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    Dynaco Tube CD Player



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    Dynaco Tube CD Player

    Post by PopaTopSmith on Sat Jan 25, 2014 6:35 am

    Hello All,

    I've run across an opportunity to buy a working Dynaco Tube CD Player to add to my ST-70, PAS 2 and FM1.  But, I don't know anything about them and they seem pretty rare and not much information available.  Does anyone have any thoughts on whether this would be a decent player to own?  I currently play my CD's on a California Audio Labs Icon MK11.

    Thanks for any input.

    Nashville, TN


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    Re: Dynaco Tube CD Player

    Post by sKiZo on Sat Jan 25, 2014 7:58 pm

    CDV or Pro?

    No specifics, but if it's a decent price, might be nice to pick it up just to fill out the set.

    I'm new school ... ripped all my cd's and most of the vinyl to one of the new fangled computer gizmos ... who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks?  tongue 

    What might be interesting is doing some rewiring to upgrade the DAC - I imagine the onboard chipset does Redbook at best. You can still use the tube section for "flavor". I do pretty much the same thing with my setup, feeding a TubeMagic DAC from the HTPC and then on to the pre/amp ...

    That said, you really gotta love an old deck to go that route instead of a newer model. Even the cheap big box store units can run rings around a deck that's more than three years old. Major advances in processing. Truth be told, my TubeMagic is only a couple years old and I've already upgraded the op amps to some sweet lil Burr Browns ...


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    Re: Dynaco Tube CD Player

    Post by PopaTopSmith on Sun Jan 26, 2014 9:22 am

    sKiZo wrote:CDV or Pro?

    No specifics, but if it's a decent price, might be nice to pick it up just to fill out the set.

    I wish I had more specifics . . . the seller is of the opinion that Dynaco only made one model tube CD player, so if there is a CDV and a PRO model, he must be mistaken.  He's offered the player to me for $500, and I don't have any reference point on these to know if that is a good price or not.  He's the same guy that sold me the completely original, factory-wired ST-70 and PAS 2 for $600.  From what I've seen for sale, that's a fair price for the two 100% working pieces . . . but not a killer deal.  

    I'll check back with him on the CD player to get more details on the model.  I was hoping that someone in this Forum owned one of these tube CD players and could tell me if this is a deal that I should not pass up.

    Thanks again,

    Nashville, TN


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    Re: Dynaco Tube CD Player

    Post by arledgsc on Mon Jan 27, 2014 9:21 am

    There's also a CDV-2.  The product label on back of unit should state which model.  Sure you want to pay $500 for a 20 year old CD player?  I believe the original CDV sold for $450 retail.

    Here's some pictures of a CDV-2.  
    Dynaco CDV-2 Pics


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    Re: Dynaco Tube CD Player

    Post by zx on Mon Jan 27, 2014 10:19 am

    I sold all the Dynaco new line in the that time there was a Big push to go passive on the front end...CDv had a V pot on the outputs Only.... so you could go right in the Amps inputs....I would think the CDV2 had a fix output also...
    So that an the Tubes... was the deal with CDV....
    I never cared for the 6922-6DJ8 tube sound....$450. sounds right new....its sound was ok....
    I see this CDV to day.... for the guy that must have allthings Dynaco.....sound can do better for less!

    but like all thing Audio....this is just  0nes mans 0-pine.....

    thanks for the site Bob......


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    Dynaco CD Player

    Post by DynakitParts on Mon Jan 27, 2014 9:21 pm

    Hi...I have a Dynaco CDV-Pro player.

    Purchased more than (10) years ago for $300 including original box, manual etc. Condition was pristine and it is a decent CD player that has served me well...but $500 is a bit high considering the age of this unit.



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    Re: Dynaco Tube CD Player

    Post by PopaTopSmith on Mon Jan 27, 2014 11:37 pm

    Thanks for all the input, guys.  Your information has been helpful.

    Nashville, TN


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    It's not Dynaco, but ...

    Post by deepee99 on Tue Jan 28, 2014 2:43 pm

    Best-Buy is closing out their last CD players. Picked up a brand new 5-disc changer for $40, comes with a one-year warranty. You could buy 10 of them for your Dynaco budget and be set for a decade! It's their house brand, "Insignia" - sure to become a classic. (They also had a couple of Sony changers for $20 more, but that seemed excessive.) I may spring for one of those Chinese 6sn7 DACs for $150, see what that does.

    Last edited by deepee99 on Tue Jan 28, 2014 2:46 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Adding additional details.)


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    Re: Dynaco Tube CD Player

    Post by Henreid on Thu Feb 20, 2014 4:44 am

    You may already have reached a final decision about the purchase of the Dynaco tube CD player, but as the owner of a CDV-2, I figured I would offer my two cents' worth to the thread. First off, it's useful to know that Dynaco actually made 3 versions of their tube player: the CDV-1, the CDV-2, and the CDV-PRO. I am not a technical expert so I'm afraid I can't give you details on the design schematics of these players, or how they differ. The consensus on these models seems to be that the CDV-1 had some flaws that were corrected in the CDV-2, and the CDV-PRO was a further refinement that included the ability to play SACDs. The CDV-PRO has also been given additional upgrades by audio enthusiasts who have published their modifications online. From what I understand, however, the CDV-PRO models are so rare that they are almost impossible to find, and the CDV-1 models are probably not a wise expenditure of your money. The CDV-2 model was considered a decent player when it was released around 1995, and offered the benefits of tube sound -- which could help smooth out some of the sharp edges of digital audio and solid state electronics -- as well as the ability to act as a preamplifier with a volume control, that could directly feed a power amp, or actively powered speakers. These advantages were valuable to me at the time I bought my Dynaco tube player (some 10 years ago, when they were already out-of-production) but as others in this thread have suggested, today it's likely that you could find a better performing CD player for a lower price.

    Having said that, I will also admit that tube components definitely have a seductive quality that can sometimes be hard to resist. Owners of the Dynaco CDV players often rave about how superb they are, but for a more objective opinion, there is a 1997 listening evaluation of the CDV-2 by Tom Lyle, a reviewer for Sensible Sound magazine, that is available online. [I'd be glad to include a precise link to the review but, I am only a newbie on this forum and I don't yet have that ability.] From direct personal experience with this model, I agree completely with his basic conclusions: the CDV-2 does a fine job reproducing smaller musical groups, but it does have a tendency to sound somewhat thick or congested when playing large orchestral ensembles. I believe this is due to the stock tubes used in the player, which, as "zx" has mentioned here in this thread, are not the sweetest valves available. Unfortunately I am not an expert in tube rolling, either, so I can't offer much advice concerning replacement valves that might be able to correct this "congestion" problem. However, this player could be worth the investment to you if you had an enthusiasm for finding just the right tubes...

    So for my perspective on the Dynaco CD player, here is the bottom line:

    Verify which model is being sold.
    Avoid the CDV-1
    If a CDV-PRO model is available in excellent working condition at a fair price, you may be reasonably inclined to click the "buy" button, even while the player is not quite state-of-the-art by today's standards.
    If you're considering the purchase of a CDV-2, weigh your desires to own this piece of tube history against the pros and cons inherent with this model.

    Hope this helps.


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    Re: Dynaco Tube CD Player

    Post by PopaTopSmith on Thu Feb 20, 2014 5:51 am


    Thanks for reviving this issue for me.  I sincerely appreciate your thoughts.  It so happens that the owner of the Dynaco CD player (he actually owns two of them) recently called me and asked me if I was still interested in buying it from him; he initially wasn't sure he wanted to part with it.  He was the same guy who just recently sold me a Dynaco ST-70 and PAS 2.  When I spoke with him the other day I didn't think to ask him what specific model CD player he is selling.  I'm going to see him Saturday, and will confirm that.  Based on your information, I'm inclined to only be interested if it is the PRO model.  Perhaps as an investment, but no doubt due in part to the allure of a tube player, or as you more accurately put it, a seductive quality that I may not be able to resist.  Whether it's a fair price or not I don't know; he wants $500 for the player.  That may be high, but as someone who has only recently gotten into tube equipment, I'm finding that the stuff can be very expensive and not much of anything tube-wise can be had for $500.  If it is the PRO model, the rarity of it may prove irresistible.  Thank you very much for your post.

    Nashville, TN


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    Re: Dynaco Tube CD Player

    Post by Henreid on Fri Feb 21, 2014 12:30 am

    If the romance of tube CD sound is calling your name, there is another option that you might want to consider -- as "sKiZo" mentioned earlier in this thread -- a tube Digital to Audio Converter [DAC]. Of course Dynaco never produced a stand-alone DAC of any kind, so this suggestion may be a little outside the scope of this forum, but for the same $500 Jolida makes a new, highly regarded tube DAC [the Glass FX Tube DAC III] that would provide additional features and greater flexibility that might be of value to you. It has 3 digital inputs: Coaxial, USB and Toslink/optical. Using this range of inputs you can:

    >Transform any CD player -- that has a digital output -- into a tube CD player.
    >Significantly improve the audio output of any computer, using the USB port (from what I've read, the inboard DACs of computers are vastly inferior to stand-alone converters, and it makes a noticeable difference in sound quality).
    >Connect the digital output of your DVD/Blu-ray player/TV to the tube DAC, which can then supply tube sound to your Home Theater System. (But be aware that this only works for a 2-channel digital stereo signal from your video components. It won't convert a Dolby/5.1 digital signal).

    Jolida also made an earlier model, the Glass FX Tube DAC II, that does not have the preamp/volume control function that their latest version has been given. But since you already own a Dynaco tube preamplifier, you may find that you don't actually need a DAC with a built-in preamp, and in that case you could probably spend even less than $500 on a used Jolida II.

    This isn't meant to be an advertisement for Jolida! In fact I know of at least two other reasonably priced tube DACs that seem to be of good quality: The Maverick Audio TubeMagic D1 Plus DAC (ranging in price from $179 to $254, depending on which features you choose, as well as their D2 version -- a tube DAC with no preamp -- from $249 to $289) and the Grant Fidelity TubeDAC-11 (sold for $389, and which offers even more inputs and outputs than the Jolida DAC). I've been a lifelong fan of Dynaco components, ever since I assembled my first "Dynakit", back in high school during the 1970s, and I'm not trying to dissuade you from buying a Dynaco CD player (after all, I've owned a CDV-2 for over a decade and it's still the primary music source in my audio system). I just wanted to encourage you to explore the options that you have available to you, so that you can invest in the equipment that best fulfills your needs and desires...

    As a price reference point for the Dynaco CDV-PRO player, I can tell you that I have seen an excellent condition model sold for $375 in 2013, through a Canadian audio mart on the Internet. I wouldn't say that $500 is an exorbitant price for one of these players, considering their scarcity, and you can also factor in --  as part of the purchase -- the emotional value it has to you as well (while the techno/nerd half of my personality says, "Research the alternatives, too!")

    Wishing you success...

    San Mateo, CA


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    Tube CD Players

    Post by Thx1326 on Fri Jan 27, 2017 4:30 pm

    As has been stated, while the CDV-Pro "could" be a desirable piece, it marketability as compared to today's standards and offerings makes those being offered - basically - overpriced. The CDV2 was actually "changed" from the outstanding prototype design to its final release version which was somewhat compromised for the sake of marketing and pricing. One of the actual original designers has a web site with modifications which will put it back closer to the original prototype:

    As far as tube output stages for CD players...rather than insert a dubious component of unknown quality between your valued source and preamp seems a bit odd to me. Simply running the CD player - any CD player - through a good tube preamp pretty much accomplishes the same thing.

    Having said that, I am currently experimenting with inserting a tube ouput stage into a Technics SL-P999 CD player. This is one of those anomalies that occur from time to time in the audio industry. This particular player is an extremely musical piece (and very rare) that has every feature you could want, Technics ClassAA circuitry and 4 - yes 4 - 20 bit D/A converters that can be easily upgraded to newer better D/A's (same 20 bit) for about $30 and a bit of soldering. The new DAC's are a direct drop in replacement for the old. The CD mechanism was extremely smooth and fast - and is getting rare - still available new for around $179.00. Also upgrading the OpAmps is also easy cheap and will increase the overall performance.

    Hope someone finds this useful.

    Thanks... and remember... the goal is to listen to the music, not the equipment.

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    Re: Dynaco Tube CD Player

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