For the past 6-9 months I've researched and auditioned a fairly large selection of home theater electronics in an attempt to find a combination of components that not only does HT right, but also does 2-channel CD exceptionally well.
When I started, I had a pair of Mirage M3si speakers that were leftover from a high-dollar (for me) Mark Levinson system. I also had a Sony 9000ES DVD player that I bought on impulse at the same time I bought my rear projection TV. I figured the M3si's would make nice HT mains, and the 9000ES would make a capable CD/DVD player.
My space and cost constraints are such that it's not practical for me to have separate HT and 2-channel CD systems. It's also not practical for me to spend the kind of $$$ on the new electronics that I spent on the previous Mark Levinson rig.
Alas, the 2-channel CD performance of the Sony 9000ES is marginal, at best (as it also seems for most DVD players save the most expensive). And using its digital out for CD (in conjunction with the receiver/processor's D/A) was also mostly disappointing. Also, most of the receivers/processors that I've auditioned were disappointing in 2-channel CD mode, though a number were quite satisfying for movies.
I was beginning to think that it wasn't possible to have a single system, on a budget, that does movies AND 2-channel CD well...until I heard about the Outlaws.
At this point, I'm fairly convinced that the 950/755 combo will work nicely as the core of my new system. I also plan to bolster 2-channel CD performance by using a separate Monarchy 22C D/A (and DIP) to process the digital out from my DVD and feed the bypass inputs on the 950. It probably won't get me to the same level of performance that I enjoyed with the Levinson #39/380s/23.5, but I'm betting I won't be too far off.
Anyway, before I take the plunge and order the 950/755 combo, I'd be interested in knowing what others are doing to max out 2-channel CD performance with the 950.
Thanks in advance for your comments.