What Hi Fi Sound and Vision Fri, 15 Jul 2011, 11:30am

Cayin SP-CD300

Tested at £1445
80100
4

Its refined sound means this is worth a listen, provided your tastes suit its talents

Write your own review

For

  • Impressive build and feel
  • smooth refined sound
  • fluid dynamics
  • full bodied presentation

Against

  • Sounds too polite to convince with more aggressive music

Cayin Audio is owned and manufactured by Chinese company, Zhuhai Spark Electronic. And, if this CD player is anything to go by, it’s a name to be reckoned with. The CD300 has the feel of pricier offerings.

There’s a choice of single-ended and balanced XLR analogue outputs along with coaxial and optical digital outs. In our system – Bryston BP26/4B SSST2 amplifier and ATC SCM 50 speakers – it sounds best through its balanced outputs, when its presentation gains precision and tautness.

And tautness is something this player could do with. If you’re after a punchy, attacking sound that puts the emphasis on rhythmic drive, this isn’t the player for you.

The Cayin is smooth and full-bodied, delivering dynamic changes with a rounded fluidity that’s easy to listen to and refined.

Needs more aggression
Such an approach to music replay works well with gentler music such as Sufjan Stevens’ Illinois set, where the player’s natural warmth and harmonic richness helps to make the most of this lovely disc.

The Cayin runs into trouble with more aggressive material, though.

The likes of The Chemical Brothers’ Push the Button or Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring reveal the presentation to be just a little too polite and easy-going to convince.
It starts to sound a little confused when things get busy, too.

If your musical tastes happen to coincide with the Cayin’s balance, you’re in for a treat. If not, and we count ourselves in this group, the likes of Roksan’s Caspian M2 CD player is a more compelling choice.

See all our CD player Best Buys

Follow whathifi on Twitter

Join whathifi on Facebook

 

Latest offers