It’s perhaps a sign just how important this whole computer audio thing has become that virtually all new CD players today come with computer-friendly inputs. Even Metronome Technologie – one of France’s only dedicated CD player makers (most also make amplifiers too) – has capitulated with a USB input on its latest top-loading CD8 player.
Metronome is perhaps best known for its Kallista players, shiny methacrylate tributes to extracting the best from optical disc, that represent the pinnacle of performance and are priced accordingly. The CD8 is more down-to-earth. Aside from the main controls being on the top of the player in front of the CDM12 Pro v6.8 top-loading mechanism, the gunmetal or silver CD8 is perfectly conventional looking and operating. Some might miss the quirky sci-fi look of the Kallista, but having spun a few discs across a room for failing to put the puck on quick enough, a bit less ‘quirk’ will not go amiss.
The CD8 sits on three well-engineered feet; it has the aforementioned Asynchronous USB input, S/PDIF digital output and both balanced and single-ended stereo outputs. Using the appropriate drivers supplied with the Metronome, the USB input will support up to 24bit, 192kHz file sizes and the player features a pair of AKM 24/192 DACs on its very high-spec PCB.
It’s a curiously one-sided lift out of the box, and on closer inspection this is down to a group of transformers along the right side of the circuit board; three main toroidal transformers and seven independent isolating transformers. That would be These isolate power feeds for every aspect of the CD8’s performance. This harks back in microcosm to the Kallista/D2A combination, which went a stage further and isolates everything in its own separate case.
The other big bug-bear with Metronome is dissipation of static electricity build-up in the transport itself. Metronome has customized the CDM12 transport for that end, adding an acrylic plate/plinth, which connects to three isolating pillars that sit in line with the three feet of the player itself.