Metronome Technologie Kalista Review

Bookmark and Share

by Josh Ray on December 07 '05

 Audioreviews Metronome Remote2

Is it possible for a transport to make CDs sound like vinyl? Two of the 6Moons crew think so:

[Kalista transport] prove that CD isn't the inferior medium after all and on most occasions can live right next to -- if not easily compete with -- vinyl.

Big words. Of course, a product that takes on ol' waxy wouldn't be cheap, now would it? 20k Euros ($23k approx) is the price of the Kalista Transport by Metronome Tecnologies. This French company makes a number of different CD models at lower prices but without the hyper-industrial flair and, presumably, the vinyl-worthy sound.

-Pickup mechanism modified from the Pihlips CDM12 PRO 2.
-"Methacrylate" and stainless-steel body.
-Central mechanism milled from solid aluminum block.
-Upsampling to 24-bit/96kHz.
-Separate power supply.
-Delrin isolation feet.
-131lbs total weight.

Metronome Technologie Kalista Review [6Moons]
Metronome Technologie Home


I don't get it. A $20 commodity CD-ROM drive can read every bit off of CD at 52X times real time without a single bit error. Given that the Kalista can read bits at least this well, the only component of it that could possibly affect the sound is the digital-to-analog converter or transformations related to the DAC process (such as upsampling). Clearly this is designed to fool you into thinking the engineering of the reader mechanism is improving sound quality -- when in fact it can do no better than the $20 mechanism at producing a bitstream. Ths "hifi" industry is full of this crap. It's the equivalent of the placebo effect.
LOL, you obviously haven't heard a respectable hifi system... The truth is you're partially correct but only as it applies to computers. CD players and computer CD drives work fundamentally differently. In fact, like you point out, a computer drive is relatively free from error, that's why I trumpet computer and HDD-based systems as often as possible on SonicFlare. But CD players aren't computers. Here's a small article with a link to an awesome breakdown of the whole "jitter" issue that causes the problems in the first place. If the inventors of CDs truly made an error-proof system, then all would have been fine. But they didn't: Basically, "jitter" is what happens when your CD skips on a micro scale. A big jolt will cause the CD to actually skip and stop. But small vibrations will simply cause a tiny error in the laser's read. The laser still picks up the 0s and 1s, but there's jitter, an error in the timing of the playback. Like I said, read the article for all the dirt. While there are many BS technologies in high-end audio, the difference between a $40 and $23,000 CD transport (a CD player minus the DAC) isn't one of them. Nor is the difference between $40 and $400.
U R just imagining this. But thats fine. Other folks believe in homoeopathy or faeries.. :) If you read this you might see that the problem isn't the player but the cd itself. With most players the clock and DAC are crap. Put in a new clock and a extern DAC and the trick is done. Take a good cd player with those modifications, witch will cost app. 1300 euro's and you will have the same result. And you still have money to spend for this toy for example.