I picked this machine because it is very popular line of players,
available in plenty of models, sizes, colors and variants. They share
the famous interesting mechanism - "stable platter" which has a small
turntable and plays CD's upside down. This means that the
laser pickup hangs the optical side down hence does not pick up dust.
CD is supported on it's whole surface and vibrates less. When the
platter stops, the CD does not get scratched like in typical
drawers. The massive turntable gives the user the feeling of
solidity and confidence. Pretensions to high end even if far far away
from VRDS mechanism of TEAC , Philips' CDM-PRO or Laserdisk, not to
mention CEC TL-zero belt drive or Sony's heavyweight top loader spinner
found in ES777 or SACD-1.
A quick hookup of external testing lampizator to the pulseflow
DAC chip (I wonder who makes these, I guess not Pioneer even if they
have proprietary silk-screen) reveals the quality of these DACs. They
have unbelievably detailed, rich and dynamic sound. One of the best bass I
ever heard and plenty of goose bumps during even brief listening. Untill now I did
not consider Pioneer any good in the sound quality department despite
the sexy designs and cool mechanisms. But that's untill the Lampizator. Pioneer is one of the best
bang for the buck. It can be had on ebay for next to nothing. The chip PD2028A / B sits in almost half of all Pioneers.
After hooking to the output legs (look them up on www.alldatasheet.com)
there is some residual hi freq noise present. You can filter this by
connecting a 5nF caps to ground. This chip is symmetrical - balanced so
you can make the player fully trully balanced by using all outputs from
DAC and 4 tubes.
One warning - lasers and mechanisms of Pioneer are hard to get and pricey.
After hearing this setup the owner of Pioneer decided to go for
internal but exposed lampizator. It does not look the best, but it just
screams I AM A TUBED PLAYER.