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Best Bets

Musical Fidelity's X-Ray V3 Player. Plus, orchids at the New York Botanical Garden, cast-aluminum trays from the Four Seasons, an Acqua di Parma fragrance for women...


The Best Bet
In the MP3 era, it’s easy to forget that CDs really do sound better, no matter what your teen downloading fiend might claim. Musical Fidelity’s new X-Ray V3 player ($999) should put a definitive end to all arguments. Modestly sized (8.5 by 14.9 by 3.9 inches), it features 24-bit, 96-kilohertz upsampling, a technology that fills in the sonic gaps in CDs, which are recorded at a lower 16-bit, 44-kilohertz fidelity. Translation: three times greater sound resolution than most players, at half the price you’d normally pay for it. With a 75-amp peak current, the accompanying X-150 amplifier ($999) is more powerful than any other of its size, allowing it to effortlessly meet the dynamic requirements of any speaker (Sound by Singer; 212-924-8600 or