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Old 28th August 2012, 07:26 PM   #1
Bare is offline Bare  Canada
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Default Inexpensive CD player that is actually decent?

Inherited from my Son, an old 8/10 yrs? Cheap (won on points) JVC portable Cd player.
When plugged into my system It actually sounds pretty damn good.
BETTER than my now ancient, but modded to the Gills Toshiba 3950.
Toshiba is erm 'Tinny'... JVC isn't, in a nutshell.
The Toshiba.. is tiring for extended listening, while the cheapy JVC, while satisfyingly mellow, is perhaps a bit too soft in the higher frequencies.
Didn't actually realize the extent of the problem 'till Now.. Shame on me
A mix of both failings could be great :-)
Sooo... where is one to look these days.. to find a decent /useable CD player that's neither too Harsh nor too Dull? And affordable? preferably almost free

I'll mod if necessary..and IF the mods actually do something.. for a change, The silly Toshiba almost had it's traces worn out from repeated 'improvements' .. which actually weren't

Last edited by Bare; 28th August 2012 at 07:31 PM.
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Old 28th August 2012, 07:45 PM   #2
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Matantz CD63 or CD67 perhaps? Infinitely modifiable.
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Old 28th August 2012, 08:01 PM   #3
Bare is offline Bare  Canada
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Thank you.. Had considered it actually.
Well I looked on Ebay.. Sigh.
Prices seem extreme for a 15/16 yr old 'fragile' Item. Perhaps better luck locally?

Last edited by Bare; 28th August 2012 at 08:08 PM.
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Old 28th August 2012, 10:37 PM   #4
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Sony M95 should be cheap if you fancy the TDA1541 direction. Mech's clunky but seems to last OK. Plenty of room for "improvement", but sounds OK as it is. Full featured and remote controllable. Manual available free. Steel case. Not much space inside.

Akai DXM45 http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/attac...dxm45board.jpg should be dirt cheap. CDM4/25 mech with Akai servo board, Philips decoder and TDA1541A, no oversampling. Doesn't sound great as it is, but offers the bones of what you need if you fancy that direction. Primitive features and no remote. Manual not free. Steel case. A bit of space inside for power supply additions.

Both nicely, albeit cheaply, made and easy to work on with good quality one-sided boards.
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Old 28th August 2012, 11:06 PM   #5
rongon is offline rongon  United States
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I don't know about where you are, but around here, old CD players are showing up in the thrift stores like VCR's did when DVDs first got popular. Nobody wants their old CD players anymore. They're usually $15 (US) here. I find Sony, Denon, Magnavox (Philips), etc. I picked up a Denon player that was actually not too bad sounding. I just saw a Magnavox CDB-560, which was one of those late 1980s Philips ones with the TDA1541 (or TDA1540, I can't remember). I had one and liked the way it sounded, but its drive eventually failed...

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Old 28th August 2012, 11:31 PM   #6
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I have a pretty revealing system and the Oppo DV-981HD is about as good as it gets at around $100. The Redbook playback is very good and it plays both DVD-Audio and SACD disks w/ excellent results. In addition, it will play watermarked copies of DVD-Audio disks and SACD-Rs w/ a modified firmware. These are nice features to have . Other Oppo models of previous vintage such as the DV-970HD and the DV-971H were tried with less than stellar results.
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Old 29th August 2012, 01:02 AM   #7
mikje is offline mikje  United States
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The Sony PlayStation One makes a great CD player. From what I understand, the DAC Sony used was very good. If you do a Google search, you'll find all the specifics. If you're into mod-ing, the PS1 is great for that too. However, mod-ing isn't necessary.
Mike
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Old 29th August 2012, 02:08 AM   #8
Bare is offline Bare  Canada
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Thanks.. these Ideas ALL have merit.
I appreciate the time/effort involved in replying.. ALL info is valuable :-) Yess.. MY system is Very revealing, a joy and a curse ..all in one.
Good stuff sounds incredible, while Mediocre sounds crap.
There's Little if any tolerance for less than very well recorded.
In fairness the venerable Toshiba does quite well on 'some' recordings and conversely rather poorly on others. The goofy things' 24 bit 192hz burr brown does have some impressive lucid moments.
BUT it's recording dependent.. annoyingly so IMO.

The Oppo certainly sounds interesting ..but at $1500 a bit steep imo.
Never ever heard of that Brand, till your posting.
Where would one begin to find a $100 one?
PlayStation? unfortunately a non starter :-)
If I got one there's little to no chance I could ever get at it (kids).
Still looking at the Akai info :-)

Someone local is selling a NAD DVD/CD player for $40.
IF it is actually operational and it doesn't die within seconds of getting it Home, in all too typical NAD fashion.
That might be of acceptable sound?
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