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Preliminary comments on Sony D-25S discman

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I plan on doing a full review of the Sony D-25S portable player sometime within the next week or so. These are being sold on eBay as new "old stock" by a company from CA called "Silicon Salvage." They were sold as new players from 1989 - 1992, and (apparently) these have been in storage for a long time, until Silicon Salvage picked some up recently.

Anyway, I think I've finally found the answer to the question, "Can a portable player drive Sennheiser HD580s?" The answer is "yes." The D-25S easily drives my HD580s to extremely loud levels without distorting. I will withhold further comments on the sound until I've had a chance to listen more, other than to say that this is clearly the best built-in headphone amp in a portable player I've ever tried.

There are plenty of "gotchas," though, so I wouldn't recommend running out to buy one until I've had a chance to write up a full review, unless you're the adventurous type. Hopefully I'll have the full review written within a week (or two, at the outside).
post #2 of 9
I look forward to it Russ!

I too bought a D-25s and it is indeed VERY loud (in fact, if I hook up my e888s, it gets uncomfortable to listen even before the pot hits about "1").

I would say the caveats are the following:

1) no anti-shock--although it is relatively shockproof nonetheless.

2) really short battery life---what, 3 hours?

3) need to buy AC adapter and battery from sony parts website--very expensive!

To tell the truth, even though the D-25s sounds great, I'm not really using it at all. Why? When stationary I use my D-ej01 w/ optical out to an outboard DAC (CAL Gamma). When moving, the D-25s' lack of anti-shock or meaningful battery life makes it a difficult portable solution.
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Well, there are more caveats than just the three you listed. I'll be sure to get into all of them in my review. With a new battery pack BP-2EX from Sony ($31), I get about 3.5 - 4 hours on a full charge.

You don't have to give Sony $46 for the AC adapter, though. The $13.99 9V 800 mA adapter from Radio Shack, with the "M" plug, works fine. The original Sony is a 9V 600 mA adapter, so the Rat Shack adapter is probably a bit better anyway.

I am listening to the D-25S and Sennheiser HD-580s right now as I type this in a quiet room. The volume control is marked "MIN 2 4 6 8 MAX." is set about midway between "MIN" and "2." It's at a comfortable volume level, though not loud enough to drown out the sound of my typing on a loud keyboard. It completely drowns out the sound of the keyboard set on 3 -- and remember, that's with open cans. With my Grado SR-80s, in a quiet room, it's barely set above "MIN."

Anyhow, I am VERY impressed with the quality of the headphone amp (I know, I'm repeating myself.) No, it's not as good as an inexpensive dedicated amp like a DIY CMOY or CHA47, but it's pretty darn close. And that's saying a lot for a portable discman, even if it did cost $320 back when they were being sold new.
post #4 of 9
I still have not received my battery or manual from Sony, Russ.
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
My battery took a while to arrive. Keep in mind that the manual will be for the D-25, which is nearly identical externally, but may actually be different internally from the D-25S.

One of the Silicon Salvage folks told me the D-25S was supplied to airlines for use on airplanes, so it's possible that the D-25S headphone amp was tweaked with more gain than the D-25, or different components. I'll compare them and comment in my full review.

A friend of mine had a D-25 when he was in college. He says the BP-2EX battery pack hasn't changed even a dollar in cost since 1990 -- it was $31 back then too.
post #6 of 9
Thanks for the info, Russ. I'll be looking forward to your post on this unit.
post #7 of 9
Well, any of you want to get rid of it? Tell me. Thanks.
post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
Purk, if you really want one, I think they're still available on eBay.

Yup, just checked. Two available at the moment. But like I said, there are some gotchas.
post #9 of 9
Sure purk, I'll trade you the D-25s, battery and wall-wart for your D-777....

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