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Cayin Mini-CD MKII CD Player Review

Rate this CD Player:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 30 20.7%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 75 51.7%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 35 24.1%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 5 3.4%

  • Total voters
    145

mhardy6647

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Yes, exactly. From what I recall, they sound the digital lens changed the sound in obvious manner so naturally they did not consider that valid in testing.
See my two posts above -- besides the DTL (which they treated as what it was, an effect/feature not a bug), there was some funny business observed with the Sony CDP-101 they tested. I infer (and the article does at least seem to imply) that this wasn't an intentional feature. ;)
 

Tangband

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OK, the review is fully updated with the correct test CD. Using that, and running a bunch more tests, it seems that the bitstream out of the Cayin S/PDIF is toggling its low order bit causing distortion even in an external DAC! Check it out and let me know if you think there is another explanation for it.

I also ran more tests including S/PDIF output of the LINN which is perfect.
Thanks ! This is clear evidence that ”bits are not bits ” as you said in the youtube video when you tested the spdif out from the Cayin and Linn.

Some people on this forum needs to step back and realize that they were wrong when stating that ” all digital is perfect ” .
 
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LTig

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Thanks ! This is clear evidence that ”bits are not bits ” as you said in the youtube video when you tested the spdif out from the Cayin and Linn.
Nobody would claim that a 0 on storage is the same as a 1 emitted by a badly implemented player.
Some people on this forum needs to step back and realize that they were wrong when stating that ” all digital is perfect ” .
This is not what people say. I for example say that properly working digital is perfect, not broken digital as in this case.
 

Mart68

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How audible is this problem likely to be? I'm thinking not in the slightest at least with music?
 

Mnyb

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Nobody would claim that a 0 on storage is the same as a 1 emitted by a badly implemented player.

This is not what people say. I for example say that properly working digital is perfect, not broken digital as in this case.
Yes this is broken and very very rare . But it proves that these things actually needs to be tested or the manufacturers don’t do thier due diligence.

That the major hifi rags don’t measure anymore ( and if they do they brush it under the rug ) makes things like this even more common sadly .

CD is in it’s legacy phase and is suspect knowledge is getting lost .

Properly working CD players or CD transports where the norm and things like this very rare ? Well se if this is a trend if Amir have some more CD players in the pipeline ?
 
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Tangband

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Yes this is broken and very very rare . But it proves that these things actually needs to be tested or the manufacturers don’t do thier due diligence.

That the major hifi rags don’t measure anymore ( and if they do they brush it under the rug ) makes things like this even more common sadly .

CD is in it’s legacy phase and is suspect knowledge is getting lost .

Properly working CD players or CD transports where the norm and things like this very rare ? Well se if this is trend if Amir some more CD players in the pipeline ?
Its even more common on todays streamers and computers that they dont always put out a bitcorrect digital signal.
 

Tangband

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How audible is this problem likely to be? I'm thinking not in the slightest at least with music?
With a lot of experience I would say - in many cases its audible. In best cases making the sound slightly softer or ( in worse cases ) slightly harder with sibilances sounding slightly unnatural.

Bad SRC in streamers converting everything to 48 kHz can also have this effect. Its in some cases subtle but devastating for the music listening, long therm. Digital distortion dont sound as forgiving as analog distortion in many cases.

Its very easy for the companys to make a good bitcorrect digital product ( like WiiM ) but as long as we ( the customers) dont care about the digital side of the players ( preaching the gospel of perfect sound forever, remember ? ) , then theres not gonna be a change.
 
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EJ3

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Nobody would claim that a 0 on storage is the same as a 1 emitted by a badly implemented player.

This is not what people say. I for example say that properly working digital is perfect, not broken digital as in this case.
I don't know, I have heard more than one person say both "bits is bits" and "all digital is perfect".
 

Roland301

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isnt this already well trodden territory?

if you're reading 0/1 off a CD then really isnt any CDRom drive and your associated software, eg. CDex, going to perform the same every time?

you can test it easily... eg. i have some brand name Pioneer and Sony whatever drives lying around

the tracks you rip should be identical to those ripped off a a no name drive like the one above?

if there were truly a case of 'accuracy' then the data you read off the optical disc would be corrupted in the case of the above drive vs. a brand name drive

to the drive what is the difference between a music file and a large excel sheet? nothing.
There's a reason AccurateRip database and secure ripping is a thing. In reality, CD drives do make errors on imperfect discs, and many discs are imperfect. I have personally experienced this while ripping CDs with e.g. a cheap USB CD drive vs a full size SATA desktop unit. I've had some seemingly scratch-free discs result in inaccurate rips which took way longer to correct (if at all) on the cheap portable drive where the full-size unit had no problem.

A standalone CD player does not have the luxury of comparing a checksum against an online database and re-reading uncertain sectors many times until a perfect match is achieved. The mechanism and logic have to be more robust to read through errors that would otherwise not be problematic with CD ripping.

That said, "full-size" drive in question is currently $30 on Amazon, +$30 for a suitable USB adapter. It's not particularly pricey, but in today's market many people would turn to the cheaper and more direct option.
 

Burki

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Coming back to the Cayin mini-cd:
I'm using it (very rarely) together with Cayin's DAC and headphone amp.
In here the CD player is connected through I2S and I'm wondering that for this constellation with don't have any measurements.
 

TonyJZX

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i feel something strange is going on with aliexpress

i think we you search "cd player" you get expensive units as they probably think you're a rich fool looking for long deprecated opticals

if you look for dvd player you get decks from as low as $25!

granted they run component and who has that now?

where I am you can get BR decks as low as $50 usd but they are cut down units with hdmi out only?

maybe use a hdmi audio extractor???

ir try this:

 

frabor

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"The external adapter is a bit of a buzzkill. They should have charged $299 and put the darn power supply inside."

@amirm , there is a cost constrain to place the power supply externally, and it is not the BOM of the components but the expense of the safety certifications. Using a certified power supply, you can get out of doing the certification of the products, since the device is low voltage. Not optimal, but for many small companies and short run certification expenses in the 1000s of dollars can make a big difference. Certification is an upfront one time cost that is split between all the units in a batch, regardless if it is 100 units or a million.
 
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OP
amirm

amirm

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"The external adapter is a bit of a buzzkill. They should have charged $299 and put the darn power supply inside."

@amirm , there is a cost constrain to place the power supply externally, and it is not the BOM of the components but the expense of the safety certifications. Using a certified power supply, you can get out of doing the certification of the products, since the device is low voltage. Not optimal, but for many small companies and short run certification expenses in the 1000s of dollars can make a big difference. Certification is an upfront one time cost that is split between all the units in a batch, regardless if it is 100 units or a million.
I know all of this. But my wish remains as they compete with countless transports that have built-in power supply. Every Topping product I test comes with such certification so surely Cayin can do the same. Using a pre-approved supply will lower this expense especially if the lab work is done in China.
 

Scytales

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Conclusions
The Cayin looks like a nice CD player despite its low cost. Alas, its built-in DAC has too much distortion. And if my guess is right that it is corrupting the low order bit of the digital stream over S/PDIF, using an external DAC won't help you either! Company needs to investigate this and find out what is going on.

I just stumbled across a review of the same device in the German magazine Stereoplay. FFT in CD mode with an AP are almost exactly the same as yours. According to the published article , the DAC chip is an ESS ES9018K2M. One could have expect better results from the designer who have worked with this chip.

Edition 11/15/2023 : it's Audio magazine, not Stereoplay !
 
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