TEAC: VRDS – user experiences

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I have noticed that these VRDS players/transports have quite a cult following and seem to command strong prices. When I first went hunting for a CD player many years ago it was a Wadia that really impressed me but it was way out of budget, so these Teac units have always appealed to me.

After finally sorting out my TD 124, towards the end of last year I started looking for a CDP and was lucky to find a VRDS 25 in excellent condition, complete with remote. I don’t have that many CDs compared with records and where possible, I intend to buy anything new on vinyl so there was no way I was going to spend a couple of grand on a s/h Wadia but hopefully – maybe with a few tweaks – I can end up fairly close sound-wise.

Whilst researching these VRDS machines I found a lot of info’ which I thought would be useful to anyone else looking for one. In particular, it might help them understand the differences, especially the distinction between the 10 and the 10 Special Edition (SE).

This is not meant to be a definitive guide, just a few observations and this concentrates on the VRDS 1, 7, 10 and 25, as those are the models which seem to be mentioned most frequently.

The machines can be divided into two different types, the early ones with the CMK-4 mechanism and the Sony KSS-240A laser (as found in the VRDS 1, 7 and [possibly] the 10SE), compared with the later ones with the better CMK-3.2 mech’ and Sony KSS-151A laser (as used in the 10 and the 25). Depending on your sources, the 10 and the 10SE are different – some say that the SE version has the lower spec', perhaps because it was introduced to use up a surplus of the lower spec’ spare mech’s and lasers left over from the T1s and T7s - others say that it has the higher spec' shared with the 25 - maybe someone who actually owns one can clarify this?

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