HiFi Choice, UK, February 2023
CD35 – Group Test
“This flagship with space for a streaming module proves that excellence is more than just a state-of-the-art DAC. Oozing Scandi cool, the CD35 is an out-and-out winner in every way.
A clear round? I doubt any Group Test will ever witness one, but here’s the Primare CD35 and that’s close enough. Think reverse perfect storm, a rare union of positive attributes – let’s call it best-of-all-worlds syndrome – that combine to nail ‘dead right’. First off, the CD35 is supremely confident and comfortable in its own skin and its sonic assets are truly all-encompassing.
Naturally 7 really live up to their name via the CD35. Far from being an artfully blended but amorphous vocal mass, the Primare’s powers of resolution and separation more accurately portray an ensemble of fewer singers in a larger space with more lung power, tonal nuance and easily understood expression. No blurring or artificial smoothing – it all just sounds stunningly natural.
Moreover, the CD35’s skills are seamlessly transferable. As you might imagine, Goodbye Pork Pie Hat sounds stellar, Jeff Beck’s dizzying speed, dynamic tension and effortless melding of delicacy and bite aren’t just thrilling, but truly jaw dropping. The urge to lean heavily on the volume is irresistible.
The Primare CD35 looks rather self-effacing. Neat, clean, minimal. It doesn’t sound it. If you want to discover just how glorious your CDs can sound, this is the one to get.”