CD-player Icon Audio CDX1 Signature

Bucking the trend perhaps, the increasingly prolific Icon Audio have just launched this new CD player which sports 24bit/192kHz upsampling technology and a tube analogue output stage sporting two 6SN7 output valves, with discrete valve and digital modules and a choke regulated power supply. The CD-X1, spanning 590x530x290mm and weighing it at a heavy 22kg, arrives in two flavours. The basic version is priced at around $1600 but we managed to grab the Signature edition which includes 'premium' valves and Jensen copper foil oil paper capacitors. Other attention to detail is provided on both versions including point-to-point handwiring, high quality wire wound resistors, silver Teflon audio cabling, gold plated sockets and more.

An open, effortless presentation. Via the RCA phono outs, bass was tuneful on the Stacy Kent jazz-inflected ballad, 'Ces Petit Riens' (from the album 'Breakfast On The Morning Tram'; Bluenote), while upper mid and treble were so delicate you could imagine snapping them off in mid-air. Bruce Springsteen's 'Wrong Side Of the Street' ('The Promise'; Columbia) highlighted its low distortion sound, while there were appreciable gaps between each instrument on the widely structured soundstage. Fela Kuti's LP, 'Zombie' (Wrasse) album was tackled with control and insight, plus lots of life. Via the XLR outs, the music was frictionless and super smooth, lifting more detail to the surface. The valve outputs proved an almost ideal blend of the two, sitting right between transistor RCA and XLR outputs, sounding beautifully detailed yet smooth.

Icon Audio CDX1 Signature CD-player photo