HiFi Bargains: Sony PlayStation (model SCPH‑1001)

It was a few years after we all miraculously survived the Y2K hullabaloo when I caught wind of a CD player I might actually enjoy listening to.

Word  has it, that wind blew from the East, somewhere in Germany according to those in-the-know, and while it didn’t cry or whisper “Mary”, it spoke of an old Sony PlayStation, model SCPH‑1001 (c.1995), which offered a pair of analog RCA outputs and was purported to make CDs actually sound good. I admit skepticism kept me at bay for some time but I finally hit up eBay and picked up said Sony for a cool $17.50 including shipping.

Coincidental to this, I owed an Audio Aero Capitole MKII CD Player, a rather big heavy beast that made CDs sound OK. I’d bought it used and offered some other gear in trade but the price of the Audio Aero was still somewhat dear. When the PlayStation arrived, it was unpacked and spinning discs within minutes. A day or so later, the Audio Aero was up for sale [footnote 1]. At the time, I chose not to write about this experience for many reasons but seeing as the CD revival is still a while off, I think it’s safe.

my system c.2005

You should be able to find a working model on eBay for under $30 and if you’re interested in listening to CDs but don’t want to spend an arm and a leg to make them sound good, the Sony PlayStation (model SCPH‑1001) is a HiFi Bargain with your name on it.

1. The person who bought my Audio Aero was local so he came over to pick it up. I had his player sitting on top of my Finite Elemente Pagode rack for inspection but it wasn’t playing—the little gray gamer that could was handling that while sitting on the floor next to the rack. After a few minutes of listening, the Audio Aero-buyer commented, “That’s one great-sounding CD player” while pointing to his idle Audio Aero [footnote 2].

2. Yea, I told him he was listening to the PlayStation.