How good is the Philips 963SA as CD transport?

I hear this unit has a dual laser pickup unlike most other multiformat players, but I'm not sure if the bits that come out of the digital out is good as the high end Sony player/transports. Anybody ever compare it to other higher quality transports out there?
While some may have a hard time believing this, but the sonic characteristics of these units that one hears when running the unit as a full-blown player are pretty much carried over to what one hears when used as a transport. That is, a very "round" yet "musical" presentation. I thought there was a very good sense of prat but it was lacking in speed, detail, separation of instruments and top end extension. My Brother and i came to the same conclusions about this in two different systems. If one has a very "clinical" and / or bright & lean sounding system and wants to add a noticeable amount of warmth and "musicality" to it, this might be a viable candidate as a transport or player. Sean
I personally have one but find it somewhat compressed sounding for my liking..... that said, I'll be using it this weekend as I could care less if it gets trashed in the approaching hurricane! My DV-50....Id be upset about!
Kenny: I could see how you could arrive at that conclusion. These units lack certain qualities i.e. they aren't very "open" or "airy". As such, the sound & presentation is not as "expansive" for these reasons, hence a logical descriptive term would appear to be "compressed". Sean
Ditto on the above. I have one of these and I have a Naim CDP. No comparison. PHillips is lacking in all areas, dull, boring, no detail, no dimension, no soundstage......Naim will spoil some of the best cdp's.
I'm not sure if the latter few responses are inregards to this as a CDP or as a transport, which I think the original question was regarding its capabilities as a transport.
Sean - you were right. After doing a lot of power and digital mods I installed a Jensen cap and ran it for 2 days solid. The 963 really opened-up. Great as a transport now. Not compressed at all. To get that last bit of focus, it needs a more stable clock though. Trying that tomorrow.

Steve N.
Empirical Audio
I thoroghly enjoy my 963SA. I purchased it at Goodguys for $99.00!!!! It was a demo without cables and instructions. I have my own cables at home and pulled the instructions off of the Philips website.
IMO, its not all that good as a transport.
A friend and I, who both owned 963sa's, put one of them up against an old transport that he has (a parasound he paid less used for it than a new 963 costs). It wont play most CD-Rs we put in its got to be more than a few years old.

We were running into a Benchmark DAC-1...which touts such jitter correction claims that they say the transport doesnt' matter as much.
well, we could easily hear a difference in the presentation. the Philips was grainy, a tad bright and nowhere near as smooth and musical as the old redbook tranpsort we had to test with.

I've got a Vinnie MOD Toshiba 3960 DVD transport now. dampening and power supply mods. its pretty smooth, but I have not put it up against the one remaining 963sa that he still has. I would venture to guess that it will sound better than the philips.

i'm sorry to be the only guy here who says "it ain't all that...."
I"m looking for a new DVD tranpsort too. Imleaning towards an older Sony DVP model as i'm convinced these little lightweight players are crap transports due to their flimsy construction.
tick tick tick tick boom! It will definitely happen someday beware.
They are not very reliable for sure. With digital and power mods however, the output is virtually jitter-free. I've seen it on a scope. However, the DVD laser makes the thing sound a bit clinical compared to a Sony or a Pioneer, even though they have more jitter.