Nakamichi CDP-2e

this is a ver interesting player. Made by Nakamichi, which was the only company that I have seen so far apart from Meridian in their Meridian207 player, that deviated from Philips data-sheet and created own player around the allmighty TDA1541A chip (not S1 sorry). All other manufacturers more or less remained loyal to the Philips specification in the datasheet. Well, I may be an anarchist but people shoud be more creative. The bloody data sheet was created PRIOR to chip launch as an example only. Philips chip people could not have the slightes idea how it will be used and HOW IT MAY SOUND. They were just IC chip engineers with all due respect. So why noone of the OEM's had the guts to challenge the paper and make a BETTER APPLICATION of the chip ? I don't know really.

nakamichi CDP-2e
What a fool I was, I forgot to take frontal shot !!! So we see only the ass side of the player. No digital output on this one.

nakamichi CDP-2e
A classical case of noise killing and treble muting caps next to RCA output - now snipped. This already improves the sound by much.

nakamichi CDP-2e
Lampizator section completely replaces the entire analog stage of this Nakamichi CDP2-e player. Tubes are russian 6N2P-EW - the best tubes for TDA1541A chip !!!
No much space, but it is doable.

nakamichi CDP-2e

I removed some components - namely the system remote link to make room for tubes.

nakamichi CDP-2e
The original power supply input from transformer has a nice feature - the white inductor for noise filtering. Very good practice to be found in costly players only.

nakamichi CDP-2e
The transformer of Lampizator fits nicely. The blue wires go to AC power stealing points.

nakamichi CDP-2e
The DC power and filters fit near to Nakamichi's power caps, glued by hot melt plastic glue.

nakamichi CDP-2e

The mechanism looks like a Sony KSS210 but I cant verify it. A nice cheap plastic mechanism. Reads everything in miliseconds.

nakamichi CDP-2e
This red circle shows where the digital filter and oversampling chip (Sony CDX1088) sits underneath.

nakamichi CDP-2e
My favourite DAC chip TDA1541A in very nice application here.

Decoupling caps don't need upgrade. The clock nearby could be upgraded.

nakamichi CDP-2e

Two regulators which supply only the TDA1541A, nothing else,  and they are very close. GOOD SIGN !!!

nakamichi CDP-2e

Bottom side of TDA1541A chip. Ready to be floated pins 6 and 25 of course !

nakamichi CDP-2e
This is the analogue  stage - two double opamps and a lowpoass filter plus muting transistors. This will all be replaced by Lampizator.

nakamichi CDP-2e

Back to Nakamichi CDP2-e

Yamaha , Sony and Sanyo chips have been used instead of CHIP A and Sony digital filter CXD1088 with oversampling function - just like CHIP B from Philips has been employed.
The output is a neat and SWEET SOUNDING : a one opamp job.  Thats nice of you guys, thankyouverymuch.

At the time of writing - this Nakamichi CDP-2e player is overall the second BEST sounding CD machine in stock form , loosing only a hair to the Arcam CD73 (with Wolfson DAC chip) , and among the other TDA1541A players - it is THE BEST ONE in stock form.

It is very strange, because the player has understatement looks, it is light, small, and not too impressive. Apparently NAKAMICHI engineers did something very right that differenciates it from all of the other TDA1541A players out there, including top MARANTZ machines.

Will this extra bit of quality still be present after lampization ? Or was it resulting from the significantly superiour output stage ?

Lampizator meets the Nakamichi for the second time.

Lampization of this palyer is a real pleasure. I decided to keep as much of the original sound (parts) as possible, so I just added Lampizator and no part tweaking.
I used the only acceptable tube in this application: Russian 6N2P-EV in SRPP Lampizator mode. Resistors were 200 Ohms in cathodes, 90 Ohms in grid to ground (I/V conversion)  and signal was from TDA1541A DAC from floated pins 6 and 25th.

Lampizator sound of the Nakamichi CDP2-e

The character of the sound remained unaffected, but the quality improved quite a bit. The sound is very liquid, silky smooth, spacious and natural.
My conclusion is that the Nakamichi output stage in original form is really excellent. Lampizator stage betters it but not dramatically, not like in other players.
After lampization the player belongs to World Elite Class.  Highly recommended.

Problems with Namakichi CDP-2E

MINUS side: there is little space inside, there is no digital output, the NOS mode is possible but very very difficult. The CDP2-e has 4 times oversampling applied inside the chip that precedes the DAC  TDA1541A, which is SONY CXD1088. We can identify the pins which carry I2S signals and bypass the chip with a bridge of 3 wires a'la Philips 7220p/B. BUT..... the Sony chip is so small and it is SMD that the soldering is too difficult for me. Even with 10 x magnifying glass and a sharp soldering tip I am unable to do it properly. On top of that the chip Sony CXD1088 sits under a protective shield like a metal can, it is hard to remove it without damaging the can. Perhaps we can cut it out and deem it unnecessary and dispose of it entirely, who knows. Sony does not cover their CXD1088 with any shield at all.
The tracks leading to and fro this SONY CXD1088 chip have some external other points where I could tap to them so there is hope we can avoid the worst scenario which is to solder to chip legs. Directly. At the time of writing this I havent tried the CXD1088 NOS mod.

(also read about nakamichi CD4 here)