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CEC Awards
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01. CEC TL 0 3.0 and DA 0 3.0
received the Stereo Times Award
Most wanted components 2016.

The CEC is impeccably crafted for precision and its double belt drive CD transport, much like a turntable, utilizes a stabilizer weighing a 460g of 125 mm diameter supported by an ultra-precision spindle/thrust bearing assembly.

Brilliantly, this avoids the need for electronic servo-corrections required by all other CD transports.
The new reference DA 0 3.0 is based on a universal DSP controlled discrete resistor ladder 32bit/384kHz audio DAC.

The CEC's combo possesses an uncanny ability to combine openness, transparency, and resolution with weight and solidity and it sounded like I was listening to an analog system. (Key Kim - Stereotimes)

Weblink to Stereo Times publication


Award Stereotimes 2016



 
   


02. CEC TL 0 3.0 and CEC DA 0 3.0
Review Soundrebels - 2017

" The main aspect, immediately drawing our attention, is the above average sound vividness. There is no softening, no rounding off and also no coloring of the sound. And frankly speaking, I am not sure how to explain this. Some of you probably heard a good reel-to-reel tape player with a spool recorded directly from master tape. If not, then you need to listen to tested products and you will know the sound. But if you did listen to a good tape, then please believe me, this is what you will encounter when listening to the top digital source from CEC, so if you do not want to tease your audiophile ear, then you should avoid being exposed to this set, as it will possess your senses for a long time.

Important is, that this is not the only aspect of the fantastic sound of the “zeros”. I am thinking about the way the virtual stage is setup, and what was to date realized masterfully by my player, now I need to give the leader’s position to the newly tested set. All virtual sources were perfectly placed in the intra-speaker ether even closer to the truth. I will not try to describe it further, as you might think this is a sponsored article, but I can tell one thing for sure, there was an order of magnitude of difference between the Reimyo and the CEC, in favor of the latter.

Suddenly we stand inside the church where the recording was made and the interesting positioning of the artists materializes. Those artists are no flat stains on our beautiful virtual stage, but we can look at them from the sides, what makes them really equipped with the third dimension. This is a feat that only very few devices can master, and I had the opportunity to witness that a few times, but it was never so spectacular as now.

So it should not come as a surprise, that the tested gear comes from the Japanese manufacture C.E.C., known not only for squeezing everything out of the digital carrier, but also for doing that in a characteristic, analog way. ."

I will not hide, that for long time, from the moment I heard for the first time a CEC player, in the nineties, it was probably the TL51, later its variants with different letter combinations, I like those digital sources, and I believe those were the most analog sounding ones.Time slowed down and life seemed more bearable. A kind of audiophile anti-depressant.

I have not heard such an analog sound for a long time.Here is was dynamics and resolution unreachable for other digital sources.

The borderline between what we perceived as a certain reference point and its complete re-definition was crossed. Maybe for some of you this might sound like a heresy, but compared to the CEC, our player on duty, the Reimyo CDT – 777 + DAP – 999 EX Limited, was so pale and without saturation, that I started wondering, if it was not broken.Fortunately it is absolutely fine.

Standard descriptions like: resolving, detailed, etc., seem to be pale, bland and two-dimensional compared to what the CEC offers."

Download full Review of Soundrebels 2017






 
   


03. CEC CD 5 - CD Player and USB Sound System
Review - hifi critic by Paul Messenger.

Paul Messenger takes a listen to CEC's belt-drive CD5 player, which includes an array of digital inputs including USB.

"The CD5 makes a whole lot of sense. Certainly the CD 5 looks a versatile proposition, and already has a fair amount of future-proofing features, especially for those wishing to explore the ins and outs of hi-res downloading, so formal recommedation would seem appropriate."

The CEC CD 5 - received the award- by the independent
UK audio magazine - Hificritic - Recommended.

Download full Review of Hifi Critic 2017



CEC CD 5 hifi critic recommended Award



 
   


04. CEC New Member - SWEDEN:

CEC is proud to announce a new member of the CEC family. From February 2017 - Perfect sense - will be the exclusive CEC distributor in SWEDEN

for all dealer´s inquiry and customer inquiry in sweden:

please contact:

Perfect sense
Mr. M. Fordal
Fon: +46 8 518 368 00
E-mail: info@perfect-sense.se

Weblink: perfect-sense.se



 
   


05. CEC DA 5 - D/A Converter - USB Sound System
Review Hifi Stars 2016: Finally it is here!

"...You should make a note of the name DA 5. The new D/A converter of the well known Japanese manufacturer CEC makes an excellent all-round impression.

it scores with inner values, such as the built-in exception-DAC chip ESS ES9018K2M and can function with its innovative volume control and the headphone amplifier as the heart of a high quality audio system.

The new CEC DA 5 has therefore the stuff to be the heart of a modern audio system.

You can not only enjoy the music from the CD drive through it, but also from a Music Streamer or a PC - and at the highest resolution level DSD 256/11.2 MHz. But that's not all. The CEC DA 5 has a newly developed digital volume control, which can adjust the analogue volume level in extremely fine increments from -99 dB to 0 dB. This is not only useful because the D/A converter acts as a headphone amplifier, but also because it can be used just as well as a preamplifier. The CEC DA 5 is easily connected to a power amp or powered speakers - and the high quality audio system is ready to go!

The new CEC DA 5 is simply a very strong statement in digital playback."

Harald Obst
Review Hifi Stars | audio magazine 2016

Download full Review of Hifi Stars 2016




 
   


06. CEC TL 5 - CD Transport
get the - Highly Recommend Award - from Hifi Pig (UK)

" CD is alive and, well, still going strong in some circles. Actually, the CD format is better than many would think with all the hype over the vinyl revival.

I was very surprised when I started to play music. I was surprised at just how musical this was and how relaxed the performance was. It was so un-naturally natural, if that makes sense.

This didn't sound like a CD player. Everything was so easy flowing and fun. It wasn't that it was slow in any way, just that it was so very musical. The timing and flow of the music was so 'analogue..

The TL5 just made me relax and enjoy the music; the timing was so good, and I forgot this was a CD.

I actually found it hard to explain the magic that this transport delivered. Whatever the music I played in each of the DACs it gave of itself in a way that left me short for words. The CEC TL5 was an all-absorbing player that had me surprised at just how human and magical CDs could be after all.

Conclusion:
My expectations on playing the TL5 left me overwhelmed. This was a CD transport on a grand scale but requiring minimum expenditure. If you have your own decent DAC, or don't mind purchasing (or building) your own, then this player is an excellent choice. The performance was exceptionally engrossing, though I couldn't quite put my fingers on why. I guess it must be that elastic band."

Read the full Review online at:
http://hifipig.com/cec-tl5-belt-drive-cd-transport

(Hifi Pig (UK) - 12 -2016)

Award TL 5




 
   


07. CEC DA 0 3.0 and TL 0 3.0 - Dreamteam

After the Award from Munich High End Show 2016.
(Best Sound Award - High End Munich 2016)

and the highest Award from High Fidelity 2016
(Gold Fingerprint Award 2016):

CEC TL 0 3.0 - CD Transport and DA 0 3.0 D/A Converter received the following Awards:

award

The "Statement Award" category aims to point out the products that become the point of reference for other products. It is something of a "benchmark" in the given category, regardless of the price. Here we can find products that have enchanted us and can be placed in any system, no matter how much it costs.

"The CEC source, including the TL0 3.0 transport and the awarded DAC, presents music in a way that makes it
close to an analog master tape. It shows everything in an incredibly attractive way, without attempting to change
the musical message. Its sound is dense, but transparent; it strongly focuses on the midrange, but you never
get the impression of euphony. Here, space is different from what can be obtained from classic digital sources
or turntables. The closest point of reference is an analog reel-to-reel tape recorder." (High Fidelity - 2016)




 
   


08. CEC New Member - Italy

CEC is proud to announce a new member of the CEC family. From November 2016- Polaris Audio - from Rom will be the exclusive CEC distributor in ITALY.

for all dealer´s inquiry and customer inquiry in Italy:

please contact:

Polaris Audio Srl
Mr. F. Mascetti
Fon: 0039 -(0)06 - 916 50 89 73
E-mail: info@polarisaudio.it.

Weblink: polarisaudio.it




 
   
09. CEC DA 0 3.0 - D/A Converter
just get the Award - Gold Fingerprint - from High Fidelity.

Review - High Fideliy - 09 -2016:
CEC DA 0 3.0 - D/A Converter with
CEC TL 0 3.0 - Double Belt CD Transport

" We had to wait a long time so that the flagship belt-drive transport of Japanese company CEC would finally be joined by equally sophisticated DAC.

The new CEC DAC - DA 0 3.0 is big and heavy. It's housing was made of perfectly matched aluminum plates and the device accepts digital signals up to 32 bits and 384 kHz, as well as DSD128 (via USB). It is equipped with a number of digital inputs, and it features a transformer coupled output. Each section has a separate power supply. What is even more important is that instead of some of-the-shelf DAC chip they decided to use a discrete, multi-bit 32/384 DAC.

In addition to classic digital inputs, such as: RCA, optical, USB and AES / EBU, CEC DA 0 3.0 also incorporates a Superlink input ("CEC Superlink- Digital Signal Transmission System Connection"), based on four 75 Ω BNC cables. This way allows a separation of the clock for left and right channel audio signal, the return clock signal from transport and audio signal. It's a rarely used solution, but one of the best ones, allowing to bypass the S/PDIF receiver to better synchronize both components of the system, and thereby reduce jitter.

When I compared Superlink and S/PDIF connection the differences between them were more fundamental. I would think of TL0 3.0 and DA0 3.0 as an "obligatory" set that should work together. We liked this device so much that during the High End Show in Munich we awarded it with Best Sound. All that is just a beginning.

The way that CEC system presents the physicality of drums, bass, trumpet, vocals finally, is simply incredible.
It's very uncommon in the context of audio in general, not only for a digital player. In this respect, this performance was very close to the sound of an analog master tape.

... and in many ways, it's even better sound than the one we know from the ‚live' events.

Contact with a live music is achieved through one's whole being, body and mind. It is something that can not be faked. I must say, however, that CEC DAC listened together with their transport TL 0 3.0 offered something just as valuable in return: the already mentioned "palpability" of the sound, so that each subsequent event, ie. each new recording carried an emotional charge comparable to the one perceived during a live concert.

This CEC setup ranks at the top of the currently available digital sources, there is nothing to argue about. GOLD Fingerprint."

Download full Review - High Fidelity - 2016
CEC DA 0 3.0 and CEC TL 0 3.0




 
   
10. CEC - new Distributor for USA.

CEC is proud to announce a new member of the CEC family. From the fourth quarter of 2016, Audio Union will be the exclusive CEC distributor in USA.

The Reference TL0 3.0 and DA 0 3.0 sets a new benchmark for Red Book CD replay. The official launch in USA will take place at the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest, PrimeRose room, held in Denver, October 7th thru 9th, 2016.

Audio Union is a company registered in the USA, with the main offices located in Lees Summit, Missouri. AU continually pushes the boundaries of known sonic reproduction and is noted for it's highly acclaimed international talent pool. Our Scientists and Engineers are obsessed with research exceeding the limitations of current playback systems to bring you the finest musical reproduction available.

Weblink: audio-union.com



 
   
11. CEC at High End Munich 2016

CEC TL 0 3.0 (CD Transport) and brand new CEC DA 0 3.0 (D/A Converter) just get the Award from High Fidelity and positive feedback as the - Best Sound Award - from Munich High End Show 2016.

"..CEC combines the best drive system, an very excellent transfer concept and precise signal processing to create a CD drive/converter package with superior sound quality - to pack more into these products is currently unimaginable."

Weblink: positive-feedback - high-end 2016 Award





 
   
12. CEC TL 0 3.0 - Double Belt CD Transport
Review Fidelity 2016:The Eternal Disc Player.

"... There are billions and billions of CDs out there. It is worth getting a standout digital device from Japan for the best, finest and most valuable ones.

What do you want from a turntable? As stable a drive as possible, as little resonance as possible, and as uninterrupted a pick-up process as possible. Then, the resulting music will be great. What do you want from a CD player? Exactly the same things, according to C.E.C., who, for almost a quarter of a century, have been building CD players with astonishing similarities to large analog machines, even in terms of sound.

C.E.C.'s top-of-the range model pushes everything to the max in analog technology terms, so much so that it completely blurs the lines with the best record players, and yes, even in terms of the sound.

In short, the transport looks simply gorgeous and radiates much more analog flair than any other digital machine.

On the rear, an unusually large number of connectivity options attract your attention, and a signal interconnect called Superlink requiring a quartet of interconnect cables in particular catches your eye. This four-way connection, specially designed in-house by C.E.C.,transmits the various different "clocks" and the digital audio data of the CD with separate cables.

So? Is the large C.E.C. transport immediately wrapping me around its digital finger with every single combination? It is always clearly noticeable, and works miracles with more mundanely timbred DACs by turning comparatively plain zero-one slaves (e.g. from Ayon or T+A) into extremely enthusiastic music sources, which do their job with considerably more joy. Dynamics and attack win to some extent without becoming analytically sharp at all.

Who listens to CDs these days anyway?
The CEC TL0 3.0 will silence anyone considering asking themselves that question.

C.E.C. builds turntables for CDs with astonishing similarities to analog machines. C.E.C.'s great transport pushes every DAC to achieve peak performance.""

Cai Brockmann
Review Fidelity | hifi and music magazine 2016

Download full Review CEC TL 0 3.0 - of Fidelity 2016




 
   
13. CEC TL 5 - CD Belt Drive Transport
Review Hifi Stars 2016: introduction or promotion?

"... Among the four CD transport by the Japanese manufacturer CEC, the TL 5 is at the lower end of the price range. In view of the very high playback quality, this solid device offers an outstanding price/performance ratio.

An understatement in pure culture. It's fair to say my sensitivity to music has had to be honed over the years, and the sound quality simply, extremely impressive. I have to make that absolutely clear at this point. If the CEC TL 5 drive is integrated in the reproducing chain, there is another detail that I very much like. The lower pitches in the recordings are reproduced extremely accurately.

The CEC TL 5 also makes a very good impression when it has to do with deep dimension picture of larger sound bodies. Exemplary is the fine, soft drawing of the solo violin. On the other hand, the brute force of the orchestral tutti is felt all across the body. In a nutshell: In view of the very high playback quality, this solid device offers an outstanding price/performance ratio.

Combined with an appropriate DA converter, a digital pre-amplifier and power amplifier, this opens up a highly interesting as well as recommendable entry opportunity in the upper quality regions of CD playback. An addition plus of CEC TL 5, is the belt-drive principle that is used.

My opinion:
As a buyer, you cannot do anything wrong!""

Harald Obst
Review Hifi Stars | audio magazine 2016

Download full Review of Hifi Stars 2016




 
   


14. The CEC CD 5 - just got the award of
Best Product of 2015 - from High Fidelity!!

best product 2015


The CEC CD 5 - has already received several awards internationally!!! among others:

• Audio Accessories - Best Hifi Components (Japan)
• Hifi Choice Award
• Positive Feedback (USA)
• Fedelta del suono - Editor´s Choice Award (italy)
• Fidelity - Highlight Award (Germany)
• Hifi Einsnull (Germany)
• Hifi Stars (Germany) and many many more... )








 
   


15. STS Digital and CEC - Cooperation.

We are delighted about our new Partner - STS Digital.
CEC CD 5 is the new Reference CD Player at STS Digital.

STS Digital are one of Europe's leading audiophile recording and music production studios. Based in Holland, they have been used by several leading component manufacturers such as CEC, to produce CDs of exquisite musical quality.

Over the years, they have developed their own unique 'MW process' to make their recordings sound as good as possible from studio masters.

Please check STS Digital - Website:
www.sts-digitalshop.nl







 
   


16. Hifi Critic | Awards 2014
UK audio magazine 2015

We are very happy that our CEC Dreamteam - TL 3N CD Transport with double Belt Drive and DA 3N DA Converter has received the following award- by the independent UK audio magazine Hificritic:

1) CEC TL 3N - Audio Excellece Award 2014

2) CEC DA 3N - Recommend Award 2014

Weblink - to Hifi Critic | Awards 2014- click here!





 
   


17. CEC CD Player and USB Sound System CD 5
Review Hifi Stars 2015: Analogue Digitalist

The lower torque and greater distance between the motor and the centre spindle (turntable) provides perfect conditions for noise-free reproduction of music, reminiscent
of an analogue drive.
The word about the musical cohesion, the rich detail and emotionally gripping "analogue-like" sound got out very
quickly.

No other CD drive has sounded so analogue to this day. CEC continue to develop and improve on this concept all the time.

The CEC CD 5 CD Player has independent, directly controllable digital/analogue DA converter technology and connectors on the back. Digital / analogue conversion in the CD5 is carried out by the latest generation of ESS Hyper-Stream-DAC-Chip ES9018K2M, which is compatible with signals up to 32bit/384kHz. Signals fed by the chip are also passed through a symmetrical switch. This guarantees dynamic, flawless reproduction of your music. This means
high resolution music files can be played with a PC (at USB Port) up to 32 bit/384 kHz PCM and 128/5.6 MHz DSD.

Listening material
It's fair to say my sensitivity to music has had to be honed over the years, and the sound quality I can hear in this CEC CD player is, quite simply, extremely impressive. I have to make that absolutely clear at this point..

In a nutshell
Yes, the HiFi world needs new products like the CEC CD5! The Musical playback ability on display offers a sensational relationship to price. There has seldom been higher quality compact disc playback in this price class! Complemented by corresponding connection options in keeping with the zeitgeist, the belt driven, analogue principle CD player will, in future, provide many hours of extraordinary listening pleasure.

Alexander Aschenbrunner
Review Hifi Stars | audio magazine 2015

Download full Review of Hifi Stars 2015



 
   


18. CEC CD 5 Belt Drive CD Player - USB Sound System review Hifi einsnull 2015.

For any situation
Luckily, there are still a few “real“ CD players around. As there are only very few suppliers for appropriate drives left, if you’re in any doubt you need to do the job yourself. And fortunately, the premium Japanese manufacturer CEC has no problem with that – making devices to play disks has been the main business area for the Tokyo company since their founding in 1954. In the 80’s came the general trend towards digital technology, initially. Since the early 90’s, the company’s reputation has been based mainly on their own belt-driven CD drives, produced in-house. The classics TL 0 and TL 1 are regarded as icons of the craft, and are still lovingly and carefully produced to this day.

That aside, there are however considerably more affordable yet highly modern solutions such as the CD 5. Naturally, this 3,000 Euro unit boasts the latest generation belt-driven CD drive, and the manufacturer has quite deliberately given it the title of a “ USB Sound System“. No expense was spared when it comes to the electronics on the CD 5 either. A well respected chip from the US manufacturer ESS acts as a D/A converter, which delivers a fully symmetrical analogue output signal, and so can be fed by practically anything with a PCM format with maximum 32 bit resolution and a sampling rate of 384 kilohertz or a DSD data flow with double sampling rate (DSD128).

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“an extremely successful, really well prepared CD player with analogue sound flair and with the highest level of powerful converter section, which can do justice to all current and foreseeable digital challenges. A really fine piece of equipment for any situation.“

Holger Barske
Review HIFI einsnull | audio magazine 2015

Download full Review of HIFI einsnull 2015



 
   


19. CEC CD 5 - Award- Audio Accessories (Japan)

CEC`s Belt Drive CD Player and USB Sound System CD 5 was given an award of Best Components in 2015.

Belt-drive mechanism works to reproduce music as natural as an analog turntable, and a reviewer valued the USB DA converter factory. High resolution music source at PCM was reproduced through CD5 at the level no less than DSD especially connected XLR terminal.

Ikuo Tsunoda
Review Audio Accessories (Japan) | 2015

Download full Review of Audio Accessories (japanese)



 
   


20. CEC TL 0 3.0 - review Hifi Stars.

The wonderful CD recording "Niewjaarsconcert 2011" by the Amsterdam Symphonic Orchestra provides the perfect stage for the musical performance of CEC's flagship drive. Upon listening, you get the feeling of being kidnapped and taken directly into the concert hall...

The CEC TL0 3.0 drive delivers an incredibly stable and quiet foundation on which the CEC DA converter delivers a true Symphony of timbres.

The CEC TL0 3.0 CD drive, is simply sensational.
I expected nothing less in this price range. That it is indeed so relentlessly proven, I couldn't have imagined that at all.

From the mechanics to the smallest detail for the noise immunity of the well-constructed massive TL0 3.0 drive, all provide the decisive advantages for accurate music reproduction. CEC have created the basis for an impressive, natural and absolute musical experience. Notorious "Black listeners" are also satisfied with the awe inspiring, consistent and absolute top reference imaging performance of the CEC TL0 3.0.

In a nutshell
We'll make it short. From the mechanics to the smallest detail for the noise immunity of the well-constructed massive TL0 3.0 drive from CEC, all provides for the foundations of an extraordinarily, monumental, natural musical experience - to pack more into these products is currently unimaginable.

Ansgar Hatscher / Alexander Aschenbrunner
Review Hifi Stars | audio magazine 2014

Download full Review of Hifi Stars 2014



 
   


21. CEC TL 0 3.0 - review HIGH FIDELITY

I have mostly concentrated on the tone color that we are able to get with the TL0 3.0. The reason is that it seems to me its most important asset, in which it approaches the
best turntables. With them, the CEC transport could show something even better.

Marveling at the color I have not forgotten about the space (holography) and dynamics. Both are excellent, although one can indicate their certain "tendencies". That includes bringing the image closer to the listener, which favors smaller jazz ensembles and classical music.

Wojciech Pacula
Review High Fidelity | audio magazine 2014

Download full Review of High Fidelity 2014



 
   


22. Munich High End 2014 - Hot Product

"By far the high point of this year's High End show for me what the demonstration of the Living Voice Vox Olympian, this year the power supply, and the cleanliness thereof, which assured thanks to the lithium ion batteries. No more than three seconds of music what needed to REALISE did something extraordinary what Occurring. Cecilia Bartoli's voice Appeared tangibly in the room, the difficult sibilants Remained completely Call with the voice, the height of the image was right so the strings so wonderful and the combined effect so comprehensively realistic, did if you closed your eyes, You Could really believe the performance did what happening live right in front of you.

I have never heard the like of it at a show before, not by a long chalk, and Certainly not from CD. In fact, when i come to think of it, I've never heard anything like it at all Together with the Kondo equipment upstream in the chain and the new CEC TL 0 3.0 transport, the system cost well over a million -. Whether Euro or Pounds, Regardless. In all honesty, if I were a customer with Sufficient financial wherewithal, this is Exactly the system I would be buying, right down to the load screw.

Two other hi-fi distributors who thus heard the system Both said, pretty much word for word (Although Independently from one another) did it was as If They Had heard a genuine recreation of the musical event, and I can only agree.
The unforgettable high point of this show."

Uwe Kirbach
Image hifi | audio magazine 2014

more Information of Living Voice Vox Olympian

The online magazine - The Audio Beat - certified the new CEC CD drive TL 0 3.0 a superior musical reproduction quality and vote the CEC TL 0 3.0 drive as one of the best products of the High End exhibition 2014.

The Audio Beat - High End - Hot Product 2014



 
   
23. CEC TL 3N - review The Audio Beat .(UK)

A Transport of Delight: CEC's TL 3N

This ability to maintain both the spatial and tonal distinction between instruments while also effortlessly maintaining the music's motion and pattern are what set the CEC so far ahead of the other transports that I customarily use -- units that are already ahead of the crowd in this respect. But the CEC is simply in another league.

But it's under the hood that things get seriously interesting. The TL 3N employs CEC's twin-motor belt-driven CD transport. Like the high-priced and highly regarded Burmester 001 and 089 players, which employ in-house-modified Philips mechs, this CEC dispenses with the standard direct-drive motor as used by the majority of transports, opting instead for something that would look more at home on an analog rig. CEC's transport is a thing of simple beauty. The disc spindle and laser sled are mounted on a thick alloy subchassis, raised on four soft polymer sprung isolators. The two motors, one to spin the disc, the other to drive the sled, are rigidly mounted to the substantial baseplate, with belts connecting their spindles to the transport proper, thus creating a genuine belt-and-braces isolation system.

Even a swift listen will demonstrate just how solid and dimensional this transport sounds. It brings a rooted and purposeful quality to music, coupled to a clearly defined and stable soundstage. CEC TL 3N delivers so much performance for such a modest investment -- so much performance, in fact, that I can see more than a few customers buying it simply to rip their discs, only to rediscover just how good they themselves can sound.


Roy Gregory | The Audio Beat | UK 2014

Download full Review of The Audio Beat 2014




 
   
24. CEC CD 3N - review Hifi Stars.

Does it work out?
Just a few months ago, a combination of a CD drive and D/A converter from the big Japanese producer CEC played very impressive music in my listening room: the CD belt-drive TL3N and the first D/A converter released, the DA3N. Readers of HIFI-STARS will perhaps remember that in my article in issue 17, I left readers in no doubt as to how much I like these latest CEC developments. At that time the manufacturer announced a CD player that combined the drive technology of the TL3N and the new D/A converter into one device – the CEC CD3N. It is particularly interesting because the new D/A converter houses the Hyperstream DAC ESS 9008 chip, which until recently could only be found in professional audio technology, allowing it to process music signals up to 24 bit / 192 kHz. Now the CEC CD3N is sitting in my listening room.

Just like the TL3N, the CD3N is an open-top machine with the CD tray on the top of the device. The standard black puck in the new CD3N covers the entire surface of the CD and acts as a stabiliser to let the CD run optimally. The concrete mechanical effects on the CD player are that jitters are significantly reduced and motor vibrations are not transferred onto the CD when scanning a sluggish CD which is running smoothly and is weighted down by a puck.
CEC is the originator of the belt drive system – they
introduced it into the analogue record player in 1954 and in 1991 they developed the world's first belt drive in a CD player. It eliminates vibrations and electromagnetic noise and the CD3N even features a dual-belt system: both as a drive for the turntable axis and for the laser. This prevents disruptive influences and improves overall music playback. Everything in the processing quality seems to be up to the usual high standard.

In a nutshell
Just a few months ago, I was really excited by the combination of the TL3N player and the DA3N D/A converter from CEC. The playback reminded me of an analogue turntable, which I mean as a great compliment. The technical subtleties packed into both devices – including the new Hyperstream DAC ESS 9008 converter chip – are now available in a single device for the first time. It is called the CEC CD3N and I wholeheartedly recommend it. In terms of sound, it is evenly matched with the player and D/A converter duo, and the price-performance ratio is also good.
The CEC Wellfloat described in this article will set you back around 1,000 euros, but the benefits of this base are perceptible and make the CD3N sound that little bit better.

The CD 3N received the 2013 Hi-Fi Stars Award!
"wholeheartedly recommend"

Obst | Review Hifi Stars | german audio magazine 2013

Download full Review of Hifi Stars 2013

award



 
 
25. CEC TL 3N and DA 3N review Hifi Critic.

Made in Japan
CEC was founded way back in 1954, and was originally known for vinyl turntables, growing steadily into a major supplier of same, under its own brand but also as an OEM
source, until CD came on the scene during the 1980s.
The company moved naturally enough into CD player manufacture, and found a USP in the early 1990s by adopting a belt drive approach to the disc drive (and pickup drive) mechanisms.

Another unusual technique CEC applies to the TL 3N disc
CEC The drive and the DA 3N DAC is a so called 'Superlink'. This separates the digital signals into four different components, labelled MCK, BCK, LRCK and DATA (Master clock, Bit clock, L/R clock and digital data stream), and carries them between drive and DAC via four supplied
BNC terminated cables.

Using the Pulse filter throughout, the overall character of this disc drive/DAC combo is essentially sweet, kind and free from any unpleasant nasties, and if the fine detail is slightly suppressed compared to the best, marginally compromising texture information, there's no quibbling about the superior timing and presentation.

One surprise was the significant sound quality difference heard between the single-cable S/PDIF connection and the four-cable Superlink. Despite using a costly Kondo digital S/PDIF cable, the four supplied BNC-terminated Superlink cables clearly sounded superior, delivering a combination of improved dynamic vigour and a greater impression of scale.

There's no denying this combo makes a fine CD player, but of course this DAC has a plethora of other digital inputs. Rather the DA3N comes with such a huge variety of different input types it ought to be able to cater for any possible eventuality.

Conclusions
This is a very impressive two-box CD player, with lovely timing and dynamic expression plus a sweet and delicate presentation. Add in exceptional DAC input flexibility, a sensible remote handset and costeffective construction at prices well below today's high end norm, and as a result deserves my confident recommendation.

Paul Messenger | Review Hifi Critic
UK audio magazine 2013

Hifi Critic Recommend

Download full Review of Hifi Critic



 
 
26. CEC TL 3N and DA 3N review Hifi Stars.

The surprise package...
Detail, richness of tone and spatial information are just glorious. The concentrated application of know-how, innovative capacity and decades of experience have quite obviously paid off...

For me, the result is clear:
playback on the TL 3N drive and the DA 3N D/A converter are among the finest I have ever heard from a CD. This turns the new duo by the Japanese manufacturer CEC into a surprise package for audiophiles. Let yourself be surprised, too.

The CEC TL 3N is equipped with the double belt mechanics from the highly reputed TL1. The drive motor for the CD and the laser drive motor are separated from the laser unit by each having separate belts. A sub-chassis design also decouples the scanning kinematics from the chassis. Also, special attention has been paid to the power supply. Drive and electronics have each been given separate power supply units.

Multitude of connection options
The rear panel connectors of the DA3N literally leave nothing to be desired. The digital inputs range from the usual 75-ohm coaxial RCA sockets by way of two TOSLINK connectors and the balanced AES/EBU with XLR socket to yet another USB port. Then there are the four BNC connectors for the "Super Link" on the TL3N, as already mentioned.

In fact, these Super Link connections are doubled up on the DA3N - the second is for the nine-pin D-sub connection with which the manufacturer's older CD drives, such as the TL1, TL51 or TL5100, are equipped.

On the DA3N four analogue outputs are available: one stereo pair each, with fixed and adjustable signal level in balanced (XLR) and unbalanced output (RCA). Anyone who wants to listen only to CDs can thus use the CEC converter as a pre-amp and either operate an amplifier or active speakers on the variable outputs.

So, the DA3N is a highly flexible device - but that's not the end of the story, surely? No, because there are also some interesting things inside. The heart of the DA3N, so to speak, is the built-in Sabre Reference D/A chip, designated the ES 9008, the world's first 8-channel audio DAC that opens up real professional digital audio to the market. It is considered to be the best currently available DAC for audiophile equipment.

In a nutshell
Since the company was founded almost sixty years ago, the Japanese manufacturer CEC has repeatedly made people sit up and listen with its innovations. The ingenious belt drive in its CD drives has now long been standard; the latest generation continues to provide good service in the form of the TL3N. The DA3N D/A converter which has now come out is the ideal partner for the TL3N and scores, among other things, by using the latest D/A chip whose use has so far been limited purely to the professional field.

you get sound reproduction quality at its finest. The calm, supreme composure and confidence with which the TL3N and DA3N produce music together recall the playback by an analogue mass-loaded turntable. Great job!

Obst | Review Hifi Stars | german audio magazine 2013

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27. CEC TL 3N and DA 3N review einsnull

What is definitely true is that CEC is back, and back with drums, trumpets and lots of new devices…

In the past, CEC made a name for itself successfully implementing belt-driven transports. In these, the CD lies on a precision bearing that looks like a miniaturised version of a record player which is driven by belts. This even has real advantages if you do it right. On the one hand, you keep the vibration from the motor away from the CD, and on the other the immediate surroundings can be kept as far away as possible from the continuously changing magnetic field. And since a drive of this type is not quite extravagant enough, CEC has added another one on top and even provided the positioning of the laser with a drive of this type. That’s what I call thorough.

The electricity supply has also become quite elaborate thanks to the really high weight of both the converter and the transport. This means that the electricity stability of both devices is also reliable, as well as advantageous from a sound quality perspective since it has been established that digital electronics react in a highly sensitive manner to vibrations, which almost never occur here due to the sheer mass. This is very definitely the highest work of CD transport art. For compact discs, this really is the best thing you can do do them…

For the D/A converter CEC DA 3N, they really pulled out all of the stops. The hyperstream 9008 by ESS which I really like deals with this type, and this chip is well known for having an absolutely top quality of sound once you manage to tame the beast.

You get dizzy just thinking about how long the list of devices which can be connected to the DAC is – this converter can't be beaten in terms of its versatility.

This high level of effort means that CEC can claim to transfer a signal completely free from interference, motor noises and other disturbances. The DAC will be grateful for this. The result of this complicated signal chain is an exceptionally stable, well-defined playback which is distinguished by unique events and is simply internally consistent.

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CEC combines the best drive system, an excellent transfer concept and precise signal processing to create a CD drive/converter package with superior sound quality which shows the capacity of the CD in a very impressive manner.

Rechenbach | einsnull | german audio magazine 2013

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28. CEC TL 0X and DA 3N review in Nov 2012 Hifi News.


"The TL0X and DA3N might not be natural partners, but I found the combination quite enchanting.

CEC's flagship CD transport appeared to control nicely the slightly softfocused, euphonic nature of the DAC. On more than one occasion I sat down to write a description of these products only to find myself getting lost in musical treasures from my CD collection. If you've a substantial investment in compact discs and are still searching for the most satisfying way to play them, you certainly need to experience the sublime musical qualities of CEC's unique designs.

Hi-Fi News Verdict:
As with hand-built Japanese highend gear from the likes of Esoteric and TAD, these CEC components are something to savour. There's little not to like other than their price tags – but this is the price one pays for artisan craftsmanship. Forget any notion of 'digital hardness': the CEC sound is beguiling, with a lyrical, flowing quality that never fails to draw you into the musical event. A delicious encounter!
(hi-fi news | Editors Choice)



John Bamford, hi-fi news | UK audio magazine

Download full Review of hi-fi news 11/2012



 
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