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Yamaha CD-S303 – New Audio CD Player

Are audio CDs obsolete? Certainly not, Yamaha Music Europe GmbH is convinced and delivers the new Yamaha CD-S303, the successor to the Yamaha CD-S300. Good things are said to have been made even better.

With the new Yamaha CD-S303, Yamaha Music Europe GmbH delivers a new audio CD player, which is regarded as the successor to the Yamaha CD-S300. According to the manufacturer, good things have been made even better here, and the new model is thus supposed to present itself with a particularly fine sound and thus stand completely in the tradition of the renowned Japanese hi-fi brand.

It is also interesting to mention that this new audio CD player will also be available in a special version for rack installation, namely the Yamaha CD-S303RK.

Yamaha CD-S303 – Against the trend of the times

Many people are convinced that audio CDs are obsolete. The future belongs to downloads, or rather streaming, and the time of physical data carriers is clearly over. And yes, that may even be true in some respects, although of course one must not forget the hype surrounding vinyl.

In fact, CD sales have been declining for years, but one should not forget that the shelves of hi-fi enthusiasts are still filled to the brim with hundreds, sometimes even thousands of audio CDs that have been passionately collected over the decades. And most of them do not want to part with them, even more, they want to continue using them.

It is therefore obvious that audio CD players are still relevant, especially when it comes to attractively priced solutions such as the new Yamaha CD-S303.

Yamaha CD S303 01Yamaha CD S303 04

Yamaha CD-S303 – The successor of the Yamaha CD-S300

As already mentioned, the new Yamaha CD-S303 is supposed to be the successor of the Yamaha CD-S300, and Yamaha Music Europe GmbH wants to build on the success of the CD-S300 with the new model.

During the development of the new Yamaha CD-S303, no detail, no matter how small, was left to chance; everything was designed for the finest possible performance.

For example, the new Yamaha CD-S303 has a centrally positioned turntable to achieve the best possible weight distribution. Of course, every effort has been made to neutralise potential sources of interference, such as the power supply unit, which is designed to dampen vibrations in order to prevent mechanical interference with the pick-up unit. Separate power supplies for the motor drive as well as digital and analogue circuit components have also been used and an optimised layout for the shortest possible signal paths between the high-quality drive, the converter and the powerful op-amps of the analogue output stage.

  • Foto © Yamaha Music Europe GmbH | Yamaha CD-S303
  • Foto © Yamaha Music Europe GmbH | Yamaha CD-S303
  • Foto © Yamaha Music Europe GmbH | Yamaha CD-S303

State-of-the-Art Converter

The D/A converter of the new Yamaha CD-S303 is described by the manufacturer as a state-of-the-art solution, but without going into too much detail.

What is clear is that this converter not only works with the resolution of 16 bit and 44.1 kHz that is usual for audio CDs, it is also equipped for much more.

For example, the new Yamaha CD-S303 has a USB port that allows the connection of corresponding storage media. These can be in lossy formats such as MP3, AAC or WMA, but also in losslessly compressed data formats such as FLAC. In this case, the converter supports data with up to 24 bits and 96 kHz.

For the sake of completeness, it should be mentioned that the new Yamaha CD-S303 can also play back CD-ROMs with data in MP3 and WMA format.

Besides analogue outputs in the form of a pair of cinch sockets, the new Yamaha CD-S303 also has digital outputs in the form of an optical and coaxial S/PDIF interface, so that an external converter can be brought into play and the Yamaha CD-S303 can ultimately be used solely as a CD transport.

Yamaha Pure Direct circuit

A very important feature of the new Yamaha CD-S303 is the so-called Yamaha Pure Direct circuit. This can be selected via a switch on the front as well as via the remote control included in the scope of delivery, whereby all non-relevant components such as the display and the digital outputs are deactivated in order to really eliminate any potential source of interference.

Foto © Yamaha Music Europe GmbH | Yamaha CD-S303RK
Foto © Yamaha Music Europe GmbH | Yamaha CD-S303RK

Yamaha CD-S303 or Yamaha CD-S303RK

As already mentioned in the introduction, the new Yamaha CD-S303 will not only be available in a purely hi-fi version in black or silver, but also in a version that is designed for installation in a rack.

This version is called the Yamaha CD-S303RK and features the typical 19-inch rack ears for integration into a studio or sound reinforcement environment.

The Yamaha CD-S303 is to be found in specialist shops immediately. The recommended retail price is listed at € 349. The rack-mounted version, the Yamaha CD-S303RK, is priced at € 379.

Getting to the point

Hundreds if not thousands of audio CDs are still stored on the shelves of many a hi-fi enthusiast, lovingly collected over decades. These CDs need to be used, and the new Yamaha CD-S303 is a particularly attractive solution from the Yamaha Corporation. This audio CD player presents itself completely in the noble design line of the Yamaha S300 Series with a slight vintage touch, which has been the standard at Yamaha Corporation for years, offers a rock-solid equipment and is offered at a fair price.

PriceYamaha CD-S303 € 349,-
Yamaha CD-S303RK € 379
ManufacturerYamaha Corporation
DistributionYamaha Music Europe GmbH
More about this manufacturer at HiFi BLOG
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Michael Holzinger

Michael Holzinger, founder and editor-in-chief of HiFi BLOG and sempre-audio.at, has been working for years as a journalist in the fields of IT, photography, telecommunications and consumer electronics.

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