Roksan Blak CD player

jonbhoy67

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Jan 6, 2016
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I'm thinking about upgrading my Roksan Caspian m2 cd player to the Blak and wondered if anyone has experience with both for a comparison?

I'm using Caspian m2 integrated and power amps to bi-amp Proac Response D20R speakers and use good quality JPS interconnects and speaker cable.

If anyone can advise on whether the Blak CD is a sizeable step up in quality (or otherwise, for that matter) from the m2, I'd love to hear.

Don't think it should matter but, just in case, I'm in a 5x5m room with high a ceiling.

Thanks in advance.
 

12th Monkey

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Aug 31, 2015
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The other thought that occurs is that I looked at the Blak a while back and had misremembered that it had digital input - I don't think it does. Having got use to the benefits of putting even humble Spotify through my CD's DAC, I think it's an important feature - for me at least.

Might also be worth keeping both amps as power and adding a dedicated pre- instead?
 

jonbhoy67

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Jan 6, 2016
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Yeah, a demo would be ideal and I'll definitely arrange one through my local dealer. The complication is that I wouldn't be purchasing it from them because even though their offer on the Blak is pretty decent, I've had an offer to p/x my Caspian m2 plus £1500 for a brand new Blak elsewhere, which is outstanding.

I'd still be loathe to do that without an audition though, for all I know the Blak's performance may bottleneck with the two Caspian amps and the matching m2 CD player might actually be better paired.

So many scenarios and they all look like leading back to a demo being essential.

@12th Monkey: thanks for your replies.
Re your point on digital inputs, I'm using it for CDs only, so that's not a consideration for me. If the wife want to use her phone, I have a Kimber cable attachment that goes to the tape input on the amp.
 
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jonbhoy67

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Jan 6, 2016
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So I've had the Blak side by side with the Caspian M2 for a full day now and have already decided the trade up is a no-brainer. Out of the box it was happy to get right into things without demanding the weeks of run in time that many others do to even sound passable. That said, 12 hours of playtime has already improved it hugely.

I spent the first few hours switching between the Caspian and the Blak with the same track, to get a proper comparison across a variety of music types. My first observation was that the Blak conveys a greater perceived distance between each instrument. There is more breathing space between every instrument/vocal and each element is easier to isolate and focus on individually. Backing vocals and instruments that I had always been aware of but were just that, backing accompaniments, have been brought forward to the forefront and now play a bigger role than previously. Everything is simply sharper all round.

My initial observations of expanded soundstage and increased detail did, however, come with a few early concerns. Although it was easier to pick out individual parts, the overall cohesiveness seemed to suffer, with the sum of the parts not quite matching the individual brilliance of each instrument. The overall result seemed a little disjointed when compared with the Caspian but with extra hours of play time, the issue has disappeared completely. Tracks now sound as they should, every part working together in harmony.

Listening to John Williams' classic soundtracks highlights the Blak's ability to convey each instrument's position on stage superbly. The percussion and brass are powerful and authoritative, yet never drown out the subtleties of the harp and woodwind in the signature tracks of Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Superman and E.T.
Similar results from The Rolling Stones, Massive Attack, Beethoven and many more convinced me that the Blak will be keeping its place in my setup.

In short, it seems to do everything the Caspian M2 does but just that little bit better.
 
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