Ken Kessler has posted a review of the Audio Research CD9 CD player and DAC ($13,000) at Hi-Fi News and Record Review. His conclusions:
“Top-loaders or not,I have no qualms in admitting this is
one of the finest players Ihave ever heard, up there with the Marantz CD- 12/ DA-12 and the Metronome Kalista. Regardless of the parameter – textures, space, attack, neutrality- it excels.The lack of artifice is as good as it gets. Even if you have no current use for USB, the REF CD9 is one of the most satisfying chasm-closers since, well, the REF DAC.”
You can read the full review here.