TEAC VRDS

Beautiful TEAC VRDS-25 CD Player Repair & Service

I love high-end CD players and what better player to continue with than this gorgeous TEAC VRDS-25?!

Welcome back, everyone! I always try to bring you interesting equipment and this time I thought we’d look at another classic, high-end CD player repair and service. CD players are steaming back into vogue as people are rediscovering the joy of these little silver discs. The paradox that, despite being digital, they sound better as you move up the hardware chain is enticing, and I’m looking forward to sharing my Accuphase DP-90 in another article.

Regulars will know I’ve been writing about CD players and DACs for at least a decade. My MF Tri-Vista 21 Tube DAC improvement vids go back to at least 2011 from memory, but I rented my first Pye CD player at the age of 15, in about 1985, from a company called Radio Rentals here in Perth. It was B-A-D.

Anyway, I get a ton of hits on CD-related content these days. My short articles on vintage vs new CD players and how CD transports sound different from one another often receive many hundreds of views a day, which is gratifying and a little prod to make more CD-related content, so let’s go!

Features & Comparisons

The TEAC VRDS series of players is one I’ve talked about previously and I love these machines. Check out my article on the TEAC VRDS-10 and video, below on the TEAC/Esoteric P-30, both superb players, like this TEAC VRDS-25.

In terms of players, the P-30 is most similar to this TEAC VRDS-25 we’re looking at today, but I give the slight edge to this VRDS-25. Transport-wise it’s very similar and may use the same Sony KSS-151A, though I can’t recall. What you get in the VRDS-25 over and above that found in the P-30 is a killer quad AD-1862 DAC board that sounds sublime. The build is similar, though the VRDS-25 is a couple of kg heavier. Some modern entire players only weigh a couple of kg..!

TEAC VRDS-25 Specifications

Courtesy HiFi Engine

  • Disc format: CD
  • Digital converter: 4 x AD1862N-J, bitstream, 8 x oversampling
  • CD Mechanism: KSS-151A
  • Frequency response: 1Hz to 20kHz
  • Dynamic range: 101dB
  • Signal-to-noise ratio: 110dB
  • Channel separation: 110dB
  • Total harmonic distortion: 0.0013%
  • Line output: 2.2V (unbalanced), 2.2V (balanced)
  • Digital connections: coaxial, optical
  • Dimensions: 442 x 153 x 344mm
  • Weight: 16.5kg
  • Year: 1996
  • Price: GBP £1300 (1996)

Issues

This one was pretty straightforward from my perspective and led to a very funny conversation with her owner. The gentleman contacted me and told me how bored he was with his CD. After putting the pieces together and realising he owned a VRDS-25, I understood he meant the one CD INSIDE his CD player and that couldn’t be extracted. Not yet anyway!!

These machines, like all CD players, need periodic maintenance, by someone competent. These players in particular are not trivial to work on and the wrong approach can break something, and that’s bad news. Eventually, if this work is not done, you’ll end up with a situation like this, where a drawer won’t open or a disc won’t load.

A player like this gives us a perfect opportunity to clean and lubricate everything, as well as replace those pesky drive belts with belts of the correct thickness, unlike the ones that came out of it! As always, if you’d like to see a video about this lovely machine, check this out:

Repair & Service

As usual, we start with disassembly, inspection and assessment. This tried and tested methodology allows for the diagnosis of faults and issues and the formulation of a plan to remedy them.

Summary

This was standard, though quite involved work for me but there are always challenges and these lovely machines need attention to detail, careful use of the right tools, the right replacement parts, etc. Successfully servicing and repairing equipment like this generally comes down to mechanical aptitude and experience more than anything else.

Everyone always wants to know what I think of the equipment I work on and of course, I listen to every single piece, with standardised, reference equipment and recordings, giving me a unique perspective and mental library of experience. So how does this player sound? Superb, WITHOUT an external DAC!

Cheap, modern players cannot hold a candle to equipment like this, especially in terms of build quality, reliability and sound quality in many cases, and especially where a player like this is used with a really good external DAC. This CD player hails from the golden era of Redbook CD, which is around 1987 to 2007, give or take a couple of years. This machine and others like it, are always a great buy.

To buy something like this new now you’d need to spend at least $10K AUD. A good modern CD player, like the Accuphase DP-450, is a stunning-sounding machine, better than most older players, for sure. It also has multiple digital inputs which enhance flexibility and, being an Accuphase, this one is certainly well-built, though the actual transport underneath the metal bridge is not in the same class as these beautiful older players. It’s also $11,000 AUD!

Accuphase DP 450
The Accuphase DP-450, yours for $11K AUD. What a stunner. Speak to Pierre @ Revolution in Perth, or your local Accuphase retailer if you want one.

Anyway, if you own a beautiful TEAC, Esoteric, Accuphase or another lovely CD player that you’d like me to look at for you, get in touch via the contact form on our contact page.

As always, I hope you’ve enjoyed your visit and perhaps even learned something. I know I do, every time I work on a beautiful piece like this. I love bringing you equipment you might not have seen before. Leave your thoughts and suggestions in the comments below.

Until next time folks!


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9 thoughts on “Beautiful TEAC VRDS-25 CD Player Repair & Service”

  1. I remember these wonderful beauties and am still impressed with them.

    The brands that really impressed me (in no particular order) :
    TEAC (VRDS models)
    Pioneer Elite/stable platter
    Sony ES
    Accuphase
    Technics (Quad DAC models)
    Phillips (high end models)

    1. Hi Simon, yep these are lovely players, beautifully built and they sound superb. There is a wealth of incredible gear from this era, a lot of it on your list!

  2. I, too, love the TEAC VRDS series of machines. Fabulous, but challenging to work on, mechanisms. However, the best thing you can do for a TEAC VRDS machine is to connect it to a good quality R2R DAC. Only then can the full quality of the VRDS mechanism be fully appreciated. No bitstream DAC can hope to match a good R2R DAC.

  3. I hate these articles Mike! Just when I think I’m done with CD players you pull me back in. Now I want one. Another great read and it’s guys like you that keep my passion alive for all this vintage gear. Not only does it take me out of my Sansui bubble you continue to enlighten me with gear, I never even knew existed. keep up these great articles.

  4. It is great looking inside these cabinets and having your expert appraisal

    Your writing style is humorous, honest and your videos a joy to watch

  5. Top job. Mike you do take a lot pride in your work which is rare these days. I got meridian go6 and go8 cd players which I LOVE. Regards Steve

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