How would a Sony Playstation 1 sound as a CD player? - AVS Forum

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CD Players & Dedicated Music Transports

MoltenLava's Avatar MoltenLava
11:53 AM Liked: 10
post #1 of 30
01-03-2009 | Posts: 284
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Many of you have probably heard about the rather old buzz that one particular model of Sony PS1 (SCPH-1001) can be exceptionally good as a CD player. There are some professional audio reviewers using PS1 as their reference digital front end.

http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews/leben2/system.html

Stereophile magazine has done a review on PS1 not to long ago and came to a rather positive conclusion.

http://stereophile.com/cdplayers/708play/

I thought it would be a fun and interesting exercise to compare PS1 as a CD player against other stand alone CD players. After all it costs only $20 from eBay. The plan is first to get familiar with its sound. I'll be playing various genre through PS1 over the next couple of weeks. If it doesn't sound any different from my current CD player, then the fun is over and there is nothing more to do. If it does sound different in sighted comparison, then I'll conduct blind comparison and see how well I do.

I would welcome any comments, suggestions, and constructive criticism. If you think this is silly and don't find any value, then stop reading and move on to another post. If you are interested, then I would like to hear your prediction.
Th3_uN1Qu3's Avatar Th3_uN1Qu3
11:57 AM Liked: 11
post #2 of 30
01-03-2009 | Posts: 714
Joined: Oct 2008
I don't know about its audio capabilities, but i do know it can be a bitch to calibrate if the laser is out of focus, i've fixed one and it wasn't easy. So if you get yours off ebay, make sure it's in good working condition.
PR Audio's Avatar PR Audio
02:40 PM Liked: 10
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01-03-2009 | Posts: 1,280
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I did the comparison, actually it wasn't against my current CD player (Jolida JD602A), but vs. an old Sony DVD player used as CDP until I got the Jolida.

The PS1 Stereophile refers to is the very first generation without any revisions. This PS1 is recognizable, as it has analogue audio outputs, besides the PS1 regular digital connector; not because it is big and gray. Apparently the DAC in this unit was of a good quality and very good playing audio CD's.

The next revision(s) of the PS1 were still big and gray, but had a different DAC, and the analogue audio outputs were deleted. Therefore, the only way to connect those units to your amp/receiver is using the Sony supplied cable with analogue RCA audio/video on one end, and Sony PS1 digital connection on the other. This unit(s) sound like crap playing audio CD's, this is the one I have and tried. The old Sony DVD player was an audiophiles dream compared to this PS1 unit. I also, had the last PS1 version, which was white and smaller, but that one won't even work as a CD player.

Also, Stereophile give the original PS1 a Class D recommendation, so don't expect much anyways. For someone on an extremely tight budget it is OK, but a better alternative would be to keep watching Bay, Audiogon, Xcell, and others looking for a good deal. That's how I found my Jolida JD602A for $144.00.
MoltenLava's Avatar MoltenLava
04:41 PM Liked: 10
post #4 of 30
01-03-2009 | Posts: 284
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PR Audio View Post

The PS1 Stereophile refers to is the very first generation without any revisions. This PS1 is recognizable, as it has analogue audio outputs, besides the PS1 regular digital connector; not because it is big and gray. Apparently the DAC in this unit was of a good quality and very good playing audio CD's.

That's correct. The model number is SCPH-1001. That's the one with AKM DAC and analog audio output jacks.

I've bought one off eBay, and it'll be shipped to me in a couple of days.
PR Audio's Avatar PR Audio
12:51 AM Liked: 10
post #5 of 30
01-04-2009 | Posts: 1,280
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MoltenLava View Post

That's correct. The model number is SCPH-1001. That's the one with AKM DAC and analog audio output jacks.

I've bought one off eBay, and it'll be shipped to me in a couple of days.

When you get it, let us know your impressions...
tooskinny's Avatar tooskinny
10:55 AM Liked: 10
post #6 of 30
01-04-2009 | Posts: 319
Joined: Sep 2006
My old H/K cd player was on the fritz and remembered I had a old playstaion for years ago. I found it finally and it is the model number that is suppose to sound good. I hooked it up and starting playing some normal cd's and it sounds really good. Seems to bring out more detail than my old player. Not that I can say it compares to more expensive cd players, but it's sure a cheap way for me to listen to cd's for the time. I even picked up a remote so I can skip to the next song track.
Mr. Audio's Avatar Mr. Audio
10:29 PM Liked: 12
post #7 of 30
01-06-2009 | Posts: 780
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I started another thread on this subject not know this one existed. I have two of the SCH-1001 model Playstation so I thought I would give it a shot after reading all the articles about this thing. The claims seem pretty ridiculous since it was a gaming system not built primarily for sound but it cost me nothing to try it out.

I was originally comparing the PSX to my Sony 75H DVD player hooked up optically to my Yamaha RX-V659 receiver. Ofcourse the PSX was hooked up analog. I noticed a very big difference between the two in favor of the PSX. Unlike most sound comparison tests I run, my testing didn't take long. My wife who is a non-audio enthusiast gave her opinion and thought the PSX sounded better as well.

Tonight I decided to rearrange my entertainment center to make it more grown up looking and also decided to purge obsolete equipment. My VCR and my Harmon/Kardon CD-R20 were removed and set to go to the storage dungeon. The CD-R20 was possibly the worst CD recorder ever made because it was do damn unreliable when it came to recording. It can no longer make even one good CD anymore, but playback is perfect. My last memories of it's playback were warm and kinda heavy with midrange. However back then my system wasn't calibrated properly at all and I was still living in my parents house in my little 10 X 10 room. Even so it always seem the H/K always sounded different than my other gear even when hooked digitally. So I hooked it up analog and compared it to my 75H. No contest. The H/K won hands down. I compared it then to the PSX. The H/K sounded much more like the PSX except the H/K seems to sound better by quite a bit. The PSX sounds even tempered and is pleasing to the ear as where the H/K sounds even tempered with seemingly quite a bit more detail and soundstage. The H/K is not brighter than the PSX by any stretch but has much more intelligible highs and mids.

Now these are just my first impressions. I'm almost sure that the H/K has the PSX beat at this point, but I didn't listen long or loud enough to be totally sure. I know that my Sony 75H has been crushed. Or rather my Yamaha's DAC has been crushed. I used to have the impression that digital was always better, but it seems that my receiver's DAC just doesn't cut it for music. That quite possibly may be the story for many people.

I paid 500 bucks for the CD-R20 and I can't find any reviews about sound quality on it because it was a CD recorder primarily and failed at that miserably so most reviews are user reviews and they hate it without caring if it had good playback so I'm not entirely sure if the H/K is an exceptional CD player or if it is just simply better than anything else I've owned. I also can't seem to find any expert reviews either. Anyway, I plan to do more listening and comparing these two tomorrow so I will report back on what I hear. I'm also looking forward to MoltenLava's review on the PSX.
MoltenLava's Avatar MoltenLava
06:44 PM Liked: 10
post #8 of 30
01-07-2009 | Posts: 284
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I've received PS1 and spent a few hours with it. I haven't spent enough time to form an opinion on its sound, but so far the experience has been positive.

The output level from the analog RCA jacks is indeed very low. Probably lower by 5-10dB than anything else I've seen.

The sound is surprisingly musical and pleasant to the ears. It's the exact opposite of harsh and tinny sound from Sony DVP-7700, the ES class DVD player from the same era as PS1. There is none of the harshness typically associated with CD sound.

I haven't done a proper A/B against the incumbent player, but the initial impression is rather positive. I'll hold off expressing any negative impression for now. But one thing I'll mention is that I feel the overall sound is somewhat dark, similar to California Audio Labs CL-15 that I used to have, also from the same era as PS1. The impression of being dark may be related to the lack of harshness and tinny sound that I mentioned earlier. Nevertheless, the female vocals like Diana Krall Holly Cole sound very smooth and seductive.

I'll be listening to a variety of music in the next few days. I'll post additional info when I have better understanding of the sound.
Mr. Audio's Avatar Mr. Audio
12:55 AM Liked: 12
post #9 of 30
01-08-2009 | Posts: 780
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So this is my second day comparing the PSX to my H/K CDR20. I was no able to do a double blind test on myself as I had wanted to due to not being able to switch sources without knowing which button I was pressing. However I did get my once again very non-audiophile wife involved again.

Like MoltenLava said the sound from the PSX is sort of dark. What makes it sound so desirable is the abundance of low midrange. Music is not totally dark as there is still good definition in the highs. I do think that the low midrange is a bit excessive. Comparing it to my H/K, the H/K had the warmth needed in the low midrange which my receiver's DAC lacks, and smooth and detailed highs. Even though the PSX was overly warm which is always better than harsh, it seemed to lack in definition and soundstage because of all it's warmth. Instruments seemed to just run together instead of blend. This robbed some liveliness to the sound and made it sort of dull. The best way I can describe the sound from the PSX is "crowded". At times vocals had a few too many helpings of bass. On a more positive note the extreme highs and lows were all there which are good things. The bass was very defined.

So how would I grade the PSX? The fact is if I hadn't had the H/K it would have been my CD player for sure. The H/K was simply clearer than the PSX. The H/K seemed to have all of the PSX's strengths and none of it's weaknesses. Overall though the PSX was very enjoyable at all volumes. Crank up the volume and your music will punch you right in the face. I can see why some audiophiles would like this thing. It's a solid state device that kinda sounds tube like. Is it the most accurate cd player out there? Who really even knows for sure what is accurate and what's not? With so many recordings good and bad where is the reference level. All I know is harsh sound makes me turn the volume knob counter clockwise. I think the reference level is when you have achieved a smile on your face while listening. I'll take overly smooth over harsh anyday. Smooth is a lot more fun.
Mr. Audio's Avatar Mr. Audio
10:34 PM Liked: 12
post #10 of 30
01-08-2009 | Posts: 780
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After doing some more thinking about what I had heard, I decided to give the PSX another shot. I listened to some music softly after I had posted my review with the H/K. I noticed that at soft levels the sound was still a bit out of balance and that I had to turn the music up to hear more of the body of the music. I reflected today about the test I ran between the H/K and the Yamaha DAC and they sounded slightly different, but almost the same. I remembered while comparing the PSX to both the Yamaha and H/K that the PSX consistently sounded way different, and mostly in a good way. I believe my ears possibly may have been a little biased as I wanted the H/K to win because of it's reliability track record and that it would just make more sense for a dedicated CD player with a supposedly better built and more advanced DAC to win over a game console that was built primarily to play games and play CDs as a secondary operation.

I read the article from the guy who originally discovered this and saw that he had made all kinds of mods to supposedly boost the PSX into audiophile territory. He noted that by using the A/V multi-out port instead of the RCA outs bypasses most of the circuitry that on the RCA side gets in the way of the signal path and to use the multi output if you didn't wanna open anything up and solider. They had this goofy, flimsy lookin' rig that they built into a plug to plug into the multi-port. Since I have always used S-video for everything I possibly could, I had the OEM Sony muti-out cable. So I used that. I kept the RCAs plugged into the same port in my receiver and plugged the muli-out into another input so I could switch off. Amazingly the complains that I had about the PSX sounding crowded and undefined vanished. The highs and mids were now extremely intelligible while still sustaining the evenness and warmth I heard from the RCA outputs.

I then began to realize how comfortable and enjoyable the PSX was to listen to at low volume levels. This became the litmus test. I noticed that while I had to turn the H/K up to hear the music in better detail, I didn't feel the need to touch the volume on the PSX. Like I said the PSX will punch you in the face if you turn it up. The sound from the PSX is so even tempered that you are able to notice and even appreciate clarity at low volume levels. I was rockin' out to "No Shelter" by RAM at -35.0db on my receivers gain when I normally rock out at about -8.0db. The music was punchy and clear at low volumes. I encourage skeptics to do this test with your CD player. I changed nothing in my calibration menus, speaker placement or speaker treatments. For the longest time I didn't listen to music on my system because I couldn't stand to. I gave up and just said "Well it sounds fantastic with movies and games and even music DVDs, so I guess CD music is just too crappy and compressed to sound good." People who wanted to hear my stuff wanted to hear music and I was like ok............ how about my Chicago or Eagles DVD. They'd be like "Don't you have some CDs of something else?" I'd always kick that question aside and say "Let's watch this part in The Incredibles." However now I would be willing to pop in whatever they wanna hear.

I know. It doesn't make much sense when you look at the Playstation. All I know is what I hear sounds really good. If you have one lying around like I did just give it a try.
tooskinny's Avatar tooskinny
05:36 PM Liked: 10
post #11 of 30
01-09-2009 | Posts: 319
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Did the plug you used come with the playstaion? I am currently using mine as a dedicated cd player only using the rca cables. I would like to try the same method you used to see how much better it sounds.
Mr. Audio's Avatar Mr. Audio
10:01 PM Liked: 12
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01-09-2009 | Posts: 780
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The later playstations came with the multi-out cables because that was the only way you could hook them up since Sony removed the RCA outs on the later models. The PS2 also used the exact same cable. You should be able to pick up PS2 cables really cheap.
MoltenLava's Avatar MoltenLava
07:36 PM Liked: 10
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01-12-2009 | Posts: 284
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After spending a few more days using PS1 as a CD player I have better perspective of its sound. In short, PS1 does certain things very well, much better than most CD players that I've owned.

I really like the sound of plucked strings, such as acoustic guitar or upright bass. The plucked sound has good definition and realistic. When playing "Spain" by Michel Camilo and Tomatito, the guitar sounds more prominent and impressive.

The female vocal sounds realistic and legible. There is more of "the singer is in the room" feeling.

The percussion sounds very dynamic. Whether it's drum, timbale, or congo, the sound is dynamic and rhythmical.

The main shortfall seems to be the frequency extension in the extremes. The lack of treble extension is immediately noticeable, and it could sound dark overall. I can see people preferring this type of presentation as it sounds less "digital". My initial impression left somewhat bloated bass, but now I think its bass performance is just fine.

Overall, I think PS1 is a fine sounding CD player. If you like laid back and relaxed sound, then you might just hit a jackpot with PS1 for less than $50.
wolfganglui's Avatar wolfganglui
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01-16-2009 | Posts: 50
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Many years ago I decided to plug in my younger brother toy, a brand new PS1, into my hifi system for a laugh. It sound very good actually it was superb. One day an out spoken friend point out it sound just as good as my expensive Linn Karik. I refuse to admit it then but now with hindsight he was indeed correct.
tooskinny's Avatar tooskinny
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post #15 of 30
01-19-2009 | Posts: 319
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I have been listening to my PS1 for the last couple of weekends. I really like the warm sound. Could be because I use H/K avr that also seems to always have a warm sound. I was going to buy a higher priced dedicated cd player, but the PS1 will stay and I will look at focusing the funds to put into something else in my setup.
mrevo's Avatar mrevo
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post #16 of 30
11-02-2009 | Posts: 50
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There is a A/V connector with higher quality cables from several companies (including Sony, Rocketfish and Monster).
The problem I see with the PS1 is that if the music is too loud it jumps, the mod sites recommend a heavy base to eliminate this.
tooskinny's Avatar tooskinny
09:30 AM Liked: 10
post #17 of 30
11-08-2009 | Posts: 319
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I just picked up a A/V multi-out port cable. I will play around with it to see if I notice a difference in just using rca cables.
Herve's Avatar Herve
06:41 PM Liked: 12
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01-07-2011 | Posts: 953
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Well, my wife and I added a PS 1 SCPH-5501 to our 2-channel audio system today.
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...9#post19641719
The PS1 now sits on the floor under the CD player and integrated amp.

In short, the PS1 may be the best CD player I've heard to date.
MichaelJHuman's Avatar MichaelJHuman
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01-09-2011 | Posts: 18,955
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If you have a modern AVR with the high quality DACs they usually seem to use, I can't see where the old PS1 would be great. Maybe back in the day it had a good DAC and associated circuitry...but how about by today's standards?
Herve's Avatar Herve
01:40 PM Liked: 12
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01-10-2011 | Posts: 953
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelJHuman View Post

If you have a modern AVR with the high quality DACs they usually seem to use, I can't see where the old PS1 would be great. Maybe back in the day it had a good DAC and associated circuitry...but how about by today's standards?

Don't take the proponents' words for it. Buy either SCPH 1001 or SCPH 5501 and have a listen. Either one will cost very little - likely under $20.
varsitypride3's Avatar varsitypride3
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01-11-2011 | Posts: 9
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Ok, I read this and have long heard these rumors about how great the PS1 was. I knew I had bought one of the original first PS1's so... I went thru my parent's garage and found it. Its playing right now. It's a scph 1001 model. I plugged the right and left rca jacks into my receiver and received... what I expected. Mediocre sound. I guess it's better than a $100 CD player, but is it some miracle-worker? No. My DVD player hooked up to my emu 0404 USB external sound card thru coaxial cable sounds better than this. Considerably better.

The PS1 produced rolled off highs, rolled off lows, and a shallow soundstage. I have no idea where people are pulling this from. I wouldn't pay more than $30 for a ps1 IF you want to give this it a try. $40 if its a real good condition ps1.
Herve's Avatar Herve
01:56 PM Liked: 12
post #22 of 30
01-12-2011 | Posts: 953
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On the 1001 you should use audio from the multi-av out, not the RCAs. Let it warm up for a considerable length of time before you use it, too.
jerim's Avatar jerim
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post #23 of 30
01-12-2011 | Posts: 101
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Herve View Post

On the 1001 you should use audio from the multi-av out, not the RCAs. Let it warm up for a considerable length of time before you use it, too.

Now it needs to warm up as well? Stacking audio myths, what fun.
varsitypride3's Avatar varsitypride3
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post #24 of 30
01-13-2011 | Posts: 9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Herve View Post

On the 1001 you should use audio from the multi-av out, not the RCAs. Let it warm up for a considerable length of time before you use it, too.

I decided to give the ps1 a 2nd chance. I plugged in a component a/v cable (original sony product) from a ps2 into the a/v out of the unit and threw a cd in.

At first, i was getting teeeeeeeeeeerrible, loud distortion whenever the music peaked. I thought something has gone horribly wrong. I unplugged and plugged everything back in a few times and even opened the ps1 up to check for dust or other debris. After letting it play maybe 20-30 minutes, the distortion went away completely. I let it play various cd's for the rest of the night.

It was maybe 2-3 hours into my listening session that it dawned on me. The ps1 didn't sound like my cd transport + external dac setup.. at all. It sounded like my late 1970's year old marantz turntable. Mellow, darker (as in, no brightness) with rolled off lows and highs. This resulted in the mids (read: vocals) coming thru well. The vocals had a good weight to them, and were clean. The artists just seemed "there" in the room. I came to the conclusion that the reason people like the PS1 is because it sounds like a Vinyl player than a CD player. This has its advantages and disadvantages--its a matter of preference.

Which brought me back to the stereophile article. Toward the end, John Atkinson states that he thinks people are enjoying the ps1 NOT because its a technically excellent cd player, but rather, because its coloration might be masking some of the inherent cold-sounding nature of the CD. I venture to say that most of the people who have a ps1 and love it also have a turntable and love Vinyl music.

the ps1 now has a permanent place in my setup.
Herve's Avatar Herve
03:00 PM Liked: 12
post #25 of 30
01-13-2011 | Posts: 953
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Quote:
Originally Posted by varsitypride3 View Post

I decided to give the ps1 a 2nd chance. I plugged in a component a/v cable (original sony product) from a ps2 into the a/v out of the unit and threw a cd in.

At first, i was getting teeeeeeeeeeerrible, loud distortion whenever the music peaked. I thought something has gone horribly wrong. I unplugged and plugged everything back in a few times and even opened the ps1 up to check for dust or other debris. After letting it play maybe 20-30 minutes, the distortion went away completely. I let it play various cd's for the rest of the night.

It was maybe 2-3 hours into my listening session that it dawned on me. The ps1 didn't sound like my cd transport + external dac setup.. at all. It sounded like my late 1970's year old marantz turntable. Mellow, darker (as in, no brightness) with rolled off lows and highs. This resulted in the mids (read: vocals) coming thru well. The vocals had a good weight to them, and were clean. The artists just seemed "there" in the room. I came to the conclusion that the reason people like the PS1 is because it sounds like a Vinyl player than a CD player. This has its advantages and disadvantages--its a matter of preference.

Which brought me back to the stereophile article. Toward the end, John Atkinson states that he thinks people are enjoying the ps1 NOT because its a technically excellent cd player, but rather, because its coloration might be masking some of the inherent cold-sounding nature of the CD. I venture to say that most of the people who have a ps1 and love it also have a turntable and love Vinyl music.

the ps1 now has a permanent place in my setup.

Thanks for the updated report.

When I want to test the highs and lows of a CD player I insert a 1990 digital recording of Virgil Fox playing the Ruffatti organ at the Gardern Grove Comminity Church in Garden Grove, California (Laseerlight 15 313):
http://www.virgilfoxlegacy.com/discographycd.html

I also listen to various tracks on a copy I have of an "Audio Sense" sampler CD that I've listened to a hundred times on various players from high-end to low-end. (By its current price, the PS would probably fit in the latter category.)

In short, I do not hear any deficiencies in playback, but this is probably a matter of taste, as you say. I read Stereophile articles with some interest, but I keep in the front of my mind that irresistable political forces must come to bear on a Stereophile reviewer who is "confronted" with the audio quality of the PS. Combine this with the "taste" factor in the sound quality of audio components in general, and it becomes difficult for the reader/consumer to know what to think after reading this review in particular.

That being said, however, Stereophile's 2000 review of our Paradigm Studio 100 v2 spekaers is what prompted me to connect the speakers to the 4-Ohm terminals of our integrated tube amp, and that simple act instantly transformed the semi-conscious Studios into the fire-breakthing dragons that were described in the Stereophile review.

If you happen to be interested in just possibly further improving what comes out of an already-great-sounding (IMO) PS CD player, you might want to consider this person's modification service:

http://trade.audioasylum.com/ca/list...-Service/40409

I was seriously considering that service myself, but the 5501 that I bought sounded so good the first time I used it, that I didn't feel it necessary to spend the extra bucks, and my opinion hasn't changed as my listening hours stack up. If you do spring for that mod, I'd love to hear what you have to say about the result.

FYI, I have our PS powered on all the time, ready to do its thing whenever the need arises. If this player is not the audio bargain of the century, I'd like to know what is.
Sportfreunde's Avatar Sportfreunde
05:31 PM Liked: 10
post #26 of 30
03-13-2013 | Posts: 15
Joined: Nov 2012
I'd like to know how to turn a PS1 (I have an old mini) into a CD player by connecting it to some cheap computers speakers and maybe a subwoofer. I can purchase a Logitech subwoofer/speaker for under $30 but if I were to buy a CD player, it would cost $80+ (of course I could buy a little boombox but those have horrible audio).

I see other people doing it but I can't find out how. Not much of an audiophile, just need a way to connect it to audio speakers and play without having a TV connected (something I can put on a shelf).

I'm assuming that connecting the audio cables from the PS1 to speakers with an RCA input would work (and can someone recommend me a cheap pair of speakers which would have that)? Or if I use PC speakers, I'd need to use this?




Winter45's Avatar Winter45
02:17 PM Liked: 10
post #27 of 30
05-07-2013 | Posts: 9
Joined: Dec 2012
That Stereophile review of the Playstation was a blast from the past! Didn't they also get obsessed many years ago with a Radio Shack / Optimus portable CD player? Yep, here it is-

http://www.stereophile.com/content/radio-shack-optimus-cd-3400-portable-cd-player-tellig-again
SoNic67's Avatar SoNic67
02:50 PM Liked: 29
post #28 of 30
05-07-2013 | Posts: 722
Joined: Aug 2005
The PS1 SCPH-1001 had as DAC the AK4309B. THD+N= -84dB is equal to 14bit of actual resolution. What is worse is that was a pure 1 bit sigma-delta DAC. That was discovered to produce many undesirable effects, leading to the next generation of multibit sigma-delta DAC's in an attempt to solve the discovered problems:
Quote:
Single-stage, 1-bit sigma-delta converters are in principle imperfectible. The reason, simply stated, is that, when properly dithered, they are in constant overload. Prevention of overload allows only partial dithering to be performed. The consequence is that distortion, limit cycles, instability, and noise modulation can never be totally avoided.

That was a very cheap and modest performing DAC, in a setup that had a lot of roll-off at low and high frequency, coloring the sound to favor the voice. Great if you listen to opera. Bad for anything else.
Time to let this myth to rest.
Winter45's Avatar Winter45
10:47 AM Liked: 10
post #29 of 30
05-09-2013 | Posts: 9
Joined: Dec 2012
Yeah, the detailed measurements look really bad.

But the 6 moons review says, "I'm guessing you'd have to spend more than $6000 on a one-box CD player to equal let alone better it."

This is an interesting hobby.
arnyk's Avatar arnyk
01:23 PM Liked: 1178
post #30 of 30
05-09-2013 | Posts: 14,387
Joined: Oct 2002
Quote:
Originally Posted by MoltenLava View Post

Many of you have probably heard about the rather old buzz that one particular model of Sony PS1 (SCPH-1001) can be exceptionally good as a CD player. There are some professional audio reviewers using PS1 as their reference digital front end.

http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews/leben2/system.html


Stereophile magazine has done a review on PS1 not to long ago and came to a rather positive conclusion.

http://stereophile.com/cdplayers/708play/


I thought it would be a fun and interesting exercise to compare PS1 as a CD player against other stand alone CD players. After all it costs only $20 from eBay. The plan is first to get familiar with its sound. I'll be playing various genre through PS1 over the next couple of weeks. If it doesn't sound any different from my current CD player, then the fun is over and there is nothing more to do. If it does sound different in sighted comparison, then I'll conduct blind comparison and see how well I do.

I would welcome any comments, suggestions, and constructive criticism. If you think this is silly and don't find any value, then stop reading and move on to another post. If you are interested, then I would like to hear your prediction.

On balance its pretty grim as CD players go based on the extant reviews,

http://www.stereophile.com/content/sony-playstation-1-cd-player-measurements

"the overall noise floor is up to 15dB higher than that of a good inexpensive CD player, such as the Onkyo DX-7555 reviewed by Robert Deutsch in January"

and

"Overall, it looks as if the first-generation PS1 offers around 14-bit resolution".

Thing is, actual audibility of noise and distortion is closer to the 13 bit level so 14 bit resolution can pass much of the time.

Reality is that the recordings we play, the systems we listen through (especially speakers and rooms) and our ears aren't all that wonderful either.

So, 14 bits as poor as it is by modern standards, can pass.

Besides, your evaluations appear to be just casual sighted evaluations, not level matched, blind or time-synched so they are throw-aways, anyhow.
Reply CD Players & Dedicated Music Transports

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