CDROM Controller

by Andrea Ciuffoli
contact me for any problem or question
by email at:
webmaster @ audiodesignguide.com or by Windows Messenger at: ciuffoly @ gmail.com


It is possible to build a Hi-End CD player using a normal and cheap PC CDROM.

Some companies like AUDIO ANALOGUE and MIMETISM use this solution in many medium and high price commercial products like the MAESTRO 192/24 CD players (photo got from HiFi4All.dk) and CD Player MIMETISM 20.1 (photo got from their website).


To use a CDROM without a PC it is necessary a uProcessor to emulate the ATAPI command protocols through IDE bus.

If the spdif output of the CDROM is connected to a good DAC the sound quality will be at the same level of many hi-fi and hi-end products.

Seaching on Internet I have indentified these controller boards ready for this purpose.

  1. Audiokit.ro (42 euro + 22 euro optional for a good lcd) need a RC5 remote command not included
  2. Sakda Eamkulworapong boards (34$ include Finished Board+Remote+Lcd)
  3. Pradit board - no website (45$ include Finished Board+Remote+Lcd)

I have tested all these boards to give you a complete feedback.

The Pradit board have given me some problems so I don't suggest it, with 2 different cdrom the sound stop after 2 secs.

The Sakda board is good and complete with a Sony remote command and it need only a 12vac 5A transformer, it play only CDROM units.

The Audiokit.ro board need only a RC5 standard Philips remote command to be complete, it is the faster and it is compatible with both CDROM and DVD units. It need a transformer with 2 secondaries at 8Vac 3A and at 12Vac 3A.

All my tests has been done using a TEAC CD-552E CDROM and a LG GDR-8164B DVD buy only for these purpose and many other LG CDROM, HP CDROM, Philips DVDRW.

Offcource with any of these controller is possible only to play audio cd, no dvd, no mp3 or other formats.


I have found problems with any CDROM and DVD items, with many CDs there are blocks of the controller or high noise coming from transport so I don't suggest this project.

The unique CD player for Hi-end DIY is the CDPRO2M  from: www.diy-high-end.com