Fisher AD-923R CD player junk? A Goodwill Surprise...

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by The Beave, Mar 12, 2018.

  1. The Beave

    The Beave My Wife Is My Life! Thread Starter

    Location:
    Auburn, Washington
    Well, In they year 2018 I never thought I'd be writing something like this, especially about a so called P.O.S.
    Cd player.
    Went Goodwill shopping with my wife yesterday and came across the AD-923R in dirty but excellent cosmetic shape. The tray wouldn't open on its own, but I tinkered with it and got a store cd in there, which it didn't read at first, I could tell by the window that shows the cd inside that the cd was spinning but it was bouncing up and down, dirt on the spindle obviously, but after multiple attempts it did read the table of contents.
    Well the dang thing was tagged with a Red tag for $14.99 and it happened to be red tag .99 cent day so what the heck, something to play with.
    Took it home and cleaned the outside up, which brought it up to 'Excellent' condition. So then time to pop the top...............
    I've got to say, after seeing the inside of many Chinese made cd players, I'm thoroughly impressed by the build quality of this so called POS. NICE caps, excellent build quality, Japanese built, nice components, nice laser transport, very nice in fact.
    So I set about cleaning up the laser itself which had 4 thick fibers on and around the diode itself. Cleaned the spindle, which did have some crud on it.
    The tray is the 'floating' kind, don't see those anymore.
    're lubed' the laser and tray transport, popped in a disc and ill be damned if it read it right Off the bat.
    So I hooked it up to the system and went about seeing what was what.
    Played an 79 min cd to the end, no skipping, shuddering at all. Went from start to last track in 1 second!
    Obviously the laser was not worn out, quite the opposite, whenever I jumped around tracks, it locked onto the track and started playing normally.

    So, sat back and popped in some Brubeck 'Time Out', Mark Wilder remaster.........
    Wow, the quality of sound took me by surprise, I'm very well aware if the Rep Fisher Studio Standard has, so this surprised the heck out of me, not only sounding decent, but downright Fantastic, with a truly Analog presentation.
    Next put the Beatles Rubber Soul in.........one thing I noticed between the cd's is the 'Heft' of the bass freqs, not bloated or over exaggerated, but thick and warm, like a good record.
    Next was one of my faves, Aerosmith's Toys In The Attic, Japanese Sony Blue-Spec edition......
    Again, just rocking the living room with excellent sound. Highs not harsh, air around the instruments, and fantastic bass!
    C'mon, this can't be, or you really can't judge a book by its cover.

    I NEVER expected this at all, but compared to current Chinese Mid Fi cd players, this Japanese made pos equates to a $500 or more Chinese unit.
    For a cd player that is 31 years old to play at all, let alone sound every bit as good as my current gear, is pretty impressive, and the fact that it flawlessly plays cd-r's when numerous players from Yamaha, to Sony, To Technics literally threw up on CD-r's, shows me that the components in this cheap player are Better than components in much more expensive players I've had in the past, and that just blows my mind.

    Truly surprised at this thing.
    A fun weekend indeed.
    Beave
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2018
  2. The FRiNgE

    The FRiNgE Forum Resident

    Fisher of the 80's-90's were garbage. But recall an elite series that were a little nicer. I am surprised you found quality components inside. It's fun to find stuff that just needs cleaning up, otherwise nothing seriously wrong with it!
     
  3. JohnO

    JohnO Forum Resident

    Location:
    Washington, DC
    By that time, Fisher was just a brand name owned by Sanyo. But Sanyo could make good stuff. They could. Maybe this is one.
     
  4. enfield

    enfield Forum Resident

    Location:
    Essex UK
    My 30 year old Philips CD-380 sounds superb and plays music as well as it did out of the box in 1998.
    Most post 1986 Cd players sound great.
     
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  5. MacMan2007

    MacMan2007 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    Like all things CD of late, tons of bargains like this. I got back into audio around 2 years ago (when I moved to a house with room for a rig that won't bother the family). Set out to do vinyl. Having lots of fun, but man does it get expensive and add up quick. Then thought I'd like streaming. Bought a fancy aurender. Then realized how cheap cds are. Been ripping them to NAS. Sound is great on well mastered discs. I've been coming home with armfuls of cds. Will eventually rip them, but wanted a disc spinner to just play them without having to rip first. Bought a denon dcm 370 at goodwill a few weeks ago for $7.99. Works perfectly and decodes HDCD. Now I "audition" cheap used CDs to see if they are worthy of ripping! The Aurender sounds better . . . but not even close for the $. Fun times
     
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  6. The Beave

    The Beave My Wife Is My Life! Thread Starter

    Location:
    Auburn, Washington
    Yeah this one I got was manufactured in May of 1986 or 87. And again looks almost like Tonka Toy Cd player but inside, seriously, components and build quality was right up there with, nowadays, say, Emotiva gear. Of course they weren't using super premium parts but, the parts they used have held up for 31 years and the circuit board, transport and generally overall quality of build did surprise me.
    Heck, just the 'suspension' on the transport, nowadays, you probably wouldn't find it on a cd player under $1000, as ridiculous as that sounds, it reflects the effects of chinese manufacturing in the new century. and that's the point, and that's the point i guess, the 'throwaway' manufacturing back then, equates to something close to premium in todays world.
    Heck, this stupid plastic transport is more 'solidly' built then the Onkyo's all Alluminum C7070's tray and transport, which was a clunky noisy mess for a $700 kit.
    More to come, time for Tuesday's work to begin.
    Thanks all for chiming in, this is pretty fun and why I love this hobby and all you folks out there.
    beave
     
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  7. The Beave

    The Beave My Wife Is My Life! Thread Starter

    Location:
    Auburn, Washington
    Great Score! My friend has that Denon, and it does a really nice job on HDCD's, which I still like and the few discs I have with that encoding do sound incredibly good.
    But again, great score! Nows the time to scarf up what's left that's salvageable/fixable while the getting is good.
    And it's fun comparing the quality of the manufacturing with the current crop of gear.
    Interesting.

    Beave
     
  8. The Beave

    The Beave My Wife Is My Life! Thread Starter

    Location:
    Auburn, Washington
    Me too. Quite surprised. I didn't really take notes on the dac or the caps, common blue and white caps from that era, and there is almost NO real info on this particular model, (I haven't seen the 'R' designation on any other CD unit so far), But given the POS rep the SS series had/has, I can understand that.
    The main reason I even looked at this when I have never given this era of Fisher any mind, was It faintly resembles the first Magnavox CD units and I know that some of those are quite collectable. I believe they had a swing arm laser transport, but maybe I'm wrong.

    And I agree with your last sentence, just adding that it's also fun when something like this turns your pre conceived notions upside down. It'll be interesting to find out what kind of D-A and filter combo they used.
    But I'm still a lot surprised that it plays CD-R's when So many cd players from the 80's and 90's would throw up on them. That in itself is pretty impressive.

    Now back to work.
    Beave
     
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  9. c-eling

    c-eling Forum Resident

    Picked up a Magnavox CDB 500 Beave a few weeks ago at a thrift for dirt cheap, works and sounds wonderful :)
    [​IMG]
     
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  10. The Beave

    The Beave My Wife Is My Life! Thread Starter

    Location:
    Auburn, Washington
    That's the one!
    Nice score! I know they're sought after for modding. Maybe some day I'll run across one.
    And don't get me wrong, I've had plenty of 'mid fi' CD players that sounded like caca. So I know that a lot of the old ones DL sound sterile and digital and lifeless, that's why I'm going to keep this Fisher, it really has a nice analog presence to the sound stage.
    Beave
     
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  11. The Beave

    The Beave My Wife Is My Life! Thread Starter

    Location:
    Auburn, Washington
    Ok, so tonight after searching the net and 're opening the 923R I discovered the A/D chip they used is a Sanyo LC7860, actually I t-shirt a modified chip, LC78607C1.
    The data sheet shows it as an 8X oversampling to a 1 Bit converter!!! Surprise on that one.
    Also, de emphasis, and cd-r detection!!! Quite advanced for 1987 I think.........
    This is fun....But time to go to bed.
    Beave
     
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  12. The Beave

    The Beave My Wife Is My Life! Thread Starter

    Location:
    Auburn, Washington
    If you ever come across another one in decent shape and you don't want to scarf it up, please let me know, I'd love to have one.
    Beave
     
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  13. Benzion

    Benzion "Cogito, ergo sum" Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    "Out of the box" would make it 20 years old...
     
  14. c-eling

    c-eling Forum Resident

    I will. First time i've seen this type of mechanism at a thrift. Funny- they had a couple newer players with beautiful faces and the shop manager couldn't understand why I'd want an ogre :laugh:
    This unit uses a TDA 1543.
     
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  15. enfield

    enfield Forum Resident

    Location:
    Essex UK
    Yes..Should have read '1988'.
     
  16. The Beave

    The Beave My Wife Is My Life! Thread Starter

    Location:
    Auburn, Washington
    Thanks!
    It's very interesting going through this, I've got a new Emotiva CD-100 coming to me in three weeks. Got It for its simplicity and the hdcd capabilities. Picking up this Fisher and listening to it in the modern age is really an education in audio history.
    Thanks again for all the input.
    Beave
     
    c-eling likes this.
  17. c-eling

    c-eling Forum Resident

    Enjoy that Emotiva Beave. Neat, I see they put a drawer mechanism in this new one.
    The thrifters are fun, my local usually keeps everything under 20 bucks, 30 day return if it poops out or i'm not happy with it. The Mag is staying. Now all's I have to do is figure out how to hook a wired remote to it :laugh:
     

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