Most of the tech products you buy are disposable.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the average cell phone life span is 18 months. One hundred and twenty five million phones are discarded every year, resulting in more than 65,000 tons of waste. A lot of folks get a new computer every few years.
Bought a new home theater receiver last year? Great, but its HDMI 1.3 connection is about to be superceded by HDMI 1.4. That won't reduce the receiver's usability, at least in the near term, but it's unlikely you'll want to keep it around for the long run.
Audio Research's CD8 Reference player was designed to last a long, long time. It's also one of the least "digital"-sounding CD players I've ever used. That sort of statement is usually followed by something like, "CDs now sound a lot more like LPs." That's not the case here, but the CD8 is considerably more musical than other state-of-the-art CD players. You can read my complete review on the Home Entertainment Web Site.
Audio Research's CD8 Reference player uses vacuum tubes to amplify the converted-to-analog signals. That's hardly a new idea, as designers started sticking tubes in CD players in the 1980s. But most of those players used just a pair of tubes, typically as a "buffer" output stage. The CD8's tubes are configured much as they are in Audio Research's very best stereo preamplifier, the Reference Pre ($12,000). Measuring an imposing 19 inches long by 5.25 inches high by 15.3 inches wide, the CD8 is the size of a pretty serious power amplifier.
The CD8 doesn't have a disc-loading drawer; the drive mechanism is located under a sliding door on the top panel. Disc loading involves placing a small magnetic clamp on the disc. I like the "hands-on" approach, maybe because it's more like playing an LP.… Read more