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  1. #1
    Registered Master Tasuke's Avatar
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    PIONEER PD-91 Reference CD Player (1987/1990)

    new here!! (6-20-11)


    i've a copy of the legendary PD-91, a low-hours/ excellent condition example
    that i paid a premium for on AUDIOGON;







    first things first;

    i first came across non-functional copy of this player back around 2007ish
    for about $25.00.

    i learned how to fix it; the notorious lens falling off of late-'80s PIONEER make
    laser pick-ups, which is a common issue with many late 1980's PIONEER CDPs.

    the PD-91 is particularly notorious for being intolerant of CD-Rs.

    intolerant of CD-Rs, that is, BEFORE one opens up the player,
    and turns up the FOCUS GAIN and TRACKING GAIN variable pots on the main PCB
    behind the disc transport assembly.

    i was able to render that FIRST PD-91 of mine CD-R friendly in that manner.

    a couple of years later, i was able to get a hold of a DEAD, but cosmetically perfect
    PD-3000, which is the japanese market version of the PD-91.

    the 3000 has both the solid aluminum top panel, and the twin DIGITAL/ANALOG
    power trafos that was left out of the U.S. PD-91 variant, and included only on
    the 1990 model PD-93, which was the direct U.S. successor to the -91.

    i took my japanese PD-3000 to a service shop, and was told it was irreparable,
    the ANALOG OUTPUT stage was somehow fried.

    i took the good cosmetics off the 3000 hulk, and applied them to my functional PD-91.

    i heard of some mod work on PD-91 players, and half-cocked, attempted
    some mods of my own.

    indeed, i attempted to graft the rear-panel/twin trafos to my good PD-91 chassis.

    the results? DISASTROUS.

    yesseree-bub, i fried my PD-91, and was out a CDP.

    i had to go back to the inferior sound quality of my VERY FIRST high-end CDP,
    my 1985/1987 DENON DCD-1500 (NOT the 1987/1988 -1500II successor)
    for over a year, continuously kicking my own stupid ass all the while.

    i mean, the DENON was/is a FINE vintage CDP, with a warm, beautiful sound character,
    but i'll be damned if it wasn't/isn't ROUNDLY eclipsed by PIONEER's meisterwork.

    thankfully, i came across a cherry of a near-pristine PD-91,
    and gladly paid the somewhat-outrageous $610.00, ship. included, on an AUDIOGON listing.

    i received the beauty, -with the lens popped off, of course- located it in the chassis,
    LIGHTLY super-glued the lens back in it's mounting, slapped those PD-3000 cosmetics on,
    and sat back to that oh-so glorious sound, and feasted upon those gorgeous looks once again.


    today, about a year after purchase, my baby flawlessly spins any 8x REC.ed CD-R
    i load it, as well as any factory disc, with remarkable Aplomb and effortless authority.

    i'm in Audiophile Heaven...




    Last edited by Master Tasuke; 21-06-2011 at 07:49 PM.

  2. #2
    Wammer Sir_Franc's Avatar
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    Welcome to the tent John. Glad you finally got one that works. Looks lovely.
    Karma means I can rest easy at night knowing all the people I treated badly had it coming.

  3. #3
    Super Wammer captains log's Avatar
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    They respond very well to a better clock too and lotsa other nice bit'z scattered around I had one for many years....Top player.

    Log
    Regards Log
    I AM DEEMED AS..... HIGHLY Unsafe and Unpredictable around Humans.

  4. #4
    Everything is awesome.... freefallrob's Avatar
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    My Dad had one of these, great CD player, super bass and focus.

  5. #5
    Wammer
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    I'm a PD93 owner. I would think if you had to buy a new one today, given the build quality, it would set you back 1xxxxx. Fantastic build and sound quality.
    3Kva Regenerator: BLAudio Battery Pre: : Muse Model Three Hundred mono's
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  6. #6
    WYLD STALLYNS JPG's Avatar
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    I've a PD-S901, which is apparantly the UK/Europe model of the 91, only without the wooden sides.

    It sounds good to me, and certainly seems well built. Nice find.
    Be excellent to each other. And... PARTY ON, DUDES!

  7. #7
    Wammer
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    Quote Originally Posted by JPG View Post
    I've a PD-S901, which is apparantly the UK/Europe model of the 91, only without the wooden sides.

    It sounds good to me, and certainly seems well built. Nice find.
    I don't think so. The PD-S901 is a stable platter machine, the Reference PD91/93 are not
    3Kva Regenerator: BLAudio Battery Pre: : Muse Model Three Hundred mono's
    Pioneer DV717/Marantz DV7001/selfbuilt TDA1541 x 4 NOS DAC : QLN Signature Splitfield

  8. #8
    WYLD STALLYNS JPG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mr.me View Post
    I don't think so. The PD-S901 is a stable platter machine, the Reference PD91/93 are not
    Quite right - it's the PD-65 I was thiking of, which is the stable platter one.

    The 65 does have similar wooden bits:
    Be excellent to each other. And... PARTY ON, DUDES!

  9. #9
    Registered Master Tasuke's Avatar
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    indeed.

    if anything, my PD-91 actually bears a strong resemblance to the Euro-market version, thanks to it's blue shaded FL display, which all JPN/EURO/WORLD market 91 copes shared,
    whilst the U.S. market model had a unique orange/amber tinted display;

    PIONEER PD-91 (EURO/WORLD VERSION)



    PIONEER PD-91 (U.S.VERSION)



    PIONEER PD-3000 (JPN VERSION)




    (BTW; those Audiophile Stilts look Effin' RETARDED supporting that poor U.S. -91 there, IMHO...)



    solid polished steel Trafo cradle isolator from PD-3000, alongside the hollow polycarbonate substituted with all PD-91 variants.
    same, with the PD-3000's EPOXY RESIN-filled MAIN isolators. steel fender washers glued to all four 3000 isolators by me;




    PD-3000/PD-91/PD-93 transport mechanism;




    PD-3000/PD-91/PD-93 transport mechanism; (ALSO SHARED WITH MOST POST-1987 PIONEER CDP MODELS, BOTH SINGLE-DISC AND CHANGER)


















  10. #10
    moor tuga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Master Tasuke View Post
    i received the beauty, -with the lens popped off, of course- located it in the chassis
    The same happened when I first plugged in my second hand PD-91 and ended up getting myself a replacement laser from Dalbani.
    Was forced to lubricate the clamp too but it's been working flawlessly ever since.

    Cheers,
    Ric
    "...man will occasionally stumble over the truth, but usually manages to pick himself up, walk over or around it, and carry on." - Winston Churchill

  11. #11
    Registered Master Tasuke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tuga View Post
    The same happened when I first plugged in my second hand PD-91 and ended up getting myself a replacement laser from Dalbani.
    Was forced to lubricate the clamp too but it's been working flawlessly ever since.

    Cheers,
    Ric


    i've lubed the entire works, of my -91, as i have done with EVERY other element of my system that's based around a mechanical mechanism.

    i used WHITE LITHIUM GREASE for all the gear work, both on the clamper cage and on the wire-drive disc tray mechanism,
    and a light machine oil for the steel shafts that both the linear motor laser pick-up mount and disc tray glide on.

    this has enabled the entire mechanism to actuate smooth as silk, perhaps even better than when new.

    speaking of like new, if i ONLY had $2000.00 USD to piss away;


    http://cgi.ebay.com/Pioneer-PD-91-CD...item2565053e7e

  12. #12
    Wammer syep2001's Avatar
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    I had one of these, sadly it was DOA so never actually tested it and it went back to the seller
    I spent all my money on booze, drugs, and women, the rest I squandered

  13. #13
    Registered Master Tasuke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by syep2001 View Post
    I had one of these, sadly it was DOA so never actually tested it and it went back to the seller

    most likely the aforementioned lens issue.

    too bad you sent it back, as it's a most easy fix...

  14. #14
    Wammer
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    In the Hi-Fi industry?
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    to be frank i looked at the internal pictures of that cd player for longer than is healthy.

  15. #15
    Registered Master Tasuke's Avatar
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    In the Hi-Fi industry?
     No
    oh, that's healthy enough, i think. after all, a CDP with internals of that caliber hasn't been marketed in, oh, twenty-odd years.

    granted, the ARE some ACCUPHASEs and TEAC ESOTERICs out there with some pretty impressive internals and all,
    but you won't be finding any copper plating, nor will you find a mechanism that's as easy to service as that of this elderly PIONEER.
    i'm not exaggerating when i assert that most ANYONE could successfully replace the LD pick up, and perform tune-up maintenance on this beauty. it's just that easy.

    furthermore, as mentioned, LD pick-up assys. are still available for the PD-91, as well as for many other PIONEER models that happen to share it, to this very day.
    PIONEER has singuarly been MOST gracious and honorable about this, as not even the likes of SONY and YAMAHA stock LD spares for their top 1980's CDP models anymore.

    hell, this is something that i doubt will even be the case with most if not all modern CDPs, including those aforementioned ultra high-end models...
    Last edited by Master Tasuke; 01-07-2011 at 06:38 PM.

  16. #16
    Super Wammer lee1975's Avatar
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    Great CDP I had the 95 and you think the 91 looks good inside!! Thre 95 is a work of art and looks stunning inside and out to be fair.
    life is like a box of chocolates, You never know what you gonna get.

  17. #17
    Registered Master Tasuke's Avatar
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    case in point;


    PD-95






    true, the PD-95 is, without question, the most lavishly built CDP PIONEER ever made.

    still, it's 1990's austerity of front-panel design,
    coupled with it's central-mounted STABLE PLATTER transport and rounded-off control button motif, just isn't to my personal taste at all.

    further, it's also just about the hardest high-end PIONEER CDP to find. (in the U.S. at least)
    while the likes of the PD-91 can be found and had today quite easily indeed. (by high-end PIONEER CDP standards)

    indeed, the likes of it's immediate successors, the PD-93 and PD-95, are much much more difficult to find, (U.S. at least)
    and copies of said aforementioned CDPs in the wild, on the RARE occasions that they pop up, tend to command heated bidding wars and/or final asking prices
    that are instantly prohibitive to all but the most radically devoted potential purchasers.

    that, coupled with the fact that it is far easier to service than it's two younger brothers, is why i personally consider the PD-91 to be
    an overall superior CDP, both to it's two forebears, as well as to most, if not all other vintage CDPs in general, all other things being equal...
    Last edited by Master Tasuke; 02-07-2011 at 07:40 PM.

  18. #18
    moor tuga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lee1975 View Post
    Great CDP I had the 95 and you think the 91 looks good inside!! Thre 95 is a work of art and looks stunning inside and out to be fair.
    The PD-95 did not use a multibit D/A chip, though.
    "...man will occasionally stumble over the truth, but usually manages to pick himself up, walk over or around it, and carry on." - Winston Churchill

  19. #19
    Registered Master Tasuke's Avatar
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    yeah, everyone went hellbent on 1-Bit D/A tech in the nineties, including PIONEER, from their 1991 model PD-75 onward, i believe...

  20. #20
    Wammer folkboy's Avatar
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    Love the fact the laser lens just 'falls off'.

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