Sony Playstation an excellent CD player?

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Mark M. Smith, Apr 25, 2006.

  1. Mark M. Smith

    Mark M. Smith Stunt Coordinator

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    I happened to run across a website recently (http://dogbreath.de/PS1/index.html) that claims that the original Playstation makes an excellent CD player and that with a few modifications can be "a truly audiophile piece of equipment, which, concerning the sound quality, clearly beats commercial "high-end" CD players up to price ranges of several thousand Euros."

    I have to say that initially I'm rather pessimistic on these claims. I don't have a Playstation around to test, but I'm concerned that the build quality alone would be too poor to hold up. The Playstation 2, in particular, is noted for breaking down on people quite frequently.

    Does anyone have any experience with critical listening using the Playstation model listed as a source? Considering the price these can be had for used if it gives good sound quality (I seriously doubt it comes close to being called an audiophile product, but I can accept that perhaps it does sound rather good) there could be a lot of potential uses for those situations where you want a cheap, but good source around.
     
  2. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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    As a pure transport maybe...as a CD player I very much doubt its internal DAC's are anything approaching respectable.
     
  3. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    I'd have to agree with Andrew, I HIGHLY doubt it will be a good CD player. With mods, possibly, but then why not just get a decent CD player?
     
  4. Mark M. Smith

    Mark M. Smith Stunt Coordinator

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    That was one of my concerns as well. They have absolutely no incentive to put quality DACs in it and since, AFAIK, it doesn't have any digital output you're stuck with them.

    As far as the benefit to getting decent sound out of it with mods, well... price is a major one. For us poor college students twenty-somethings, and such the trade-off of time to money is pretty strongly in favor of time. The ability to get equivalent sound quality to a say, $400 cd player (I realize it's not much, but I'm being reasonable here, I can't imagine the PS could sound even that good) would be worth it if I can instead spend a week or so fiddling with a $25 used PS.

    Still, at this point all we have is pretty reasonable speculation. I'm wondering if anyone actually has some listening experience with even an unmodified PS to give us an idea of whether this lives up to even a small bit of the claims.
     
  5. JeremyErwin

    JeremyErwin Producer

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    That's the thing... Certain early models of the original playstation were made with high quality DACs, clocks, and power supplies. Then sony discovered that it could use cheaper parts. I don't know if it's an audiophile's delight. But think back to "Star Wars."

    Maybe the Playstation is the Millennium Falcon of CD players.
     
  6. Mark M. Smith

    Mark M. Smith Stunt Coordinator

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    Man, now all I can think of is modifying the Playstation and then putting in a Millenium Falcon shell. If paired with that homemade Death Star sub that went around a while back that could be pretty sweet.
     
  7. Dean L

    Dean L Stunt Coordinator

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    even without the mods, cd's sound better on my PS1 via the analog input going to my marantz av9000 than cd's on my cyberhome 500 dvd player via either analog or digital...cd's just sound thin and compressed on the cyberhome.
    i do get the best cd sound however via my marantz cd recorder and old pioner ld/dvd combo player.
     
  8. JeremyErwin

    JeremyErwin Producer

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    Inconcievable!
    the Cyberhome has a

    What am I paying $50 for?

    Seriously, the original msrp on the playstation was $300. Later models had lower prices, but also cheaper parts.
     

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