Philips EXP2581 Portable CD/MP3/FM/AM player: Modifying for improved audio fidelity

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Philips EXP2581
The Philips EXP2581. My favorite currently-available/reasonably-priced portable CD player. It beats out my former-fave, the Panasonic SW967. The EXP2581 also beats out my iAudio X5 digital audio player (an article on that test is coming soon).

Here are some tweaks to further improve the EXP2581's audio performance:

Above: Carefully disassemble the unit.

Above: Replace output capacitors C502 and C602 with those of higher quality. I used Panasonic "FM" series here. Two images below illustrate how one can use the helping hands device to hold the board in position while one is manipulating (e.g. (de)soldering) components.

Above: A possible clue as to why this portable CD player has decent audio quality: discrete audio output transistors. Most other portable CD players I've seen use op-amps.

Above: Another view of discrete audio output section (middle right).

Above: Damp the printed circuit board and non-moving mechanical components with tacky adhesive or rope caulk.

Above: The transport: a sub-system where mechanical damping is important. This image greatly exaggerates the size of components. Use metal picks and "surgical" tools to insert and sculpt damping compound.

For more information and price about some of the items above, click the link or image below...

Philips EXP2581 Portable CD Player with MP3 player icon

icon Shure E500PTH

We use Shure E500PTH Sound Isolation Headphones icon for all portable audio tests

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This page was last updated: Thursday, 2016-12-22 17:04 PST