These players are quite unusual in that they used fixed laser pick up assemblies, with individual lasers and optics for SACD and CD. The spindle motor is mounted on a sled driven by the notorious sled motor mentioned elsewhere. Using separate lasers and optics means that it is not necessary to change the focal length of the pick up assembly to play SACDs or CDs which should result in longer, more reliable operation. Whether or not it does is certainly debatable, but the other argument is that the high mass spindle motor assembly, and dedicated optics and lasers improve the quality of the data eye diagram during playback which might result in lower jitter, and more reliable disk reads. Honestly I have no idea, but it certainly gives these players a bit of marketing panache the merely competent single laser player does not possess.
One note of particular relevance to me is these are the only Sony SACD players made (and there are few, if any others from anyone) that do not at some point convert DSD to pcm (usually in a fairly lousy sounding DAC) and in fact convert conventional CD based PCM to dsd for conversion to audio. To my ears this sounds remarkably better than anything else I can almost afford and that I have heard to date in the land of digital.
Interestingly enough there has been a lot of discussion about the differences between the SCD-1 and the SCD-777ES, some have maintained that the SCD-1 is far better sounding, but frankly looking at construction details and the schematics there is little to support this contention. Running changes in the op-amps used in the audio board are as likely as anything to account for the differences.. Mine (presumably I'm not deaf) had none of the "Fantastic" deficits claimed of both models by some opinionated members of certain forums that shall remain nameless.. (big grin) Not to say improvements aren't possible, but I'm here to question the wisdom of spending many times what one of these players cost used in order to upgrade it, this is DIY afterall.
As close as I have been able to figure out there are just three areas of real difference that are actually model related:
Servicing the mechanism gear train
First set of mods to the audioboard
This page obviously under construction...
© This page created 2008.02.10 by KTA/Kevin Kennedy