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SCD

-
1 & SCD
-
777ES
Super Audi o CD/ CD Pl ayers
Technical Background
1 . I n tro d u c tio n . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
2 . Te c h n o lo g y . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
2 . 1 . O ve rvie w . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
2 . 2 . F ix e d P ic k u p M e c h a n ism . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
2 . 3 . D u a l D isc re te O p tic a l P ic k u p . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
2 . 4 . S e rvo D S P L S I . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
2 . 5 . R F P ro c e sso r L S I . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
2 . 6 . D S D D e c o d e r . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
2 . 7 . A C P S yste m . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
2 . 8 . S yn c h ro n o u s T im e A c c u ra c y C o n tro lle r S -TA C T ) . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
2 . 9 . C u rre n t P u lse D /A C o n ve rte r . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
2 .1 0 . L o w-P a ss F ilte r . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 0
2 .1 1 . VC 2 4 D ig ita l F ilte r . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 1
3 . C o n stru c tio n . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 2
3 . 1 . C irc u it B o a rd L a yo u t . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 2
3 . 2 . P o we r S u p p ly B lo c k . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 3
3 . 3 . B a se P illa r B P ) C h a ssis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 3
3 . 4 . I n su la to r F e e t . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 4
3 . 5 . S lid e -To p L o a d in g P a n e l . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 4
4 . O p e ra tio n . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 5
4 . 1 . D isc Typ e S e le c tio n . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 5
4 . 2 . D ig ita l O u tp u t . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 5
4 . 3 . B a la n c e d O u tp u t . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 5
4 . 4 . Te x t . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 5
4 . 5 . D isp la y . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 5
4 . 6 . R e m o te C o n tro l . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 5
5 . F e a tu re s a n d S p e c ific a tio n s . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 6
5 . 1 . S C D -1 F e a tu re s . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 6
5 . 2 . S C D -7 7 7 E S F e a tu re s . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 7
5 . 3 . S p e c ific a tio n s . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 7
Table of Contents
1. Introduction.
S uper A udio C om pact D isc represents a quan-
tum leap in sound quality. Its D irect S tream
D igital

(D S D ) encoding gives m usic a freshness


and presence unm atched by any other audio
technology. To dem onstrate this new form at to
the fullest, S ony has built tw o landm ark com po-
nents: the S C D -1 and S C D -777ES S uper A udio
C D /C D players.
In creating these players, S ony discarded m any
preconceived notions about digital audio and
digital m usic reproduction. W e had to invent new
approaches, build new architectures and pro-
duce entirely new Large-S cale Integrated (LS I)
circuits. It w as to explain these accom plishm ents
that S ony created this w hite paper.
1
2. Technology.
2.1. Overview.
W hen C om pact D isc players w ere new , audio-
philes had to learn the new language of laser
pickups, digital filters, D /A converters and analog
output filters. S A C D has a com parable language
all its ow n. B ut S A C D players are also C D play-
ers. S o there are tw o signal paths inside the
player. A t som e stages, S A C D and C D signals
receive exactly the sam e treatm ent. A t others,
there are dedicated circuits strictly for one type
of disc or the other. H ere's a brief overview of
w hich stage does w hat.
2
1. Dual Discrete Optical pickup.
Incorporates tw o separate pickups, one
optim ized for S A C D , the other dedicated
to C D .
2. RF Processor. For both types of disc,
this circuit perform s clock signal extrac-
tion, synchronization, dem odulation and
error correction.
3. DSD Decoder. For S A C D only.
A uthenticates the S A C D invisible w ater-
m ark, separates text from m usic and
form s the left and right D S D pulse trains.
4. ACP System. For S A C D only. C ontrols
the influence of sw itching distortion.
5. VC24 Digital Filter. For C D only. A
suprem ely advanced version of the fam il-
iar 8x oversam pling digital filter.
6. S-TACT System. For S A C D and C D .
S uppresses tim e-base errors for jitter-free
perform ance.
7. Current Pulse D/A Converter. For
S A C D and C D . S uprem ely accurate con-
version from 1-bit digital to analog.
8. Low Pass Filter. For S A C D and C D . A
G eneral Im pedance C ircuit (G IC ) stage
for superb bandw idth and sound quality.
9. Buffer Amplifier. For S A C D and C D .
D iscrete output circuitry for m axim um
signal integrity.
T h e S C D -1 a n d S C D -7 7 7 E S in c o rp o ra te c irc u itry to h a n d le
b o th C o m p a c t D isc a n d S u p e r A u d io C o m p a c t D isc sig n a ls.
Super Audio
CD
Pickup
CD
Pickup
RF Amplifier
RF Amplifier
RF
Processor
s 16 bit
64s 1 bit
ACP & Digital Filter
S-TACT
Curent Pulse
D/A
Converter
I/V
Converter
Low-Pass
Filter
Buffer
Amplifier
[s =44.1kHz]
DSD
Decoder
ACPSystem
Digital
Filter
Noise
Shaper PLM Pulse &
Reference Clock
Generator
ACP &
Digital Filter
DISC
Fig. 1 Signal Flow within SCD-1
2.2. Fixed Pickup Mechanism.
O ptical playback system s require m otor servos,
tracking servos and focus servos to m aintain
accurate playback. U nfortunately, the laser out-
put is extrem ely low in levelm aking it extrem ely
sensitive to radiated noise. That includes noise
induced from the servo currents!
W hile servo currents obviously can't be
elim inated, they can be isolated, controlled and
reduced by S ony's Fixed P ickup M echanism . It
creates a quiet environm ent for clear, low -noise
signal readout.
Typical laser transports m im ic the design of LP
turntables. The spindle, disc and m otor are fixed
in position. The laser acts like a phono cartridge,
tracking across the radius of the disc. The Fixed
P ickup M echanism changes everything. To iso-
late servo voltages from the laser pickups, the
pickups them selves are fixed, rigidly bolted onto
a subchassis. W hile the pickups rem ain station-
ary, the disc and turntable m ove horizontally to
accom plish tracking. A s a result, the system
achieves extrem ely precise trackingw ith
extrem ely low induced servo current noise.
S o n y's F ix e d P ic k u p M e c h a n ism
su p p re sse s se rvo -in d u c e d n o ise .
This Fixed P ickup designfirst used in S ony's
critically-acclaim ed C D P -XA 7ES C om pact D isc
playerhas been further refined by highly
advanced sub-assem blies:
Spindle motor. M ade of die-cast alum inum for
high rigidity. The stator (stationary side)
includes a sapphire bearing. The rotor (rotating
side) features a ruby ball that fits into the
sapphire bearing. This com bination m akes for
incredibly sm ooth rotation and reduced
m otor servo current. It also reduces w ear at
the contact point.
Base plate. The drive m echanism is m ounted
to a solid alum inum plate, 6 m m (1/4 inch)
thick. The spindle cutout is reinforced w ith an
extra plate for added rigidity. S pecial openings
suppress vibration, to reduce servo currents
further still.
Floating suspension. The entire m echanical
block floats on four rubber dam pers, m ounted
on four chassis pillars. The design com bines
high rigidity w ith superb isolation from chassis-
borne vibration.
Disc stabilizer. The disc is held onto the spin-
dle by a m assive brass stabilizer that the
user places over the center hub. This dam pens
extraneous m otion and helps create a
high-precision rotating system .
T h e d ie -c a st a lu m in u m sp in d le m o to r is h ig h ly rig id .
A u n iq u e ru b y ro to r b a ll b e a rin g m in im ize s
fric tio n a n d se rvo c u rre n t.
3
2.3. Dual DiscreteOptical Pickup.
C om pact D isc requires a laser w avelength of
780 nm . S A C D uses 650 nm . C om pact D isc
requires an objective lens num erical aperture
(N A ) of 0.45. S A C D requires 0.60. Instead of try-
ing to com prom ise these requirem ents, or sw itch
lenses or lasers, S ony em ploys tw o separate
optical pickups. O ne is dedicated to C D w hile
the other is optim ized for S A C D . S o you get
ideal tracking for both types of disc.
2.4. Servo DSP LSI.
S uper A udio C om pact D isc has half the spacing
betw een tracks (track pitch) of C D . The pits
them selves are also half as long. A s a result,
S A C D requires absolute precision in playback.
That's w hy the S C D -1 and S C D -777ES em ploy
an exclusive S ony D igital S ignal P rocessor (D S P )
to control spindle m otor, tracking and focus ser-
vos. The D S P m aintains superb precision for
extrem ely stable signal readout.
2.5. RF Processor LSI.
A s the optical pickup reads the disc signals,
an R F am p located inside the m echanical block
am plifies them . This am plified R F signal is sent
to the R F processor, located on the m ain
circuit board.
The R F processor chip is responsible for clock
signal extraction, synchronization, dem odulation
and error correction. B oth the servo D S P and R F
processor are S ony Large-S cale Integrated (LS I)
circuits. Large S cale Integration m akes for sm all-
er circuit boardsand reduced signal exposure
to hum and noise.
4
2.6. DSD Decoder.
The R F processor extracts the data contained on
the disc, w ithout interpreting, analyzing or read-
ing it. O rganizing the data into left and right
pulse stream s is the job of the D S D decoder.
A nother S ony-built LS I, the D S D decoder first
reads the invisible w aterm arka key anti-piracy
featureand then decodes the incom ing data.
D ata on the disc originate as alternating bursts
of left-channel and right-channel inform ation.
B uffer m em ory and m aster clock sync enable the
bursts to be output as tw o continuous, sim ulta-
neous stream s.
The D S D decoder also reads sub code data,
including text and Table of C ontents inform ation
such as track num ber and playing tim e.
2.7. ACP System.
In principle, it is possible to convert the D irect
S tream D igital signal into analog w ith nothing
m ore than a low -pass filter. In practice, the D S D
signal benefits from som e highly specialized pro-
cessing. To preserve the m axim um accuracy of
the D S D pulses, our design program identified
tw o basic goals:
* A m p li tu d e a x i s p re c i s i o n
* T i m e a x i s p re c i s i o n
S ony's A ccurate C om plem entary P ulse D ensity
M odulation (A C P ) system and C urrent P ulse D /A
C onverter m eet the first goal. The second goal is
achieved by S ony's S ynchronous Tim e A ccuracy
C ontroller (S -TA C T).
5
T h e e n tire c o n ve rsio n syste m is o p tim ize d fo r p re c isio n o n th e a m p litu d e a x is a n d th e tim e a x is.
Digital
Filter
Noise
Shaper
CDdata
Super Audio
CDdata
s
[s =44.1kHz]
64s
64s 8s
64s
ACP & Digital Filter S-TACT Current Pulse D/A Converter
Elimination of
amplitude distortion
Elimination of time axis
inconsistencies
Elimination of amplitude
influence
ACPSystem
PLM Pulse
VoltagePulse
Current Pulse
Quartz Occilation
Conversion
V/I Conversion
I/V Conversion
&
Low Pass Filter
Fig. 3 D/A Converter System
The first elem ent in this reproduction system is
A C P. S ony designed A C P to overcom e one
practical lim itation in decoding the D irect S tream
D igital pulse train. In the ideal w orld, D S D pulses
w ould be square, w ith crisp, vertical leading
edges, flat tops, flat bottom s and vertical
trailing edges.
S o n y L S I s in c lu d e th e VC 2 4 D ig ita l
F ilte r, S -TA C T syste m a n d
C u rre n t P u lse D /A C o n ve rte r.
The real w orld is a different place. In reality, at
the M egaH ertz speeds of D S D encoding, IC s
perm it som e sw itching distortion. Leading and
trailing edges becom e slightly slanted. Tops and
bottom s begin w ith a sw itching glitch.
These distortions w ould be easy to correct in
later processingexcept for one problem . The
distortion only occurs at the transitions from 1 to
0 or 0 to 1. W hen digital 1s occur in succession,
there is no sw itchingand no sw itching distor-
tion. The sam e is true for a string of digital 0s.
This uneven distribution m akes sw itching
distortion difficult to suppress.
6
1 0 0 1 1
1/64s
Onecycle
ACP
I With ACP, theDSDsignal isconvertedinto acomplementarypulsewhich
containsaleadingandtrailingedgein each cycle[1/64s]
I Becauseeach cyclecontainsthesamedistortion in both theleadingand
trailingedges, thedistortion can beeasilyeliminatedbyshiftingthelevel
I OnecycleDSDpulsesignal
with avalueof "1"
I Theleadingedgeiswider
I OnecycleDSDpulsesignal
with avalueof "0"
I Theleadingedgeisnarrower
Onecycle
1 0 1 0
Onecycle
Fig. 6 Ideal ACP Pulse Signal
Fig. 7 DSD Signal with ACP Processing
SquareWaveform
Waveformof ICOutput
Onecycle Onecycle
1 0 0 1 1
Onecycle Onecycle
64s
1 0 0 1 1
Switching
distortion
Switching
distortion
No switching
distortion
I Each cyclecontainsavalue, includingplaces
wherethevaluedoesnot switch between cycles
I Switchingdistortion appearswhen thevalue
switchesfrom"1" to "0" andfrom"0" to "1"
I Thereisno switchingdistortion when the
valuedoesnot switch between cycles
Fig. 4 Ideal Pulse Signal and DSD Signal
Fig. 5 Actual IC Pulse Output and DSD Signal
S ony solves the problem w ith A ccurate
C om plem entary P ulse D ensity M odulation. A C P
represents each digital 1 as w ide 1 follow ed by a
narrow 0. A C P represents each digital 0 as a
narrow 1 follow ed by a w ide 0. In this w ay, every
sam ple includes both a 1 and 0. S o every sam -
ple has the sam e m inim al sw itching distortion.
A s a result, the distortion is easy to rem ove in
subsequent processing.
The A C P system establishes extraordinary
precision on the am plitude axis, a crucial factor
in the audio perform ance of the S C D -1 and
S C D -777ES players.
2.8. Synchronous Time Accuracy
Controller (S-TACT).
From the early days of digital audio, it w as obvi-
ous that am plitude errors w ould equal distor-
tion. Less obvious, but equally true w as that
tim e-base errors could also distort the analog
w aveform . For this reason, the S C D -1 and
S C D -777ES have S ony's m ost com prehensive
defense against tim e-base errors.
A ll digital playback circuits incorporate quartz
crystal oscillators to regenerate precisely tim ed
pulses. B ut not all circuits achieve the full preci-
sion of the quartz crystal. A m ajor cause of tim e-
base error is digital noise, introduced through the
clock generator's pow er supply. For exam ple,
the digital filter, noise shaper and A C P system s
all have high-speed IC circuitry, handling digital
w ords up to 50 bits longat clock speeds up to
8 tim es the sam pling frequency of S uper A udio
C om pact D isc.
C onventional circuits place the clock generator
on the sam e IC chip as high-speed digital opera-
tions. The arrangem ent is efficient, but it expos-
es the clock generator to high levels of digital
noise through the pow er supply voltage. The
result is distortion of the clock signaljitter.
7
S ony's S ynchronous Tim e A ccuracy C ontroller
(S -TA C T) resolves the problem by isolating clock
generation and voltage pulse generation on their
ow n IC . R em oved from high-speed digital opera-
tions, the S -TA C T circuit draw s clean, noise-free
pow er. This m eans that digital pulses approach
full quartz accuracy. Jitterand jitter-induced
distortionare dram atically reduced.
8
C o n ve n tio n a l c irc u its p la c e th e c lo c k g e n e ra to r o n th e sa m e c h ip a s h ig h -sp e e d d ig ita l o p e ra tio n se x p o sin g
th e c lo c k p u lse s to h a rm fu l n o ise . S o n y's S -TA C T c irc u it iso la te s th e c lo c k g e n e ra to r fro m d ig ita l n o ise .
Digital OperationStage D/A Converter Stage
Digital Filter
ACPSystem
Audio signals
Data [64s]
Data
Data
Data
512s
256s
BCK [64s]
NoiseShaper
BCK
LRCK
To
external
system
To
external
system
VoltagePulse
Generator
&
ClockGenerator
Becausethedigital operation stageiscompletely
separatefromtheD/A converter, noiseisnot mixedin
Improvedtimeaxisprecision and
improvedsoundquality
Digital noiseiscarriedinto theD/A converter stage

Deterioration of timeaxisprecision and
deterioration of soundquality
Digital Filter
Current Pulse
D/A Converter
[V/I PulseConverter]
I/VConversion
&
Low-PassFilter
Audio signals
Current Pulse
D/A Converter
[V/I PulseConverter]
I/VConversion
&
Low-PassFilter
NoiseShaper
Pulse
Generator
Clock
Generator
Conventional System
Fig. 8 Comparison of Conventional System and S-TACT
Digital OperationStage D/A Converter Stage
S-TACT
D ig ita l n o ise in th e p o we r su p p ly Vd d ) c a u se s
th e tim e b a se e rro rs c a lle d jitte r. T h e S -TA C T d e sig n
su p p re sse s th e n o ise , to su p p re ss jitte r.
2.9. Current Pulse D/ A Converter.
S -TA C T effectively cleans tim e-base errors out
of the pulse train. The final step before filtering is
to clean up am plitude errors. The A C P circuit
does not elim inate am plitude errors, it sim ply
distributes them evenly through every D S D
sam pling period. The actual suppression of
am plitude errors is handled by the C urrent
P ulse D /A converter.
A fam iliar feature of high-end S ony C D players,
the C urrent P ulse D /A changes the incom ing
train of voltage pulses to a train of current puls-
es. B ecause the circuit incorporates an extrem ely
clean "constant current" source, the pulses
em erge w ith the desired flat tops, flat bottom s
and identical height. The high-speed sw itching
distortions of earlier stages are finally cleaned
out of the signal.
The resulting w aveform is close to perfect. The
pulse tim ing approaches full quartz accuracy,
thanks to S -TA C T. The pulse heights are rem ark-
ably even, thanks to the C urrent P ulse D /A . The
only rem aining process in the digital dom ain is a
sim ple C urrent-to-Voltage conversion (I/V).
T h a n k s to a c o n sta n t c u rre n t so u rc e , S o n y's
C u rre n t P u lse D /A C o n ve rte r e n su re s h ig h
p re c isio n o n th e a m p litu d e a x is.
From
S-TACT
Current pulse
D/A converter
Voltagepulse
[DSD-ACP signal]
Current pulse
[DSD-ACP signal]
I/VConversion
CleanandConstant
Current
Power Supply
Current
Switching
Circuit
Fig. 10 Current Pulse D/A Converter
Jitter Jitter
Vdd
Output waveformwith no jitter
Thresholdvoltage
Enlargeddrawing
Vdd/2
Vdd/2
Vdd
Vdd[power supplyfor digital operationstage]
Output
Output
Input
Input
Output
Input
No digital computationsmeansno digital noise
Digital noiseisintroduced
InfluencingtheVdd/2threshold
voltagecausesthetimingto shift
Digital noisevibratesVdd/2
thresholdvoltage
Conventional System
S-TACT
Fig. 9 Comparison of Jitter in Conventional
System and S-TACT
9
2.10. Low-Pass Filter.
A fter I/V conversion, a sim ple low -pass filter is
all that's required to produce an analog output.
C onventional low -pass filters use transistors, op
am ps or other active circuit elem ents in the sig-
nal path. B ecause S ony w as intent on preserv-
ing the sim plest possible signal path, w e chose
a different design. O ur G eneral Im pedance
C ircuit (G IC ) low -pass filter positions the active
circuit elem ents outside the signal path, to
preserve the integrity of the original sound.
T h e G I C lo w-p a ss filte r ta k e s tra n sisto rs,
o p a m p s a n d o th e r a c tive c irc u it e le m e n ts
o u t o f th e sig n a l p a th .
S uper A udio C om pact D iscs can have frequency
response to 100,000 H z. A s such, the cut-off
frequency and characteristics of the low -pass
filter have a direct im pact on the audio
specificationsand sound qualityof the player.
R efining the sound m eans balancing the various
design goals: flat am plitude response, m axim um
high-frequency extension, low noise, optim um
phase characteristics and suitability w ith
dow nstream audio equipm ent.
The G IC circuit of the S ony S C D -1 and
S C D -777ES take all these factors into account.
Frequency response is flat to 50,000 H z (som e
tw o and a half tim es the response of a C D player).
A bove 50,000 H z, response begins to roll off
slow ly. The result is sm ooth, open, non-fatiguing
sound w ith exceptional definition and dynam ics.
S o n y's filte r d e sig n a c h ie ve s
fla t re sp o n se to 5 0 , 0 0 0 H z.
The G IC filter is follow ed by a discrete
com ponent buffer am p, for optim um coupling
to a pream plifier.
A n a lo g c irc u it with G I C lo w-p a ss filte r.
20 100 1k 10k 100k
-100
-50
0
L
e
v
e
l

[
d
B
]
Frequency[Hz]
Fig. 12 Characteristics of Low-Pass Filter Used in SCD-1
StandardVCVSTypeActiveLow-PassFilter
Signalspassthrough
activeelements
GICTypeLow-PassFilter
Signalsdo not passthrough
anyactiveelements
Signal Flow
Signal Flow
+
-
+
-
+
-
+
-
Fig. 11 GIC Type Low-Pass Filter
10
2.11. VC24 Digital Filter.
W e have just described the S A C D playback
process from laser to analog output. H ow ever,
the S C D -1 and S C D -777ES are also C D players.
C om pact D iscs get the benefit of m ost of the
technologies w e have m entioned (servo D S P, R F
processor, S -TA C T, C urrent P ulse D /A C onverter
and G IC low -pass filter). H ow ever, exclusive to
C D playback is S ony's VC 24 D igital Filter. The
design gets its nam e from 24-bit processing and
Variable C oefficient design.
The filter's 24-bit process is 2 bits m ore pow erful
than S ony's previous best. B ut this actually
understates the case. The new filter also con-
ducts tw ice as m any operation steps and per-
form s direct oversam pling w ith three additional
bits. W hen view ed in term s of operation steps,
tw o bits yields 2
2
or 4 tim es as m any steps, tw ice
the operations yields 2 tim es the num ber of
steps, and 3 bits yields 2
3
or 8 tim es as m any
steps. A ll told, the VC 24 filter handles 4 x 2 x 8 =
64 tim es as m any steps as S ony's previous best.
S ince the launch of C om pact D isc, each new
digital filter has had a fixed filtering coefficient.
It's been designed at the factory and offered to
hom e listeners w ith no user controls. S ony's
Variable C oefficient digital filter is a dram atic
departure. The VC 24 actually offers five distinct
settings, representing different filter coefficients,
different filtering m ethods and different objectives
in reproduced sound.
Std. The standard setting m eets the classic
digital filter objectives of the steepest possible
roll off above 20 kH z, w ith the greatest possi-
ble suppression of ultrasonic noise.
df-1. This setting incorporates sm oothing inter-
polation. C onventional 8x oversam pling uses
three cascaded stages of 2x oversam pling. In
contrast, df-1 perform s the full 8x oversam -
pling process in a single pass. The result is
sm oother processing and clearer sound.
df-2. This setting m axim izes the digital w ord
length. In each stage, it adjusts the w ord
length of the input num ber to m atch the noise
shaper in the next stage. This elim inates all
non-linear portions in the com putation process
and suppresses quantization noise.
df-3. This is an all-new 224-order design w ith
an even num ber of filters. U nlike conventional,
odd-num ber filters, the original data sam ples
are retained as-is, w ithout alteration by the
oversam pling process. Frequency response is
flat to 17 kH z, w hile noise suppression at 26
kH z is 80 dB .
df-4. A n enhanced version of df-2, this setting
increases the com putation w ord length by four
bits, increases the filter degree tw ofold and
em ploys an even-num ber filter. Frequency
response is flat to 18 kH z, w ith a gain at 20 kH z.
11
Filter type Cut-off characteristics Position
20kHz
20kHz
20kHz
20kHz
20kHz
STDstandard
df-1
[No. 1 Clear]
Sharproll off
Slow roll off
Slow roll off
Slow roll off
Slow roll off
df-2
[No. 2 Plain]
df-3
[No. 3 Fine]
df-4
[No. 4 Silky]
256
22 bit
13 bit [2.0]
112
56
27 bit [2.0]
171 +35 +19
131 +27
512
24 bit
16 bit [2.0]
224
112
27 bit [2.0]
171 +35 +19
171 +35
VC24 PreviousVC
Maximumnumber of orders
[2-stagecascade4 timesoversamplingfilter]
Number of operation steps[steps/44.1kHz]
Operation datawordlength
Coefficient wordlength
[Direct 8 timesoversamplingfilter]
Maximumnumber of orders
[Direct 8 timesoversamplingfilter]
Maximumnumber of orders
[Direct 4 timesoversamplingfilter]
Coefficient wordlength
[3-stagecascade8 timesoversamplingfilter]
Maximumnumber of orders
[3-stagecascade8 timesoversamplingfilter]
Category
Table 1 Comparison of the VC24 and Previous VC Digital Filters Table 2 Positions for 24-bit VC Digital Filter
3. Construction.
3.1. Circuit Board Layout.
A fter paying such m eticulous attention to the
com position, design and execution of each
circuit, S ony w as equally careful in the physical
arrangem ent of circuits in the chassis.
The m ain circuit boardw hich includes the D S P
servo LS I, R F processing LS I and system control
is positioned directly underneath the fixed
pickup drive assem bly. This w as a design chal-
lenge. For exam ple, it required a hole in the cir-
cuit board to accom m odate a support post. B ut
this configuration reduces signal runs from the
laser pickups, reducing exposure to possible
interference.
The m ain circuit board itself follow s S ony's
"digital m inim um " design, w ith key com ponents
as closely concentrated as possible. To accom -
plish the goal, S ony designed the printed circuit
pattern in 4 layers. And then applied surface-m ount
LS Is and sm all-scale chips on both sides of the
board. A s a result, a phenom enal am ount of
circuitry fits com fortably on a single, sm all board.
C oncentrating the m ain circuit board and placing
it under the m echanism leaves am ple space in
the chassis for the tw o circuits that need
"spreading out." The pow er supply and the audio
circuit board.
S ince the audio circuit board includes so m any
com ponents that determ ine sound quality, S ony
paid extra attention to its layout and construc-
tion. This is a double-sided glass epoxy board
w ith a bus bar and sym m etrical left/right layout.
The digital LS Is, including VC 24, S -TA C T and
C urrent P ulse D /A C onverter, are all surface-
m ount com ponents. A nd they're all concentrated
near the front of the chassis, for m inim um radia-
tion of digital noise. The analog buffer am p uses
integrated-lead discrete com ponents. These are
w idely spaced, for m inim um m utual interference.
Voltage for the analog stage is provided by a
discrete left and right pow er supply secondaries,
located directly on the audio circuit board.
S eparate left and right 3-layer bus bars help
m inim ize pow er supply im pedance. To optim ize
grounding, the audio output term inals are con-
nected to the audio circuit board using a thick
copper plate.
S C D -1 I n te rn a l stru c tu re
S C D -1 M a in c irc u it b o a rd to p )
S C D -1 M a in c irc u it b o a rd b o tto m )
12
3.2. Power Supply Block.
The S C D -1 and S C D -777ES pow er supplies
w ere designed to m inim ize interference and m ax-
im ize the stability and purity of voltage. A rem ote
pow er sw itch, for exam ple, m inim izes intertw in-
ing of the prim ary A C w iringrestricting it to a
short run at the back of the unit. S eparate pow er
transform ers for analog and digital sections lim it
m utual interference through the supply.
S ony uses tw o large R -C ore transform ers to
m inim ize m agnetic flux leakage, m echanical
vibration and acoustic noise. O n the S C D -1,
vibration is further suppressed by resin-sealed
cases for both transform ers.
The analog audio pow er supply secondary
(capacitors and diodes) is m ounted on the audio
circuit board to m inim ize im pedance. Essential
parts, including electrolytic capacitors, w ere
carefully selected for sound quality.
P o we r su p p ly b lo c k
3.3. Base Pillar (BP) Construction.
G iven D irect S tream D igital encoding's ability to
resolve even the m ost subtle m usical inform a-
tion, the S C D -1 and S C D -777ES w ere designed
to restrict even the m ost subtle form s of distor-
tion. M icrophonicsunw anted voltages caused
by the physical vibration of w ires and com ponent
partshave been suppressed by thoroughgoing
anti-resonant construction.
For this purpose, S ony has developed a new
anti-vibration design: the B ase P illar (B P ) chas-
sis. The base consists of tw o 5-m m (0.2-inch)
thick m etal plates that com bine to form a m as-
sive 10-m m (0.4-inch) thick platform . O n this
base, S ony has m ounted seven high-carbon cast
iron pillars, tw o 4.5-m m (0.2-inch) sidew alls and
a 5-m m top plate. It's no exaggeration to call
this chassis "m assive." The S C D -1 w eighs som e
26.5 kg (over 58 lbs.) w hile the S C D -777ES
w eighs 25 kg (55 lbs.).
B P C h a ssis C o n stru c tio n
B y choosing intrinsically rigid m aterials, S ony
constructed a sim ple, but very stable chassis.
The chassis design is also extrem ely open,
enabling the ideal layout of each subassem bly:
m echanism , pow er supply, m ain board and
audio board.
13
3.4. Insulator Feet.
To prevent shelf-borne vibration from entering
the chassis, S ony's eccentric insulator feet
locate the screw hole off center. Varying the
radius from screw to perim eter tends to vary the
resonant frequency w ithin the footdiffusing one
potential path for vibration.
The S C D -1 is distinguished by sophisticated
5-piece insulator feet. The upper foot is m ade
of a high-carbon cast iron that offers high
attenuation. The low er foot is m ade of brass.
These tw o halves m eet at a pinpoint contact,
carefully designed to block the propagation of
vibration. Finally, the pinpoint itself is surround-
ed by a gel shaped dam per to reduce even
trace resonances.
3.5. Slide-Top Loading Panel.
The loading door at the top of the chassis is a
jew el of m echanical engineering. It glides on
concealed guide rails. The panel rises slightly as
it opensand low ers to its original height w hen
it closes.
The m otor cover and floating m echanism are
insulated against noise and vibration. The disc
housing is treated w ith an anti-vibration coating.
A high-carbon textile w ith a Teflon

coating
ensures sound insulation and high reliability. The
m ain axle for the slide m echanism is m ade of
stainless m aterial, w hile the bearing is m ade of
solid brass.
14
4. Operation.
4.1. Disc Type Selection.
The S C D -1 and S C D -777ES autom atically
recognize C D s and S A C D s and com m ence
playback. B y selecting the disc type in advance,
users can bypass the recognition step and go
directly to playback. M anual selection is also
useful for hybrid S A C D s, w hich contain both
high-density and standard C D layers.
4.2. Digital Output.
Tw o types of digital output are available for C D
playback: coaxial and optical. To m inim ize radia-
tion interference, these outputs can be sw itched
off by a front panel control. There is no digital
output during S A C D playback.
4.3. Balanced Output.
To assure the highest signal integrity at the pre-
am plifier input, the S C D -1 features balanced
analog outputs. A s featured in professional audio
equipm ent, the balanced outputs use 3-pin XLR
connectors w ith separate conductors for plus,
m inus and ground.
4.4. Text.
Just as C om pact D isc offers a C D TEXT
option, S uper A udio C om pact D isc has a
reserved area for text. The S C D -1 and
S C D -777ES can display inform ation such as
disc title, artist nam e and track title for
com patible C D s and S A C D s.
4.5. Display.
The S C D -1 and S C D -777ES have segm ented
displays for track num ber and tim e. B ecause
S uper A udio C om pact D isc titles can have as
m any as 255 tracks, the players each have a
three-digit track num ber display. A 15-character
dot m atrix display show s text inform ation, player
settings and user w arning indications. The
D isplay M ode sw itch enables users to turn off
specific sections or the entire display.
The display w indow is m ade of thick acrylic
w ith beveled edges and a half-m irror coating on
the inside. This helps give the players a
distinctive look.
4.6. Remote Control.
Even the R em ote C om m ander

unit is distinctive.
It features a 1-m m alum inum top plate and but-
tons that depress w ith a definitive click. The
rem ote duplicates the front panel features and
adds track program m ing, shuffle and repeat
(1, all, A -B ) as w ell as 10-key D irect A ccess
track selection. A dditional controls include
cue/review , index search, disc type selection
and filter sw itching.
The rem ote unit's infrared codes correspond to
S ony C D player codes. S o m ost S A C D player
functions can be operated from the C D player
m ode of S ony pream plifier and receiver rem ote
controls. To prevent m istaken operation in sys-
tem s that already include a S ony C D player, the
S A C D player and rem ote can be sw itched to
"C D 2" m ode, engaging a separate set of rem ote
control codes.
15
5. Features and
Specifications.
5.1. SCD-1 Features.
P lays S uper A udio C om pact D iscs and
C om pact D iscs
N ew D irect S tream D igital (D S D ) encoding
elim inates the distortions of decim ation and
interpolation filters
D ual D iscrete optical block w ith one laser
optim ized for S A C D , another dedicated to C D
Tw in fixed pickup laser tracking assem bly
A ccurate C om plem entary P ulse D ensity
M odulation (A C P ) system for S A C D playback
S -TA C T S ynchronous Tim e A ccuracy C ontroller
reduces clock noise, m inim izes jitter
8-output C urrent P ulse D /A C onverter
G eneral Im pedance C ircuit (G IC ) analog filter
24-bit Variable C oefficient digital filter for
C D playback
S uper-rigid B ase P illar (B P ) construction
A nti-resonant 10-m m chassis base, 4.5-m m
sidew alls and 5-m m top plate
D ie-cast alum inum spindle m otor w ith sapphire
and ruby bearings
Floating suspension transport w ith rubber
dam pers and 6-m m base plate
5-piece insulator feet w ith eccentric screw
holes, high-carbon cast iron upper foot and
brass low er foot
M otorized slide-top loading
B rass disc w eight
A lum inum front panel
B alanced and unbalanced analog outputs
Tw o encapsulated R -core pow er transform ers
O ptical and coaxial digital outputs for C D
Text display for com patible C D s and S A C D s
R em ote C om m ander

w ireless rem ote control


16
5.2. SCD-777ES Features.
P lays S uper A udio C om pact D iscs and
C om pact D iscs
N ew D irect S tream D igital (D S D ) encoding
elim inates the distortions of decim ation and
interpolation filters
D ual D iscrete optical block w ith one laser
optim ized for S A C D , another dedicated to C D
Tw in fixed pickup laser tracking assem bly
A ccurate C om plem entary P ulse D ensity
M odulation (A C P ) system for S A C D playback
S -TA C T S ynchronous Tim e A ccuracy C ontroller
reduces clock noise, m inim izes jitter
8-output C urrent P ulse D /A C onverter
G eneral Im pedance C ircuit (G IC ) analog filter
24-bit Variable C oefficient digital filter for
C D playback
5.3. Specifications.
S uper-rigid B ase P illar (B P ) construction
A nti-resonant 10-m m chassis base, 4.5-m m
sidew alls and 5-m m top plate
D ie-cast alum inum spindle m otor w ith sapphire
and ruby bearings
Floating suspension transport w ith rubber
dam pers and 6-m m base plate
4-piece insulator feet w ith eccentric
screw holes
M otorized slide-top loading
B rass disc w eight
A lum inum front panel
Tw o R -core pow er transform ers
O ptical and coaxial digital outputs for C D
Text display for com patible C D s and S A C D s
R em ote C om m ander

w ireless rem ote control


17
SCD- 1 SCD- 777ES
Super Audio
Compact Disc
Frequency Range 2 - 100,000 Hz 2 - 100,000 Hz
Frequency Response 2 - 50,000 HZ (- 3 dB) 2 - 50,000 HZ (- 3 dB)
Dynami c Range More than 105 dB More than 105 dB
(20 - 20,000 Hz) (20 - 20,000 Hz)
Tot al Har moni c Di st ort i on Less than 0.0012% Less than 0.0012%
Wow & Fl ut t er Beneath measurable level Beneath measurable level
(+ / - 0.001% weighted peak) (+ / - 0.001% weighted peak)
Compact Disc
Frequency Response 2- 20,000 Hz 2- 20,000 Hz
Dynami c Range More than 100 dB More than 100 dB
Tot al Har moni c Di st ort i on Less than 0.0017% Less than 0.0017%
Wow & Fl ut t er Beneath measurable level Beneath measurable level
(+ / - 0.001% weighted peak) (+ / - 0.001% weighted peak)
Output
Di gi t al Out put Optical, coaxial (CD only) Optical, coaxial (CD only)
Anal og Out put Unbalanced, balanced Unbalanced
(w/ ON/ OFF switch for balanced)
Out put Level
Di gi t al (opt i cal ) - 18 dBm (fixed) - 18 dBm (fixed)
Di gi t al (coaxi al ) 0.5 V p- p (fixed) 0.5 V p- p (fixed)
Di gi t al (unbal anced) 2 V ms (fixed) 2 V ms (fixed)
Anal og (bal anced) 2 V ms (fixed)
General
Di mensi ons (whd) 430 x 149 x 436 mm 430 x 149 x 436 mm
(17 x 5
7
/ 8 x 17
1
/ 4) (17 x 5
7
/ 8 x 17
1
/ 4)
Wei ght Approx 26.5 kg (58 lbs.) Approx 25 kg (55 lbs.)
1999 Sony Electronics Inc.
All rights reserved. R eproduction in w hole or in part w ithout w ritten
perm ission is prohibited. Sony, C D TEXT, D SD , D irect Access, D irect
Stream D igital, D ual D iscrete, R em ote C om m ander, Super Audio C D ,
the D SD logo and the Super Audio C D logo are tradem arks of Sony.
Teflon is a tradem ark of D uPont.
Sony Electronics Inc.
1 Sony Drive
Park Ridge NJ 07656
http://www.sony.com