So I’ve gotten into collecting older gear as of late and have had some pretty nice finds…the nicest so far came today.
There’s a Japanese brand of audio electronics called BSR which I have come to find manufactured some pretty amazing stuff. I’ll explain how I found this to be true – I purchased a Yamaha CDX 710 cd player off the ‘bay (for the meager sum $24 shipped…yup) which sounded better through it’s own dual Burr-Brown PC56 (I think that was the right one) dac’s than through the coax digital output from the player running to a standalone Denon DA-500 digital-to-analog converter which is no slouch mind you. This caught me off guard to be honest – the laser alone that unit used I found has sold in recent times for $200 and keeps going up in price!! I thought I had a pretty fine reference at that point. Especially running through a Yaqin tube buffer to a vintage Sansui QRX -4500 quad receiver it sounded full and rich – almost “overwhelming” (my wife’s words about it) to listen to.
Got back from the local thrift today with what I believe was a TOTL (top-of-the-line) BSR 6 -cd transport. The thing must weigh over 20 lbs. I heard the company made some pretty decent stuff so for $20 I was interested and took it…
Hooking up the BSR player straight to some headphones (even without any connection to my 40 pound amplifier or the tube buffer)...the sound! Without a doubt better than what I heard from anything before in my setup. And this is just running from the player’s own headphone output. It seriously just walked all over this Yamaha CDX I had just previously picked up. And all that from an op-amp running the headphone output. Crap. There is an absolutely inordinate amount of detail and depth. Hooked right into a POS power strip (most of my other stuff is hooked into a massive 50 pound Topaz line 1 conditioner…) still just sounds amazing.
Moral of the story…you see any heavy BSR stuff at all really (I’ve heard the eq’s are just as good) – do yourself a big favor and pick it up. It literally also kicked the crap out of a Pioneer Elite PD-F59 player that is much more recent in years…IMO this shows it has very little to do with how recently it was manufactured as a determinate of overall sound quality. If anyone is in the market for a seriously incredible cd player for reference listening of mixes or just any old music, get an old BSR – it seems nobody knows how amazing those things are.