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I just purchased this cd-player from Yamaha some weeks ago, and so far, I am a very satisfied owner of a product that really has stepped up to the plate and offered me heaps of good features and a solid presentation of all my favourite tunes and cd`s! Fact is, I`m no expert when it comes to audio equipment and such, but for me, this cd-player has all the features that I would want from this type of product! One of the first things I noticed about the Yamaha CDX-496, was that the design of the player was very clean and uncomplicated, which really appealed to me, as I don`t appreciate too much bling bling and strong colors... The style of it is modern and stylish, and it looks nice sitting in my living room, surrounded by cd`s which comes nicely to life when spinning around in the player... I find the balance and presentation of the sound to be very comfortable and well produced, I notice this especially when playing jazz tunes, as it delivers instruments such as trumpet and saxophone with a smooth sound as to high pitched... Learning how to use this product won`t take you long, as the remote control is pretty standard... If you enjoy making you own cd`s on your computer, this player supports those types of mp3 or wma-disks, you can also plug your mp3-player into the device and listen to your songs that way, in other words there`s a lot of features to check out and get to know... I bought this product from Yamaha at amazon, where it costed me 162.99, yet I believe you will be able to find it costing less as time goes by... A product with many features and a good presentation of your music!
I bought the Yamaha CDX-496 as a replacement for my trusty Technics machine, which was about 10 years old, and bristling with features. My main reason for upgrading was the fact that the Technics was starting to get choosy as to which CD-R it was going to play. Having a CD-Burner in my PC means that I make a considerable number of compilation albums, and having to choose a particular make of CD-R was limiting me to the expensive ones only. Buying a CD-Recorder just to ensure reliable play-back of “burnt” disks, would have been excessive when I can write them on my PC with greater flexibility, like being able shorten tracks or fade them into each-other. Anyway, that’s how I justified it to myself! (Confessions of An Inveterate Up-grader!) My first priority was to find a CD-player that actually specified that is was CD-R compatible. The Yamaha is not only that, but CD-RW compatible, which means that I can make erasable compilations as well. At first sight, the Yamaha seems to have a neat minimalist design, with a slim facia and only a few buttons and no knobs to twiddle. It soon becomes apparent that its wealth of features (mostly relating to its use as a source for recording), are controlled from the remote, which is a long slim affair. For example, there is the peak search facility – this finds the loudest patch in all of the tracks programmed for playing, and repeats this bit over and over again whilst you set up your cassette deck’s record level. Then you can programme the tape length to be used, in the case of a C90, this allows the first 45-minutes worth to be played and pauses whilst you turn the tape over – no, it doesn’t do that bit for you! Likewise, if you have a Yamaha cassette deck like my KX-580, it can also be used to synchro-start both the CD-player and the recording deck. Coupled with the KX-580’s Dolby S, HX-PRO and tape optimisation, you get a pretty formida ble end result. There is an optical digital output at the rear as well as twin “phonos”. The former can either be used directly into an amplifier, although is usually limited to those with Home Cinema decoders in them, or as a direct “pipe” to a minidisk recorder. I have auditioned both types of connection to my amplifier, and to be honest my “analogue ears” can’t tell the difference. Wake me up when someone comes up with a digital implant to by-pass the ears! I do however, use high-grade “phonos” –er, that’s to my amplifier, not my brain! Sound output is fine with good well-controlled bass and high “highs”. So far, it has been true to its word playing all of my CD-Rs and even my first CD-RW. The appearance has Yamaha’s subdued but efficient look, with a dimmable pale orange display. Thus far, it has proved to be a worthy replacement for my Technics, aping all of its tape-recording features, plus the bonus of playing “burnt” disks. All in a smaller package at approx £150 from www.qed-uk.com .