Audio Research Reference CD7 CD Player Reviewed

By |

Page 1 Page 2

audio-research-cd7.jpgA product of outstanding performance is often labeled as "reference," meaning that it is used as a measuring stick for other products.  Unfortunately, however, the term "reference" has been abused so much that few people take it seriously any more.  It's no surprise to me that, in fact, most new products are labeled by their manufacturer as the "new reference," even though the previous iteration released a year ago was also "reference."  What is a consumer to believe?

One company which doesn't use the word "reference" lightly is the Minnesota-based Audio Research Corporation.  Audio Research, or ARC, is one of the grandfathers of the audio industry, having not only remained in business since 1970, but still thriving in 2008. When Audio Research releases a product with the word "reference" in the name, they need to be taken seriously, since they don't do so very often.

Additional Resources
• Read more source component reviews by HomeTheaterReview.com's staff.
• Find a receiver to connect with the CD7.

Audio Research has been building CD players since 1995, when they released the CD1.  It wasn't until 2005, when they released the CD7, that they felt they could turn digital data into music well enough to label it a reference product. This should tell you how seriously Audio Research takes their reference products.

The Ref CD7 is best introduced by what it doesn't do, compared to those things that most other modern CD players do.  For example, it doesn't play SACDs, or DVD-Audio discs, or even upsample.  It doesn't need to, however.  It plays good old fashioned two-channel Redbook discs so well that it will make you forget all those other things even exist.  What Audio Research has created is simply a fantastic disc player for true two-channel enthusiasts.

The $8,995 Reference CD7 is a top-loading player that contains seven 6H30 vacuum tubes, four triodes for the audio gain and three for power supply regulation.  It utilizes the proven Philips Pro2 laser mechanism and the Crystal 24-bit DAC.  It offers single-ended and XLR analog outputs, as well as BNC coax and AES/EBU balanced digital outputs.  It is available in either natural brushed silver or classic black.  The face shares many styling cues with the rest of the Reference family, namely a large green display that is easy to read from across the room.

Read about the high points and low points of the CD7 on Page 2.

  • Comment on this article

Post a Comment
comments powered by Disqus

HTR Product Rating for Audio Research Reference CD7 CD Player

Criteria Rating

Performance

4

Value

4

Overall

4

Disagree with our product rating? Email us and tell us why you think this product should receive a higher rating.


Latest Audio Player Reviews

Feb 27
Marantz ND8006 Network CD Player/DAC Reviewed I have to admit that I was somewhat lukewarm to the idea of reviewing the Marantz ND8006 Network CD Player/DAC...
Marantz ND8006 Network CD Player/DAC Reviewed

Dec 10
Home Theater Review's Best of 2018 Awards Here at the end of 2018, we at HomeTheaterReview.com look back at all the products we reviewed this year and pick the best of the bunch, from budget favorites to aspirational flagship products.
Home Theater Review's Best of 2018 Awards

Nov 07
HiDiz AP60 II Portable Mini Hi-Res Music Player Reviewed Steven Stone says this little pocketful of high-res bliss is perfect for workouts and travel, assuming you don't need streaming app support.
HiDiz AP60 II Portable Mini Hi-Res Music Player Reviewed

Sep 19
Roon Nucleus Music Server Reviewed Roon is one of the world's leaders in software and metadata management, and their platform has taken the audiophile community...
Roon Nucleus Music Server Reviewed

Jul 16
Cary Audio DMS-500 Media Center Reviewed Steven Stone puts Cary Audio's DMS-500 Media Center through its paces and comes away impressed by its "stunningly good sound" and "smooth-running ergonomics."
Cary Audio DMS-500 Media Center Reviewed