Pioneer multi-disc CD recorders for mod?

Hello all,

I am talking to Stan Warren, about modifying a CD player and/or recorder for me. He likes the Pioneer units with Burr-Brown DACs as a starting point, and I am thinking about which one to get. Stan completely replaces the input and output stages with his own circuitry.

With that in mind, does anyone understand the differences between the PDR-W839 and the PDR-W739? Both of these CD recorders are still sold, though the latter is more expensive ($750 list vs. $600) and it seems a bit older.

The Pioneer website is no help here. Can anyone explain the differences?

Thank you!

- Eric

I have the 839. As I remember, the 839 has a higher bit (24 bit) inboard dac for analogue to digital recording. (Copy of a copy is in analogue mode in these "consumer grade" machines, as well as recording from lp or tape source.)This is a great machine, look around for a good deal. Do some searches on cd recorders and you will see some past discussions.

I also have a Stan Warren (SuperMod) DVD player. That is probably a better way to go, unless Stan says that all the recorder functions are not affected. One part of the mods is removal of the op amp which will result in MUCH less output from the player, i.e. I have to turn up the volume on my amp approximately 20% vs. without the mod. Could this affect recording? Stan should know. Good luck.

I'm curious why you'd use the older Pioneer CD recorders when the Pioneer elite PD-R19RW can be bought brand new on this site for $500....what am I missing??

I'm thinking of buying one of these units, should I look into the ones you've mentioned instead??
Hi Kenny,

I didn't see that model of recorder listed on the Pioneer site; is it definitely a current unit?. The units we've mentioned have 3-CD players built-in, for what it's worth.

The basic idea behind these mods, as I understand it, is that Stan believes the lower-end Pioneer actually has a better-sounding DAC than the higher-end gear, if you make sure to get a model with a Burr-Brown 17xx (I forget the model number) DAC. These DACs are cheap (under $5.00 in quantity) but excellent, better, according to Stan, than the inhouse DACS Pioneer (and other vendors for that matter, put in their higher-end gear.

The more expensive gear may sound better "out of the box", because the other circuitry (other than the DAC) may be of better. Stan basically replaces all the analog circuitry, though, so he believes that ironically the lower-end unit after modification sounds better than a higher-end unit, because of the higher potential of the DAC. So he points people to these units for his mods (not necessarily as the best choice unmodified).

I hope that's clear. I hope to post soon with results of my "mod" research.

- Eric

Yes that is a current model, look under the Elite line to find it. Very interesting that Dan finds the cheaper ones better to mod. I'm very interested to here your results!

In case I was not recorder (PDR W839) is not modified. It is stock, and it does a great job as a "consumer" grade recorder.

I have a DVD player that was modified by Stan Warren that I use in my second system.

Stan is a straight shooter, he won't lead you wrong. It just takes forever to get it back...