“ Manufacturer: Acoustic Solutions / This CD player is now able to play CD-RW and MP3 discs. It comes with a full-function remote control and an optical digital output that allows an easy hook up to a digital recorder. „
Im going to start this review off my stating that I was a little disappointed with the CD Player, and looking back, if I knew then what I know now, I wouldnt have made the purchase, sounds harsh but true.
When it comes down the buying electronics, I dont know about you, but the look of the overall product is one of the main driving forces when I buy something. Of course it has to do the job too, but also look good. This is where I started to notice that the SP122 player wasnt going to meet my high expectations. The overall design is the basic concept of a CD player, having few buttons, the simple play, stop ect, so you could say that it did the job, it play CDs ok, the sound was quality was average, but nothing special.
Now, when I say that the actual player had few buttons, when it comes to the remote that is provide with it, that is a whole different story. In fact I became confused wit the functionality of many of the buttons, the only ones I seemed to use where the play, stop and back, which where included on the player itself, so for me, there was no actual need for the remote.
Like I said before, I would say that the sound quality was average, nothing to brag about, but seen as I didnt pay massive amounts of money for it, I wasnt expecting complete booms across the room. In all, a very basic and simple player, not recommended by me for those who listen to music a lot, as it would probably be worth shelling out a little more for a higher class CD player. Thanks for reading.
The SP122 CD/MP3 player separate is designed to go with other Acoustic Solutions separates of the same range such as the SP111 DAB/Tuner that I've recently reviewed, but of course it can be hooked up with other separates of different brands.
It's a solid unit built to do the basics. It's appearance like most of the units in this range is simple - some might say plain and boring. However, a simple machine without all the bells and whistles of a higher range model often means a more durable item and this seems to be the case with my unit - after 4 or more years it's still going strong and has never been to the doctor's once. We did have some initial operating problems were a CD would sound crackly but this seems to have been a teething problem that occurred not long after purchase rather than a major fault with the machine.
The front panel is straight forward with a simple LCD display panel and CD drawer being the main visible features. The LCD display panel provides information regarding track number, track time, play/pause indication, random and program features. Below this panel are 7 buttons: fast search backwards; fast search forwards; two skip track buttons; a play pause button; a stop button; an eject button and a power button. These are now standard universal functions that most people should be able to grasp in a matter of minutes and without referring to the simple instruction manual supplied with the CD player. There is also an LED power indicator on the front panel near the power button. This turns green when the separate is switched on and red when in stand by. All the above mentioned functions can also be accessed via a simple to use remote control.
The rear of the unit is even less complicated than the front. Here you will find analogue audio outputs for connection to a line input sockets on an amplifier and an optical S/PDIF output for connection to an audio amplifier with a digital optical input - this is limited to CD play only.
You do of course require a suitable amplifier to and speaker set up in order to listen to your CDs - this CD player is designed to hook up with the Acoustic Solutions SP101 amplifier. It is however, possible to listen to your CDs by using the headphone socket without an amplifier but this will only provide a limited acoustic performance.
I would say that this is a very simple to use CD separate that performs reasonably well and seems quite robust and durable. As a basic hi-fi separate it provides adequate playback performance and should satisfy most people's needs. Although a little plain looking it does remain unobtrusive in the living room. There is also no noticeable noise humming noise when switched on. Price wise it cost about £90 when first purchased but presently you should be able to pick one up second hand for less than half that price.
I purchased this CD player 5 years ago along with a Cambridge Audio A1 amplifier - a must have - but the player is disappointing.
The overall design is minimal - which I like - just your standard play, stop, fast forward etcetera. The on button juts out like a deformed nipple and it has a weird wavy line going across the front panel. The paint started wearing off after 6 months of owning the device. The area round the play button is now faded showing the original colour of the casing underneath - a noticeable blemish.
The player came with an awful tiny remote that has far too many buttons for such a minimal device. My main gripe with the player is that I listen to a lot of DJ Mixes so obviously the music is one long track technically but they've been split by the artist so you know which tune is which. The player puts a pause between tracks which is irritating. A song will start and keep building before dropping into the next track. So just as you're getting into it a pause happens . . . then the drop into the next track.
The thing looks ok but the wave needs to go and the disc drawer's starting to come loose. Other than that, it's a CD player - no more, no less.
~~ Purchase ~~
I bought my SP122 at Argos about 18 months ago along with a compatible and matching Acoustic Solutions SP101 Amplifier, Acoustic Solution SP111 DAB/FM Tuner and a pair of Acoustic Solution AVCS Column Stereo Speakers. I took advantage of a deal that was on offer at the time whereby if you bought the amp, tuner and CD player you would receive the speakers for free.
~~ Set up and Appearance ~~
This is an easy to use and uncomplicated CD unit. It's easy and straight forward to set up and attach to other units. I must admit though, it looked much better in the Argos catalogue than it does now that I have it set up in the living room. It's kind of plain in appearance, there are no fancy glowing lights. There is just one LCD panel that has a back light. The dimensions of the unit are 8cm(H), 43cm(W), 28.5cm(D) excluding the feet. The colour was described in the catalogue as silver/grey, I would say more grey than silver. The unit does appear a bit boring.
~~ Sound ~~
The sound is adequate for the price I suppose but this depends on the amp and speakers you're going to use with the player. I was spoilt recently when I was living at a friends house. He had his hi-fi linked up to a £2000 Bose speaker system and the sound quality was outstanding, so my separate hi-fi units costing less than £100 each were bound to produce a sound that would seem mediocre at best. But if you've never had a Bose system then you probably wouldn't notice.
~~ Functions ~~
It is not a multi player - you can only play one CD at a time which I prefer because multi CD players in my experience tend to break down. With this CD unit there is CD-RW/MP3 playback. You can play MP3s that have been recorded on CD but this facility is becoming old fashioned with the growing popularity of recording onto hard drives. There are search, memory, pause, skip, random functions that can be accessed via a remote control that requires 2 x AA batteries (supplied). There are also RCA outputs for connection to an amplifier/speakers.
~~ Faults ~~
After having the SP122 for less that 6 months and although in that time it was hardly ever used, it began to go faulty. Upon inserting a CD and pressing the play button there was what can be describes as white noise interference over the sound of the tracks being played. By pressing the skip button and going to another track this interference was eliminated on occasion only to be present again on a later track. There was also skipping within a track. I tested another CD to make sure that it was the player and not a faulty CD but the same problem occurred. This fault however only occurred during two or three playing sessions on separate days. For the last six months or so the problem seems to have gone away. A more chronic problem though has been the smell. When you switch this unit on and start playing cds, it isn't long before you get an odourl that I can only describe as burning plastic. It's similar to the the kind of smell that you often get when using new electronic goods for the first time. This usually disappears after regular use. With my cd player however, the smell is still there and I would even say that it is so noxious that it sticks to the back of my throat and causes me to have a headache unless the room is thoroughly ventilated. I now regret not taking it back to Argos within the twelve months of my guarantee.
~~ Conclusion ~~
I had originally recommended this unit, but I would now discourage people from buying it on account of the incessant obnoxious smell that it gives off. It is no doubt a shoddy piece of electronic equipment. My experience with this unit and the mediocrity of the other Accoustic Solutions hi-fi items that I purchased at the same time has considerably reduced my estimation of this company. Along with Philips, Accoustic Solutions are now equal bottom of my personal league table of electronic equipment manufacturers. I will not be making any further purchases from this brand.
I paid an inflated price of £79.99 at Argos, but more recently you can buy it at Richer Sounds for £40.
I paid an inflated price of £79.99 at Argos, but you can now buy it at Richer Sounds for £40... I'm not surprised.