I had the opportunity to buy a thule cd 150b balanced cd player. It has a very decent power supply, alluminium casing, philips cdm 12.4 transport and it weighs 14 kilo.
I've used a 3m anti resonance coating to make the cabinet even sturdier and replaced the fuses. The sound is great (especially for the 100 usd i've paid and the original 1500 usd retail price), specs below this post.
The only downside is that it's very sensitive for skipping. Even some almost new cd's can cause a skip even though i'm very cautious and no noticeable scratches are visible. The same cd's in the dvd don't make any problems but the sound is not as good.
I've bought a new philips laser but since i can't replace it myself I would like to know if a player like this is still worth the effort?
thanks for the advice,
The Spirit CD players are build from CDM12.4 laser unit and loader 1265 from Philips.
The servo circuit layout is build around the generation CD7 digital servo circuit IC's from Philips, but circuit layout and software are fully developed by Thule Audio.
Thule Audio has optimized servo parameters for standalone high end applications:
Bandwidth for radial servo, focus servo and sledge servo are reduced to improve tracking when discs have bad sections and reduce noise coupling to the sensitive analog section.
Motor currents are limited by series resistors and low servo bandwidth to decrease EMI noise and power supply surge from servo motors.
This makes the Spirit CD players able to play most scratches up to 2mm without any clicks in sound.
Another trade off from this concept is that mechanical noise from the CD mechanism is extremely low when playing, because the hole system is "in standby mode" when the disc has no bad sections.
The low mechanical noise will also improve long time reliability of the CD mechanism.
When playing, try to compare mechanical noise from the Spirit CD player to other CD players.
The disadvantage of a lower servo bandwidth is less immunity to mechanical shock, but heavy steel cabinet, damped feets and floating coupling of laser sledge makes the Spirit CD players more immune to mechanical shock than most CD players on the market.