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Grundig CD 3

Compact Disc Player

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Grundig CD 3

Specifications

Disc format: CD

Digital converter: TDA1547

CD Mechanism: CDM-12.1

Frequency response: 20Hz to 20kHz

Signal to Noise Ratio: 110dB

Total harmonic distortion: 0.0016%

Line output: 2V

Year: 1994

Price: GBP £240 (1994)

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Comments

CD 3 Impressions from 2017

Firstly the CD 3 uses the legendary Philips DAC 7. A secondary noise shaping circuit, the SAA7350, 20-bit Philips Bitstream converter, is positioned between the digital filter and the DAC 7**. Nichicon SME and Elna capacitors. This is a very similar configuration as used in top Marantz CDs of the time, Marantz CD-15, Marantz C-16, Marantz CD-16SE, Marantz CD-23, Marantz CD-17, Marantz CD-17D and the Philips LHH-700, Wondering how it found its way to this relatively cheap device...
And the second: this old weird looking piece of black plastic - is just WONDERFULL. This, over a 20 years old CD player, just "accidentally" managed to overplay everything I have in da house. First of all, Yamaha CDX-890, its contemporary CD player, but considered and built as much beter one. Simply de-classed it, no chance given, R.I.P. Yamaha... Then some poor Denons from early nineties with twin Burr-Brown DACs... And then, Fiio X3 24bit/192Mhz DAC from 2013 - even when comparing the same record in 24/96 with re-sampled 16/44 version on a CD... Well, this old plastic piece of sh*t really pi*ses me off :)*
The difference is huge - the 3D depht of the space, plenty of microdetails and the dynamics is just unbelievable, even in 2017. A big, big surprise, and a very well hidden gem for the money. Even the built-in headphone output sounds reasonably well.
And finally, there is a certain potential for tunning left - the basic 6x JRC 5532D opamps can be switched by much better OP 275 for a little money and effort, and the result must sound just fantastic. And yes, it has a separate variable output.
Highly recommended!
* To maintain "Ceteris Paribus" principle all tests were performed with the same headamp Fiio E9K.
** The SAA7350 presence definitely proved out after dismantling the whole thing, the SAA7350 is located on the bottom side of the DAC/OPAMP PCB.

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