This player looks somewhat like a Philips CD304MKII internally (The CD74 uses the 14bit TDA1540 and the CD304 uses the 16bit TDA1541. The CD74 is from the same generation as the CD104/304 (MKI) but has a pressed steel chassis instead of cast zinc and in fact not a single board in common with the Philips players. It does sound a bit like it, but better. It has the same kind of solidity and drive but with a smoother presentation and a more refined treble. Inside are two transformers: a big one behind the transport and a smaller one in the front on the right, behind the front panel. Also on the outside of the rear is a big power filter.
These players with their massive cast-iron swing-arm glass-lense mechanisms still produce excellent sound and are virtually indestructible. Here are some inside pics from a few Philips and Marantz players that I still have or have owned. There's also an extensive review in which all these players are compared to each other
This player looks exactly like the CD74 and uses the same basic components. Only upon closer inspection small differences become clear, such as different capacitors on the DAC board, different colour wires, different colour power button bar and other plastics in different colours. But the main difference remains that the CD84 has IR remote control, which the CD74 lacks. However, all it lacks is the IR receiver itself; everything else is already in place. Its sound however is where the biggest difference is: the CD74 sounds upbeat, fast, dynamic but a bit rough and the CD84 sounds smooth, full, relaxed and a bit dull. I did some circuitboard-swapping between the two with very interesting results.
See this extensive comparison for a closer inspection of these two near-identical players and a report on the audible differences.
Solid, confident, rhythmic, with fast and articulate bass, while retaining fluidity and airyness: it may not be the smoothest or creamiest, most emotional Philips player but it is still an entertaining listen.
Despite being 99% pure plastic, this is a non-synthetic sounding, highly entertaining player: open, fresh, fluid, smooth, refined and above all: musical! In stock form it is a bit lightweight in the bass and lacks solidity but even then it still sounds very, very nice. It is just very unfatiquing without tipping over into super-creamyness. It is a good balance between the classic and modern sound. With damping pads applied, IEC inlet installed and headphones disconnected it sounds much more solid and colourful and really becomes THE cheap player to have.