Audiotechnique Listening Chapter Audio Note CD 5.1X CD Player- The Most Analogue-Flavoured all-in-one CD Player

DATE : 8 Sep, 2020
CATEGORY : High-end Audio

“When [Audio Note] first designed CD 5.1x, their basic concept was to create a hybrid of the turntable from their CDT-Three CD player, and the decoder from the DAC 3.1x/II Balanced. However, as they chose better components, the performance of CD 5.1x exceeded expectations.”

“The core of the CD player consists of Philips CD Pro 2LF laser module and mechanical parts, which has been carefully improved upon by Audio Note to reach the maker’s highest specifications…. The output stage uses two copper wire-wound output transformers; when you open up the chassis to look inside up-close, all the parts in the CD 5.1x have been carefully selected.”

“The sound played by Audio Note CD 5.1x is quite pleasing. There is not any gritty or frizzy feeling, and the overall sound is quite smooth…. There is serious musicality, which means you can listen to it endlessly without getting tired. The CD 5.1x, the CDT Six CD, and The Fifth Element DAC system all have the same analogue flavour. If it weren’t for the missing sound of fried beans [at the start of each track], it really does sound like you’re listening to an LP.”

“The playback of piano music left the deepest impression on me. The texture of [the pianist’s] touch is very pronounced, and the piano’s resonance in the space is very special, as though it lingers for a long time with a layer of air surrounding the entire space. …Hélène Grimaud playing Bartok has a natural and unpretentious sense of nostalgia, which brings out a relaxed, informal, and earnest sense of self. The aforementioned sensations seem abstract, yet they can be easily conveyed on the CD 5.1x… and the most powerful thing is the contrast between forte and diminuendo, and the progressive variations that keep me listening without ever wanting to stop.”

“Naturally, in addition to the piano, vocals also play to the strengths of this CD 5.1x! … There is another characteristic on the CD 5.1x that I did not anticipate in advance. It has a very strong sense of low-frequencies, but it is not the momentous kind that thumps on your heart. Rather it is richly layered on the bottom low frequencies… With the compliment of this low frequency submersion, it makes the music richer and more vivid, and for tireless listening.”

—— Lee 388

Audiotechnique September 2020

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