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Vintage Magnavox CD Player

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Posted on May 9, 2010 at 10:20:33
AudioSoul
Audiophile

Posts: 3522
Location: north central AZ
Joined: July 9, 2005

I posted this on the general digital Asylum also. Way back when CD
players first came out there was a model Magnavox player that was
considered to sound better than the others. Other manufacturers
would use this model as a platform for their own players. Does
anyone remember that model #?

 

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RE: Vintage Magnavox CD Player, posted on May 9, 2010 at 10:44:08
Dred
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Posts: 35
Location: Oregon
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I think it was CDP 650. I remember wanting one and the wife getting it for Christmas. Pretty good-should have kept it.Around 1984- 1986.
Ed

 

CDB-460 and a couple of variants...., posted on May 9, 2010 at 15:38:16
doodlebug
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Posts: 2018
Location: Little Rock, Arkansas
Joined: July 27, 2006
They were much like the Toshiba rage we saw a few years ago here - much-talked-about, solid, basic CD players with an SPDIF output for upgraders. I believe it was Walt Jung that published modifications in Audio magazine that helped kick them up a notch.

I remember doing the mods, which amounted to replacement of the output chips, rebiasing of those chips and some power supply mods. They helped a bit, IIRC.

The transports, however, turned out to be quite solid and reliable and were used in many other vendor's products until they were discontinued.

Cheers,

David

 

CDB 650, posted on May 9, 2010 at 15:46:23
Hepcat
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July 13, 2003
I bought one new and used it for a good while. My son still uses it now.
* I'm like a one-eyed cat peeping in a seafood store *

 

Be careful, posted on May 9, 2010 at 17:11:45
E-Stat
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mine was a sonic turkey. Don't recall model number.

rw

 

2 reasons Vintage Magnavox CD Players sound good?, posted on May 9, 2010 at 18:17:43
sober1
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February 21, 2014
see my post below for the 1410 - apparently pre-cursor DAC to the near legendary 1541 chip set. notice the pcb is copper-plated. the drive is a Philips CDM 2/10. google or follow link below that electrovice posted. great info. this thing sounds damn analog.







"the only thing necessary for evil to succeed is for good men to do nothing"

 

RE: Vintage Magnavox CD Player, posted on May 10, 2010 at 11:48:14
Crazy Dave
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Posts: 10493
Location: East Coast
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I am currently plaing around with some Magnavox CD players to see what all the talk is about. I sold audio equipment in the 80's. It has been my experience that the CD player from the early to middle 80's are flawed. They did not get good until the late 80's and ealy 90's. These are years for the Magnavoxes that I would look for.

My experience beared out when I picked up a Mission DAD 700, which is a modified Philips CD 104. I had hig hopes for this sturdy, nice looking CD player with a very cool remote, that was very highly thought of in the mid 80's. To my suprise, a low end, early 90's Sony ES player trounced it in every respect. It wasn't even close.

Dave

 

That mirrors my experience, posted on May 11, 2010 at 12:49:21
E-Stat
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My first CDP purchased in 1984 was an inexpensive Magnavox. It played CDs all right, but wasn't close to the sound I was getting from vinyl. I ended up giving it to my mother (who rarely listened to her Yamaha / ADS system) and it worked for several more years before losing a channel. In 1995, I replaced that with a Pioneer Elite PD-54 that was significantly better, although a bit pricier too at $428. The PD-54 shared the same "stable transport" as the PD-65 although its DAC and analog output were not as good. Its sound improved with the addition of Sound Mat on the underside of the platter and on the inside of the cabinet walls along with replacing the cord with a shielded one. I later used it as a transport for a used Manley DAC / linestage. The PD-54 still works fine today although I now use a Pioneer Elite changer in the vintage system.

rw

 

Many Model #'s, all Philips 1541 DAC's, posted on May 12, 2010 at 08:27:48
Paul J.
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Posts: 174
Location: Scottsbluff, NE
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These are general comments, so I may be wrong on some counts. But, older Magnavox players were made by Philips in Belgium. For a number of years, the famous TDA1541 (later, the slightly better TDA1541A) was the DAC chip of choice. Many of us still feel this could be the best DAC ever made. The earliest units used the 1540 (in pairs as it was a mono chip). They sound pretty good, but not on par with the 1541. A few of the cheaper units used the 1543. While it may not be quite as resolving, that chip also has some advantages (less analog circuitry required). You can still find NOS 1541's in a couple of very high end units (AMR comes to mind) and a few DIY products. The 1543 also appears in some more interesting niche market DACs (from Chinese firms to Peter Daniels Audio Sector products).

All of these chips are very popular run non-oversampling. Searching "NOS DAC" or "NOS 1541" should give you plenty of info. It is very easy to convert the players from their stock oversampling to NOS, and in my opinion, well worth it. The mod is also reversible. You can easily spend a few hundred bucks on a NOS 1541 DAC, or you can buy an old Magnavox (or Philips or Marantz) player for $20-40 bucks), convert it and have all that fanciness for a very low price. When I mess with these players I also tend to disconnect the circuits that aren't useful to me (the disc memory functions, headphone amps, etc) and remove the muting transistors (yucky things to have in the signal path).

Though not specific to the old Magnavox units, old transports are also nice as they are mechanically much quieter than new DVD transports. The Philips units (here mostly CDM2 AND CDM4) are great. Sony probably had the best, though. The downsides are that the plastic tray gears wear out and they aren't as happy with CDRs.

I posted a link with a list of Magnavox model numbers and DAC's, so you can get some idea. You can also find Magnavoxs that use Philips player model numbers, so check that area of the list too. I have recently owned a FD2040 and CDB472. I'm now listening to a Magnavox CDB650. The 2040 is the only player I've owned with 1540's. I was surprised to find that I the 650 sounds better than the 472. I expected the 472 (mine, despite what the list says, had a latter 'A' version of the chip) to have an edge as it is more minimalist, but perhaps the better parts quality of the 650 is shining through. I'm positive the 650 is the model number you were thinking of, btw.

When I picked up my first 1541 based unit (a Philips CDP 650) and modded it to NOS, I promptly sold my Philips SACD player. The SACD player was tonally better (more harmonically fleshed out) and a little more spacious. But, the 1541 DACs are much more musically right. I suspect that when I have the time to get the analog stage in this Magnavox 650 up to par, it will beat many newer players on all counts. Watch craigslist. These old players are everywhere!

Paul

 

RE: That mirrors my experience, posted on May 12, 2010 at 14:33:30
Crazy Dave
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I think there are people who still like the PD-65!

Dave

 

The transport of both is really nice, posted on May 12, 2010 at 15:51:17
E-Stat
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Don't know if you've seen one, but you place the CD upside down on what looks like a small turntable platter. That eliminates the laser breakthrough issue suffered by most players (and addressed my the Marigo mat).

Stable transport

rw

 

RE: Many Model #'s, all Philips 1541 DAC's, posted on May 13, 2010 at 11:28:04
Crazy Dave
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I have been considering converting my Mission DAD-7000 to NOS. It works great but the sond, as-is, is dated. The build quality is such that I think it would be a good candidate for this type of mod. I also have a working remote! I have seen some DIY intructions on the web for this. Do you have any suggestions? Thanks for the info an TIA!

Dave

 

Drawings, posted on May 14, 2010 at 06:39:39
Paul J.
Manufacturer

Posts: 174
Location: Scottsbluff, NE
Joined: May 6, 2004
For the 1541 players, there are instructions all over. You can find discussion in the Tweaker's Asylum, for one. These folks do have some nice pics though: http://xoomer.virgilio.it/hi_fi/com.htm

Your Mission is a whole different ball a' wax, though isn't it? Google tells me it is a CD104, which would be a 1540 player. And it has the CDM1! And you got yours for $15, you lucky devil. I linked to "lampizator" below, as he appears to NOS one. Be careful with that old girl. I'd be tempted to try and turn it into a transport, even though that might a little more difficult. I wonder if there is a PCB out there to turn I2S into SPDIF.

Paul

 

RE: Drawings, posted on May 14, 2010 at 14:37:07
Crazy Dave
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Location: East Coast
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$15 with the remote!

The DAD-7000 is small, but when you pick it up, it is quite solid. It took quite a lot of diasembly to change the belt in it (I used an o-ring from the hardware store), and I got a good look at it's guts. It is quite well built. Actually, it was my success with the Mission that had imboldened me to work on other CD Players.

In stock form I thought the Misson sounded great for something of its time perieod, but it did not stack up against late 80's and early 90's players that I have, soundwise. I had wondered why they were still bringing so much on ebay. I thought it was just nostalgia.

Those are very clear, consice instuctions. I think I can handle that. I will have to bush up on my soldering skills, because I have not done chipwork before. I have worked on mostly tube gear. I think that RadioShack has a practice kit.

I also have a working Magnavox FD1000 (Philips CDP-101). I wonder if that would be a good candide for this. It is already NOS but the brickwall filter does not do good things to the sound!

Thank you for all the help and advice!

Dave

 

RE: The transport of both is really nice, posted on May 14, 2010 at 20:19:00
Crazy Dave
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Location: East Coast
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I haven't seen one in the flesh, but I have been reading about it enough that I am hoping to find one on a thrift store shelf.

Dave

 

RE: Vintage Magnavox CD Player, posted on July 2, 2010 at 15:14:39
mjcmt
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Posts: 927
Location: USA
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Philips made the Mag cdps cd460 and these used a 14 bit dac w/ cdm 1 transport and it had smoothitis.

Then they stepped up to the cd650 (and similar versions) using the 16 bit TDA1541 dacs w/ Philips cdm3 transport and things got much better.

The last of the early great Mags was the cd492 (and similar versions) utilizing the dual 16 bit TDA1543 dac w/ the CDM4/19 transport. This is the best sounding of the '80s cdps. The dac is still used today by high end manufactures making NOS cdp's and dacs (1543 chip). Also the cdm4/19 swing arm transport was the best of the early transports.


 

RE: Vintage Magnavox CD Player, posted on July 2, 2010 at 19:37:20
danvegso
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Posts: 42
Location: New Jersey, USA
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Hi Mike,

I might have to check, but I had a CDB-460, and I'd swear that it had the TDA1541/SAA7220 combo.
The board layout was pretty much the same as the CBD650, CDB560 and CDB465.
I seem to recall the most commonly modified ones were the 560 and 650 followed by the 460. Cal Audio Labs, Van Alstine and others come to mind using these players as bases for their mods/players.
A real rarity is the Sylvania CD560 which is identical to the Maggy CDB560, but used LM833 op amps in the outputs instead of the (then) commonly used NE5532s.

Dan

 

RE: Vintage Magnavox CD Player, posted on July 2, 2010 at 20:17:14
mjcmt
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Posts: 927
Location: USA
Joined: November 29, 2004


















I am also not 100%, as it has been a while since I owned Philips/Mag. I do know the first ones were 14 bit for sure and they had the cdm1 transport. Besides the players you mention Denon and a few others had rebadged Philips. I'd like to own the Denon. I did have the '89 Mag cd492 because of the tda1543 chip and cdm4/19 swing arm transport. It was smooth yet plenty of detail, though by 1989 the build wasn't as good, but the guts were super nice with copper shielded circuit board.

Here was the one I had.


 

RE: Vintage Magnavox CD Player, posted on July 2, 2010 at 20:31:32
danvegso
Audiophile

Posts: 42
Location: New Jersey, USA
Joined: July 3, 2009
Hi Mike,


I'd love to see the Denon variant just out of morbid curiosity.
I've worked on the 492 before: a very nice sounding piece made MUCH better with a few minor mods.
The only PITA on that machine (along with the CDB471/2/3 and Philips 880 and others) is that flexi PC cable between the main board and the transport. In order to remove the board you have to finess the cable out of its slider-type socket to remove the transport and then the board.
Resinstalling is even more fun, as it takes some long skinny fingers to work "blind" to reinsert the connector.
Overall I like the tda1543 "sound", but I'll always have a soft spot for the 1541a.

Dan

 

RE: Vintage Magnavox CD Player, posted on July 3, 2010 at 03:45:59
Neff


 
I use a CD482 manufactured Feb 1989 that looks identical to the CD492. The CD482 uses same 1543 chip set & CDM4/19 transport. I compared this to the CD560 and hear little difference with perhaps a slight performance edge to the CD482.

I also tried that Toshiba that had all the rage a few years ago as stated below and even after mods of upgraded caps in audio section & PS plus Burr Brown chip sets, the Magnavox CD482 & CD560 blew the Toshiba away. The Toshiba was way too clinical sounding and had a tilted high frequency range with a slight smear and glare in both the midrange & high frequencies- just awful sonics playing thru a SET amplifier.

 

RE: Vintage Magnavox CD Player, posted on July 3, 2010 at 04:39:35
Neff


 
Dan, I agree exactly. The 1543 has a slight sonic edge over the 1541 chip set in the Magnavox CD players I own. The 1541 is so smooth, but I like the 1543 performance in my audio system. The 1543 is also smooth, not edgy.

I also find these Magnavox plays any CD including CDR.

 

RE: Vintage Magnavox CD Player, posted on July 6, 2010 at 04:47:35
mjcmt
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Posts: 927
Location: USA
Joined: November 29, 2004
I forgot about another vintage cdp that would be great to find. Meridian had a mid-80s cdp that was a Philips. I was a $4k player so it either had a huge mark-up or Meridian modded the Philips w/ better analogue stage or parts.


 

RE: CDB-460 and a couple of variants...., posted on July 14, 2010 at 20:29:30
Neff


 
I also threw my money away with mods on the Toshiba. Bright with glare and in your face presentation. I even placed upgraded caps in the damn Toshiba. What a joke, now back to Tweakers.

 

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