Opera Audio Consonance Reference CD-2.2
Review by audioreview

Model: Reference CD2.2
Category: CD Player/Recorder
Suggested Retail Price: $1800 at Audiolon
Description: CD Player
Manufacturer URL: Opera Audio
Model Picture: View
Reviewed by: AudioPhile
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Summary:
I used to think CD players were all about the same. But as my system got better and better one day I realized that my CD player was the weak link.

I had never heard of Opera Audio - Consonance, until I ran into a blurb on the net referring to a Chinese made CD player that performed far above its price point - the Consonance 2.2, tube output, CD player.

I have a degree in Music from Berklee (in Boston) - I played for years - now I just listen mostly - I am very concerned about the musicality of my stereo components!

I use all tube equipment - this CD player fit in with my philosophy - so after reading all I could find on the net I sent my money to Lon of Audiolon and he sent me a very beautiful Consonance 2.2.

The unit is truly well built weighing in at 40 lbs or so. Solid Cherry slats on top offset the thick aluminum faceplate for a pleasing look. There is a slight "Oriental" slant to the piece which sets it apart from other equipment - reminiscent of a Zen Temple perhaps.

The unit has round knobs in front which don't turn - rather tilt up/down and sideways to accomplish various on/off, open/close or play, pause, stop, next, functions - different, but intuitive after a learning peroid of about a week.

I had the unit for about a month and it was breaking in quite nicely - when Lon asked me if I wanted the upgrades. At that point it was sounding quite spectacular, but (always wanting more) I sent it to him where he upgrqaded the tube, and a few critcal components. If it was sounding great as a stock unit , then it was superb after the upgrades - that is the only way I can describe it. Total cost with upgrades and shipping came to about $1800.

My CD player is my primary source for my listening. I figure the output can never be any better than the input, so you better get a good CD player. This player is not just good, it is amazingly good. Regular ol' CD's that I have had for many years all of a sudden sound better, reveal more music, and captivate my listening attention as never before.

I am putting this source through a Jadis Orchestra Reference KT90 tube amp (great amp by the way) out to a pair of Spendor S8 speakers that are about the most evenhanded, accurate speakers any body ever came up with. This system reveals the CD better than any system I have ever heard - even high priced New York or San Francisco Salons have nothing to beat what I've got..

You could swear the artist is across the room from you. I can hear bass strings and wood - or fingerprints sliding across guitar strings, vocalists breathing, wonderful-wondeful female vocals can bring tears to your eyes - really. Smooth highs, rich midrange, imaging, and big soundstage are all there.

Dianna Krall, Patricia Barber, Eva Cassidy, Mary Black will all knock your socks off. This player puts out detail without being analytical. Never harsh , no digital glare, only smooth music. Regular CD's sound as good if not better than SACD or HD that I have heard on systems costing 10 times my system cost.

Everything about the unit from its solid build to the all metal remote exude quality - but mostly its musical sound is what separates this from other players on the market.

They mention upsampling and 24 bit DAC and lots of tech stuff - none of which I really understand - what I do understand is Music - this player puts it out PERIOD..

GO BUY ONE

you won't be disappointed

Strengths:
High Resolution
Smooth Detail
No digital Glare
Lush midrange
Deep solid bass (sounds real)
Superb Build Quality

Weaknesses:
Round knobs should be toggle swithes - but no big deal

Similar Products Used:
Cambridge 500
Yamaha
Marantz

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