Mezmo.....Warm, laid back, smooth, lush and musical. Try Meridian 506 or 508 CDP's.
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or, try a "highly-resolved" cd-player, like an alchemist/resolution-audio/or? into a nice tube preamp like the cary slp98, melos music director, rogue 99 or? personally, i don't think there *exists* a cd-player that approaches both "resolving power" & "musicality" simultaneously - ya need more bits. of course, i haven't heard all the cd-players out there, so some may consider this mere "speculation" on my part, but that's my story, & i'm stickin' to it! ;~) doug
I'm currently evaluating the new MSB Platinum and I think it may fit the bill as far as hitting both ends of the spectrum. I don't have a lot of basis for comparison, however. I like this thread and wouldn't mind seeing a similar discussion for other components. You know, what "camps" do the popular products fall into. If reviewers would place products into general areas in this way, it would be so helpful.
I agree that the Meridian's generally avoid digital nasties, but the ones I have owned (Meridian 508-24 and the 500/566-24 combo) lack pace and have an annoying upper mid-range sheen that has a congealed quality to it. The only way I have come close to good digital sound is by lifting the lid and replacing every capacitor and resistor in sight with Black Gates, Vishay etc. This is very expensive, frustrating and a one-way ticket to an orphan that is hard to sell. But for some reason digital seems to be incredibly sensitive to capacitors that are anything less than the best. The minimum standard required for digital in my experience is the Nichicon Muse, but still use Black Gates in the most critical sections.
Levinson M37 transport and M 360S DAC, when connected with Madrigal's MDC-1 AES/EBU dig. cable is TOO resolved, ie analytical to the point of distraction. BUT, when connected with Cardas Lightning AES/EBU cable, mucicality-- including PRT are excellent. I would describe this pair-- with the Cardas cable as resolved yet musical-- to use your words.. Cheers. Craig.