Tuesday, July 26, 2011

An excellent CD Player that you can still find for cheap

The Aiwa XC-37M (and the earlier XC-35M) CD Changer is outstanding.  The Illinois Audio Society wrote that using its digital output it was the equal of the best CD player they had tested.   I will add that using its own normal analog outputs, it sounds very seriously good.  Not at all what you'd expect from an inexpensive changer.  You can still find these new, on eBay, for around $50.00.  The only downside I've heard anyone mention is that the status display and the play indicator LED blink during play.   If you listen in the dark, you might want to put tape over them.

The Way it Sounded

Album: "In the Court of the Crimson King"
Mix: 2009 new stereo mixdown by Robert Fripp and Steven Wilson 
Pressing: Discipline Global Mobile (DGM) Red Book standard audio CD  "40th Anniversary Edition"

This must be the way it sounded in 1969.  It's absolutely awesome.  I
do not use that word lightly.  This is on a whole different plane than
the "remastered" Emerson Lake and Palmer discs.  This is a labor of
love and it shows all over.  Every instrument has been brought out of
the murk and given its rightful place.  If there was a second flute
track, it's been moved-over in the stereo image so you can appreciate
it more.  This is a recording that has been loved.  Very Carefully.

Actually, it's better than it sounded in the control room, on 1969
control room monitors.  They never got to hear the subtlest details latent
on the tape.  And there's no tape noise.  No wow or flutter, no phase
problems.  It is better than being there in 1969.  And you can do it
at home for cheap.  This is better than time travel.

Fripp says:

The original Wessex recording was on 8-track. This necessitated several sub-mixes; such as drums, bass guitar, piano & acoustic guitar on one stereo pair and all the mellotrons on another. These stereo sub-mixes were then mixed down to the original stereo master; the final master took another generation, to allow for cross-fades; and production masters went another generation. The original stereo master was lost for decades, found by Simon Heyworth in a pile of KC tapes from the Virgin tape store, and until recently was the best master available.