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Old 27th April 2006, 07:34 PM   #931
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I don't know if Mick's mod using a Dremel to cut the traces is updated. After I tried it I found that you need to cut all the 3(One for the mono / st switch) audio signal traces going to the RCA plugs and you should put a jumper between both pins on the right channel.
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Old 29th April 2006, 06:26 PM   #932
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Default Playstation

Hi all,

I recently joined the Playstation community with a pretty well conserved SCPH-1002. Inspired by Mick F's site and this thread, I also removed all 6 DC blocking capacitors, muting transistors, OPAMP, so I ended up with single DC blocking caps (47uF Elna, bypassed by 1uF polypropilene) and 100k in parallel with the output.

Now to the sound: I didn't get to listen much, but it did not impress me. And that compared to my 100$ DVD-Player Panasonic S-49 (IMHO, a very good sounding component for the money). The Panasonic has clearly superior dynamics and more powerful bass. The PS MIGHT have a somewhat better defined soundstage. Maybe the differences are more subtle, or my ears are lazy.

From the technical point of view: what exactly should make the PS sound good ? The DAC is an old delta-sigma, nothing fancy there AFAIK. My Panasonic has a (much) newer BurrBrown, 24bit/192hKz DAC that seems to clearly outperform the AKM. Or am I wrong there and the PS DAC is really something cool ? Btw, does it use oversampling or not ?

Don't get me wrong, the PS does not sound bad at all- and it's just GREAT for experiments. It's just that, in my case, I don't find it that impressive - but maybe I didn't listen careful enough. Am I missing anything, any mods that I still should do ?
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Old 29th April 2006, 07:21 PM   #933
phn is offline phn  Sweden
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Take my voice as a minority voice.

I have an unmodified PSX. My only other CD player is a Pioneer DVD player, which is said to be a very good CD player. There's no comparison.

The Pioneer has better bass. But then, the unmodified PSX has bass roll-off. It probably is more dynamic as well. My problem with the Pioneer is that it sounds exactly like all other CD players I have ever heard. I'm talking overall characteristics. I posted something similar once. And that is, it sounds skinny. There's no body. I'm a vinyl junkie and like the "fleshed out" sound of vinyl. So you could say that I dislike CD players, but like the PSX.

I use Altec speakers with 15-inch elements as well as Mrten Designs, so I think I know at least something about bass. I wouldn't call the PSX bass shy.

I couldn't speak about oversampling. All I know is that there's no upsampling. It's a 16-bit converter.
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Old 29th April 2006, 08:32 PM   #934
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Thanks for your reply !
Me too I'm looking for more body, but MY PSX also does not seem to have it, or maybe it's the rest of the system (Pioneer A757 + BW602S3) that has a tendency to sound skinny. The Panasonic just sounds more natural to me, more transparent, while the PSX has a slight artificial note. But as I said, I might need more time to form an opinion.
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Old 29th April 2006, 10:35 PM   #935
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Quote:
(47uF Elna, bypassed by 1uF polypropilene) and 100k in parallel with the output.
47F seems a bit too much to me!

Have you tried other ways?
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Old 29th April 2006, 11:12 PM   #936
phn is offline phn  Sweden
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Indeed, 47uF should be too high. 4.7uF is more like it. No bypass should be used.

As for the body, judging from my system, the amp is a lot more important than the CD player. And my temporary out of commission tube amp does have tremendous bottom end. But I also like the Sonic Impact T amp I currently use.

One more thing. The reason I haven't modified the PSX is because I have only that one. I'm afraid to ruin what I like about it. Once I get another one I will give it a try. So with the amp issue (you don't know how what I have sounds like and vice versa) and me not having heard a modified PSX, these things are very difficult, if not impossible, to describe.
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Old 29th April 2006, 11:56 PM   #937
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Quote:
and 100k in parallel with the output.
Isn't Mick's mod showing DAC -> capacitor -> resistor -> RCA jack all in series?
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Old 30th April 2006, 05:10 AM   #938
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Quote:
Originally posted by DragonMaster


Isn't Mick's mod showing DAC -> capacitor -> resistor -> RCA jack all in series?
No, there is a 22k resistor from output to ground (it's only this way it makes sense as a high pass fiter)

Well, people here also have used 100uF, so I don't see why 47uF should be too high ? The bigger the capacity, the lower the cut-off frequency. And why is bypassing bad ? I always thought I can hear smoother highs with a bypass capacitor across electroliytcs. Of course, if you like the "sound print" of an electrolytic, then you don't bypass.
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Old 30th April 2006, 06:07 AM   #939
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Default A few thoughts...

Quote:
Originally posted by bzfcocon
I recently joined the Playstation community with a pretty well conserved SCPH-1002. Inspired by Mick F's site and this thread, I also removed all 6 DC blocking capacitors, muting transistors, OPAMP, so I ended up with single DC blocking caps (47uF Elna, bypassed by 1uF polypropilene) and 100k in parallel with the output.
Welcome! Good to have you here.



Quote:
Originally posted by bzfcocon
Now to the sound: I didn't get to listen much, but it did not impress me. And that compared to my 100$ DVD-Player Panasonic S-49 (IMHO, a very good sounding component for the money). The Panasonic has clearly superior dynamics and more powerful bass. The PS MIGHT have a somewhat better defined soundstage. Maybe the differences are more subtle, or my ears are lazy.
First, I also have a Panasonic DVD Player that I use as a CD Player... model S-47. Mine was professionaly modified for better sound by a noted modifier. Compared to a stock unit, the modified unit retains the dynamics and impact of the stock unit while sounding less 'tizzy' in the treble, more impactive in the bass, and more body to the midrange.

Comparing the S-47 to the PS-1, I find the PS-1 with even minimal mods has a better sense of 'flow' to the music... Enough that it had me starting listen to CDs and buying CD's again.

I listened to it at the following levels, adding the modifications at each level to the ones before...

Stock, I didn't find the PS-1 anything special.

On vibration-absorbing feet with a lead weight on the chassis to the right of the CD door and a home-made VPI Brick (transformer core covered with heatshrink) over the SMPS, it was a little better... At least listenable.

Removing the top of the case, the sense of flow improved along with better mid and bass detailing and dynamics. This was the largest jump in sound quality for the smallest amount of effort.

Damping the case bottom, metal shielding, and CD mechanism with Dynamat, then removing the IC, muting transistors, and using only the last pair of stock coupling caps further increased detailing and dynamics top to bottom. Bass also extended deeper with these mods... I didn't find it lacked anything in the bass compared to the S-47 at this point. This was a very listenable level.

Replacing the stock output coupling caps with 6uf Dynamicaps and the stock output RCA's with better units (older Mogami OFHC) further increased detailing and overall 'naturalness'.

Recently, I've done some parts upgrades in the power supply. I'm not 100% satisfied with the sound after these mods yet. I'm trying to be patient and be sure the parts are fully broken in before I reach conclusions. But so far, dynamics, bass power, and detailing have taken a huge leap forward along with a more neutral frequency balance... I find the PS-1 with the stock SMPS to be a bit recessed in the upper mids and highs, part of it's analog-like sound, but not totally accurate to my ears. This mod at it's best brings a lot of 'jump' and 'startle factor' to the dynamics... But some of the analog-sound listenability has gone, especially during times of the day / week when the system is not at it's best (weekday evenings around here).

I'm not saying this to say that what you heard is wrong... Just that I've heard something different with mine.

One thing you didn't mention was if you did anything for vibration control. If you haven't, try Mick's maple base/innertube thing or find some compliant feet... I use Herbie's from here http://herbiesaudiolab.home.att.net/ along with his CD damping mat.

Another thing that may be affecting your results is component breaking... While the coupling caps I used had been previously used and took less than a week to settle in, I've been listening to my SMPS mods for several weeks and still hearing slight differences over time... I think the breaking is almost done, but not quite there yet.

Finally, I am not familiar with the sound of Elna electrolytic caps as coupling caps and wonder what they contribute here.



Quote:
Originally posted by bzfcocon
From the technical point of view: what exactly should make the PS sound good ? The DAC is an old delta-sigma, nothing fancy there AFAIK. My Panasonic has a (much) newer BurrBrown, 24bit/192hKz DAC that seems to clearly outperform the AKM. Or am I wrong there and the PS DAC is really something cool ? Btw, does it use oversampling or not ?
I think it is the mechanical and electrical simplicity of the unit... No CD drawer, no display, rudimentary controls (I use a remote with an adapter rather than the cabled controller unit).

I had done an extensive rebuild of a Magnavox CDB-650 back in the middle '90's... Massive multiple power supplies, point-to-point wired DAC and output stage with hi-quality regulators in a separate box vibration-controlled-mounted to the base chassis, many additional regulators in the digitial stages, etc. At one point, I wired in a switch to turn off the display (this had to be done after the CD was playing)... That provided a small, but noticable improvement in smoothness and detailing. Later, I played with removing the CD tray and just setting the CD drive on vibration absorbers in the base chassis... Very large difference, large step forward in sound quality.

On upsampling versus not, I've heard various opinions on whether it is a good thing or not. There's one school that has gone to non-oversampling DACs for best sound... I do want to give that a try sometime. I do know my Njoe Tjoeb improved with the addition of their upsampler... I need to break that out and compare it to the S-47 again and to the PS-1.



Quote:
Originally posted by bzfcocon
Don't get me wrong, the PS does not sound bad at all- and it's just GREAT for experiments. It's just that, in my case, I don't find it that impressive - but maybe I didn't listen careful enough. Am I missing anything, any mods that I still should do ?

Me too I'm looking for more body, but MY PSX also does not seem to have it, or maybe it's the rest of the system (Pioneer A757 + BW602S3) that has a tendency to sound skinny. The Panasonic just sounds more natural to me, more transparent, while the PSX has a slight artificial note. But as I said, I might need more time to form an opinion.

If you haven't done some vibration control, that is a must... And even though noone else here espouses this, I say you want to remove the case top for a large lift in sound quality. When you do this, you need to wedge something over the CD door-closed switch to fool the logic... I use a small damper from Herbie's (see link above).

Second, if you have used the Elna's as coupling caps before and had good results, ignore this advice, but if not, try some other caps... Wima polyprops, Dynamicaps, Auricaps, Mundorf, Black Gates, etc. But if you are comfortable keeping the Elna's, give it at least 2 weeks playing music pretty constantly before trying to come to a conclusion... Caps can take a long time to settle down and stop breaking-in.

And I totally agree with you on how great the PS-1 is for experimenting... It's pretty simple and easy to work on and replacement units can be found cheaply, so if you break it, you aren't out much.



Quote:
Originally posted by DragonMaster
47F seems a bit too much to me! Have you tried other ways?
Quote:
Originally posted by phn
Indeed, 47uF should be too high. 4.7uF is more like it. No bypass should be used.
Personally, I don't think that 47uf is too big as long as the cap quality is good. It will strongly reduce the low-frequency phase-shift caused by the low-rolloff of the PS-1. And I've heard good results with bypasses, but not always... That has to listened to for whether it is an improvement or not.



Quote:
Originally posted by DragonMaster
Isn't Mick's mod showing DAC -> capacitor -> resistor -> RCA jack all in series?
Nope... DAC -> cap -> RCA jack with resistor from cap output to ground.

Greg in Minneapolis
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Old 30th April 2006, 07:48 AM   #940
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Thanks for the feedback, Greg !
Yes, I also have dampening - it's sitting on a piece of wood on some elastic foam, but maybe not heavy enough/not enough dampened.

One question: did you remove the whole top of the case, leaving everything uncovered, or just the CD door ?

Cheers
Liviu
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