JV on CD

johnny p. -- Wed, 01/20/2010 - 01:56

It's been a year since JV exclaimed (on this forum) that the Soulution CD player matched his best vinyl rig - in sound.  But JV has not reviewed the Soulution. 
More troubling, are JV's remarks in this month's issue that CD *still comes up short* when compared to world-class LP. Really ? That's not what he said a year ago with Soulution !! How about other great CD systems like Meridian or Audio Research CD-8 ?

Sam -- Wed, 01/20/2010 - 12:58

You should only trust your ears as HP said quoting Wilma Fine. Although most other reviewers stay firm on their views for longer period of times. JV changes his views on things very rapidly. If you follow his magazine reviews and blogs online you will find constant changes. This could be the reviewers personality or style and not much can be done. I'd pick the top contenders in mags and audition them at excellent dealer setups with ecellent staff. If you get stuck on this you will find many many places with different outcomes and recommendations that will confuse your brains out. Another way is to follow a reviewr who shares similar taste, ideology and thinking with YOU and weight their views-reviews more heavily.

Sam -- Wed, 01/20/2010 - 13:05

And ARC cd 8 review is not even needed. JV is a big fan so it will automatically be great and most likely POY. 2010. He recommends ARC gear that no one has even reviewd at TAS and publishes it in the magazine. So consumers need to think themselves too. I'm sure ARC is great but no proper contolled setting review or biased review is not much help. I'd go audition.

Jonathan Valin -- Wed, 01/20/2010 - 15:32

 I don't know where you guys are getting your info, but I don't believe I've commented on the ARC CD8. I've never said I was a "big fan" of it, and while I did like the sound of the Soulution 740 (and very much like the sound of dCS CD players) I never said it "matched my best vinyl rig." It doesn't, although the gap between the best CD players and the best vinyl sources HAS narrowed considerably.

As for the mutability of my taste, let's see: I've been using the Walker Proscenium turntable as a reference for, oh, 10 years; ARC electronics (in various iterations) for, oh, 10 years (actually closer to 30, if you count the time I was a civilian), Tara Labs interconnects and cable for, oh, 4 years. Of course, things come and go. But much stays the same.

Of course, I would ALWAYS "go audition."

johnny p. -- Wed, 01/20/2010 - 21:13

I for one, would like to see you review a top-tier CD-only system before making sweeping judgements about vinyl.
Where's the Soulution CD player review ? You *did* say "it does it" in terms of matching the best LP (on your Soulution blog last year, now partly deleted).

Jonathan Valin -- Wed, 01/20/2010 - 22:07

Soulution now makes a new CD/SACD player, the 745, that substantially betters the excellent 740 CD-only player I originally praised. I hope to review the new Soulution player later this year. (I don't remember writing that the 740 was the equal of the best LP playback,; it isn't.)
I have reviewed or commented at some length upon several top-tier CD/SACD players--the superb dCS Scarlatti, for one.  I still think that the best vinyl playback, which has no more stood still than the best digital playback, remains superior to the best digital playback I've heard, when it comes to sounding like the real thing, but the Scarlatti comes mighty close to the best vinyl playback and the 745, which a friend of mine owns, is mighty good, too. BTW, Soulution is now making a fabulous stand-alone phonostage, as well, the 750.

antono yuwono (not verified) -- Thu, 01/21/2010 - 08:28

Dear Mr Valin ,
Actually I have also been waiting for you/TAS for the latest reviews of the recent great cd players.such as soulution , dcs , and of course ARC cd8 , ML512 , esoteric etc- In my place it is difficult to compare directly those players , so we do rely on your reviews ,and also other reviewers in the web etc before we visit the dealer to listen ourselves..
sometimes we also have to really consider the resale value , because sometimes we do need to sell the gears we owned , either because in need of the cash or many other considerations..
That's why we really need the inputs of the reviewers in order not to make mistakes--and really really minimize the risks..
Thanks and look forward to hear/read the reviews ( please review ARC cd8 and ML 512 ? )
best regards

Sam -- Thu, 01/21/2010 - 11:43

Antono, you make it sound like a money holding investment. Generally audiogear of any quality looses value pretty rapidly. And if discontinued then even worse. I see sale ads on different sites at 50% or less for resale even for recent cutting edge equipment. It's like a car, you drive it out the lot and value drops big time. I think audiosystems and cars are not great financial investments. IMHO

kodg -- Fri, 10/22/2010 - 00:06


JA FANT -- Sun, 11/07/2010 - 07:51

Mr Valin-
will you be auditioning the Spectral CD PLayer anytime soon?

kodg -- Sun, 11/07/2010 - 13:35

I want to give vinyl a try again.  I grew up w/older brother in the 70's all vinly- thats the music I still enjoy the most, but I aim only set-up for cd/sacd.
I would like recommendations on the best used LP in the $1200-$1500 range?  I can't afford to drop another fortune on LP, but I will have an open rack soon & all my freinds from S. Africa to Greece are always on me to get back into vinyl.
I like to give it a shot I have listened to vinyl in 25 yrs.- The Ipod generation will never embrace vinyl or even big rigs- so it's up to us older audiophiles to keep it alive.
Thanks in advance for any recommendatios.

Sam -- Sun, 11/07/2010 - 17:15

How about a basis 2200 or 2800. These 2 are a result of 20+ years of research and fine tuning. Are reference level products in ur price range and as good or better than any system out there at any price. How many LPs do u have?

kodg -- Sun, 11/07/2010 - 20:36

I have zero LP's- that would be part of the fun I think finding hidden gems.  I aim already way over extended $$ wise on audio-so really I have to stick to my price range- I know Lp's can get sky high in price in a hurry!

Sam -- Sun, 11/07/2010 - 21:36

I'm sorry kdog I miss read ur post. I thought u put 12 to 15k. In ur price there are lots of great ones. Check out the clear audio matrix, vpi scout or sota comet s301. I like the clearaudio concept a lot. And It did well at the recent rmaf as well.

kodg -- Mon, 11/08/2010 - 10:22

Thanks-Funny my audiophile buddy in S. Africa recommend the Scout & the Clear Audio also-in fact at the time he was so eager for me to get into vinyl he sent me like 10 great choices from Agone.
I have to complete some other deals first- waiting on my Vivid Audio center channel & stand /C1)  It has been a true nightmare dealing w/the distribtor/sales outlet for Vivid!!! Be warned!  Laurence Dickie is the only reason I aim sticking w/the Vivids-A truly cool guy!
Also some mis steps by Klaus on my Stratos amps that need to be resolved!  I tell you dealing w/incompentent dealers takes the fun out of the whole thing-what should be a great experience turns into a nightmare when your dropping $40K on speakers is freaken riduculous, but that's where I aim!!
Klaus is fine at least he relizes his mistakes & wants to keep you happy Vivid doesn't!!  Worst experience ever.

jdmi -- Mon, 01/10/2011 - 12:43

Hey JV,
Did I miss your review of the ARC CD8? Or is a review forthcoming?

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