1 9 8 8 september 1988
1 9 8 9 1989

The second X7 series player, launched in Japan alongwith smaller siblings of the previous CDP-557ESD : CDP-338ESD, CDP-228ESD and the non-ES CDP-970 - good period, very good period.

If the center of it was the same, the KSS-190A and BU-1D drive, the X7ESD was a fair departure from the internal structure and componentry of the previous CDP-557ESD : the power-supply section was revised, displaced to the left (transformers) and back (power-supply), with the control and d/a section being separated and superposed one onto the other into to a narrower space.

As all of Sony's digital components between 1984 and 1994, componentry is lavish and oversized everywhere : caps are all premium Elna Duorex and Elna For Audio, many power-supplies coming out of two transformers, very generous regulations and copper heatsinking, copper bus bars - ES in all its grandeur.

Compared to the previous CDP-557ESD, the chassis structure was even reinforced with "Frame and Beam" : securing each (copper-plated) plate is done with "two on two" or even "three on three" layers.
One could play ping-pong with the chassis, it would mechanically remain as stable as can be.

After Sony's own d/a chips, then the Philips TDA-1541A period and before coming back to its own production, Sony went for Burr Brown digital-to-analogue converters but dropped the PCM64P of the CDP-557ESD for the PCM58P-S : an equally 18bit converter with very low noise ; Sony teamed two for a dual d/a scheme.

Very high-end was Sony's CXD-1244 : an 8fs digital filter with 45bit resolution, linked to a supplementary CXD8003 8MHz clock placed on the d/a side to keep pulses clean and properly in sync between the shaped-up RF signal up to the PCM58.

The D in ESD naturally stands for Digital : there's a regular 75 Ohm digital coaxial terminal at the back of the X7ESD, disparaged from its past of potential graphics provider with the use of other than P and Q CD sub-codes.

Circuit-wise, the X7ESD kept previous sci-fi elements like Error Prediction Logic II (to "predict" read errors and correct them before they actually happen with an 1/10000th of second speed), a Servo Stabilizer II (to keep servo digital noise as low as possible) and also GIC low-pass filters (one for each channel), FET-charged analogue outputs, Fine Ceramics feet and the Acoustically Sealed loading tray - a rubber band sandwiched between the drawer's front and the sub front-plate.

Visually, the myriad of front buttons vansihed :) but the Custom File system was also kept, sans alpha-numerical display - numbers-only and IR remote necessary.

The pair of balanced outputs was a novelty, not even present on the DAS-R1 masterpiece. It was here done like it never would be done again on any of the later X7s : a separate PCB dedicated to the balanced output stage holds two transformers, real transformers !

The build quality was and still is truly stupendous and the finish and feel of use is beyond anything ever produced - a real work of art, milimeter by milimeter, surface by surface, volume by volume.

The next model was the mechanically and visually similar but PULSE-loaded CDP-X77ES which became the most successful of the entire 1987-1994 X7 series.

If the later "7" players refined their abilities toward a more neutral tonal balance, wider sound and better dynamic range, the constant eBay bidding on these is a proof that this was no cheap jap'crap - no wonder Sony sold so many worldwide !

Used as a CD drive, it still beats the pants off the cheaply made optical blocks and mechanisms nowadays available.
And given the way hifi is going it will continue to do so for quite a while.

All ICs used and internal views you know where.

Sony CDP-X7ESD, image 1 Sony CDP-X7ESD, image 2 Sony CDP-X7ESD, image 3
Sony CDP-X7ESD specifications
Title Value
Frequency response : 2Hz...20Khz (± 0,3dB)
S/N ratio : 115dB (EIAJ)
Dynamic range : 100dB (EIAJ)
Stereo separation : 110dB (EIAJ)
THD : 0,0015% (EIAJ)
Wow & flutter : 0,001% (weighted, peak ; EIAJ)
Analogue outputs : 2V RMS (fixed)
0...2V RMS (variable)
28mw max (headphones)
Digital outputs : 0,5V p-p (coaxial ; 75 Ohm)
-18dBm (TOS optical)
PC : 22W
Dimensions : 47 x 12,5 x 37,5cm
Weight : 17kg.
List price : 200,000¥ (1988)
2000$ (1989)
Sony CDP-X7ESD : 0 topic
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page online since : november 2004
page updated : august 2010
page type : LGT / KNB
page weight : 225.93 Kb / 0 b

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