CD Transport / Player Thread

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

  1. k4rstar

    k4rstar Britney fan club president

    Pyrate BWC
    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2016
    Likes Received:
    6,927
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    I had the original arcam alpha. It didn't sound that great as a player or a transport. The 5 will not either unless you modify it. The DAC chip and mechanism is fairly irrelevant to the sound. The CD650 is one of the better players in stock form. I had four of them, they each sounded slightly different. The best one was serviced and had its laser emission tuned. That example went to @famish99

    $220 is a lot of money and not really cheap and cheerful. If you want cheap and cheerful go to your local goodwill. If you want to buy something actually good, look at this: https://hifihaven.org/index.php?threads/softone-model3-cd-player-transport.10456/
     
  2. caute

    caute Lana Del Gayer than you

    Pyrate Contributor
    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2022
    Likes Received:
    1,988
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    The Deep South
    ya i was looking based on specs alone tbh. heard bad things ab the 73T.

    how's the transport out on that softone? i know u used to like 880 a lot, have one bookmarked from same online repair store as that arcam, 800 pounds sterling, i think they're selling it for? softone a better deal?
     
  3. k4rstar

    k4rstar Britney fan club president

    Pyrate BWC
    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2016
    Likes Received:
    6,927
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    the wadia iPod dock I just sold on here for $150 sounds better than all of them and doesn’t require CDs.
     
  4. caute

    caute Lana Del Gayer than you

    Pyrate Contributor
    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2022
    Likes Received:
    1,988
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    The Deep South
    Looking at higher end cdt now… revox B226 - recapped and outfitted a normal 3-prong IEC inlet, $750 + shipping… if anyone got opinions, lemme know, seems like it’s the forgotten third in the cd960, cd94 trilogy
     
  5. ColdsnapBry

    ColdsnapBry Almost "Made"

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2021
    Likes Received:
    629
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Earth
    I've been spinning CDs lately as I picked up a Phillisp cd880 locally and paid close to a pawn shop price. Really like the way it sounds, simple setup too with just a Grado plugged into the headphone port.

    The sound reminds me of the culmination of all the things you do in a digital setup to try and make it not sound digital - R2R Dac, streamer, no usb, headphone with perfect timbre. Except better. Very engaging, clear and dynamic.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2023
  6. Claritas

    Claritas Friend

    Pyrate
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2015
    Likes Received:
    2,300
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Raleigh

    My experience is very different. It sounds digital to me (not excessively so), but I never expected anything different. The DAC isn't even close to the performance of modern R2Rs. It's very obviously less detailed and has a much more closed-in soundstage.

    I tried the headphone out with Mini C, and it sucks with that headphone vs a mid-level solid state amp. I'm guessing that the problem is not the headphone out, but the DAC. Grados are an exceptional case: they always sound like Grados.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2023
  7. caute

    caute Lana Del Gayer than you

    Pyrate Contributor
    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2022
    Likes Received:
    1,988
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    The Deep South
    as a transport, which would sound better and give me fewer headaches? I don't really want to mod these, as I've sorta given up on audio a little. just want a good sounding machine out of the box.

    so it's Phillips CD304mkII (figured out how to change voltage, but surgery is required as it has a UK plug, so factor one headache in) with CDM-1 (also is the cheaper one of the two) OR Sony CDP-337ESD with KSS-190A?
     
  8. thetakeout

    thetakeout New

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2019
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location:
    Texas, America

    @k4rstar you mention the dac chip and the mechanism (I assume you mean the transport) are fairly irrelevant to the sound. Could I get you to expand on that statement a bit. I assume their is a fair bit to unpack there.
     
  9. k4rstar

    k4rstar Britney fan club president

    Pyrate BWC
    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2016
    Likes Received:
    6,927
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    Audiophiles tend to obsess a lot about what components must be (this chip, that transport, this clock, that cap) in some misguided quest for the best. I know because I used to do it too. Such thinking is pretty dangerous as not only is there no 'best' but it always leads to 'more, more, more'. More boxes, more purchases, more grief. If it wasn't this chip or that transport then surely the next one will do.

    I only beat audiophilia when I realized that less truly is more and I started thinking about what mustn't be to get the sound I wanted. Fewer components, passive and active parts, with fewer connections. Such thinking helped me reconcile why I enjoyed listening to music on my car stereo as much if not more than an expensive sound system. My 'hi-fi' is now a computer connected to a single active speaker (I think stereo is a sham) with digital volume control. I love it and haven't felt the need to change anything for months and months, though I consume more and more music.

    To answer your question more specifically, when we think about digital sources we should think about all the things that aren't necessary and how we can do without them. In the direct signal path this means additional interconnects, buffers, isolators, DSP, upsampling, bloated playback software, transformers (for me AES sounds less clear than RCA SPDIF, though many prefer what a transformer does for the sound). Remove/bypass these things or replace them with simpler alternatives and the sound usually becomes more interesting.

    Or buy something that just works and don't worry about it too much. It seems like companies are releasing high quality transports (see URD and ET3) so not much reason to mod vintage gear unless you really like tinkering.

     
    • Like Like x 4
    • Agreed, ditto, +1 Agreed, ditto, +1 x 1
    • List
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2023

Share This Page