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Orpheus Privilege transport - 技驚四座之作

edited March 2010
Please excuse the sub standard photo quality as I was totally indugled by the music this morning. I just took a few quick shots before rushing back to the office.


  • The shipping weight of this beast is 52kg for a single CD transport/player. No wonder the custom held it for X ray inspection as they have not seen any CD player with such hefty weight. The actual weight is akin to the Raven AC turntable.
  • Even the remote control is built like a tank. But what it matters is how it fits to the overall system to convey musicality. I have a lot to say later on as I am still overwhelmed by the music this morning when using it as a transport in conjuction with the newly upgraded Vekian.
  • edited March 2010
    The Orpheus Zero transport launched back in 2003 had always been serving me well regardless of the partner (DAC). In fact, it still remains as a key member in the Tidal Sunray system. The zero transport is also a widely sought item in the used market. The quality really speaks for itself. In this price range, what more can we ask for?

    With the advance of computer servers at ever decreasing cost alongside high resolution formats, the justifications for heavy investment of manufacturing true hi end transport dose not seem make any viable business sense. For taste differences, well, why not go for vinyl instead of spending big bucks on a CD transport?

    These are all facts which I agree very much. The following comments are written from the perspective of a "purist". The comments or impressions were formed after running the cd non-stop for 48 consecutive hours.

    I was actually a bit worried about the hefty weight of this transport because I don't like sound to be over-damped. To my surprise, the overall presentation of this transport is even more livelier than the zero right at the beginning. The sound-field is extremely stable and each of the objects within the soundstage has a life of its own. That means you can freely determine where to put your focus on. It is not the Hi Fi type of "separation" that draws you to the sound-field. Rather, it is the communication amongst the musicians that draw you into the venue. For example, double-lead vocal duet sung by a baritone and a mezzo soprano (obviously very different frequency range and hence tonality) simply melts into one single chord during the chorus session. The resolution is not only restricted to localization of the image objects. The development process of the whole chord is revealed through synergizing two voices with different tonality. The outcome is, however, harmonious.

    The replay of Horowitz's magic interpretation of the Scarlatti is another shock. The harmonic decays of all frequencies (the bass' 2nd order harmonic in particular) are just beautiful for the ears to enjoy. Even under fast attacks of the pianist’s finger, the silence between the notes retains. I have to say the attacks really stun with the correct impact and energy dispersion. And there is control. The physical presence of the piano also integrates with the hall. Harmonics thus echoes with the hall ambience. There is no confusion. There is no ambiguity. Everything is very stable.

    How does this seemingly mechanically-dead piece of beast transcend the musical performance to the “reality” level? I have no clue. There is no intentional beautifying of any frequency range. Speed is there. Pitch is there. As a result, the rhythm is there. You can exactly feel the formulation of any lyrical lines either by cello or violin involves “pausing”. Just like the use of “full stop” in comprehension. A short pause, then another lyrical sentence develops. This is scary. And of course, there is silence between each “pause”. The usage of pause thus controls the pace and hence the development of the musical emotion. That is part of the “control” that we definitely need when listen to music.

    It has been quite awhile I feel so strongly to write something so soon on the forum as a primary seller. But I am a lover of exquisitely made objects. The standards are demanding. And this Orpheus transport is not a small feat. I can tell it is a seriously engineered product with hundreds of hours by tuned by ears. Or else, it is not so easy to touch my heart nowadays.
  • I have to write in Chinese to express myself better.

    這部機能夠表現出各頻段的彈跳力. 就連高音的彈跳力也能表現 (從鋼琴家尾指彈落黑子上那些極微細彈力也能一一盡現眼前). 而正正就是這些彈跳力把整個頻段連貫起來 - 我從未聽過有任何CD transport能夠表現到全頻跳脫的能力. 我不是指一起大上大落那種宏觀動態, 而是大圖畫內所有東西的各白各動態. 要知道弘樂的動態表現和鋼琴等Percussion instrument是完全不同, 但它也能細心解讀, 表現到樂噐本身的特性和應有的自然音色.

    人聲極為細緻自然. 聽感並不是顯微鏡式的分析力, 但和諧自然所帶出的聲音是極度幼細. 有一些情況, 我能好容易感受到Vocalist的運氣過情. (不是指口型, 而是能量的control的過程.

  • Despite the fore warning of PT and JLam, I went to listen to the new Orpheus sACD player this morning...the best ever CD source combo: Privelege+Vekian that I have ever heard! Here we are listening Privelege as a transport wanting to digest one thing at a time.

    Extremely stable soundstage but nothing is anchored on the ground. Harmonic decays from all frequencies just hang in the air like forever...whether it is Horowitz playing piano, Sissel singing or the PeiPa from my favourite Chinese music, White Snow in Early Spring...but the most stunning one is the hand clapping of the audience sitting in the Bullring hall listening to Joan Baez's 'Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn me Around' is a big 'wow' for me since I have never heard the decay of the clapping hands dying so naturally into darkest space up in the air...Of course Eason Chan's concert has also reached another unprecedented height in performance...the level of transparency reached by this CD combo had me clapping my hands alongside with the audience in the recording...

    Even I am a Vekian user waiting patiently for their Vekian transport, as well a long time pal of Zanden waiting for their new DAC, I am very touched by the level of performance reached by this new CD player/transport! I am listening to my system at the time of writing and all I can say, everything seems 'outfocus', I sent the same SMS to PT just a minute ago!

  • OH...extremely toxical comments..
  • ......The Privilege transport, in my opinion, is the equivalent of Da Vinci Gabriel in the CD transport domain.
  • 悶了一排, 終於有翻野睇下. 身為0仔用家, 我對於這部"特權" transport當然充滿期望啦. 各大哥們, 它比0仔改進了什麼?
  • Dotted Lines 虛線 - - - - - - - versus solid line 實線 _________________________
  • PT,

    I don't meant to dispute your present joy with the O transport. With due respect, I believe you should credit the newly upgraded Vekian DAC as well. I dare say, under the neutrality and transparency of the Sunray that enable me to make the following commen: the new Vekian is faultness or the next to perfect on all kinds of music.

    The old Vekian is a bit too heavy on the lower mid bass. To be exact, it is a speed problem, not a energy problem. Imagine the old Vekian is your Alpha One with the 16inch bass and the Vekian is akin to your jump from Alpha One to Beta 0.5. It gives you back the needed speed in the lower mid bass region. The dispersion of bass energy still propogates forward. That's correct because real live bass moves forward.

    If we wanna focus on the dynamic of the high frequency range, you should also test piccolo. With both Zanden 2000p and Orpheus Zero as transport running with the Vekian, the dynamic of the high frequency area, after you rightly pointed out, I agree is too "flat".

    I'd very much like to audition this new transport if your time permits this week. And of course, please I need to listen to it under the Sunray, not the horn.
  • Uncle Ray,

    Very well said on the newly upgraded Vekian. It is faultless. I am speaking from a true vinyl lover point of view. I don't take it light hearted.

    Are you interested in the spaceship?

  • Marvel大大, 你可以講多一些特權轉盤的聽感嗎? 你好似十分興奮
  • Brother Fat,

    Zanden2000P is by far the component stays in my system the longest and you can imagine how picky I am on transport or put it this way, how boring the market is in terms of delivering a top notch transport which can totally outperform 2000P. I have tried many CD players/transports in=between but in the end 2000P is still the champion. Privelege certainly brings huge excitment in this domain, it really matches so well with Vekian that I starts questioning how the future Vekian transport could it be better than this seemingly a nature couple.

    I said to PT that I could now hear the true potential of the upgraded Vekian after pairing with the Privilege...Their strengths converge in delivering very accurate treble and bass details. Transparency is not just limited to the midrange extending to the two ends, it is across all frequency audible thus reproducing natural harmonics and yet with fully energised dynamics...

    Privelege really brings unprecedented excitment to me after using 2000P for over 5 years. Would it take the place of 2000P in my system, I don't think so because I have expectation, high expectation, on Zanden new DAC, so Zanden combo would still be my house CD combo....but I don't mind to stock one more super-crazy set...whether it is the Vekian transport or the Privilege, I think I will wait until the former is finally launched. IN the meantime, all I can do is to focus on listening on my system trying to wash away the memory on listening to Privilege as fast as possible....

  • If I don't guess wrong, the new Zanden processor should be equipped with an output transformer, same as the Studer, my cup of tea.
  • 睇黎真係好毒! 唔敢去聽!
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