Considerations when buying older CD player


I'm seeking some input from folks in the know about CDP transports, repairs, etc.

Suppose one is looking at buying an older CD player -- let's say, just to pick one I've checked out -- that we are talking about the Naim CDX. Now, suppose further that I read up on it and learn, to quote from the Stereophile review:

"Based on Philips CD7 parts and components, the CDX features a Philips VAM 1205 transport. An SAA 7376 servo-controller chip controls the transport, converts what the laser "sees" into digital data, and performs error correction."

Is this good news or bad news? Simply put, if one buys a used Naim CDX and it poops out, are replacement parts -- transport and laser and all the rest of the stuff that might break -- likely to be available, or is one left with a useless, and not inexpensive, piece of junk?

(Note to those who'd write to say that thinking about CD players is yesterday's news, that I ought to be into streaming and computer audio and high res and all the rest: I've been doing all of that for years now. But that's not my question. My question, for which I'd love an answer from someone who knows and understands, is how to know if one is buying a CDP that can be fixed when it conks out, which it eventually will.)

Thanks very much.

Warm regards,

-- Howard
hodu
Send an email to Chris West at Naim USA repair.
avoptions.com
They're all obsolete and hard to find parts and proper tech support.
They're history.
Why not just buy something new? You can get CD player that sounds really good without spending a lot of money.
I am a big CD fan and own more than 5000 CDs ... perhaps double that number. I have a lot invested in CDs. In the last year or so, I have been buying 'extra' cd only players to have, in the event that I can not get a reasonably priced CD player in the future.

I would not buy a used CD player that is older than 10 years. By that point, a new laser or transport or sled motor or any number of things can start failing.

I have 3 systems, so there are 3 CD players to be concerned about. I have a 14 year old SONY ES SCD 555 SACD changer and it creaks every so often. There is only one SONY facility repairing these SACD players, which is in Loredo. I heard last year that SONY stopped making parts for these players. OK ... My 10 year old Rega Apollo just came back from authorized Rega repair and fortunately Rega is still stocking laser assemblies, as that cost $300 to repair. I have a 12 year old Musical Fidelity CD PRE 24 and so far, so good, but it is a waiting game.

Attached is a link for an article on common cd player malfunctions .

Buy new.

Rich
Post removed 
I would buy new. I had a really nice TEAC PDH600 that sat for a year or so and was ready to sell it for a fair price only to have a channel to go out when I tested it before finalizing the sale. It seems that not only drawers or sleds go bad.

All the best,
Nonoise
7 years ago I traded-in my Monarchy cd-ld transport for Fender Deluxe guitar amp with no regrets.
in my humble opinion,go on the site called Vintage Knob, read about the top of the line vintage CD players.
Remember that the cd optical reading system principles have not changed in the last 20 years, but manufacturers have made them lighter and cheaper . As an example, I have a vintage Sony CDP-X7ESD, which weighs 40 pounds has two Burr brown chips(just got those upgraded),and is built like a tank. In order to get the same quality of build and sound, with today cd players, you probably need to spend upward of 5000-6000$. Why Sony:they did invent the process in cooperation with Phillips. And Accuphase still use the Sony Cd Optical reader system from Sony.
Lastly, there are rumours that a new DSD system is being perfected, and would be on the market in the next few months, with sound as good as vinyl! Just rumours!
Regards.
I'd buy a really well built player to be used as a transport and invest the real money into a DAC. As DACs keep becoming obsolete, you can replace or upgrade them while sticking with a solid transport. Personally, I'd pick up a great universal player as the transport to make sure that all of your discs can be read properly.
"Remember that the cd optical reading system principles have not changed in the last 20 years, but manufacturers have made them lighter and cheaper . As an example, I have a vintage Sony CDP-X7ESD, which weighs 40 pounds has two Burr brown chips(just got those upgraded),and is built like a tank. In order to get the same quality of build and sound, with today cd players, you probably need to spend upward of 5000-6000$."

You have to be careful, though. They played games back then just like they do today. Take the Philips CD 80 for example. It has a reputation for being well built and indestructible. Its very heavy like the Sony. The only problem is all the weight is in the 2 cast iron side plates bolted to the player. Remove the plates and you weigh in at isle #3 at Best Buy. My Wadia 850 and 861 weigh about 40-50lbs. But most of the weight is in the solid Aluminium case.
Zd542
In some cases I have to agree with your logical explanation. But the fact remain that , to satisfy the accountants, engineers today have to cut cost when building cd players, unless you start looking in machines that are in the upper level of costs, meaning a few thousand dollars.After reading the explanation, I removed the top of my cd player, and ,still, a lot of the weight is actually parts. The technician who upgraded it as been working on HiFi equipment for the better part of 30 years, is certified from different brands, and he mentioned that vintage cd players might be outdated, but as transport, they are still excellent.
Regards.
Thanks for your considered replies, folks -- they are much appreciated.

-- Howard
I would echo Elevick's comment that you consider an external DAC and your transport of choice. It's been my experience that the DAC and its output stage have more to do with the quality of the sound than the disc spinner and pickup.

It seems that a great deal of the R&D and innovation in audio systems lately has been focused on digital to analog conversion. There are great DACs available these days for not too much money. Pick up one of those tried and true players with a solid transport and digital output and couple it with a state of the art DAC. when the transport dies - as they all eventually do - get another one.
Another possibility is a good multi-disc player with a DAC dedicated to the 2 ch function. Oppo BDP-95 and 105 come to mind. There are both new and newer units on the market and good tech support to boot. You have to be the judge of SQ but to my ears, they do an excellent job. Good luck.
I have tried the Oppo route from the 95 to 103 to a ModWright Oppo 105. This coming from Marantz, Mnintosh MCD500, GNSC Wadia S7i and Burmester 089. I now own a ModWright Elyse DAC. I tried a EAD CD-1000 as a transport (for a week) and the sound combination was the best digital I have ever heard. But, no parts are available for the EAD, so I returned it, and now am looking at a mint Esoteric DV-60 as cd transport. I love the sound of a cd system, when done right. I also use my MacBook Pro with Audirvana.