similar Products Used: none
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Joe France   an Audio Enthusiast [Sep 25, 1998]

This brilliant perfomer, the new slim-line Copland remote controllable CD player, is an excellent mate to the Copland CSA 28 remote amp and the Meadowlark Shearwaters that I reviewed a bit ago. Michael Jones's review was absolutely correct. The sound is marvelously detailed, and NO CD player under $1000 come anywhere close (I've listened to them all), and the $2,500-$3,000 models provide no better quality (I've listened to more than I care to remember)--in fact they are often not as good. The Copland sound is not analytical, just totally representative of the performance. Organ sound, for instance, reflects the character of the instrument, and the ambiance of the room. I could go on and on, but the point I really want to make is that more Americans should get a chance to try this equipment. It's a terrible shame that one bad review (undeserved in my opinion) in Stereophile of the 288 model has slowed the distribution network for this absolutely great equipment in the US. I am very glad that I took the time to search out and find this top quality equipment that is popular in Europe and elsewhere. USA you are missing out!!! Some reviewer regarding another product made a disparaging remark about customer service, well I've talked Tash Goka's ear off, he's the Copland man at Dirvergent Tech. in Canada, and I found him to be very helpful and intersting. Also, hat's off to Rob Doughty of Applause Audio in Toronto for the enthusiastic endorsement and support of Copland. I am looking forward to many happy years with this equipment.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Michael Jones   an Audio Enthusiast [Nov 05, 1998]

The entry-level machine in Copland's CD range is a fine blend of minimalist Scandanavian aesthetics, elegant functionality and state-of-the-art digital engineering. Behind its silver facade lurks a Sony transport, dual 20-bit Burr-Brown DACs and the soon-to-be-ubiquitous Pacific Microsonics HDCD filter.
Unlike its pricier stablemates, the '266 does not seem to have been designed to cater for the digiphobe; the '277 and '288 have displayed, in published lab tests, controversially high levels of jitter and harmonic distortion - a deliberate attempt to give a little analogue 'feel' to the reproduction or an unfortunate by-product of design idiosyncrasies ? Whatever - the more expensive models have their devotees (and do, to give them their due, feature nominally superior DAC circuitry and the exalted Teac VDRS transport mechanism), but the '266 enschews such colourations and aims for transparency and neutrality.

The '266 has a gloriously fluid and detailed sound. Involving and natural, it doesn't flatter poor recordings but nor does it make them intolerable. Equally at home with bass-rich electronica, simply-recorded chamber works or re-mastered jazz classics, it seems to me to be the very epitome of the great all-rounder.

I had some moments of doubt when the Copland first supplanted my Marantz in my system (Audiolab 8000Q/M/M, Heybrook Quartets); the sound was leaner and not altogether what I was used to, particularly with guitar-rock and compressed pop recordings. This was a consequence of the Marantz's warm and overblown lower-midrange/bass being replaced by something altogether drier, cleaner, tighter and deeper. In the long run, it has proved to be a much more satisfying listening experience. It's rendering of vocals is a treat and it has brought to vivid life the likes of Getz, Davis and Coleman.

Some minor gripes. It's a shame that, even at this price point (1200gbp), no-one seems to be fitting particularly sturdy loading mechanisms anymore (Naim and perhaps Meridian excepted); it rattles and whines less than my old Marantz, but not by much. Also the display, on its brightest setting, is a little dim and noticeably unevenly lit. Whilst the transport-clicking when toggling between play and pause modes or skipping tracks is a quirk initially irksome but soon ignorable.

As I said in my previous review of this product (now lost somewhere in the ether), I can't bring myself to give something 5 stars when I haven't sampled that much of the opposition. While I'd certainly favour it over similarly-pitched players from Marantz, Naim, Pink Triangle and XTC, I'm sure there are other models out there equally worthy of your hard-earned cash. I just bet they don't look as good as this fella...

Mike.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
Ian Scattergood   an Audio Enthusiast [Dec 19, 1998]

No fine words here, I'm new to the 'quality' audio scene and do not have sufficient vocab just yet. I would however like to add to the positive voting for this excellent CD player. I have it matched with the Copland CSA 28 amp and Vienna Acoustic Mozart speakers and the whole experience is FANTASTIC!!
I've given 5* as I find it hard to believe it can get any more rewarding than this no matter what the price (and I listened to a shop full of kit!).

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Fab   an Audio Enthusiast [Jan 18, 1999]

Very nicely built and sounding unit, not perfect but what is!Compare it to the California Audio Lab C15 and Classe .5, the C15 sounded too laid back and the Classe to polite compare to the Copland. The Copland is the only one that gave me goose bums, it produce a soud a bit forward (but not in your face) with good deep. This Copland player is very musical with all types of music it doesn't specialize in one type of music like some players do. Keep those CD's coming and enjoy the music....................

My set-up
Yba DT Integre
B&W 804
Linn Sondek
Copland 266
Van Den Hul Second and D352 speaker wire.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Greg R   an Audiophile [Sep 12, 1999]

ProAc's are quite the revealing speaker - so revealing that the harshness and brittleness of my 7-year old Denon DCD-1290 was more than I could bear. The solution was simple enough - replace the source. With a budget of around $2200 Canadian (flexible enough that if something was worth extra cash, it would get considered), I set out looking for a solid, smooth, single-disc machine. HDCD was irrelevant at the outset since I only had 1 HDCD pressing.
The first deletion was the entire Arcam Alpha line (listened to both 8SE and 9) - much too flat and brittle. Not a big improvement on the Denon, and surely not worth the $$$. The Anthem CD1 was quite nice at $2300 - much more dimensional and involving. But not good enough for that much cash.

Distinctive Audio answered the call best - "...just buy the Copland 266..."! Well, yeah, but what else is available for around $2k...? So right there and then, an A/B/C comparison: A=Teac VRDS ?T1? transport with Enlightened Audio Designs DSP-1000 DAC, B=Classe .5 [HDCD], and C=Copland 266 [HDCD]. All were hooked up with Transparent cable to an Sonic Frontiers preamp, SimAudio power amp, and ProAc 2.5 speakers.

A: Too prominent in the upper-midrange, lack of bass depth, and harsh overall
C: Very smooth, deep strong bass, transparent, detailed, wonderful, tubey
B: Similar to the Copland, but somewhat rougher, more distorted, more transistor-like

Yes, I went from A straight to C, and then back to B just to have a quicker comparison between the opposition and the 266.

Know what...? Brian (gent at Dist.Aud.) was right - I bought the 266 for $2250 (floor demo) and it's quite the wonderful machine. Only thing is, the other 266's and even the 288 had crummy alignment between the drawer and the front panel, so much that on the 288 you could barely squeeze a piece of paper between the top of the drawer and the faceplate - BAD! I lucked out because on the 266 that I paid for, the drawer alignment is right on.

Nuff said - 5 stars for Copland, 4.5 for the Classe, and 3 for the Teac/EAD.

Thanks to Brian, Rheal, and Distinctive Audio...! And thanks for the 4 HDCD CD's...! Nice folks to do business with.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Len Romano   an Audio Enthusiast [Apr 16, 1999]

Before I bought the Copland, I auditioned a large number of other CDplayers available in this price range here and abroad. I went to Europe
for a trip and listened to many different makes and models - it was in
England where I was introduced to this particular machine. As you
probably know it is HDCD compatible which is marvelous, but even if it
wasn't, this would still be one majestic piece of equipment. It has a
wonderful musicality to it, which is missing from a lot of the other
brands I listened to. The bass is deep, tight, and of tremendous
quality. The midrange is to die for. The human voice is so real and
lifelike, with detail that allows you to hear breaths and whispers you
may never have heard before. Listen to any of the Mighty Sam McLain's
CD's on Audioquest. Or Van Morrison's "Days Like This" which is very
nicely recorded and sounds halfway decent on any machine, but on the
Copland it will take your breath away. Likewise for the Dave Matthews
Band "Before These Crowded Streets" CD. The treble is sweet and
intricately transparent - although on some older CD's which were not
recorded too well, it can come off as a little bright. This is in no way
a complaint, just brutal honesty, and that is the only negative I can
come up with. I have never sat in front of a more pleasurable sounding
CD player in my life - and without a doubt, it is by far the best
looking one on the market. If you are in the process of buying a CD
player in the $2000 price range - believe me, you are doing yourself a
major disservice if you do not give this machine a thorough testing. It
deserves your complete attention and it will reward you with blindingly
brilliant sound quality - and that, at the end of the day, is what it's
all about. Go and find one and give it a listen!



OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Showing 1-10 of 10  

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