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Compact Disc Player


Manufacturer: CANOR
Price (in Poland): 4990 EUR

CANOR, spol. s r.o.,
Družstevná 39, 080 06 Prešov, Slovakia


Provided for test by: CANOR

‘Compact disc’ (CD), a molded plastic disc containing digital data that is scanned by a laser beam for the reproduction of recorded sound and other information. Since its commercial introduction in 1982, the audio CD has almost completely replaced the phonograph […]. „Encyclopædia Britannica”, accessed: May 15th 2020

he 2013 financial statements (available online) show that Canor is a subcontractor of PRO-JECT, but we also find information there about plans to establish cooperation with a British manufacturer, MUSICAL FIDELITY. It is known fact today that ISOTEK power strips and AC power conditioners are also being manufactured in the OEM system in the Slovak factory. It's an impressive portfolio that any manufacturer in this part of the world (and not only this one) can envy Canor.

The roots of this company date back to April 2000, when the - as it reads in the company materials -"legendary" TP101 integrated amplifier was developed. Work on it lasted for quite a long time, because its prototype was presented for the first time in 1995 at an exhibition in Czech Brno. In any case, in 2000 the company EDGAR Ltd. was registered. Its founders were: Jozef Čurlík, Zdeněk Březovják and Ján Koščo. The first devices featured a characteristic wooden front panel and were based on electron tubes - the true love of Canor's engineers.

I am talking about Canon because in November 2007 the company changed its name: EDGAR → CANOR. At the same time, aluminum fronts were introduced that replaced wooden ones. The appearance of these devices is very traditional on the one hand, and unusual on the other. Large, easy-to-read LED displays dominate, as well as massive, illuminated knobs in the center of the front panel, also in CD players - more on this later.

In the same report I’ve already mentioned, we also find information that for the 2014 it is planned to "complete work on prototypes of AI 1.10 and PH 1.10", i.e. an integrated amplifier and a phono preamplifier. They ushered in a new era in the company's history.

In the lineup of this Slovak manufacturer we can presently find two series - 1.10 and 2.10, and within them three integrated amplifiers - two tube ones and a hybrid, two CD players and a phono preamplifier. Do you remember the interview with Karl-Heinz Fink? He is one of the best known and acclaimed loudspeakers designers, who in his top high-end system, with reel-to-reel tape recorders as main sources, uses the Canor PH 1.10 phono preamplifier and says it is one of the best products for the money (more HERE).

I hope we’ll have a chance to review the phonostage too, but I was interested mainly in the1.10 CD player. I saw it several times at various shows, most recently in Prague, and each time it impressed me. For one, with its size and for two with its specifications and construction. Since I have known Zdenek for years, I asked him to send a unit to Krakow and used the opportunity to ask him about a few things.

Owner, designer

Canor system presented at the Audio Video Show Prague 2020: PH 1/10 phonostage, CD 1.10 CD Player and AI 1.10 amplifier; more HERE

WOJCIECH PACUŁA: Who designed the CD 1.10?
ZDENĚK BŘEZOVJÁK: Canor R&D team under my leadership.

WP: What was your goal?
ZB: We wanted to improve the design of a DAC/CD player and get as much quality as possible from a combination of a CD player and DAC with tube output.

WP: When was it introduced to the market?
ZB:  The first prototype was designed 3 years ago, but this year we updated it with several innovations and equipped it with a bigger chassis to match our 1.10 series.

WP: What DAC chip do you use for it?
ZB: We decided to use the Texas Instruments PCM1792 (24/192) chips, one per channel.

WP: Why did you decide to use tubes?
ZB: We prefer the sound of the tubes not only in amplifiers, but also in the signal sources for their uniqueness of analogue audio performance.

WP: Where exactly did you use the tubes?
ZB: In two sections – in the output stage following D/A Converter and it features 2 x 12AX7 and 2 x 6922 tubes and in the power supply section - the double anode rectifier 6CA4.

WP: What transport mechanism did you use?
ZB: It’s the Stream Unlimited JPL-2800-DMJ.

WP: Are there any special measures used to combat vibrations?
ZB: We use special rubber dampers to attach the CD drive to the chassis. The massive anti-resonance chassis also plays a role in this respect.

WP: What else makes this player special?
ZB: We used precise separation circuits, precise power supply circuits, also fully differential XLR output and last but not least, a fully tube analog output. I would also like to emphasize that at Canor we deal with complete design, development and production. We own technologies for PCB assembly, SMT technology and THT technology, technologies for machining and finishing aluminum components, CNC milling machines, bead blasting machines and a graining machine. We have also at our disposal a professional automatic anodizing line for aluminum finish to achieve top quality of the resulting material surface. Our testing and technical department is equipped with state of the art Audio Precision measuring audio analyzers and audio testing devices. ZB

| CD 1.10

The CD 1.10 is a COMPACT DISC player with digital inputs, including USB port, and a tube output. One of its basic features is - as it seems - the usage of tubes in the analog output stage, in the gain section and in the buffer. There are two pairs of low power double triodes: 12AX7 and 6922. Their power supply also features a tube (similar to my Ayon Audio player) which is the 6CA4 full-wave tube rectifier.

This is a large, extremely solidly made device. Its housing is made of thick steel sheets and the front is made of aluminum; Two color versions are available - with silver or black fronts. The front panel features an acrylic insert - on the left it is a drawer cover, and on the right you can see an orange display.

I have already mentioned this - it is a large display made of dot-matrix LED modules. It allows user to read information regarding a track number and its duration, control commands as well as the input signal parameters. It looks great, and it's also nice to use. The only thing I would change, however, is the way DSD signal parameters are specified. The display shows: "DSD x64 ... DSD x256", which is an incorrect entry. The correct one looks like this: "DSD64 ... DSD256". You can write "x64 ... x256", but only if there is a CD symbol before (x64 means that the signal is clocked 64 times faster than in the CD).

In the middle of the front panel there is a backlit Canor logo, and next to it there are buttons for controlling the drive, selecting an input, digital filter, as well as reducing the brightness of the displays. Everything is really well arranged, to the extent that when dimming or brightening the display, the device does not do it immediately step by step, but rather with a slight inertia - that looks really cool!

What attracts attention though, is primarily a large knob. It;s usage in amplifiers is justified, but in a CD player? If we look closer at the descriptions on the front panel, it turns out that it is a knob and a button in one. Turning it left or right we change the tracks, and press it to start or pause playback. This is a fantastic solution that Sony introduced years ago, because only in this way it was possible to quickly edit the material on Mini Disc players. Their CD players, which featured the same knob, also benefited from it. Today, however, this is an endemic case and only Canor uses these, at least among brands that I know.

| StreamUnlimited

One of the latest Compact Disc transports that has been developed is the one found in the Pro-Ject RS2 T transport and the Gryphon Ethos player - this is the Blue Tiger CD-Pro 8. The Austrian StreamUnlimited company, founded in 2005 as a separated section of the former Philips Audio Video Innovation Center is behind it. The company's main engineering competencies relate to embedded communications and mass storage. They also have an extensive experience in audio and video technologies, including in the family of optical memory modules for the high-end consumer electronics market.

They entered the audio transport market in 2007, when - together with ANAGRAM Technologies - they presented the CD / WAM / MP3 transport called BlueTiger. The first model was the CD-100, for which the SilverStrike mechanics, equipped with anti-vibration solution called AntiVibe was prepared by StreamUnlimited, and with the help of ANAGRAM the Enduro was developed - a servo system responsible for minimizing reading errors. |

This is not only a CD player, but also a digital-to-analog converter, a component that has become a necessity in most audio systems. There are three digital inputs - electric RCA (SPDIF), optical Toslink and USB; the first two accept PCM signal up to 24/192, and USB supports PCM up to 24/192 and DSD up to DSD256 (11.2896 / 12.288 MHz). DSD signal is sent in DoP ("DSD over PCM") format. The player also has a digital output, but only with a signal read from a CD, so the DAC does not work as a digital signal converter. The analog signal is output via unbalanced (RCA) and balanced (XLR) sockets; the device is a balanced design.

The device features a remote control, that can be used with both, the player and amplifier. Therefore, controlling the player is not quite so intuitive - the circle surrounding the start / pause button features also buttons to select an input and adjust volume, but not to skip between tracks. There is no button on the remote control that would correspond to the one available on the front panel of the device which allows user to choose a digital filter. There are two of them one can choose from: 'natural' and 'dynamic'.


The Canor CD 1.10 player was placed on the Acoustic Revive RAF-48H anti-vibration platform, that usually hosts my own Ayon Audio CD-35 Hf Edition (№ 1/50). It was connected to the Ayon Audio Spheris III line preamplifier using an RCA Crystal Cable Absolute Dream interconnects. It was compared to the aforementioned player as well as to the analog system consisting of: TechDAS AIR FORCE III turntable → SAT LM-09 turntable arm → Miyajima Lab DESTINY phono cartridge → RCM Audio Sensor Prelude IC phono preamplifier.

I was mainly interested in its performance as an integrated CD player, but I also listened to it with an external file player using the USB input - it's a good input and a great DAC, so you can think seriously about some music files transport to use with Canor .

The player comes with a generic power cable, but the gentlemen from Canor also sent me the IsoTek EVO3 Initium cable and I did some listening with it and the rest of the time I used the Siltech Triple Crown Power. I must say that the Isotek’s cable is really good.

Recordings used for the test (a selec- tion)

  • Okihiko Sugano Recording Works, Stereo Sound SSSA 1, „Stereo Sound Reference Record”,
  • Laurie Anderson, Homeland, Nonesuch 524055-2, CD + DVD (2010);
  • Mayo Nakano Piano Trio, MIWAKU, Briphonic BRPN-7007GL, Extreme Hard Glass CD-R (2017);
  • Merl Saunders, Jerry Garcia, John Kahn, Bill Vitt , Live At Keystone, Fantasy FCD-7701-2, CD (1988)
  • New Order, Power, Corruption and Lies, Factory/Rhino Records, 2 x Promo CD-R (1983/2008)
  • Tomita, Snowflakes Are Dancing, RCA Red Seal/BMG Classics 63588, „High Performance”, CD (1974/2000);
  • Vladimir Horowitz, Horowitz at the Met, RCA Red Seal/BMG Classics 633142, „High Performance”, CD (1982/1990);

It intrigued me already when, for the first week, I listened to this player in a headphone system, "breaking it in" before the actual test - I mean the vividness of the presentation that was remarkable with it. In the sense that the dimensions deep into the soundstage and behind me, although always subject to restrictions when listening via headphones, were absolutely above average. Listening through the speakers not so much confirmed these observations, but intensified them.

It's a player that builds incredibly reliable sound layers. Something that digital devices often miss. The point is that it can show the depth of the stage, and when you need it, it also presents sounds next to you and even behind you. I was very impressed with how it played the recordings from the Isao Tomita album - these were mixed to four channels and only adapted for stereo for such release. And I felt as if there were four loudspeakers in the room around me. The presentation was rich, full-bodied, with no holes and no edginess.

What's more, it was not a uniform sound field, but a lot of small "events", an sound explosions creating something bigger - the music. This is because it is a very resolving and differentiating player. I must say that usually only top devices are able to do such a thing, and they do not always do it in such an endearing way as Canor does.

The combination of perfect imaging and resolution means that the instruments are not so much selective as they are simply separate bodies that defy gravity - they do not bump into each other and do not blur each other. And yet, there are no attempts to "cut" them out from the background. This is a smooth, effortless performance. Like when, in the My Funny Valentine Paul Desmond plays the saxophone, which is close to us, has a lot of weight, and the harp speaks gently to us from the right. There was a tangible differentiation of masses and colors, both instruments had their own acoustic environments, and yet I was sure that they played together, "here and now".

However, this is not a "romantic" sound. The tubes at the player's output suggest sound warming - and this is often the case. This type of coloration, well-chosen, with taste, allows you to get an incredibly immersive, organic presentation. But this is always a compromise. Here it seems as if no compromises were needed, because there is an open, detailed, resolving, but at the same time a coherent sound, that is never brightened.

All I had to do was to listen to the piano played by Vladimir Horowitz at the Metropolitan Opera House to understand, that the reviewed player is a phenomenon. This is a great recording, made on a Soundstream digital recorder, nicely remastered for the "High Performance" series, but only with devices of the Canor caliber, the whole mastery of this recording is presented to us (more about the HP series HERE).

However, you need to know that this is not a device that would "make the sound more pleasant". It's more precise than forgiving type. It doesn't „sink” poor recordings, that's not the point, but it doesn't warm them up, doesn’t smooth put rough edges. Take, for example, the Power, Corruption and Lies CD by New Order. Almost at the same day as Canor, I received Promo CD-R of this album prepared by the American label Rhino. Its sound has a fairly highly placed tonal balance and was reproduced in this way. Without brightening or edginess, Canor doesn't do that. The sound was incredibly smooth, there was a lot of air in it, but one has to know that it was set in terms of timbre quite high.

The player did not fill in the lower midrange. The Desmond’s saxophone was full and deep, because it was recorded that way. However, the recordings similar to the New Order’s disc, will be presented without ornaments, quite harshly. So it's a vivid, spatial, resolving sound with great differentiation, without trying to make all the recordings sound similar. It is also smooth, even silky smooth. Its important feature is also an outstanding focus. The point is that the sound sources are unambiguous, they do not blur. They are also filled in and have an appropriate "weight" while occupying a specific part of the space.

However, this is not a player that would deliver very low bass range in such a sophisticated way as my Ayon Audio player, or - for example - a master in this field, the Ethos from Gryphon. The CD 1.10 played it nicely, but did not impose itself with a "foot massage". The thing is that it is not a sound whose center of gravity would be focus in the bass or lower midrange area. On the plus side, it was able to build a large scale presentation, which I witnessed listening to the Falling from the Laurie Anderson album titled Homeland. There was a desired momentum or the sense of rapidly moving large mass in a large space.

With this album Canor did its trick again and built a powerful sound dome around me, with bells ringing in the back. In turn, the Another Day in America showed the modified, very low and saturated voice of Anderson extremely well. But the bass extension was not as precise as what was happening above, the bass was not particularly soft, even though it had a rounded attack. Apparently, however, you can't have everything. But despite that, I listened to the whole album with pleasure, because the spectacle that the Slovak player served me was unbelievable in its credibility, naturalness and "truth".


I knew it was a good player, but I didn't know it was SO good. I knew, knowing Zdenek, knowing his other projects, that it would sound good. However, I did not know that it would perform THAT well. This is a unique product that presents the sound in a precise way, but without any exaggeration, it offers an open sound, but not a too bright one. And finally, it's one of the best differentiating CD players I know. It plays the music in such a way that we truly believe that what is happening before us took place and has not been created.

The Canor CD player 1.10 is a modular design, in which each section features its own PCB (similarly to Ayon Audio players). This means a lot of cables inside - between the digital and analog sections one finds quite long interconnects, coming from Italy, and shorter ones, which then lead to the analog outputs. In turn, the power supply and control signals are conducted with flat tapes featuring ferrite elements that eliminate HF noise.

Power supply | The power supply takes up the most of the space - that's a good sign in audio. It is as big as in a large integrated amplifier. The transformer is of classic EI type with numerous secondary windings. The low-voltage section features power supplies based on diodes and rectifier bridges, including the 6CA4 high-voltage tube, a NOS Tesla in this case. There are quite a few voltage stabilizers and nice capacitors in the power supply, for example large polypropylenes from Wima.

Analog stage | The output stage is mounted on a single board, but the channels are separated by means of an aluminum screen. In the input, in the I / U section, Burr-Brown OPA134PA integrated circuits were used. The gain and output buffer is the domain of the 12AX7 and 6922 tubes. The tubes are hidden under nice aluminum screens (it used to be a common practice once). After removing them, you can see that the first of them is an excellent NOS, Sovtek 12AX7LPS, characterized by long anodes. In turn, 6922 comes from current production of the Russian company Electro-Harmonix. The coupling between the tubes and the outside world is realized by Mundorf capacitors - M-Cap MKP and M-Cap ZN.

Digital stage | The signal is sent to the output from the digital board. There are two D / A converters, the Texas Instruments PCM1792. These are relatively old CMOS monolithic systems, but still very highly valued, among others for very good S/N separation - in mono configuration it is up to 132 dB! They feature an integrated digital filter, actually two of these - 'Sharp roll-off' and 'Slow roll-off'. The player indicates the former as 'Dynamic' and the latter as 'Natural'. The DACs output delivers a balanced signal.

A Cyrrus Logic digital receiver is used for the S/PDIF inputs, and an XMOS chip for the USB. The former also feature impedance matching transformers, a similar solution can also be found applied to digital outputs. On a separate, vertically mounted PCB you can find high-class clocks, separate ones for 44.1 and 48 kHz families.

Transport | The transport used in Canon has been known for years. It’s the StreamUnlimited JPL-2800-DMJ model, bearing the trade name of a Blue Tiger CD-80. It has a plastic chassis, reinforced with metal sheet from above and a cast tray, which is stiffened with two rods on the sides. The same drives are used by dCS in the Rossini and in GoldNote CD-1000 MkII (a review of the Mk I version can be found HERE).

It's not a bad transport, but from the mechanical side it is not a particularly advanced one. Its key feature is a good control system. The rubber pads Zdenek talked about can be found under the tube circuit.

Technical specifications (according to the manufacturer):

Frequency range: 20 Hz – 20 kHz (-0.8 dB)
THD: < 0.005% (1 kHz)
S/N: >102 dB (20 Hz – 20 kHz)
Output impedance (RCA, XLR): < 200 Ω
Output signal (RMS): RCA – 2,5 V | XLR – 5 V
Digital inputs:
coaxial RCA, optical Toslink – PCM 24/192
USB – DSD64, 128, 256
Tubes: 2 x 12AX7 | 2 x 6922 | 1 x 6CA4
Power consumption: 100 VA
Dimensions (W x H x D): 435 x 170 x 420 mm
Weight: 15 kg


Reference system 2018

1) Loudspeakers: HARBETH M40.1 |REVIEW|
2) Line preamplifier: AYON AUDIO Spheris III Linestage |REVIEW|
3) Super Audio CD Player: AYON AUDIO CD-35 HF Edition No. 01/50 |REVIEW|
4) Stands (loudspeakers): ACOUSTIC REVIVE (custom) |ABOUT|
5) Power amplifier: SOULUTION 710
6) Loudspeaker filter: SPEC REAL-SOUND PROCESSOR RSP-AZ9EX (prototype) |REVIEW|
7) Hi-Fi rack: FINITE ELEMENTE Pagode Edition |ABOUT|


Analog interconnect SACD Player - Line preamplifier: SILTECH Triple Crown (1 m) |ABOUT|
Analog interconnect Line preamplifier - Power amplifier: ACOUSTIC REVIVE RCA-1.0 Absolute-FM (1 m) |REVIEW|
Speaker cable: SILTECH Triple Crown (2.5 m) |ABOUT|

AC Power

Power cable | Mains Power Distribution Block - SACD Player: SILTECH Triple Crown
Power (2 m) |ARTICLE|
Power cable | Mains Power Distribution Block - Line preamplifier - ACOUSTIC REVIVE
Power Reference Triple-C (2 m) |REVIEW|
Power cable | Mains Power Distribution Block - Power amplifier - ACROLINK Mexcel 7N-PC9500 |ARTICLE|
Power cable | Power Receptacle - Mains Power Distribution Block: ACROLINK Mexcel 7N-PC9500 (2 m) |ARTICLE|
Power Receptacle: Acoustic Revive RTP-4eu ULTIMATE |REVIEW|
Anti-vibration platform under Acoustic Revive RTP-4eu ULTIMATE: Asura QUALITY RECOVERY SYSTEM Level 1 |REVIEW|
Power Supply Conditioner: Acoustic Revive RPC-1 |REVIEW|
Power Supply Conditioner: Acoustic Revive RAS-14 Triple-C |REVIEW|
Passive filter EMI/RFI: VERICTUM Block |REVIEW|


Speaker stands: ACOUSTIC REVIVE (custom)
Hi-Fi rack: FINITE ELEMENTE Pagode Edition |ABOUT|
Anti-vibration platforms: ACOUSTIC REVIVE RAF-48H |ARTICLE|

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Phono preamplifier: Phono cartridges: Tonearm (12"): Reed 3P |REVIEW|

Clamp: PATHE WINGS Titanium PW-Ti 770 | Limited Edition

Record mats:


Headphone amplifier: AYON AUDIO HA-3 |REVIEW|

Headphones: Headphone Cables: Forza AudioWorks NOIR HYBRID HPC