Mine's a SCPH-1001 and it sounds wonderful. Must be left continuously on. Takes some time to break in - about 5 days. There are downsides to this giant-killer. No display, mine has problems with some CD-R's, controller only allows play and next track. There are mods to tweak the laser voltage and intensity - which helps the tracking problems, and an audio output section mod that removes a transistor and electrolytic cap from the circuit. I haven't tried these yet.
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Some friends found out I was interested in trying a Playstation 1 as a CD player, and bought a used SCPH-9001 for me. Apparently, they didn't know that the preferred model is SCPH-1001. Anyway, I hooked it up to my system and let it "warm up." Now on its third day, I can say that this model is pretty good. I have an Onix XCD-88 CD player which is an equivalent to the Music Hall CD-25 (version 1) for comparison. The tonal balance with the PS1 is different in that the bass is a bit more emphasized compared with the Onix player; however, the highs are a bit rolled off with the PS1. It's not so obvious that you don't hear cymbals, triangles and strings that well, there's just an ever slight roll off. I am using the stock A/V cable and IEC 320 C7 power cord. Since this particular model doesn't have RCA audio out jacks, I will have to make my own DIY breakout cable using the A/V multiport connector to improve the connection to my amplifier. For the power cord, I can either get a PS Audio Power Punch C7 power cable, Cardas TwinLink C7 power cable or a cryo-treated C7 to IEC adapter from VH Audio. I believe the cables will further improve the sound. I will also need to look into vibration/isolation tweaks. For the $20 or so spent on this PS1, it offers great sound. Would I sell off my Onix. No way, but I'll keep the PS1 for audiophile gatherings since I also got a really nice Playstation carrying bag with the unit.
I have since acquired a Playstation 1 Model SCPH-1001 (the "original" grey box PS1), and I am using it with my recently serviced Naim Nait 1 integrated amplifier. I purchased a PS Audio xStream Power Punch C7 power cord from AVOnline and connected the CD player to my Nait using a Chord Company Chrysalis RCA-DIN interconnect cable. I can say that I am no longer using my Onix XCD-88 CD player. The Playstation 1 just sounds so much better with excellent frequency extension (i.e., no rolled off frequency extremes), transparency, soundstaging, detail, and yes, PRaT. I concur with Jeff Day of Six Moons in his assessment of the Playstation 1's capabilities as a Redbook CD player. For $25, PS1 Model SCPH-1001 is a phenomenal CD player. For a few hundred dollars, this would still be a great player. I am not sure if it's a $6,000 player as I have never had one in my system.
As for Model SCPH-9001 that I previously referenced, I have given that to my five year old to play kiddie video games. I have purchased a couple more units for spare parts. I have to admit that the PS1 does look a bit strange with a substantial power cable connected to its power inlet. Now that I have the model with RCA audio jacks, I no longer need to roll my own breakout cable.
I was skeptical about the Playstation ravings, but my ears are confirming why people have taken to this little CD player bargain.
Which specific Playstation model did you purchase?
I have never heard a Denon 3910, but a friend of mine who had the Electrocompaniet CD player (retails for about $5700) with the acclaimed Anagram DAC, likes his Playstation 1 Model SCPH-1001 more in terms of overall musicity. The Electrocompaniet has the detail, transparency and frequency extension of a high end CD player, but he says the Playstation conveys the emotion of the music better. He paid $10 for his PS1 at a Game Stop game store. For the little one has to shell out for this, it's worth a try.
I tried the player also. It was very rolled-off in the highs and it was not transparent at all. The one thing it does quite well is image placement within a soundstage. I think my Toshiba 3990 slaughters it. I wonder whether a few mods to the analog section would open up this player? I would pay someone to do these if they have been successful. Bob
I have the SCPH 5501. I did not know there was another model. This one has a multi-output jack on the back that accepts a cable with three RCA connectors on the end (two for audio and one for video). It does not have separate audio output jacks, which seems to be the one people are talking about.
If anyone wants this thing let me know.
I must say that I had a shocking experience with the Playstation 1 yesterday. I bought a pair of the Stealth Indra interconnects for my system. I used the interconnects with Toshiba 3990 and the changes were very subtle. My two year old daughter grabbed the Playstation off the shelf where it had been sitting for some time wanting to play with it. I decided to try it again with the Stealth interconnects. I was shocked that it sounded great. The lack of transparency and the overly rolled off nature that I experienced before were gone. It is very musical and that was right off the shelf after sitting for at least a month. I can't wait to listen again to it today. The moral of the story is that these things are very interconnect sesitive. I think that it sounds at least as good as the $9300 Oracle 2.5 CD player that I auditioned. Bob
You owe your daughter a Playstation! That's wonderful that you discovered how good this little game console can be for CD playback. For improved sound, try a good shielded power cord with an IEC C7 female connector on the component end like the PS Audio XStream Power Punch cable, the Cardas Twinlink or the Furutech G-320Ag-18F8 C7 cable. The Furutech cable will need to be tested and marked for polarity. Jeff Day of Six Moons uses the Furutech power cable. We both agree that a good shielded power cable can have a tremendous positive effect on sound quality with the Playstation (improved dynamic range, better PRaT, more detail). I have had great success with the PS Audio cable, and I am sure that the Cardas cable is very good too.
I would also suggest using vibration isolation or resonance control feet like Isonodes or cones/spikes. I actually use three low cost 3M Bumpon hemispherical polyurethane feet, and the botton end became punchier and much better defined. These are similar to Isonodes with very good dampening properties. Many guys like to recase their Playstations, but the stock ABS plastic case with steel subchassis is extremely rigid. The feet will elevate the chassis more to allow for better cooling of the power supply area. Please share your audition notes as your Playstation is allowed to stay powered on continuously a few more days.
I will post my listening thoughts and so far I am really enjoying the player more than I thought possible. I will also buy one of the power cords mentioned. I am wondering if there is anyone who mods these things. I remember reading that a slight mod to the output stage really makes these things sing. Unfortunately, I have no technical capacity to do the electrical things you mentioned. I would love to find someone who could do this for me. I have the Playstation on Herbies tender feet. I would think that this should be sufficient. Yes, I do owe my daughter. My friend thinks it is so funny that I am using a $30.00 front end with the Stealth Indra which originally retailed at over 5K. Bob
I would hold off on pursuing modifications to the PS1 for now. Checking some of the threads on http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=31123&highlight=, there is no one standard power supply design that works flawlessly. Additionally, there seems to be no consensus on which output modification works best. The most important issue with modifiying the Playstation 1 is: how much do you want to invest in modifying a CD player with a laser system that is not bullet-proof? I think the Playstation 1 Model SCPH-1001 is a wonderful sounding CD player, especially for the money, but the laser assembly isn't the most robust. That's why I have a couple spare units. If you don't mind replacing the laser system once it goes out, then go for the mods. To me, the best thing one can do to extract the most from a Playstation 1 is to buy a good, shielded power cord with an IEC C7 connector (e.g., PS Audio Power Punch C7, Cardas TwinLink C7, etc.), use some good isolation/vibration tweaks, and use high quality interconnect cables.
Thanks for your comments. I have been listening to the Playstation quite a bit and have been enjoying it very much. At your suggestion, I purchased the PS audio power cord and it made a nice improvement. I also used Stealth Indras between the Playstation and my Supratek Chenin.
The Playstation is very resolving and I love how much information that I hear. The one item that I hope to improve upon is that the Playstation still sounds somewhat restricted from a musical color standpoint. I have another budget player (Toshiba 3990) which illustrates this point well. The Toshiba sounds more transparent but it does not have nearly the resolving abilities of the Playstation. The Toshiba also has much more vibrant tonal color with the music. If I could somehow marry the virtues of both players it would be amazing. This is why I would like to pursue someone to do mods on these players. Obviously, there wouldn't be 65 pages of posts in DIY audio if other didn't feel the same as me. Bob
thanks for the fuse info. I stumbled on fuse upgrades looking for a better
polarized cord or adapter but may not have investigated further without your comments. I've had my playstation for just over a week and it is easily the best digital source I've used. My girlfriend thinks I'm kind of crazy but also thinks it sounds pretty amazing. Not bad for twenty bucks.
The Playstation 1's SMPS is actually good with the upgraded power cord and fuse. I chose an Isoclean fuse over the HiFi Tuning fuse since it is UL-approved. The dynamic range is noticeably better with the Isoclean fuse. A friend of mine who also uses a Playstation 1 for his digital source also installed an Isoclean fuse in his unit, and he started hearing more into the music. The Playstation does a great job at resolving subtle details. With the fuse upgrade on top of the power cord upgrade, I can hear a lot more of the interplay between musicians, especially where bells, triangles and other percussion instruments are used. Some background vocals are better conveyed as well.
Just realized I left mine on by mistake for a day, and turned it off. Oh Well! Is it ok just to leave it powered up in general then? I am impressed so far, mine is only a few months old, and being used to break in a new system. It will be my only source for digital, just to break in equipment, and background listening. I paid $30, in almost perfect condition. Anyone try one of the aftermarket PC's?
I have a slightly modified PS1 as a CDP. I leave it on all the time and it is a fine player. For me in my set-up the sound of the PS-1 is a lot more of a laid back vs. other players. That isn't a bad thing, just different. I compared the PS-1 to a Cambridge S30 as a transport to a Grant Fidelity DAC-09 with an upgraded tube and I found the S30/DAC-09 combo more in your face. Again not a bad thing just a difference.
As one can tell from my prior post, I broke my ps1 out for the heck of it this weekend after a few years. I must say my initial positive impressions remain. Forgetting the ergonomic eccentricities, it remains a very NON-fatiguing listening experience. What i mean is one can actually listen to this thing for hours at a time without digitally induced headache or stress.
The resolution or lack of resolution issues remain, and it does not plumb the depth of bass. Also the high end is really quite nice, and unlike even much more expensive digital equipment, it gets high hats right, which is the bane of most dacs. Also it seems to do decays much better then most.
All in all i still rate this a must buy for the price and dont care about measurements, cheapness or jokes-it is still a viable option. Particularly for those who never really loved digital.
And yes, ive used some good dacs in the past...
agree 100% with kbuzz--there's definitely an engaging "analogue" quality to the ps1. philistine that i am, i could not get past its quirks (stupid looks, long load time, annoying controller), but for shear listenability, it really does outdo many pricy players, which have greater detail but less natural presentation.
Tostadosunidos-the tracking issue has been widely reported on other forums regarding eh ps1. I have had to go through two or three myself to get one that works. There are some alleged fixes posted on the www but ive never tried em myself.
As a temporary measure while you look for a new one sub 30 bucks, try and turn it vertically ...sometimes that works.
yes the tracking is a bitch and reveals the toyful aspect of this thing. But as stated above, this toy sounds good and the old comments on this thing are quite spot on.
im glad the wave of publicity is over, you can get a chance to score another one for peanuts.
Forgot to add. Anyone know where you can get a cheap 2-5 inch monitor with one rca jack to use as a "display" for this thing. I see all sorts of rear view car type displays but its not clear how they are powered or if the accept the single rca video out from the ps1...
given the costs of mini lcds there has to be one out there.....
Kbuzz, thanks for confirming. I guess I need to get one that is "gently used...?" I'm only paying 20.00 but I'd like to get one that's reliable if such a thing exists.
My younger son told me to turn it upside down, a gamer's trick, but it didn't help.
The sound is great--some albums that I've listened to on LP and CD for years sound just amazing on the PS-1. So amazingly alive and almost magical. I'm definitely on board (at least until I can afford a high-dollar CDP)
I just today finished modding my fourth Sony PS-1 (Model 1001); the output stage, etc. The only requirements for anyone to do the same is to be able to solder, desolder and to think and reason. The end results will reward you for your small effort. In a few days I'll pull the ps board and remove the caps and replace with better quality ones. I'll then relocate the ps to a external box via a umbilical cord. This will greatly reduce the heat in the main console.
You really need to connect the video out a TV, monitor, etc. to see and use the menu and to learn to use the RC properly.
DIY mods of the Sony PS-1 (Model 1001 with 4309 dac chip) can be found here.
Also a tutorial on how to adjust the laser to read all your discs ( a small screwdriver and multimeter is required).
The RC transmitter and receiver can be found on, yep, eBay.
RC Receiver: Sony SCPH-10160
RC Receiver: Nyko Remote Free with dip switches set at #1 on, #3 on, #5 on.
I would be pleased if some of you took advantage of the free mods info and DidIY.
You won't regret it.
I did that exact thing with the McCormack player when I had it.
I found a cheap 7" LCD one. I'm not using it now, would sell cheap to someone that could use it.