Can some1 explain why ppl buy vintage pcdp made in the 80s?
Mar 20, 2006 at 7:47 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 67

photek

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I came across this webpage, where this guy goes on and on about how his old 80s sony cd player with 4x oversampling is better than any pcdp or ipods, and even modern "audiophille" equipment. I'm in no way making fun, bashing, etc. I just want to know why do these old player supposedly sound better. Are they saying that pcdps used to be great, but nowadays they cut-back to keep costs down? I would think technology is cheap enough to make a really great better sounding cd pcdp now and be cheaper and greater than anything made in the past, has it been done? Is there a player on the market right now I can go to the store and have it be a reasonable price (not the $400 or so his 80s player costs when it first released) or is he just overexagerating?

I'm in the market for a new pcdp, and reading his article makes me wonder if us consumers are really being jipped, or if were getting a good thing. I can't buy a pcdp without long battery life, mp3, anti-shock, bass boost, remotes, backlit displays, b/c its a luxery myself and probably other ppl can't part with since we've had it. Heres his article

http://www.enjoythemusic.com/magazin...stportable.htm

Dont get me wrong though, I could believe that is better than a crap GPX or Emerson pcdp from target for $15-20, I'm talking about comparing to decent-quality models sold now, is it really that much better? He says this against modern players are like a Ferrari vs. a Pinto.
 
Mar 20, 2006 at 10:34 AM Post #2 of 67

bangraman

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I've had an extensive range of old and new players, safe to say more than most. Sonically, provided you match up appropriate headphones (as many newer players have less powerful outputs) I don't think older players sound better and I don't think new players sound worse.


The real attraction of old PCDPs is I think twofold: At the low end, you can pick up working players for less than $20, which are better than the "bottom-feeder" models around these days. At the high end, you have something that few others have... it's an exclusive club.


I love the D-555 which I have for example, because it looks so cool and because it's history: No-one will ever make a Discman like the D-555 anymore. But compared to modern sources, it is somewhat mediocre in sound and could not be said to be better in any way. I think nostalgia has a habit of blinding people.
 
Mar 20, 2006 at 11:24 AM Post #3 of 67

Peyotero

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I'm really dying to hear that modern source that matches your D-555 soundwise as you claim
rolleyes.gif
 
Mar 20, 2006 at 11:55 AM Post #4 of 67

markmaxx

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I think the older PCDP have a couple of things going for them.

The headphone output is more powerfull (new portable disk players and digital players are regulated to a much less powerfull headphone output level) so they can drive cans like the sennheiser HD 600 quite well without an amp.

And the quest for longer battery life has left the headphone out of say an i-pod a little whimpy with anything but the easest to drive headphones.

With my Grado RS-1 from an I pod I listen to most music almost as loud as an I pod can go, and with my HD 600s not enough power to make me smile.

Also, with my Vintage players headphone out V. Say a i-pod good interconnect SR-71 to HD 600 the sound is (to my ears) too close to call, its that good.

But the vintage CD.players get blown out of the water as far as to compair them to say my home CD player (Meridian 507) not even close to my ears.

I hope this helps.
 
Mar 20, 2006 at 1:05 PM Post #6 of 67

wallstreet

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Quote:

Originally Posted by bangraman
Virtually any current mainsteam HDD DAP would be a starting point.


I almost agree with this statement. The main difference between new DAPs vs many vintage PCDPs (like Sony D-*) is that they provide much more power to the headphone out and usually have line-out so you can connect them to a headphone amp. Because of this vintage PCPSs usually get horrible battery life (i get about 4 hours out of my Sony D-245 w/ 2 NiMH batteries). If you compare DAPs that use flac and vintage PCDP players with both amped, they should both have similar SQ.

Most vintage PCDPs are really cheap compared to DAPs, except maybe than the really rare ones. I got my D-245 for $30 on ebay and it can easily drive my MS-1s and sounds great even unamped.
 
Mar 20, 2006 at 2:47 PM Post #8 of 67

Duncan

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Quote:

Originally Posted by wallstreet
I almost agree with this statement. The main difference between new DAPs vs many vintage PCDPs (like Sony D-*) is that they provide much more power to the headphone out and usually have line-out so you can connect them to a headphone amp. Because of this vintage PCPSs usually get horrible battery life (i get about 4 hours out of my Sony D-245 w/ 2 NiMH batteries). If you compare DAPs that use flac and vintage PCDP players with both amped, they should both have similar SQ.

Most vintage PCDPs are really cheap compared to DAPs, except maybe than the really rare ones. I got my D-245 for $30 on ebay and it can easily drive my MS-1s and sounds great even unamped.



I disagree quite strongly with this...

The outputs of most old school PCDPs are actually very limited compared to most modern DAPs... Whilst the numbers may look promising (15mw per channel or more) on the older Discmen, they run into distortion very easily (most of note are the D303 and D555 which are some of the most hyped players around here anyway)...

...This could be due to old (failing) output caps, or just a general oversight when these models were first designed, and whilst I'm not denying some players sound good (I still have a soft spot for the Sony D211 and Philips AZ6832), generally speaking a DAP with good quality rips will sound better...

The shorter battery life that is often cited as a good reason for high sound quality is due to larger components requiring more juice / less efficient motors / optical assemblies...

...Before we start going down the whole 'MP3 sucks' route - If we're comparing like for like, then we should be using the DAP with lossless / very high bitrate files, at which point I would be interested in seeing how many people would say that the DAP sounds inferior (as arguably its 'error correction' should be infinitely better than that of the optical media).

Now, bear in mind the time and effort that I went in to with that epic review I did a couple of years ago - and, consider me a martyr if you wish - yet I can say that the compromises that old school PCDPs suffer are not worth the hassle when compared to their modern counterparts...

Sorry PCDPs, but - imho, your time is up!
 
Mar 20, 2006 at 3:09 PM Post #9 of 67

Oddball

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Quote:

Originally Posted by photek
Are they saying that pcdps used to be great, but nowadays they cut-back to keep costs down? I would think technology is cheap enough to make a really great better sounding cd pcdp now and be cheaper and greater than anything made in the past, has it been done?


I think that the trend has shifted to go from more luxury, higher-end models with a focus on SQ to more budget oriented, smaller and lighter, battery-conserving models. I haven't seen any recent PCDPs that have had the same goal as the vintage ones. The technology's definitely there, but the consumer base for a $200+ PCDP isn't. True PCDPs (non-mp3) are dying in general.

I have a Denon DCP-150 and an iRiver imp-550. Both top-range models separated by near a decade. Yet I use both. The Denon for home use and the iRiver for portable. It would be a joke to use the Denon as a portable, and I think the iRiver would make a pretty mediocre home player (no DACs taken into consideration). I bought each for under $100. Take into consideration that at full retail price, the Denon was still more costly, but I think that these two examples really highlight the paradigm shift. The Denon is a huge all-metal brick. It has a full-sized wireless remote. It uses batteries about twice the size of two AAs. The iRiver is a tiny jewel-case size player. It has a wired remote with backlight that controls all of its functions. It uses gumstick batteries. The Denon had a focus on SQ that the iRiver did not. I feel comfortable saying that the DCP-150 is better than the imp-550 soundwise.

But the picture I just painted is just showcasing the extremes. I also had a D-465, a slightly above average portable "vintage" PCDP. It's more recent and probably was one of the PCDPs that signalled the trend towards more portability, but is still considered vintage. I think that the imp-550 could match it easily. Overall though, there is definitely a trend. If you want a truly portable player though, go modern.
 
Mar 20, 2006 at 3:12 PM Post #10 of 67

catscratch

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Based on my experience with DAP's (X5, iRiver iHP-120, Zen Micro, HD20GA7, and many more owned by friends - 4G & 5G ipods & nano's, H10, a few others that I forget about) and vintage PCDP's (Fisher PCD5400 and Sony D311), I would have to say that my PCDP's all had substantially better sound quality out of their line-out than the DAP's. I haven't tested the headphone jacks on the PCDP's enough to make a comparison. I used only FLAC and wave on DAP's vs. the original CD, and yes, I'm more than aware of the limitations of the simulated line-outs on many of the DAPs that I've used. I simply think that the old-school DACs used in these PCDP's are better than their modern counterparts, or perhaps there is more in the signal path in the modern players that ruins the sound quality of an otherwise good DAC (which I think is the case with the 4G ipod). The PCDP's share a similar sound signature and have some digititis in the treble, which is expected of the old-school DACs in them, but overall they are simply more dynamic, more detailed, have a wider soundstage, and in general sound closer to a full-size player. Obviously this is a GROSS OVERSIMPLIFICATION and just my opinion, in case you feel compelled to pick apart my post.

This is why I've spent good money on vintage PCDP's. I can't say that the cost has been justified, since all the hyped-up PCDP's haven't been better than my trusty PCD5400, which my father bought for $120 in 1992, and which is still alive to this day despite all the abuse that I've put it though. I'm looking for another one, but they're about as rare as honest politicians these days and I doubt I'll find one any time soon.

A better transportable solution nowadays is a modern PCDP with an optical out, together with a portable DAC like the Headroom MicroDAC. My iHP-120/MicroDAC combo actually outperforms the Fisher in many areas, which is a first for a portable, though it still gets creamed in soundstage (but then again so does my Rega. The PCD5400's soundstage is remarkable for a portable).

Another reason is cost. I don't think the hyped-up PCDP's are really worth their money here, since you'll probably go through 2 or 3 before you find one that is fully functional, but a lot of the less well-known PCDP's with quality line-outs can be had for pennies, and are really well worth their price. While you can beat the SQ with a modern PCDP/DAC combo, the cost will be considerably higher.

Obviously, convenience is the province of DAP's. I don't consider a PCDP to be portable under any circumstances.
 
Mar 20, 2006 at 3:38 PM Post #11 of 67

xixco

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Peyotero
I'm really dying to hear that modern source that matches your D-555 soundwise as you claim
rolleyes.gif




did i misread something?

i saw:

"I love the D-555...But compared to modern sources, it is somewhat mediocre in sound and could not be said to be better in any way. I think nostalgia has a habit of blinding people."

did something get edited out?
 
Mar 20, 2006 at 4:56 PM Post #12 of 67

warubozu

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A big part why many out there purchase vintage PCDP is that there is a collectors market for them. Many of those collectors are willing to play over inflated prices for certain model because they've been hyped up one way or the other. I currently own quite a bit of vintage PCDPs, more than I care to count and I also own a few DAPs. I can tell you that not all vintage PCDPs sound better than todays DAPs and in fact many of them sound worse. There are some standout models that sound just as good as most DAPs but they won't sound better. That review in your link is quite old and really hyped up the D-555 more than it really is. As bangraman has stated earlier the D-555 can't match the sound quality of today's sources much less even better it. There are also many other vintage PCDPs that sound much better than the D-555.
 
Mar 20, 2006 at 6:44 PM Post #13 of 67

Tungsten

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[Begin rant]


I would like to bring up a point that is always overlooked and not talked about with regards to vintage PCDP’s.
And that is appearance, looks and beauty. Those old black solid plastic or metal “bricks” are fabulous to my mind.

They represent solid engineering, rugged durability, and intelligent priorities in design and manufacture. They just feel conservative.

Today’s electronics, whether we are talking about mobile phones, mp3 players, PCDP’c, CDP’s, DVD players, TV’s and even automobiles… you name it, they all look so ugly. I hate the designs, I despise the silver color they all come in. I just can’t stand their thin plastic light weight structure and design. Are these things designed for E.T., a weakling, with arms like toothpicks? Why is it all so ugly?

Everything is so weak and degenerate now, made as cheap as they can get away with, made for a good time not a long time. This is in complete opposition to my philosophy of life. When I look at this “new silver junk” it invokes in me an involuntary revulsion and disgust. What it represents, this whole culture of disposable trash trends and fashion, riles me up like crazy! It’s just another symptom of the Politically Correct gutless new world order crowd as far as I’m concerned. This immediately leads into a deep political and societal discussion which is beyond the scope of this rant, so I’ll leave it at that.

And no, I would never spend more than $40 on an old PCDP because they are all so old now that they have hardly and “juice left in the can” so to speak. The lower end models are simple and easy to open, easy to swap out the pick up modules, and easy to reach the caps to replace.

Old electronics don’t have any nostalgia meaning to me, they are simply cheap, good looking, solid, and represent a brief period of sanity, long since lost. Sure certain new stuff can sound better, but at those prices points, and with the ugly ugly silver factor, I’m not buying it.

[/End rant]
 
Mar 20, 2006 at 7:39 PM Post #14 of 67

wallstreet

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Duncan
I disagree quite strongly with this...
...
Now, bear in mind the time and effort that I went in to with that epic review I did a couple of years ago - and, consider me a martyr if you wish - yet I can say that the compromises that old school PCDPs suffer are not worth the hassle when compared to their modern counterparts...

Sorry PCDPs, but - imho, your time is up!



I think the point I was trying to make in my post wasn't very clear. I agree with what you said as well.

I think you have to take into consideration performance vs. cost as well. I lucked into my D-245 on ebay, which was still sealed and never used, for $30. It drives my ms-1s and hp-910s much easier than my buddies $200 micro. I agree that they're isn't a point in buying the expensive, relatively few new PCDPs, because they are only semi-portable and for a little more you can get a DAP. Cheap PCDPs that you can get in stores now, usually really suck, which makes vintage players attractive in certain situations.

Vintage players imho aren't worth spending a lot of money on either. I saw a Dennon 50 go from $20 to over $100 with 5 minutes remaining in an auction. I think this is more about collecting vintage gear, or the result of old players being over hyped.
 
Mar 20, 2006 at 8:22 PM Post #15 of 67

Peyotero

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Quote:

Originally Posted by xixco
did i misread something?

i saw:

"I love the D-555...But compared to modern sources, it is somewhat mediocre in sound and could not be said to be better in any way. I think nostalgia has a habit of blinding people."

did something get edited out?



Yea you did missread something but i'm not sure what it is..

EDIT: ok i got you, being a smartass. replace "match" with "beat".
 

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