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Thread: Pioneer PD-S505 Review

  1. #1
    Join Date: Apr 2008

    Location: Warrington

    Posts: 3,165
    I'm Neil.

    Default Pioneer PD-S505 Review

    Recently picked up a superb condition example for 50. This player was supposed to support my CD transport needs for the rare occasions where I play CDs, and my DVD player (now only playing movies) was quite frankly appalling compared to my PC & HagUSB setup into my DAC.



    Usually I've enjoyed using old Philips swingarm based machines as transports including Rotel 965BX and Marantz CD65DX (with hall motor), but the stable platter transports picked my fancy as they seem to have a cult following like the swingarms do.

    The Pioneer PD-S505 was chosen for multiple reasons including:

    * A higher grade transport mech than a lot of stable platter players
    * Tom Evans used it for his Precision version
    * Trichord used it as the basis for their Genesis CD player / transport
    * Dedicated coaxial SPDIF output board (more on this later)

    I was disappointed as one of my reference CDs, Lamb's "What Sound", quickly showed my computer-based transport a clean pair of heels. The Pioneer PD-S505 instantly added more "weight" & "authority" and allowed my Amphion Argon2s to throw an even bigger soundstage with more delineation between performers & instruments. I guess I wanted the HagUSB combo to sound better as this is what I listen to a lot of music through.

    Listening to Joni Mitchell's "Blue" on CD the vocals are much more organic and lack a slight hardness in the extreme treble that I've previously had with other transports. This CD will tear apart bright and/or sibilant systems!

    Looks like I'll be using more CDs for a while!

    Some more findings etc. to add as to why it does sound so good, but I think the dedicated SPDIF board will be a big factor:


  2. #2
    Join Date: Apr 2010

    Location: Cardiff, S.Wales

    Posts: 257
    I'm Andy.

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    Great post I fancy trying one of these as a transport based on what you have said!!

    Butuz
    Quad 99 CDP-2 >> Eastern Electric Minimax Pre>> XTZ Desire AP-100 >> PMC GB1i

  3. #3
    MartinT Guest

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    I always fancied a stable platter deck but after my PD-91, which was superb, I never returned to Pioneer.

  4. #4
    Join Date: May 2011

    Location: Torquay

    Posts: 2,346
    I'm Craig.

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    I had one, into a Stan B dac, in all honesty I have heard better.

    Please don't think I'm pis*ing on your parade!

  5. #5
    Join Date: Apr 2008

    Location: Warrington

    Posts: 3,165
    I'm Neil.

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    Quote Originally Posted by icehockeyboy View Post
    I had one, into a Stan B dac, in all honesty I have heard better.

    Please don't think I'm pis*ing on your parade!
    Ha ha don't think you're doing that. Were you using a PD-S505 specifically? Out of interest what didn't you like & what beat your stable platter player? I do think the player will massively benefit from recapping, reclocking, new output transformer, BNC socket etc., but at the same time if there's potentially better out there...

    Another thing is that most spare parts are *still* available via Pioneer, which is not bad for a 10yr old player!

  6. #6
    Join Date: Jul 2009

    Location: stoke-on-trent

    Posts: 649
    I'm andrew.

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    In stock form they are overated, I tried one in stock form as a transport into my dac when my Teac P500 started to go belly up, the Teac left it for dead.
    The Pioneer does have potential though and can be turned into a very good player/transport with selected modifications.
    Andy.

  7. #7
    Join Date: May 2011

    Location: Torquay

    Posts: 2,346
    I'm Craig.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yomanze View Post
    Ha ha don't think you're doing that. Were you using a PD-S505 specifically? Out of interest what didn't you like & what beat your stable platter player? I do think the player will massively benefit from recapping, reclocking, new output transformer, BNC socket etc., but at the same time if there's potentially better out there...

    Another thing is that most spare parts are *still* available via Pioneer, which is not bad for a 10yr old player!
    I can't recall the exact model without a load of searching, but I am sure it was higher up the model range.

    Now...what didn't I like? It really just did nothing for me, bear in mind though it was un doctored, but I found it rather a bland machine, absolutely nothing about it excited me! You know sometimes you get that " Wow! that is great!" feeling ? Well not in this case!
    I soon returned to my (as of then) Minimax player, which was great, despite members from "that" othre forum took the pee, saying it looked like an old vhs player, which it didn't incidentally!

  8. #8
    Join Date: Apr 2008

    Location: Warrington

    Posts: 3,165
    I'm Neil.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by icehockeyboy View Post
    I can't recall the exact model without a load of searching, but I am sure it was higher up the model range.

    Now...what didn't I like? It really just did nothing for me, bear in mind though it was un doctored, but I found it rather a bland machine, absolutely nothing about it excited me! You know sometimes you get that " Wow! that is great!" feeling ? Well not in this case!
    I soon returned to my (as of then) Minimax player, which was great, despite members from "that" othre forum took the pee, saying it looked like an old vhs player, which it didn't incidentally!
    There are pretty big differences between some models, and "higher up" versions including:

    PIONEER PD-S601
    PIONEER PD-S602
    PIONEER PD-S603
    PIONEER PD-S604
    PIONEER PD-S605
    PIONEER PD-S701
    PIONEER PD-S702
    PIONEER PD-S703

    ...are actually inferior to the PD-S505. It's the suffix number (05) which is more of an indicator. In fact, not even the PD-S605 has a dedicated SPDIF output board.

  9. #9
    Join Date: Apr 2009

    Location: Hertford, Hertfordshire, UK

    Posts: 249
    I'm Adam.

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    I've got a Pioneer PD-S705 bought in mint condition for 39. I use it as a transport with an old 90s vintage Dacmagic II Mk2.

    For the money I like it. It is nice that you can switch off the analogue outputs and the display. Also the machine reads every scratched up disc I have thrown at it. It reads discs fast and operates smoothly and quietly. I have lined the insides with sticky sound deadening material.

    I have not heard any high-end transports but the combination with the old Dacmagic (also bought for around 40) would surely be hard to beat at a combined price of around 80.
    Adam.

  10. #10
    Join Date: May 2011

    Location: Torquay

    Posts: 2,346
    I'm Craig.

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    Finally found the model....it was the 703.

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