Week 50, 2016: CD changers and dual cassette decks, Mass Fidelity Core speaker with Core Sub

Sound Advice

By Don Lindich

Week 50, 2016

Q. Your recommendations of CD players seem to only be for single disc players. We currently have a 5-disc changer, which is great when you want to have music playing for a longer time. What do you recommend? What about a dual cassette deck to play our collection of cassettes? We need one of those too.

-A.H., South Bend, IN

A. Yours was the third question I received about CD changers within a 24 hour period. That tells me it is time to write about CD changers!

The $179 Onkyo DXC-390 6-disc CD changer has been in production for years and is one of the best buys in audio. Though I may not have written about CD changers recently, I have recommended this product for years and own one myself. You can change 5 of the 6 discs while it is playing and the unit is attractive, easy to use and it uses premium-quality audio circuitry for excellent sound quality. It has a full set of outputs, including analog red/white connections and both coaxial and optical digital outputs, so you can use it with practically any receiver. The DXC-390 gets my highest endorsement for its quality and value. onkyousa.com

Cassette decks are getting hard to come by, and good used ones seem to be selling for $300 due to scarcity. I did find a dual cassette deck you can buy new that looks to be a pretty good buy. (It also appears to be practically the only game in town.) The Marantz Professional PMD-300CP is $149 and has a USB output so you can connect it to your computer and digitize your cassettes. Unlike vinyl, which is on the rise, cassettes are a legacy format in steep decline. Support is going away bit by bit so digitizing your cassettes would in fact be a good idea. marantzpro.com

Please note that “Marantz Professional” is a brand of inMusic Brands and different from the high-end Marantz brand owned by D&M Holdings.

Q. I want a premium wireless speaker with quite strong bass to be placed on my mantle, which is 5 inches deep. It will be used for music-only, no TV is involved. I looked at the Axiom Air you recommended and it looks great, but when I look at the dimensions I do not think it will fit comfortably. Price is not so much the issue, but sound quality is and I want to feel the bass. What would you recommend?

-K.C., Washington, PA

A. Big bass and small boxes don’t go hand-in-hand. You need to move air to make bass, and even with fancy acoustic tuning there is only so much you can do. Your best bet is to place a matching subwoofer somewhere else in the room.

I would check out the $599 Mass Fidelity Core with the matching $299 Core Sub wireless subwoofer. The Core is one of the best wireless speakers you can buy and has a very small footprint, and the Core Sub has a very low profile so you can place it almost anywhere. The Core also works on battery power so you can take it outside to different rooms if you want. Through Christmas you can use the code Holiday125 to save $125 on the Core on Amazon. There is much more to this system than I can go into here, so to learn more check out the links above or massfidelity.com