Anyone Still Running a CD Player as a Primary Source?

Discussion in 'All Things Digital' started by Prime Minister, Oct 11, 2017.

  1. Chops54

    Chops54 Junior Member

    My cdp gets much more play time than my record player because it's used for background music and listening on the go most of the time. For critical listening spinning the black stuff is pretty much the only way.
    fiddlefye likes this.
  2. S0und Dragon

    S0und Dragon Junior Member

    I have an almost obsessive love for Sony ES players. Especially the early 90's models. My x777es is the best CD player I have ever owned bar none. The 707es topped it just barely. The sound it makes is just amazing. But the laser assembly is not tracking properly anymore and it is becoming increasingly unreliable. I am afraid to admit how much money I have sunk into keeping her going.
    Audionut and fiddlefye like this.
  3. fiddlefye

    fiddlefye Senior Member

    I too like the Sony ES players, but my favourite out of the bunch I have is still my ancient Denon DCD-3300. It has had a few upgrades (more modern clock, Blackgates in the output stage) but it just manages to let me completely forget whether the source I am listening to is digital or analogue. Still running perfectly even though it is from 1988. I have a brand new laser in reserve should it ever go south.
  4. S0und Dragon

    S0und Dragon Junior Member

    I wish I could find a replacement laser assembly for my x777.
    fiddlefye likes this.
  5. Don C

    Don C Active Member

    OK, it's a CD/SACD player (non-DVD) with an after-market modified tube analog output stage with separate power supply. (I'm pretty sure another 'Haven user has one, too.)

    UPS is supposed to deliver tomorrow and I was anticipating "working from home" to be able to accept delivery (it's 2 boxes), but now I've got an office appointment early-mid afternoon and will probably miss him. Alas.
    guiller likes this.
  6. Audionut

    Audionut Next Round Is On Me

    Interest peaked!
    Don C likes this.
  7. Thermionics

    Thermionics Post Whore In Training

    I don't know if you'd call it a premium CD player, but I do have a Pioneer DV-59AVi that does both Redbook and SACD that sounds fairly nice, although it gets less time than my streaming and my turntable...
  8. fiddlefye

    fiddlefye Senior Member

    I just got lucky. My tech found a brand new one somewhere a few years ago and I put it aside, not that the original shows any signs of tiring. I don't have a spare for the Denon DCD-1520 that I use as transport with a DAC in the main system, but when I got it there were almost no hours on the laser. There had been some ridiculous issue with the machine in the first few months, the owner didn't get around to getting it repaired under warranty and stuck it in a closet. I picked it up after its long sleep and it was a simple $20 repair. The Sony 608ESD had a new laser put in it immediately before I bought it so I should be good for a long while with that one as well.
  9. Don C

    Don C Active Member

    Sony & Modwright in the house
    and still very very cold
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  10. S0und Dragon

    S0und Dragon Junior Member

    Is that a mdwright modified 5400es? I loved mine but wished it came In Silver.
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2018
  11. Don C

    Don C Active Member

    Yup, Sony SCD-XA5400ES with Modwright Ultimate Truth modification

    The lower power supply powers the 6SN7 output stage (Tung Sols at present)

    It's been "warming up" with Alfred Brendel playing Beethoven on repeat while we were out to dinner.

    So, I guess in answer to the OP's question some 5 pages ago, yes I am further committing to a CD player as a main source.
  12. S0und Dragon

    S0und Dragon Junior Member

    Is that the one from Agon? If it was you got an awesome deal! I have always wanted a modwright modded es cd or sacd player. I loved the 5400es but I moved it along to chase other gear.
  13. Don C

    Don C Active Member

    Yes, that's the one. There was another for $1500 back in Oct and I almost got it, but wasn't fast enough; it sold in minutes (and was a bit cleaner). I had not looked at Audiogon for a few weeks and this one had been listed for several days when I finally did see it. I hesitated, as the photos weren't particularly flattering, and when he dropped the price $100 the next morning, I didn't hesitate again. (It's actually fine, just needed 5 minutes with a dust rag and some Windex.) And it came with the upgrade Umbilical, too.

    A local friend has this same one (modded) and has raved about it. Another local friend (a committed vinyl-phile) has a stock one and said it shines on SACD and does admirably well on Redbook. (I may be paraphrasing, but that's actually extremely high praise from him.)

    I had great Redbook playback from a McIntosh MCD-7010 as a transport to a Musical Fidelity M1 DAC, but sold the components in a "downsize" a few years ago and stepped back to the Denon 3910. Now I'm reminded what I had been missing, and then some!
    guiller likes this.
  14. Audionut

    Audionut Next Round Is On Me

    Question; do you prefer one of the built in DAC filter settings? Trying it without my tube DAC but am not finding the same sweetness.
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2018
  15. S0und Dragon

    S0und Dragon Junior Member

    I happen to like the ES sound. The sweet spot tends to be from 89 to 1999. When I have one of my vintage ES players in the system I tend to connect it straight to my Pre but never the variable output. Fixed output only, though that might just be my preference.

    Now that all changes with the ES units after 1999 and the SCD-1 and SCD-777ES all the way to the SCD-XA9000es. The sweetness and musicality is there but now shared with SACD capable DVD players.

    While still excellent on CD play back, I feel that they went more for precision over musicality. Hence why my NS9100es sent my XA9000es packing. Was the 9000es worse? No, but I got enough of its sound from the way cheaper NS9100. And a touch of that early ES musicality that I found missing. It's what I am running now and my only regret is not getting the modwright treatment for it when it was availeble.

    All ES Sacd players for the most part sound good with red book but not as warm and sweet as the early 90's players. This is all my opinion and personal experience of course and as always, your mileage may vary.
  16. S0und Dragon

    S0und Dragon Junior Member

    I got a real hankering to play the old girl! So I pulled her out of retirement to hear sweet music again. Had to do a little cleaning and dusted her off for some vanity shots.

    20180113_220940.jpg 20180113_220956.jpg
    Audionut, Don C, guiller and 3 others like this.
  17. Don C

    Don C Active Member

    Maybe I'm actually a vintage guy at heart, but I've always liked the wood side-panels on most of those components. Just seems classy.
    Prime Minister likes this.
  18. JohnVF

    JohnVF Administrator Staff Member

    I saw that on a-gon as well, very nice. I've always liked Sony players. I still have a CD burner/player from 2001 that sounds very nice, that I sometimes use.
    fiddlefye likes this.
  19. Don C

    Don C Active Member

    Well, quick update (and further discourse on the OP's question): Since this thing arrived a month ago, I've almost exclusively listened to CDs and SACDs. I don't remember having spun a single record in that time. (Maybe I did, but I don't remember.) While I've also had the fun/pleasure to roll some tubes through it, the player itself, and what it has done to open me back up to my CD collection, is exactly what I was hoping for and is why I put it on my New Year resolution list (in another thread) to begin with. While I'm as much of a vinyl record enthusiast as the next guy, I can't bring myself to ignore the 1500 or so CDs and, like the OP has eluded to in other threads, I'm simply not ready to explore ways to "database" them (sorrynotsorry for verbing that noun); I'll stick with the physical media, thankyouverymuch.

    So, yes, I have a "$3500" CD/SACD player as a primary source player. And I'm OK with that.

    Happy Listening!
    Audionut and guiller like this.
  20. Prime Minister

    Prime Minister Site Owner Staff Member

    Agreed, to the surprise of no one.

    Why should we get rid of a wonderful sounding source, and really easy to use, rugged media that goes with it, just because some other method of playing music *might* sound better? When did we start giving out prizes? Play great tunes and have fun.

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