The Nova Physics Group Memory Player

                                         Second Thoughts...


I will be the first to admit that I have a limited experience with the tidal wave of new digital playback devices. Based on what I have heard from the likes of Gryphon, Linn, Bel Canto, Krell, Wadia, and Reimyo, the collective of creative minds fueling the high end are chewing up the pavement in the advancement of the art.

Then as if from thin air comes the brainchild of Mark Porizilli
George Bischoff and Rod Handley, aptly named the Memory player. Here we have a device that takes a completely new approach to bringing better sound from 16/44.1 standard Red Book. Nova Physics Group's website as well as Clement covers the techno side of things pretty thoroughly so I will not be redundant. As for my sonic impressions after purchasing a unit, here's my story.

When Clement spilled the beans on the soon to be completed MP, I was
very interested, if not a bit cautious due to the PC based operating
system. I just do not like computers. Never have. And
yes, the MP operates by either the touch-screen or by
PC notebook. When the very amiable and thankfully patient George
Bischoff dropped by to set the MP up and give me a tutorial on its
ins and outs, I tried like hell to disguise the glazed over blank
stare one acquires when confronted by new technology. Being only
partially successful with my masquerade, Bischoff forged on and after
a surprisingly short time, I was memory playing! Seriously, it is not
as daunting as it may first appear. I equate the steps involved to
the steps of hunting for your favorite disc, pulling it from its
case, giving it a good wipe before dropping it in a CD tray and heading back
to your seat. The only real difference is that with the Memory
player, I only have to get up once!

Once the music starts, there is no question, wait, there a are
questions, like “How the heck…..What the….can this be really doing
what it sounds like it’s doing?” In a time when I am using components
that have me really excited, the MP, within the period of fifteen
minutes, ascended to the top of the heap. This is not the type of
improvement that can be summed up by the mental ping-pong'ing of
whether the component at hand is, for instance, warmer and richer, or
is it more open and detailed. The MP is fundamentally different, no
make that better, no make that much better in that there is not one
area of performance that I can compare to anything put forth by a CD
player that I have personally heard or owned. This may sound like an over statement, and that may sound like an understatement, but it is not. There is so
much more information put forth and the elimination of so much glare
and transient distortion that further comparison became totally
unnecessary. The elimination of the mechanical aspect of the playback
peels back the curtain and reveals the true flaw, the fatal flaw of
today's transport based system. Floating them on air, bouncing them
on springs, piercing the metal coat with spikes or gumming up the
bottoms with sticky rubber pucks, just to name a few ways of
stabilizing the transport, is much like a young boy whistling in the
dark to keep his fear at bay. He is, as we have been, kidding
ourselves by hoping these means were the answer. They may have helped
a little, but in the end, nothing but total elimination of the moving
parts within the transport could drive us that final mile. Yes, The
MP is better than I could ever have imagined, even after the
accolades give here from both Clement and myself, until you hear it, you may find it hard to believe as well.   

Greg Petan