I was not aware of this player and when I saw it - I thought - OH NO!,
not another cheap black sony.
I was wrong.
This is in my opinion one of the best CD ever made. It is a stripped
down Sony CDP-555 ESD or 337ESD or 333ESD but retaining all the
I mean - it is cool to have CD that is heavy like a tombstone, that has
copper clad chassis, that has aluminum front and wooden side cheeks.
But the CDP-710 from Sony is TOTALLY SPARTAN in look and feel
department, yet the PCB is state of art.
From the look of it - it would go unnoticed if you shop around. In ebay
it would probably open at 1 Euro, and get zero bids in a week and close
unsold. It's that concealed.
I am gonna show you around the inside and you will see what I mean.
Lets go .....................
Nothing to write home about - that is I think the proper term to
describe the front of this player.
It pretendfs to be the ESD family cousin but irt is NOT. It has a
plastic impersonation of the ESD faceplate. Also the box and chassis is
one mold plastic.
In case you haven't noticed - this product is DIGITAL.
Nice thing is the 4 times over sampling, believed to be superior to the
most common 8 times.
It even has a switchable SP/DIF output, and given the good mechanism
and a good chipset - a decent signal is expected.
Made in Japan - when I was a kid - that is what - believe it or not -
wrote on all electronics.
In my book - made in Japan means it is well made by people who went to
The mechanism closely resembles the best one they had at the time (like
in Denon DCD2560 ) KSS151A but they removed the magnetic rails and kept
the best laser and the best pressing "arm".
I examined this laser and it looks identical inside like KSS190A and
BU1. A great laser that is. I have never seen it in player as simple
and cheap as this one.
By the way - the haal magnetic rails like in higher models break very
often. They are VERY current hungry. So I think the simple toothed
wheel solution is actually more reliable.
The PCB is very green and VERY pretty. It is two sided and it should be
a world benchmark how CD should be made.
DAC in SONY CDP-710 - TDA1541
Just look at that. The world's best DAC chip - the Philips' TDA1541,
surrounded by red caps - MKP not the lousy SMD found elsewhere.
The DAC chip needs 3 different supply voltages - and VOILA ! They
dedicated one separate heatsinked regulator to each input !
Most players have one common 5V regulator PER PLAYER, feeding the
motor, the laser, the drawer, the display and all that. Not in Sony !
They do things like I would do If I owned a factory.
The power caps are premium audio grade ELNAS just like in their top
All critical places have ceramic filter caps.
There is only one opamp per channel, so without lampizator - the
CDP-710 will sound very good.
It is even better made than Nakamichi CDP-2E I was raving about.
Even more regulators - this player is full of them, Black ones, copper
ones, without sinks - all kinds of regulators. And proper regulation is
the whole differenciator between mediocre stereo and high end.
Power transformer is a decent one, not undersized like in all cheap
Listening to SONY CDP-710
The player is without mods very good. It has all the characteristics of
TDA1541 players. The parts are so good, that I would not change a
single cap on it. Maybe just the clock. But the DAC takes this player
to the top elite, so it is just "one lampizator away" from being a
The Sony CDP-710 gets my award for best product per dollar. Most value,
least nonsense, money well spent (by the R&D I mean, not me)
If you can find it - BUY it without thinking. It is only one DAC chip
different from my favorite player - Sony CDP-227ESD