Ayon Audio CD-35 II Signature CD Player / Transport Review
Sound has always caught my attention and fascinated me since I was a child. I was born and raised in Italy, in the Florentine countryside. My father is Italian but my mother was from the USA. In fact, she was always playing cassettes and 45 rpm vinyl LPs of the so-called oldies from the 1950s and 1960s including The Beatles. This opened up a huge new world to my eyes and ears to various genres of music besides the classic stuff friends and I were listening in Italy while growing up during the 1980s and 1990s. The different sounds and language had a great influence on my life and musical tastes.
Fast-forwarding a few years, during college I finally started to have my musical independence and my own first (crappy) stereo. I slowly started to understand that different gear, especially that of non-famous brands, could open a whole new world of sound quality and engagement, in particular when I went back to vinyl and tape in the early 2000s: An audiophile was born.
A few years later, after exploring, experiencing, researching, reading, and a lot of listening, the vinyl resurgence stimulated me to share what I have gained through the years with a broader community, YouTube. On June 19th, 2017 I activated my channel. Nothing happened for three long months. Then, all of a sudden, right when I was about to drop the project, a video I made on cables became viral: Ana[dia]log was alive!
During the following years, I slowly learned how to make my videos better from a technical point of view, the picture, the color, the angle, the framing, the camera, and especially the sound. This means a good microphone, preamplifier, and audio interface. The content went through a maturation process, from an awkward-sounding static presentation to an intimate, attractive-looking (I think) and good-sounding experience. Parallel to the technical process, also my hi-fi system grew enormously, in quality and types of components exploring exotic, unconventional, and high-end products that I could only dream about when I was a kid.
My YouTube channel currently (March 2023) counts about 70,000 subscribers. I enjoy presenting gear, my point of view, and discussion within the comments section. While there are many topics, all have the ultimate goal to enhance one’s experience and enjoyment of the main subject of my channel, the reason of all of this: music! The magical combination of seven notes or more.
According to Oscar Wild ("The Critic as Artist"), music is the most perfect of all the arts because the only one that doesn’t require knowledge, skills or instruments to appreciate it. We could add that along with mathematics, music is a universal form of communication. Clearly, Oscar Wilde was speaking about live music. On my YouTube channel our passion and focus is on the reproduction of this aural art form.
This is clearly my passion, not my job, and that is probably why I have a true and constant enthusiasm that keeps me going, along "with a little help from my friends" in the comment section. Looking at the name of my channel one could think that I am only treating analog media and gear, but that is not the case. I am very fascinated by digital, which is the perfect partner to the analog experience. High-res music, and in particular, quality CDs are a way to listen to music that in specific moments is more apt and, I'm tempted to say, almost necessary.
I love analog above all but I would never give up my CD collection and its way of conveying music. In fact, one of my main goals along my audiophile journey was to be able to find a CD player that would finally make me jump out of my seat. I was always able to make some progress with my new purchases, passing through various players and transports, CD but also DVD, Blu-ray, HDCD, SACD, and any other novelty technology produced.
After years of research, I finally encountered the machine that gave me that bump and emotion I was long looking for, the Ayon CD-35 II Signature. Recently reviewed on my channel and seen below, this is a great standalone CD player or works very well as a transport. Now my digital section, thanks also to the combination with a high-quality DAC, is almost par with my analog set-up. I hope you enjoy my video review below.
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