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REFERENCE CD8 Compact Disc Player
Audio Research are proud to introduce a model that may be the most musical and musically accurate
single-chassis compact disc player, the Reference CD8. It replaces a product that was
still garnering five-star reviews three years after its introduction, the esteemed Reference
With the advent of the CD5 and DAC7 in 2008, they knew that the DAC used in our
Reference player needed a newer, higher-resolution version. (The new 24-bit, 192-kHz
chipset is not retrofittable to the CD7.) And, their engineers found a way to physically
incorporate the same power-supply regulation used in the Reference 3, using a single
6550C to replace two 6H30 triodes, giving better performance and longer tube life. Other
enhancements include their newest output coupling capacitors and special damping
tweaks. The playback mechanism continues to be the unsurpassed Philips PRO2R —
still the best dedicated CD mechanism available.
The REFCD8 also features a new dimmable display, allowing five levels of illumination
or completely off. A small LED indicator remains lit when the player is on, as a reminder
to prevent the player from being left on inadvertently. In size, input and output
configuration, —and in all other operational functions, the REFCD8 is identical to the
REFCD7. But there the similarities end.
Sonically, the REFCD8 stands in a class all its own. While retaining the lush, full
embodiment of the CD7 sound, the CD8 adds new dimensions of transparency. It
immediately shows greater transient speed top-to-bottom, purer resolution of low-level
detail and expanded dynamic contrasts, with more bass slam, definition and extension.
The soundstage is larger and more holographic because of the heightened ability of the
REFCD8 to embody and locate instruments and voices. Rhythmically, the REFCD8 also
picks up the pace compared to the CD7, with improved timing cues and better rhythmic
interplay. You will find other sonic dimensions to marvel as you spend time with this
Quite simply, the REFCD8 will have you rearranging your compact disc collection all
over again as you rediscover and reprioritise old and new favorites. It really is the most
mesmerizing, musically accurate CD player Audio Research have ever experienced — and what better
way to bring enhanced value to a growing, and costly, CD collection!