Cute little thingie, very cute, and last component of the Music Link series to be released.
DAC-7 digital-to-analogue section, HDAM modules, diecast aluminium everything with a glass cover and select componentry.
Plus the blue star which was, however, inaugurated during the Superscope era and not during the original Saul Marantz ownership.
The analogue output is FET-charged (2SJ74 / 2SK170) and set at a welcome low 150 Ohm.
The Philips DAC-7 Bitstream and two Marantz HDAM op-amps-in-a-box provide great sound quality, all within a discreetely flying saucer-like design.
The internal structure allows only one main dual-sided board to ba placed at the bottom holding all digital treatment, servos and d/a sections plus one power-supply assembly making the back of the CD-23 : toroidal transformer, AC filter on one side, audio i/os on the other.
Three versions were produced :
The CD-23 uses a CDM9,
The CD-23F uses a CDM9Pro,
The CD-23Da adds a pair of digital inputs (1x coaxial, 1x TOS) so that it can be used as a digital-to-analogue converter ; however, the 23Da uses a regular CDM9 like the original CD-23.
Outside Japan, the CD-23F was named CD-23Limited and the CD-23Da was a CD-23DLimited - simple enough :)
The CDM9 and CDM9Pro can easily be identified by their spindle : grey plastic for the CDM9, shiny metal for the CDM9Pro.
There is unfortunately one central flaw : said CDM9 and CDM9Pro Philips CD mechanisms are neither as durable as any of the earlier drives.
The slightly earlier CD-15, CD-16 and CD-16SE all had a CDM4MD but, by late 1994, production of the diecast "old" Philips CDM drives had stopped...
A real CD-23F at hifi-do and a real CD-23Da at hifi-do too.