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I wanted some more insights into the overall design approach so I asked Fronton a number of questions to expand on some of the technologies and ideas behind the Origine. "We chose the particular Delta Sigma DAC essentially for its sonic qualities and high resolution for Redbook CD whilst not using any specific digital signal processing except a very careful digital implementation—very low jitter due to impedance matching, power supply etc—and a pure analog clock without quartz. Special attention was given to the power supply and ground reference performance in the digital domain. The analog stage is totally separated from the digital not only through the power supply but also physically with different boards, ground references – all simple and efficient solutions."

"The USB input uses a special interface with high-resolution/high-rate capability and separate power supply. With a good server source, this USB can provide as good a sound quality as the Origine is capable of with spinning discs. We aimed for the best possible musical sound. From our point of view, a CD player is necessary as many customers have a huge CD library that merits great players. A great player (and this is true for audio ripping too) needs a super CD mechanism. We have worked hard to design a very good mechanism with multi reading, very low sensitivity to mechanical and clock vibrations and great mechanical treatment (damping, isolation, tuning).

"The extracted information is very precise with a low use of interpolation and/or error correction. The signal is not altered and delivers the full musical dynamic range and very precise dynamic contrasts whilst also providing a great reproduction of the soundstage, musical event, studio or hall characteristics and their specific nature. When you change your CD, not only do you change the musicians but you also change the musical event environment." In light of the outstanding chassis casework I asked whether this was done in-house or via external companies either in France or overseas.

"All design, parts sourcing and final assembly are performed in France by the very best subcontractors. Since most of these subcontractors do most their business in the aerospace industry, they apply to our products the same very high quality standards, rules and savoir faire. So we apply a zero fault process at every step from design to final product."

And indeed the Origine reeks of quality throughout. The dark anodised brushed aluminium chassis feels as solid as you’ll find anywhere—a substantial 28k—whilst being totally dead in terms of resonance. This is achieved with a composite of five different materials that brings together aluminium, copper, stainless steel, PMMA and HI-MACS which itself is an acrylic/stone composite. This superlative construction is somewhat blemished by a flimsy plasticky CD tray but that really is the only small pimple in an otherwise beautiful face. The power supply mentioned by Fronton is indeed substantial with three transformers for the various circuits, a built-in custom mains filter and custom filters for the DAC section supplies. A black gloss rear panel sports XLR and RCA analogue outputs, digital 24-bit/192kHz asynchronous USB and SPDIF inputs, an option for wireless remote control (home automation) and an IEC socket with on/off switch directly above it. There's no option for a digital output to use this player as a transport however.