CD Transport / Player Thread

Discussion in 'Digital: DACs, USB converters, decrapifiers' started by MoatsArt, Oct 18, 2016.

  1. k4rstar

    k4rstar Britney fan club president

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    I got a Revox B225. It's been modified with USB input. I dunno how to feel about the sound yet but it sure looks cool

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  2. Boops

    Boops Friend

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    Nice chunky buttons! You could operate this thing with your eyes closed once you got used to location of the controls.

    Is the CD tray below the display in the middle?
     
  3. k4rstar

    k4rstar Britney fan club president

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    thanks. the entire display section slides out to reveal the chunky tray with the CDM-1 embedded (early 225s have a CDM-0 but I picked CDM-1 because the 0 refuses to play some modern factory CDs)

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    and a nude photo

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  4. Walderstorn

    Walderstorn Friend

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    So sexy though.
     
  5. HeyWaj10

    HeyWaj10 Almost "Made"

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    I love this thread. I am coming back around to really wanting to base my headphone setup on a CD player. What are some of the top budget-level (< $1000 new or used) ones out there that are truly worth consideration as a full blown CD player (analog outputs to Lyr 3)?

    Edit: main reason for going back to a CD player in lieu of computer-based audio is my degree of music ADD. I used to primarily use CD playback, and once I made the jump to computer audio, my genuine enjoyment factor declined due to the constant sense of needing to change tracks, artists, or playlists. I want to get back to the commitment factor that playing CDs instills.
     
  6. shambles

    shambles Facebook Friend

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    A bit off-topic, but first off I completely agree with you regarding the experience of CD listening vs computer audio. I am sure some people can get exactly the same experience either way, but not me. I had to sell my last CDP (Naim CD5i) about 10 years ago when I moved overseas and wasn't going to have the space. Put all my CDs into storage with family in the UK, but kept accumulating CDs because I knew there'd be a time I would be able to use them again (ripping them to FLAC in the meantime).

    This year I am spending months back in the UK for work, so last month finally bought a new CDP and got the CDs out again. Got a good deal on a Rega Apollo and am very happy with it. Can only compare directly to my AKM Modius and I'd say the Modius is a little bit ahead in detail/resolution at least from the midrange up (I use my Modius via the SE outs so I think the Apollo has the edge in terms of LF detail and texture). In terms of musicality, tonality, timing, cohesiveness, etc. the Apollo is better and I find it more enjoyable as a result.

    I'd definitely recommend the player, but Rega stuff seems to be disproportionately expensive in the US vs the UK, so might not make sense for you. I picked up mine as a mint condition ex-demo unit from a Rega dealer with full warranty for £470 (UK RRP was £700), but in the US it seems new prices are around $1,000. Rega discontinued the player over the summer because they can no longer get one of the chips they need, but they still have a big stock of transports, lasers, etc. for servicing.
     
  7. k4rstar

    k4rstar Britney fan club president

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    Rega apollo is pretty cool and my choice for a second hand new production CD player.
    I think it's a step above the new big box brands marantz/yamaha/denon etc for the same money
     
  8. Elmer Danilovich

    Elmer Danilovich MOT:Earmen, HeadAmp, Bricasti; AKA:MShenay

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    Sooo did I miss the thread related to the upcoming CD-Transport from We-Know-Who? Heard it at CanJam SoCal and it sounded quite great! Ton of useful features, honestly I'm just going to enjoy my stock Linn until this hits the market at I don't see a reason to invest the time to mod/find something when I know this will be available eventually

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  9. Jh4db536

    Jh4db536 Friend

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    I've posted a lot of pictures about adding these weird external MasterClock modifications and their effect on CDT's. I chose external mod because it's less invasive and removable, these were originally invented to internally modify a CDP. For me, this is the single most worthwhile mod to a pure SPDIF CD transport. Lots of products out there are fancy Crystek quartz in fancy temperature controlled cases, Atomic cesium Clocks, or synthetically generated clocks that aren't affected by temperatures or the way the quartz is mounted (soldered on 2/4 legs to to a PCB). The tube master clock is about simplicity and tunability rather than all out accuracy cause all this quartz stuff is accurate to .001% etc (amplitude which is low cause its quartz and low beat error s/d that it might only deviate a few seconds in my lifespan). Could you hear a difference between Brand A's 0.001 vs Brand B's 0.0001? Quartz typically needs to be buffered via amplification transistors so it is usable to the DAC chip, OS chip, decoder chip, USB etc with power supplies for each. Clock implementations in many modern gear is clocked much higher than necessary (same concept as 44.1khz sample rates above hearing threshold) and divided to the correct frequencies using logic IC's...there's a lot of fukry going on. I have tried all that stuff on my VRDS25 and its currently collecting dust on my shelf. IME all this accurate low jitter stuff on CDT just makes it sound more digital. If i wanted that i could just use a cheap DVD player and not waste my time with any of this voodoo.

    With the master tube clock, it's just a simple tube oscillator circuit and tube power supply. All it has to do is make a sinewave at a single frequency and there's established textbook ways to accomplish this ie. the 46khz heaters in EC amps are all generated using a simple LF353 opamp oscillator and light bulb (tube). The oscillator frequency output on a CX371a DHT clock is like >5VRMS ... it's powerful and sometimes needs to be attenuated to be usable. Accuracy is up to the tube itself and simple oscillator circuit which is basically tuned like a radio. I can measure the sinewave on the scope it's accurate enough. Tubes are already a thermionic and amplification device and maybe the microphonics are responsible for the good sound ;) cause the EF11 microphone tube clocks are my favorite. I don't claim to know why this stuff works these are just my rationalizations from tinkering observations.

    Finally i am able to show what these actually do since i was able to borrow a variable frequency master clock from 2014 (literally prewar). I can sort of change the frequency around while it's playing. The internal DAC on my CD880 will not function at the wrong frequency obviously so i am using it as a SPDIF transport to an external DAC2.3. The CDT only needs square waves to start up and function as overhead, but apparently the CDT also uses the square waves (or in this case sinewaves) to control the playback speed / pitch / etc also you can radically change the sound. Feeding a CDT squarewave vs sinewave clock really has a sound.

    So in my video to demonstrate the master clock effect, I overclocked the CDP to about 17mhz for a few seconds and then i put it back to stock speed at 11.2mhz. It is basically like playing a 33rpm vinyl at 45rpm. The effect the master clock for me has for me with the right tube, feeding sinewaves that are accurate and constant as far as i can see on the oscilloscope to the CDT's analog affecting digital clock inputs - it allows CDT analog like PRAT, Drive, and anti digitus effects. It sounds like the Right RPM all the time if you were to adjust it by ear rather than rely on the RPM meters. For me this has become the Only way to listen to digital audio now.



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    Last edited: Jan 11, 2023
  10. Cspirou

    Cspirou They call me Sparky

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    Is the DAC also synced to the tube clock?
     
  11. Jh4db536

    Jh4db536 Friend

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    To answer your question my DAC is not synced to the same clock in this video. The DAC2.3 has its own internal E180F tube clock. If i use a DAC0.1 which is a far less sophisticated DAC, it recovers clock from SPDIF and benefits a lot more from these things (but might not function if recovering incorrect frequency?). I haven't tried using a modern reclocking dac either although i should to see what happens.

    Alternatively, i could slave the CD880 or my Arcam D250 to the DAC's clock since they are the same frequency which would be an easy modification and would probably save space and complexity. This stuff is all very modular and schematics available to public so it's very straight forward. If i had a DAC3, i would definitely do this as it already has a EF11 tube clock onboard, which imo is superior to the design of the external clock boxes and is the best sounding clock ive heard to date.

    There is also the prospect of tinkering with the attenuation of the clock signal and signal cable in addition to the clock tube and rectifier, all which make a difference. For attenuation, you could use a simple resistor, comparator circuit, or transformer step down. Also, these tend to be capacitor coupled so there's rolling those too.

    The possibilities for tinkering are endless and i haven't gotten around to that yet although i have thought of it. This stuff has kept me occupied and engaged for 2 years now. Have boxes of clock tubes to play with, and multiple types of external and internal clocks to be tinkered with. Part of the reason is because i am just satisfied with where i am at now. Unfortunately, when you buy these things there's only basically instructions for implement so you kinda have to figure that part out by studying CDP schematics.

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    Last edited: Jan 11, 2023
  12. caute

    caute Lana Del Gayer than you

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    Stupid question that's probably already been hashed over in other threads (or this one), but how does a good CDT compare with something like a Pi2AES as a source?
     
  13. Jh4db536

    Jh4db536 Friend

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    You need to define "good CDT" and what kind of sound you're looking for. All DDCs have a sound ime.

    The top thing that moved me away from PiAES is the software UI UX (none are the fault of PiAES itself). Volumio is a bug riddled piece of SHIT and is atrocious on WiFi when used as a NAS streamer. There are other options if you're technically inclined like Diet Pi Ropie and custom OS solutions. I just didnt want to deal with it. IMO the UI UX of a 80's CDP is excellent and it has an awesome remote. It's reliable even with all the wild mods i have done to it. End of story.

    When i had the piaes it disconnected randomly from the network so many times, played the file next to the one i clicked on, couldnt play high res or uncompressed stuff without skipping, displayed the wrong titles on Spotify, lagged like crazy and kept restarting. i have not even started with subjective sound. i was ready to throw it out my window. maybe i would've been happier if i spent the money on the touch screen and used it as a local device only. im finished with streamers and 5g

    an example is PiAES AES output works great with Yggdrasil's AES input. Not every DAC has AES inputs, and most CDrom era CDT do not have AES outputs. Lvd i2s works Great with Rockna Dacs

    Application and how you use something matters.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2023
  14. caute

    caute Lana Del Gayer than you

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    Say you're using the BNC or coax output of a "good" (I have no idea what good actually means in this context, I guess that's what I am asking, essentially what makes a "good" CDT and how it compares to something like a Pi2 design or a modern streamer DDC like the Hermes and Holo units)—some vaunted vintage Philips machine with a TDA DAC inside of it. how does that compare to the coax or BNC out of more modern DDCs?

    And if the CDT has a DAC is it just bypassed when you use its digital outs? Forgive my ignorance here, just trying to learn! I am most interested differences in sound quality as a linear function, not ease of UI or software for the modern ones or anything like that—that is, unless it's just that DDCs impart various flavors and you have to find the flavor you prefer, in which case I'll stick to my Pi2 lol.

    P.S, Volumio really IS truly awful. moOde has been much, much kinder to me.
     
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  15. Jh4db536

    Jh4db536 Friend

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    Difficult question to answer and lots of subjectives. This stuff is all over this thread so I'm not going to rehash all of it and some of it is very technical. A lot of it you just need to experience it yourself in person. I was sold on CD as digital source on my first SBAF meet lol. It took me a few more years of experience to figure out which exact ones i liked, which ones can be modified, and how to modify them so it sounds more the way i want (analog like). I only buy these vintage Philips drives to modify them. i do not like them out of the box without mods.

    This is a huge stereotype and I don't even find it to be true, but they say vintage CDT sounds more analog and less digital than modern ones.

    There's two types of CD players or transports. Modern DVD drives with backwards compatibility and extinct vintage CDroms. I prefer the sound of cdroms because they were designed specifically for uncompromised 16bit Redbook playback and for that you are pretty much looking at least 20 year old gear. I would advise that you be willing to work on .. restore it if you're going this route.

    If you like digital sound, then I don't see why one would waste their time with DVD drive when the latest streamer is probably better and more convenient. Modern players have amenities like being able to play SACD and other hd formats higher sample rate, USB host etc.

    There are many types of CD-ROM drives various philosophies ie light heavy platter mechanism etc. Some CD drives are capable of spdif output directly from their mechanism and decoder chip, others utilize external chips like the oversampler chip or a dedicated i2s to spdif chip like the pcf2705 wm8805. IMO i think avoiding protocol conversions is a good idea. Avoid excessive reclocking, i2s>SPDIF>toslink, SPDIF reconstruction, etc. After all Philips and Sony are the ones who invented SPDIF. Philips invented i2s.

    Mechanisms have their sound. Mods to the CD mechanism like the clock stuff I did above can change the sound a lot towards either extremes. Personally I only prefer these things with modifications. Spdif mods like removing the extra crap and just taking the spdif output directly from the mechanism decoder itself (not default) is a very popular modification. You will notice that very high end CDTs are usually minimalist philosophy, remove all the extra crap. Shigaraki and CEC transports are very good examples of this, they were designed with the bare minimum simplest shortest way. IMO a little too short, but that's one extreme end of the philosophy. On the other extreme you have Sony/Pioneer/Wadia/TEAC/Esoteric VRDS...stabilplatters which feature exotic mechanics and lasers. IME these sound the best without mods and very expensive much harder to restore.

    I don't really use the internal DAC of my CD880 because it sounds like a 30 year old chip DAC but sometimes it's useful as a sanity check when doing modding. Fun to tinker with because it does change with the mods mentioned above (DAC driven by master clock and OverSampler clock effect on DAC). Both digital output and internal DAC will work simultaneously. They are separate modules. Some vintage cdp even have digital inputs so you use the internal DAC with modern USB DDC etc.

    My external Dacs only have coax digital input which is typical of older Dacs. I am using matching era equipment, that is My application.

    The spdif connector itself bnc 3xlr rca is of little relative importance. Cable is debatable. Toslink has its uses but is objectively cukt, and only certain specialized gear has ST optical. Again the transmission protocol being SPDIF was specifically invented for transports to connect to an external DAC at the time for redbook audio. Serial I2S was not meant for external transmission. I believe modern LVD I2S requires extra data conversion with modern IC's so maybe that isn't as pure as it seems. The standard is just a standard to keep things compatible across oems, it doesn't mean better.

    I could go on for days about this stuff
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2023
  16. cityshlacker

    cityshlacker New

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    I recently had some issues with my Marantz CD94 - the tray kept reopening by itself when attempting to close it.
    This would stop after 2 or 3 retries.

    Anyway, after some very quick googling the culprit was clear: belts.
    This was slightly surprising as I was promised "recently fitted replacement belts".

    Got some actually decent replacement belts this time and after some very quick tinkering courtesy of one of the clearest guides I ever had the pleasure of following the issue has been resolved.
    The old belts still looked in very good nick, but I suppose they were just a bit overused or maybe they weren't the right size in the first place.

    I was thinking of sending the CDP in for recapping at some point, but after looking at the insides once again I may just hold off on that a little longer.

    Still just such a huge fan of this thing!
     
  17. Climber

    Climber Facebook Friend

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    I have the urge to try something vintage and inexpensive. Looking at a Hafler SE-150 and a Magnavox CDB-560. They both have TDA1541 chips, but the Hafler's chip is a 1541A S1 Crown grade and being a Hafler may have (had?) better build quality. The Magnavox, in contrast, has been recapped. Any thoughts on which I should go for? (The mechanisms themselves seem about equal -- both have resin tops, from what I can see, rather than all metal.) Thanks.
     
  18. Azimuth

    Azimuth FKA rtaylor76, Friend

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    What matters more is the actual transport. What is after the TDA1541 chips in either of those is what holds them back - cheap op amps from that time period.

    I could not find any information on the transport of the Hafler, although the board looks to be the same as the Phillips/Magnavox boards, so likely the Hafler is just an OEM model by Phillips for Hafler. I do know the CDB-560 has a fairly decent CDM-2 transport. Both have coax outputs as well.

    So all things being equal, the Hafler seems good if you are after good 1541 with the S1 Crown.
     
  19. Dandrac42

    Dandrac42 Facebook Friend

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    I recently picked up a Vintage Sony CDP-507esD with the dual TDA1541 and couldn't be happier. I don't think it is on the same level as a Marantz CD94 Mk2 but it sounds pretty damn good to me.
     
  20. caute

    caute Lana Del Gayer than you

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    Phillips CD930 with CDM9 a good start for beginner modding and a basic, good transport?

    Edit: nvm, want one w TDA1541 in it, looking at Arcam Alpha 5 right now, if anyone has any insight into this player...
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2023

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