Sony SCD-1 CD Players

SCD-1

SACD/CD player

User Reviews (46)

Showing 1-10 of 46  
Zack   AudioPhile [Jun 17, 2004]
Strength:

Detailed and overwhelming sound, design, weight

Weakness:

Flimsy Remote, no Dig Out for SACD, no Open Tray from Remote.

I bought this player second-hand definetly knowing what i was going to buy - ne plus ultra digital media with top-notch design and true sound reproduction capabilities. I will not add anything extra on the performance as too many spilled some good ink on the issue. I am faced with a minor problem some of you already touched upon here and there in the forum. So, please, help me: as soon as the redbook or SACD disk is loaded, the TOC is read and i hit play, there comes a single crackling sound of metal origin right BEFORE the music starts. Then i hit stop some 20 minutes later and press start again - NOT a single crackle, the music begins to be reproduced as it should be. Can it be that the laser positioning system misses the required sector in the very beginning, realigns itself and emits this sound? Please comment if you ever faced this problem and what possible actions can be of help to eliminate this nuisance. Much obliged, Zack

Similar Products Used: Luxman D-10 Limited
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Robert Lent   AudioPhile [May 31, 2004]
Strength:

Build quality is the BEST. The sound reproduction of both CD and SACD is hands down the best.

Weakness:

NONE

EXCELLENT ENGINEERING! The best CD player I have EVER owned -- and I have owned a few of the greats. Thank you for making me enjoy my CD's once again.

Similar Products Used: Krell KPS-30i, Krell MD-10 & SBP-64X
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
tonemaniac   AudioPhile [May 29, 2003]
Strength:

The SCD-1 has serious first rate engineering in it that is not found in many similar products. It has an outstanding transport mechanism that is finished like a museum grade work of art and first quality R-core transformers in beautiful rounded anti resonant cans and a fanatic case made of multiple vibration dissapating materials

Weakness:

there are limitations and design compromises that aren't visible to the naked eye. It appears that the engineers and the accountants each won a round to get the finished product to market

it's a long story. The SCD-1 has been a long and awesome learning experience as I discovered an "upgrade underground" based on the SCD-1 cult devoted to extreme listening satisfaction. This started to make a greater impression on me when I took my unit in for repair after I had done a stupid thing with it, tried to switch out interconnects with the machine playing a disk. DON'T. You may blow an output stage. The repair shop tells me they rarely see an unmodified SCD-1 but they see a lot of them. it seems that this unit is widely perceived by afficionados as THE hot rod box. I had sent mine into Richard Kern for extensive rebuilding and consequently got into the mod thing. When the parts that the accountants won, an unimpressive clock ( a standard quartz crystal in a can), op-amps, caps, regulators, and resistors are switched for the audiomod upgrade kits, the unit opens up and delivers on a whole 'nother plane. I was still having some urges for better sound a year later that got me motivated to liberally treat resonant areas inside the unit with various types of marigo dots and Combak Harmonix "tuning bases", especially the steel table that the linear transport motor is affixed to. I had simultaneously put some bybee quantum filters between the power supply and main box of my 12 year old pre-amp so I cannot say with specific clarity which was contributing what. However, the sound came together with such tonal perfection and listenability that it was possible to groove away for hours with huge, voluptuous, billowing, cavernous sound that moved me close to the holistic musical experinece. I think the lesson from this is that careful, but thorough internal vibration damping is essential to bring out the best in this model, regardless of how much tweaking has gone into new parts. That done, and one channel recently fried thanks to my impatience, there was nothing else to do but listen in mono one evening until the repair shop opened the next morning. I was expecting the mono to sound collapsed and dead as only one channel was available. Amazingly, the mono with the right recordings, those without much L-R difference, still sounded big, spacious, and involving. The mono sounded "phatter" than the majority of theoretically good systems do in stereo, so go figure. The last chapter for now as being thoroughly bummed out and waiting for parts to arrive for the SCD there wasn't much to do but cruise the web for new ideas. Kern can now install the SuperclockII that is rumored to substantially outperform the original superclock. If it does, that would be good enough to be scary. There are also some new mods he can do to the transport board which one assumes tightens up the behavior of the linear motor. Then I discovered an entirely different philosophical approach coming out of Germany from a company called Vacuum State. They make a board that bypasses almost the entire analog section and the standard filters. There's a guy in the USA named Warren Gregoire who will do this as well as upgrade some caps on the digital board, all news to me. I have never heard the Vacuum State board, but it is reported to be another major leap in performance. This is the wildest part of all. The Vacuum State board operates in parallel to the standard analog board, so you will have a double set of analog outputs, one coming off the original analog board, or as tweaked up as you please by Kern, and you can simultaneously have the Vacuum State driven outputs running and switch bacak and forth. At least thats how Warren Gregoire explains it. Whatever you feel like, the SCD-1 is an impressive starting point that can be used as is as a quite fine player, or it can be taken in many directions by the upgrade crowd. Now I think of it like a classic car sought after by collector-rebuilders that has more than one final interpretation.

Similar Products Used: listen to a wide range of latest and not so latest everything... transports, DACs, cables, U name It
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Remo   Casual Listener [Sep 16, 2002]
Strength:

Detail. Bass - deep, powerful & really plays a tune.

I've only used Sony SCD1 with standard CDs so far. I'm very impressed with the powerful deep bass, the imaging and the detail. All this compared to my previous Naim CD2. However, maybe its not run in yet but whichever filter setting I use I can't seem to tame the sibilance with vocals and the slight sharpness with instruments like the dobro. I'm using new balanced interconnects into a Krell KAV250 pre/power amp combination and Martin Logan SL3s. I've got the Sony on approval for a week. I love everything else about it but I'm wondering whether take it back or if it will tame itself over time.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
phteo   Audio Enthusiast [Aug 23, 2002]
Strength:

impressive build. SACD sounds fabulous for the pricetag. All the strength has been mentioned by other reviewers here.

Weakness:

none

I had the SCD-1 for about a month now. It almost broke my back hauling the box to my apartment and hauling the unit out of the box. It's that heavy!! Initial impression is that the build quality is impressive. And it sure looks good sitting there among my other audio equipment. So what about the sound quality? I made the mistake of listening to it right away instead waiting for it to burn-in. Don't! You should let it run-in probably for a week and then listen to it. CD sound is very good indeed. The sound is detail without the usual shrill and glare. I have never had vinyl in my collection. I started out with CD right from the start. But I can say that, with my limited exposure to vinyl, CD pales in comparison to vinyl. However, with the SCD-1, CD sound isn't CD sound as I'm used to but it sounded altogether more towards vinyl like to me. As I have more CD now than SACD, I can happily say that I can enjoy my CD collection via the SCD-1. Good thing is that in future, I can just add a upsampler and external dac (as a future upgrade...it never ends, does it?) and keep the SCD-1 as a transport. It looks too good (and looks more expensive that the pricetag it has) to be replaced. SACD sound is even better. Compare to SACD, CD soundstage can be flat. It is as though the music is contained within a invisible boundary. Not that the CD soundstage of the SCD-1 is bad in anyway, mind you. I can happily live with it if SACD fails to take off. But with SACD, suddenly the soundstage opened up and you can tell that the artificial boundary has been removed. The soundstage stretches to beyond the left and right of the speaker and way into the back. It appears as though there's no limit how far it can stretch! Playing any one of Jacinta's SACD from GrooveNote, you can sense that she's right there and you can almost reach out to touch her. If CD is more towards vinyl-like for the SCD-1, SACD is the quantum leap to vinyl sound for me! My equipment now: pre-amp: ML 380S power-amp: Krell 250Mc speaker: Thiel 2.3 CD: SCD-1 I was using the Proceed cd transport and Pink Triangle "oracle" dac.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Rpauls   AudioPhile [May 10, 2002]
Strength:

Sonic perfection w/CD and SACD Build quality Beautiful looks and wonderful to use Superb value

Weakness:

Cheap remote

Follow up to my earlier review. The unit just gets better and better with more use and break-in. Listening to Louis Armstrong belt out "It don''t mean a thing/If it ain''t got that swing" (Verve 20-bit mastered CD) I can picture Satchmo and Duke right here in my living room. SACD playback is superb as well. This is BY FAR the best front end piece I''ve ever owned, and is the equal or better of the megabuck units I''ve auditioned (ML Reference, Wadia, Krell). Street price of $3k is ridiculous for this level of performance and build quality. Buy one before they''re all gone.

Similar Products Used: Levinson, Wadia, Classe
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Joe Otto   Audio Enthusiast [May 05, 2002]
Strength:

Sound is lifelike and top notch construction

Weakness:

Weight and the disk load slowly

This was the best purchase I have ever made. My system conssted of Theil 6s, McIntosh 602, McIntosh C42, an Tara Air cable. Until I bought the SCD-1 I tried several different front ends with the lastest being a Conrad Johnson''s tube DAC. The sound was always dry. With the SCD-1 everthing has changed. The sound is fantastic. I can tell every detail and everthing sounds real and life like. It has been one ob my best purchases and I would highly recommend the unit.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
rickmo   AudioPhile [Apr 15, 2002]
Strength:

Out with bright! Surreal price, beautiful full midrange and great musicality.

Weakness:

Can''t think of one yet. Oh, O.K., It''s too CHEAP!

Having just returned to vinyl with a vengance with an Oracle Mk2 turntable and the amazing Shelter 501 cartridge it was time to either upgrade my CD player or trash several thousand CD''s. I chose the latter. My search ended with the purchase of the Ah! Njoe Tjoe (New Tube)4000 CD player. How this is sold for under $600 is one of the great mysteries of the universe. From the land of dikes, uh Holland comes essentially a modified Marantz CD 4000 with the famous Phillips Vam 1201 transport which is used in many high end CD plaayers costing thousands more but with the twist being that tubes are added to the output stage. The sound is a beautiful, rich, completely natural sound without the shrillness one comes to expect from digital. At times I forget I''m listening to digital until I see the Oracle is not spinning. I listen to everything from Zappa to Mahler to Bach and frankly it all sounds better than ever before. I''m using this with an all tube system, Counterpoint SA 220 Amp and the Audible Illusions Mod 3A pre-amp and it sounds great. With the very affordable upgrade on the power cord and the better Siemans tubes this unit sounds better than many units three to four thousand dollars more. In fact, a friend of mine has a very high end Theta/Meridian setup and I wouldn''t swap him the Njoe Tjoeb for all the Krell in China. There''s probably not much there, but you know what I mean. Are there better CD players out there? Sure, but you''re going to have to spend a lot more for incremental improvement.

Similar Products Used: Rega Planet, Krell Kav 250
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
tonemaniac   AudioPhile [Mar 31, 2002]
Strength:

everything

Weakness:

heavy as all get out, needs strong support underneath that won''t bend or warp

straight out of the box the SCD-1 is probably the best value in CD/SACD playback that money can buy. The machining is a wonder to behold, the thing weighs about 60 pounds... and it has 5 feet ! That''s right... so fanatically engineered they put a fifth foot directly under the transport mechanism. You get a "standard" filter which is time domain optimized, similar to the Theta algorithm that gives you excellent impulse response and energy, or you can choose between 4 different frequency domain optimized filters, that have the Wadia sound. Smokin'' good for strings and female voices. Whew, Norah Jones almost had me climbing out of my listening chair and through my speaker cones in search of the woman ! Ohhh my, it sounds that good. It can sound a lot better too. I sent my unit into audiomod and had the circuit boards as rebuilt as was technically possible with super-spec resistors, op-amps, capacitors,picosecond accuracy clock board, and bybee quantum chargers on both transformer primaries. Faaar out. Freaky deaky. Holy moley. THE absolute state of the art. Harry Pearson said that his favorite gear, Burmester, had reached a point where it sounded not like vinyl nor like CD digital, but a third medium. Now that I''ve heard this phenomenon for myself, I completely get what HP meant when he said this. The SCD-1 mod is soooo neutral but digs so deep into the essence of the music it leaves you speechless... no awareness of time passing or of your physical body. From this experience, I have no energy or intersest in auditioning anything else. Why bother? Harmonic Technology Magic interconnects used throughout, well broken in with a cable burner. HT magics are the perfect complement to the SCD-1, both being super neutral.

Similar Products Used: Wadia wt-2000 transport with Theta gen5, Esoteric P-2, totally rebuilt (and well worth it!) by Great Northern Sound into theta gen3
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Michael   Audio Enthusiast [Jan 29, 2002]
Strength:

Amazing sound and build quality.

Weakness:

none

I bought this unit new and have been using it for almost a week now and everything positive I've read about the SCD-1, here and elsewhere, is true. It's as good as everyone below says it is! I know it's hard to believe but it actually looks better in real life than the pictures. In a word, Sonic Ecstasy! Thanks Sony!!!

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 46  

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