The 50 Greatest Vintage CD Players ever made

Beobloke

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Klassik doesn't take CD players with track displays like that all that seriously. Klassik has some 'early music' classical music CDs which have 60+ tracks. Klassik doubts any CD player track calendar has the capability to display such things. ;)
Tell Klassik that the full display for the Beogram CD5500 is actually on the Master Control Panel 5500
 
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A.S.

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Klassik doesn't take these lists very seriously. Even worse are the rankings some people try to do of music/classical music. o_O Klassik is pleased to see that a Kyocera CD player did get some respect though. Kyocera's Hi-Fi equipment from the 1980s is largely forgotten about now, but they made some excellent stuff. They were sure to have something ceramic in them. ;)

As for the Sony PlayStation, wasn't it specifically a few versions of the PSX that were considered to be 'audiophile' grade? Probably early versions? Klassik never understood the excitement about using a PSX as a CD player back in the day. At least in the 1990s and early 2000s when people were talking about using the PSX as a high-end CD player, it was basically a requirement to use it with a TV in order to see the transport controls and such. Of course, in those days, the TV of choice probably would have been a CRT TV with the subsequent high-frequency whine. Maybe only younger people would have heard that, but then it was mostly younger people who had PlayStations unless someone was stealing their children's toys. :D

Klassik doesn't take CD players with track displays like that all that seriously. Klassik has some 'early music' classical music CDs which have 60+ tracks. Klassik doubts any CD player track calendar has the capability to display such things. ;)
Klassik needs to do Klassik’s homework before Klassik draws conclusions and Klassik falls into misapprehensions and blurts out the first thing that comes to Klassik’s mind. The full track display is found on the remote control.
 

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Klassik

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Tell Klassik that the full display for the Beogram CD5500 is actually on the Master Control Panel 5500

Klassik needs to do Klassik’s homework before Klassik draws conclusions and Klassik falls into misapprehensions and blurts out the first thing that comes to Klassik’s mind. The full track display is found on the remote control.
Klassik is fully aware of how the display works on the Beogram 5500/Master Control Panel. The point is that the track calendar only goes up to track 14, which many CDs have more than 14, and the numeric display is a multifunction one such that one cannot view the track number and track time in one view if one is listening to a CD with more than 14 tracks. While track calendars might be useful for programming purposes, having the track calendar be the primary way of displaying track numbers is not a good design. This is an example of form over function.

As an example of more useful design, this Technics SL-P770 CD player has a track calendar, and a better one at that, but it also has a normal track display and counter. For a listener of Baroque and earlier music, this type of CD player display is much preferred over the very basic one on the 5500.

0208232934158.jpg
 

lazycat

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As an example of more useful design, this Technics SL-P770 CD player has a track calendar, and a better one at that, but it also has a normal track display and counter. For a listener of Baroque and earlier music, this type of CD player display is much preferred over the very basic one on the 5500.
Yes. But it doesn't have a 'Master Control Panel'.

You'll never make a Bond Villain.

Poor show.
 
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Jules_S

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Q. How do you keep a forum of hi-fi nerds occupied until eternity?

A. Give them someone else's "Top 50" list and ask them to come up with their own, corrected, version, ranked in order of performance.

🤣

How about it? Shall we "correct" this list officially? Remember, 50 players only, lowest-ranked one drops out every time something else is added.
And then we can go on to do the same with amps, speakers, streamers, turntables, speaker cables.... 🤪
 

John (big)

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I'm not surprised the Philips CD104 has not been mentioned, no remote, slow draw open and close, limited functions & 2 mono DAC's & SAA7030 oversampling circuit plus the intermittent functioning after a year & a day (out of warranty) so my one went on top of my wardrobe.

I bought one in 1984, the lack of a remote was no problem then or now, I now realise the CDM-1 transport is the best ever made with a glass lens, the TDA 1540 mono DAC'S are still revered by many people. The intermittent functions were caused by "Griplets" hollow rivets linking the upper & lower double sided PCB's.. even so the sound when functional in my system was very analogue??? no perceived digital artifacts?

About 2013 I read about No Overall Sampling my son at tech college did a NOS conversion wired through the griplets then removed the SAA7030 made it the original designers 14bit fitted a 20 leg IC socket & a re-clocking device from Bulgaria. wired in 2 phono sockets with pure silver wire.

It now sounds magnificent say people who have heard it and stays where it is.
 
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Nopiano

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Reflecting on this, I’m not sure if greatest ever needs ‘vintage’ added, because there are only a handful of newer machines that might feature here.
 
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naka

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Most of the top cd players were already mentioned.

My all time favorites are:
Denon DCD S1
Pioneer PD-S95
Wadia 6
Krell Kav-300 cd
Naim CDS 3
Meridian 506.24
Onkyo DX-7911
Rega Planet MkI
Marantz CD 63 KI-Signature

I was lucky to own some of them.
 

hiesteem

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I remember listening to a Levinson in the 90's as an alternative to the Restek. It was over 4k at the time and sounded far too edgy to listen to for more than 5 minutes for my tastes.
The two-box Pink Triangle de capo was more impressive. Great detail, but is still not as good an all-rounder or as analogue sounding as the Restek, but I did think about it for 5 minutes as an alternative. I didn't trust its reliability against the German Restek. It was the right choice and is fully upgradeable today.
 

manisandher

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I'd have the following on the list (all of which I've owned and lived with at some point):

Rotel RHCD-10
Audiomeca Mephisto II
Marantz SA-1
Esoteric P70/D70
dCS Scarlatti (4-box stack)

I also owned the Sony SCD-1. Loved the look and feel, but really didn't care for its sound.

I remember going into Martin Kleiser in Chiswick, must be getting onto 20 odd years ago now. I took in my Rotel RHCD-10 to compare against the Linn CD12. I preferred the Rotel! But... I also listened to a Naim CDS II (I think), which was superb.

Nowadays, I tend to stream from Roon/Qobuz... but there's just something magical about having a physical format...

Mani.
 
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MVJ

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[URL][URL]https://www.techweekmag.com/news/speakers/the-50-greatest-vintage-cd-players-ever-made/[/URL][/URL]

50. Grundig Fine Arts CD-9009

49. Carver SD/A-490t

48. Pioneer PD-95

47. Kyocera DA-910

46. Philips CD850

45 Rotel RCD-991AE

44. Nakamichi CD4

43. Studer D731QC

42. Philips CD-880

41. Meridian 200/203 DAC


40. Cambridge CD1

39. Technics SL-P900

38. Marantz CD-52 Mk II SE

37. Teac VRDS-20

36. Arcam Alpha 7 CD

35. Revox B225

34. Balanced Audio Technology VK-D5 CD

33. Quad CD66

32. Marantz CD-15

31. Sony CDP-X777ES


30. Meridian 508.24

29. Teac P-1/D-1

28. Yamaha CDX-10000

27. Audio Research CD2

26. Sony CDP-R1/DAS-R1

25. Luxman DP-07/DA-07

24. Nakamichi DRAGON Limited CD-DAC-PS

23. Rega Planet CD

22. Sony CDP-R10

21. Proceed PCD/PDT/MRC 100


20. Yamaha GT-CD1

19. Naim CD 3.5 CD

18. Denon DP-S1

17. Arcam FMJ CD23

16. Sony Playstation One

15. Marantz CD-7

14. Philips LHH1001/LHH1002

13. Victor XL-999EX

12. Accuphase DP-90/DC-61

11. Sony CDP-XA7ES


10. Kenwood LD-1

9. Wadia 830 CD

8. Meridian Reference 800

7. Krell KAV-300cd

6. Wadia 27ix / Wadia 270

5. Mark Levinson No.39

4. Krell KPS-20i

3. Mark Levinson No.37/No.36S

2. Sony SCD-1

1. Linn Sondek CD12


I think there's some great CD players missing from this list. But I must say I agree about the Sony Playstation One. I had one and used it in my hifi system for a time when I was at uni and it was quite impressive.


Where is the Kenwood DP-7090?
Tbh Any of these so called best of lists of whatever product are just the opinion of a few so called experts and mean nothing in reality.
 
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chris metcalfe

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Naim CD3.5 but not the CDS or CD555?
Agree about Quad 66, derided at the time and quickly replaced by the CD67 (well, quickly for Quad).
I owned the Philips CD850 and the Meridian 200/203, both lovely machines.
I think we can ignore no.16.
 

bigrod

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I'd have the following on the list (all of which I've owned and lived with at some point):

Rotel RHCD-10
Audiomeca Mephisto II
Marantz SA-1
Esoteric P70/D70
dCS Scarlatti (4-box stack)

I also owned the Sony SCD-1. Loved the look and feel, but really didn't care for its sound.

I remember going into Martin Kleiser in Chiswick, must be getting onto 20 odd years ago now. I took in my Rotel RHCD-10 to compare against the Linn CD12. I preferred the Rotel! But... I also listened to a Naim CDS II (I think), which was superb.

Nowadays, I tend to stream from Roon/Qobuz... but there's just something magical about having a physical format...

Mani.
I heard a Sony SCD1 modified by vacuum state ..very analogue like
I did contemplate doing the same with my 777Es but decided I liked how it already sounded ..
 

Jotom750

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The list is an opinion. Everyone is different so I really don’t think you can have a definitive list.
The Cambridge CD1 is or was a class player and soooo wish I still had it but I could never compare it to everything else obviously.
Agreed, I have the Cambridge Audio CD1, CD2 and CD3. The CD2 is modified with new clock, caps, diodes and Op Amps. It's a real ugly duckling, but plays like an angel. The other two are standard. The CD1 is on another level, I feel honoured to have found one, the soundstage is even bigger, with a liquidity unlike CD's at all. Though they all have 'family' sound traits, as with many TDA1541 players. I will do some very gentle updating as advised by the designer, and leave it as that. Having a small collection, I can say that these put the Marantz CD7 and the Micro Seiki M100 in the "Second Tier" (I have the second and sold the first). The Kenwood DP 7090 is a giant killer, and when simply and cheaply upgraded, (Caps, Op Amps, Diodes) as per Lampizator's rec's (no valves) really will put £2K to £4K players to shame, as I have whitnessed, and at a tenth of the price. (It's also nice that it has a readily available, low cost mech). Can't say anything about most of the others though do find players with the BB PCM63 dac good. My only other rec is for the Tube Technology Fusion 64. With the right output valves (not Mullard) it's a great player also.
 

naka

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Because I am very much committed to the CD format since it appeared, and after some changes and upgrades, I have decided to have a small collection of vintage CD players:
- Rega Saturn
- Naim CD5x + Flatcap 2x
- Musical Fidelity AMS CD
- Parasound B/CD2000 + D/AC1100 HD

Each one brings something different to the sound of my system and I treasure them all. That said, I still long for these:
- Linn Ikemi
- Marantz CD7
- Krell Kav-300i
- Mark Levinson CD 390s

A Denafrips Pontus II dac combined with a Cambridge CXC CD transport, brings a more “modern” touch to my system but the vintage CD players are still very impressive.

Still, perhaps I will look into a tube-dac in the future, like thise from Audionote or Lab12.
 

Dogwithnotail

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Counterpoint DA10 & 11. Used one for 10 years - absolutely sublime, music just flowed. A instruction manual was an entertaining read!
 

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