Norwegian electronics specialist Electrocompaniet is best known for glitzy-looking, sweet-sounding high-end kit.
The PC-1 CD player and matching PI-1 amplifier are its attempt to gain a wider audience. Hitting a lower price point means a certain amount of cost cutting has to take place.
Cleaner, more modern lookThe company's traditional Acrylic fascia has gone, as have the gold-coloured control buttons. In their place comes a more modern appearance.
It's clean as they come, with minimal front-panel controls. But having only the basic buttons on the machine means you must rely on the handset – and this is as cheap-feeling and poorly organised as they come. The player is occasionally hesitant when carrying out commands, too.
Things start to look up once the listening starts, when there's much of Electrocompaniet's traditional charm on offer.
More after the break
The level of richness has been toned down, which is no bad thing, but there's still a good dose of naturalness and fluidity.
Lively and involving soundListen to Wilco's eponymous set and the there's plenty of insight: voices are full-bodied, yet clean and precise. There's agility, too, in the lively and involving sound.
But it's not perfect. Compared with the class leaders, there isn't quite the dynamic punch or rhythmic precision we would hope for.
The shortcomings are relatively small, but they're enough to take the edge off an otherwise credible performance.
The PC-1 is a decent CD player. Its problem is that others at the price are exceptional.