Gato Audio CDD-1 CD Player and DAC
High End Integrated CD Transport / DAC
" To come straight to the point : Only on rare occasions have I ever come across such an “analog” sounding CD player !"
ROLAND SCHMENNER, FIDELITY
We have combined a creamy summation of all the best technological breakthroughs stemming from the developments in the CD's 30 year history, and in addition included a couple of innovations we are proud to have made specifically for this groundbreaking DAC/CD drive.
Digital to Analog Converter
Especially highlighted is the true 24bit/192kHz digital inputs via USB or Coaxial connector, that enables a sonic performance vastly above that of any CD. Use the CDD-1 as a digital connection point for your computer, iPad and streaming devices and it will give you a stunning performance with effortless soundstage and musical details in return:
The CDD-1 will also play ordinary CDs, retrieving all the fine details of your music collection through the professionally specified and widely acclaimed Philips CDpro2 mechanism.
Summary of Main Features
Playback of Red Book CD's
True 24bit/192kHz digital inputs
Asynchronous USB interface
Direct high quality digital connection to iPhone or iPad
Asynchronous upsampling to 24bit/192kHz
Dual differential, dual mono 24bit D/A converter
Low jitter clock circuit
Analogue multi display, clear and informative
Samplerate and bit depth read out from digital inputs
Professional CDpro2LF mechanism
Drive assembly in 1kg milled aluminum, suspended in Sorbothane®k
Designed, developed and built in Copenhagen, Denmark
20 Hz-20 kHz ± 0.2 dB
TOTAL HARMONIC DISTORTION + N
SIGNAL TO NOISE RATIO
> 120 dB
100 Ω Unbalanced or 200 Ω Balanced
Up to 24 bits @ 192 kHz (S/PDIF and USB input)
2.2 V unbalanced, 4.4 V balanced
75 Ω coaxial S/PDIF
Compatible with red book CD and CD-R
1 x USB type B, 1 x RCA
1 x RCA
BALANCED ANALOGUE OUTPUTS
1 x gold plated XLR Neutrik
UNBALANCED ANALOGUE OUTPUTS
1 x gold plated RCA
SIZE AND WEIGHT
115 VAC/230 VAC, 50 Hz/60 Hz
STANDBY / IDLE / MAX : < 1W / 30W / 60W
DIMENSIONS (W x H x D)
325 x 105 x 375 mm / 12.8 x 4.1 x 14.8 in
10 kg / 22 lb
What they say ...
"To come straight to the point : Only on rare occasions have I ever come across such an “analog” sounding CD player !"
Roland Schmenner - Fidelity
"Player or Converter ?"
Gato describes the CDD-1 top loader — which, apart from the display, is the spitting image of the company’s other devices — as a “DAC with a drive.”
A cross-comparison with the PRD-3S preamp-integrated converter, however, reveals that the CDD-1 player’s DAC does its job a little more transparently, giving tracks slightly more weight in terms of the fundamental tone.
Then there’s the fact that the digital section of the CDD-1 doesn’t have the fundamental upsampling of the PRD-3S and “only” plays the exact file format. However, I found it just as interesting to investigate the player’s disk drive features, and how the digital machine integrates into the overall context of the ensemble when it functions solely as a CD player.
To come straight to the point :
... Only on rare occasions have I ever come across such an “analog” sounding CD player! And as such, the CDD-1 fits in perfectly, as well as seamlessly, into the overall signature sound of the Gato family. Unlike what happens with directly streamed files, music from CDs sounds a tad more full-bodied and captivating. As a result, I felt the Emerson String Quartet’s nonstop pizzicati in the penultimate movement of Bartók’s String Quartet No. 4 more palpably in the room with the directly played CD, than with the ripped version.
Here, the plucked strings sounded somewhat harder but also more precise, which ultimately boils down to a question of personal taste.
What does, however, take some getting used to is the CDD-1’s display :
It simply shows the running progress of the CD (or track) in a “porthole” window but not the elapsed minutes and seconds — it’s comparable with the position of a tonearm on an LP. Another nod to the vinyl turntable is the partially open top loader cover that let’s you enjoy the wonderful experience of watching colorfully adorned CD faces spinning around and around.
All in all, the “DAC with a drive” is not just a pretty face; the preamp–power
amp (PRD-3S–PWR-222) combo is an ideally harmonized complete system.
As the saying goes, three’s a charm ...
... or, if we count the Gato monos twice, perhaps four is !