We cranked Zeppelin, we zoned out to Keith Jarrett’s Köln Concert, we sampled the new Muppets Green Album and had our dopamine levels very much maxed by Hayley William’s vocal with Weezer on Rainbow Connection. The quoted power of the Music Center is 120W of Class-D ICEpower into four ohms, or 60W into eight ohms (the Planet Ls are quoted at six ohms), and things sounded great; we also upgraded amplification via the preouts, and found the Planet L’s revelled in the extra headroom made available.
As for the individual sources, the CD player was the most straightforward, with its lovely slot-loading mech gliding the CD into place, with all necessary control from the well-provisioned remote. Replay via the USB socket was very old-school — only MP3 and WMA files, no support for AAC or lossless, certainly no high-res music here.
For the two radio sources we tried the supplied antenna string without success in our north Sydney location — too weak for even strong FM stations and barely a lock with DAB; we gave it a roof aerial connection which yielded reception for both, though a mono button would be useful for weaker FM stations. There are 25 presets available for favourite stations.
We used the optical input from an Apple TV and were thereby able to play our whole iTunes collection with iPad control, an excellent experience. Another way to do this, at the cost of a little battery life, would be to use the optional ‘Well’ dongle in your iPad, iPhone or iPod and stream your music wirelessly and losslessly. For us the apparently simple pairing procedure for the Well wouldn’t work first time; we got more specific instructions from distributor Audio Dynamics and did later get it to work; persistence required.
No such problems with the included big USB dongle plugged into our laptop, which sounded great and confirmed Elipson’s claim of uncompressed music emerging at the other end. If you’re following the manual here, note that some computer terms have suffered in translation from the French — for ‘Configuration Panel’ read ‘Control Panel’; for ‘Material’, read ‘Hardware’.