For sale is the Bel Canto PL-1A Universal Player in mint consmetic and perfect working condition. it comes with the original manual and remote, also in great condition. Rated 8/10 only for age.
This former Stereophile Class A+ Recommended component originally retailed for $7500 only five years ago, and has received two extremely favourable reviews from both Stereophile and 6Moons. Excerpts from the reviews are as follows.
"When I A/B'd this recording through the PL-1A's direct balanced stereo output and through the Theta Gen.VIII, the difference wrought by employing a DAC costing more than the player was inconsequential. Not that there wasn't a difference—the Gen.VIII's output was a bit silkier in the highs—but it was tiny, and noticeable only with intent concentration, excellent program material, and the B&W 802Ds' extraordinary diamond tweeters. Midrange, bass, dynamics, etc., were pretty much standoffs."
The Theta Gen VIII was a state of the art $13.5K DAC and one currently sells for $3.5K on eBay.
Having spent a good two hours with one single CD -- the stunning Weeshuis by the Dutch immigrant camp's orchestra -- I had to conclude the following: The PLayer's RedBook playback was every bit the equal of the mighty Zanden DAC and, arguably, identical or at the very least so fiendishly close that only elongated listening sessions with a very wide range of material could even hope to unearth anything of minor significance.
The Zanden DAC is the Model 5000 IV that retailed for $10K and still highly sought after because the Zanden brand name is legendary.
Although the video capability of this player is just "gravy" (but does give the cleanest DVD picture I've ever seen), the overall audio performance of this player for Redbook and SACD is exceptional even by today's reference standards. It remains one of the highest end products Bel Canto ever produced, with a build and parts quality that is far superior to their later CD players (like the CD2). The fanatical attention put into the power supply regulation and the analog stage refinement still cannot be matched by current overachieving $1K machines that simply market some fancy specs on the latest DAC chip as it's the implementation that makes all the difference. The PL-1A also makes a fantastic transport for a state of the art DAC (like the Bel Canto 3.5VB) which may one of very few current DACs that can improve the analog outputs from this player.
I can safely ship at buyers cost, and I will accept Paypal at asking price.