Rare Philco CD2460 unearthed from the grave for all to see!

Discussion in 'Digital Sources' started by onanysunday, Jun 26, 2017.

  1. onanysunday

    onanysunday AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    This cdp doesn't exist anywhere on the internet (as far as I can tell) so I just had to share this for posterity's sake. I just picked up this extremely rare 1986 Belgian Beast for only $12 at Savers! "Philco CD2460" with the highly vaunted and sought after Philips TDA1541 DAC. Drrty as all get out but has devastatingly awesome sound (already) with its old, dried out capacitors and will sound even better when I'm through upgrading it. In addition to the regular RCA jacks, it also has a digital coaxial output which is almost completely unheard of technology for '86. WAY ahead of its time in the sound quality department. The Belgians really knew what they were doing. When it comes to SQ, they don't mess around! Whoda thunk "Philco" was any good, am I right? That's because their cd players are so rare as to hardly exist. Very similar to the Belgian-made Magnavox players of this era. That is to say, exceptional sounding.

    'Philips Company' or Philco for short, is a storied, Belgian-based organization that has been pushing the technological envelope since 1892 and developed "Mission Control" for NASA in the 1960's among many other "firsts" in the electronics technology industry. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philco

    Notice how all the ICs on the boards are Philips branded? They didn't use any chips from other makers on this one. You have greater control over the sound you can create from your cd player if you're also making the chips that are installed inside because it gives you much greater familiarity with the specifics of what went into engineering and designing them and exactly how they will sound in relation to the final sound or synergy you are after, ultimately culminating in a superior product.

    All 5 black ICs are 'Philips' branded as is the large, silver can capacitor. This is not usually the case in electronics development where you have several 'in-house' components installed on the main board. Exciting stuff to be sure..Greater engineering familiarity with componentry yields superior results of a final end product- just about ever time. Combine that with the fact that you're working with perhaps the greatest, obsolete digital-to-analog converter (TDA1541) that is one of the first and best ever made, and the results speak for themselves.

    I know it looks like a hilariously cheesy VCR (which is the 'nouveau' look they were going after at the time) but the buck stops here, no joke!
     

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  2. audioman00

    audioman00 Well-Known Member

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    Very cool! Bet it sounds great too. I had a sony with that dac and miss it greatly
     
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  3. onanysunday

    onanysunday AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    It's crystal-clarity and depth of sound is something to behold. It is remarkably detailed for being as old as it is. For instance, I can instantly tell when a song uses "sampled" beats or sections because I can pick up the slight grain of when part of a track was re-recorded and then layered on top of the other parts of the song. And then when the music cuts back to an original, non-sampled section it is crystal clear again right on cue. I am finding parts of songs that I didn't know where being "layered" on top of one another (if that makes any sense) You can hear absolutely everything that went into the recording that may have come from different sources and the sound is not fatiguing, digitized or sibilant in any way. Bass is a tad bit boomy, loose, and a little loud at times but nothing a recap can't remedy and tighten up.

    philco9.jpg philco12.jpg philco5.jpg philco2.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2017
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  4. xero-D-hero

    xero-D-hero Super Member

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    Well,not to be a wet blanket here,but the truth is it's not an especially rare CD player except for the fact that it's wearing that > Philco < branding.o_O
    The player itself is common enough,the reason it seems rare is beacuse you've been looking for the information under said Philco branding.:confused:

    That's because it's just a rebaged/rebranded Philips CD-460 / Magnavox CDB-460 (ie: they're all the same players). ;)

    Plenty of info on those Philips/Magnavox players out there.
    http://www.dutchaudioclassics.nl/

    So we can see it's actually the information about the Philco branding that's rare (ie: seemingly non-existant).

    Agree completely,matter of fact I own a Magnavox CDB-460 myself (as well as a CDB-470).

    And the Philips CDM 2/10 "swing arm" transport is a nice added bonus as well.
    Especially seeing that it is arguably one of the most reliable CD transports ever made.
    These transports will read discs other players would'nt have a hope in he!! of reading.
    And they NEVER skip (at least none of mine ever have).
    And they seem to live exceptionally long lives as well.

    That CDM 2/10 transport may possibly be why the Philco part no. has the 2 added to the Philps part no. (Philco CD-2460 vs. Magnavox CDB-460 vs. Philips CD-460) .

    Still an awesome deal on a really great "under-the-radar" CD player with a cool twist w/the rare Philco branding,
    Even I was'nt aware that they had sold these under the Philco brand.

    So I guess we all learned something new here,which is awesome when that sorta thing happens. :thumbsup:

    I got both my TDA1541 Magnavox players for < $50.00 and I still thought those were bargains,as they usually go for more if the seller knows about this TDA1541 deal.

    If it was'nt for the "cheesy" plastic case these TDA1541 players would almost certainly command top dollar as the nicer TDA1541 CD players still do.
    If one can get past ^^^^ that aesthetic issue,what one gets are some of the best sounding & most reliable redbook CD players ever made.
    Making these a tremendous value despite their age.

    FWIW

    Bret P.
     
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  5. onanysunday

    onanysunday AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Thanks Bret. I had a hunch it was similar to one of the Magnavox CDB's, but I didn't know which one.. I own six of the CDB's and am familiar with the dutchaudioclassics website but it is not listed there. This is my first Belgian-made one and the only one I have with the TDA1541, all my others use the TDA1543, including my Mexican-made Magnavox CD2000 which is almost identical to my CDB492 but is slightly more generic looking on the front panel. I also have a Japanese-made CDB of the same vintage which uses the famous Pioneer six-disc magazine, it is a CDB-570? I believe. The black outer case is what gave the Philco away, as it has exactly the same ventilation air holes stamped into it just like all the other mid-to-late 80's Mags. What struck me though is that the board layout is even simpler than all my other Mags (which are all very simple to begin with and have lots of empty space "under the hood" so to speak) The Philco has the fewest amount of capacitors I've ever seen on a cd player pcb (I do lots of recaps on older audio gear) and this one has a single large, silver 'Philips' branded capacitor- something I've never seen before. In addition to the traditional, mechanized cd loading tray, the Philco also has a very strange spring loaded door flap that extends downward and opens out like a VCR when pushed out, something I thought was a bit unusual. Do you know if the CDB460 also has this strange door flap? Just curious. Also, does your 460 have the digital coaxial output as well? I didn't know ANY cd players had digital coax way back in '86. But then again, I've only worked on a couple dozen older players and am sure there are plenty of others out there I've never come across or seen pictures of. Color me impressed with the Philco. I never considered them to be a serious contender in anything audio related. Although after researching their history, I was very impressed with their pedigree and technological innovations over the years.
     
  6. onanysunday

    onanysunday AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Yep. Just checked photos on the CDB-460 and it appears identical in every way. That makes sense Philco CD2460 = Magnavox CDB460. Good catch Bret!
     
  7. onanysunday

    onanysunday AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Also, does anyone know how different or worse the CDB460 sounds compared to the TOTL CDB650? I know that the 650 has a much fancier front control panel, would that be the only difference between this and my 460? Both use the TDA1541. Because if their only difference is just in the programming / display functions, I don't really care about that.

    The only problem with my Philco is that the front door flap does not open and close properly and I'll have to dig into it further to see if I can fix it so it can open and load correctly. I imagine this was the only reason it was donated in the first place, probably not on account of it having "bad sound" for the previous owner because it just can't be beat for what it is and how it sounds, although it does look very dated in appearance which unfortunately can be a reason why many people would choose to "upgrade" their CD player or move on to Bluetooth or something of that nature..
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2017
  8. audioman00

    audioman00 Well-Known Member

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    I have stumbled upon a few old school gems that sounded amazing and brought more to the table than my newly acquired Onkyo 7030 but the Onk reads Everything!
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2017
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  9. onanysunday

    onanysunday AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I know exactly what you mean! There are an alarming amount of these players out there which makes The Quest for finding a good one that is an exception to the rule that much more enjoyable and musically satisfying.
     
  10. Pio1980

    Pio1980 AK Member Subscriber

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    NAP acquired the rights to the Philco name, as with Sylvania and Magnavox. All are rebadged Philips products.
     
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  11. ilusndweller

    ilusndweller Addicted Member

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    Just in case you were wondering, hamsters running on exercise wheels do not open and close the tray, it has the feature of "motor powered loading" (couldnt resist, 80s gear had the most inane useless info printed everywhere on the faceplate, which is partly why I like it). Now Im feeling my Magnavox CD2000 is truly inferior w its 1543 chip. So is the 1541 truly "next level or two up" from 1543 chip? I realize this is simplifying things as there is more than just the chip that determine final sound (Ive always had a hunch that a hiQ output stage is arguably just as important as dac chips when it comes to final sound).
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2017
  12. onanysunday

    onanysunday AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Well I also own the CD2000 (aka CDB490) and just finished recapping it last month so let me chime in here. In stock form, the 2460 has a little more space in between everything in its soundstage, and sounds a little more open and expansive. The 2460 (TDA1541) seems to have greater detail retrieval without sounding too dry, clinical or boring (like some of today's higher-resolution players). Bass was a bit loose and overpowering on both players in original form, which I thought both could use a little more tightening up in that respect, the 2000 really benefited from a recap to clean this up.

    CD2000 gives the more 'consistent sound' in terms of all cds sounding more similar to one another, regardless of mastering techniques, etc - which is to say.."very good".. A small amount of detail is either lost or glossed over (that some may consider extraneous) like the slight hiss or grain of background source material recording limitations that are picked up with the TDA1541. The TDA1543 allows all CDs to sound pretty good and have greater consistency or 'flow' of similar sound quality going from one disc to the next. There is just more variation with the 1541's sound because it picks up more information that the 1543 glosses over. The differences are not enormous or anything to lose sleep about, but if you are listening to them in a side-by-side comparison it is there. After the recap, my CD2000 is quite amazing and I don't feel like I am missing out on anything as much, now, as compared to when I first got it and was comparing to a 1541 player. Recapping really improved the sonic "punch", dynamism and tightness of the CD2000's sound.
     
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  13. onanysunday

    onanysunday AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    One thing I found that is worth mentioning while on my quest to collect as many Magnavox CDB players as possible is that all TDA1543 based CDB's sound identical to one another regardless of model number. I have four or five other 1543 CDB's that sound exactly the same.

    My suggestion for anyone interested in collecting these Mags is to simply buy one of each DAC type and you will have all your bases covered in terms of how they can sound a little different from one another. I thought maybe there would be something different about all these TDA1543 players that would make having so many of them worth the experiment, and bring something new to the table with each one, but this is not the case. They all sound remarkably consistent with one another.

    I believe all these Magnavox CDB players basically have two sound signatures; one with the TDA1543 and one with the TDA541. That is all. Also don't believe that models with a lower model number sound worse then those with higher model numbers in the CDB lineup, even the low-end models sound just as good as the higher-end models so long as they have the same DAC.
     
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  14. ilusndweller

    ilusndweller Addicted Member

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    Good stuff, thanks!
     
  15. xero-D-hero

    xero-D-hero Super Member

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    The TDA1543 was basically intended to be a cheaper to produce DAC w/o seriously compromising SQ.
    It combines two channels on a single chip,thus making it cheaper.
    And yeah the TDA1543 equipped CDP's still sound pretty good comapred to other CDP's,even the TDA1541 players.
    But the TDA1541 DAC is still almost universally agreed to be the better sounding chip,especially in "stock" form.

    I too own both,in addition to the CDB-460 & CDB-470 I mentioned above I also own a CDB-500 and a CDB-502 (w/remote).
    And I absolutely still grab most every working TDA1543 player I run across in the $20-$40 range.
    But much more $$ than that and I'll usually end up looking for the deals on the TDA1541 CDP's up to say $100 for a mint/low use TDA1541 player.
    That's of course excepting for the absolute TOTL TDA1541 players out there,some of those are uber big $$$ still today.

    I also keep my eyes open for some specific Burr-Brown PCM CDP's as well,as that's another DAC brand I respect.
    Only bummer about those machines is that most of those tend to use the Sony KSS transports.
    Those generally dont hold up over time nearly as well as the Philips CDM transports (the lasers tend to die and some are unobtanium now).

    BB ~ PCM equipped machines I Currently own are:
    Kenwood DP-5020 (2x PCM 1701P/KSS-210A)
    Onkyo DX-1400 (2x PCM61P & KSS-150A)
    Yamaha CD-S300-RK (PCM1780/??? transport)

    But I digress on the PCM thing as that's getting a BIT off-topic here,,,LOL yeah I know bad pun...

    The TDA1543 is a popular DAC with the modders and NOS types,so there will likely always be some demand for those players.
    If for no other reason than folks scavenging those DACs as they are typically employed by using mutlitple TDA1543 in parallel (4-8 often).

    Anyhow,yeah I just buy both when I find them for the right price,and should one ever die,there will be another waiting around to take it's place.
    Also these are good players if you ever gift one to somebody else who's not necessarily an audio type,as they're durability is a big plus in that scenario.

    FWIW

    Bret P.
     
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  16. onanysunday

    onanysunday AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I have about 7 CDB players also. I'm telling people to just buy one version of each TDA1543 and TDA1541 and all your bases should be covered in terms of sound, but like you, I can't pass up a used CDB for $10 at a thrift store and will continue buying them up and hoarding them (possibly) until I die.

    One thing that's great about them is that people just assume they are junk cuz they look very 80s plasticky, which makes them the perfect opportunity buy for their exceptional sound quality and durability.
     
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  17. xrayspex77

    xrayspex77 Well-Known Member

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    Just plugged in a Philips CD472 which I picked up this afternoon which has the 1541. No coax or optical (or remote) but the box says Made in Belgium.
     
  18. NAD80

    NAD80 Super Member

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    Picked up a CD-60 Philips (1541 chip) for a fiver last summer. Community yard sale. Hear stuff I can"t hear with the sony CDP-291.
     
  19. AdamAnt316

    AdamAnt316 Collector of heavy things Subscriber

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    Philips and Philco were not at all related until the early '80s. Philco started as the "Philadelphia Storage Battery Company", making battery eliminators for early battery-powered radios. They soon started making their own radios, and became highly successful. They later started making televisions, but a series of high-profile failures led to them nearly going bankrupt. They were bought by Ford Motor Company, and started using the "Philco-Ford" name.

    As for Philips, they couldn't use their own name in the US due to the existence of the Phillips company (similar to how Panasonic couldn't use the "National" name in the US due to the National Radio Company), so they generally produced products under the Norelco name (best known nowadays for electric shavers). Philips bought Philco as a way to use their own name (or something similar) in the US, having already been producing CD players and other audio/video products under the Magnavox name (another company they bought).
    -Adam
     
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  20. onwardjames

    onwardjames Hoardimus Maximus Subscriber

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    A nice score!

    Another fan of multiple vintage cd players. Can't tell ya why, other than they still sound good to me.
     

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