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  1. #1

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    Default So I didn't buy the Jolida...

    ...Instead, I rolled the dice and bought a no-name brand tube CD player made in China from a guy in the US who distributes them. The guy's company is Specialty Audio Source (SAS) and he sells them on ebay and audiogon. The cost is $500 vs. the $900 I planned on spending for the modded Jolida that I really wanted. There's a 30 day money back guarantee, so I figured I'd give it a try. The player arrived today and here are my first impressions:

    The CD player arrived double boxed. It's 18 lbs. and appears to be well built. The transport is definitely high quality. It opens slowly and smoothly. It comes with gold-plated connectors, remote control, and generic power cord, but no manual. This CD player replaces a Cambridge Audio 640C CD player. This is my first tube purchase.

    I popped in a few of my favorite selections and listened. One thing that was readily apparent was this CD player has a cleaner sound than the Cambridge Audio. This allows for a bit more detail to shine through. Instruments sounded slightly more natural. The soundstage widened, too, although for my room and listening preferences, I kinda like the soundstage to be a little more compressed. The bass is about the same for both units. Here's what won me over -- when I listened to one of favorite songs by Dianne Reeves, the music was more captivating. I can't really explain it, but it appeared to be more emotionally impactful than I ever heard it before. Simply stated, it put a smile on my face. I expect everything to sound better over time due to break-in.

    Bottom line -- I like it and plan to keep it for a long time. It is not exponentially better than the Cambridge Audio because the CA is an excellent CD player. However, the SAS CD player is definitely considered an upgrade for me. I have already ordered some GE 5670 tubes to replace the stock 6N3 tube. Based on other owners, this tube replacement really improves the sound in every way. Is it as good as the Jolida 100? Hell, I don't know. It would be nice to do an A/B test someday to see what I may or may not be missing, but right now I'll just enjoy my music.

    Preamp - Musical Fidelity A3CR
    Amp - ODL (Odyssey) Stratos
    Speakers - Polk Lsi7's
    Sub - Onix Rocket UFW-10

  2. #2

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    How about a pic brotha?

    Transport: Oppo BDP-103/USB HDD (flac)
    DAC/Preamp: Benchmark DAC/PRE
    Power Amp: Parasound HCA-1500A
    Speakers: Harbeth Compact 7ES-3 Monitor
    Cables: Kimber Hero/8TC; DH Labs D-75

  3. #3

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    Dodd - Battery Preamp
    Monarchy Audio SE100 Delux - mono power amps
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    Where is the remote? Where is the $%#$% remote!

    "I've always been mad, I know I've been mad, like the most of us have...very hard to explain why you're mad, even if you're not mad..."

  4. #4

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    Yeah, it's got HDCD. Forgot to mention that the remote is barely OK, but like most remotes, you'll want to get something else. Listened to it again since I made my initial comments and I'm becoming more impressed. This time I listened to a digitally remastered CD and the instruments are nearly true to life.
    HT/2-channel Rig: Sony 50 LCD TV; Toshiba HD-A2 DVD player; Emotiva LMC-1 pre/pro; Rogue Audio M-120 monoblocks (modded); Placette RVC; Emotiva LPA-1 amp; Bada HD-22 tube CDP (modded); VMPS Tower II SE (fronts); DIY Clearwave Dynamic 4CC (center); Wharfedale Opus Tri-Surrounds (rear); and VMPS 215 sub

    "God grooves with tubes."

  5. #5

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    Congratulations! sounds great

    does it just play cds? or will it play SACDs, too?
    Quote Originally Posted by George Grand View Post
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    Wonder WTF happened to the rest of my money.
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  6. #6

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    Looks good and great specs! definitely wait til the tubes have some time on them then give us your impressions.

  7. #7

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    Thanks for the link Russ.

    I believe that would be an upgrade from my Cal CL20. I need to find a way to explain why burned copies will never sound as good as the original. That said, my Cal is the reference but I need a good univerasal transport.

    I have cages but great components are a mandate if I go DIY. Time I have will determine a purchase or not.

    twin
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  8. #8
    Stronzo
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    EarlyB,

    Interesting change of pace. Cant say I am too familiar with that player. I am definately interested to hear your impressions as that player matures.

  9. #9

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    I am definately interested to hear your impressions as that player matures.
    Yeah, I'll let you know in about a month or so. By then, I will have changed out the tube.

    I plan on taking a break from audio for a while, and that includes visiting with you guys on this forum. I have some priorities that need attending to. I'm also not going to buy any more audio gear for a few months. Just need to enjoy what I have and not spend any more money. Need to save up for the bottomless money pit called, "home improvements." Damn.
    HT/2-channel Rig: Sony 50 LCD TV; Toshiba HD-A2 DVD player; Emotiva LMC-1 pre/pro; Rogue Audio M-120 monoblocks (modded); Placette RVC; Emotiva LPA-1 amp; Bada HD-22 tube CDP (modded); VMPS Tower II SE (fronts); DIY Clearwave Dynamic 4CC (center); Wharfedale Opus Tri-Surrounds (rear); and VMPS 215 sub

    "God grooves with tubes."

  10. #10

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    Originally posted by Early B.

    I plan on taking a break from audio for a while, and that includes visiting with you guys on this forum. I have some priorities that need attending to. I'm also not going to buy any more audio gear for a few months. Just need to enjoy what I have and not spend any more money. Need to save up for the bottomless money pit called, "home improvements." Damn.
    and your point is?
    ***WAREMTAE***

  11. #11
    Stronzo
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    I think it hides somewhere along the lines of avoiding temptation! :D

    Early, a man has got to have his priorities. Take care of those necessities and enjoy the tunes. We will no doubt be here when you get back.

    Cheers,

    Sean

  12. #12
    Old School
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    Two things:

    1.) That SAS is not ugly enough to be a Chinese tube CDP; and

    2.) I call dibs on Henry's Cal Lab... :D
    More later,
    Tour...
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    Rebuilding Maggie 2-ch & Amazing 2-ch... Building 2-ch "wall"... Figuring out the HT

  13. #13

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    Originally posted by Early B.
    Forgot to mention that the remote is barely OK, but like most remotes, you'll want to get something else.
    Sorry for the derail Early but do you know of any universal remotes that work with the MF A3cr preamp? I got one last week and the remote is PATHETIC, just in case I decide to keep the MF I'd probably like a more sturdy remote...

    oh, forgot to mention. I wouldn't want to pay more than $20 or so on a remote... Thanks!
    Last edited by tryrrthg; 11-12-2004 at 07:23 AM.
    Sony KDL-40V2500 HDTV, Rotel RSX-1067 Receiver, Sony BDP-S550 Blu-ray, Slim Devices Squeezebox, Polk RTi6, CSi3 & R15, DIY sub with Atlas 15

  14. #14

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    Tryrrthg-
    Do you have the original A3CR remote? Would you like to sell it? I've got the A3.2CR remote that controls everything "MF" and have been looking for just the preamp remote...

    Transport: Oppo BDP-103/USB HDD (flac)
    DAC/Preamp: Benchmark DAC/PRE
    Power Amp: Parasound HCA-1500A
    Speakers: Harbeth Compact 7ES-3 Monitor
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  15. #15

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    If you want a good, cheap universal remote, go with the Sony

    RMVL700 or RMVL900

    They are both learning remotes(under $20 shipped) so you can program the buttons you want to the new remote from your old remote.

    They are refurbished, but the four I have purchased for other people have worked fine so far.

    This thread is where I posted this first: http://clubpolk.polkaudio.com/forum/...threadid=23081

  16. #16

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    Default

    Originally posted by Tour2ma
    I call dibs on Henry's Cal Lab... :D
    Oh yeah, well I call dibs on Zero's SAS! :D
    Make it Funky! :)

  17. #17
    Stronzo
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    Bastard. :D

  18. #18

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    I second the Sony RMVL900, great remote.
    'Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end."

  19. #19

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    Thanks for the remote suggestions guys!

    Originally posted by steveinaz
    Tryrrthg-
    Do you have the original A3CR remote? Would you like to sell it? I've got the A3.2CR remote that controls everything "MF" and have been looking for just the preamp remote...
    Steve, I wouldn't sell the remote without having an MF remote to replace it. If I ever decide to sell the preamp I'd want an MF remote to go with it...
    Sony KDL-40V2500 HDTV, Rotel RSX-1067 Receiver, Sony BDP-S550 Blu-ray, Slim Devices Squeezebox, Polk RTi6, CSi3 & R15, DIY sub with Atlas 15

  20. #20

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    Did it come with a schematic, or a block diagram? A *single* 6N3 is kinda different, I'd love to see the circuit layout.

    Cheers,
    Russ
    Check your lips at the door woman. Shake your hips like battleships. Yeah, all the white girls trip when I sing at Sunday service.

  21. #21

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    Thats cool. I was just curious because my MF didn't come w/remote, so after months of internet surfing, I found an MF authorized dealer in Georgia. They didn't have the A3CR remote, but did have the A3.2CR remote for $60 bucks, so I bought one. It controls everything though, tuner, pre, cd player, etc.

    Transport: Oppo BDP-103/USB HDD (flac)
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  22. #22

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    Originally posted by steveinaz
    Thats cool. I was just curious because my MF didn't come w/remote, so after months of internet surfing, I found an MF authorized dealer in Georgia. They didn't have the A3CR remote, but did have the A3.2CR remote for $60 bucks, so I bought one. It controls everything though, tuner, pre, cd player, etc.
    I wouldn't bother tyring to find one. The remote is a CHEAP! MF obviously put the money into the preamp and made the remote as cheap as possible!
    Sony KDL-40V2500 HDTV, Rotel RSX-1067 Receiver, Sony BDP-S550 Blu-ray, Slim Devices Squeezebox, Polk RTi6, CSi3 & R15, DIY sub with Atlas 15

  23. #23

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    Believe me, the first thing I did with my MF gear was to program a Sony RMVL-900 and put the MF remotes back in the boxes.
    'Political Correctness'.........defined

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  24. #24

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    Awesome! Can't wait to read the review. Never heard a tube cd player before. This one looks very cool and classy. I'm planning to get a pair of Maggies within 6 months but the low price of this unit is really making me think.

    Russ,
    Do you know if the 6N3 is a pentode or triode signal tube? Just thought it would be interesting in my rig to have pure triode from source to amplification. There's just something about the triode sound. I'm so enjoying the Dyna triode strapped. The sound is liquid smooth and vocals sound so real. And this is with a SS pre. I'm going to freak when I hear a SET pre in the chain:D.

    Maurice
    CD Player: Original CD-A8T
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    "I would rather have a cup of tone than an ocean of power" **Dr. Harvey Rosenberg**

  25. #25

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    It looks like they are using Denon 2900 DVD chassis for the CD player (possibly transport as well)

  26. #26

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    The Denon 2900, http://www.usa.denon.com/catalog/pho...0Front.jpg&c=4

    and the SAS, http://www.specialtyaudiosource.com/page3.html

    "Our Compact Disc Players are built by hand. No remake of a mass produced chassis here. Hand built with high quality custom parts from heavily constructed power transformers, Sonicaps, genuine Phillips Disc Mechanism"

    They don't look the same to me.
    'Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end."

  27. #27

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    It would be crazy for a "high end manufacturer" to flat out utilize a stock chassis right? Perhaps tweak a stock chassis? It happens ALL the time.

    Most transports come from run of the mill, Best Buy/Circuit City, manufacturers....wake up America. Get your research above and beyond a google sniff someday.

    It's all in what you do with it afterwards. A transport isn't rocket science.

    If you want to spend high dollar on something, then just freaking do it. Does one really have to prove the spending of money? Isn't it all in the ear of the beholder?

    No offense meant, it's just a statement of fact.
    Last edited by dorokusai; 11-15-2004 at 02:21 AM.

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