Stereocheck Reviews:

T+A Cala CDR: Compact CD receiver with streamer functions

The Cala family from the German manufacturer T+A is addressed to people who love music, but not the equipment itself. Those who do not want to clutter up their living space with metal boxes or...

T+A Cala CDR
T+A Cala CDR

The Cala family from the German manufacturer T+A is addressed to people who love music, but not the equipment itself. Those who do not want to clutter up their living space with metal boxes or entangle it with wires, and from several candidates for purchase, they will prefer the option that fits more compactly and harmoniously into their home.

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T+A Cala CDR is a CD receiver with streamer functions, equipped with high-quality CD transport, a high-performance power supply and a powerful output stage that delivers 100 W per channel into a four-ohm load. Even large floor standing units can be connected to such a device. The aluminum body of the model impresses with the original ambient lighting of its lower part, for which an LED strip built into the rear panel is used. The intensity and color of the backlight can be varied. The acrylic facade of the case has a laconic, elegant design and is completely devoid of controls. There is only a drive tray and an informative OLED display, and control is carried out using a standard remote control or a proprietary application.

The heart of the T+A Cala CDR is a high-performance DSP processor. There is also no conventional DAC here, since the PCM signal received from the source is converted to PWM, i.e. Direct digital amplification is used. Therefore, instead of a linear power supply, a switching power supply is installed in the receiver, and when connecting a source via analog inputs, an ADC is used. Thanks to DSP, many useful functions become available. For example, you can turn off those inputs that are not used, and one of the analog inputs can be switched to another mode and used as an MM phono stage input. There is a Surround-Pass-Through function that turns off the volume attenuator, which is convenient when using a source equipped with its own control. At the same time, T+A Cala CDR can work as a powerhouse in a home theater. There is a bass control system that allows you to select a specific cutoff frequency, which is especially important when connecting a subwoofer. A Virtual Surround mode is available, which provides a semblance of multi-channel sound. Through the menu you can adjust timbres, balance, emphasize the sound of speech, change sound shades, stage width, adjust the sound of the system in accordance with the characteristics of the room, etc.

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The model is equipped with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, easily integrates into your home network and reproduces PCM in resolutions up to 32 bit/192 kHz. There is support for web radio and online services Tidal, Deezer and Qobuz, plus built-in FM, FM-HD and DAB+ tuners. The T+A Cala CDR receiver has Pre Out, a subwoofer output, a LAN port and two RCA analog inputs. The digital section is represented by three S/PDIF inputs (two optical and one coaxial), a pair of USB for external media and one coaxial output. For the sake of design, the headphone jack is placed at the rear of the case, and two pairs of screw terminals are assigned for the speakers.

Characteristics T+A Cala CDR

Rated output power 2 x 100 W (4 Ohm)
Supported CD drive formats CD-DA, CD-R/RW, CD-text
CD player frequency response 2 Hz – 20 kHz (100 dB)
Coefficient harmonics less than 0.02%
Supported formats (via local network) MP3, AAC, OGG-Vorbis, FLAC, WAV, AIFF, ALAC; PCM resolution: up to 32 bit/192 kHz
Gap-free playback for MP3 (Lame), FLAC, WAV
Supported Internet services Tidal, Deezer, Qobuz, Internet radio Airable Internet Radio Service
Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n (with WPS )
Bluetooth protocols: A2DP (audio), AVRCP (control), codecs: MP3, AAC, SBC
UPnP and DLNA protocol support yes
Built-in 48-bit DSP signal processor yes
Virtual Surround mode supported
Loudness yes
Tuner FM, FM-HD, DAB, DAB+
Sensitivity adjustment is available for analog RCA inputs IN1 and IN2; sensitivity selection range: 500 mV, 1 V, 2 V, 2.8 V; Sensitivity selection range when using IN2 as a phono input for MM and MC cartridges with high output: 2.5, 5 or 10 mV
Bass control system Full range Full Range, 40 Hz, 60 Hz, 100 Hz, 150 Hz
Setting sound depending on the location of the speakers is selected in the menu: free, next to the wall, in the corner, on the shelf
OLED display with the ability to adjust brightness and select display modes
Control via the T+A Control application for iOS and Android yes
Automatic on/off function . activates the CD receiver when there is a signal and puts it into standby if there is no signal for a certain period of time
Inputs 2 line RCA (one can be switched to Surround-Pass-Through mode (bypass the volume control), the second can be switched to MM-phono input mode ), 2 x optical (24 bit/96 kHz), coaxial (24 bit/192 kHz), 2 x USB (for external drives), LAN
3.5 mm headphone outputs, Pre Out (RCA), RCA subwoofer jack , coaxial
Other switching: tuner antenna jack, Wi-Fi antenna jack, ground terminal Speaker
output 2 pairs of screw terminals
Power consumption 200 W