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Old 28th December 2011, 09:09 PM   #1
poynton is offline poynton  United Kingdom
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Default Pioneer Stable Platter -- Which One ?

Which is the "best" version of the stable platter mechanisms ?


or are they mostly the same ?



Andy


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Old 29th December 2011, 03:09 AM   #2
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Without reservation, I can say the best is the system used in the PDR-09 cd recorder. It's the same beautiful mech as the PD-75/95/S95, but has a HUGELY better laser(which itself is vastly more reliable) that was actually designed to fit the linear motor sled, instead of the ridiculous adaptation of the standard changer laser into the linear sled done in the players. It's a really rare piece, though I did find one for myself & a spare, and just gorgeously built. A really close second, IMO, is the PD-S06, which has the lighter PD65/703 variety mech, but a very well implemented Kyocera tcxo clock. Such a great sounding player, though, it'd be a waste to use it just as transport. The Audio Alchemy DDS-Pro would be my third choice, being literally a PD-S703 with a reasonably nice added "superclock".

I'd strongly caution you about buying a PD-75/95/S95. The way that ancient PWY1004 lens-dropping laser is kludged into the linear motor sled can VERY easily fly apart in shipping(have seen it happen several times) & trash the laser or worse. In one PD75, client shipped it to me quite well packed, but UPS managed to drop it hard enough to make the sled fall apart, and little short metal guide rail used as part of that mount got under the main board & zapped to death the main system control processor, using the energy stored in the memory backup cap. Bizarre, and fatal to the unit.
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Old 29th December 2011, 10:19 AM   #3
poynton is offline poynton  United Kingdom
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So, a reasonably good condition PD-S703 would be a fair choice ?



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Old 29th December 2011, 05:10 PM   #4
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A fair choice, yes, but no better as transport than a PD7700, PD31, etc.(assuming swapping optical for rca coax out, of course, which is very simple). The PD-S06 & AA DDS-Pro are quite substantially better, thanks to the better clocks. If you are considering a 703 due to budget, you would do MUCH better, and likely cheaper, to buy a PDR-04 recorder, which is same mech with near bulletproof reliable Sony burning laser. Again, you'd need to do a simple optical to rca coax output mod, for respectable performance, which would take about an hour or so to do on the model.
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Old 18th September 2016, 07:13 AM   #5
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Default Oops

Quote:
Originally Posted by stephensank View Post
Without reservation, I can say the best is the system used in the PDR-09 cd recorder. It's the same beautiful mech as the PD-75/95/S95,
Is exactly the same?, this list only says the PDR-09 has "Writer-Stable Platter", not PWY 1004, no mention of Magnetic.

CD-Player-DAC-Transport List

I wish I had understood your words before buying PD-75 on it's way to me now as my new transport. Wish me luck.

There's a bit of let-them-eat-cake in your comment though, as if you can get the beautiful mech, but not us, who can't afford/find the PDR-09.

Now re-thinking the low jitter thing, and your comment has made me realize that if the transport is even decent, the thing ultimately determining the source jitter of the transport is it's clock, which after all is clocking out the SPDIF, which is what counts. So maybe I didn't need the beautiful low resonance heavy mechanism after all (though this is the way some audiophiles are going now, even for digital, because whatever) just a decent clock and SPDIF driving output circuit.

So that brings to mind some other questions
1) How decent are the clocks and output circuits in these things to begin with. After all, these were "Elite" models, wouldn't they come with a high enough quality clock to begin with?

2) How to improve clock and output circuit, if they either need or can readily be improved.

3) Has anyone studied jitter from using different transports, with different clocks, etc, using the same super good DAC and using J test or something objective?
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Old 18th September 2016, 11:46 AM   #6
ColinA is offline ColinA  United Kingdom
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Pioneer seem to have had some system with the stable platter transports but I have not worked out which is "best."
So when launched new models like 701, 801, 901 have the PEA1030 Stable Platter
When updated to 702, 802 etc. they get PEA1179 Stable Platter. (why?)

Then there are many control and audio boards which all differ in details.
Along with changing DAC and processing chips.

Add into this mix "Legato link"
Then try to understand.
Alongside this were the mainly Japanese market Magnetic Stable Platter.
(Better or not?)

And then by better do we mean instrument measured performance in a laboratory?
Or real world listening to music comparisons?
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Old 18th September 2016, 08:50 PM   #7
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Default The Beautiful Mechanism

I suppose each of the different Pioneer mechanisms may have merits and/or demerits.

But to me, nothing looks worth bothering to collect anymore except for the PWY1004, which means machines such as PD-75/91/93/95/T05 and maybe PDR-S09 which may be similar enough.

Those mechanisms are quite large and heavy, spring mounted, with a special thick metal alloy spindle and sapphire bearing. The "turntable" is an actual metal affair, and the motor has something like 30 times more torque than the usual plastic mechanism. In all the machines they appear, there is a large heavy duty servo board for obvious reasons, and the machines themselves are enormously heavy.

If you think "stable platter" is really a good idea, and I thought it might be interesting, these are the ones and only ones that really do it.

FWIW Lampizator dissected a PD-S06 and he said the all plastic mechanism including spindle and turntable and CD wobbled and shook as much if not more than the usual cheap plastic mechanism found in CD players nowadays. He said that as if it applied to all stable platter machines, but at least the PWY1004 seem in an altogether different class to me, something like the best of it's kind, a mechanism devoted to virtually eliminating disc vibration, of comparable expense and engineering intensity as, say, the VRDS-Neo, and getting up there in mass. I think it would be hard to know without side by side testing which was actually performed better (assuming both had brand new lasers and other circuitry...).

He did like the PD-S06 for it's good clock, however, just like Stephen Sank.
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Old 19th September 2016, 12:01 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ColinA View Post
Pioneer seem to have had some system with the stable platter transports but I have not worked out which is "best."
Then there are many control and audio boards which all differ in details.
Along with changing DAC and processing chips.

Add into this mix "Legato link"
Then try to understand.
Alongside this were the mainly Japanese market Magnetic Stable Platter.
Yes! Those were the big dogs, at least the PWY1004, and possible the other Magnetic models such as PWY1006 and PWY1011, from which they dropped the Stable keywoard. Since PWY1004 was in the big dog models, such as the ultimate one most people admire the PD-93, the others, which were in models such as the PD-71, were almost certainly regarded by Pioneer, who was in much better position to know than we are, as lesser attempts, most likely attempts to downscale the big dog, which is generally the way these production systems work, they make a big dog signature model, then attempt to see if they can duplicate the performance at lower cost. That's certainly the path followed by Sony with SACD players, starting with the $5000 signature player, the SCD-1.

The other PWY's I don't know whether those were big dog models or not, compared with the ubiquitous PEA models, standing for plebian.


Quote:
And then by better do we mean instrument measured performance in a laboratory?
Or real world listening to music comparisons?
I'd like to see both, and claims of jitter superiority or the like backed up by measurements, or design principles of known merit.

W/O measurements, there is no solid evidence of anything, your perceptions don't mean anything to me and I don't trust the reliability of mine either, not without DBT, which is essentially unobtanium in this field.

Transports as a class compete only in bit accuracy, usually presumed (but I'd like to see that backed up by corrected and uncorrected error counts) and timing. Timing is something, that to a pretty good degree, can be measured, so claims of superior performance could be proven. But nobody does, suggesting it's all fake snake oil anyway. But I do like my fake snake oil with big muscular construction thank you very much.

Anyway, WRT Legato Link, that may be kinda off topic, it is mostly for me, because I'm interested in a CD transport, though I've written about that too. Suffice it to say there's not just one Legato Link either, it's a sliding name Pioneer uses to differentiate their oversampling from that used by others. Generally, it looks interesting, perhaps ahead of it's time at introduction since it emphasizes time accuracy, when the notably higher distortion levels (probably aliases that leak through) made most US consumers conclude the Sony machines were better, perhaps unfairly. Anyway if you're interested in the analog outputs, you're also dealing with much other stuff, such as early Bitstream converters in the PD-75, now not regarded well, but at the time setting records in low level linearity.
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Old 19th September 2016, 12:11 AM   #9
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Default The Lesser Models

Furthermore, based on the comments of Lampizator and my own cynicism, I'm not sure "Stable Platter" even means very much except in the big dog magnetic model PWY1004.

It wouldn't at all surprise me that when they tried to make something cheaper duplicating the claimed low disc vibration of the big model, they couldn't. But they persisted with the Stable Platter thing anyway, just for marketing differentiation.

Which if you were even more cynical, you could say was the whole idea anyway.
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Old 22nd September 2016, 08:34 AM   #10
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I've checked out things a bit more. Legato Link, according to Pioneer, interpolates between samples (ok, they all do that actually) in such a way that preserves higher frequency information--before the original anti-alias filtering during sampling. They claim to do this using splines, which is a step above the mathematics normally used.

Anyway, Sony at about the same time, late 1991 introduced the X779ES, by many accounts the ultimate pinnacle for Sony disc products. As far as I know it measured the lowest THD ever, by Peter Aczel (and whatever Audio Precision equipment he was using at the time, often a few years ahead of John Atkinson) of -97dB, or about 0.00145%, published in The Audio Critic. The theoretical limit for THD+N for 16 bit audio is -98.08dB. Meanwhile, though Pioneer in some materials claimed 0.0018% (so says TVN) Aczel measured the PD-75 as generally having -92dB (0.0025) it had a distortion anomaly around 250Hz where distortion reached -78dB (0.0125) in one channel and -83dB (a not uncommon number). Now all these, he claimed, were not gain induced analog distortion. However, I'm not sure if that necessarily means they are not digital distortion. Digital distortion is bad because it stays the same size always, therefore gets proportionately larger at low levels. But he did not specifically say that. Now this was the infamous A version of the Legato Link DF. He got the updated B version, and it measured exactly the same. Meanwhile, FWIW Julian Hirsch of Stereo Review said that his PD-75 (most assuredly a B version) measured no worst than 0.004% distortion (that would be -88dB) from 20-20kHz. He thought that to be an excellent result, and the machine to be a fine player with the lowest mechanical feedback sensitivity of any unit ever tested.

Anyway, I remember at the time sacrificing distortion for something inaudible was felt to be a very bad idea and Pioneer did not sell very many of their high end LL products in the USA, most were sold to Europe and Japan.

Anyway, I find the idea a lot more plausible now than i did in 1991, and I'm wondering if it could be demonstrated. After all, it's quite easy for me to make high rez digital recordings, and I can see how much actual HF content is restored, and not just HF noise and distortion...

Last edited by charlesp210; 22nd September 2016 at 08:55 AM. Reason: Julian Hirsch was at Stereo Review
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