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Old 5th May 2007, 08:33 PM   #1
elaar is offline elaar  United Kingdom
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Default cambridge audio CD4SE Spdif not working

Hi all,

I managed to buy one of these superb cd players off of ebay and much later realised the spdif doesn't seem to work

I'm fairly good with electronics, but before I perform my magic trick of taking it apart and forgetting how to put it back together again properly, can anyone shed any light on what might be the problem or have a circuit diagram?

Nothing on the board looks damaged (from what i can see with it still in place), and the phono output works fine.

I also own a DACmagic 3 and ISOmagic, what would work best this CD player? I hear the ISOmagic is more highly regarded than the DACmagic 3, but I was planning on saving the ISOmagic to use with a discmagic 1 to use the clocklock feature.

Many thanks in advance for any help you can give me

Cheers,
Andy
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Old 5th May 2007, 10:39 PM   #2
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Default Re: Cambridge audio CD4SE Spdif not working

Hi Andy,

As far as I'm aware there are no schematics in circulation. John Westlake (JohnW here), the designer, may be able to help from memory but he seems to be incredibly busy. Have you tried to contact Cambridge Audio? You never know!!

Given that the board is so compact and uses S.M.D., I would imagine it to be a tricky job but you might be braver than me!! The SPDIF may just have become loose where it plugs into the board ....... hopefully!

All this begs the question .......
Why is SPDIF important? I may be wrong here but what is so good about the CD4se as a transport? It is a very good player but the mechanics are just bog standard. The only thing I can think that may make it good as a transport is the (reputedly)very good clock. If it's not an easy fix then I would concentrate on it's already fantastic sound quality. Lets face it .... if the hype is correct then you NEED to get a discmagic anyway. Yes I am very jealous!!

I have only heard the CD4se but I believe that the general consensus is (in order of preference (best first)) Isomagic with clock lock, CD4se, Dacmagic. Maybe the CD4se wins if the Isomagic is not clock locked? This is only what I have read so take with a pinch of salt.

Beware when fixing the CD4se. It is very easy to stress and tear the ribbon cable when removing the transport to get to the board. Tread carefully ... well ...... not tread ..... you know what I mean!

Bottom line? Enjoy your excellent player for what it is and don't risk killing it for the sake of a job that any ordinary player could do (probably) just as well. It's just too good to risk.

Regards,
Martin.
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Old 5th May 2007, 11:25 PM   #3
elaar is offline elaar  United Kingdom
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Hi Sonusthree

Thank you for the quick reply. Even though you're not able to help directly with my problem, it's always nice to have a friendly reply. I haven't actually tried to contact Cambridge Audio, and that is an excellent idea. I bought a broken A5i amp about a year back and replaced a channel in it. I gave them a call then even though it was way out of warranty and a guy was happy to help me over the phone with many of the details.

Unfortunately I have checked where the spdif plugs into the board and it's totally fine. I do have some experience with SMD soldering/desoldering, but I am far from good at the procedure.

The general consensus that you have listed, that is my problem. You have listed the isomagic with clock lock as number 1, which I also agree with from reading. The problem is the clocklock can only be done using the Discmagic with the Isomagic, hence why I wasn't sure which combination to use. Sure the CD4SE is better than the Discmagic alone, but is the ISOmagic+CD4SE better or worse than the ISOmagic+Discmagic1(clock locked)? who knows (I guess I will have to try once everything is working (my S700 has a psu problem also atm)).

Anyway, thanks for the friendly reply, it was much appreciated

Andy
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Old 6th May 2007, 12:44 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by elaar
.... The general consensus that you have listed, that is my problem. You have listed the isomagic with clock lock as number 1, which I also agree with from reading. The problem is the clocklock can only be done using the Discmagic with the Isomagic, hence why I wasn't sure which combination to use. Sure the CD4SE is better than the Discmagic alone, but is the ISOmagic+CD4SE better or worse than the ISOmagic+Discmagic1(clock locked)? who knows (I guess I will have to try once everything is working (my S700 has a psu problem also atm)).

Anyway, thanks for the friendly reply, it was much appreciated

Andy
I have read many opinions stating that the isomagic becomes very special ONLY when clock locked. You will proabably have to wait for a Discmagic transport to find out or find another player that will clock lock with it like John's new design perhaps.

"Sure the CD4SE is better than the Discmagic alone,"

I'm sure we're just getting confused here but the discmagic is only a transport that requires a separate DAC to play music.

".... is the ISOmagic+CD4SE better or worse than the ISOmagic+Discmagic1"

The isomagic was designed with the discmagic firmly in mind so using the Isomagic and CD4se together seems less than optimal IMO because there is no synchronised clock. My money is firmly on the Iso/Discmagic combo. I still haven't heard them though!!

In theory the CD4se wins over a non clock locked isomagic because the CD4se is already effectively clock locked to itself. This is, of course, a massive oversimplification because the two circuits are rather different.

My personal opinion:
Don't risk damaging the CD4se just to fix the SPDIF. I'm sure that the SPDIF on a CD4se isn't anything special. The special part is the wonderful sound and not the digital output. Use another player to get SPDIF until you can find a Discmagic transport.

Cheers,
Martin.
(Very happy CD4se owner)

P.S. I do own a part of an Isomagic but it's only one of the 'puds'.
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