In an effort to cull some of my speakers and make room for the new Zu's I swapped a pair of ADS L710's today for a mint Rotel RCD-855 and $175. I know little about this CDP other than it sounds good and is a smooth operator.
On one list the 855 is shown as having the TDA1541 DAC while Lamp's list states that it has the TDA1541A-S1. Anyone know which is correct?
I don't know which is correct, but neither are in production anymore. Both are sought after but I would say that the S1 (single crown) is more regarded. They also made an S2 (double crown). Either way you've got one smooth and musical chip in there.
Just open it up, locate the chip and it will have the full name wrote on it.
I won a Maggie 465 (TDA 1541) on ebay last week but it's going back as the door and tray only work about half the time. The Rotel RCD-855 while sounding similar to the Maggie is extremely well built in a heavy all metal case. The Maggie is in a cheap ill fitting plastic case and is light as a feather in comparison. The cooling fins on the back of the Maggie must be cosmetic as they are also plastic. Anyone buying an older Magnavox, Phillips etc. on ebay should encourage the seller to use the transport hold downs on the bottom of the unit before shipping otherwise you can end up with a damaged misaligned tray like I got.
In researching the Rotel I've learned that it has the reliable swing arm laser and uses a turntable motor. The hierarchy of these no longer produced and highly sought after DAC's are as follows:
The gap between any A version and the TDA 1541 is said to be quite large while the differences between the others are minor. If you are interested in knowing which CDP's have the TDA 1541 family of DAC's there are lists available at Pink Fish and Lapinzator.
You can expect to pay around $100 on ebay for any nice CDP using the TDA 1541 but you can also get lucky at a thrift store for much less $ if you take the list with you while shopping. The cheapo Magnavox players are the most likely to be gems in the rough.