Hi. Living in NYC, one sees plenty of "obsolete" gear sitting out by the curb on a trash day. When I saw the CDP-707, i shamelessly scooped it up, and, blowing off a meeting with a friend (greed conquered guilt), i dragged it home, ripped it apart (this is one is truly designed to be easily serviced - construction & layout equal to the better half of 80's studio gear, and the weight comparable to tube gear).
This is the second one I've owned, so I was willing to carry the thing ~7 blocks.
After fixing a trivial problem (eject servo switch), i tossed in a my standard first test CD - a moderately mishandled (dirt & scratches) Heart CD (some great low synth passages, "overproduced" mixing, gives a fair idea of the player's overall "character", and, hey, most of my listening is similar in dynamic range / mastering quality / cd condition).
Just to check the functionality, i plugged in a set of so-so Behringer cans, and was horrified - I guess the headphone amp's not really meant to be used... The sound was of a typical low-end AB SS amp, grainy & nasty.
As I said, this is my second one, so it wasn't much of a surprise.
After dragging the thing downstairs, and hooking it up to my "80's" system (using built-in DACs, Sansui AU-9900 going into a pair of Altec 508's, with upgraded crossovers & cat-proof grills), tried the same cd. Bypassing the preamp still showed some digital artifacts, and sounded a bit "thin" & a bit compressed (this last part is subjective - i often resort to using the tone section on the Sansui - the listening room is far from a dedicated one - it's a living room, with an odd mixture of wooden floors, rugs, and a less-than-ideal speaker placement). The harshness of the phone amp vanished, though - and the one obvious tracking error could have simply be the result of poor alignment. After a few similar CD's (many home-burnt), the the (once again) subjective feel was that the sound was a bit too clinical & slavish for 80's rock, and, with the 508's as speakers, i didn't bother with anything more complex.
After dragging the thing back upstairs, i gave my "non-family-friendly setup a try - plugging straight into a triode A1PP 25W/ch toob amp (a homebrew, think along the lines of a triode-strapped ST70 with a mamouth power supply, oil-capped, metal oxide PS resistors & carbon composite sound path, Vit.Q caps, 6SN's driving triode-strapped KT88's (real), minimal NFB, ~0.1THD @ 1w, driving a pair of Tannoy red-back 12's in Karlson boxes (sorry - those things seem to work for me, and I simply don't have the space for more appropriate Tannoy enclosures.
This was a bit more interesting - still not a "rocker" setup, but everything from chamber muzac (harpsichord, cello & violin) to solo piano (from Chopen on a Chickering baby grand to Professor Longhair on an out-of tune upright) sounded really listenable & actually made me listen to the music instead of listening to "gear".
Early blues (slavish scratch-for-scratch transcriptions from 78', no post-processing), which sound pretty trying on some players (and the 80's setup described above), were perfectly listenable without any filters, which I usually use(There's really nothing worthwhile above 7Khz on those old 78's AFAIK. Band-passing HPF-ed 7+k sounds like pure noise to me - if you know how to get the highs back from 78's - I'm all ears (real plea for advice - I'm into old vinyl, and transcribe them to cd's - HD since flipping record is not an option when I'm working. I'm far from a purist, and resort to digital processing (soundforge, pro tools, Sonar, Cool Edit etc, along with a rack full of "vanity studio" hardware...)
Jazzers should like the thing I don't like / understand contemporary jazz, but keep a few test CD's just to check out vocals & impress friends with SE flea-powered amps. The detail is really neat, the female vocals sound awesome.
If you are annoyed by the subjectivity of this review, i could provide some spectrum / distortion data from test cd's, but there are probably plenty of info like that on the net already.
Last but not least, the unit is a truly "sexy" chunk of gear - machined aluminum plate case & sound-damping materials covering all parts which could be considered as having microphonic potential (even electrolytic caps in sound path) The transport slick & heavy, the transport buttons feel great, variable - outputs are a blessing for anyone going straight into a power amp, and the look is truly late-80's semi-pro. Could do without the programming features & the array of buttons associated with them, but the unit doesn't clash with other period gear (the faux - wood panels on the sides come off easily, and rack ears could be easily attached (make sure to support the back of the unit - *HEAVY*.
The optical /rca digital out is a neat thing to have if you're planning on external gear, though I haven't checked into that yet - it would be great to get some tech info on the thing, such as alignment procedures & obtaining error counts - i'd appreciate it if those of you who are digital oracles dropped me a line or a link on the net for schematics / maintenance procedures.
Hope some of this helped, and thanks in advance to anyone who's willing to drop me a line with some tech info (stuff [&^at888] [remove] hotmail  D0t c0m.