Poll

Top Vintage CD Player

Phillips CD-80
Onkyo Integra DX-708
Magnavox CDB-650
Carver SD/A-490t
Technics SL-P1300
Pioneer Elite PD-65
Sony Playstation 2 - early version
DBX DX5

Author Topic: The Vintage CD Player Hall of Fame  (Read 18234 times)

Offline OldiesButGoodies

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The Vintage CD Player Hall of Fame
« on: September 27, 2012, 09:43:12 PM »
My nominees (only integrated units - no dac-transport combos, no DVD players):

  • Phillips CD-80
  • Onkyo Integra DX-708
  • Magnavox CDB-650
  • Carver SD/A-490t
  • Technics SL-P1300
  • Sony Playstation 2 - early version (does this break the DVD rule? I guess so - sorry)

Spkr: VMPS RM40
Pre: McCormack RLD-1, Rotel 970BX Phono
Amps: Channel Islands Audio D-200 MkII 
Phono: VPI Aries 1,  Van de Hul Frog
CD: Oppo BDP-83 DAC: Young DSD DAC
Cass: Tascam 122MkII
R2R: Revox B77
Sub: Rhythmik FV 15HP

Offline ataudio

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Re: The Vintage CD Player Hall of Fame
« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2012, 04:19:52 PM »
OOooo...I like this.  Personally owned and love(d):
In order of preference:

1) Pioneer Elite PD65.  Fantastic single CD player.  It had a mini turntable you set the CD on.
I was a fool for selling that one. The mini turntable stablized the entire CD rather than just
clamping the center hole.

2) Philips CD60. Superb unit.  Still have it. 

3) Maganvox CDB-492.  (aka cd2000).  Another Philips based unit that despite is black plastic crap (BPC)
construction is a very very nice sounding player.  Still have this one too.

4) Most NAD cd players.  I have a NAD 512 and 53xx model and for the money you couldnt go too
wrong with the NADs.  And, I still have these as well.

If we expand the list I could name two SACD/DVD players that are also fantastic CD players.

Offline StephenWVU

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Re: The Vintage CD Player Hall of Fame
« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2012, 06:28:20 PM »
Somehow I wonder if this was in part triggered by my current searching for a good CD player.  If so, thank you!  I am currently bidding on the Pioneer Elite PD-65 and found a Magnavox CDB650 for sale.  The technics one looks crazy, just so you know!  :P :P

Wish me luck on the Elite!
Speakers: Nearfield Acoustics Pipedreams Reference 18
Amplifier:
Crown XLS2000 on subs
VAC Renaissance 30/70 (towers)
Preamplifier/DAC: Phison PD2
Server: Antipodes DX (everyone should investigate this brand)
CD: SONY DVP 9000ES
Turntable: I will have one again... Looking at Hanss T60 or VPI Aries

Offline OldiesButGoodies

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Re: The Vintage CD Player Hall of Fame
« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2012, 06:34:03 PM »
The best DVD-player-used-as-a-cd player, IMO,  was the Sony DVP-S7700.  It also had a very cool motorized flap and tray.  A classic. Still sells for $50 on ebay, used to retail for $1.5k).  I am bidding on one right now.

(home theater audio was so-so,  but the CD audio analog output was kick-ass)

Would be interested in your take on the best cheap SACD player.  Using a Sony right now,  sounds ok but nothing to phone home about. 

OBG

Spkr: VMPS RM40
Pre: McCormack RLD-1, Rotel 970BX Phono
Amps: Channel Islands Audio D-200 MkII 
Phono: VPI Aries 1,  Van de Hul Frog
CD: Oppo BDP-83 DAC: Young DSD DAC
Cass: Tascam 122MkII
R2R: Revox B77
Sub: Rhythmik FV 15HP

Offline OldiesButGoodies

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Re: The Vintage CD Player Hall of Fame
« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2012, 06:36:53 PM »
That Elite sounds interesting - thou should report on it if you get it.  The Maganavox ones are so cool because they are sleepers that look cheap but sound great.

Back to listening to an American Grammaphone sampler LP on vinyl - that sounds better than anything on this digital list!     8) 

Spkr: VMPS RM40
Pre: McCormack RLD-1, Rotel 970BX Phono
Amps: Channel Islands Audio D-200 MkII 
Phono: VPI Aries 1,  Van de Hul Frog
CD: Oppo BDP-83 DAC: Young DSD DAC
Cass: Tascam 122MkII
R2R: Revox B77
Sub: Rhythmik FV 15HP

Offline ataudio

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Re: The Vintage CD Player Hall of Fame
« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2012, 09:29:16 PM »
Well...since we're opening up to DVD and SACD.  IMO, my best CD player is my
SONY DVPs9000 ES.  Its a wonderful CD player.  Its over built and sounds great.
Best extension on both ends, very detailed yet not bright.  Very good bass..tight, accurate...all in all a very engaging CD player.  This is followed by
my SONY DVP-s7700....Yup same one OBG commented on. Thats followed by my SONY
DVP-s7000.  I think SONY hit a triple on those machines. The 9000 was once a $1500
SACD player.  They ar edirt cheap on ebay now.  Problem is shipping, they are all very heavy machines. The next is line is a TOSHIBA HD-A2 DVD player.  HD lost the battle to blur-ray but this
player sounds very nice...to me anyway.  The only other SACD player that I have is the SONY
NS500v. I think it sounds very very nice for a $200 unit.  its better than most every othe redbook cdp expect the philips cd60.  Very even there. Now I dont have the most revealing speakers at the moment.  Its a modest but very musical system.

Back to the Pioneer PD65.  I do hope you win that auction.  I really loved mine. The stable platter
mechanism was fantastic.  I bought mine at Audio Gallery in Squirrel Hill many years ago.
It was very musical. Never felt it was missing anything.  I used it standalone for some time before I bought a MSB Link DAC.  Honeslty...I wouldnt bet a paycheck it helped.  I *think* it
did...which really speaks of the dac/audio quality in the PD65.  I had mine paired with tube pre amp and tube mono blocks and Meadowlark speakers.  I love tubes overall but my solid state amps that I have now do better in bass control.  Tubes did much better in mids and highs plus really expanded the soundstage.  Please report back if you win the PD65.

Anders

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Re: The Vintage CD Player Hall of Fame
« Reply #6 on: September 29, 2012, 12:53:05 AM »
I was the repair tech at Audio Gallery.
Don't remember selling Pioneer tho.

Offline Slim-Shaddy

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Re: The Vintage CD Player Hall of Fame
« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2012, 10:07:27 AM »
Denon DCD 1520
I am confident that an SL-1200 is capable of outperforming turntables of much higher expense with minor modification.

Offline OldiesButGoodies

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Re: The Vintage CD Player Hall of Fame
« Reply #8 on: September 29, 2012, 10:48:17 AM »
I think it is interesting how some of these older CD players manage to sound so good using old DACs. My Phillips CD-80 manages to sound at least a good as some of the newer stuff I have put next to it over time.  If I bypass the DAC and go to the newer Emotiva DAC there is a improvement in detail (and I imagine the improvement with a higher end DAC would be even more noticeable),  but it is still remarkable how sweet the old DAC sounds,  particularly the bass.

I bought my CD-80 from Falcon a year and a half ago,  and he explained hat it had all the Dave Platt mods on it,  which may explain why this one sounds so great. Falcon:  is there a place n the net where I can read up on what his mods were? I googled but nothing relevant seemed to come up. 

Cheers,

Pepe 

Spkr: VMPS RM40
Pre: McCormack RLD-1, Rotel 970BX Phono
Amps: Channel Islands Audio D-200 MkII 
Phono: VPI Aries 1,  Van de Hul Frog
CD: Oppo BDP-83 DAC: Young DSD DAC
Cass: Tascam 122MkII
R2R: Revox B77
Sub: Rhythmik FV 15HP

Anders

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Re: The Vintage CD Player Hall of Fame
« Reply #9 on: September 29, 2012, 10:50:22 AM »
You should hear my old 14 bit Magnavox that i modified.
Sounded better than most of the high-end cd players we sold at Audio Gallery.
We did sell Denon.

I have a Denon DCD-1700 that sounds pretty good.

Offline OldiesButGoodies

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Re: The Vintage CD Player Hall of Fame
« Reply #10 on: September 29, 2012, 10:53:24 AM »
I am motivated - will go hit the garage sales and the flea market for old gold.  Report back later.

It would sure be nice to run into a Sony 9000 SACD player for $30.    :P :P

Spkr: VMPS RM40
Pre: McCormack RLD-1, Rotel 970BX Phono
Amps: Channel Islands Audio D-200 MkII 
Phono: VPI Aries 1,  Van de Hul Frog
CD: Oppo BDP-83 DAC: Young DSD DAC
Cass: Tascam 122MkII
R2R: Revox B77
Sub: Rhythmik FV 15HP

Offline ataudio

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Re: The Vintage CD Player Hall of Fame
« Reply #11 on: September 29, 2012, 01:44:29 PM »
Hi Anders. Not sure how they got that pioneer.  I suspect it was a trade in.  Its the only item i ever bought there.
It was a nice store but i rarely even visited them. 

Offline sk1335

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Re: The Vintage CD Player Hall of Fame
« Reply #12 on: September 29, 2012, 02:28:01 PM »
Like my Sony's - CDP-707esd, and CDP-X777es (they did after all - invent the CD media)

The following info came straight from "The Vintage Knob"

Sony CDP-707esd:
The original "7" series player, sold worldwide as a CDP-557ESD, in the US as a CDP-707ESD, and development basis for the reference CDP-R1 and DAS-R1 combo which was launched a few months after the 557ESD.

 Unlike the R1 combo, the CDP-557ESD was still black and adorned with many a button and many a visible feature reminding us that this still was the 1980s.
 But the work on textures, different anodizing, and structured volumes is typical of Sony's best design abilities. And this is all metal, too.


 Inside, center stage, is the first version of the BU-1 aluminium diecast base which was reused in the next four models of the X7 series. The BU-1 holds the main motor, the laser's linear motor and its two magnetic rails and the precious KSS-190A.

 The BU-1 assembly is known to be of the "almost everlasting" kind : read "more than ten years" of moderate but daily use. In reality, the actual lifetime of the laser, servos and motor can easily exceed twenty years.

 Taking some from the CDP-555ESD, the chassis set the main layout for all following X7s : double steel plates, extruded 4mm front plate and drawer's front, copper-plating everywhere (including all the screws), ceramic-powder feet and ceramic-damped d/a chips.

 The two transformers and the BU-1 drive are placed in their respective sub-enclosures, with felt pads added on and in between the double steel plates' sides and tops.
 The BU-1E assembly itself rests on a Gibraltar sub-base bonded to the (top) bottom steel plate ; the BU-1E's own base also rests on a G sub(-sub)-base.
Gibraltar is made of calcium carbonate, glass-fiber and resin.

 As all X7 players, the CDP-557ESD feels like a brick of solid steel but looks and sounds much better.


 Digital-to-analogue-wise, Sony didn't yet use its own chips for the d/a section itself : after having done so between 1982 and 1984, Sony started using Philips' TDA1541A then Burr-Brown's.

 The d/a chips in the 557ESD are two Burr-Brown's PCM64P (18bit resolution) teamed to a Sony CXD1144A 18bit / 8fs digital filter, the latter being the industry's very first 8fs digital filter.

 As all of Sony's digital components between 1984 and 1994, componentry is lavish and oversized everywhere (caps are all premium Elna Duorex and Elna For Audio), 14 power-supplies coming out of the two transformers, generous regulations and heatsinking (in copper, too), solid copper bus bars - ES in all its grandeur.


 Circuit-wise, the CDP-557ESD had sci-fi elements like Error Prediction Logic II (to "predict" read errors and correct them before they actually happen with an 1/10000th of second speed), a Servo Stabilizer II (to keep servo digital noise as low as possible), GIC low-pass filter (one for each channel) and FET-charged analogue outputs.

 Nice touches-wise, there is an "Acoustically Sealed" loading tray (a rubber band sandwiched between the drawer's front and the sub front-plate), a myriad of programming modes assembled under the "Custom File" system and an alpha-numerical display which allows ten letters tops - Dmitri Chostakovitch will have to be abbreviated to Chosta :)

 The D in ESD naturally stands for Digital : there's a regular 75 Ohm digital coaxial terminal at the back of the 557ESD, disparaged from its past of potential graphics provider with the use of other than P and Q CD sub-codes.

 Unlike all later X7s, there are no balanced outputs (that was for the next generation - CDP-X7ESD) but, build-quality-wise, the 1987 top ES CD players were still made as japanese high-end was made before the 1987 and 1989 stock-market mini-crashes and the 1991 big crash.
 The 557ESD and R1 combo are japanese high-end at its best and most lavish.

 A CDP-557ESD built today, in 2010, would cost five or six times what it cost back then : nobody can afford to build like that anymore.


Sony CDP-X777ES:
One of the very few digital units I remember listening that shook my firm "analogue" slant, along with the Stax DAC TALENT and Sony's own CDP-R1a & DAS-R1a combo.

 I couldn't afford an X777ES then, let alone the Stax, but I own one now - in fact I own two and I really didn't hear the need for a future upgrade for a long time.


 As all Sony X7 players, the build quality is truly unbelievable and completely unseen nowadays.
 The feel of use matches that quality : one has to see and touch these players to really understand what luxury in build-quality is.
 It is no wonder Accuphase used Sony's drives for its own. And no wonder these sold like hotcakes in Germany and Japan : as all X7 players, the X777ES still is part of the crème de la crème when considered as a drive.

 As an integrated player... better has been done since, for sure. And better had been done before, too : Sony's own CDP-R1 and DAS-R1 combo, albeit "older" in technology, has all the qualities of an X777ES... times 10 !
 The price wasn't the same, though, in a ratio of one to four, and the PULSE circuitry, developed by NTT and Sony, became really better after the X777ES.
 The R1 combo did have those magic Philips TDA1541A S1 converters, too.


 Analog outputs are available in three flavors : RCA variable, RCA fixed or XLR fixed.
 The fixed XLR are directly hooked to the PULSE D/A chips : very tight, very "direct".
 The fixed RCA are the center of the show as they benefit from Toshiba FET transistors : sweeter, lush-ness comes in.
 The variable RCA have too much cabling (from the d/a board to the motorized volume pot and back) and loose a lot of finesse along the way.

 Depending on your preferences and the rest of your units, you will either prefer the fixed RCA or fancy the XLR - both are equally excellent, if in a different way.

 Mods abound although not as numerous as the Philips-based Marantz (or Philips LHH) but one can already easily upgrade the original 16.9344MHz clock.

 Sadly, in true Sony cost-multiplication style, the KSS-281A inside the X777ES was used only in the X777ES : original spares are now a faint souvenir and the only way to revive a tired X777ES is to find another... preferably lightly used.
 If finding X777ESs is easy as that X7 model sold very well all over the globe, finding one which saw little use is more difficult.
Family Rm: Carver Lightstar 2.0, Carver C-19, Sony CDP x777es, NHT 3.3, Yamaha PF 800 TT
Garage: Carver Lightstar 2.0, Carver C-19, Sony CDP 707esd, Denon DP-51 TT, JBL L5 (JL Audio Modded)
Living Rm: Harman-Kardon 775 Monoblocks, Apt Holmann Pre

Offline OldiesButGoodies

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Re: The Vintage CD Player Hall of Fame
« Reply #13 on: September 29, 2012, 02:28:17 PM »
No decent electronics at he yard sales today,  but did score a bunch of vinyl...

Spkr: VMPS RM40
Pre: McCormack RLD-1, Rotel 970BX Phono
Amps: Channel Islands Audio D-200 MkII 
Phono: VPI Aries 1,  Van de Hul Frog
CD: Oppo BDP-83 DAC: Young DSD DAC
Cass: Tascam 122MkII
R2R: Revox B77
Sub: Rhythmik FV 15HP

Anders

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Re: The Vintage CD Player Hall of Fame
« Reply #14 on: September 29, 2012, 04:44:02 PM »
My favorite Sony was the SCD-1.
but not cheap $5000
http://www.stereophile.com/hirezplayers/180/index.html

 

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