Starship Enterprise has landed….
HT has been a large distraction for me in recent years, with sounds and sights revolving around me, it’s a very seductive proposition.
But even so, I have always kept one leg in audio, getting a musical AV amp, and then upgrading my speakers to make a difference in stereo. But my weak link has been my CD source. My last proper CD player was the Marantz CD 63 KIS and I also used it with a Camelot DAC, but somehow, using a coaxial cable to my Reference series amps was good enough and since then I have been using my trusty Pioneer DVD 525 as a transport to play music.
The journey to seek out a good CD source has been a long one, with my last player almost 6 years ago. And with a ton of DVDs to keep me occupied, the search has not been too active. I also dabbled in tube amps, but I found that my Marantz sounded better than that tube amp and so I gave it up. I was not done experimenting in stereo yet, and so began a search for a fairly reasonably budget CD player. At 1k, I do thank bros for their suggestions, but for new players, there was not a lot of choices and I had my fears about old players and the durability of their lenses and transports.
However yesterday as I fortuitously saw an ad about a certain Rega Planet. I had heard the Apollo in action at and it was something quite sweet, so my interest was piqued. A few phone calls later and a long drive to the East, and viola! I have a used Planet 2000.
Of course we should concentrate on the innards of the player but like my speakers (and perhaps women) its always nice to have a good looker as well. With a CD transport which looks like the starship Enterprise plus a series of good reviews on its sonic qualities, I was ready to part with my money. My aim was for a reasonably warm player to match my GS 10s which tend towards the brighter side of the business.
This player isn’t excessively heavy, weighing in at 5kg or so, a tad less than a HD DVD player in fact. But all the bits seems to be well screwed in place. The remote was alright too and easy to handle in the dark.
So how does it sound?
I am playing a personal favourite CD right now, the modern classics CD of current jazz, vocal and instrumental hits from Sony.
Marantz SR 12 Reference Series THX Ultra II AV Reciever
Xindak power cable and Coaxial cable
Cable Talk inter-connects
Monitor Audio GS 10 with QED XT tube 300 cables on Atacama SE 28 stands
Lets just say, I now have balance, the right amount of detail and smoothness, with a broad soundstage and depth.
I no longer dread that my beautiful GS 10s can be treble happy and I can put on a CD of violins with great pride and have the violins float before me, with a stable image, and turn up the volume, with no fear of my ears bleeding. There is definition of the high frequencies, and this allows me to focus on the mids, which is the forte of the GS speakers. It does not convert the bookshelf speakers into bass demons, but the bass is there, and even when you listen to a guitar tune, there is palpable bass, with a good set of rhythm and pace.
Many have suggested that the Planet presents a analogue sort of sound and I will not disagree, yet it isn’t just about softening the image, but making a even smooth sonic signature that lends itself to hours of listening, and you are actually forced ever so often to lift your head up from work, as the same tunes you have listened to many times, suddenly sound so much better that you simple have to peel yourself from the work or computer and spend a few moments just taken away by the sweet sounds emanating from the speakers. By no stretch is this the last word in high fidelity, but this reasonably affordable player gives you more than a glimpse into the lofty air of hi fi without enlarging a massive hole in your wallet.
Yet it begs you to dig up all those CDs lying forlornly in a corner ever since DVDs came along and you keep finding new information in the same recordings that simply brings a smile to your face and close your eyes to indulge in the moment, like that Wolf Blass Platinum 2000… a classic indeed….
I have no financial interest or other interests in any of the items / events I write about.