Sony Playstation 1 -- WOW-WOW!

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Hypnotoad, Jun 20, 2007.

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  1. JeffN727

    JeffN727 Active Member

    Wow, I had no idea that these things could play audio CD's. Having absolutely no interest at all in video games, I don't have any experience with these systems.
    :cool:
     
  2. gener8tr

    gener8tr Forum Resident

    Location:
    Vancouver, WA USA
    Actually, Ralph, the early version of the PS1 was manufactured with a very high end Sony CDP. Read all about it at AK... Lots of discussion! No first hand knowledge here, but from what I've read it's TOTL. I shouldn't have given mine away when I purchased a PS2.
     
  3. Claude

    Claude Forum Resident

    Location:
    Luxembourg
    But even the high end Sony CDPs from back then (1994) don't sound as good as current $3000 players. I have the former top of the range player CDP-X777ES (ok, it's a bit older, from 1991), and it is easily surpassed by the CD playback of the SCD-XA777ES ($3000), and even more by my Electrocompaniet DAC ($1500).

    That's why I have my doubts about the "Clearly better than the up to $3000 CD players" statement.
     
  4. gener8tr

    gener8tr Forum Resident

    Location:
    Vancouver, WA USA
    I have absolutely no idea what a $3,000.00 CDP sounds like, but for that kind of money the tray / transport better do a whole lot more for me than simply accept a CD :)
     
  5. RicP

    RicP All Digital. All The Time.

    Location:
    In the ether
    Sounds great. But not as good as a $3000 CDP coupled to $2700 worth of outboard digital gear. :D

    I tried the 1001 years ago when this "urban legend" first started. It sounded ok, but nowhere near as good as my dedicated system of the time. There were those that speculated that the PS had some sort of TDS circuit in it to boost some frequencies. I never found out if that was truth or not.
     
  6. triple

    triple Forum Resident

    Location:
    Zagreb, Croatia
    my bad, sorry.
    Goran
     
  7. Hypnotoad

    Hypnotoad Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Chicago, IL, USA
    Well, fair enough. A large factor might be my new DeVore Fidelity Super 8 speakers. I didn't do any ABX testing between a $3000 CD player and the Sony Playstation with the rest of my set-up in place. But I did listen to $3000 CD players with some mighty fine equipment and, trying to abstract away the speakers (impossible, I know), the Playstation seems better on its own.

    I retract everything I've said except for my ENTHUSIASM. I strongly suggest people try this. The max you could lose is $30. I think it is awesome. And on a not-blind test, it kicks the *** of a so-so CD player.
     
  8. tommy-thewho

    tommy-thewho Forum Resident

    Location:
    detroit, mi
    I have one and it sounds decent not great. The main problem I have is you can only control it with the controller which gives you some basic functions. Stop, Pause, Play, Forward, and Backward.

    There is a whole thread on it on diyaudio.com.
     
  9. leopoldstotch

    leopoldstotch New Member

    Location:
    Phila. Pa USA
  10. Baba O'Riley

    Baba O'Riley New Member

    Location:
    The Netherlands
    So the SCPH-1002 is not a WOW-WOW player if you compare it with a $3000 CDP ?
     
  11. Hypnotoad

    Hypnotoad Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Chicago, IL, USA
    No, you are in Europe and that is the European version of the SCPH-1001. See the article I originally linked to and that leopoldstotch reposted. From that article by Jeff Day:

     
  12. bru87tr

    bru87tr Forum Resident

    Location:
    Lowell, MA

    I will check it out. I owned that exact model too.
     
  13. metalbob

    metalbob Active Member

    Location:
    New Jersey
    How about a SCPH-5501? Just pulled mine out of the closet, but don't think I can be bother with hooking it up.
     
  14. drbryant

    drbryant Forum Resident

    How about our Playstation 2? The only problem is that I couldn't get my kids to stop playing it one day and got pissed off and threw it across the living room, breaking off the cover of the CD drawer. . . . :(
     
  15. rhing

    rhing New Member

    I recently purchased a used Playstation1 Model SCPH-5501 from a local video game store for about $25. I bought it based on the fact that it uses the same Asahi Kasei AK4309AVM DAC as Model SCPH-1001. The most obvious difference between Models SCPH-1001 and SCPH-5501 is that Model SCPH-1001 is the only Playstation 1 with RCA stereo audio output jacks. For some people, this is important to getting the ultimate performance from a Playstation 1. Model SCPH-5501 outputs stereo audio through a 12-pin Sony A/V Multiport jack that uses an A/V breakout cable with RCA jacks for Right Audio (red), Left Audio (white) and Composite Video (yellow). In addition to the RCA jacks on the rear, Model SCPH-1001 also has the same Sony A/V Multiport jack. The benefit to using the A/V Multiport jack is that there are no cheap NJM2100 op amps in the signal path between the DAC and the output. The RCA jacks are connected through a pair of op amp buffers that can adversely effect the sound quality. In fact, most Playstation 1 audiophile modders bypass the op amp buffers, or use the A/V Multiport to get the same effect of better sound. Other improvements were incorporated in the later Model SCPH-5501:

    1) An improved Nichicon SMPS that generated less heat that could distort adjoining plastic components such as the lid and chassis that could lead to mistracking or binding of a spinning CD disk.

    2) Positioned the laser assembly away from the power supply to reduce heat damage and RFI noise.

    3) Implemented an auto-biasing feature for proper tracking. Model SCPH-1001 requires manual biasing of the laser circuitry to maintain tracking.

    You can check out the following Web sites for additional information on Playstation 1's as Red Book CD players:

    http://www.dogbreath.de/PS1/index.html

    http://www.playfidelity.com/

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PlayStation

    Currently, I use Sony Part No. SCPH-98045, PS3 A/V Cable, to connect my Playstation to my Onix SP3 integrated amplifier. This 10 ft. long cable has gold connectors at both ends and uses OFC wire. Eventually, I plan to make my own 1m A/V cable by stripping off the RCA connectors from one end of a Kimber Kable or Zu Cable interconnect cable and soldering the stripped ends to a 12-pin Sony A/V Multiport connector. For now, I am using the stock 18AWG polarized, 2-pole IEC C7 connector power cord. I just ordered a shielded 12 AWG PS Audio Power Punch C7 power cable for improved delivery of AC power to the power supply. Having used good and cheap cables in pro audio and consumer audio applications, I have become a believer in using good, high quality cables. I can only expect some improvements with changing to better cables.

    Compared to my faithful Onix XCD-88 CD player (same as Music Hall CD-25.1 CD player), the Playstation sounds more like an analog source. Moreover, it resolves low frequency detail better, it has a sweeter midrange, and the soundstage and imaging have greatly improved. I have heard things that I have not heard clearly before, especially on jazz and classical CDs. Vocals are more articulated and fuller. I am not sure that it's as good as a $3,000 or $6,000 CD player, but I definitely prefer it over my $350 Onix CD player. For anyone looking for that traditional hi fi sound, this may not be the player for you. However, if you want to be connected to the recorded musical event with PRaT and emotion, you will not be disappointed.

    As Jeff Day of Six Moons and others have suggested, keeping the Playstation powered on continually brings out the best sound. Call it burn-in or whatever, it clearly works here. I believe some people have discounted the PS 1 because they powered up the unit, slapped a CD in and listened to a "cold" machine. Give it a few days before making final judgments. It's only $25. Avoid Models SCPH-700x through SCPH-900x as Sony began to reduce costs by eliminating the AK4309AVM DAC and consolidating components. I also have a PS1 Model SCPH-9001 to confirm the inferior sound. It's not bad and certainly better than some mass produced portable CD players, but the frequency extremes are rolled off and the sound is less detailed. After that, Sony came out with the smaller PSOne Model SCPH-101 and later the PS 2. These are not hi fi players.
     
  16. Hypnotoad

    Hypnotoad Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Chicago, IL, USA
    Hey, thanks for posting your response. I learned a lot. Clearly you've done some real research on this. A couple of questions:

    Do you know if anyone offers this service? I don't have the skills to do this.

    Again, do you know if anyone offers such a high-quality cord for sale. Or is this all DIY stuff? I would think it would be cheaper to buy a cord directly than buy another cord, remove a termination, solder, etc.
     
  17. TONEPUB

    TONEPUB Forum Resident

    Location:
    Portland, Oregon

    Well, what else would a CD player do, other than accept a CD????

    I dug out my old PS1 because I remember going through this back in the day. I'm sorry, but it wasn't that great then and it isn't that great now. Yes, for 30 bucks it's great and if you want to do a hundred dollars worth of mods, it will probably get a little better.

    But I just happen to have three great CD players from Rega, Ayre and Meridian ranging from 2500 to 4000 bucks in for review and the Sony isn't even close. Is it as good as a cheapie player in the 200 dollar range? You bet. Would it be a fun player for your garage system? Sure thing.

    Sorry, but you are really kidding yourselves if you think this one competes with the big boys. Nothing wrong with a cool budget project, but giant killer? Sorry. Good digital costs money. So does good analog.
     
  18. JBStephens

    JBStephens I am not a "peep", thank you very much.

    Location:
    South Mountain, NC
    I had an AMC CD8b. I also had the very cheapest Teac CD player I could find on ebay, I think for 69 bucks. I preferred the Teac. The bass was deeper and more coherent. Since the cheap junker Teac bested a supposedly good CD player, it might be possible for a video game to sound halfway decent. But to get a video game, go to the trouble of doing all the mods, spending the extra cash, etc. I can't help but think that the juice wouldn't be worth the squeeze.
     
  19. Gary

    Gary Nauga Gort! Staff

    Thanks for the breath of fresh air! I'll keep my XA777ES after all. :D

    On another note, I remember a friend had a DVD/CD player and asked if I thought that my old Technics carousel player would sound better. I said that I didn't know but it might...

    So we plugged in the Technics and - WOW - did it ever sound better than the DVD/CD player!
     
  20. rhing

    rhing New Member

    Hypnotoad

    No. Unfortunately, I don't know of anyone offering Mick Feuerbacher's (http://www.dogbreath.de)modifications as a service. If you want to try DIY, I would search the Web for sites on working with circuits using SMD's. These electronic components are very small and to work around them, you do need to develop some sound soldering skills. http://www.41hz.com/ is an excellent resource for DIYers working with SMT's in TriPath amplifer circuits. Perhaps, you can start there. Otherwise, you can go to a local TV/electronics shop and try to talk a tech into doing the work for you for a reasonable fee.

    The Sony A/V Multiport connector is not a common connector (think Sony Memory Stick), so you either have to roll your own using an existing Sony connector cable, or you can buy the following:






    I don't doubt that there are other CD players that can better a Playstation. For myself, I really like what I hear and I think it's great that for $25 I can purchase a CD player that provides me a satisfying audio experience. Perhaps in a more revealing system, this would not be the case. But for now, I can really enjoy my extensive CD collection and have more funds to invest in more software.
     
  21. AndrewS

    AndrewS Well-Known Member

    Location:
    S. Ontario, Canada
    All, in your humble opinion, of course...
     
  22. TONEPUB

    TONEPUB Forum Resident

    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    It's not so much humble opinion as definition of good....

    What's good for you is all that matters. I can only comment
    on what I think is good and point you in a direction.
     
  23. hvbias

    hvbias Forum Resident

    Location:
    Northeast
    My friend has one of those SCPH-1001 (with the RCA jacks on the back). I managed to coax him into borrowing it (it was difficult he's a die hard Final Fantasy fan) when the PS1 articles started popping up on the net.

    I compared it to my Northstar M192, and for about ~ $30 I agree the sound out of that little PS1 is good. But the Northstar was much, much more resolving. When comparing the output levels were matched.
     
  24. BradOlson

    BradOlson Country/Christian Music Maven

    After all, people have varied tastes and budgets.
     
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