March 2012 Issue - page 6

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I have now been using computer audio for six weeks. Set it up correctly and tried DACs ranging from £200 – £7500 (same one as yours I suspect) and using CDs ripped to WAVs with Exact Audio Copy and also high resolution downloads. This morning I put on a record for the first time in months, Boney M ‘Night Flight to Venus’ (total rubbish) LP I have had for at least thirty years. On an unmodified Technics SL1200, purchased from a pawnshop a year ago after reading your magazine, and which I fitted with an ancient SME 3009, and an equally ancient Shure M55E with a new stylus from Maplins (elliptical, £19, the most expensive stylus in the shop).

Punch? Attack? Involvement? I cannot take it off. Don’t know why I bothered with all this computer stuff.


Mark E Powell,






Used by Hi-Fi World reviewer Paul Rigby, Icon Audio's CDX1 has a valve output stage and sounds more analogue than most CD players.


Yep, you’re so right. Vinyl still has it for excitement. Time to start tuning the Technics though, isn’t it Mark? Let’s see – an SME309 would do nicely, fitted with an Ortofon 2M Black. Or if that is all too much, go the Rega RB301 route, with Goldring 1022GX. And you will be in heaven without damaging your records. I had a Shure M55E once and I’ll swear it ate vinyl for breakfast and probably all other meals. Get rid! NK


Reading the review of the Bladelius SACD player in a recent issue got me thinking. My favourite source has always been vinyl (I have an Avid Volvere Sequel, Graham Phantom 2, Transfiguration Phoenix and LFD MCT phono stage). I have tried many CD combinations and have a Teac T1, Trichord modded into a Mk1 Chord DAC64. Although this is a good CD front end it always leaves me wanting for more, and often I can’t be bothered with uncovering the turntable and cueing up records, cleaning, etc etc.

Anyway, I have never even heard an SACD player and I fancy dipping my toe in and giving it a try. What with the recession and all, I am not in a position to spend a couple of grand, but if the format is to my liking I could in the future. So my question is this: can you recommend me some SACD players that I could seek out and purchase second hand for about £300 quid or so? The rest of my system is .... Neat ultimatum MF9 speakers and Audiovalve Buldar 300 mono power amps (massive things) and Audiovalve preamp, from Germany. Cables are all high quality.

Many thanks,

Billy Valler




Sony SCD-XE800 CD / SACD player costs less than £300 new.



You can get a modern CD / SACD player, the Sony SCD-XE800, for just £250 and is one possibility. Second hand a player like the SCD-XB790 comes to mind and this goes for around the price you quote and gives a great sound from SACD.

SACD gives a smoother and more fluid sound than either CD or PCM in all its forms and is a very easy listen, popular with classical music in particular. You will not find much other than Classical on SACD now though; it is a moribund format and because mastering costs are high, likely to remain so. NK

Comments (1)
Got a cj61
1Thursday, 19 July 2012 20:05
Paul brown
Just done the mods you advise. It does work on both alignment and the tape slightly shifts the balance. Super suggestion

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