i haven't tried the power amp yet, but i got the CDQ recently and love it. (i'm using it with a Linn power amp at the moment, but i'm saving up for some 8200MB's)
the cdq works great with my Linn, and i tried it at the weekend on some other kit, including a £4.5k Leben valve power amp (as a pre and cd player) and an Airtight integrated (just as a cd player). it sounded fantastic with all the kit i tried, though i think the Leben shaded it. the pre worked really well, and compared favourably to a couple of £2k deidcated preamps with a turntable as source.
can you demo it? if you can, then have a listen with a couple of different amps and see what you think. i don't think you'll be dissapointed.
Great combination in my opinion. We use this exact set-up on a regular basis for demos as well as the CDQ and a couple of 8200M's on occasion. I would certainly give it a listen if you can but it's definitely worth the little extra cost over an A and CD. What speakers will you be driving with it?
We're enjoying that combo--clearly increased detail in the midrange compared to the 8200A. (We got a good price on some second-hand speakers of decent quality and were looking to upgrade amp to match, and have the DAC capability for computer music.) At first I was feeling, as some say online, that it's on the dry/analytic side, but after a spell, I was drawn in by the straight-forward realism, and started to become more sensitive to the moondust that made others sound warmer and more magical.... I still wish I had a better soundstage but I'm still playing with placement etc. anyway. Where I bought it, they use it as their standard for demoing too (as John Anderson says above).
I have a different question about this combo. I had a budget Arcam amp for 12 years or so before upgrading to this combo recently. The following question may be stupid, and if so, I apologize. But I'm eager to learn, so if you can explain my stupidity... ;-)
On every amp I know, one ends up playing the music at 25%-50% volume, more or less. Maybe 60% to drown out all other thought. The digital volume control for the CDQ goes from -80db to +3. We end up playing it routinely at -20 to -10, and sometimes wish for a bit more volume, but have been trained for our 40+ years on the planet not to put an amp at maximum volume. -10 on a scale of -80 to +3 makes us nervous already.