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Old 27th March 2006, 08:57 AM   #1
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Default Marantz CD 74 Phillips CD 104 players

hello can someone tell me a little about these players thanks
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Old 27th March 2006, 09:27 AM   #2
phimor is offline phimor  Australia
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Sure what do you want to know?

These old machines seem to have a gathering fan base, of which I'd be one


Sturdy construction, retro looks, so described 'analogue' sound, cheap-ish (though less so for the 'iconic' models (marantz cd73).

Old, so not so reliable (although many seem to just plug on forever), closed digital format (no I2S, no SPDIF, limited tweakeability), often no creature comforts - no remotes, no time display, track idicator limited to 20 or so tracks).

These were expensive when new so the build quality reflects that. Sonically there is arguably better, but I find myself listening to my old Meridian MCD in preference to my Meridian 206DS...Certainly less detail, but more 'involvement'....


"Everything else is gaslight"
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Old 27th March 2006, 10:11 AM   #3
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My first CD player back in 1985 was a CD104. Excellent sound, but it eventually died due to the pcb through-track rivet problem.

I picked up a Marantz CD-84 for a low price a year or so ago to supplement my CD-52SE, and this seems to be much more reliable than the old CD104. Does the Marantz CD-84 also suffer the same problems as the 104, and what is the transport in the CD-84?
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Old 27th March 2006, 10:16 AM   #4
JeroenR is offline JeroenR  Netherlands
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I have a CD104 that I'm "upgrading". See also the thread "Philips CD104 tweaks.

The player is a fun project and nothing more..... (all IMHO!!!!) I do not think you can turn this player into a real good one. There is not much space inside and the PSU and print layouts are not perfect. An often heard advice is just to replace caps and leave it for what it is because of its own sound.

I just replaced all caps (yes, all except on the display) and cleaned the machine. I have a clock ready to be built in next week and I want to do the OS_to_NOS tweak described in above thread. Last weekend and this week I (will) use(d) for listening before the surgery. I compared the 104 to my modded Marantz CD53 (clock/opamp etc). At this moment the 104 is a laugh compared to the CD53.
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Old 27th March 2006, 01:27 PM   #5
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Age aside, these players are much like any other player. What you can do to them is limited only by your imagination and ability.
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Old 27th March 2006, 02:07 PM   #6
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While I donít know anything about the models youíve mentioned, I have a Philips CD204, which was basically a 104 with slightly more features. They were highly regarded for their sound in the first few years of CD. They use a 14-bit DAC with oversampling.

The main problem these days seems to be that they wonít play all types of CD-R/RW discs. However, they are built like tanks compared to most recent CD or DVD players, and I havenít had any breakdowns with mine, which has been used regularly since the mid 1980s. I did have a friend with a CD104 who had problems with his Ė it had to be on for a while before it would play CDs, but I suspect that since he was a heavy smoker, the laser in his was trying to operate through a nicotine haze!
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Old 27th March 2006, 02:10 PM   #7
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The 'having to be on for a while before it starts playing' is the usual symptom of the 0V through-hole links going open-circuit. The same thing happened to mine.
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