“One other difference between the Audio Research Reference CD9 and the Krell Cipher is that the latter also reads SACDs while the former does not; nor do its sampling options include one for DSD. I have a fair number of SACD/CDs in my collection, and they do sound better when played on a machine that can read the SACD layer—one more reason why, given the choice, I’d give the (slight) nod to the Cipher. But if you never caught the SACD bug (it was a brief flare-up), if you’re into digital streaming (the trend in high-end audio), if you’d rather not have to stack and wire another box (ie, if you’d rather not have an external USB-DAC), and if you still have lots of CDs (and you’d rather not burn them all into some cloud), then the Reference CD9 may be for you. It’s a superb machine for spinning CDs and streaming hi-rez downloads, and a superb source for music today and tomorrow.”
You can read the full review here.