The Ah! Tjoeb 4000CD Player with extras

by | Jul 20, 2005 | Component Reviews | 0 comments

The Ah! Tjoeb 4000 CD player   

Specs:

Description: Remote-controlled CD player with tubed output
stage, one pair of analog outputs, one headphone output, and one S/DIF
digital output. Tube complement: two 6922s. Optional TjoUpsampler board
adds 24-bit/192kHz-upsampling sigma-delta DAC. Maximum output level:
switchable between 700mV, 1.25V, 2.5V, and 5V. Output impedance: ±275
ohms. Power consumption: 20W maximum.
Dimensions: 17.2″ (440mm) W by 3.4″ (87mm) H by 10.9″ (280mm) D. Weight: 11 lbs
SRP: Basic player – $749. Options: AC Direkt power cord, $79;
Tjoeb Shoes isolation feet, $69 set of four. SuperTjoeb package
consisting of CD player and both options: $897. TjoUpsampler
24-bit/192kHz upsampler: $299. Sales: factory-direct through Upscale
Audio. Warranty of 1 year.
Manufacturer: Dé Hifiwinkel BV, Stratumsedijk 67h, 5611 NC
Eindhoven, The Netherlands. Tel: (31) 40 211 33 88. Fax: (31) 40 211 77
34.
Web: www.hifi-planet.com
US distributor:
Upscale Audio, 2504 Spring Terrace, Upland, CA
91784. Tel: (909) 931-9686. Fax: (909) 985-6968.
www.upscaleaudio.com  

 


There is a lot of competition in the $1000 CD player area these days
and with so many options to choose from, it can be a daunting
task.  I have been living with the Ah! Njoe Tjoeb 4000 from
Upscale Audio for over a year now and I am still as happy as the day I
took it out of the box.

While the basic model will only set you back $749 it is an outstanding
value.  It still has the tube output/buffer stage with a pair of
6922 tubes.  You can upgrade the tubes with NOS types from the
6DJ8/6922/7308 family, but you will not necessarily get better sound,
however, this will allow you to fine tune the player to your
system.   My test listening has been with the stock tubes
supplied by Upscale Audio. 

The next step up is the Super Tjoeb 4000, which includes a set of Tjoeb
Shoes (isolation feet), a black disc stabilizer and the AC Direkt power
cord for $897.  With either of these players, there are a few
different op amps you can swap our for further fine tuning of your
system and they are very inexpensive in the $35-50 range.  I
decided to go for broke and spend another $349 to replace the stock D/A
converters and op amps.  Not to give the review away, but if you
can swing the extra $349, this will give you an entry level world-class
player for a very reasonable sum of about $1300 once you pay for
shipping.

Customer service is one of the things Kevin Deal does best, and the
Njoe Tjoeb is packaged better than a lot of $5000 components I’ve
seen.  Once out of the box, it will take you about 15 minutes to
install the new feet and the upsampling board.  Make sure to keep
the box in case it ever needs service, and while you are at it get out
your digital camera and snap a few photos of how the NT player comes
apart.

The NT 4000 sounds great and it is a very smooth sounding player, with
a somewhat relaxed presentation. If you are looking for that last hair
of detail and resolution, you will have to spend more money.  The
reference player in my big system is a Modwright modified Denon and
while it has more to offer in the imaging and soundstaging departments,
it will set you back around $4000.  Most of the listening for the
test was done on my smaller system consisting of a pair of the newest
Prima Luna components, the ProLogue 3 tube preamp and the ProLogue 5
power amplifier with KT-88 tubes.  Speakers are the excellent Naim
Arivas with DH Labs Silver Sonic Q-10 speaker cables.  I also used
DH Labs Silver Sonic Revelation interconnects between amp, preamp and
CD player.

This player sounded very good right out of the box, but I did notice a
bit more openness after about a weeks worth of listening about six
hours a day.  I listen to a lot of popular music and jazz, and
some of my favorite disks to test a new piece of gear were not
disappointing.  The Steve Hoffman remaster of The Doobie Brothers
Greatest Hits
was outstanding, showing off the NT’s ability to resolve individual
voices and image placement.  Once the NT is on for about an hour,
as is typical with most tube components, it reveals much better depth
and imaging detail.  One mistake I made though, was to leave it on
all the time.  Doing so will burn through a set of tubes in 6
months, and is not covered under the warranty.

Another favorite test disc of mine is Steve’s version of Miles Davis –
Cookin’ With The Miles Davis Quintet.  Again, many players in this
price range just don’t have the ability to achieve the amount of depth
that the NT does – imaging is great on this player!  Discs similar
to the DCC stuff that is very smooth and not possessing an artificially
boosted high end will sound a bit laid back at first, but after a
little seat time you get used to how much more music you are
hearing.  Listener fatigue is zero with this player.

Going for a bit bigger, more dynamic sound, I decided to put the NT
through its paces with the MoFi version of Dark Side of the Moon (I
know I should have outgrown this by now, but it’s still a great system
test after all these years!) and the NT did not disappoint. Bass was
excellent and transient response was also very good, especially on the
track Time, with all of the alarm clocks.  MoFi’s version of
Johnny Winter’s Second Winter is a disc I use to see how a system or
component does with a high level of music density.  The first
track, Memory Pain is a killer for this.  If your system has
midrange congestion, this will just come off as a wall of sound. 
Not so with the NT, all of the vocal and guitar overdubs came through
very clearly delineated.

Again, I have to remind you that my bias is towards a very smooth,
neutral presentation.  I am not one swayed by some of the more
“audiophile” sounds out there.  If this is a sound that you also
prefer, I suggest giving the Ah! Njoe Tjoeb 4000 player a listen before
you plunk your credit card down on something else.  Highly
recommended. [A previous review also suggests including the Rega Planet
in your listening evaluations…Ed.]

 – Jeff Dorgay

 

Related Reviews
Logo Pure Pleasure
Logo Apollo's Fire
Logo Crystal Records Sidebar 300 ms
Logo Jazz Detective Deep Digs Animated 01
La Clave – Acoustic Sounds

La Clave – Acoustic Sounds

Verve/Universal Music Group releases a re-mastered vinyl of an obscure, but highly entertaining 70’s album.