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 Post subject: Vintage CD sound
PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 11:15 am 
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Joined: Tue Dec 18, 2012 9:03 am
Posts: 79
Location: Saskatoon, SK, CA
Recently I got a Proton 830R CD player. I am shocked how good it sounds and how smoothly it operates. It has the Phillips swing arm transport (CDM 2/10) with twin TDA1540P mono dacs.

The TDA1540P is practically the first consumer DAC. On top of that it is only 14bit!

I keep on reading here DACs have improved leaps and bounds compared to the early DACS. First generation CD players sound thin and artificial and so on. I expected the PROTON to sound like crap but it is freaking good. Nice deep bass no brightness. Great sound-stage. Not in anyway analytical. This thing is approaching 35 years. Works super well - fast and silent tracking, quick loading. I am really surprised - what gives?

I also have a modern Yamaha CDC-600 manufactured in 2015 - PCM1780 DAC. No going to say which sounds better but definitely the Proton is not obviously worse - the differences are very subtle.


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 Post subject: Re: Vintage CD sound
PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 11:34 am 
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Joined: Sun Dec 05, 2004 6:05 am
Posts: 704
Location: north bay, ON, CA
I love the vintage Marantz/Philips units!! My main players are Marantz CD73 with matching remote and Philips CD880 with S2 double crown!! :D


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 Post subject: Re: Vintage CD sound
PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 11:42 am 
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Joined: Fri Jun 22, 2012 3:34 pm
Posts: 300
Location: Hamilton, ON, CA
Philips CD 960 is my main cd player, don't need any explain
I had so many cd player , Arcam FMJ 23, Marantz, Denon, Pioneer Elite, and many more all gone but Philips is stay


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 Post subject: Re: Vintage CD sound
PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 11:47 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 30, 2007 9:41 am
Posts: 3896
Location: Ingersoll, ON, CA
There are always exceptions but in my experience early digital (vintage) was a disaster in most respects.
Early cd's and cd players made you long for the days of 8 tracks.
I returned a lot of cd's to a friendly store because I was convinced that something HAD to be wrong with the disc. They were unbelievably bright, had minimal bass and and in comparison to the vinyl, well there was no comparison.
As bad as the discs were (I wrote a letter to WEA complaining about the sound and they said they were still trying to understand digital themselves and were sure it would improve in the future.) the players were just as bad.
The first player that didn't make me want to pull a Van Gogh on my ears was a Rotel RCD 855.
Today, it is easily surpassed by most modern players in the $200 range.
Vintage sometimes can mean old obsolete crap, like early cd sound.

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 Post subject: Re: Vintage CD sound
PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 12:03 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 21, 2013 12:54 pm
Posts: 5033
Location: Dodge City, NB, CA
Bought this in 1986 and while it doesn't compete with a good turntable it does sound surprisingly good. It's actually quite smooth and does make good bass. I've better players but have never had the heart to retire this one.


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 Post subject: Re: Vintage CD sound
PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 12:21 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 29, 2008 4:56 am
Posts: 415
Location: hamilton, ON, CA
mahatma1 wrote:
There are always exceptions but in my experience early digital (vintage) was a disaster in most respects.
Early cd's and cd players made you long for the days of 8 tracks.
I returned a lot of cd's to a friendly store because I was convinced that something HAD to be wrong with the disc. They were unbelievably bright, had minimal bass and and in comparison to the vinyl, well there was no comparison.
As bad as the discs were (I wrote a letter to WEA complaining about the sound and they said they were still trying to understand digital themselves and were sure it would improve in the future.) the players were just as bad.
The first player that didn't make me want to pull a Van Gogh on my ears was a Rotel RCD 855.
Today, it is easily surpassed by most modern players in the $200 range.
Vintage sometimes can mean old obsolete crap, like early cd sound.


A Mission PCM 7000 would/should have changed your mind.


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 Post subject: Re: Vintage CD sound
PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 1:09 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2011 2:42 pm
Posts: 21
Location: Winnipeg, MB, CA
mahatma1 wrote:
There are always exceptions but in my experience early digital (vintage) was a disaster in most respects.
Early cd's and cd players made you long for the days of 8 tracks.
I returned a lot of cd's to a friendly store because I was convinced that something HAD to be wrong with the disc. They were unbelievably bright, had minimal bass and and in comparison to the vinyl, well there was no comparison.
As bad as the discs were (I wrote a letter to WEA complaining about the sound and they said they were still trying to understand digital themselves and were sure it would improve in the future.) the players were just as bad.
The first player that didn't make me want to pull a Van Gogh on my ears was a Rotel RCD 855.
Today, it is easily surpassed by most modern players in the $200 range.
Vintage sometimes can mean old obsolete crap, like early cd sound.


I have a Carver Digital Time Lens for use with my old 80's cds. It dithers in a little L-R and L+R to fatten up the signal and imitate the analogue sound. Works great on the old brittle/harsh sounding CD's but not so much for the new ones.

http://www.cieri.net/Documenti/Catalogh ... 0Discs.pdf


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 Post subject: Re: Vintage CD sound
PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 1:45 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:58 am
Posts: 275
Location: Brampton, ON, CA
There seems to be a handful of dacs based on the early Philips chips run in NOS mode that are still made, so there must be fans of the sound. And while many reference the tda 1541 as the 'king' of these chips, other cheaper chips can sound pretty nice and seem to be easier to make sound good in a dac that isn't terribly complex or expensive. It seems the fans of this 'sound' particularly like how it makes older 'redbook' CDs sound.

IMO (from limited experience), there does seem to be a more natural, analogue quality to it. But most older chips don't really take advantage of the latest high rez formats and doesn't seem to have as extended highs or as much hyper detail and extension in the lows. There is definitely an impressive nature and almost artificial, razor blade-like transparency that for me can be fascinating in modern delta sigma dacs and I can't believe the detail that these can bring out in standard Redbook CDs. But some of the older chips implemented by modern standards can have a beautiful liquidity and coloration to them that sometimes makes them easy to listen to.


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 Post subject: Re: Vintage CD sound
PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 1:54 pm 
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Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2005 11:07 am
Posts: 649
Location: London, ON, CA
I think the hearing of us who are old enough to had the experience and take the time to consider these issues has degraded enough that things don't sound as nasty as they used to. In my 20s I used to get "digititis" listening to CD players, but back then, I could literally hear a dog-whistle.

20 years later, I don't come close to hearing dog whistles, and some of those old CD players actually sound OK. However, I have been through a slew of CD players and DACs - Rotel (971) Rega (Planet and Jupiter 2000) Simaudio (Nova, 100D) and more.

About a year ago I brought out my old Marantz CD-63 and didn't think it sounded too bad, but it did not have nearly the resolution, colour or dynamics of a modern digital setup; it was bland and boring, though inoffensive.

Right now my Anthem Statement D2 preprocessor is doing duty as both upsampling DAC and preamplifier (for 2.1 and 5.1). In my opinion, it is as good or better than any and all of the above. It is natural, smooth, detailed, dynamic, sophisticated, and a real joy to listen to. Sold my turntable, the Anthem will probably be my last "source". I don't miss the TT one bit.

But again, perhaps my hearing is just not as acute as it was 20 years ago, or perhaps I have mellowed out so am not as fussy as I was back then ...


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 Post subject: Re: Vintage CD sound
PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 4:15 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2006 10:24 pm
Posts: 902
Location: pincourt, QC, CA
I was reluctant to get into digital when the first players cane out. I heard the first generation at an audio show and was less than impressed with the sound however, I hoped the players would improve as I thought the format was great. In 1985 or so I bought my first player it was a Mitsubishi or Toshiba, until the mid nineties I had a Shure (?), Denon 3300, Phillips 950, Mash 1 bit, Esoteric P/D 500. Most of the players I bought were slightly better than the last or were about on par with their replacement. I bought a Phillips 950 recorder and this little $400. wonder had me saying goodbye to my Esoteric combo, the Phillips clearly trounced it, a Phillips 963 DVD/SACD player was purchased when to take advantage of the new super audio format, I still use this player from time to time. My Last CD player was Consonance Ref. this was hands down the best player I've owned to date. The only reason I sold it is because I've been using my computer to stream my music and I thought it best to buy a good DAC. I could be tempted to buy a vintage player because of it's rarity or design, it would not be because of its' superior sonics over todays models. As far as vintage CD players go and the people who are advocating that these machines are as viable in our system today as they were yesterday, is pure bunk to me. I'm sixty five but, I'm not deaf yet, digital has come a long way since the cd was introduced and I have no desire to use one of these vintage pieces for my main listening any more than I would want to use a Victrola vs. a turntable.


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