CES 2006: Conrad-Johnson and McCormack Audio Team to Upgrade UDP-1 Universal Disc Player

CES 2006: Conrad-Johnson and McCormack Audio Team to Upgrade UDP-1 Universal Disc Player

January 6, in SACD News

CES 2006: McCormack Audio of Virigina and its parent company Conrad-Johnson have teamed up to introduce an upgraded version of McCormack’s UDP-1 Universal Disc Player. The new edition of the UDP-1 is on display at the Alexis Park Resort location of this week’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2006).

The Original UDP-1
The current UDP-1 Universal Disc Player from McCormack Audio of Virginia is a universal CD, SACD, DVD-A and DVD Video player. It starts with a Pioneer disc engine which has audio and video sections that were substantially upgraded by the firm’s founder, audio designer Steve McCormack. The UDP-1 has received positive reviews from audio magazines and audiophiles looking for a reasonably priced yet good sounding universal player. (The UPD-1 carries a list price of $3,495).

Conrad-Johnson Works On A Universal Disc Player
Attendees at last year’s CES Show know that McCormack’s parent company, Conrad-Johnson, was working on both a state of the art Multichannel Preamp and a state of the art Universal Disc Player. Since that time, the new MET-1 Multichannel Enhanced Triode Preamp has been released by Conrad-Johnson while the planned player, the AVP-1 (originally scheduled for release in the Fall of 2005) is still under development.

So the firm’s founders pondered what to do and came to an obvious solution. While work continues on the AVP-1 (and it does), why not work with the McCormack Audio folks to upgrade the UDP-1? And that’s what they did.

Two Flavors of the Upgraded UDP-1
The result of this idea is a newly upgraded UDP-1 Universal Disc Player. Taking a page from some of the firms that “hot rod” Super Audio CD players, McCormack Audio has enhanced their original player by substituting custom metal foil resistors in strategic circuit locations and bypassing or upgrading capacitors used in the original design.

The audible results of these tweaks are said to be “remarkable” and the work has generated two new Universal Disc Players – the McCormack Audio UDP-1 Deluxe and the McCormack Audio UDP-1 Conrad-Johnson Edition (CJE). Both versions of the new player will sell for a list price of $3,995 – a $500 premium over the original model.

In reality the two new enhanced players are the same except for the faceplate. The McCormack Audio version matches current McCormack Audio of Virigina products with a “titanium andoize finish front panel” while the Conrad-Johnson version has a “champagne gold finish front panel” which matches current Conrad-Johnson players. I’m told that both versions of the new UDP-1 player are in production and should be in dealers hands soon.

Upgrade for Current Owners?
Current UDP-1 owners will be pleased to hear that McCormack Audio is looking into offering them an upgrade path to the new circuitry once the inital production run of the new edition is complete. These audio fans will want to talk to McCormack Audio to learn more about that possibility in the weeks ahead.

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