Sony CDP-R1a

October   1 9 8 9 october 1989
1 9 9 5 1995

Sales-wise not as successful as the original R1 combo but a fairly different drive which replaced the BU + KSS-190 introduced in 1987 for more "G" compound drive base, a newer 3x BSL motor unit with a cleaner mechanism layout, equivalent to that of the CDP-X779ES and CDP-X707ES players.
This new mechanism allowed even better vibration control and damping and Accuphase, naturally, used it in its own units.

The power-supply was upped and all boards upped and redone as well : the CDP-R1a wasn't a simple re-take with a redesigned front but a completely new development.
The real sonic updates were however reserved for the DAS-R1a d/a unit.

As for all of Sony's top units, the fit, finish, work on colors and textures is unbelievable and puts all other brands right next to the DIY amateurs - but you got to see and use them to fully grasp that element.

Perhaps the near-identical looks were a mistake (market-wise) but this still is an excellent combo which was kept available along with the 1992/93 CDP-R10 and DAS-R10 for those who couldn't shed 2,000,000¥ for the latter. Although... at 700,000¥, the R1a combo wasn't exactly cheap either.

Very successful however it was among japanese audio reviewers : two thirds of them had one as "reference" until the early days of SACD (and beyond).

Unlike the CDP-R3 player, the R1a combo was vaguely exported outside Japan, much after its homeland launch.
The exact production run should be around half of the original CDP-R1 / DAS-R1 : 650 combos made, tops.

Sony CDP-R1a, image 1 Sony CDP-R1a, image 2 Sony CDP-R1a, image 3
Sony CDP-R1a specifications
Title Value
Digital outputs : 1x Twin Link optical (800nm)
1x coaxial (0,5V p-p / 75 Ohm)
1x TOS optical (-18dBm / 660nm)
Laser : KSS-151A
PC : 14W
Dimensions : 47 x 12,5 x 41cm
Weight : 17kg.
List price : 300,000¥
Sony CDP-R1a : 2 topics
(last updated topic shows up first)
  • SONY CDP-R1a & DAS-R1a                             (15)last updated by mpd - 16/07/2011, 17H50
  • Sony CDP-X779/707ES & other models using the same transport                             (2)last updated by jshowalter - 26/06/2011, 20H22
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