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> TL 0 DA 0

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


> DA 0 3.0

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."

Wojciech Pacula
Review High Fidelity | audio magazine 2016

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


> TL 0 3.0

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


> TL 0 3.0

"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.

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


> TL 0 3.0

" 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


> TL 0X | DA 3N

"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.

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, Paul Miller, hi-fi news | UK audio magazine


> TL 0X

"The sound qualitiy is world class. 
Perhaps the most beautiful CD drive, plays easy into  the top reference.

The TL 0 X has not only extra ordinary design, which rather look like an analog turntable than an CD player,  but can also apply as a statement of the performance of the major Japanese company CEC."

Geiger, STEREO | german audio magazine


> TL 0X

"Indeed, the CEC lives up to expectations...
The TL 0X is an excellent and rare example of advanced mechanical engineering. It has become an integral member of my soon to be built second system."



> TL 0X

"The most overwhelming sonic characteristic of the TL 0X was its ability to lift a perfectly immense amount of information from the disc and feed it to the processor in question. It was eloquently and enormously hyper-detailed to the limits of my ability to hear. No matter what the material, it seemed as though everything encoded in the pits was making it out.

The C.E.C. TL 0X sounded breathtaking and, yes, musical. The nature of its sound may be taken for a validation of its design criteria in eliminating jitter from the datastream. It sounded ultraclean, and the detail and imaging were magnificent to behold."

Jonathan Scull, stereophile


> TL 1N | DA 1N

"Rendezvous with the beauty commodities.

With the TL 1N/ DA 1N, CEC shows an outstanding, independent interpretation of digital technology of the 21st century.

The quality proves to be very accurate and high-grade. when start listening you will never have the impression of a "cool-mathematic predetermine" working digital unit.

The CEC combination is about digital technology, however it sounds as charming analogue technology.

Bauer, Hifi Star | german hifi magazine


> TL 1N | DA 1N

"Heavy metal dream.
Nearly 30kg shows the scale of the cd-drive/da-converter combination of CEC - and transfers due to hightech the digital data into best music signals.

First impression:
As Stereo-reviewer one is making several experiences, however there are moments and components which affects one emotional. if you unpack a cd-drive/da-converter-
combi of nearly 30kg, which is as much as a high end power amplifier, this emotional moment appears.

The reviewer is adequate impressed. This impression is continue on closer inspection of the digital combination. Such haptic managed precises units, which looks like CEC milled products, you will have at hands very seldom.
A knights castle of outstanding felicity. At the listening room:
The CEC duo convince by a breathtaking detail solution...

Frantzen, STEREO | german audio magazine


> TL 3N | DA 3N

Made in Japan.
Another unusual technique CEC applies to the TL3N disc drive and the DA3N 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.

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.

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 magazine 2013


> TL 3N | DA 3N

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.

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


> TL 3N | DA 3N

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

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.

For the D/A converter, 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.

Rechenbach | einsnull | german audio magazine 2013


> TL 3N

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.

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 2014


> CD 3N

Does it work out?
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" consistent.

Obst | Review Hifi Stars | german audio magazine 2013


> CD 5

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

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


> CD 5

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).

“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


> CD 5

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


> TL 5

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


> TL 5

CEC TL 5 - CD Belt Drive Transport
Review HIFI PIG 2016 (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.

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:

(Hifi Pig (UK) - 12 -2016)


> DA 5

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


> AMP 5300R

The amplifier draws a distortion free and authenic stage, which offers live feeling.

...the lossless IGM volume control opens a new window of three dimensional presentation in the stereo field.

You cant hear the CEC you hear the contents of the sound carrier.

Bartolomäus, Hifi Star | german hifi magazine


> AMP | CD3800

"During the listening test we compete the CEC combi against all different price class. Of course all competitors even in higher prices have had no chance ,to precise the bass, to superior the reproduction of the stage.

The high production quality, simple handling by few control dials of the CEC 3800 serie are not normal in this price range.

Exeptionally we like the plain design of the units, mainly however the fresh, dynamic and extreme musical performance.

This is a real insider tip."

Voigt, Hifi Test | german hifi magazine


> Tube 53

"...the CEC Tube 53 sounds admirably warm, detailed and lifelike, without the coloration that would give it away as a tube amp.

Not all powerful amplifiers can, however, come close to matching its finesse and musicality. Big is not always beautiful.



> HD 53N

"Balanced affairs

CEC`s concept came out even. The overall performance of this headphone amplifier is state of the art for the time being.

A headphone amplifier which sets standards."

Maas, Hifi Star | german hifi magazine

" The clear winner here, I think, is the CEC. It just sounds better, with more natural timbres, better depth, and a pleasant feeling of effortlessness.

Worthy of the best phones you can afford"

Ultra High Fidelity Magazine

" The CEC HD 53N delivers the full audio spectrum, with incredibly low total harmonic distortion (0.009%).

Mixes can breathe freely. This means you can easily hear the production values of your music."


"CEC `s HD 53N and DA 53N together a real dreamteam."

Borowski, MAC Rewind | 2010

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CEC Products
TL 0 X
TL 3 N
TL 5
DA Converter
DA 0 3.0
DA 5
CD 5 USB Sound System
AMP 3300R
AMP 53
AMP 5300R
HD 53N
Remote Controls