"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."
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 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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
industrial-quality CD player—now with MP3 support!
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.
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
Headphones output with
Analogue output (RCA)
(Single, All, Folder)
Intro Check feature
SPDIF digital outputs
(coaxial and optical)
Wireless remote control
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)
Stereo/Joint Stereo/DualChannel/Mono/VBR; MPEG1 Audio Layer III (MP3)
32kHz/44.1 kHz/48 kHz
Bit rate: 32–320 Kbit/s
8kHz/11.025 kHz/12 kHz/16 kHz/22.05 kHz/24 kHz/32 kHz/44.1 kHz/48kHz
Quantization bit rate:
Quantization bit rate:
Number of channels: 2
Frequency response: 20
Hz - 20 kHz ±1.5 dB
(S/N): > 90 dBA (20 kHz LPF)
< 0.01% (1 kHz: 20 kHz LPF)
Dynamic range: 90 dB
Channel separation: 90
dB min. (1 kHz, 1 kHz BPF)
unbalanced: RCA pin jacks
Nominal output level:
Maximum output level:
Output impedance: 200
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
Output impedance: 75 Ohm
Optical digital output:
AC 120 V, 60 Hz
AC 230 V, 50
AC 240 V, 50 Hz
Power consumption: 12 W
range: +5 °C to +35 °C
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.
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.
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
- A removable power cord (IEC)
connector so you
can use a hi-end power cord.
- Variable output pots can be replaced
either single or dual stepped attenuators.
- Tube regulation can be added to the
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
modified in the USA by
DECWARE / High Fidelity Engineering C0. It comes with a one year
warranty to the original owner.
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