• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required as is 20 years of participation in forums (not all true). Come here to have fun, be ready to be teased and not take online life too seriously. We now measure and review equipment for free! Click here for details.

Let's talk CD Players!

Herbert

Active Member
Joined
Nov 26, 2018
Messages
206
Likes
180
Anyone here who is deeply familiar with Compact Disc 3-beam systems? Someone like Ken Clements?
https://books.google.de/books?id=QH...v=onepage&q=Ken Clements compact disc&f=false

For a long time I have the idea of swapping the laser diodes to make the early players run for ages.
There are some guys on the net who claim they did that, like this guy on a BU-1 from Sony:
https://vintage-audio-laser.com/A-l-atelier-page-54

The biggest problem: The diffraction grating. It has to be adjusted which was done at the factory
There is a commercial repairer somwhere in China who claims to do diode swaps,
but I have no link in the moment. This also seems strange, as modern diodes have smaller
casings and pinouts and "original" replacements for Players from the eighties are faulty
because of improper esd handling of diodes.

I look for someone to team up with to make swaps possible. The BU-1 could be a candidate,
as nothing is glued and everything adjustable… It is also completely based on magnets, no gear to brake
or bearings to wear as it has a brushless disc motor with 3mm shaft...
 
Joined
Dec 9, 2019
Messages
55
Likes
21
Location
Poland
- Pioneer DV-525 (Analog Out) Used primarily as a DVD movie player. I don't recall CD playback quality.
I'd literally wet my pants if you gave me your opinion on that Pioneer as a CD player. I must say I'm a novice with CD players, since my experience apart from this recent revival is basically portable walkmans at full blast in ****** headphones during my teenage years(those...were the days?). I mean, I used the optical out, so as a transport it shouldn't make any difference, but who am I to know :p
Again, I tested the analog out (to my loxjie p20 to my audioquest nightowls and sennheisers hd6xx) against the digital out (optical to my smsl m500 to the loxjie and so on) and the dac on the smsl had the edge for me.
TBH the pioneer dv525 is huge in my desk, especially compared to the smsl dac and the loxjie amp, but it does match my cassette tape deck, so I'm ok with it for now, but I do wonder sometimes if I wouldn't be a happier man in the long run with one of those tiny cute pro-ject cd box S2:facepalm:
 
Last edited:
Joined
Dec 9, 2019
Messages
55
Likes
21
Location
Poland
BTW guys, the idea I got from that pro-ject player came for this very nice video around the subject, in case you didn't see it.
I'd be curious to hear what you have to say about it. Especially the point he makes about the difference between a cd quality stream and a cd played (on that gorgeous hegel cd player) being bigger than between a cd quality stream and high-res quality file.
NOT DEAD YET: CD playback w/ Hegel, PS Audio and Pro-Ject
 
Last edited:
Joined
Oct 22, 2019
Messages
9
Likes
3
I'd literally wet my pants if you gave me your opinion on that Pioneer as a CD player. I must say I'm a novice with CD players, since my experience apart from this recent revival is basically portable walkmans at full blast in ****** headphones during my teenage years(those...were the days?). I mean, I used the optical out, so as a transport it shouldn't make any difference, but who am I to know :p
Again, I tested the analog out (to my loxjie p20 to my audioquest nightowls and sennheisers hd6xx) against the digital out (optical to my smsl m500 to the loxjie and so on) and the dac on the smsl had the edge for me.
TBH the pioneer dv525 is huge in my desk, especially compared to the smsl dac and the loxjie amp, but it does match my cassette tape deck, so I'm ok with it for now, but I do wonder sometimes if I wouldn't be a happier man in the long run with one of those tiny cute pro-ject cd box S2:facepalm:
I wish I could remember. It has been a long time since I had the Pioneer in my system. IIRC, I replaced it to move into SACD. I will say the differences in Redbook playback between the players (analog out) were minimal. The differences in SACD playback were more pronounced. That is where the 5400ES really shined. For Redbook, the DV525 should perform well, it will definitely outperform a walkman!
 
Joined
Dec 9, 2019
Messages
55
Likes
21
Location
Poland
the point he makes about the difference between a cd quality stream and a cd played (on that gorgeous hegel cd player) being bigger than between a cd quality stream and high-res quality file.
NOT DEAD YET: CD playback w/ Hegel, PS Audio and Pro-Ject
To answer my own question, I just did a bit of A/B ing with one of my favorite tracks recently, Pariah from Steven Wilson (album To the bone). I have the CD and the masters version on Tidal. According to the point I highlighted the CD should somehow sound better, but I can see way more detail on the Tidal stream. Not sure what if that's the DVDplayer as a transport, or the difference between the redbook standard and this mqa version (24bit 96 kHz), I do doubt these recordings were mastered differently as this disc is very recent, and the credits for the studio, mixing (most all mixed by SW himself, and he's a good one at that imho) and mastering (Tim Young) and release dates are identical in both places. I mention the mastering as apparently this is the most common critique of mqa evaluation.

Regardless, it's really not that hard to see that the high res stream of this particular song sounds better in just about every way, but one: on the CD player the songs transition gaplessly between tracks, which my dac (m500) gags a bit when jumping between tracks, so that's a bit off putting. The lack of proper gapless in Tidal is annoying, but I'll still take it if that comes bit a bit higher resolution potential.

A track that comes later in the disc (5. Refuge) SW starts with a soft vocal that just sounds more natural or like he was actually there in Tidal.
This should come as no surprise since the stream is of higher res, but still, I'm a bit brokenhearted about it. But it's really true I just feel like listening to this disc back to back (and not just Pariah), on Tidal because of the greater refinement I can perceive in the recording. I don't know, am I tripping ballz here?

Maybe I'll compare some recordings with then normal redbook stream as well and tell you if I find out anything interesting. If I don't it's because it's probably the same (which makes the cd win because of the gapless playback)
 
Last edited:

Herbert

Active Member
Joined
Nov 26, 2018
Messages
206
Likes
180
Probably you got tricked by sample rate conversion:
To prevent intersample overshoots when going from a higher sample rate to a lower one
(i.e from 96 to 44.1) any good mastering engineer will make this 96/24 master quieter by -3db
prior to conversion.
 
Joined
Dec 9, 2019
Messages
55
Likes
21
Location
Poland
Probably you got tricked by sample rate conversion:
To prevent intersample overshoots when going from a higher sample rate to a lower one
(i.e from 98 to 44.1) any good mastering engineer will make this 98/24 master quieter by -3db
prior to conversion.
Ok, it makes sense but I don't fully get it , you're telling me that in practice they should sound pretty much the same even though the source is of very different resolution?
 

Herbert

Active Member
Joined
Nov 26, 2018
Messages
206
Likes
180
They do. One result of the loudness war, where everyone aims for 0dB headroom or at least 0.3dB.
On several occasions I took part in music productions where there was Hi Res masters
involved. But those masters had enough headroom (About 6dB) because no one was interested in tthe loudness war.
We did not need to lower the volume prior to conversion - and had absolutely no audible difference.
96/24 is perfect for mixing, as plugins can work more precise. This is why it became a recording standard,
no rounding errors in the lower bits when you add a compressor or reverb.
But for the final release, 16/44.1 uncompressed is more than sufficient
 
Joined
Aug 28, 2018
Messages
39
Likes
11
I’m thinking about getting a CD player as I’m tired of the growing costs of vinyl but I still want some physical media to collect. Does anyone have any recommendations for a well built, modern player? Not really interested in vintage because it’s not easy to find in Australia and it usually attracts a premium anyway.
 

Frank Dernie

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Mar 24, 2016
Messages
3,437
Likes
6,747
Location
Oxfordshire
Jewel cases. Microscopic print on little bits of paper that you either bend or tear or hurt your fingers on trying to remove. Box sets of slim jewel cases with tiny booklets.
The only bad thing about CD IMO, but very, very bad.
The designer of the jewel case should have been fired and the job given to somebody who wasn't a cretin.
Why tey are still being made is a mystery to me.
 
Joined
Dec 9, 2019
Messages
55
Likes
21
Location
Poland
The only bad thing about CD IMO, but very, very bad.
The designer of the jewel case should have been fired and the job given to somebody who wasn't a cretin.
Why tey are still being made is a mystery to me.

Haha, that wording is a bit too strong for me, but I largely agree, but to me the problem was the industry persisting in this bad design for so long.

I'm really digging the tendency of more recently releases I've been getting with paper/carton material, looks and feels nicer and I guess they last longer too.

IMG_20200611_151157.jpg
 
Joined
Nov 9, 2018
Messages
56
Likes
17
Location
New Delhi, India
Haha, that wording is a bit too strong for me, but I largely agree, but to me the problem was the industry persisting in this bad design for so long.

I'm really digging the tendency of more recently releases I've been getting with paper/carton material, looks and feels nicer and I guess they last longer too.

View attachment 68361
Its DigiPack
 
Joined
Dec 9, 2019
Messages
55
Likes
21
Location
Poland
Haha makes sense! Thanks, I always saw people referring to certain versions being a Digipack, but I never looked into it. I thought it would be bundled with some mp3 download code or something like that. So yeah, big fan of Digipacks here :D
 
Joined
May 30, 2020
Messages
11
Likes
4
Why can’t companies like Accuphase , Luxman etc make high quality RELIABLE optical drives like the Sonys of yesteryear?

with all the improvements in manufacturing in the last 30 years i can’t see the reason.
 
Joined
Aug 28, 2018
Messages
39
Likes
11
Thanks to some help from @restorer-john I just purchased a used NAD C565BEE CD player from 2009. It should arrive next week. Quite an interesting unit as it has an optical input in addition to optical and coax outputs so I can hook up my Chromecast Audio. It uses dual 24/192 Wolfson DACs. I haven't owned a CD player in such a long time so I'm looking forward to spinning some discs.
 

restorer-john

Major Contributor
Joined
Mar 1, 2018
Messages
4,217
Likes
8,926
Location
Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
Thanks to some help from @restorer-john I just purchased a used NAD C565BEE CD player from 2009. It should arrive next week.
Well, if it doesn't live up to your expectations, I'm going to be in trouble. ;)

As I said, I've never been a NAD aficionado, but I have to admit their CD players have been pretty solid in the last 10-15 years.
 

Archsam

Active Member
Joined
Apr 8, 2020
Messages
216
Likes
272
Location
London, UK
Speaking of older but good CD player - I have an old Arcam CD73t that I haven't used in ages in a box if anyone is interested.

I installed a new Sony laser assembly and used it for a good part of a year before I packed it up, so it should have plenty of life left in it.

Never bothered to put it on sale, because for the money it is worth I just can't be bother with shipping / paying Ebay fees. If anyone who is interested and can do a pick up in London SW19 area do let me know.
 
Joined
Dec 9, 2019
Messages
55
Likes
21
Location
Poland
My Pioneer DVD player I use as a transport started acting up. Since yesterday now it's mostly not reading any disks, I opened it up and tried increasing a bit those small screws by the lens to increase the voltage to the reader and it worked for a bit and it started acting up again. The problem seems related to power.
Anyway, my friend was telling me how these cd/dvd readers are unreliable - I got a tape deck from the 80s that works completely fine, but this dvd player from the late 90s is already giving up :( a shame a new cd reader is so damn expensive nowadays, especially since going used is so risky with this type of devices...
 

thefsb

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2019
Messages
427
Likes
290
And the problem with DigiPack is you can't get rid of it. My CDs have been removed from their jewel cases and put in poly sleeves with their paperwork. They take up about 2.5x less space. Can't do anything with the damn DigiPacks.
 
Joined
Jul 7, 2020
Messages
20
Likes
11
About 5 years ago, I placed a deposit for an Accuphase DP-600 SACD/Cd player. The dealer advised, that I was a bout a week too late, the 600 was discontinued, and the DP-720 was the only SACD player that would be equal (and better than) the 600.



Saved up a few more $ and the DP-720 was delivered, and it's become the reference to compare digital playback. It's the best I've heard from SACD/CD and many an afternoon spent just listening to CD, no fatigue, just total engagement from the music. If the recording is a good one, placement of instruments midway and forward are easily heard, and very surreal when it happens. Have no desire to change it any time soon, gosh another 15 years it's probably due for consideration.



I really don't understand the 2.73 times price difference for the same model sold in the USA compared with AU, which is a little higher against the local Japanese prices (taxes and freight the main contributor).
 

Similar threads

Top Bottom