Musicality v. Resolution -- Extremes?

Ok, I've often heard off-handed comments regarding the fabled "classically musical" or "classically resolved" CD player. However, these days everyone is falling over themselves to describe any given CD player as one that is "resolved yet musical," (which is, after all, what I suppose we’ve all been conditioned to thirst for). Assuming that the old resolving power v. musicality is a spectrum (possibly an incorrect assumption, and one that leaves out a whole host of other variables, but humor me) who would lie towards the extremes? For example, taking into account my tastes and current setup, I would run out to hear a CDP that was described, above all else, as "warm, laid back, smooth, lush and musical." Is there such a beast? Or, in the race to the middle of the spectrum, is there no one left at the extremes? (Fine, I admit that the best will likely be the ones that can approach both ends of the spectrum simultaneously, but that’s another question). Thoughts?
Mezmo.....Warm, laid back, smooth, lush and musical. Try Meridian 506 or 508 CDP's.
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.
Check out the EAD Ultradisc 2000. There's one for sale on AGon right now. See also
If you can find one, the Wadia 9 is exactly what you seem to be looking(listening) for. Not as resolved as some of the best of the new breed but exceptionally musical.
I agree with the recommendation of the EAD Ultradisc 2000. In my system it replaced the Classe DAC-1, CDT-1 combo. It is absolutely addictive! [Also unfortunately orphaned as Pioneer no longer makes the drive used by EAD. A bargain used at $1200.]