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Giant slayer, at this price point....

Got this CDP for a bedroom system I have put together. I will say at the beginning-I would have given this player 5 stars, because it is truly outstanding, except that the remote doesnt work. This is a simple QC issue that should not have gotten by Cambridge. I opted to keep it as is because this is not a deal breaker for me, and I had already sent back a DAC that could not read the digital output of the DVD player this unit is replacing. I just wanted to be done. For $50.00 more than the Topaz, you get altogether a better piece of kit. To wit: You get their custom designed CD-only transport, not an off the shelf one as in the Topaz. You also get their proprietary S3 servo controller for the transport, AND their proprietary toroidal transformer, AND their proprietary clock oscillator, AND an upgraded DAC chip. Cut to the chase....the DVD player made sounds, this one makes MUSIC. Massed strings are finessed and silky, woodwinds sound like real wood instruments, and it is now easy to hear into the venue. It sounds like music, not a computer interpretation of music. Truth be told, I think I would have a hard time hearing much difference between this player and the 12 year old $3,000 Sony SACD player I have upstairs... things have advanced that much in 12 years. Remote issues aside, this thing is well made, looks the business, and sounds exceedingly natural. If you get one definitely get the silver! I also have the Topaz in black, exact same casing. It looks OK, but ordinary. The same metal work in silver looks as elegant as this player sounds. If you need something that will play MP3 or WMA definitely go for the Topaz. Its a good player, and it can deal with those issues without any fuss. But the 351C gives you a LOT more, so if you are just wanting to do red book CD, I suggest you find that extra $50.00 and get this one instead. This one looks and sounds good enough to be worthy of consideration for your big rig, and it is built like a tank. Highly recommended.

- Marc B, NM