New CD Player in a Downloading World

As every car, airplane, and home audio device is adding compressed digital music capabilities, one company is taking a stand to stick to high fidelity.

Boulder Amplifiers (from Boulder, Colorado, not made from rocks) is finally releasing the 1021 CD player. With a nod to current trends, it will also play MP3 files from a disc. They're not stupid; they know what people want. What makes the 1021 worth the $24,000 price tag?

1021datasheet The 1021 will oversample 16 bit/44.1kHz CDs up to 24-bit, and it can play other files up to 32-bit/192kHz. Separate circuitry for the disc drive and signal processing is said to "eliminate any sonic signature or coloration attributable to the disc drive." Whew! Glad they did that!

The 1021 has a large 6.5-inch full color LCD screen that will display all menu information and track info. Disc information such as song titles, disc name and artist data is read from CD Text, metadata, the built-in database, or searched from the Internet via the RG45 Ethernet connection.

One feature that Boulder's pushing is "Listening Beyond the Red Line." The 1021 has a memory buffer and uses an on-screen display to show you how far ahead the disc is reading. Ooh. Fancy.

The choice is yours. Is a high-end CD player worth $24,000? If you must have the ultimate gear, the Boulder 1021 is your CD player. -Leslie Shapiro

Boulder Amplifiers