What Hi Fi Sound and Vision Wed, 15 Aug 2007, 6:00pm

dCS Scarlatti

Tested at £33000
100100
5

This amazing Scarlatti is a strong contender for the title of ‘World’s Best CD Player’

Write your own review

For

  • Unbelievable sound
  • astonishing build

Against

  • Price
  • those three boxes take up space

That's right, This dCS really does cost £33,000. Can any CD/SACD player be worth that much money? That's for you to decide. What we will say is that this disc-spinner is the finest-sounding digital player we've ever heard, and we've heard a few over the last couple of decades.

Three-box wonder player

The dCS Scarlatti CD/SACD player is made up of three boxes: the transport (£16,000), digital-to-analogue con-verter (£12,000) and a clock unit (£5000) to ensure the other two boxes work in harmony.

That adds up to a very hefty chunk of money, and plenty of rack space in your listening room.Build quality is as impressive as you'd hope at this price. Every piece is rock-solid and finished to the highest standards.

Well, you'd hope so for this kind of money. Load a CD, and you'll discover it sounds so transparent that any other CD player - including our
Naim refer-ence outfit - sounds crude by comparison. And SACD discs sound even more fluid than CDs do.

Loves high-resolution formats
Regardless of which format you choose, the amount of detail extracted is staggering. Not only is the dCS getting every bit of detail off the disc, it's arranging all this inform-ation impeccably.

It's not fussy about genre, nor does it trade dynamics and rhythmic crispness for its awesome control. It's a cracking listen! Try and catch it out with something complex like the multi-layered mayhem of Battles' Tonto track, and you'll be thrilled at the result. Each layer of instrumentation is perfectly placed, and every note can be picked out cleanly.

Some will never get beyond the price, but we're thrilled this player exists at all.

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