CD Transport / Player Thread

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

  1. Didactylos

    Didactylos Acquaintance

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    Many thanks for the link to the manual. I was definitely lucky with to pick this player up for the price. After RTFM, i figured out that i could only switch between CD and SACD mode when the disc was stopped.. Duh! So now have confirmed that my unit does play Hybrids just fine. I have been listening to some Living Stereo SACDs which sound very nice.

    At present i am feeding the RCA outputs direct into my Jot. Once I have a Modi Multibit in the house, I will use the Digital Out.

    Sony really did make some damn fine machines back in the day.......
     
  2. Pyruvate

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    Yeah the BasX line is their new budget tiered items.

    If you want to save more money, check out the Onkyo C7030. I'm eyeing it, but seems to have great reviews and can be found for $100-$160.
     
  3. Dino

    Dino Friend

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    I am not familiar with that particular machine. You may want to compare line out to digital out with SACD playback. (CD playback would improve with the Modi Multibit, I suspect.)
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2017
  4. TheIceman93

    TheIceman93 El pato-zorro

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    The Onkyo C7030 and the Tascam CD200 are the most commonly recommended cheap / good transports you can find at the moment. I think the build on the Tascam is a bit more robust (I've owned both) but they are both solid. (I bought both at the same time, returned the Onkyo ultimately but I would have been fine with either of them.) Today though, I probably would have just bought a Fiio X5 and called it a day and skipped the disc player all together.
     
  5. Daveheart

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    It looks like the XA9000ES uses six Burr Brown 1738s per channel and uses some form of summing to triple that to an effect 18 per channel. It's a 1-bit chip that seems to be relatively common in higher end SACD players (including the $10,000 Krell Evolution 505 which has a total of three of the 1738s). The Modi Multibit is a decent DAC, especially for the money, but I don't know that I'd bet bet too strongly on it making a marked improvement.

    That's not to say that I don't think it's possible that the Modi Multibit would sound better; more chips and a higher BOM have never really guaranteed better performance. I haven't heard the XA9000ES, but I've heard the SCD-XA777ES, the SCD-555ES, and the SCD-1. There's some people who think the 9000es sounds better than those players, and though I'm going from memory I'm not sure I'd take the Modi Multibit over any of those. Of course your mileage may vary, but I'd suggest going into any testing not expecting a winner.
     
  6. Didactylos

    Didactylos Acquaintance

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    I have the DVP- S9000ES rather than the X9000ES. The S9000ES is a 12-bit machine and was one of the first gen SACD players released by Sony. It does not allow SACD playback over the digital outputs, so I am restricted to CD only playback, via SPDIF. This is really not a big concern to me as most of my disc collection is CD.

    I would have loved to get an X9000ES, but that player is a little bit out of my price range at present. :(
     
  7. Daveheart

    Daveheart Friend

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    Oooh, that's my bad. I'm far more familiar with the specs on the X. The good news is that it looks like there's far more room in the chassis on the S900ES if you feel like experimenting with any damping or mass loading.
     
  8. Orkney

    Orkney Acquaintance

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    Just picked up a refurb Cambridge CXC to replace my old deck following another laser assembly fail. The remote control was DOA and build quality is cheap and cheerful rather than battleship but early SQ impressions are good, and for USD 300.00 and full warranty it was the right price for a source I seldom use.
     
  9. gaspasser

    gaspasser Flatulence Maestro

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    I just got my Gungnir Multibit tonight and hooked it up to start warming it up. I couldn't resist taking a listen. To my surprise the Denon DCD-2560 triggers the "buy better gear" light, even with the iFi SPDIF Decrapifier.
    Anybody experience this with their CD transports or am just the special one?
    As Biggie sez, "Mo money, mo problems."
    Even the Chromecast Audio with decrapifier doesn't trigger the bbg light. :(
     
  10. Pyruvate

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    [​IMG]

    With great power, comes great responsibility...

    ....I mean the need for better gear.
     
  11. aufmerksam

    aufmerksam Friend

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    My DCD-3000 does not trigger the light... Are you sending via optical or coax? (I use coax)
     
  12. gaspasser

    gaspasser Flatulence Maestro

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    I am using coax, however I will try optical later. I guess there is an issue with the master clock creating a lot of jitter. I am sad because I thought it sounded good but I was mostly using the analog outs. I guess I will put it up on eBay and see if I can recoup most of my money. Oh well, back to square one and back on the hunt for another transport.
     
  13. Jh4db536

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    Now that i have gotten the other projects out of the way, i was able to tear down the VRDS. I bought this at a reduced price because it was skipping and didn't play CDR, but it played regular CD's fine - i took some risks. About 45% of my music was useless after i sold my ERC3, so i was kind of motivated to do this. I have learned quite a bit from the "Teachings of Lampizator". In summary, he was never able to connect the dots between the objective and subjective attributes of CDP, but wrote notes that are parallel to my own experience.

    IME, the things that correlate the most are high mass loading of rotating parts (i.e. CEC, VRDS, LD mechanicals), simplicity and unmolested (no digital lensing/error correction/minimal data conversion - bit perfect..or not) but clean SPDIF signal (i.e. 47 Shiga, "lampized"), dedicated CDP drives/servos (Philips, Sanyo, Sony), and clean power.

    [​IMG]
    First thing i did was rip out the whole DAC and Analog output section, which comes out in 1 piece on the left third. I will be using this as a dedicated transport to Yggdrasil. I left the analog power supply in because i'm going to use it to power the Trichord clock when i have time to install it. All the belts look like they have been serviced recently, so no need to change them even though i have 2 sets of spares. I think you can make your own using 1.5mm square profile belt stock from mcmastercarr and some super glue (1175N12 Square-Profile Chemical-Resistant VitonĀ® Fluoroelastomer O-Ring Cord Stock).
    [​IMG]
    Sony KSS151A supposedly unreliable (still available at high prices), but high performing units that are very common in vintage Denons sony and VRDS based units. I believe that to mean these are sensitive to being dirty and going out of adjustment. Unlike modern dvd drives with a SOC, these do not self adjust/manage; therefore, they cannot compensate for factors such as a thicker CDR, limp lense focusing spring, dirt and dust in the laser and rail tracks. This ability is what makes modern dvd drives work (very reliable) with such loose tolerances so they can be sold for $50 at best buy. Instead, these vintage drives have manual trim pots and the only one you can really adjust without a oscilloscope on my unit is the Tracking Balance using a DMM per the service manual.
    [​IMG]
    The attention to details on these, see the 4 lead weights surrounding the laser. Under the focusing lense is the laser diode lense (see the T shaped white plastic spring which is the achilles heel of KSS151a). Typically lasers don't go out unless you really messed it up or increased the current. Mine was glued down and measured close to original spec (under the serial number) at 48.4mA which suggests that this has not been tampered with. I cleaned up all of the lenses with Windex and 96% alcohol. The sled was sticking on the tracks as i could feel it catch pushing the laser around with my finger. I removed the non magnetic track on the right side and chucked it in my dremel with polishing compound. Now it moves smooth as silk.

    [​IMG]
    I put it all back together and this thing reads everything. It reads the TOC almost instantly and plays all my CDR without second thought.

    This thing compared to the ERC3 gets much more plankton, ambient environment queues from the recording, and is much more holographic (first thing i heard). The sound is much more defined, blacker background, and cleaner. Yggdrasil has really scaled up with this, which makes sense given the closed form filter that they advertise. With closed form filter, the cleaner the source digital signal, the better the output...that is the SPDIF signal is inherently clean of jitter (as can be) and other crap BEFORE it is reconstructed or whatever by error correction/asynchronous methods (therefore it may no longer be the same as the original). Of course digital lensing will output a Perfect corrected signal (objectively), but it might not be the same as the original.
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2017
  14. SpoiledEars

    SpoiledEars New

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    Viva la CD transport! I'm using a Cyrus Signature XT spinner with the Yggdrasil and it is more refined sound, certainly a league up situation for me. Significantly more refined that a Cambridge CXC and a few other standalone CD players. I don't know if a high end transport is a beyond the Yggdrasil to take advantage of but I'd like to try one.
     
  15. gaspasser

    gaspasser Flatulence Maestro

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    I wanted to add something to the thread about the Emotiva ERC3. I purchased mine from @Jh4db536 and he recommended pulling the power supply from the analog board.

    As I received it in perfect condition, it sounded great as a transport to Gungnir Multibit. It sounds much better than my old Denon player did and doesn't trigger the buy better gear light! The only complaint I have is the player occasionally would generate loud noise spinning certain discs. There are YouTube videos of this phenomenon.

    So I opened the player up and to pull the power from the analog board but then started poking around.
    I noticed that the transport mechanism has spring loaded shocks/posts at the corners. The front ones were released and allow for movement, however the rear ones were screwed down and fixed with blue glue. I decided to unscrew both of them most of the way to allow movement and hopefully eliminate the transport noise.
    It worked! This transport is whisper quiet now. I can't think of any reason to fix the rear half of the mechanism, anybody have any ideas?

    Now after going through an old school Denon and now this, I would recommend going the Emotiva route if (like me) you want a warranty (it is transferable!) and don't want to take chances or don't have the skills like @Jh4db536 (see his post above!).
     
  16. k4rstar

    k4rstar Britney fan club president

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    [​IMG]

    I really like compact discs. I guess it's part 90's nostalgia fetishism, part being a physical media aficionado. I've been looking for a dedicated CD transport for my DAC for months now; which turned out to be much trickier than expected because a) most decent models were being sold stateside and no one wants to ship a hulking transport down to Canada and b) people seemingly want nonsensical amounts of $$$ for 20 year old transports with unreliable mechanisms that cannot be easily serviced in any way. My search finally paid off as I found an Arcam CD73T from a Canadian seller and pulled the trigger after passing up on many vintage Theta, Sony and Denon units.

    The CD73T was Arcam's entry-level player released in 2004. It sports a Wolfson DAC and a cheaper but reliable Sony KSS-213C mechanism; the passive components, board and power supply are all of much higher quality than you would expect for a $699 MSRP CD player (in 2004 dollars). There is not a ton of information about this player online, other than a very positive endorsement from the Lampizator himself. For the record, I don't trust Lampizator's opinion as the word of god for multiple reasons but his shots of the internals and measurement of the S/PDIF output had me hopeful this player would be a great value.

    Dreams do come true because this player rocks. The finish and aesthetic is pretty sleek, the display is easy to read with matrix-style table of contents display which I value greatly. It's read everything I've thrown at it, loading the disc and displaying TOC in under 5 seconds. Track skipping is instantaneous and the included remote is read by pointing it anywhere in the general direction of the player. The muting relay of the Gungnir is triggered on disc load but not on track change (thank god).

    I compared the player as a transport versus the Gen5 USB on my Gungnir Multibit, which to date has been the best computer audio solution I've heard. I wasn't really expecting a massive difference and figured the player was an investment in a future 2-channel setup where I couldn't chain a computer to my DAC. As good as the G5 USB is I could tell in 15 seconds the Arcam was significantly superior. The headstage deepened slightly (in terms of the actual relation of outer objects to the phantom center image, NOT simply shrinking the center image to create a sense of depth); dynamics both micro and macro improved; stereo separation and layering is clearer; instruments are a little more vivid with greater 'pop' and the bass especially is less veiled.

    I have a semi-rare Japanese-only release of Dolly Mixture's Dreamism! with a very stereotypical Japanese mix: squeaky clean with loads of attack on the snare and cymbals. I played back the rip through USB and was initially disappointed with the production which despite being the cleanest Dolly Mixture recording I'd ever heard was lean and bright, borderline fatiguing. The CD through the Arcam had no such issue; just wonderful delineation of brushwork and tight punchy bass. The net improvement is perhaps on the same magnitude as when I initially switched from USB Gen2 to using a RME 9632 PCI card to output S/PDIF, but the end result is much cleaner. The RME card for lack of a better description always had a dirtiness or lack of finite focus about it, perhaps from interference from other computer components or the power supply.

    For fun I tried the internal Wolfson DAC of the player straight to my amp, again not expecting much. Damn, it's totally passable, Bifrost Uber (which I really like) level of SQ overall. I could detect a slight grainy/sandy quality to the treble which from what I understand is part of the Wolfson sound, but dynamics and tonality were not that far off from my Gungnir Multibit. In fact, the low end was tighter (less fat) and the lower mids cleaner (less masked) which I actually preferred. I'd rather have the DAC in this player than a Hugo 2.

    In general, spinning discs does something for me that computer file playback or streaming will never ever match. There is something special to flipping through a CD booklet to read liner notes, the artists instructions to listen to the album in sequence on headphones or a listing of every specific instrument used in production. With what we have today it's basically caveman playback but I don't really care, I just wrote 6 paragraphs about a CD player and went on a spending spree on Discogs so if you can't tell I'm pretty excited.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2017
  17. DigMe

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    That sounds amazing, man. Congrats!

    Is "bit the trigger" Canadian saying? :p
     
  18. k4rstar

    k4rstar Britney fan club president

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    No, in between How To Maintain Your Igloo 101 and Cooking With Maple Syrup 202 there were no rooms for proofreading classes in the Canadian curriculum.
     
  19. DigMe

    DigMe Friend

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    Don't forget How to Bag Your Milk 102.
     
  20. Mystic

    Mystic Mystique's Spiritual Advisor

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    Found a Toshiba SD-9200n for $79 in great shape. Can't seem to find much info on it other than this stereophile review back in 2001 (I know they have lost touch these days, there is specs listed though): https://www.stereophile.com/hirezplayers/407/index.html

    No SACD support but at only $79 hard to complain. Will be going in my chain with my Gungnir Multibit.

    Is this a good deal? I haven't bought it just yet, getting ready too though.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2017

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