Rega ISIS Valve .. on the hunt for 'vinyl' sound.
Jun 1, 2012 at 12:59 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 4

zardon

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I really do love music.
 
I suppose thats an unusual first line, but im a little worried that people might think im mentally questionable if I just introduce this thread with a 'ive just decided to spend £7k on a new CD player." Say what?
 
I am wondering if im in the minority now. CD players are a dying breed right? Most people seem to use a computer with high end DAC direct to amplifier. Well I would assume so anyway looking at many audio forums, id love to hear your views.
 
Im rambling a little, its been a long week and ive been reviewing technology products since Monday morning for my publication. Time to get some time to relax this weekend, have a few new CD's to listen to.
 
Anyhow. back on topic
 
I currently own two Raysonic CD228 compact disc players. I really do rate them highly, even though they look a little soulless, with the sweeping aluminum lines and almost perfect engineering standards. I do love the prototype model ive owned for years now. Built like a tank, but with the deft touch of a musical ballet dancer. Shame it looks like something out of a futuristic scfi movie. Give me my Leben CS300X for styling, anyday.
 
This is my main systemŴ upstairs, paired up with a Woo Audio WA22 and some custom mods. Ive lost track of how many late nights ive spent with this system and a wide cross section of music. And cables. Its a worrying habit im developing, and I think I might have a touch of obssessive compulsive disorder.
 
Downstairs I use a Ray Samuels B52 and a Leben CS300SX with a Rega Isis - the solid state version. This is probably one of the finest sources I have ever heard and even though it only plays CD's it manages to get so much detail from every disc that sometimes I forget im listening to a shiny little disc. There are only a few systems ive heard that can do this to me, and they either need a Sony R10 in the mix, or a set of speakers probably worth as much as my last car.
 
So, for months now ive been contemplating changing the Rega ISIS for the ISIS Valve, which uses the same mechanism, but is valve based (thats tubes to the American audience here). There are three filters on the back of the machine to change the sound signature.
 
I am hoping it is even better than the regular solid state ISIS ive owned for a while now. I must admit I don't tend to warm to solid state equipment (no pun intended), I just always find tube equipment to sound more 'musical' than a solid state counterpart.
 
I am ashamed to say I much prefer vinyl, but for years have not been willing to deal with it. Its just too much hassle, they mark too easily and I have to treat everything with kid gloves. CD's are just so easy to work with and they sound great, with the right setup. Sure, they are far from indestructible - remember when they tried to say that when they were launched? but they are small, easily stored and convenient.
 
But this is the problem. CD's need a lot of work to get rid of the cold, clinical 'digital' sound signature. Ive spent years trying to get CD's to sound like vinyl. Perhaps it isn't possible, but im getting close now. Its been an expensive, but fun journey.
 
It is an easy, fast way to lose a lot of money, but when you have so much fun doing it, I think its better than getting addicted to class A narcotics.
 
So, feel free to tell me im deranged, but if you have heard the ISIS valve then let me know. I am a huge fan of REGA, ive owned quite a few pieces of their equipment over the years - normally competitively priced low or mid range products. Its been interesting when they decided to forget about working to a specific budget and just 'let loose'.
 
There is a pretty good review of this CD player over here http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews/rega2/1.html
 

 
Try to be gentle if you want to call me an idiot, im feeling a little sensitive today watching a portion of my bank balance ebb into nothing. In another month, after they make it, ill post my thoughts.
 
This is like therapy, and I guess I need some help, right?
 

 
Jun 19, 2015 at 5:06 AM Post #2 of 4

FiftyKilo

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Hi,
do you still own the ISIS Valve CD Player ? And when yes, what about his sound and the quilty of the CD Player mechanism ?
Thank you for an answer
Ralf 
 

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