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1 star Saxon CD300

admin_exported

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In the latest WHF this CD player gets a 1 star rating! they dont seem to like it at all, however, the same CD player has just got 5 out of 6 in French magazine "Diapaison".

How can this be?
 

Simon Lucas

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The Saxon got a really rough ride in its First Test, but I think our verdict was entirely justified and our review accurate. We don't give one-star reviews lightly at this magazine, but it would have been negligent in this instance if we hadn't.

I'm frankly astonished that any impartial reviewer in any country could find five stars out of six for it. I personally found Cambridge Audio's Azur 540C v2 (£200) a nicer-sounding machine, and certainly a better built one.

£650 spent on Cyrus's five-star CD6S or £600 on the one-star Saxon? There's easily a four-star gulf between them.
 

Thaiman

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Miller, Is that you? A mad Thai dude here! I don't think the latest Diapaison Mag is out yet but yes, I have been told that the Player score 5 out of 6.
 

Clare Newsome

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The player will be priced very differently overseas than it is in the Uk, making it a slightly different performance-per-pound proposition against its rivals. Cambridge Audio, for example, is only a budget brand here in the UK,and sells for much higher prices overseas.

However, even at a far better performance-per-pound ratio, the Saxon we tested would not have gained more than another star or possibly two. Which doesn't make it a five/six in anyone's book.

But then I don't know how the French mag tests. The fact that everyone seems to know its test results before they're published doesn't inspire me much (the first manufacturers know of our star ratings is when they read the issue along with everyone else).
 

Thaiman

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[quote user="Clare Newsome"]But then I don't know how the French mag tests. The fact that everyone seems to know its test results before [/quote]

Even if the rumour is true, I can't see too much problem! You review the gear how you hear it so the other publisher! I mean so many time WHF and HFC have a clashed on reviews about the same product (and both are UK base!).....off my head, a few year back, Tannoy sensy DC1 where HFC give them product of the year and WHF only gave 4 stars and very recently HFC didn't like the Cyrus pre-power very much but WHF gave the combo super test award. If we all have the same taste in Hifi, Julian Richers would be even RICHER!
 

Thaiman

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Mate, read here

I'm off to work but it's nice to meet you in here, nice and friendly forum, may be you will come back.
 
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Anonymous

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This place certainly seems to have improved since the last time I was here about 2 years ago.
 
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Anonymous

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[quote user="Simon Lucas"]

There's easily a four-star gulf between them.[/quote]

Hi Simon,

I'm interested to know what this 4 star gulf is?I do find the star system quite confusing as it seems to change quite regularly,so I'm curious how do you determine exactly the 'gulf' between the two players are?If it's so bad,I'm sure 100% you could spot the difference in a ABX of a Cyrus ,Cambridge and a Saxon,personally I find it hard to believe that Saxon and talk electronics have forgot how to make a decent CD player and price it accordingly.As mentioned on another post,they can never compete with Cambridge Audio,no small British firm can, Cambridge are excellent,but they are massed produced in China,small British firms don't have that luxury.
 
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Anonymous

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It's a very competitive market these days, if they cant compete then they will have to find a way of competing or they will not suceed. Reviewers cant just say "oh well it's not very good but it's a small company made in UK so I'll give it 2 extra stars. What good is that going to do? I would say rating would be even more crazy if that was the way they did it. You have to review products same way for everything. I dont like this "let them off because they're small" nonsense that some people seem to be coming out with.

Also how directly related to Talk Electronics is Saxon anyway? And what happened to Talk Electronics? Where have they gone, not seen any products from them for a while, is there a reason for that?
 

Clare Newsome

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Saxon is a sub-brand of Talk, but that doesn't make it have the same characteristics/performance.

After all, Ferrari is in the same stable as Fiat, but you wouldn't expect cars from the different brands to perform the same way!
 
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Anonymous

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[quote user="mr_wazoo"]
It's a very competitive market these days, if they cant compete then they will have to find a way of competing or they will not suceed. Reviewers cant just say "oh well it's not very good but it's a small company made in UK so I'll give it 2 extra stars. What good is that going to do? I would say rating would be even more crazy if that was the way they did it. You have to review products same way for everything. I dont like this "let them off because they're small" nonsense that some people seem to be coming out with.

Also how directly related to Talk Electronics is Saxon anyway? And what happened to Talk Electronics? Where have they gone, not seen any products from them for a while, is there a reason for that?
[/quote]

I don't think no one has said let them of because they are small apart from you,any CD player is going to struggle against a Cambridge Audio because they offer outstanding performance for the money,made in China,plus the differences as I felt before are quite small in CD players anyway,so anyone,not just the Saxon is going to find it hard to put a player on the market for £250 to compete against a Cambridge Audio especially from a small cottage company that sells through distributors and retailers,where in the UK Cambridge sell just through Richers sounds bringing the price down compared to the European prices of their goods.
 

Clare Newsome

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Marantz seems to have managed to make a highly competitve player - that beats the £250 Cambridge Audio and even knocks it down a star, as readers of the current issue will know - for £270, without the Richer Sounds backing....

Yes, Marantz is a larger, Japanese company, but it realises what it takes to compete in this cut-throat market.

And I beg to differ about the differences in CD players - the Marantz was clearly the better player in that recent test: so much so that it took two players down a star, AND makes it tougher for higher-priced players to justify their existence.
 

Thaiman

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Still at it are we? You guys are so "last week"! FWIW I should have a chance to listen to one later on this week.
 
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Anonymous

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Ha,ha...Yeah still at it........nice to see your going to hear one yourself and let your own ears decide.I'm going to hear one aswell as I'm very curious how it can be that bad,I know the Cambriges, but not the latest Marantz,but the last generation,and was underwhelmed,then I am a fussy old man.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
I have to agree with Clare there certainly are differences in CD players just like any other product. And Saxon is trying to compete in a market with Cambridge Audio, they have chosen to do this, and so they need to produce a product which is going to be competitive. Nobody forced them to make CD players, it's their choice, and it's up to them to be competitive. Certainly if the Saxon sounds bad then WHF were right to slate it. The public want to know these things so that they can draw up a short-list to demo.

And the analogy of Saxon/Talk Electronics and Ferrari/Fiat is a good one I think!
 

Simon Lucas

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[quote user="silly"]
I'm interested to know what this 4 star gulf is? ...I find it hard to believe that Saxon and Talk Electronics have forgot how to make a decent CD player price it accordingly [/quote]

Hi Silly

In this instance, the gulf encompasses everything you'd look for in a CD player. How's it built? How does it feel under your fingers when you're using it? Does the socket fit inspire confidence? What's the remote control like? Is the display easy to read? What kind of sound does it make?

The answers where the Saxon was concerned were: not well enough to justify the price; inconsistent and cheap; not really; just vile; not especially; chronic compared to cost-comparable rivals. That's why I'd say there was a gulf between the Saxon and the Cyrus (or the equivalent Roksan, or Exposure, or Audiolab...)

The manufacturer may not have forgotten how to build a decent CD player and price it accordingly, but in this case have failed on both counts. I would hate to think that any of our readers would consider spending their cash on this machine when there's better available for less money, and far, far better available for the same price.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Hi Simon,

Thank you for your reply,much appreciated ,and I agree entirely with your points as I've seen the type CD players you mention,and I wonder how they justify the price,even though personally I'm not that bothered about remote controls.

In the case of the Saxon,I can't say as I haven't seen one,but look forward to seeing and having a listen to one some time in the future.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
One thing I did notice in the Saxon review was that the fit of the CD drawer was described as not being even, and if you look across the page there's an Arcam review and its drawer is sitting in a distinctly slanted position, but no mention of this in the review. Was this missed by the reviewer?

Also I dont know what Arcam buttons are like now but I bought an Arcam Alpha 7SE back in the day and the buttons were not very nice to press. I guess the Alpha 9 must have had the same buttons and it cost about £900 did it not?
 
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Anonymous

Guest
If you think that's bad,there is a cd player called a synthesis pride,awful thing,computer DVD drive thats as noisy as anything,wobbles as it comes out,and tiny buttons fit for baby fingers,costs about £700.Theres alot of dodgy fit and finish kit out there,just the Saxon got the brunt of it this time.
 

Simon Lucas

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[quote user="mr_wazoo"]
there's an Arcam review and its drawer is sitting in a distinctly slanted position, but no mention of this in the review. Was this missed by the reviewer?
[/quote]

Hi Mr Wazoo

We're not unused to less-than-perfect CD drawer fit on players of all prices. The real affront of the Saxon was how the drawer failed to fit in any plane. Not only was it inconsistent in the vertical/horizontal planes, but the depth of its fit was uneven too: on the left, the drawer was recessed into the fascia, on the right it stood proud.

Likewise, buttons that aren't nice to use aren't uncommon. Nice or not, your Alpha 7SE's controls had a consistency of feel - the Saxon's all felt different, so we were never quite sure if pressing them had made any difference.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Hi Simon,

I'm interested in your views on the Audio analogue Enigma.I noticed it won,or was in the recent edition of 5 star winners.Looking at the product,I felt it was a total ergonomic? mess that looked like it had been designed by someone from a kindergarten class ,it was unbelievably poorly laid out and designed,but yet was a 5 star product recommended to the public.

I cant really understand why a manufacture would submit a product that they knew the draw didn't line up, the buttons didn't respond or feel nice when pressed,strange,but that's just me.
 

Simon Lucas

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Jun 5, 2007
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Hi Silly

We made the point that the Enigma could have had better button labels, and could have had a better remote control. We said that its drawer (which fitted its gap impeccably, by the way) could be less clunky, too. But despite these observations, we gave the Enigma a whole-hearted five-star recommendation because of the way it sounds.

'Exceptional', 'fabulous' and 'immensely satisfying' were some of the words we used to describe its sound, but we stopped short of giving it the Group Test win because of its ergonomic shortcomings ('a real pig to use', we said).

Build quality and ergonomics aren't the be-all and end-all, but they're relevant to all of us users. The problem with the Saxon (to try to wrestle this thread back to its starting point) is that its poor ergonomics were but a trifle compared to its ropey build quality and unpleasant sound.
 

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