Which TDA 1541 CD player for nonos mod? - diyAudio
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Old 15th November 2007, 10:44 AM   #1
stefanK is offline stefanK  Germany
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Default Which TDA 1541 CD player for nonos mod?

Hello,

I have a Philips CD304MKII, which was modified to nonos by a friend of mine I myself do not have the technical skills. Capacitors and op amps in the output stage have been exchanged too.

It sounds quite good to me even better than nonos DAC Monica2 I had here for comparison, which again I found to be better than Aqvox USB 2 D/A MKII! but sadly this player has difficulties to play copied CDs. I fear that sooner or later the laser might die. Moreover I do not like the look of the CD304MKII very much.

So it's time to search for another unit to be modified. Which are recommendable? My friend compared some other players with the 304MKII, such as Marantz CD40, CD60, Grundig CD8400, Philips CD 650 and all sounded the same after the mods. Are there TDA 1541 CD players, that would top those after being modified?

I read about the Mission PCM II, which is said to have a discrete output stage and a complex power supply making it a very good player in unmodified state already. Would this be a candidate?

If power supply and output stage make a difference, what about the Arcam TDA 1541 CD players and DACs? In fact I could get an Arcam Delta Black Box (first version). It has separate power supplies for digital and analog stage and (don't know for sure) a discrete output stage. Furthermore I like the idea of using a recent player to feed the DAC and thus to be independent from these old transport with their risk of dying lasers or mechanisms. But as I read here, SPDIF does not seem to be an ideal connection between transport and DAC. So is a all-in-one player favourable finally?

Best regards, Stefan
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Old 15th November 2007, 10:54 PM   #2
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Slightly off topic, but my solution was to take tube-lover's tda1541 dac v2, disable the cs8414 receiver and take i2s out of a squeezebox. The dac feeds a high quality clock back to the squeezebox and then synchronously reclocks the i2s signals directly before the dac chip. This setup is significantly better than the original dac being fed spdif signals by a pretty good transport. My observation is that a lot of the potential with a NOS tda1541 digital source lies in the signal interface and attempting to minimize jitter. Lower resolution floor, deeper soundstage, much improved imaging, more dimensionalilty/texture to notes, etc.
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Old 19th November 2007, 09:29 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally posted by riotubes
Slightly off topic, but my solution was to take tube-lover's tda1541 dac v2, disable the cs8414 receiver and take i2s out of a squeezebox. The dac feeds a high quality clock back to the squeezebox and then synchronously reclocks the i2s signals directly before the dac chip. This setup is significantly better than the original dac being fed spdif signals by a pretty good transport. My observation is that a lot of the potential with a NOS tda1541 digital source lies in the signal interface and attempting to minimize jitter. Lower resolution floor, deeper soundstage, much improved imaging, more dimensionalilty/texture to notes, etc.
Mike

How did you manage to connect the TDA1541 to the Squeezebox? From what I know the signal available from the Squeezebox is not really I2S but something slightly different. Did you use any glue logic?
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Old 19th November 2007, 01:49 PM   #4
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Hi Hattori,

Yes, you are correct. The signal coming out of the squeezebox is actually left justified format...very similar to i2s. The conversion occurs via a reclocking board located in the dac that I built. The mods to the SB are very simple. You can read about the project via the link below. This is very worthwhile if one is committed to pc audio (I defeated power to the cs8414 receiver).

http://home.socal.rr.com/audio_gestalt/default.htm
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Old 23rd November 2007, 05:40 AM   #5
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Stefan,

I stumbled across this link which includes a long list of tda1541 based players (post #70) and remembered your thread here.

http://www.wduk.worldomain.net/forum...1541#post42272

I'm afraid I am not familiar with the design/circuits but this may stimulate others to provide feedback.

Also, there are a couple of tda1541 based DIY dacs being offered on this board as well as the AYA dac by Pedja that might be good starting points if you want to try DIY or know someone who can help. There are a lot of different ways to go with I/V and output stage and everyone has their favorite, although as you mentioned separate psu to digital and analog are always a good thing.
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Old 23rd November 2007, 07:16 AM   #6
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riotubes:
Thank you very much for your answer and the link!

Stefan:
You have to be aware of the fact that most players using the TDA1541 are 10+ years old. Most of them don't play CD-Rs very well and quite a few might be worn out. I did extensively modify a Philips CD-960 that was in very good condition but still shows signs of age (CD-Rs, skipping, tray loading mech). It sounds very good but I had to accept that it's a greeting from the past...
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Old 24th November 2007, 10:33 AM   #7
Yomanze is offline Yomanze  United Kingdom
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Strange Hattori Hanzo, I have three 10+ year old players (one 19 year old!) CDM4-based machines and they all play CDR's burned at 8x flawlessly.

I'd consider picking up an old Rotel 855. Build quality is excellent, lots of black gate caps in there too that won't need replacing. Unlike equivalent Marantz models, the TDA1541A's 14 DAC decoupling caps aren't ceramic SMD, so it's easier to upgrade them to 0.22uf or 0.47uf types.

It uses the CDM4/19 transport, so will be the easiest to find replacements for should anything go wrong. I have seen a lot of new mechanisms knocking about on eBay in the European pages.

A popular machine for modding is the Arcam Alpha 5. Lots of spares still available for this machine, so worth looking at too.
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Old 27th December 2007, 11:25 PM   #8
Stuey is offline Stuey  Australia
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Hi Yomanze,

Late reply...

How recently have you seen CDM 4/19's for sale? I've been looking for one on eBay for some time now, and haven't found one for at least a year.

Cheers

Stuey
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Old 31st December 2007, 02:54 PM   #9
Yomanze is offline Yomanze  United Kingdom
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Hi Stuey,

Try eBay.de or eBay.at. Here's one (new condition):

eBay listing
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Old 1st January 2008, 01:31 AM   #10
Stuey is offline Stuey  Australia
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Thanks Yomanze! I'll expand my searches.

Happy 2008 to you.

Stuey
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