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Stephen Scharf
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Appreciating the Sony Playstation 1 as a CD Player...thanks Art!

After reading Art Dudley's review of the Sony Playstation 1 from about a year ago, I bought one last fall on Ebay for a budget-busting $34.

I really like Art's writing in Stereophile, he's pretty consistently one of my favorite writers. Here are some of his comments from that review: "Above all, with every CD I tried, the PS1 exhibited a superior level of rhythmic acuity, or

michiganjfrog
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Re: Appreciating the Sony Playstation 1 as a CD Player...thanks

I already had a PS1 (mainly for NASCAR Rumble!), so it was easy enough for me to try this out. I did this years ago, when I had heard it makes a good budget audiophile cd player (I recall some German audiophiles really took this far, fitting the drive in a totally decked out kit). Anyway, my recollection of that experience is, I could not see what the fuss was about. It sounded like what one would expect a game console cd drive to sound. But even if it was anything special, I did not like the fact that I had to connect it to a tv in order to properly use the controls. So it was a no-go for me.

jackfish
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Re: Appreciating the Sony Playstation 1 as a CD Player...thanks


Quote:
I already had a PS1 (mainly for NASCAR Rumble!), so it was easy enough for me to try this out. I did this years ago, when I had heard it makes a good budget audiophile cd player (I recall some German audiophiles really took this far, fitting the drive in a totally decked out kit). Anyway, my recollection of that experience is, I could not see what the fuss was about. It sounded like what one would expect a game console cd drive to sound. But even if it was anything special, I did not like the fact that I had to connect it to a tv in order to properly use the controls. So it was a no-go for me.

Not just any Sony Playstation 1, just the SCPH-1001 version. In addition, it is quite easy to control the PS1 as a CD player with a PS2 remote.

michiganjfrog
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Re: Appreciating the Sony Playstation 1 as a CD Player...thanks

Oh. I have the SCPH-7001. It makes a difference?

Buddha
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Re: Appreciating the Sony Playstation 1 as a CD Player...thanks

I think the SCPH-7001 has the bus-type connectors. The 'correct' model Sony uses RCA connectors.

It is my impression that only the RCA versions have the better chip/sound.

linden518
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Re: Appreciating the Sony Playstation 1 as a CD Player...thanks

Yeah, the only one worth vouching for is the SCPH-1001. Different chip and Sony tried to reduce costs by using cheaper parts.

michiganjfrog
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Re: Appreciating the Sony Playstation 1 as a CD Player...thanks

Yeah, I just checked again and it has bus type connectors on the player side, to RCA on the input side. But that just means I can't use audiophile cables with this version. Don't see how that would change much, in relation to the SQ attributed to the PS1.

linden518
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Re: Appreciating the Sony Playstation 1 as a CD Player...thanks

I haven't heard the 7001, but according to people, the difference is considerable. Different DAC, different op-amp structure, quality of parts used, you're talking about 2 different machines, albeit in the same crappy enclosure. I guess the only way to find out for sure is to plop down a $20 and seeing if there is any truth to the claim.

I really like the PS1 that it's still what I use to spin CDs. I heard Cambridge Audio 840C in my system and I much preferred PS1.

michiganjfrog
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Re: Appreciating the Sony Playstation 1 as a CD Player...thanks


Quote:
I haven't heard the 7001, but according to people, the difference is considerable. Different DAC, different op-amp structure, quality of parts used, you're talking about 2 different machines, albeit in the same crappy enclosure. I guess the only way to find out for sure is to plop down a $20 and seeing if there is any truth to the claim.

I really like the PS1 that it's still what I use to spin CDs. I heard Cambridge Audio 840C in my system and I much preferred PS1.

I guess you're right, the only way to find out if the SCPH-1001 is a hundred times better than my SCPH-7001 is to buy the former model. I guess I could always use a 12th CD player... The Cambridge appears to have very good reviews. I'm wondering in what ways you felt the $30 PS1 was much better than the 840C?

linden518
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Re: Appreciating the Sony Playstation 1 as a CD Player...thanks

In my system, the 840C had no body, especially in dense orchestral works, and had a weird, unbelievable treble sound... kind of a sheen. I could never separate myself from the player and really get involved with the music I was listening to. PS1, even with its deficiencies, has a naturally bloomy, musical sound. Very gutsy-sounding, too. Sure the bass flies away every now and then, and doesn't resolve as much as "proper" audiophile CDPs, but I use it not because of the "I can't lose with a 20-buck player" mentality, but just because I like listening to CDs on it.

Don't believe the hype on all these modded PS1s, though. I've had heavily modded versions on hand, and for some reason, they all sounded crap.

Stephen Scharf
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Re: Appreciating the Sony Playstation 1 as a CD Player...thanks

This is correct; the SPCH-1001 had a superior DAC to subesquent models, and RCA outputs. In the review, and in my experience, the quality of the interconnects makes a big difference in the final output sound quality. Cables DO matter.

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