Visually - aesthetic nightmare from hell with superb analogue sound
History of Philips CD880 player
with TDA1541A chip
Made circa 1989 in Belgium, the
LAST product from Philips that was heavy, solid, well made and with
high end pretensions.
From 880 on - it was steep downhill for the giant from Eindhoven.
The whole splendour since then was 100% reserved for their daughter
What a shame, that Philips did not keep their R&D and manufacturing
ability. After CDM1 mechanism and TDA1541A chip, their last components
of highest standard were TDA1549 DAC and CDM9. Amen.
The CD880 PCB
Looking at the PCB - it is very
bizzare. I saw 100 PCB's from Philips
from before the CD 880 and they all looked alike, more or less. You
detect similarities in Autocad, laminate color, part selection and
power supply and grounding solutions. I also saw 100 PCB's from AFTER
te 880 and they looked similar to each other. But the 880 is ODD. It is
unlike any other PCB. Unlike the Marantz as well.
If anything, it resembles the SONY 227 ESD. Anyway - a nice PCB, better
than older Philipses but nothing comparable to Naim.
This must be one of the rarest Philips on Earth. Almost impossible to
get. Although not nearly as impossible as the LHH Philips line,
especially the LHH2000.
When I got it - I could not believe my eyes!
This is THE ULTIMATE Philips or what !!!
Is it the best of them all ???
With cast chassis frame, copper floor with three layers, heavy duty
parts all over, Philips CDM1-Mk2 mechanism,
and TDA1541A-QS1 chip - WHAT A GEM.
Lampization was a pleasure, no
nasty surprises, and at the end - SUPERB
I did 4 of these, each one differently. My final preference is
the NOS, the decoupling caps increased, and lampizator with SRPP of
6N2P tube . This is really the best - in July 2008.
This is the giant killer if you can find one.
The display is the only minus.
It looks truly HORRIBLE.
Aftel looking at this display, two people sold their units, and two
others kept them but after sealing the display with black paper leaving
only a small window for the track number.
After this horror I appreciate more the super spartan displays from
Meridian, Naim, or even their own Philips CD104.
I use the 86 Ohm resistor for I/U, 6H1P tubes, (later changed for
Siemens ECC801S and later to even better Russian 6N2P) not
much tweaking of PCB
because all parts are high-end already.6N2P is the best tube for
this application and in this case the resistors in SRPP is 200 Ohms.
In terms of PCB engineering, this player beats the Marantz 80, 94,
94MK2, Philips 960 and Grundig 9000.
The only rivals I know of are Arcam Alpha 70,2, Sony 227,337 and of
course 557 from ESD series. And I almost forgot - Naim CDS1 and CD3.
It looses a hair to Grundig 9009 as you well guessed already.
I did four of them and every time I loved the result.
If you wanna go full monty, try to:
Add a superclock from a good source and powered by it's own supply.
Use Jensen Copper foil caps at output (0,47uF)
Cut the power supply tracks (legs 15, and 27-28) and add in series
before the near capacitor a small toroidal coil (inductor) to filter
Replace these 3 electrolytic caps with Blackgates.
float the 14th leg of SAA7220p/B chip to remove the SPDIF output and
avoid associated noise.
After a year I decided to do the Non Over Sampling mod - to bypass the
SAA7220p/B digital filter. You
can read about it here.
It is a VERY RECOMMENDED mod - it brings this player to the absolute
top league. Unless you do it - you have no idea what Philips DAC
is capable of.
If you do the NOS in this player, remember to isolate pin 11 of the
SAA7110 chip from everything else and wire the pin 11 to the pin 23 of
SAA7220P/B to achieve good MUTE function between tracks of your CD .
Otherwise the mute will not work.
In this player the decoupling caps are 100nF, (14 yellow cubes) in
another - some MUCH BETTER SOUNDING 180 nF Vishay caps (orange drops).
The caps are mounted TOO FAR from the DAC legs. If you tweak the
player - add on top of the oryginals - the new caps underneath,
directly on DAC pins.
220 nF is a good value too. In upgrade process I suggest to KEEP the
original caps and add on the bottom some extra ones. a 100 nF ceramics
would be great as the ceramics are best for HF noises.
Two tubes mounted so they stick their heads outside.
A very messy assembling process.
There is so little extra space that the lampizator had to be literraly
After the whole operation - the FRANKENSTEIN LIVES ! It plays sweet
I promised him to shut up about the display and he promised me to sing
the beautiful songs forever.
see the best 6N2P schematics here