The Audio Note CD2 is an excellent, robust and natural cd player, with a tube output, from one of the world’s leading manufacturers of high end audio equipment. This was made in the UK, before Audio Note began outsourcing to China. The player looks good, and sound superb. I am rating it a 7 to be on the safe side, but an 8 is probably more accurate. The drawer opens and closes smoothly. Remote, original box, original manual, detachable power cord included. I am also including an extra EI Elite Vacuum Tube. That is the good news; here is the problem, and the reason for the low price: When the player is on and not playing music, you will hear a low background hum through your speakers, like a ground loop hum. When the player is playing music, I do not hear it. I have uploaded a video to YouTube so you can hear how it sounds when it is playing; search under user nathanu2can. Because of this and the excellent pricing, I am selling as-is, no returns. You may have a better idea of how to resolve this issue than I do; or, you can simply enjoy it as is, because when it plays it sings. The Audiogon Used Blue Book Average is $750.
Here is the official industry mumbo jumbo: The CD2 integrated CD player is a culmination of Audio Note's unparalleled expertise and success in the design and implementation of Digital to Analog Converters and pure Class A triode output stages. In keeping with Audio Note tradition, the CD2 was designed to produce a level of performance unequaled at its price point, thereby establishing a new benchmark for digital reproduction. The CD2 is among the best CD players at its price and beyond. Based around a Sony laser mechanism, with digital circuitry from Ultra Analog Devices, the CD2 has filtering that is all done in the analog domain. It's so fast electronically that you can't upset it even with the most breakneck acid rock, and it strips away layers from your discs to reveal whole new areas of musical information. It's just as competent with orchestral and chamber music, focusing the attention on the character of the instruments involved while still conveying the musical whole. It's well suited to big musical landscapes producing bass that can be measured in acreage across the floor, allied to a strong midrange and a gorgeously liquid treble that you feel you can reach out and touch.
I don’t know about all that, but I have owned the Wadia 861SE GNSC, and a lot of really outstanding cd players; this does not have the same ability to resolve information as an $11,000 cd player but it sure sounds real and is a pleasure to listen to. No digital artifacts.
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