PDA

View Full Version : Sony CDP761E - Best CD player ever?



Macca
30-10-2011, 10:52
This last week my SL1200 has been idle as I have been mostly listening to CD players. As you can see:

http://i903.photobucket.com/albums/ac233/Macca_photos_2009/001-3-1.jpg

The contenders are the Cambridge 840 Azure, Technics SL-P770, Sony XB930E and Sony CDP761E. Interconnect used was the Belkin pure AV 'truly amazed'.

As you'd expect all of these players have their own sound. The Tecchy is from the late 80s, multibit oversampling. The Sonys are both bitstream but the XB930E has the fancy fixed laser mech built into the draw. The Cambridge is an upsampling jobbie using Wolfson DAC.

Well folks, my system, my room and my ears and all that but I have to say the 761E is so far and away the best of them it is really hard to fathom why. Indeed I have spent the last week trying to work out exactly what it is about this player that makes it so awesome sounding. Okay it does deep bass like none of the others - it does put a bit of heft behind bass guitar but when there are real deep bass effects like synth bass lines it really stands out from the others. They just suggest those really low notes, the 761 actually reproduces the fundemental of the note giving it tangible prescence and energizing the room - and it is not a small room.

If that was not enough the mid is super open and clear, snares sound like they should with sharp attack and realistic decay. Soundstaging is pin sharp, like the instruments are painted onto a black background and not emerging from some haze of digital hash. The top end goes right up and whilst it may sound a little rough with some recordings through some systems it does not through mine.

If I had to guess I would say that there are two main factors at work here. I have not seen a frequency response trace of this player but I suspect it has a slight bass lift from 40HZ down and no roll off up top i.e flat to 20Khz whereas a lot of players are flat in the bass and roll off the top before 20Khz to soften the sound for those unfortunates using modern squawky WAF tower speakers.

My theory is that the roll off has a deleterious effect down in the mid range as well - maybe someone who knows about these things might like to comment?

Anyhows, this was a relatively cheap CDP back in the day, retailing at around 250 in '95. I bought my original one discounted for 110 back in 1997. For 32 delivered I am one happy camper. Plus I also have my old one as a doner and additional spare laser should anything fail. My 3 years in the digital wilderness are over:eyebrows:

DSJR
30-10-2011, 11:32
Wasn't the 761 the last gasp from Sony UK at an Arcam competitor before the 930 series came along some years later?

I may be totally out of my tree here, but maybe, just maybe, the analogue output stage is a good one on the 761. The DAC part has little to do with the sonics IMO and most of the "signature sound" of these machines can be down to the digital filtering (or not) and the output buffer used, together with the power supplies feeding them with power.

Macca
30-10-2011, 11:47
Wasn't the 761 the last gasp from Sony UK at an Arcam competitor before the 930 series came along some years later?

.

I've no idea about the marketing history. It was a WTF 5 star award winner, for what that's worth ;) although I didn't know that when I bought my first one. My local record shop got rid of its excellent vinyl section (the whole top floor! remember those days?) in 1996 leaving me with no choice but to embrace the digital revolution...:rolleyes:

Rare Bird
30-10-2011, 13:52
I have both the Technics 'SL-P770' & Sony 'XB930E' but i have had the '761' you refer two, out of the two i have i prefer to use the Sony for that loverly fix lazer jobbie, but love the touch controls & look of the Techy, sounds great with outboard DAC too, ultimately i don't use CD players anymore.

WOStantonCS100
31-10-2011, 04:36
Is the upsampling on the Cambridge selectable? If so, what was it set to? Was it bypassed? Just curious, as I've often considered the Azur 840C, as I somewhat despise my current digital disc spinner.

Macca
31-10-2011, 08:50
Is the upsampling on the Cambridge selectable? If so, what was it set to? Was it bypassed? Just curious, as I've often considered the Azur 840C, as I somewhat despise my current digital disc spinner.

You can only bypass the upsampling if using the player as a DAC (there are 3 digital inputs and outputs, coax or Toslink) otherwise it is always upsampling.

Rare Bird
31-10-2011, 20:53
Just to point out the Sony 'XB930' Martin has is the UK special edition same as mine which sounds different to the standard model

cujo101
06-10-2012, 17:39
I've got a Sony CDP-715E which sounds fantastic. I can't understand why a 250 cd player (in 93 I think) is so good.

Macca
06-10-2012, 19:05
I've got a Sony CDP-715E which sounds fantastic. I can't understand why a 250 cd player (in 93 I think) is so good.

I think that with CD players it is not so much a question of good or bad but of which of the many sound balances on offer you prefer and which gel with the rest of your system. I could bet the 761E would strip paint of the walls with some amp/speaker combinations.

Rare Bird
08-10-2012, 19:11
I used to have a 761 it's was like a tin can but did sound ok till an unbearable high pitch sound blew my speakers up.

Macca
08-10-2012, 20:35
I used to have a 761 it's was like a tin can but did sound ok till an unbearable high pitch sound blew my speakers up.

We shouldn't confuse the 761 with the 761E as they are quite different but examples of both crop up on eBay with reasonable regularity. It is a quite stark sounding player (the 761E) but with good, deep bass. The example I am using at the moment came out of a recording studio. Make of that what you will ;)

Rare Bird
09-10-2012, 00:10
:rfl:

I don't intend using any other player than my Techy 'SL-P770' as transport until a Techy 'SLP-1000' comes along that is.. :eyebrows:

seoirse2002
10-10-2012, 10:52
I've got a Sony CDP-715E which sounds fantastic. I can't understand why a 250 cd player (in 93 I think) is so good.

Just noticed there is one on ebay with remote for 99 ono...if its that good it might be worth an offer:cool:
I remember a friend had one years ago and and had to spend a lot of money to replace it when it was stolen,and ended up still getting another one as a spare

seoirse2002
23-11-2012, 22:24
This last week my SL1200 has been idle as I have been mostly listening to CD players. As you can see:

http://i903.photobucket.com/albums/ac233/Macca_photos_2009/001-3-1.jpg

The contenders are the Cambridge 840 Azure, Technics SL-P770, Sony XB930E and Sony CDP761E. Interconnect used was the Belkin pure AV 'truly amazed'.

As you'd expect all of these players have their own sound. The Tecchy is from the late 80s, multibit oversampling. The Sonys are both bitstream but the XB930E has the fancy fixed laser mech built into the draw. The Cambridge is an upsampling jobbie using Wolfson DAC.

Well folks, my system, my room and my ears and all that but I have to say the 761E is so far and away the best of them it is really hard to fathom why. Indeed I have spent the last week trying to work out exactly what it is about this player that makes it so awesome sounding. Okay it does deep bass like none of the others - it does put a bit of heft behind bass guitar but when there are real deep bass effects like synth bass lines it really stands out from the others. They just suggest those really low notes, the 761 actually reproduces the fundemental of the note giving it tangible prescence and energizing the room - and it is not a small room.

If that was not enough the mid is super open and clear, snares sound like they should with sharp attack and realistic decay. Soundstaging is pin sharp, like the instruments are painted onto a black background and not emerging from some haze of digital hash. The top end goes right up and whilst it may sound a little rough with some recordings through some systems it does not through mine.

If I had to guess I would say that there are two main factors at work here. I have not seen a frequency response trace of this player but I suspect it has a slight bass lift from 40HZ down and no roll off up top i.e flat to 20Khz whereas a lot of players are flat in the bass and roll off the top before 20Khz to soften the sound for those unfortunates using modern squawky WAF tower speakers.

My theory is that the roll off has a deleterious effect down in the mid range as well - maybe someone who knows about these things might like to comment?

Anyhows, this was a relatively cheap CDP back in the day, retailing at around 250 in '95. I bought my original one discounted for 110 back in 1997. For 32 delivered I am one happy camper. Plus I also have my old one as a doner and additional spare laser should anything fail. My 3 years in the digital wilderness are over:eyebrows:

Thanks for the heads up guys!
At last I got my hands on a decent CDP 761E on Gumtree,complete with remote and instructions...went to see/hear it first as it was local...wow! it blew me away...I actually couldent believe how good it sounded and at one stage I thought the guy was playing something else for me as he had quite a rack of stuff all switched on...but no,when I pressed the remote it stopped.I tried to make him an offer but he wouldent budge off the 70 he wanted,but when I got home I found he had forgotten to take the cd out of it::)(I will return it,of course)
I was expecting it to sound good at home....but this good? Ive been pulling out all my old cds and listening to them and giving the SBT a rest. Grab one if you see one anytime soon.A total bargain...well worth it.:cool:

Macca
23-11-2012, 22:51
Thanks for the heads up guys!
At last I got my hands on a decent CDP 761E on Gumtree,complete with remote and instructions...went to see/hear it first as it was local...wow! it blew me away...I actually couldent believe how good it sounded and at one stage I thought the guy was playing something else for me as he had quite a rack of stuff all switched on...but no,when I pressed the remote it stopped.I tried to make him an offer but he wouldent budge off the 70 he wanted,but when I got home I found he had forgotten to take the cd out of it::)(I will return it,of course)
I was expecting it to sound good at home....but this good? Ive been pulling out all my old cds and listening to them and giving the SBT a rest. Grab one if you see one anytime soon.A total bargain...well worth it.:cool:

They are quite a unique sounding CDP aren't they? They strip the recording right down but they do it in a way that is really enjoyable.

UV101
24-11-2012, 00:12
It's surprising how man of the older CDP's sound quite good today.

I think some of the older players with discrete elements in the whole data recovery/playback process can sound better that later model that had functions lumped together in single chips.

I often wonder what a hybrid of late 80's mech's controlled by a modern processor into a discrete RF and HF stage then a decoder then filter and finally a modern DAC with a fully discrete output stage would sound.


That Sony has a proprietary Sony filter/Dac so it's going to be fairly unique ;-)