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anyone know anything about these late 80's cd players?

post #1 of 54
Thread Starter 
I was looking around at this local used electronic/thrift etc. shop and I came across a few Sony ('87-'88) full-sized cd players. They were CDP-5xx (cant remember exact number), CDP-2xx, and CDP-3xx. One had 4 times oversampling. I was wondering if I should pick up any of these players (avg. $50). And would I need an amp to make em sound really good with my cans. Thanks!
post #2 of 54
hmm.... early CDPs are generally frowned upon it seems, while early portable CDPs are highly regarded. I think this is because with early portable CDPs, while the D/A conversion is less refined than current designs, there is less of a demand for super-high battery life, and thus more power is routed through the analog-out section, producing a more pleasing sound more capable of driving decent headphones.

so these old Sony CDPs of yours probably have not-so-hot D/A conversion, but may very well have a nice headphone jack, if they do indeed have a headphone jack, because it seems people cared more about this sort of thing in the past (e.g. old marantz recievers).

and if you buy one and it completely sucks, you won't be the first person in the world to have wasted $50.
post #3 of 54
My first CD player was a 1987 Sony CDP-55 with no oversampling of any sort. However, it sounded decent even when compared to mid 90s CD players. It had a headphone jack that has its own volume control, and I remember spending hours listening to it with my Radio Shack/Koss headphones.

I am currently using a 1991 Sony CDP-K1 with a pair of Grado SR60 plugged into its headphone out (w/ volume control). Very good sounding.
post #4 of 54
Quote:
Originally posted by XXhalberstramXX
hmm.... early CDPs are generally frowned upon it seems
Apart from the one that I picked up from a pawn shop yesterday...

It cost me $90, but is worth every penny... a Philips CD850 from 1990/1991... Their 'flagship' player to promote the [then] new 'Bitstream' technology... This thing has more features than you can shake a stick at, a sound quality that put this player amongst the best of the whole decade... and to me, its the best sounding CD player i've ever heard - even compared to the Sony 333ES I heard yesterday, I could sell its virtues all day long, and still have more to say

I could do a review, but the odds of anyone else getting one are not particularily good, not due to high failure rate, but due to the fact on the most part that people even now still refuse to part with them / upgrade...
post #5 of 54
I know this is walking away from the Sonys in question, but I think its worth a mention... Look for any classic CDP (as example, this Philips CD850) that uses the CDM4/19 mechanism... even though 14 years old, can play CDRWs
post #6 of 54
Why is it that PCDPs of the 80's are highly regarded yet CDPs are frowned upon? I would think the DAC technology would be the same in the 80s, so both would sound bad.
post #7 of 54
Quote:
Originally posted by meat01
Why is it that PCDPs of the 80's are highly regarded yet CDPs are frowned upon? I would think the DAC technology would be the same in the 80s, so both would sound bad.
Some of them genuinly are bad, but in a lot of cases its buyers remorse... they have their shiny new box of tricks there, that cost them $$$ and compare it to their older player and hear that its either just the same, or even inferior, but they have to live with their new investment, so bad mouth their old unit just to convince their conscience that they've made the "right" choice... "it's new so it must be better"



That is a very generalised statement, and one that should be taken with as much humour as was put in... but it wouldn't surprise me if it wasn't something like that...

Not to mention the fact that these companies still need to make a market for their gear... it wouldn't do them any favours if they got the trade press to write that their players from 15 years ago are better than todays... great for the second hand market, but not too hot for their market shares or the stock market
post #8 of 54
Quote:
Originally posted by Duncan
Apart from the one that I picked up from a pawn shop yesterday...

It cost me $90, but is worth every penny... a Philips CD850 from 1990/1991... Their 'flagship' player to promote the [then] new 'Bitstream' technology... This thing has more features than you can shake a stick at, a sound quality that put this player amongst the best of the whole decade... and to me, its the best sounding CD player i've ever heard - even compared to the Sony 333ES I heard yesterday, I could sell its virtues all day long, and still have more to say

I could do a review, but the odds of anyone else getting one are not particularily good, not due to high failure rate, but due to the fact on the most part that people even now still refuse to part with them / upgrade...
Congratulations on your purchase Duncan, you've got yourself one hell of a good machine and one hell of a bargain.

The CD850 retailed for around £400 ($740) back in the early 90's and was Philips flagship Bitstream player. I bought one from new and loved it's ability to make "music" unfortunately, it was stolen from me and I stupidly bought another player as a replacement as the CD850 was no longer on sale (I should have bought another secondhand)......... to this day I haven't heard a CDP that betters the Philips CD850, let alone one that can "compete" with it, I've been looking for one on e-bay but am always pipped to the post.

You've got a machine that is well up there with todays "mega buck" players and I envy you.

Enjoy the magical music the 850 makes.

Pinkie.
post #9 of 54
Yeah...

This definetly is a great bit of kit

Who said that old school was redundant?
post #10 of 54
Hey Duncan, is that a 5-disc Phillips? I had one of those bitstream players I bought in '93 or maybe '92, I really liked it at the time, had it for maybe 5-6 years. It was kind of gray-ish in color with a remote that was shaped like an eagles talon almost, can't remember the model number. No idea how it would compare to today's players but my feeling is that with the amazing advances in DAC technologies, it would generally have a hard time.

In answer to the original question, *in general* yes, older CDPs are frowned on, no one much likes them and they are not sought-after like "classic" old tube gear, or "classic" old electrostatic speakers and such. Here's a fun article from Stereophile by Art Dudley on older CDPs: http://www.stereophile.com/artdudley.../204listening/

Best quote:
Quote:
So there are lots of early amps, early speakers, and early record players that are considered classics. Are there any early CD players that are classics? No, because they all sound like ****.
post #11 of 54
Markl...

No, this is a single disc unit... Philips first Bitstream player in a market full of multibit machines, has an alphanermic top line display that you can program manually with track information etc, a second track information line, and a final track number display... It has two SAA7321 DACs, and an SAA7350 DAC so far as I know, with 256x oversampling...

I could quote the tech specs (not that they are noticed here ) and they'll show that its not bad at all, even compared to todays players on paper, yet sonically, in my - and others opinions well up there with todays top flight machines

I think the most impressive part of this player is its ability to convey soundstage... it does it in a way that doesn't detract from the overall mix, yet allows instruments and vocals swirl around the headscape like i've never heard before... add in the speed at which the bass is portrayed, no overtly apparent resonance... A drumbeat is a drumbeat, not a marching band, and... well, i could go on, but i'm not reviewing it here... just saying that its a damned good bargain to me, especially for what I paid... oh, and did I mention that even though its 13 years old, that it plays CDRWs?
post #12 of 54
I m in the market for a vintage Cd player myself.A friend of mine has the Rotel 965BX a classic "mid-fi" player from the early 90's.It still kicks butt .Duncan i would love to find a great condition CD850 myself.Also i've read that the Marantz CD62 is very similar to CD850 II...First bitstream Marantz cd.One thing is for sure:the build quality of these players is stunning.

http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/showthread/t-25039.html

http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/showt...592&highlight=

the cd62
post #13 of 54
Mecano,

It seems strange that the transport and DAC that I use on a daily basis qualifies as vintage - I only bought it in 1992

If you are looking for some good older kit, why not keep your eye out for a DPA PDM2 DAC - bitstream implemented in two boxes, and a separate transport - say a Meridian 200 or 500? I know of a company that will maintain and upgrade the DPA gear (even though DPA Digital have long gone) so sorting out a unit in disrepair would not be a problem.

Rob Watts of DPA Digital took the Philips 7350 chip and did things with it that really impressed Philips (and the audiophile press of the time). To quote from the technical bumph I have:

" The digital processor contains SPDIF extraction, low jitter clock recovery, digital filtering, a (Phillips) SAA 7350 to generate the bitstream code and processing for the delayed right and left data. The analogue processor contains the DAC7 reference circuitry, passive filtering and de-emphasis EQ and the output op amps..The connection between the two units is via 6 high speed fibre optical cables. The PDM2 utilises 2 DAC7s and operates with 16 times oversampled digital filtering with 384 times total oversample."

Add to this a Deltran conversion of the transport and you remove the clock jitter . The Deltran facility generates the clock within the DAC then feeds this back to the CD transport, instead of the DAC regenerating the the CD's clock.

I don't pretend to understand the technology, but the sound is stunning and whilst Duncan's CD850 is a performer. the Meridian/DPA setup eclipses it. I remember auditioning both setups in the early 1990s - but I chose the 3 box route.

Should you find a PDM2, I have copies of the manual and technical briefs as well as articles from HiFi World should you like to read what was said about the DAC.

Null, sorry to have wandered off your thread a little, but I was intreagued with Duncan and Mecano's posts - the CD850 is a very good inplementation of bitstream technology - the rig I have is another variant of this technology in use.

I would argue that the bitstream players from this era still hold their own against modern counterparts. Certainly I find my 3 box setup is streets ahead of a Marantz CD6000Ki signature I also own.

Cheers

Brad
post #14 of 54
Thanks for the post Brad .Actually the reason I started looking for "oldies bur goodies" cdplayers is that I want a second source for my office for headphone listening and I don t like the crappy build quality of today's budget CD/DVD players. I don't have experience with older multibit players like the Marantz CD50/50SE (~1990) but I remember that at the early 90's the multibit players were considered more "rough sounding" and the bitstream players -new technology at that time-were more refined,more "analog" if you like. Landmark bitstream players were Rotel 965BX(300£),Philips 850/850II(400£),Marantz CD62/CD72(400 £)72SE(650£) and Meridian 208(1500£).The Rotel and the Meridian ones got brilliant reviews and were used in many high-end systems in early 90's.Marantz and Philips models were superbly build.At that time CD technology was not established between audiophiles(yet) and these machines were serious attempts from the manufactures to change that.
I remember the DPA transport/dac combo Digital T-1/PDM2mkii(3200£) as it got good reviews at British Hi-Fi press..Other combos that got favorable reviews at the time were EAD T-1000/DSP 1000-20 bit this one-(2000£) and the Meridian 602/606(3000£).The 606 and PDM2mkii had the famous DAC7 chipset..But I think it would be hard to find one of these combos today in my country but who knows?i ll keep searching.The good think about bitstream players is that some of them were really popular, especially the Rotel one, so I believe I can find one in excellent condition for little money and then re-clock.That's the best think about vintage cdplayers.They are considered "old technology" info about them is scarce so not many people want to buy them .As a result you can get a great machine for cheap.One guy at the DIYforum got the CD50SE for 20 euros! Or find an old Pioneer flagship model :build like a battleship and great for reclocking with Trichord clock.Trichord became famous by reclocking Pioneer players.
modding the 965
http://www.net-audio.co.uk/cdplayerupgrades.html
post #15 of 54
I have a Denon CDP-100 that I use as my "home" player while I'm studying in Chicago. I listen to it unamped on Senn 525's and grado SR80's. I just love the sound. It more than competes with my home panasonic player. Why does it sound so good? I have no idea. I have compared it to several portable CDP's and they all lose so completely I don't need to listen twice. I am curious about why the decks from the same period are ignored. Something happened in the CD design world that I'm not clued in on. At the expense of highjacking this thread I cannot help but wonder why they can't make a PCDP good enough for home use that can compete with my Denon.
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