Marantz CD7 Having been without a proper CD player since I sold my Moon to Robbo over a year ago, I recently decided to take the plunge and pick up a mint expample of the Marantz CD7. With only 750 of these existing worldwide, they very rarely pop up on the used market, and when they do they don't last long. For those not familiar with the CD7, this is CD done the old fashioned way. No upsampling, no interpolation filters or 24 bit dacs, the CD7 was old fashioned when it came out in 1999 so five years on it seems seriously dated Build quality is fabulous, a copper-plated diecast chassis , loads of copper sheilding and a reassuring weight of 16kg. The Dac's are quite special - Double Crown multibit chips that alledgedly provide superior linearity. 16 bit only of course - none of this modern stuff! So how does it sound? Well in the recent past I have had the opportunity to sample of the delights of many fine CD players at home whilst looking for a replacement. The dCS Delius/Purcell, the Resolution Audio Opus 21 are just two, but I have also had experience of the Moon Eclipse, the Wadia 861, and the Meridian G08. Now memory is a fickle thing, particularly when it comes to hifi comparisons done in differing systems some time apart. So the fact that I have not done an A-B comparison should be take into account when reading this. But my impressions based on one weekend's listening suggest that the CD7 is a very special player indeed, in fact the first silver disc player I have heard that can approach analogue in many of the areas that are important to me. It has that driven, propulsive quality that makes vinyl so entertaining, in many ways reminding me of top end Naim CD players like the CDS2. Where it betters the Naim IMO is in areas of tonal colours and soundstaging, where it is amongst the best I have ever heard. The impression is that this Marantz has slightly greater low level resolution than the other units I have listened to. This not only leads to greater detail retrieval in the "haven't heard that before" sense, but also greater tangibility to vocals and individual instruments. So that's the hifi bollox out the way This thing rocks! Music is incredibly involving for CD, bass is powerful and tight and (for those who claim it's important) it grooves like a barsteward. So we've got Naim like timing, Wadia style bass, and dCS style resolution all in one musically satisfying package. I'm sure all of the above better the CD7 in one area or another. I very much doubt any of them provide a better all round musical performance. With used prices for all of the above being around £4,500 these days, I would say the CD7 is an absolute steal unless those of us lucky enough to own one decide to sell at prices the sound actually justifies. The CD7 is one of those products that makes you realise just how badly the industry has gone wrong.