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The Reviews


Marc Mickelson, editor-in-chief, SoundStage!,
December 15, 2007

Review of updated CDP with phono section and headphone amp

“the beating heart of a truly complete audio system”

Marc originally reviewed the Integris CDP in September 2006 (scroll well down this page for the details) and subsequently kept it on as a key source component for his job as one of the audio world’s foremost high-end reviewers. He was keen to find out if our latest revisions and options could possibly raise our product’s already high performance to something even greater and his follow-up review shows we have succeeded with that goal!

"greater density, a more corporeal sound that extends into the bass…. the upgraded Integris CDP has improved low-end weight and power"

"the Integris CDP's headphone amp is like a direct line to the cochleae. The detail is striking…. the Integris CDP offers utter honesty, divulging what's on each CD -- or whatever external source you've connect to one of the unit's inputs -- to a remarkable degree. I've heard quite a few headphone rigs, but the Integris CDP and its headphone amp are the best of them all."

"the phono stage sounds true to what's upstream… the CDP's phono stage is exceedingly quiet, as well as exceedingly low in coloration."

"there is no other audio component like the Aurum Acoustics Integris CDP, whose wide-ranging features put it in a class of one, and whose sonic performance makes all of those features truly worthwhile."

Read the review here.

the StereoTimes logo

Mike Silverton, contributor, the StereoTimes
Random Noise 8: link to full review
December 14, 2007

Mike reviewed the Integris CDP back in October 2005 for Ultra Audio (see below). Earlier this year, Mike moved to the Stereo Times but his style and musical and sonic preferences remain vintage Silverton. He is among the first group of reviewers to experience the CDP with the new analog circuit upgrades and he verifies that the results are all positive.

"The CDP, post-upgrade, puts me in touch with the purest upper-midrange-to-treble I’ve yet heard. If that simply means an uptick in resolution, it would also account for a heightened sense of space, location, and musical truth."

"A keen sense of space, air, uncluttered detail, opulent harmonic textures – in short, the kind of verisimilitude only pure, extended highs, a pristine midrange and taut, tuneful bass can provide have made my recent listening sessions among the most pleasurable I can recall. Perhaps owing to my geezer’s ears, the listening room’s acoustics, and characteristics peculiar to my amps, speakers and cabling, to repeat, the difference I most remark appears to occur in the upper midrange and treble, which sound – if this is possible – more spotlessly clean than ever."

Read review here.

Audio Ideas Guide logo

Bob Oxley, contributor, Audio Ideas Guide, www.audio-ideas.com,
October 24, 2007

Audio Ideas Guide has gone from print to web-only and columnist Bob Oxley debuts his new web feature, the “Ox Box.” Bob reviewed (see below) and subsequently purchased an Integris CDP two years ago. He was one of the first users and the first reviewer to obtain our latest offering of analog circuit upgrades (now standard to our production) and documents his very positive impressions in the first Ox Box. His highlights include: “Since the beginning, I have thought it remarkable, and much the more so do I now.” “Reproduction is elevated to the completely easeful and effortless. There is a sense of balance in every parameter. Solid. Rooted. There is no “good bass”, “impressive midrange”, “sparkling treble”. There are all of those but they are so completely integrated that nothing stands out. As I listen I think, “this is perfect”. Over the long haul that has never happened to me before. To me, the Integris CDP is a complete success.”

Read review here.

Tone Audio

Jeff Dorgay, publisher, Tone Audio,
April 2007

Jeff Dorgay auditions the Integris CDP, playing CDs yes, but as Jeff does very often, also listening to lots of vinyl running through the Integris CDP linestage. In one of the bolder moves we’ve encountered from a reviewer he even patches into a digital input from his music server! Jeff understands and appreciated the intent of the Integris CDP – its one super yet simple hub for a system that can be as big as you want to make it. Whichever way its used, he lauds its flexibility, and sonic detail and neutrality.

Read review here.


Marc Doyon reviews the Integris CDP: French / English translation
“It is uncommonly holographic, while respecting the timbre, and providing a feeling of intimacy with the musicians. We are in the presence of a top-of-the-line player, no doubt.”
“The capacity to extract disc information and still be soft and natural was always agreeable and never fatiguing.”
The Integris beautifully reproduced the high frequencies with great air and exemplary holography. In the midrange the voice of Richard Seguin was almost real.”
“The Integris is dangerously seductive.”

Michel Savignac: comparison of the Audio Research CD7 and Integris CDP: French / English translation “While greatly appreciating the quality of the CD7, it was easy to recognize a better sonic image with the Integris CDP. This generous sound is provided with a natural ease that makes us forget the mechanics and coldness of digital.”
“The Integris CDP brings out more details… it better defines instruments and conveys to us a real musical event. The concert appears closer and alive. The sonic spectrum is very open with well articulated low bass, smooth mids, and clear highs that never turn strident.”
“After more than two hours of comparison, it amazed us that the Integris CDP always maintained an advantage on the CD7.”

Ultra High Fidelity

Ultra High Fidelity, Issue #78, published November 2006
- panel review by Gerard Rejskind, Reine Lessard, Albert Simon

UHF has carved out its niche among the print magazines by pulling no punches and reporting on the true musicality and value of audio products. They have many loyal readers who value their advice and leadership, especially as it relates to system building and understanding what makes a superior system. This may be what identifies them most: they have always put the “big picture” of the system’s performance ahead of the components that may make it up. Who better than them then, to tackle the challenge of assessing Aurum Acoustics integrated systems approach.

Adhering to their philosophy, UHF has spent years evolving and improving their own reference systems to optimize performance and musicality. For a product as unique as the complete Aurum Acoustics system, they laid down a challenge we believe they’ve never asked quite like this before: the Integris system must best their main reference system or get an “F”! At first we thought that’s unfair, but really this is just another way of asking the same question put to us by all audiophiles. They want to know if their perpetual struggle to find the best of the best in order to build a great system could actually be satisfied with our unique approach. Is it unthinkable? Not anymore.

In assessing the Integris CDP, the UHF panel found that its resolution with musicality sets a level of performance almost all its own. As you may gather from the individual panelist highlights below, the Integris CDP is a preamp and CD player worthy of a space in the finest systems.

"Here’s a CD player-preamp that is absolutely fabulous…. I know, I could simply have summed it up by saying that I love this player passionately. It’s not too late, is it? I love this player passionately.- Reine Lessard."

"What a treat! Gone was my intention of comparing sound for sound with our reference. I just couldn't get into that analytical mode, as I was constantly taken with the beauty this unit delivered. – Albert Simon "

"This remarkable player-preamp deserves to be praised all by itself. It gets a lot of detail off the disc and transmits it without adding stuff you don’t want. It’s a delight to use, too, and that doesn’t exactly hurt. Is it too expensive for its performance? Not a bit. Several companies make CD players that come with internal preamplifiers, and they charge about this much for them. As nearly as I can recall, not a single one sounds this good. – Gerard Rejskind "

Contact us to request the full review copy. Or purchase the full issue on the newsstand or from UHF.

Go to our Integris Active 300B Reviews page to gather UHF’s conclusions on the entire Integris system.

SoundStage! logo

Marc Mickelson, editor-in-chief, SoundStage!,
September 2006

SoundStage editor, Marc Mickelson, steadily samples some of the finest audio components available. Few reviewers are his peer in this regard and in his even-handed and straightforward reviewing style. In other words, a lot of people value his opinion!

Well, we are happy to report that Marc has formed a very high opinion of the Integris CDP and it may be frequently mentioned as a benchmark in many of his future reviews.

"it is among the very best standalone CD players and preamps that I've heard."

"its inherent high resolution never sounded clinical or made the music sound anything but involving, even lovely."

"it presents the music through the proverbial clear window -- without extra drama, which it leaves to the music."

"the Integris CDP is modest in asserting its sonic personality, each recording sounding more individual and less like others."

"Used as a preamp, the Integris CDP sounds like it does when playing CDs, which implies that Derrick Moss has balanced the sonics of the unit well, not trying to offset a characteristic of the CD playback with something in the preamp's performance."

Read the review here.

SoundStageAV.com logo
Doug Schneider, publisher, SoundStageAV.com,
September 2006

Publisher Doug Schneider obtained an entire Aurum Acoustics system for review after the FSI show in Montreal this year. His first report is of the Integris CDP.

Doug wants to see how the product can perform as a front-end for any system and he thoroughly evaluates both the preamp and CD playback performance. His verdict: a Reviewers’ Choice award for state-of-the-art sonic performance on both counts!

"Quite simply, the Integris CDP has the best overall performance of any CD player I’ve heard. Nothing I’ve heard equals it in terms of resolution, neutrality and transparency. "Perfect sound forever" -- the Integris CDP defines it."

"...this all-in-the-same box front-end solution that popped into the world seemingly out of nowhere is a world-class performer that’s unique as well as sonically extraordinary."

"..you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better-performing CD player or preamplifier."

"the Integris CDP is such a complete one-box solution, it could convince almost anyone that separates aren’t always the best solution."

Read the review here.

Select Component Award logo Ultra Audio

Mike Silverton, contributor, Ultra Audio,
October 2005

Aurum Acoustics receives Ultra Audio’s Select Component Award: the Integris CDP is ranked squarely among the very best audio products available. You may read Mike Silverton’s extensive review at UltraAudio.com. Besides a long history as an audio equipment reviewer, Mike is also classical music enthusiast writing for and editing an on-line music magazine LaFolia.com. With his high-performance Mark Levinson and Wilson Audio based system and his demanding musical repertoire, the Integris CDP was challenged to deliver the goods not only technically but musically. As the review excerpts below show, the Integris CDP succeeded in meeting his demands.

"This is without question the best CD playback I've ever heard."

"The Aurum Acoustics Integris CDP stays. I'd sooner part with a lung."

"Thanks to the Integris' powers of retrieval, I'm discovering how much of my collection is just that: excellent, impinging in a few instances on goose-flesh fantastic."

"The Integris brought magic to the music."

"The Integris radiates quality and competence and, equally as important, has been engineered to accommodate expansion and upgrades."

"The sound I now get from well-produced CDs leaves little to desire."

"...the thing was a bear for transparency and resolution, for me the two shining benchmarks of top-flight audio."

"...resolution to die for..."

"I can't tell you how it sounded because it didn't have sound."

"The Integris conveyed the music's subtle drama in terms of precise, dynamically meticulous localization and a richly textured harmonic palette."

Read the review here.

Audio Ideas Guide logo

Bob Oxley, contributing editor, Audio Ideas Guide, Fall 2005

Canada’s leading A/V magazine, Audio Ideas Guide, took notice of Aurum Acoustics in a special early-look review feature in its Fall 2004 issue. This year, they take an extended listen to the Integris CDP with music-critic and occasional hardware reviewer, Bob Oxley, getting the honours. His challenge is to find out if his moderately high-end system featuring Bryston and PSB will fully reveal the importance and value of a high-performance source. He also aims to see how the preamp section fares with his extensive vinyl LP library. Besides going into the Fall 2005 issue of AIG, the full review is currently available on-line. As the review excerpts below show, Bob does find his desires for elevated performance from his audio hardware and software are entirely met.

"The Sound: Well, what do you expect when you drive a Lamborghini? You expect something that is beyond the ordinary and very special. So it is with the Integris CDP."

"My time with the Integris CDP began with a quest to find a CD player that would satisfy me as much as the experience of listening to LPs. This component does that and much more (including making the LPs sound better). You will be surprised how many beautifully recorded CDs you have in your collection."

"This is the player if you have a collection of ordinary CDs and want to enjoy them more than you ever imagined."

"The CDP's ability to resolve the quiet stuff, low level information, which is where much of the sound experience gets its life, is one of its most remarkable features and the music emerges from such quietness that it appears, unbounded, from its own unique world."

"May I describe it as invaluable?"

Read the review here.

Secrets of Home Theatre and High Fidelity logo

Jason Victor Serinus, contributor, Secrets of Home Theatre and High Fidelity, April 2006

Jason Victor Serinus pens audiophile hardware reviews for Secrets of Home Theater and High Fidelity in addition to music reviews, varied columns, and writing duties elsewhere. He discovered Aurum Acoustics at CES 2006 and soon followed up with some personal time with an Integris CDP. An ardent audiophile, Jason discovers that the Integris CDP always puts the music first.

"On my first day at CES 2006, I happened upon the Aurum Acoustics room in the Alexis Park. It had been a bleary morning, with my room-to-room treasure hunt for the most part turning up lots of organized noise occasionally punctuated by little bursts of what might by some stretch of the imagination be termed music. I was ready for a revelation – I was longing for it – and Aurum Acoustics provided it in spades."

"I was pretty amazed by what I heard. Auditioning some of my favorite CDs, I discovered the sound remarkably transparent and beautifully extended on top and bottom. It also sounded wonderful, simply wonderful. Timbre was true, voices and instruments were alive, and soundstage depth and width were thrilling. The sound was liquid, flowing with an ease usually heard only in live performance in superior acoustic environments."

"In the case of the excellent Aurum Acoustics Integris CDP, the player is so good that the better you can get it to function [with accessories], the greater the rewards."

"The Aurum Acoustics Integris CDP is the finest one-piece CD player/preamp I have auditioned in my system. Listening to the unit makes me wish that I had a way to review the entire Aurum Acoustics system. Clearly, when matched with the right speakers and amplification, the Integris CDP can reproduce music in a most compelling and rewarding manner."

Read the review here.

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