CHEAP VINTAGE CD PLAYERS SHOOT-OUT: Akai / Hitachi / Marantz / Meridian / Mission / NAD / Philips / Sony / Yamaha (Part 1 of 2)

In this, my latest experiment, I decided to buy as many pre-owned / low cost CD players as I could afford for the investigation and NONE over £40 each from the major auction site.

Part #1: I wanted to determine if via my reference £100 system, I could (a) here and worthwhile improvement and (b0 if so, were these improvements consistent?

Part #2: As above BUT via my reference system circa £5k. The system details are irrelevant in this context.

What I had no interest in was:

Facilities, speed of access, what these machines looked like and other distractions.

My purchases all under £40 listed in alphabetical order:

  • Akai CD A7
  • Hitachi DA800
  • Marantz CD63B
  • Meridian MCD
  • Mission DA7000R
  • NAD 5200
  • Philips CD101
  • Sony CDP 101775601Toshiba XR 270
  • Yamaha CD2

Background info:

  • The only variable in the £100 system were the machines themselves
  • Every comparison was played at precisely the same volume as determined by a tripod mounted sound pressure level meter at head height
  • Discs included: Blues, Jazz, Classical and Soul.
  • None of the machines failed to operate during the process.

Results / Conclusions

I will publish these in the next day or so. All i’ll say for now is that via the £100 system, the results were surprising in one way and via the £5k reference system, surprising in a different way. Hmm …

Part two HERE

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