Ok ... out of sheer boredom and eofys envy, I scoured the interhole and advertisement pages for reviews on DACs and entry level audiophilic CD players. The general idea was to keep my ancient nondescript CD player and up the ante by connecting it to a DAC (or digital to analogue converter) unit and then into the amp. It seemed like a cheap way of upgrading. My original option was to upgrade said blah cd player to a Marantz CD5004, however, the cheapest price of USD349.95 was only available via Amazon.com, i.e. unavailable for shipment to our hallowed shores. And the cheapest I could find in Melbourne was at least $200 above that asking price.
I started looking at DACs together with M, and we came across a deal for a Cambridge Audio CD Topaz CD10 player and decided to wing our way down to Preston to the U&S Audiovisual store for a looksee.
As there was an additional 15% off on most models, my eyes moved longingly onto better models like the Cambridge Azure series and also a sexy looking NAD, which the sales person "assures" me is of much better quality (and also about $100 more - typical).
Having spent the sum total of about 20 mins in the store (which also coincidentally is the time threshold on listening to Katherine Jenkins caterwauling her way through Vincent valve amps and Mirror speakers), we were back out on the strip looking to fill the non-purchase hole in our retail dream, so naturally we ended up royally stuffing our faces at Noodle Kingdom with dumplings and more dumplings.
The place was filled reassuringly with mainland faces, taiwanese hair and hong kong fashion. M spied a favourite of his from his Chinese travelling days which was tomato and egg soup. It was yummy but he did concede that in China there was more of a tomato hit.
I ordered a beef soup from the same section within the menu, but at a dollar more (which took it to the sum total of $5) my bowl seemed disproportionately larger. Mine was a veritable bowl of hearty northern chinese cuisine ... the spice trade encapsulated in the heady broth.
We had steamed pork dumplings which squirted almost scaldingly hot broth into our mouths with our first bite. But we laughed this off in pure gastronomic enjoyment.
The boiled lamb dumplings were also filled with broth which was amazingly sweet and meaty at the same time. Another "must order" dish to add to the list.
Cheap Cheerful and Delicious!! Is there really anything better?
As a postcsript to our audio adventure, I have now swopped amps and will be looking to reposition the speakers round the room to maximise their potential. The reason for all this? Well the last time I had to look into replacing units from our hifi system was due to the fact that Radiohead blew the old speakers out! And Thom Yorke has done it again!! I scored the Burial/Four Tet/Thom Yorke Ego/Mirror 12" and the sound coming off the turntable was so amazing, my CD player absolutely paled into non-existence.
PS ... spent sunday going mad at Daiso and also the big Asian supermart across the way, and finished off feeding our auditory bloodlust again by gazing lovingly (ok that was only me) at the Rega RP1 turntable for sale at Title.