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The Zen CD Player
With Vacuum Tube Output Stage


Model ZCD200i

1280px high res image

Model ZCD200i
CD Player with 100% tube output stage - world voltage compatible


YOU PAY factory direct price
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We hand make these amps in the USA and sell direct to the customer

 


"In the midst of marveling at a sound stage that went back some 30 feet... two of the musicians playing shakers walked up and sat on either side of me about 8 feet off each shoulder. They grinned as we listened together.

When I hit the stop button...  everyone vanished.  Not many players can take you here...  this one can."

-Steve Deckert



OVERVIEW


This is the Decware modified Tascam professional CD player.  It features a single ended triode analog output stage that completely replaces the original analog section of the machine. 

The Tascam units have enjoyed a long reputation with recording studios as the reliable red book CD player and when compared to consumer grade players it easy to see why they don't break. Huge power supply, steel transport and it even sounds OK stock.

With such a solid platform the unit was an ideal candidate for the extensive tweaking and modifications it got.  The actual analog tube output section was based on the success of our previous two players but scratch built especially for this players DAC section.  It was good but the proverbial question "could it be better?" drove the R&D through 7 completely different circuits with each one slightly better than the previous and each one carefully voiced at the cost of many late evenings.  

The ZCD was designed to be a "real sleeper" and completely untouchable at the price.  It's performance is impressive in all categories but one - imaging.  This players imaging and sound stage are highly refined making it absolutely exceptional for those SET purists.  The holographic abilities of our amplifiers and speakers are well served by this players presentation.


FEATURES ZCD200i

One of the best features of this player is the ergonomics and ease of use.  No excess complications or delays.  It responds instantly to your wishes.  Yes the CD drawer actually opens at the precise moment you press the button...  it doesn't test your patience by having to think about it for several seconds.

Easy to read from across the room and fully operated by a simple (included) remote.

It can be rack mounted or the ears can be easily removed to fit inside conventional audio cabinets.

Tube replacement is from the rear.  No access to the inside is needed.  Uses 1 12AT7 and is also compatible with 12AU7's.

Analog tube stage runs at reduced voltages for extended tube life and to eliminate any heat. Even the tube itself only gets barely warm to the touch.  The tube stage has been designed for 24/7 operation 365 days a year.  Tube life is 2 years minimum but likely to go several more. It stays on warmed up for peak fidelity even when the CD player is off.  There is an indicator LED on the front panel that shows the status of the tube stage.

High quality Gold/Teflon RCA jacks are included for the analog tube outputs and the stock OP AMP driven outputs are left in tact and operational on the stock RCA jacks.

The carefully voiced tube stage is fed direct from the DAC so there are no solid state components in the analog signal path.  Selected top grade resistors and coupling caps are used with gold ceramic tube socket.  Single Ended Class A circuit with no feedback.



ZCD031.jpg


An isolated ground is incorporated that separates the audio ground from the digital ground. The digital ground is tied to the chassis.  This has sonic merits that will become self evident once you've heard it.

The stock variable headphone jack was left in tact and un-modified.  Also the pitch control has been left active with a bypass (on/off) switch.  This means any studio using a stock Tascam CD160 or CD160MK II or CD 200 can replace it with a Decware ZCD200i without loosing any features and gaining an unreal improvement in sound quality.

High output level from the analog tube stage is a bonus.  It develops enough drive and dynamics to ensure that anything you hook to it is sure to be woken up!  The output level is adjustable from 0 to a minimum of 5 volts.

THIS IS A RED BOOK (standard CD's) CD PLAYER ONLY.  It plays all red book format CD's including ones you burn yourself.  It also has a feature for playing MP3's and handles them very nicely.  This player will not play DVD's or SACD's.


The ZCD200i features an integrated IPOD dock on the front of the machine.  A drawer slides out to receive the IPOD.  When the IPOD is docked it is automatically charged and kept that way.  You can change from CD to IPOD and back again on the fly.  The IPOD can be controlled with it's own facilities or from the players front panel and or remote control.  Very handy.


Model ZCD200i



Getting the output of the IPOD to work with the machines stock output and the added tube stage was a bit tricky, but what's the point of having an IPOD if we can't take it's output directly to the tube stage without anything in-between?  To make happen we installed a silver contact switch located on the front of the player to switch the tube output stage from CD to IPOD.  You would be surprised how good an IPOD TOUCH can sound when direct coupled to a good analog tube stage!

There is also an AUX input located on the front of the player for 3.5mm mini stereo jack used by IPODS, Phones, MP3 players etc., that can be used with any line level device.  The aux input is directly fed to the tube output stage.

VIDEO

In addition to the ultimate analog IPOD dock for music, a composite color video jack and SVIDEO jack are provided on the rear of the player so you can watch anything you normally see on the screen of IPOD, on your TV set.   That means videos and movies, internet access, your own picture collections, etc.



SPECIFICATIONS FROM TASCAM BEFORE MODIFICATIONS:

A super-professional, industrial-quality CD player—now with MP3 support!

The CD-200i offers an easy, affordable solution to installations or PA rental where the extra features of a more complex CD player might go unused. Yet it provides features such as pitch control with an on/off knob, a headphone output with level control, intro check, anti-shock memory, and a variety of convenient playback modes which can help prevent the user from making a mistake.

The CD-200i can also play back MP3 and WAV files from data CDs and display ID3 tags and CD-Text. The included wireless remote control gives access to most features and allows a track to be selected directly via a 10-key pad.

Features:

Easy-to-use, affordable CD player
High-quality TEAC drive (supports CD-R and CD-RW)
Audio CD playback
MP3 and WAV file playback from CD
Folder selection for MP3 and WAV CDs
Continuous, Random and Program playback modes
CD text and ID3 tag support to display artist and track information if available
Time display (CD-DA: Elapsed, Remain, Total Remain; MP3: Elapsed)
±12.5 % pitch control (CD-DA over analogue outputs only)
Anti-shock memory (10 seconds)
Headphones output with level control
Analogue output (RCA)
Repeat playback (Single, All, Folder)
Intro Check feature
Index search
SPDIF digital outputs (coaxial and optical)
Wireless remote control included
19-inch rack-mount chassis (2U)
Specifications:

GENERAL

Compatible disc formats: CD-DA (12-cm/8-cm), CD-ROM (12-cm/8-cm) ISO 9660 LEVEL 1/2/ROMEO/JOLIET format (CD-R/CD-RW disc compatible)
MP3 Playback Specifications:
Audio Mode: Stereo/Joint Stereo/DualChannel/Mono/VBR; MPEG1 Audio Layer III (MP3)
Sampling frequency: 32kHz/44.1 kHz/48 kHz
Bit rate: 32–320 Kbit/s
WAV Playback Specifications:    
Sampling frequency: 8kHz/11.025 kHz/12 kHz/16 kHz/22.05 kHz/24 kHz/32 kHz/44.1 kHz/48kHz
Quantization bit rate: 8-bit/16-bit
CD-DA playback specifications    
Sampling frequency: 44.1kHz
Quantization bit rate: 16-bit
Number of channels: 2 (Stereo)
AUDIO PERFORMANCE

Frequency response: 20 Hz - 20 kHz ±1.5 dB
Signal-to-Noise Ratio (S/N): > 90 dBA (20 kHz LPF)
Distortion (THD+N): < 0.01% (1 kHz: 20 kHz LPF)
Dynamic range: 90 dB min.
Channel separation: 90 dB min. (1 kHz, 1 kHz BPF)
AUDIO OUTPUTS

Analogue output unbalanced: RCA pin jacks
Nominal output level: –10dBV
Maximum output level: +6 dBV
Output impedance: 200 Ohm
Headphones output: Standard stereo jack
Nominal output power: 20 mW + 20 mW min. (When monitoring CD, THD+N: 0.1% max., 32 Ohm load)
Coaxial digital output: RCA pin jack
Compatible signal format:IEC-60958-3 (SPDIF)
Output impedance: 75 Ohm
Optical digital output: Fibreoptic connector
Compatible signal format:IEC-60958-3 (SPDIF)
OTHER

Power requirements:
AC 120 V, 60 Hz (USA/Canada)
AC 230 V, 50 Hz(UK/Europe)
AC 240 V, 50 Hz (Australia)
Power consumption: 12 W
Operating temperature range: +5 °C to +35 °C
Inclination of installation: 5 degrees or less
Dimensions (W x H x D): 481 mm x 95 mm x 298 mm
Weight: 4.2 kg before modification.  6.4 kg after it becomes a ZCD.



MAINTENANCE:

This unit requires no adjustments or maintenance other than changing the tube every few years. It is a self biasing design.  Tube life is several years.




OPTIONS


The ZCD player now comes standard with a user adjustable output level. This used to be a very popular custom option for the ZCD.  It allows you to dial in the amount of gain for any amplifier or preamp while you listen so you can find the sweet spot.  This is actually a profound improvement over a fixed output in most cases that allows you to shape both dynamics and frequency balance when a preamp or amplifier with a volume control are used.

The ZCD can now be built in 240Volts 50/60Hz! 240 Volt models require the IEC removable power cord option.

There are now some custom options available...

  • A removable power cord (IEC) connector so you can use a hi-end power cord.  
  • Variable output pots can be replaced with either single or dual stepped attenuators.
  • Tube regulation can be added to the power supply which cleans the power better than an expensive power conditioner. - this would be by far the most noticeable tweak of the three listed here.
  • All of these options can be priced in the shopping cart.






SUPPORT

This modified in the USA by DECWARE / High Fidelity Engineering C0. It comes with a one year warranty to the original owner. 

We also have a support forum with many people who's experiences you may benefit from. 


REVIEWS

You may read reviews of our products going back to 1996.




Model ZCD200i

1280px high res image

Model ZCD200i
CD Player with 100% tube output stage - world voltage compatible

$1649.00 SUG. RETAIL
YOU PAY factory direct price

ADD TO CART

ADD TO CART

View Cart or Check Out



We hand make these amps in the USA and sell direct to the customer



 





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DECWARE / Therapy For Audiophiles