German high-end audio specialist Vincent Audio has announced immediate availability of its new CD player. Benefiting from noise-reducing component isolation and offering the user the choice of rich vacuum or precise digital reproduction, the C-60 also offers premium XLR balanced output and a highly accurate Philips transport. But serious audio enjoyment does come at a price.

There are music lovers and then there are music lovers who strive for the purest audio experience possible. The former might make do with a cheap MP3 player and audio files at a bitrate of just 64- or perhaps even 128-kbps, not so the audiophile. Precision equipment that offers an audio reproduction as close to the original performance as possible is the name of the game for the truly dedicated enthusiast.

The digital music revolution has forever changed the way many of us listen to our favorite artists. But many of those who take their sonic passion seriously still break out their collection of 180g vinyl or slide in a Compact Disc and play them through high end, often custom-made, high-fidelity audio equipment. One manufacturer of such systems, Vincent Audio, has just announced the release of a new CD player.

The C-60 gives the user a choice of warm, rich analog vacuum tube output or precision solid-state technology. Announcing the product, the company explained that "both the precision solid-state line output stage and the cathode follower 6922EH vacuum tube line output are equally high quality circuits - just different." Control of the output is via an aluminum remote or on the hefty 26.4lb chassis itself.

The 17.7 x 4.6 x 15.35 inch, top-loading player benefits from "state-of-the-art 24-bit/192-kHz PCN1792 DAC's (digital audio converters) with eight-times oversampling for excellent dynamics and very low jitter" and a "no-bits-left-behind" Philips transport. Having the power supply, drive stage and output stage isolated from one another in separate, shielded housings should help keep possible interference to an absolute minimum. The strive for signal clarity continues through to the isolation of coupling capacitors, the use of a 6Z4 vacuum tube rectifier and BB2804 operational amplifiers to help ensure quiet operation.

Interface with pre-amplifiers comes courtesy of quality XLR balanced outputs, as well as RCA unbalanced outputs, a coaxial and an optical digital output. The unit's frequency range is between 10Hz and 20kHz with a plus or minus of 0.5dB and the total harmonic distortion is said to be less than 0.003 percent. Further information, including more technical details, is available on the Vincent C-60 product page.

It's available now for a suggested retail price of US$4,695.