They talk about the Sony playstation 1 in this review... http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews/leben2/system.htm
148 responses Add your response
Word is that the PS1 (or at least a production run thereof) used a rather sophisticated chipset and significant processing power that partnered to make a superior-sounding CD player, especially if you can live with using a wired game controller as your "remote." If you google, you'll come up with enthusiast sites where some people have picked up used ones at garage sales and Craigslist for under $20 and then installed the guts in a nice chassis with walnut cabinet and anodized aluminum faceplate.
I switched about 9 months ago after reading posts by folks who swore by the Sony scph 1001 Play Station 1 and I was quite pleasantly surprised. So surprised, in fact, that I sold my modified Onix xcd-88 and Ack! Dac. The PS 1 is the best cd player that I've had in my system, bettering a Theta/ Audionote dac kit and Ah! Tjobe cd player. I found that it benefits from a good interconnect. I've used a Nordost Blue Heaven and a Signal Cable interconnect with good results. I also found that when I plugged it into my Monster HTS-2500 power conditioner, it got even better. The only real problem is that it's a drag to use the controller as a remote. Also, you really need to leave it on for a week before it really sounds its best. Then you have to leave it on all the time so it's ready to go. The quality of the music it creates is really quite amazing!
There are a few more very interesting. This one is from a company who make a CD player based on the PS1 http://www.avataracoustics.com/dynavox/dynastation2.php. and this other is from a German audiophile who did a great job modifying his unit and transforming it into a hi-end unit http://www.methe-family.de/cd.htm.
Yep, I hate to admit it but it's for real.
Here are my impressions of it ...
Here's a highlight from my posting:
"I think if I were a digital designer, I'd use this thing as my benchmark. I mean if I can't design a mega-bucks player to sound better than a stupid Sony Playstation 1 then why bother?"
I was re-reading what I wrote and I love that line (patting self on back)
Boy_lah check the page where it appears several mods to these units. You can add an IEC to the external box if you like. If you won't bother to do so, just try a PS Audio Punch cord which uses the same C-7 adapter at one end or buy an IEC adapter (cryonic treated btw) for $17 which you connect to the PS1 and them use your prefered power cord with the IEC part of the adapter (cryo-parts.com)
Greg7 we try my PS1 at two audio friends which I talked about this unit and both expectations were very low at first. After a few seconds and some tones, they were believers...It was fun too!!!
Boy_lah .. I have read several post from different forums around the States about the PS1. Most of them are very harsh and flames the people who support and actualy talk about their personal experiences. Those same people who took there time letting their units warm for a few days and take care about vibrations and stands, etc. My own experience is, you need to be patient. For whatever reasons, these PS1 need time to sound its best. In no way it sounded like the first time, after a few days connected. I tried the unit on a friends system that included Artemis Pre, Stealth PLC, Jena/Sonoran cabling, Plinius Amp ($8K) and Spendor Speakers. My friend expected NOTHING from it and it took a few seconds to change his mind. Considering that he is an audio distributor and a long time audiophile, it was nice the way he was impressed with the PS1. A few friends reacted as well after an audio session with the Sony PS1. So, although some people said it was an aprils fool day kind of news ( the starting poit) I really like what the PS1 does. A friend just said: " It plays music and get out of the way, in a form that you don't pay attention to the system, but just the performance".. It's not perfect and it will not surpass a $6K unit for sure, but I can live with it happily...Enjoy!!
thanks everyone - really apprecite the tips and feedback but unfortunately my unit has STILL not arrived. Will it every? who knows. i bought is for $40 equiv!? The fig 8 to IEC i bought cost nearly half that and that's arrived! oh well...one can hope. In the meantime, i'm really enjoying my audiomeca with the Ack! Dac non oversampling/filterless DAC. nice but correctly tweaked, my audiomeca still sounds best to my ears. Can't wait to compare the PsOne.
I've posted my findings on the PS1 on this thread:
For a little fun in changing the appearance of the PS1, check this out:
I'm going for the smoked black case myself, but the blue one is attractive too.
As for trying the cro-treated IEC/C-7 adapters with IEC power cords, my friend tried one with his Kimber Select power cord and thought my PS Audio Power Punch C7 sounded better. Afterwards, he bought one himself and hasn't looked back. I have no doubt that the Kimber Select PC is a fine power cord, but one more interface in the power chain might compromise the sound a bit. On top of that, the PS Audio Power Punch C7 fits snugly inside the Playstations C8 recepticle. For only $50, I was very impressed with the quality of construction and the flexibility of the cable. Since the PS1 uses a potentially noisy (RF noise) switch mode power supply (SMPS), the shielding drained to the ground pin on the PS Audio power cord really helps in improving the dynamic range and frequency extension at both ends. My recommendation list on improvements with highest to lowest priority is:
1. Good-excellent RCA interconnect cables
2. Isolation feet like Isonodes or round 3M Bumpon feet (x3, two under front and one under rear)
3. Power cord replacement with PS Audio Power Punch C7 or other C7 power cords like the Furutech G-320Ag-18F8 or Oyaide L/i 15 dpc (recommend using a continuity checker to identify correct polarity)
4. Clean all audio and power contacts with residue-free contact cleaner
5. Replace power supply fuse with either Isoclean or Hi Fi Tuning 5mm x 20mm audiophile fuse. These really make a big difference and for only $25 or $30, it's a bargain.
Reviving this thread, as I've had a Playstation in my system for a week now and couldn't be happier. With no warm-up at all, I plugged it in and spun a disc, and my wife and I looked at each other and broke out laughing it sounded so good. I've kept it on since, and I don't know that the sound has improved, but it's stayed steadily, delightfully great. It resolves enormously well--there's a sense of palpability to vocals, a timbral rightness to acoustic instruments, and low-level detail emerges from a clear backdrop. I could go on, but the point is this: if you're shopping for a CD player, spending $25 bucks on one of these might save you a few hundred or more. Look on half.com, where the prices are low and firm. I have the 5501 with the A/V multi out, which doesn't let you use great interconnects but to my understanding bypasses an op-amp leading to the RCAs in the 1001 version (same DAC). Some prefer the A/V out and build cables for it; I haven't felt the urge yet.
I bought one as a lark for 30 bucks and have to agree with the above that after a few days it was impressive. FYI, sued with mapleshade cork blocks and greg straleys reality ICs. Too bad after my son picked it up, and moved it a few inches, it stopped tracking.
But to put my money where my mouth is i just bought another one on ebay and ordered a PS audio power punch. Hopefully it will be a bit more durable. If anyone wants one for parts let me know.
Im loathe to believe that a fuse change can make a real difference but im willing to try. So what fuse brand and value would you reccomend. Also after opening up the unit i see the fuse is locked down with clamps. How does one get that little sucker out. Forgive me but im technically incompetent.
I use hifituning fuses and happy to report upgraded fuses (esp in UK) makes a huge difference. I've had friends use the furutech ones and i'm sure isoclean is equally good. I would suggest any upgraded fuses is better than stock.
As for which ones...take out your current one and order same. So many times, sizes etc.
Unplug the PS1 and use a small flathead screwdriver to gently lift the glass fuse from the fuse holder. If your model is SCPH-100X or SCPH-550X, the fuse size is 5mm x 20mm. The current rating should be specified next to the fuse holder, the clamping clips you've described. If anything, the fuse itself should have some markings indicating its rating. If you use an Isoclean fuse, they are directional with an arrow pointing in the current direction. The arrow should point from the rear of the chassis toward the front of the chassis. Once replaced, plug in your PS1 and enjoy.
I would recommend a good power cord before investing in fuses. The PS Audio or Furutech C7 power cords are great.
I should also mention that Jeff Day's recommendation of the Walmart Woods Yardmaster Patio cord for speaker cables is an excellent one. I paid $7.88 for 40 ft. I didn't even add connectors; I'm using bare wire ends and the cables are surprisingly musical. If you like the PS1, try the Walmart White Lightning Moonshine speaker cables.
For your Model SCPH-5501, you ought to try the Monster Cable GameLink 200 or GameLink 300 AV cables for the Playstation 2. You can usually pick these up at a used video game store for around $5 to $10. They're not the "ultimate" interconnect using the AV Multi Out connector, but they're much better than the cheap stock Sony AV cable.
Back in the day before folks hyped up the PS1 I had the model that all say sounds so wonderful. At the time I had a nice system with martin logan cls2z loudspeakers but was waiting on a new cd player for my old JVC failed so I used my PS1. It didnt have the air or detail of the old JVC. But it did play a CD. When my new YBA cd player shipped it sound so much better than the ps1. Now that was near 13 years ago. My friend still owns my old YBA he also has a pioneer multdisc player forgot model retailed arround $175 about 5 years ago. And the poineer sounds much better than the old YBA. So my question to you all is why did I not hear this magic? Maybe it was because at the time no one was hyped it up. And I saw and heard it for what it was a nice vidio game system but not a good cd player. But sound on a few games like final fantasy tactics is amazing. My older son still has a few PS1 inc the model everone said sounds so great. I tried it a few days ago and sound was the same as I remembered it dull and univolving. But we did end up linking 2 ps1 together so you can game against each other using 2 ps1- 2 TV pretty fun played Doom, C@C, Twisted Metal. This you should try;)But you need 2 older PS1 with link cable.
In my opinion it is very system dependent. The PS1 is not highly resolving with pinpoint detail and crystal clear highs. It is more of an analog sound with excellent midrange and an emotional feel to the music. Since I prefer the detail and soundstaging of other players, I use the PS1 in my bedroom. For listening to the "air and space in the recording", I use a different system. I use nice ICs and a PS Audio PC, no fuse upgrade. Thre is only so much you can do with this player. That said, I believe you have to spend more than $750 on a player to best it. The one comparison I haven't made yet is between the Oppo Digital 980 HD and the PS1. The Oppo is clearly the best CD sound among universal players in its price range. It will be interesting to compare the two. But, for $40? No contest, the PS1 wins hands down!
I have been watching this thread, and thought I would chime in with my experience with the PS1. I was looking for a CD player to use with my solid state HT system in my basement. I have tube gear in my 2 channel rig upstairs, and ever since I got that, using my DVD player for 2 CH music downstairs just didn't cut it for me. But, I didn't want to spend alot of money. I bought a PS 1 about three weeks ago (model SCPH-1001).I was skeptical like most probably are, but for $25.00 on Ebay, why not? My experience was pretty jaw dropping like some others have stated. The detail in this player to me is really quite remarkable. Very clean and clear sounding. MUCH better than the analog outs of my Denon 2910 universal player. I have found the bass on the PS1 to be a bit of a weakness as others have found, but that's not to say it is bad. Certainly something I can live with, and not a deal breaker. I do think it needs to warm up for an hour or so, but not for three days as some others claim. I have been using some DIY interconnects made from Wal Mart patio extension cord and Radio Shack RCA ends, and it sounds REALLY good. Don't feel the need to go out and buy expensive interconnect for it right away- take baby steps with this, because you may not feel the need for them. I did try a Hi-fi tuning fuse, and it did make a difference, but for me was not as big of a difference as some others have stated. I got a C7 to IEC adapter, and am using a Tube Audio Design "Iron Lung" Jellyfish power cord with good results. I may try the PS Audio C7 Power Punch at some point.
Now, what I really like is running it through my Musical Fidelity X10v3 Tube Buffer. To me it gives it a little bit of tube flavor and warmth, and strengthens the bass a bit. It was when I did this that I said WOW, I think I have found what I was looking for, without having to spend alot of money. I have now bought a second PS 1 off of Ebay for experimental purposes, and will be trying some mods that are talked about in the forums.
I whole heartedly recommend you to try a PS1. Even without running it through a tube buffer, it really did drop my jaw. Is it as good as $6K player as the article in 6Moons states? Probably not, but then again I am not qualified to say if it is or not. But, it may convince you to sell what you have now and pocket the extra cash. I am actaully quite afraid to compare it to my Cambridge 840C player in my 2 channel rig, in fear that I just might prefer the PS1. It is finding things like this for so little money that sometimes remind me why this hobby is so much fun.
This morning, I decided to cut my Monster Cable Gamelink 300 AV cable down to 1m and solder on some Neutrik gold pin RCA connectors. I used the Cardas quad eutectic Silver solder compound. Using the AV Multi Out port bypasses the op amp buffered output on the RCA audio output jacks. I can't really hear any significant differences between using my Onix Blue interconnect cables through the RCA's and using the Monster Cable GameLink 300 cable through the AV Multi Out port. One thing is for sure, it still sounds good, and I was really enjoying my Jacintha and Bill Evans CD's. Perhaps the PS1 isn't the ultimate CD player, but it let's me enjoy my CD's and hear the interplay between musicians and the emotion of a perforance.
I agree Playstations as Red Book CD players may not be for everyone. The Playstation doesn't sound good if the laser intensity level isn't properly set, or if the signal and power connectors have heavy oxide buildup on them. I can't emphasize maintenance enough with these units. Most used units have been abused, or at least, not very well maintained. When I bought mine, I cleaned the laser lens, all connector contacts and adjusted the laser intensity level as described in Mick Feuerbacher's Web site.
this morning i cleaned the laser and took it out and put it back in to no avail. finally i slammed it against the wall a few times for fun. Viola it now works...
Re preliminary report on the power punch. Definate change in sound, lower bass, more clarity. A bit too much emphasis on the high hats. Overall, has toned down the midrange on this player. This is a preference but thats not what i was looking for. Note this a very prelimnary evaluation....ill update in a few or so....
on the bright sound...players are much more in the room and posses a bit more three d quality....
Update on the modified Monster Cable GameLink 300... After extensive listening and comparing it to my Onix Blue interconnects, I still prefer the Onix interconnects connected to the RCA outs. There's just more transparancy, more detail coming through like sustained piano notes and a much larger and better defined soundstage. In looking at the Monster GameLink cable, 3/4 of the cross-section is cheap mineral-filled PVC plastic. The conductors going to the RCA connects might be AWG 26 or 27 at best (lower gauge = larger diameter). The shielding is a thin foil wrap around each conductor. Compared to high end audio interconnects, these wires are very small. Overall, the sound is good, but I have heard better and I guess that's why we audiophiles pay more for interconnect cables.
I just finished modifying the output stage of my Playstation following Mick Feuerbacher's output stage modifications www.dogbreath.de. I used two 4.7uF/50V Black Gate N electrolytic capacitors, two 22k/0.5W/1% PRP metal film resistors, Mundorf 24 AWG Silver/Gold hook-up wire, and WBT 4% Silver solder. I guess you can say I like boutique passive components. I'm listening to the modded player and it sounds really good. The difference between this and the tweaked stock unit is small, but the modified player sounds more refined in the highs and more detailed. The midrange is warm and there's more punch in the low end. The soundstage is larger and deeper with the modded unit. I suspect that the modded player will sound better with time as the Black Gate N electrolytic capacitors burn in. Overall, the qualities of the Playstation are retained and slightly more enhanced.
The modified Playstation is an improvement over my tweaked stock unit (PS Audio Power Punch C7 AC power cord and Isoclean 2A fuse). I still think the tweaks really enhanced the performance of the stock Playstation and the output stage mod has just taken it to a higher level.
I only started soldering a few months ago watching YouTube instructional videos on soldering. This has been the most challenging project to date since I was working in a very confined area and had to be careful not to damage any Surface Mount Devices (SMDs) on the Playstation's motherboard, but everything came out well. The effort was definitely worth it. If you own a Playstation, I highly recommend the output stage using the Black Gate N capacitors. Get them while they're still available.
For my money the classic and most amusing quote, I.ve read on this whole ps1 thread on any forum is by,
Greg7 ("I think if I were a digital designer, I'd use this thing as my benchmark. I mean if I can't design a mega-bucks player to sound better than a stupid Sony Playstation 1 then why bother?"
After reading stacks of threads on the ps1, I like most was sceptical of the ps1 being the equal of any cd play under 6000. Still are.
Well curiosity got the better of me and just had to see what all the talk was about, after it was only going to cost me $40,and at least it would keep me amused for the day to get it up and running.
I'm useing an 7 inch gps as the av monitor, cost me nothing it was old one I had kicking around.
My 1st reaction was I looked around the room just smiling in disbelief all this sound for just 40 bucks your kidding.
and I get the option of dome,hall,church studio, and direct sound effects.
This thing absoluetly kicks the bjesus out of my Tivoli CD model player.
I'm now thinking about putting new chassis change over of my mc240 on the backburner, and see if my sound tech wants to do the the upgrade on it.
Bye thanks for the thread its been very interesting.
P.S I done my test run with Alice Copper Welcome to my nightmare.My 19 Y/O son calls it the most over played cd ever.He thinks it pretty good for album over 30 y/o .
Hi Ive been using a PS for a few a while now.
Just completed separting the power supply and reboxed it.I'm using a mini $5 PS2 remote control the sensor is hidden inside the new chassis.
These very simple mods have improved the top and bottom end.The mids were good to start with and just got better.
Take a look DIY Audio theres is a thread a zillion pages long on how to mod it up,if you get stuck someone will put you on the right track.If I can do it,just about anyone can.
All up its cost me about $85 AUD.They may not be the best player out there,but your wallet will be a hellva lot lighter by a long way if you want to better it.
I'll post some pics of the pimping of my ps1 in ever evolving today.
I just traced the power input from the AC connector and switch to the power supply input. Since then, I have found there are a few variations of the power supply board, so it might vary from unit to unit even though the model number (e.g., SCPH-100X, SCPH-550X, etc.) may be the same. I recommend using a meter to check continuity. To be honest, I haven't tried reversing the Isoclean fuse to hear any difference. All I know is that installing the fuse made a noticeable improvement in low end definition, further reducing background noise (very negligible to begin with) and dynamic response. I believe HiFi Tuning and other alternative fuses are "non-directional," so this may be a moot issue.
I plan to separate the power supply also and re-case everything. I'll replace some of the caps on the power supply and install a Furutech IEC inlet to allow use of a standard 3-prong IEC plug. For a DC power cable between the power supply and main unit, I'll use a high quality 5-pin DIN connector cable (a la Naim power supplies). I am also planning to fabricate a quality wooden cabinet for the main unit. The power supply will go into an extruded Aluminum project box to minimize RFI. I also plan to use higher quality Vampire RCA ouput jacks for the stereo output. I am very happy with the Black Gate N 4.7uF and 22k PRP metal oxide resistors for the simple output stage. The sound is very clear, detailed, extended and organic. Anyone who has modded a Playstation 1 has found out just how good the Playstation can be for Red Book CD playback. I don't think I could ever go back to a stock unit again.
That sounds like a good plan.Psu is my next up grade also.
My psu is stock with 1.5 amp slow burn fuse and
reboxed.Separating the psu has solved the heat issue.Its tightened up the bottom end. With the major benefit being the mids are now pronounced.I use the a/v output rather than the rca Using the a/v cord is the the most effective tweak a ps1 owner can do,I think theres only one cap in the a/v path and 3 in rca. Please let me know how psu upgrade works/sounds for you.I'd like to see some pics of your rebox also
I thought you might be "Audio Luddite" on diyAudio. Your high gloss black Acrylic enclosure is beautiful and matches your McIntosh MC-240 very well. I'll post this link to your post on the Playstation 1 thread on diyAudio.com:
I recommend anyone reading this thread to check out Souterncross' detailed enclosure build.
Besides my Playstation 1 mod project, I am also building a PassDIY B1 buffer preamplifier (same as First Watt B1 Buffer Preamplifier) and finishing my Class D amp. Needless to say, I'll be busy this coming Winter tinkering in my garage shop.