This review page is supported in part by the sponsors whose ad banners are displayed below

The CD228 is just as impressively built inside as out.

To prevent tube sag from pin torque due to horizontalizing the valves, Raysonic has added wire retainers. A great idea on paper, the implementation won't win much applause. Tube rollers will have to cut the wires, then resolder replacements. Commercial spring-clip retainers would have been more convenient. Perhaps this is a subliminal statement. Do not mess around with our tube selection. If so, it might have the desired effect. Serious valve swapper meanwhile will do a little snip 'n' liberate and perhaps slightly cuss under their breath.

Lifted straight from an automotive page on captive fuel caps, Raysonic has added leashed screw covers for the 16-pin umbilical DC sockets. Exactly what purpose these serve besides being cute and redundant I'm not sure. The umbilical itself is 80cm long, terminated with very stout connectors and exactly what one would expect from upscale equipment properly outfitted.

Unexpectedly, the hinged CD well cover does not mount the ubiquitous puck to its center as Yamada-San of Zanden Audio has done so conveniently so long ago. Raysonic keeps this puck separate so don't misplace it. Otherwise the machine won't work. Earlier photos showed a power mains rocker on the right cheek of the power supply. The current version has it as a push button in the middle of the power unit's face plate.

The display remains green against black. Some might detect a minor clash against the blue-ringed power button which the LED-off command on the remote does not extinguish. In that case, the three-stage display brightness option—does not include black-out—goes quite a way.

The top spinner produces zero audible noise even in extreme proximity as might be the case with headphone listening. As such, it's decidedly not one of those machines which drive you batty with audible reminders of their moving bits.

In short, a physical inspection of the CD228 suggests that whatever Raysonic Audio has learned since its inception has been thrown at this machine. It's distinctly luxurious in the handling and read-in of TOC from closure of the lid takes about 3.5 seconds. That's a far cry from the lazy SACD readers of yesteryear which could take up to four times as long. Undoing six screws to load the batteries into the remote shows fine metal work even beneath its cover.

Remote options include volume in 99 upcounting steps; mute; A-B programming for bracketed repeats; track and all repeat; track sequence programming; random; "info" which scans the first 10 seconds of each track; time track elapsed, time track remain, time disc remain; direct track access; and the usual basic functions.

The RCA and XLR outputs are both live at all times and can thus be used simultaneously. After you press play, there is a brief mechanical click from the output muting relay*. This does not telegraph electrically over the speakers and does not happen subsequently with track skips, just at pause, pause release and stop. And that's about all that can be said about the CD228 before one hits the listening chair.


* One benefit of this muting relay is that accidental power loss or ill-advised powering down of the CD228 while preamp and power amp are still live does not cause any kind of turn-off transient. This is a very thoughtful feature given the CD228's massive power supply. It does allow one to turn off this tube machine without bothering to turn off downstream components at all.

Enlarge Enlarge Enlarge Enlarge