Metronome Le Player 4, Metronome Le Player 4+ and Metronome Le DAC 2, the French high-end HiFi forge Metronome Technologie now presents three solutions at once with these systems, which are all assigned to the so-called Metronome Classica Series. Even more, these three systems are responsible for representing the said Metronome Classica Series in the future, Metronome Technology even speaks of the fact that with these systems the Metronome Classica Series is completely renewed and once again raised to a new level of quality.
Back to the roots – A reminiscence of the Metronome CD8
Especially the Metronome Le Player 4 and Metronome Le Player 4+ are once again a special concern for the French company, after all it is a CD transport or CD player that has been optimized solely to guarantee the best possible playback of audio CDs.
Metronome Technologie is once again reflecting on its roots and clearly demonstrates that the topic of audio CDs is far from being shelved and that the company still has faith in this medium.
Jean Marie Clauzel, owner and chief developer of Metronome Technologie, recently stated in a personal conversation with sempre-audio.at editor-in-chief Michael Holzinger that Metronome Technologie will continue to manufacture CD players even when all others no longer do so. The CD is and will remain a constant in the world of high-end hi-fi, and for a proven digital specialist like Metronome Technologie it is therefore virtually indispensable to have appropriate solutions in its product range.
But there is one more special feature that also has to do with Metronome Technologie’s history. The new Metronome Le Player 4 and Metronome Le Player 4+ are deliberately reminiscent of a special product from the French company, namely the Metronome CD8 in the various versions available at the time and thus an extremely successful, even highly sought-after product from Metronome Technologie.
CD Transport with DSD Upsampling – Metronome Le Player 4 CD Transport
It will probably come as no surprise that the new Metronome Le Player 4 has once again decided to rely on a top-loader drive.
A particularly outstanding feature of the new Metronome Le Player 4 is that it is based on a completely new pick-up mechanism that has been optimized down to the last detail, the servo for controlling the drive has of course also been optimized in the best possible way, and everything has been done to guarantee impeccable signal processing with a new circuit concept and a sophisticated power supply for all relevant areas. Two toroidal transformers with so-called Schaffner filters form the basis for four independent control circuits here.
Another outstanding feature of the new Metronome Le Player 4 is that, although it is a CD transport and thus does not have an integrated D/A converter, it nevertheless performs significant signal processing, namely upsampling to DSD128.
The ideal playing partner for the Metronome Le Player 4 is of course the new Metronome Le DAC 2 of the Metronome Classica Series, whereby the connection between these two systems is ideally made via HDMI and here as an I2S signal. As an alternative, the new Metronome Le Player 4 also offers a coaxial and optical S/PDIF interface as well as an AES/EBU interface.
The front of the drive presents itself in the discreetly restrained and thus timelessly elegant form of the Metronome Classica Series, with a good part of it being taken up by a display. All controls are found as touch buttons in front of the drive bay on the top. This is opened manually with a massive cover, and of course CDs are fixed with the help of a puck.
The aluminum case, which is optionally available in black or silver, measures 450 x 115 x 435 mm and weighs a respectable 11 kg.
The new entry – Metronome Le DAC 2 DSD Converter
The new Metronome Le DAC 2 is the entry into the outstanding converters of the Metronome technology brand, according to the French high-end HiFi company. With its classic design, the company from the south of France once again wants to address purists who are looking for high-end sound reproduction at a moderate price for this product level.
The company is convinced that it has once again created a solution that sets standards in its class.
The new Metronome Le DAC 2 is designed in such a way that it allows the signal processing of audio data in Linear PCM with up to 32 bits and 384 kHz as well as DSD up to DSD512 and is thus optimally equipped for really all eventualities.
The system relies on a DAC from the specialist ESS Technology Inc., namely an ES9026PRO 32-bit 768 kHz DAC that is used in dual mono configuration for fully balanced signal routing and thus the best possible sound purity and highest dynamics.
In terms of inputs for digital sources, the new Metronome Le DAC 2 provides an HDMI interface, an optical and a coaxial S/PDIF interface, an AES/EBU, and a USB Type B. While all inputs handle at least up to 24-bit and 192 kHz, the full resolution of 32-bit and 384 kHz or DSD512 is reserved for the USB port alone.
The analog output stage of the new Metronome Le DAC 2 DSD Converter is designed in Class A and offers balanced XLR connectors in addition to unbalanced RCA jacks.
Also with the Metronome Le DAC 2 DSD Converter the company indicates that one made substantial optimizations at the circuit concept in relation to the predecessor, besides also the power supply optimized once more and for this now on two toroidal transformers for six independent control circuits relies.
Metronome technology refers expressly to the fact that one paid attention also optically to the fact that the new Metronome Le DAC 2 DSD converter fits optimally to the Metronome Le Player 4 CD transport described before. The black or silver case measures 425 x 130 x 415 mm and weighs an impressive 12 kg.
The versatile digital source – Metronome Le Player 4+ DAC CD Hybrid
The new Metronome Le Player 4+ offers everything a modern digital source has to offer these days, Metronome Technologie is convinced of this and speaks of a solution developed for audiophile music lovers who are looking for exactly such a flexible, versatile digital source.
What is particularly noteworthy is that Metronome Technologie is talking about a solution that is attractively positioned in terms of price, literally an affordable premium class CD player and D/A converter.
The Metronome Le Player 4+ DAC CD Hybrid is designed to enjoy audio CDs as well as audio data directly from a PC or Mac, or from a network storage solution (NAS) and various streaming services. The new Metronome Le Player 4+ DAC CD Hybrid enables all this at a first-class quality level.
Here, too, the manufacturer thus praises first and foremost the newly designed CD transport as the basis, but also, of course, the signal processing of the meticulously built D/A converter and its output stage.
The DAC of the Metronome Le Player 4+ DAC CD Hybrid can of course also be made available to external sources, for which it is equipped with a coaxial S/PDIF interface, and also offers a USB port for connection to a PC or Mac, whereby of course asynchronous signal transmission is used here.
Metronome Le Player 4 and Metronome Le Player 4+ – streaming optional
Even if the new Metronome Le Player 4+ DAC CD Hybrid is described as very flexible, it is not a streaming solution, this should be explicitly emphasized.
But this only applies to the “basic equipment”, Metronome Technologie will offer a suitable streaming option for the Metronome Le Player 4 and the Metronome Le Player 4+. On the one hand, this can be ordered directly, but can also be retrofitted at any time. This transforms the Metronome Le Player 4 into a CD and streaming transport, and the Metronome Le Player 4+ into a CD player and streaming client.
“It’s a real challenge to develop completely new equipment at this time, with all the vagaries we face in supplying so many components. We’re excited to offer these products to Metronome lovers and continue the history of the entry-level Metronome Classica Series.”Jean Marie Clauzel
Pricing and availability
The new Metronome Classica Series solutions should be available at retailers in the near future. As described earlier, there is a choice of black or silver for each of the three systems. The recommended retail price for the Metronome Le Player 4 is listed at € 7.700,- and € 9.400,- for the Metronome Le Player 4+. The optional streaming extension is priced at € 1.800,- for both models. The new Metronome Le DAC 2 can be found in the price list at € 6.990,-.
Getting to the point
The new model generation of the Metronome Classica Series has a great significance for the high-end HiFi forge Metronome Technologie. Not only does it provide three fine solutions that will especially please lovers of classic audio CDs, as well as a D/A converter with the genes of a proven digital specialist at an attractive price, they also remember their own history here and resurrect the legendary design concept of the Metronome CD-8. Lovers of the brand will certainly appreciate this as well.
|PRODUCT||METRONOME LE PLAYER 4, METRONOME LE PLAYER 4+ UND METRONOME LE DAC 2|
|Price||Metronome Le Player 4 € 7.700,-|
Metronome Le Player 4+ € 9.400,-
Streaming Option Metronome Le Player 4/4+ € 1.800,-
Metronome Le DAC 2 € 6.990,-
|Distribution Austria||Audio Exclusive GmbH|
|Distribution Germany||H.E.A.R. GmbH|
|Distribution Switzerland||Portier Hi-Fi|
|More about this manufacturer at HIFI BLOG|