A Beautiful Classic
Even though this was a reference combo-player, I was disappointed by its sound. The transport uses a Philips swing arm mechanism which is usually a guarantee for musicality but in this case, I found the transport-dac combo decidedly gray and lacking vitality. Sure, there was no grain, hardness or other nastiness to the sound and the treble was in fact quite fluid but the sound failed to grab attention and it had the opposite effect of my feet: they would stop tapping! Besides this dullness, the soundstage was narrow and devoid of color or substance.
Closer investigation showed that most of this was the fault of the bitstream dac but since even the simple Denon DA500 beat it in every aspect. But the transport itself was also less liked than that from the Marantz CD94II which all round bettered it hands down.