Vincent C-60 CD Player

The debate over the sound of vacuum tubes versus solid-state audio electronics has endured since the invention of the transistor, and it's not likely to be settled any time soon. With the new C-60 CD player from Australian boutique maker Vincent Audio, there's no need to decide—you can switch between its tube-based and solid-state output stages as desired.

Distributed in North America by WS Distributing, the C-60 provides fully balanced analog outputs along with unbalanced analog and coax and optical digital outputs. The power supply, drive stage, and output stages are all isolated from each other in physically separated and shielded housings, and digital processing is provided by 24-bit/192kHz DACs with 8x oversampling for wide dynamics and very low jitter.

Weighing a hefty 26.4 pounds, the C-60's chassis is constructed using solid aluminum plates to minimize vibration, and its top-loading Philips transport uses a puck-style magnetic CD stabilizer. As you might expect, this level of quality doesn't come cheap—$4695, to be exact. But is that so much to pay for the ability to select the warmth of tubes or the precision of solid-state as your mood and the music dictate?