Do you find yourself constantly obsessing over the next upgrade to your system? Always wondering what a cable upgrade would do to the overall sound? Can you simply not help but tinker with your set-up? If so, you'll understand Roksan's ethos when it comes to CD players.
Eschewing complete new models, Roksan prefers to tweak its existing player – and boy does it like to tweak. Thankfully, the company makes quite a good job of it. We've tested some cracking disc players, but we were shocked at how ordinary the M series-1 made rivals sound.
Built for the duration
Perhaps Roksan knows this, which is why the styling is on the brash, showy side. Think 'Ferrari sports jacket' for the kind of overstated, look-at-me design, which lacks a little class. But hey, if it floats your boat – and you can make out the LCD display – it feels well put together and built to last.
On the inside, the M series-1 uses the company's latest disc mechanism and motherboard, plus an all-new DAC. But it's the sonic ability that really seals the deal for the Roksan. The timing – so crucial a component of any hi-fi kit – is impeccable.
Whether listening to Radiohead's cluttered 15 Step or Bonobo's intricate Recurring, the Roksan keeps an impeccable hold on the music while delivering bags of musicality and subtlety. Beethoven's Midnight Sonata is delivered with all the minutiae present and correct, sounding so realistic you can picture the room it was recorded in.
Can't stop fiddling
Dynamics are superb, too, with Holst's Mars sounding every bit 'The Bringer of War' thanks to stirring, rousing strings that build to a crescendo with effective use of complete silence.
Treble is crisp and distinct, basslines are deep and post-Friday-lunch tight, while the midrange is evocative and clear. This latest incarnation of the Roksan M-series 1 has it all when it comes to sonic performance, and it's well worth the extra money. It's such a truly versatile all-rounder, we'd make this the next upgrade to your system.