Seriously? Innovation to Redbook playback in 2013? [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


View Full Version : Seriously? Innovation to Redbook playback in 2013?

Mr Peabody
04-14-2013, 06:09 PM
Halo has a new CD player out, the CD1, I have to admit it does sound interesting.

Parasound teams with Holm Acoustics to deliver a radically different approach to extracting the best possible sound from a Compact Disc.



San Francisco (1/3/13) -- Parasound has introduced a high-end Compact Disc player that represents a radically different approach to extracting the best possible sound from a CD. The new Parasound Halo CD 1 uses new CD playback and processing technology that is the result of a collaboration between Parasound and Holm Acoustics in Copenhagen, Denmark.
"The CD 1 demonstrates that CDs can sound significantly better than anyone has imagined possible," said Richard Schram, Parasound's president and founder. "The full potential of the 16-bit CD format is realized for the first time in the CD 1."
The Parasound CD 1 uses a new method for playing CDs that is based on using a CD ROM drive instead of a conventional CD drive and a Linux-based computer to read and process the CD data. The CD ROM drive in the CD 1 runs at 4 times the speed of a conventional CD player drive in order to accumulate a vast amount of data. An on-board Intel ITX computer, running the Linux operating system kernel and Holm's proprietary software dramatically improves the reading of CD disc data. It analyzes CD data and reads every part of a CD as many times as are needed to significantly reduce errors and, accordingly, the negative effects of error concealment. The result is a nearly bit-perfect data stream..

[This and other technical features of the CD 1 are explained in much greater detail on the
accompanying white paper entitled "The Technology in the Parasound Halo CD 1" (]
Standard CD players cannot accomplish any of this because CD drives are slow data readers and data must move through the buffer at the same speed it comes off the CD. Unlike the CD 1, standard CD players must transfer data to the DAC as soon as it is read from the CD. As a result, they don't have time to accumulate enough data in a buffer so that it can be analyzed and processed. It is a significant handicap.
In addition to its Holm-designed CD processing technology, the Parasound Halo CD 1 is in all aspects a high-end audiophile player in keeping with the legacy of Parasound's Halo product family. It has a rugged aluminum chassis with extensive shielding for electrical and mechanical isolation. It has three separate power supplies for the analog and digital circuits. The outputs use premium balanced XLR connectors, gold-plated RCA outputs, and S/PDIF Digital audio outputs via 75-ohm BNC, coaxial, and optical connections.
The CD 1 offers a unique 'Discrete OpAmp' selector that gives users the option of listening to the analog outputs directly from the low noise National LME49990 op-amps or via discrete transistor output stages. The discrete output stage uses individual transistors in a Darlington configuration that operates in the feedback loops of the LME49990s. This subtly changes the sonic character of the CD 1 and there is no "wrong" choice.
The Parasound Halo CD 1 Compact Disc Player is offered in both traditional Halo silver chassis and the new Halo all black finish. It is now shipping with a suggested retail price of $4,500.


04-15-2013, 04:41 AM
Well this is interesting but, when you think of it, you get a lot of the benefits ripping your CDs to WAV, FLAC, or other lossless files using dBpoweramp Ripper or EAC. Add a nice DAC to your computer and your in about the same place as with the Halo CD1 -- expect, of course, your music is only click away with the computer.

The price is high but not higher than various other options. E.g. it's a good deal cheaper than PS Audio's PerfectWave Player + PerfectWave DAC ( combo.

There are other computer technology-based CD players other if I'm not mistaken; (I can't just bring the names to mind). And I suppose there will always be people who prefer the ritual of handling jewel case, reading inserts, etc., to computer clicking, just as there those who love the rituals around LP playing.

Because I love the convenience (and sound quality) of computer source, no CD player has any appeal to me. For as often as I listen to an actual disc, (e.g. somebody brings one over), I can listen to it played on the computer.

04-15-2013, 10:10 AM
I have read about this player. I would like to hear one, but with so many good DAC's available, why would you want to spend that kind of money. It is kind of surprising that they came out with it, considering how digital music is becoming so popular.

Mr Peabody
04-15-2013, 03:06 PM
I suspect Halo must have thought the player has something to offer over what's available currently, that's one of the reasons I'm interested to hear one. I also like the Ayre CX7mp but haven't heard one.

I have heard the PS Audio PW, I should specify the original version, I've heard a new version came out. I do not like the sound of the PSA, I know it gets good reviews and raves but there's something about it I don't like, maybe too warm or slow. I've heard it on a couple different systems and in fact got to A/B against my T+A. After a lot of listening I had to admit overall the PSA was better due to imaging, like I got a sense of a full drum kit more so, however, I would not trade my player for one, I'd give up the slight edge of the PSA to stay with my player which I preferred.

04-15-2013, 08:22 PM
This is the player that I would buy in a heart beat if I could-

Marantz US | SA-7S1 (

Mr Peabody
04-16-2013, 04:40 AM
I wonder how the Marantz compare to others in their price range. I only heard one some years back and it was not as good as less expensive Krell. On another forum some one was saying the Sony XA5400ES bested their Ayre CX5, the Sony is not an expensive player.