Can some1 explain why ppl buy vintage pcdp made in the 80s?
Mar 20, 2006 at 8:34 PM Post #16 of 67

BlindTiger

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Most had an Optical out and Line out.
Some had cool credit card size remotes.
Even cheaper ones had backlighting on their displays.
Some were not made of plastic and had metal housings.
Only down side, battery life and no shock memory.

I miss my Technics PCDP.
 
Mar 20, 2006 at 8:45 PM Post #18 of 67

ptaaty

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wow...I remember using the standard and quite effient included sony headphones on a number of different models. Trying to actually use it on the go was an exersize in futility...they skipped from everything, the only piece of equipment i have ever used with volume on max (except as a source).

The battery life sucked huge, they broke far too easy.

Thank you new era. Yeah there is some tacky crap out there but I love being disappointed when something doesn't work when being dropped a couple feet onto cement...in the past a one foot drop onto the couch scared me ****less
 
Mar 21, 2006 at 4:07 AM Post #19 of 67

Filburt

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I have a pretty extensive stash of vintage PCDPs, as well as a couple more modern units. I just received a D-NE10, and it really is pretty good SQ wise. I do like it better than pretty much any of the DAPs I've used, and I've used quite a few. I'd still rate a few of my vintage units as ahead of the D-NE10, but a large portion of the vintage units really aren't better. There are a few though, imho, which continue to go unmatched in the portable world. Maybe eventually they'll get eclipsed, but I haven't encountered something which does. Fortunately, a couple of mine are actually portable (in terms of skip resistance, size/weight, and battery life), so I use them while going to class and such. Though, I think I may just use the NE10 for that from now on and use the others at my desk or use portably when I really need the additional sound quality.
 
Mar 21, 2006 at 5:46 PM Post #20 of 67

Audiofiler

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I have a gaggle of vintage units myself, some named and noted for sonic signatures, some like new on stand by for parts, or to unload on some lucky individual with different hearing preferences than me.
Half the fun is experimenting and A/B'g the equipment from a reference point or preferred player, & hosting your own king of the hill contests to compare and monitor differences heard. (I think)

Once you find the sound you like, it is cool comparing other units to this sound relative to the types of music one prefers. (for example d-33 for laid back line out qualities good for classical and makes a great bed-side rig, whereas d-25 punchy more detailed powerful hp out good for transportable rig to bring to work for lunch time, with no amp needed and plays great at low levels where the lack of bass or thin qualities mixed with the non constrained highs do not become overbearing because the listening volume is at minimum. But if the d-25 was your main gun the sound is fatiguing over time 'note stock d-25 not modded')

HiFi equipment in any genre or age is collectable regardless of state, as the electrical engineering and innovative designs were impressive for these units and are physically noted from the build quality alone.

I own a very new Sony MP3 weather CD player does it all type of unit. I use it when I do things around the house, the sound sucks. It sounds like you're listening to the flat tunes through a beach of sand and is not clear. As others have mentioned the headphone output is puny and must be turned to 8/10 in a QUIET environment even for Grados...not to mention that the original d-303 I have from the 90's is still in perfect working order; however, I can think of over 20 (literally) PCDP's I have purchased and that which has broken thus since that time. So you figure it out, buy a crappy new portable unit that feels about as sturdy as the toys you purchased from safeway toy isle, or take a chance with an older unit where sound/sonics matter.

Those new units are great if you're listening to your cans always on the move, on a train, or in a noisy env where detail and sonics are masked/lost any who.

And from a home units perspective, there are caveats there too...because people find the same "detail oriented" problems or tweaks wrong with these units too, but the dangerous part is there are no reviews or knowledge bases on these units, so you stand to lose 300-500$ instead of 30$-200$...

Plus note that the really sweet units all sold for over $300 when new, and must be taken into consideration, as that is like 10 x's today's cost of an average unit (we will call it $30 for the current sony "sandpaper spinner 2000"
smily_headphones1.gif

...well if the d-303,d-555,d-25,d-15,d-777, or d-515 was on sale today at BB it could potentially be worth $3000 per unit for one of these bad boys in todays profit/cost ratio..

The rebuttal is cost per mfg, and additional features VS total cost of ownership, and that is exactly why people despise the new units because they do not sound as good,and are not as catering to line-out amps and such.

I have owned a Cambridge D300SE (now Broken) and an older Marantz unit (that always skipped, even after it was serviced, embarrassing and could not even sell it)
so can not help you out there, spent bunches of cashola on those two transports alone (can you say close to enough to float a new pair of PS1's??)
So it is completely up to the ear of the listener...I find listening to music most enjoyable when one player does not spin a cd well for sound, and I can easily swap out and switch to another that does. Very cool stuff.


PS.the PCDP also makes cool looking home rigs when paired with hp amp,tube amp, or any other combo of components...everything all compact like!! the metal design and backlit display is just the gravy!!
 
Mar 22, 2006 at 2:09 AM Post #21 of 67

fewtch

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Personally, I feel that specific cases need to be considered, rather than making blanket statements like "DAPs sound better than PCDPs" or vice-versa.

We also need to take into account personal preferences. Is higher resolution more important to you? Smoother highs? More bass? Background blackness? Transparency? "Musicality" (what involves you the most)? All these things vary, depending on which player you're talking about.

The word "better" is subjective, and is a judgment based on personal preferences -- so I don't find it unusual that someone will prefer one player over others. It's when people start claiming their preferences apply to everyone else, or make blanket statements like "DAPs sound better than PCDPs" is where I have a problem. The website you mentioned is definitely guilty of that, so keep in mind that the author is just stating his personal preference (no matter how he words it).
 
Mar 22, 2006 at 2:55 AM Post #22 of 67

Filburt

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Quote:

Originally Posted by fewtch
The word "better" is subjective, and is a judgment based on personal preferences -- so I don't find it unusual that someone will prefer one player over others. It's when people start claiming their preferences apply to everyone else, or make blanket statements like "DAPs sound better than PCDPs" is where I have a problem.


Exactly. At least in this context, 'better' seems best considered a subjective evaluation.
 
Mar 22, 2006 at 4:37 AM Post #23 of 67

photek

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can someone explain what 4x oversampling and dual DACs can do? I know older players had better amps, one of my own sonys from the late 90's has 20mW output and is much better than my last years sonys 5mW amp, but do those other things help as much? Is a 1-bit DAC good?
 
Mar 22, 2006 at 11:56 AM Post #25 of 67

bangraman

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This is a two-way street. Those with no real experience of DAPs are not qualified to comment on whether their vintage PCDP is better. I have come across a number of ‘vintages’ that do give better results than specific DAPs. But then I have come across a number of DAPs that give better results than specific ‘vintages’. Generally speaking, there is no evidence in my experience to suggest that vintages are as a block superior to current DAPs. The opposite might well be said to be true in my sampling to date of twenty-ish old Discmen and a similar number of current DAPs. If you’ve caught the collecting bug and you have found one player that outperforms the budget MP3 player you purchased a while back, it does not of course mean that all vintages are superior to DAPs.


For the fiscally frugal, another major advantage of vintages is of course that provided it's working, they can be resold at pretty much the same amount as they paid for it. So you can keep your 'new toy fever' going for almost no loss. On the other hand, I estimate that on average I take a 40% hit every time I replace a latter-day DAP. That may not sit so well with some wallets. For many, I would infer from their postings in this forum that more than anything else, the choice (and especially the collection of them) boils down to a monthly budget thing, and people justify that in different ways.
 
Mar 22, 2006 at 4:45 PM Post #26 of 67

Filburt

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bangraman,

I was not suggesting that vintage PCDPs, categorically, are superior. Based on my experience, most of the vintages are not particularly impressive. However, there are a few select models I have acquired that I find are superior to what is currently available in portable audio. That isn't to say there isn't anything worth buying from the modern crop. I find my new D-NE10 to be satisfactory for many applications. It's simply that if I want the additional fidelity, I must resort to some of my other players.

photek/Peyotero - I'm going to try to give a simple answer over giving a detailed/elabourate answer, so if you seek more information on this, I imagine there are many resources available...

Oversampling means that the DAC samples at some multiple of the sample rate of the data. In digital audio, the analog signal is 'sampled' to provide discrete values to represent portions of the signal. In CD audio, the sample rate is 44,1KHz at 16 bits. This means that there are 44100 samples per second, with each sample at one of 65536 possible values. So, a non-oversampling DAC will operate at 44,1KHz as well. An oversampling DAC will operate at some multiple of that sample rate, depending on the oversampling rate (so 4x would be 4*44100).

So, why oversample? In sampling theory, it is generally considered that data at a frequency above half the sample rate cannot be represented accurately. This frequency, half of the sample rate, is known as the 'nyquist frequency'. Frequencies above this often alias, which ends up sounding like high frequency distortion, or in visual images looks like garbled/distorted. To visually see aliasing, resize (don't resample) an image of something with fine detail down to a smaller size. The jagged, blocky, or otherwise distorted portions of the image are where aliasing is probably occurring. To counter this effect, 'anti-aliasing' filters are used, which are essentially low-pass filters which cut off information above some threshold (in this case, above the nyquist frequency). Employing a filter accurate enough to do this is difficult, and expensive, so oversampling is used. Oversampling effectively gives some room for error on the part of the anti-aliasing filter by expanding the range of acceptable values to set the filter at, thereby relaxing the requirements in the filter design, and thereby reducing cost (and increasing price/performance ratio for the manufacturer). The greater the OS rate, the more relaxed the requirements are.

Gah, I have to get to class so I'll have to finish up the rest of the explanation later.
 
Mar 22, 2006 at 10:06 PM Post #27 of 67

DeeJayBump

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Simple. It's about the sound.

I can hear the difference between the original and an MP3 rip of that same song. For me, the rip is not sonically acceptable. Sure, most "classic" PCDPs have limited battery life compared to the plutonium-powered portable players of today, but that is easily remedied. Simply build an external battery pack and fill it with rechargeable batteries.

You can talk about how lossless compression algorithms are the ****, but my ears can tell the difference between the original and an approximation.

All the folks who believe modern DAPs are superior to a good "classic" PCDP suffer from temporocentrism.
 
Mar 22, 2006 at 10:10 PM Post #28 of 67

Duncan

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Quote:

Originally Posted by DeeJayBump
All the folks who believe modern DAPs are superior to a good "classic" PCDP suffer from temporocentrism.


So, I - with the most comprehensive guide to PCDPs there is on head-fi fall into the same category?

I find it hard to believe that there is ANY PCDP out there that can beat my current portable setup... and i've had more than most to come to this conclusion.

Ultimately beauty is in the eye (well, ear) of the beholder, and if it works for you - great, but - I've moved on, and am not particularily sad about that.
 
Mar 22, 2006 at 10:26 PM Post #29 of 67

DeeJayBump

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Duncan
So, I - with the most comprehensive guide to PCDPs there is on head-fi fall into the same category?

I find it hard to believe that there is ANY PCDP out there that can beat my current portable setup... and i've had more than most to come to this conclusion.

Ultimately beauty is in the eye (well, ear) of the beholder, and if it works for you - great, but - I've moved on, and am not particularily sad about that.



I've not heard any version of the iPod (in the same system) sound better than my D-515 ----> RnB Audio Diamond Reference -----> PPAv2 -----> Sony CD3Ks. For you the iPod is the sonic holy grail.

We obviously have different ears and different sonic tastes .
 
Mar 22, 2006 at 10:31 PM Post #30 of 67

Tungsten

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Quote:

Simple. It's about the sound.



Plus the cost. Big atomic bang for the buck!



I would like to reemphasize that different people love old PCDP’s for different reasons. Sometimes it’s not all about the sound…

For me it is a more dogmatic fanaticism. I only listen to my old CD collection, and never listened to music on the go. (I wouldn’t even consider putting on cans and walking down the street or riding in/on anything. I need 100% of my hearing for situational awareness when out and about!)

I obsess over small compact electronics devices, so to use a PCDP as a central CD transport in a home system, utilizing only the digital optical output… that’s irresistible to me.

Only in that scenario can PCDP’s really shine to their ultimate.
 

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