Sunday, March 1, 2015

TDA1541-based CD player vs TDA1541-based DAC

Finally had the opportunity to setup these two vintage units as a pair - the Philips CD-650 as transport and the Marantz CDA-94 (reviewed by DutchAudioClassics) as DAC.

Philips CD-650 as transport and Marantz CDA-94 as DAC

The Philips CD650 has been recapped (some new caps with different values) according to suggestions@DIYAUDIO (no other modifications).

The Marantz CDA-94 has been recapped using better quality components only - original values are used.

The Philips CD-650 and Marantz CDA-94 are connected via (vintage) Monster Cable Interlink-400 to the Sansui AU-G90X. Digital content from the CD650 is delivered to the CDA-94 via a Klotz OT206 digital coax cable.

How do they compare?

Initially no difference upon usage straight from of storage.

After a week or so of continuous usage, the differences became more apparent. Even so, the differences would only be noticable once you turn up the volume past 8 o'clock on the Sansui.

The CDA-94 is as per the review on DutchAudioClassics - in short delivers to high expectations!

The CD-650 seem possess a slightly larger HF headroom and just a tad more aggressive in it's presentation. Reproduction from both are realistic and 1st rate!

I find myself preferring one to the other, depending on the music genre. Even so, both are very competent implementation(s) of the TDA1541 DAC.

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