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Hifi enthusiast on student money - CD PLAYER PLEASE


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Hola,

 

Bit of a CD enthusiast taking advantage of the $1 CD prices even though they sound unreal on a good player

 

Topping E30 / L30 Combo

Meze cans

Rega Planar 1 

AudioEngine A2+ 

WAITING ON CD PLAYER

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Got this Rega Apollo from @Berkel last week! Using it as a transport through the Topping E30/L30 combo via the Nikko Equaliser that mixes it beautifully!   Thanks to everyone here! I'm

For Pop and rock you would be better off chasing a regular cd-120, the linear is a better player for slower, less complex music (vocals and one or two instruments for example) but it just isn't in the

Marantz CD 50: TDA1541 DAC chip   https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Marantz-CD-50-Compact-Disc-Player-Made-In-Belgium/224307720126?hash=item3439c82fbe:g:dHsAAOSwHqVf9tlo

Hello there, and welcome to the forum!

 

Best time to buy a CD player - especially if you are open to buying used. Lots of good deals on used CD players, since people are moving away from CDs and more into streaming. Check out the classifieds sections.

 

On a side note, since you have the topping DAC, how about ripping all your CDs and playing digital from PC/laptop to your DAC. Will save the cost of a CD player

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10 minutes ago, anandpkumar said:

Hello there, and welcome to the forum!

 

Best time to buy a CD player - especially if you are open to buying used. Lots of good deals on used CD players, since people are moving away from CDs and more into streaming. Check out the classifieds sections.

 

On a side note, since you have the topping DAC, how about ripping all your CDs and playing digital from PC/laptop to your DAC. Will save the cost of a CD player

Hey! 

 

Already ripped my entire collection using dbpoweramp! Sounds great through DAC/amp combo! 

 

I've been looking at streaming - still learning how to properly configure a raspi using Plex. 

 

Also just keen to hear what a decent low-mid cd player can offer, even if it's PureDirect through a DAC system. 

 

Definitely gonna look at the classifieds. Got a bit of cash thanks to Jobkeeper 

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8 minutes ago, Jventer said:

Ther is a good Consonance on Ebay for $500

https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Consonance-C-120-Linear-Hi-end-CD-Player/114685589197?hash=item1ab3cb36cd:g:xVMAAOSwta1gKjeh

 

What's good about this player? 

All I know about CD players is that a BB 32-bit is desirable and usually the disc-tray quality is usually indicative of the interior wiring!

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4 minutes ago, willy_willy_willy said:

Hey! 

 

Already ripped my entire collection using dbpoweramp! Sounds great through DAC/amp combo! 

 

I've been looking at streaming - still learning how to properly configure a raspi using Plex. 

 

Also just keen to hear what a decent low-mid cd player can offer, even if it's PureDirect through a DAC system. 

 

Definitely gonna look at the classifieds. Got a bit of cash thanks to Jobkeeper 

 

Keep a lookout for the Rega Apollo CD player (older model). They come up for sale once in a while, and are quite musical. Otherwise, there are good entry/mid level players from the likes of Marantz, NAD, Cambridge Audio etc. Buying used will get you best bang for your buck

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1 minute ago, willy_willy_willy said:

https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Consonance-C-120-Linear-Hi-end-CD-Player/114685589197?hash=item1ab3cb36cd:g:xVMAAOSwta1gKjeh

 

What's good about this player? 

All I know about CD players is that a BB 32-bit is desirable and usually the disc-tray quality is usually indicative of the interior wiring!

I love Consonance products - they are cheap and under the radar in Australia.

Several members here including myself have their products.

I have heard the CD players, but do not own any. My view is that everything they make is good for the price.

@Cafad still have a cd player as far as I know so he can give more info, but the bottom line for me is $500 is a good price for the one on ebay ( others may differ?)

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2 minutes ago, anandpkumar said:

 

Keep a lookout for the Rega Apollo CD player (older model). They come up for sale once in a while, and are quite musical. Otherwise, there are good entry/mid level players from the likes of Marantz, NAD, Cambridge Audio etc. Buying used will get you best bang for your buck

Keeping an eye out! The rega is actually my favourite! Had a listen but it's a bit exey at 1k. $750-$800 is top dollar for me. 

 

Cheers for recos!

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1 minute ago, Jventer said:

I love Consonance products - they are cheap and under the radar in Australia.

Several members here including myself have their products.

I have heard the CD players, but do not own any. My view is that everything they make is good for the price.

@Cafad still have a cd player as far as I know so he can give more info, but the bottom line for me is $500 is a good price for the one on ebay ( others may differ?)

Happy to go $500 if it's at a similar or better level as the new entry-level Marantz players. (I still don't know the difference between new players and ones made in the 90s) 

 

Generally like the build quality / musicality of Marantz so might give this one a go with more info! 

 

@Cafad What's your take? 

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6 minutes ago, Jventer said:

I love Consonance products - they are cheap and under the radar in Australia.

Several members here including myself have their products.

I have heard the CD players, but do not own any. My view is that everything they make is good for the price.

@Cafad still have a cd player as far as I know so he can give more info, but the bottom line for me is $500 is a good price for the one on ebay ( others may differ?)

 

+1 to that. Extremely underrated brand here in Australia. 

 

For the OP - here is some discussion about this CD player

 

Edited by anandpkumar
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7 minutes ago, anandpkumar said:

 

+1 to that. Extremely underrated brand here in Australia. 

 

For the OP - here is some discussion about this CD player

 

I don't listen to classical but rather love the layering of pop/rock music (hence why CD format works so well). Seems like the low resolution won't be too much of an issue so this is very tempting! Build quality looks great for $500 too! 

 

Never heard of this brand but I'm seriously tempted wow. Time to look at the classifieds if there's a similar hidden gem

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7 minutes ago, willy_willy_willy said:

I don't listen to classical but rather love the layering of pop/rock music (hence why CD format works so well). Seems like the low resolution won't be too much of an issue so this is very tempting! Build quality looks great for $500 too! 

 

Never heard of this brand but I'm seriously tempted wow. Time to look at the classifieds if there's a similar hidden gem

Trust me - nothing at the moment in classifieds on SNA. ( The last few ones all had issues)

I do not check out Ebay all the time, but this Consonance player was highlighted here  as a good buy on Ebay.

Anyway

Take your time, do your research and above else buy used - best bang for buck

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Callifornia Audio Labs CAL-15 from the 90s is hard to beat and should be well in your budget.

Dual mono construction from the mains transformers right through the electronics, a bit big and heavy, but, and it is a big but, the SQ is fantastic. It also has digital IN so you don't really need a DAC.

98cal.jpg.cacea31b13eed59868b99bfff6d3a985.jpg

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For Pop and rock you would be better off chasing a regular cd-120, the linear is a better player for slower, less complex music (vocals and one or two instruments for example) but it just isn't in the same league as the regular cd-120 (more impact, more bass, more energy on the faster and harder instruments) when 3 or more instruments are in use.

 

It is a good buy in general for $500, but it might not have the sonic signature that you are after.

Edited by Cafad
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2 minutes ago, Cafad said:

For Pop and rock you would be better off chasing a regular cd-120, the linear is a better player for slower, less complex music (vocals and one or two instruments for example) but it just isn't in the same league as the regular cd-120 (more impact, more bass, more energy on the faster and harder instruments) when 3 or more instruments are in use.

 

It is a good buy in general for $500, but it might not have the sonic signature that you are after.

Thanks mate

You are a legend!

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39 minutes ago, Ian McP said:

 

YEP, would have to agree with this recommendation.

Pretty much any Marantz CD player from this era are a good buy, reason being they had very good transport sections.

The TDA1541 DAC chip gives a very smooth replay.

Remotes for the unit above shouldn't be that hard to find.

 

The ultimate in the Marantz range from this era is the CD94, which even the Mk1 version would set you back used at least $800-1000, the Mk2 version has two of the TDA1541 DAC chips and is considered even better, both have the best transports of pretty much any single box CD player ever made.

 Although sounding great as they are, both are well know to be excellent for modding

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1 hour ago, Jventer said:

Trust me - nothing at the moment in classifieds on SNA. ( The last few ones all had issues)

I do not check out Ebay all the time, but this Consonance player was highlighted here  as a good buy on Ebay.

Anyway

Take your time, do your research and above else buy used - best bang for buck

Thanks for the welcome and advice! Great start on the forums 

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6 minutes ago, Tweaky said:

 

YEP, would have to agree with this recommendation.

Pretty much any Marantz CD player from this era are a good buy, reason being they had very good transport sections.

The TDA1541 DAC chip gives a very smooth replay.

Remotes for the unit above shouldn't be that hard to find.

 

The ultimate in the Marantz range from this era is the CD94, which even the Mk1 version would set you back used at least $800-1000, the Mk2 version has two of the TDA1541 DAC chips and is considered even better, both have the best transports of pretty much any single box CD player ever made.

 Although sounding great as they are, both are well know to be excellent for modding

 

1 hour ago, Cafad said:

For Pop and rock you would be better off chasing a regular cd-120, the linear is a better player for slower, less complex music (vocals and one or two instruments for example) but it just isn't in the same league as the regular cd-120 (more impact, more bass, more energy on the faster and harder instruments) when 3 or more instruments are in use.

 

It is a good buy in general for $500, but it might not have the sonic signature that you are after.

 

Best help ever. Can't believe I spent days researching in circles by myself when there's bespoke community advice here! 

 

Definitely gonna be looking out for Marantz or Rega players second hand now. Especially that 90s Marantz information is amazing. Delicious insight 

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6 minutes ago, willy_willy_willy said:

 

 

Best help ever. Can't believe I spent days researching in circles by myself when there's bespoke community advice here! 

 

Definitely gonna be looking out for Marantz or Rega players second hand now. Especially that 90s Marantz information is amazing. Delicious insight 

 

A little tip when looking for a particular used CD player, or any other piece of used equipment for that matter.

Type in the name and model number of the unit you are looking for in Google, followed by For Sale.

This should bring up a link to HIFI Shark, which compiles all known units currently listed for sale on Ebay or Yahoo auctions in Japan.

This will give you a rough idea of the prices being asked for that particular unit

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http://www.lampizator.eu/LAMPIZATOR/TDA1541%20corner/TDA1541.html

 

huge list includes TDA1541 based players

 

http://vasiltech.narod.ru/CD-Player-DAC-Transport.htm

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2 minutes ago, Ittaku said:

I use a $30 DVD writer connected to my PC and output from my PC to the DAC.

Hi

I wanted to say this too, as I am doing same to rip CD's, but maybe this is not the same as playing cd's.

Maybe not fair from me as well as I use a multi thousand  $ cd/sacd player.

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11 minutes ago, Jventer said:

I wanted to say this too, as I am doing same to rip CD's, but maybe this is not the same as playing cd's.

Maybe not fair from me as well as I use a multi thousand  $ cd/sacd player.

No, I really just play it when I want to play someone else's CD and not rip them, and I sold my expensive CD transport.

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49 minutes ago, Jventer said:

Hi

I wanted to say this too, as I am doing same to rip CD's, but maybe this is not the same as playing cd's.

Maybe not fair from me as well as I use a multi thousand  $ cd/sacd player.

 

53 minutes ago, Ittaku said:

I use a $30 DVD writer connected to my PC and output from my PC to the DAC.

 

I've got a bluray writer in my pc that does a great job ripping that is then outputted to the DAC. 
I've had a crack at my own streaming using raspi but I'm hoping that I'll get a more natural-sounding result through a CD player. Can admit that I find digital audio "signature" and quality etc a bit confusing compared to traditional analogue!

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5 minutes ago, willy_willy_willy said:

I've got a bluray writer in my pc that does a great job ripping that is then outputted to the DAC. 
I've had a crack at my own streaming using raspi but I'm hoping that I'll get a more natural-sounding result through a CD player. Can admit that I find digital audio "signature" and quality etc a bit confusing compared to traditional analogue!

You will get a lot of debate about how much of what is audible with various digital components in the playback path, and generally the cheaper the DAC the more prone it is to noise from upstream but people make a much bigger deal of this than is a problem in the real world - ESPECIALLY at the budget end where you're looking at. For what it's worth, I output CDs from my dvd writer using the optical output on my PC into the DAC for live playback (no ripping.) The E30 supports optical  input, and if you're trying to do things on the cheap, I daresay you will be hard pressed to improve upon that sound with a dedicated CD player without spending a lot more.

Edited by Ittaku
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3 minutes ago, Ittaku said:

You will get a lot of debate about how much of what is audible with various digital components in the playback path, and generally the cheaper the DAC the more prone it is to noise from upstream but people make a much bigger deal of this than is a problem in the real world - ESPECIALLY at the budget end where you're looking at. For what it's worth, I output using the optical output on my PC into the DAC for live playback (no ripping.) The E30 supports optical  input, and if you're trying to do things on the cheap, I daresay you will be hard pressed to improve upon that sound with a dedicated CD player without spending a lot more.

That's the argument that I've always got in the back of my mind. Already I was blown away by the E30 & L30 combination playing directly from my pc's blu-ray writer. Seems like I'd get much better value for money upgrading my tiny (yet still super pleased with them) Audioengine A2+'s and get some higher-end speakers. 

I'll keep an eye out for cheap cd players but I reckon my ears would appreciate the money in other areas!

 

Cheers

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20 hours ago, willy_willy_willy said:

Seems like I'd get much better value for money upgrading my tiny (yet still super pleased with them) Audioengine A2+'s and get some higher-end speakers. 

I'll keep an eye out for cheap cd players but I reckon my ears would appreciate the money in other areas!

 

Cheers

 

Agreed. You'll probably get the best sound upgrade right now replacing the speakers. Keep a look out in the classifieds for any bargains. If you decide to go with passive speakers (vs active ones), you'll probably have to get an amplifier also to drive them. Bookshelves, Floor standers, Active, Passive - lots of choices/options

 

 

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On 18/02/2021 at 10:57 AM, Tweaky said:

A little tip when looking for a particular used CD player, or any other piece of used equipment for that matter.

Type in the name and model number of the unit you are looking for in Google, followed by For Sale.

This should bring up a link to HIFI Shark, which compiles all known units currently listed for sale on Ebay or Yahoo auctions in Japan.

This will give you a rough idea of the prices being asked for that particular unit

or just go to Hifishark.com and enter the make and model in the search window...

 

On 18/02/2021 at 8:39 AM, willy_willy_willy said:

Happy to go $500 if it's at a similar or better level as the new entry-level Marantz players. (I still don't know the difference between new players and ones made in the 90s)

The ones made and the end of 80s and beginning of 90s have good mechanisms, which will outlast anything made in the last decade.

Some of the new ones pretend to be something special by encasing the mechs in carbon fibre of aluminium billet, but inside, there is still $5 DVD mech.

Well $20 mech if it is SACD.

 

In semi-retirement I buy faulty or unwanted, underrated players (but mostly faulty) and fix them.

I used to have more than 20 in stock. Lockdown in Melbourne reduced it to half of that 😉 (Thanks guys!)

So they are all fully fixed and serviced and  some of the more valuable ones are on eBay:

https://www.ebay.com.au/sch/hear-net-au/m.html

For local people in Perth, I give unconditional 12 months warranty on them.

I have also 3 Marantzes, 3 Pioneers (with good stable platter mechanisms), Luxman and couple of Oppos (83 & 93).

I used to write long lists of them but found that people are overwhelmed by the choice and just buy a random one from somewhere else, unless I happen to have a specific one on their list.

 

But what I really think you should do, is to listen to some and develop your own list of likes and dislikes and once you yourself know what it is you are after, then start a hunt.

From a technical point of view, Vasilitech site in Belarus is the best source of info of what's under the hood. Soon you will know what brands you like and which you do not. Which offer value and which are overpriced for what they are. Which mechanisms are reliable and which DAC chips are used by the best of makers and which of the mid-tier manufacturers also use them.

If you want to know my opinion on the matter, have a look at my uTube channel where I talk about more interesting players I encountered over the last few years. There is more than 100 videos there.

https://www.youtube.com/c/hearnetau/videos

Hope it helps.

P.S. Thanks @Bill125812

 

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The PI’s are good for a small space and decent SQ depending on the dac you get for it. 

 

I use Moode for the interface and plenty of options to adjust the sq to your taste. 

 

If you are patient enough the old rega cdp’s Turn up from time to time. I should have held on to my Saturn at the time... 😏

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On 17/02/2021 at 9:42 PM, willy_willy_willy said:

Hola,

 

Bit of a CD enthusiast taking advantage of the $1 CD prices even though they sound unreal on a good player

 

Topping E30 / L30 Combo

Meze cans

Rega Planar 1 

AudioEngine A2+ 

WAITING ON CD PLAYER

Welcome aboard Will.

 

Where are you finding CDs for $1?

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15 hours ago, rockeater said:

The ones made and the end of 80s and beginning of 90s have good mechanisms, which will outlast anything made in the last decade.

Some of the new ones pretend to be something special by encasing the mechs in carbon fibre of aluminium billet, but inside, there is still $5 DVD mech.

Well $20 mech if it is SACD.

 

In semi-retirement I buy faulty or unwanted, underrated players (but mostly faulty) and fix them.

I used to have more than 20 in stock. Lockdown in Melbourne reduced it to half of that 😉 (Thanks guys!)

So they are all fully fixed and serviced and  some of the more valuable ones are on eBay:

https://www.ebay.com.au/sch/hear-net-au/m.html

For local people in Perth, I give unconditional 12 months warranty on them.

I have also 3 Marantzes, 3 Pioneers (with good stable platter mechanisms), Luxman and couple of Oppos (83 & 93).

I used to write long lists of them but found that people are overwhelmed by the choice and just buy a random one from somewhere else, unless I happen to have a specific one on their list.

 

But what I really think you should do, is to listen to some and develop your own list of likes and dislikes and once you yourself know what it is you are after, then start a hunt.

From a technical point of view, Vasilitech site in Belarus is the best source of info of what's under the hood. Soon you will know what brands you like and which you do not. Which offer value and which are overpriced for what they are. Which mechanisms are reliable and which DAC chips are used by the best of makers and which of the mid-tier manufacturers also use them.

If you want to know my opinion on the matter, have a look at my uTube channel where I talk about more interesting players I encountered over the last few years. There is more than 100 videos there.

https://www.youtube.com/c/hearnetau/videos

Hope it helps.

P.S. Thanks @Bill125812

 

Thanks mate! 

 

Really good info wowee. I'll go to my local hi-fi and give it all another listen. Especially gonna make note of the dac in each and find that dream dac-brand combo. Hopefully you have that exact combo! 

 

Gonna hit up your videos too! Love the dedication from the first one I saw. 

 

Cheers 

11 hours ago, Darryl said:

Welcome aboard Will.

 

Where are you finding CDs for $1?

Digging around at op-shops and grabbing the ones in good condition! My locals actually always seem to get decent new donations every couple of weeks. Also helps bring able to claim student discounts that gets everything under $2 50 each. Absolute bargain 

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Hi ; just reading this thread and it's prompted me to make a decision  to put my Rega Apollo cdp up for sale.

It's an older model from around 2005 - 6 and works perfectly well, but not quite my " cuppa tea ".

 

I'll list it in Classifieds tomorrow.

Dennis

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3 hours ago, Berkel said:

Hi ; just reading this thread and it's prompted me to make a decision  to put my Rega Apollo cdp up for sale.

It's an older model from around 2005 - 6 and works perfectly well, but not quite my " cuppa tea ".

 

I'll list it in Classifieds tomorrow.

Dennis

Could you send a pm with price?

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14 hours ago, Berkel said:

Hi ; just reading this thread and it's prompted me to make a decision  to put my Rega Apollo cdp up for sale.

It's an older model from around 2005 - 6 and works perfectly well, but not quite my " cuppa tea ".

 

I'll list it in Classifieds tomorrow.

Dennis

Looking forward to seeing the listing! Absolutely interested and keen 

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On 20/02/2021 at 10:42 PM, Darryl said:

Welcome aboard Will.

 

Where are you finding CDs for $1?

You can check out the local ops stores - mostly $2 for CDs. I've picked up lots of mint CDs around that price from ops stores around Sydney

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  • 2 weeks later...

Got this Rega Apollo from @Berkel last week!

Using it as a transport through the Topping E30/L30 combo via the Nikko Equaliser that mixes it beautifully!

 

Thanks to everyone here! I'm staggered by how good CDs sound here, super natural and even better than my vinyl player (something I never expected).
The whole system costs less than $1k (second hand fwiw) and is such a pleasure while listening to a huge range of pop/rock/RnB rap.


Daft Punk Discovery and Best of Jackson 5 CDs have been my favourites so far, who knew going to the home office could be this fun!

 

Thanks again you unreal contributors @rantan @anandpkumar @Special K @Ittaku @Tweaky @Cafad @Jventer
Would not be this happy without your help. Best $1k I've spent in a while!

PXL_20210307_022213964.jpg

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Rega Apollo is a very good CD player.

I worked on one of them and once fixed, it would read ANY CD.

Even ones not recognised by other players as a CD, badly recorded CD-Rs, ones that were not finalised properly etc. Literally anything that was round and fitted into the slot.

The fault was not serious or hard to find (motor that drives laser up and down died). 

It has a very good build quality.

It uses Elna and Nichicon capacitors, so it should never need any re-capping.

Surface mount technology. Wolfson DAC and Sanyo SF-P101N, which is a good mechanism which is still available through local suppliers.

image.thumb.png.a0d2b8deca3030ef91201bca53bdc131.png

 

There is even a bit of Essex humour buried on display PCB:

image.thumb.png.7f3cac1ca16fc947876c729c309753c3.png

 

 

 

On 07/03/2021 at 11:37 AM, anandpkumar said:

fantastic.........congratulations on the CDP. Those rega apollos work very well as a transport. Enjoy! 

 

Don't know about that...

If this player has any real weakness, it is its "square wave" SPDIF output, for it looks like this:

 

 

image.thumb.png.b99b02e29ea30d75588f39c2892e8dcb.png

 

 

Edited by rockeater
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