Sony CDP-710

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 important stuff.

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 .....................

sony CDP-710

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.

cdp710 Sony

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 polytechnic.


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 model 557ESD.
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 players.

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 giant killer.
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