September 12, 2009

A Mid-price Wonder - Stello CDT100 and DA100 Signature

Though I have the Stello pair in my system for just a few days, the impression they make is such that I'd ask anyone looking for a cd player in the price range of the Stello to include them into his/her audition shortlist. Yes, you must.

The Stello CDT100 and DA100 Signature deliver excellent sound quality. This is especially so in the mid-range, where it is liquid, flowing and has a thin layer of nice warmth. I would even say that they sound tubey to me, although there was not one tube to be seen in the entire package. The mid just stands a little prominent than the other spectrum, making human voices and instruments like saxophone stand out a little more in the mix. The midrange is indeed the glory of the Stello pair.

Their bass is tuneful, its weight is more than adequate to convey the gravita of most music, though I think I might ask for a bit more slam, but probably it is not a fair thing to expect at this price point. The highs are clean, there is not a hint of over-brightness to be heard, there is also a certain sweetness to it making listening an enjoyable experience.

They totally avoided the pitfall of many budget gears where the sound is threadbare, harmonically undernourished or thin. None of these for Stello, sound from the Stello cd transport and DAC has a certain richness and a good body and they sound very 'human'.

I bet you'd find yourself listening to music for long hours not only without fatigue, but would actually be enjoying the entire session. At the end of the day, the Stello pair's mission is to make music and they never lost sight of the music message.

At RM6,600 nett for the pair, their value quotient is very high, especially the DA100 Signature DAC because of its versatility. Its USB input pretty much ensured that it is future-proof. If fund is tight, go for the DAC first, then save for the future upgrade to the transport.

If a promise comes through, there will be a third perspective on the Stello CDT100 and DA100 Signature's performance here soon. Sure break the tedium of having to read only Big E and me day in day out. :-) So I'd stop here on my short take of the Stello pair

The Stello pair's heart is in the music, and that is the right place.

Stello is carried by RAVE, call Edwin 03-21632818, 012-3241745

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