Discussion in 'Digital: DACs, USB converters, decrapifiers' started by MoatsArt, Oct 18, 2016.
Arcam Alpha 5 CDP looks good to me. With CDM-9/44 transport.
I got this same player off of eBay a year or so ago and couldn't agree more; simply replaced a belt and works and looks almost good as brand new. The KSS-151A is fast as hell to change tracks and has read every CD I've thrown at it flawlessly, even discs that have trouble ripping to my PC. The dual TDA1541 also sounds great, although I think coax out to Yggdrasil LIM sounds superior. The clean sound from the Sony really revealed the limitations of Unison USB to me and ultimately helped convince me to recently acquire a Pi2AES for my entire digital collection.
So grateful to this thread and forum for all the solid advice over the years!
I rescued a parts needed Sony CDP-750 ( TDA1541 chip appears to be intact) from my local goodwill, purchased a belt and a replacement CORRECT remote so if I get that one going in the next month or two I intend to sell it to a community member in need for a very reasonable price since I would rather see it go to someone who will use it and love it instead of making money on it. This hobby IMO needs to be less about the money and more about sharing the love of music (and 2nd hand used cheap CDs). FYI oh and yeah its cheap because no digital out .
Is there a list somewhere so that one can just find good, vintage, models? Would make things much easier for me, since I have no idea what i am looking for.
I remember finding these two posts by @k4rstar very helpful when I started my search.
As I understand it, if you're buying vintage you must be prepared to get your hands dirty with some DIY.
If looking for models with a particular transport or DAC, the corresponding pages at the Dutch Audio Classics site are useful:
In case it would be of help, I chronicled my CD/DAC adventures in my blog:
1. Thrift store found CD players
2. JVC CDPs with digital co-ax out
3. Magnavox CDB465 + TDA1541 mods
4. Sony PS1 + Magnavox TDA1543 CDP mods
5. multi-bit DACs
6. DIY nosTDA1541tube DAC
I went through @k4rstar list and experiences, as well as @je2a3 and i am thinking that maybe, in my case, since i am no electronics person, i should maybe just go with a Marantz 6007 or similar? I find them for around 300€.
I also found a Philips CD931 in good condition but it's not in the list @k4rstar has.
To be honest 70% of the time it will be used as a transport only but for those moments where it won't i wanted something good.
Yeah that's tough in my opinion because I was looking for my personal Holy Grail for 10yrs. I found the exact model I wanted because it is equally good as a Transport AND a CD player which IMO is rare. ( and I wanted the all the face buttons. ) There was also a Sony DVD player that I sold that I am still kicking myself about because the CD playback was really good and the Digital out was excellent. Possibly expand your search for DVD players as well because it is possible that many collectors will overlook them.
Edit: While I was typing this I was listening to the Star Trek- First Contact soundtrack on the exact CD player mentioned and got goosebumps. 3rd time this happened with this unit. Bro, IMO just buy a CDP-507esD on Ebay. Life is short. If you hate it you can probably sell it for a similar price than you bought it for.
I find this list a little more reliable (for instance, the linked one for DACs said that AN DACs use AD1862 when they always have AD1865), and it mixes both DAC and transport (and even digital filter) in the same list:
Hello, my thoughts on digital transports and CD players have changed a lot since I wrote those posts. There may be some models worth considering but I would urge anyone who wants to play CDs to not spend a lot of money on rare vintage units. I've had a lot of them, they don't really sound that great unless you modify them and then they lose their value and break on you anyway.
I would not really recommend to spend more than $300 or so at most on an older CD player. And then it should be in good condition, with the remote, etc. If you want it to sound really super then you can modify it without remorse. If you're not into tinkering like that then buy something really cheap and just enjoy it (and the CD medium) for what it is. There was one guy I was talking to who bought a random Philips bitstream CD player (not so different from your CD931) for 40 euro from his local classifieds and then he ended up enjoying it as much as his Bifrost 2 from his PC. So I will say it just depends on the price.
I spent a lot of effort to get great sound out of CDs and then I found out I consume too much new music and gave up on it. I have half a mind to sell all of my discs now, like I sold my LPs.
It makes me somehow sad to hear that. I know the future is archived files. The convenience and space saving is just too beneficial but I don't think I will ever give up on physical media entirely. I really enjoy my LPs and CDs. Yes I have a ROON server so yeah its very compelling to say F it and clear up a ton of room in my office but when listening to streaming or a File server I tend to go from track to track instead of listening to a whole complete album. The Physical Media "locks me in" and allows me to sink into a whole "story" instead of just listening to highlights. Maybe purposely creating an inconvenience is stupid but I feel it allows me to connect better to the music. Just my late night random ramble I tend to get philosophical when I am tired. Oh and I got that CDP-750 player (TDA1541 chip no mod) with remote working for a grand total of 32 dollars so I need to figure how to sell it cheap (not looking on making money on it just breaking even) to a needy community member if anyone is interested.
!!! I’m interested!
It has NO Digital out but yea DM me with your digits. Not a Transport only a player with a remote. I can send you pics of the unit. It does has a top scratch not on the face . It is very cheap for a reason.
Has anyone else tried adding an ifi iPurifier2 SPDIF between their cd player and DAC? The ifi is supposed to work with any coax output, but ime it only works well at 16-bit 44.1khz and breaks down crying when asked to do anything faster/wordier -- it's slow. BUT, it works so well specifically at 16-bit 44.1k that I would still recommend it for someone who just wants a CD player tweak.
It galvanically isolates the signal, reclocks it with a femtoclock, and passes it on while connected directly to my DAC's SPDIF input sans cable.
The only CD player I own is a Cambridge Azur 350c, so I can't speak to how well it works with really expensive players. My guess would be that it does little for any that have a similar clock and hurts anything that's multiple thousands of $, but idk. I honestly think my cd setup sounds better than Ray Samuel's that I heard years back (prolly just because the ECBA is better than w/e amp he had, and my power conditioner actually works really well for how awful my room cabling scenario is)
Upgrading the psu of the iPurifier2 made a difference for me too, I should add, just from the ifi ipower v2 to the ipower x. My DAC has some isolation on the spdif input, so I think the better psu helps the iPurifier2's functionality in itself, if you get what I mean. I don't think the difference I hear comes from noise being passed to the DAC, but the iPurifier2 just runs better for it. I leave mine powered 24/7 for clock stability. My DAC also warms its clock in standby -- it counts this as powered-on time and has logged over 31k hours.
peeping this Phillips CD304 MkII, first ever player to have TDA1541, first ever Phillips transport (I think). CDM 1. super over-engineered. all aluminium, weighing in at 20 kg. price is right, too.
only problem is, it's got a UK plug, which means voltage is wrong for US. soldering on a rando USA plug is no problem, but my question is--how do I tell the player to change voltages?
in newer transports, you could just swap a fuse to change from 220 to 110 or vice versa, but this is from the mid-80s and i don't think has that option... can anyone provide insight on how to do this, a voltage swap? btw, i don't want to use a step down trafo for nervosa reasons, so that's out.
also, i did read thru the manual but couldn't find any info that was helpful. uploading it in case anyone can see anything in the schematic (i can't read those).
edit: can't get file under 1mb even with compression. so here's the link to dl the service manual if you dare/care.
From what I have seen the power transformer in this model does not support universal voltages. If it is a European model it has a tap to change between 230/240V and that's it
shit, thank you, saved me a whole lotta grief
thinking about pulling the trigger on an arcam alpha 5 (non-plus version)...
CDM 9/44 composite transport.
what could go wrong...? no org remote is the only downside, it would seem. and that it's gonna come from the UK, so it might not make the trip across the Atlantic? anyone have any experience with these Arcam transports? good, bad, mid?
thinkin goin cheap and cheerful, something that'll serve as a baseline for my first exp w discs. perhaps this is on the same level as a CD(B)650?
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