'Cool' vintage CD player/transport?

Discussion in 'Digital Sources' started by Ckafoweeth, Jan 28, 2019.

  1. Ckafoweeth

    Ckafoweeth AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Location:
    Bellevue, Washington
    Id like to add a CD player to my main room. I have a Chromecast audio through an Emotiva DAC, but this is where the turntable, Nakamichi CR-7, Phase Linear, and Speakerlab 7's are. I'd like to add a CD player, but id also like it to be 'interesting'?

    The room is set up more for entertaining than listening, (for now...). Its fun to have people come over and play with the vinyl and cassettes. There is not a lot of showmanship in Spotify, but i think a cool CD player could be as fun as the cassette deck...

    Thoughts?

    Thanks!
     
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  2. bimasta

    bimasta Super Member

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    Seems you want to use it as a CD player, but with a "slash/transport" — are you planning to use it as a transport, with external DAC? If so it must have Digital Out. And contrary to common belief, all transports are NOT the same. When I got my DAC, I tried 5 or 6 CD and DVD players as transport-only, and only 2 sounded really good. The others sounded thin and tinny. Then one of the good ones started 'skipping', so I was down to one, and it's slow to read the disc. I had a go at fixing the 'skipper' but failed; may try again, more seriously. But if the laser's bad, the show is over.
     
  3. tmtomh

    tmtomh Active Member

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    Cool idea! There are many ins and outs to this - player quality, reliability, likelihood of belts and/or laser assembly and/or LCD/LED display needing service or replacment due to age, etc. If you are looking for a CD player that can function as a transport - one with digital outputs - then I believe you're likely looking at 1990s or newer models. If you're thinking of a unit that was built as a dedicated transport, with digital outputs only and no DAC included, I would suggest you don't search for that, since most older and/or "cool" transports are going to be high-end models that even now probably will still be going for premium prices on the used market.

    But since you're looking for entertainment value first and foremost, and I assume not looking to spend a lot of money, a simpler option might be to just go to ebay and search "vintage CD players."

    Depending on how you filter the resulting search, you'll find that if you want something very slightly outside the norm - a low-end player with a front-panel design that screams 1980s, or a mid-range JVC unit in charcoal gray instead of black and a center-mounded disc tray instead of the usual lefthand side - you can get something quite cheap, for $50 or less.

    If you are willing to spend in the $300-$400 range, then you can get some truly unusual units, often of high quality: some of the less sought-after but still collectible and interesting champagne gold Philips or Marantz units from the '80s; this crazy Technics unit that was laid out like a miniature mixing console instead of a regular component, and so on.

    Good luck - it's actually quite fun looking at all the pics of those old units!
     
  4. Bob

    Bob AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    my vote - Harman Kardon TL 8500. big giant transparent cover over 5-cd "carousel"

    looks like a moon-roof on a class-7 flying saucer.
     
  5. david1111

    david1111 Barba non facit philosophum Subscriber

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    @Ckafoweeth
    What's your budget for the used CDP?

    Dave
     
  6. Ckafoweeth

    Ckafoweeth AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Probably $300 tops.

    Thanks for all the suggestions. My thought is to find one that I am interested in and then wait for it to pop up on ebay or craigslist. The Harman Kardon is definitely a fun looking player.
     

     

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  7. david1111

    david1111 Barba non facit philosophum Subscriber

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    Good plan Ck. If yer not in a hurry, you can almost always get a really good deal.
    Check a bunch of reviews of $1000 to $1500 CDPs, then wait for a fire sale. Or even a really good CDP that needs the laser replaced. A lot of people don't know that it's usually just a plug in unit, so they ditch it. you may or may not have to solder a ground lead.
    Just a thot.

    Dave
     
  8. Ckafoweeth

    Ckafoweeth AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Location:
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    I think I am starting to gravitate towards single disc, top-loading players.

    That is a good thought on the laser.
     
  9. david1111

    david1111 Barba non facit philosophum Subscriber

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    I just switched from a Denon 5 disk changer + MF dac, to a Linn single disk player, which sounded great. And the changer was handy, but the Linn sounds absolutely fantastic. I couldn't believe there would be that much of a difference.
    I think people are paranoid of getting stuck with, what was once an expensive CDP, and they're getting rid of them for bargain prices. Linn doesn't service their CPDs anymore, and others will probably soon, follow suit. Good for us tho.

    Dave
     
  10. Ckafoweeth

    Ckafoweeth AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Does anyone have any experience with a Rega Planet CD player? It looks like that might be what I am looking for. I've read some interesting reviews about the suspension feet leaving marks on whatever they are placed on though, which seems odd. It also looks like ebay is rife with replacement belts and lasers, though there are not currently any actual players up for sale.
     
  11. goldwax

    goldwax dozy ming-mong

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    If I were you, i’d just grab any old DVD player I had lying around and try it out in this setup to see I it even got used much.
     

     

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  12. david1111

    david1111 Barba non facit philosophum Subscriber

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    @Ckafoweeth
    Good suggestion from goldwax. If yer set up for party mode, you probably wouldn't notice much difference in the sound of various CDPs. So you can choose for the visual appeal, and pick up something good if it gets used.
    And bimasta is dead on. A good transport makes a big difference, and a S/PDIF digital connection sounds better than an analogue connection for a CD transport.

    Dave
     
  13. dosmalo

    dosmalo T-Totaled Subscriber

    Here you go.
    I have one of these, really love it and have it put back as a spare in case my top load AA Digital Drive Trans/Digital Drive Controller combo ever dies.
    With shipping it comes in a tad over your budget but I think you can manage it.
    My experience with Audio Alchemy products has been great and I think if even taken half way care of they are bullet proof and built to last.
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Audio-Alch...ks-Perfectly/254108463926?hash=item3b2a0b7336
    I'm not affiliated with this sale, just trying to help you out. Grab this!
     
  14. Ckafoweeth

    Ckafoweeth AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Location:
    Bellevue, Washington
    Thanks for all of the suggestions! I ended up finding a Rega Planet 2000 locally. It got pretty good reviews and has an optical out in case I want to use an external DAC. Still waiting to get my hands on it, but I will let you know what I think of it when its in the system.
     
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  15. david1111

    david1111 Barba non facit philosophum Subscriber

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    Congrats!
    And btw, I'm sure the Rega also has an S/PDIF coax digital output. You'll need a 75 ohm RCA digital cable for the connection. Listen to both the Toslink and the coax, and I'm pretty sure you'll find that the
    s/pdif coax connection sounds a lot better.

    Dave
     
  16. david1111

    david1111 Barba non facit philosophum Subscriber

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    My comment above, meant to use the coax only when you're using an outboard dac.

    Dave
     

     

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  17. Ckafoweeth

    Ckafoweeth AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Thanks, Dave. I have mostly used toslink connections from Chromecast Audios into better DACs (that makes a huge, huge difference), so I have never tried a digital coax. I will be sure to give it a shot!
     
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  18. david1111

    david1111 Barba non facit philosophum Subscriber

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    @Ckafoweeth
    Hey, darkblue94 just corrected my earlier post. Sorry, for the mis-info, I said that the coax connect sounds better than an analogue connect on a CD transport. I meant to say the Coax sounds better than the Toslink connection.
    The digital outs on a CDP, bypass the dac in the CDP. Duh! Sorry ... it was late.

    Dave
     
  19. frahengeo

    frahengeo AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    If you're looking for a conversation piece in your entertainment room, then I would suggest having a silver-faced receiver from the 70's. My friends'/guests' almost always ask about it, but seem to care less about the black components.

    I didn't notice anything 'silver' in your signature.
     
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  20. Ckafoweeth

    Ckafoweeth AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Bellevue, Washington
    I got the Rega Planet 2000, and I am pretty happy with it. Its interesting looking enough, and its fun having a reason to bring out old CDs. I have not tried running it through a different DAC yet, and I may not as it sounds really nice to me as it is, and I probably don't need to add any more complications to the controls.
     

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