Low-Cost High-End CD Playback from Onkyo

by The Audio Beat | March 31, 2011

ecause of its extensive lineup of A/V receivers, Onkyo has a well-established reputation among home-theater enthusiasts. At CES, however, the company began charting a new course, one meant to appeal to aficionados of stereo music playback, by introducing a two-channel amplifier, preamplifier and CD player. With its new C-7030 CD player, Onkyo continues on this same path, adding low cost to the mix. The C-7030's $249 price belies a list of advanced design features that aim at reproducing digital music from CD with utmost fidelity.

"The key" according to Onkyo, "lies in keeping the audio signal clean and free from interference, all the way to the output stage." To achieve this, the C-7030 has a new high-precision master clock to reduce jitter. As with much more expensive digital players, the C-7030 uses a state-of-the-art crystal oscillator that achieves frequency deviation of 10ppm. The unit's Wolfson DACs support 24-bit signal processing and sampling rates up to 192kHz.

Onkyo's Vector Linear Shaping Circuitry reduces noise that taints the analog signal. Data is continuously sampled between two discrete points and the difference is combined with analog vectors to produce a smoother output waveform, resulting in virtually pulse-noise-free audio. Along with this, the C-7030's custom-built EI transformer provides clean and stable power.

To reduce the sonic effects of vibration, the C-7030 has a 1.6 mm-thick flat chassis base. Its aluminum front panel adds a touch of visual refinement.

Onkyo has also debuted the TX-8050 ($399), a network-capable stereo receiver, as a mate for the C-7030.

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