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Sugden Optima CD player...

Discussion in 'classic' started by Dowser, May 5, 2022.

  1. Dowser

    Dowser Learning to bodge again..

    Never even heard of this player before, but it came up locally for a stupid cheap price, so I bought it just to look.

    It's a CDM9/44 mech with a single TDA1543 DAC chip, not noted for it's sound quality... Multiple faults - guessing it came from a repairer who used it for bits.

    First issue was stripped tray gear, luckily I had stock. Then it doesn't read TOC (can heard laser desperately trying to focus, but no disc spin) - strip it and see disc tray a little low, try raising it - still doesn't spin disc, still hear laser trying to do something.

    Fitted on of my spare 9/44s (I have a few for my CDIs :)) and away we go. So either a duff laser, or spin motor - motor reads OK, but I still suspect it - I rule it out later.

    Weird machine - seems to be based on stock Philips industrial servo and decoder boards, with their own DAC and output stage PCB. Not confirmed analogue audio out yet, but can confirm it makes for a very nice transport into me new (to me) Wadi X-32 DAC :D Need to decide whether to keep or flip.

    Anyhow, photos;

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Servo board that sits under mech - note it seems to support the CDM9 Pro hall motor ribbon connector too :)
    [​IMG]
    Decoder PCB - look at that lovely digi out socket and cable :)
    [​IMG]
    Philips Industrial
    [​IMG]
    Sugden's own work
    [​IMG]

    Sounds really good as a transport!

    Richard
     
    Svein and torstoi like this.
  2. sq225917

    sq225917 Bit of this, bit of that

    Sheet, sma cable... never seen that in a cd player/transport before.
     
  3. Interesting that it has a proper 75 Ohm, SMA terminated digital cable inside.
     
  4. a.palfreyman

    a.palfreyman pfm Member

    Presumably, that is a proper RF termination? Does it have BNC connector on the rear, rather than the more usual RCA socket? Can I also assume that this will reduce jitter that could occur from reflections due to poorer terminations used in most CDTs?
     
  5. sq225917

    sq225917 Bit of this, bit of that

    Bnc, with additional components on wires before it reaches the pcb. Proper old school built to spec stuff.
     
    a.palfreyman likes this.
  6. Dowser

    Dowser Learning to bodge again..

    Note the servo and decoder boards are Philips Industrial pieces, apparently used in some very high spec players, and hence the use of proper industrial connections I guess.

    I haven’t checked, but suspect the Sugden filter cct with small xer, caps and resistors is a copy of the stock Philips digi out - lampizizator (sp?!) pages suggest it sounds better without, or with just one cap. All I know is it’s the best sounding transport into the X32 I’ve tried so far.

    Need to try onboard DAC and Sugden’s output stage at some point - but not expecting much given the basic DAC used.

    Maybe strip out the Sugden bits and convert it into an uber transport with additional power rails for everything? :)
     
  7. sq225917

    sq225917 Bit of this, bit of that

    Cdm9 pro and good quality spdif out works for me on my 90s audiolab cdm. I even have a boxed nos mech as a spare, extracted from an unopened kodak pcd865.
     
  8. a.palfreyman

    a.palfreyman pfm Member

    Weren't the tda1543 supposed to have a bit of a following, particularly multiples in parallel?
     
  9. Dowser

    Dowser Learning to bodge again..

    Well, it was used on Border Control and Audio Note (lower end) DACs. I just listened to it via analogue out - could easily live with it - sounds fantastic even. I seem to recall my CDI being more open and airy, but the Sugden does nothing wrong and surprised me.

    I seem to have a real problem at the moment - normally I can differentiate a preference - but recent purchases of this Sugden, a Densen B400+ CDP and a Wadia X-32 DAC see's me struggling to make a clear preference. I like all, but for really small reasons that simply do not matter in the big scheme of things.

    My current strategy is to not listen to my modified Naim CDI for a while - then when I re-instate it I either laugh and wonder why I thought the others were any good (has happened often before, but never with so many different players/solutions!), or I can sell my 2 Naim CDIs for huge profit :)

    Oh, one thing I can say - the Densen B400+, while fantastic via line out, sounds painful into my Wadia X32! And the good news is that the Wadia locked onto a non-Philips design SPDIF out :D

    Richard
     
    a.palfreyman likes this.
  10. Dowser

    Dowser Learning to bodge again..

    That's the second time you've said this Si - the Kodak photo CD players are indeed an excellent source of CDM9/44 lasers. But they are not Pro mechs - the laser is exactly the same and can be transported easily into a CDM9 Pro mech (and I have 6x ex-Kodak PCD CDM9/44s mechs in stock for exactly this reason ;)), but the motors are 2 wire - not the ribbon multi way connector needed for the hall effect motor on the CDM9 Pro.

    (interestingly - the Sugden Optima's servo PCB has a connector for the CDM9 Pro ribbon connector - but I'd need to be able to re-programme the ECU to be able to swap I guess...and why would I bother when pro mechs are real rocking horse poo!)
     
  11. a.palfreyman

    a.palfreyman pfm Member

    Makes you wonder why the Densen sounds so bad via digi-out. Clearly not the dac if other cdts sound good...
     
  12. Dowser

    Dowser Learning to bodge again..

    More analysis needed to be honest - Densen fit their own Servo PCB to the Sony mech, must be for a reason. I only listened to one Lamb CD with it feeding the Wadia, I really need to try more.

    but first I need to replace the ESL63 bass panels Quad kindly sent me last week :)
     
    torstoi and a.palfreyman like this.

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