Author Topic: CD PLAYER/DAC MOD  (Read 52678 times)

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Offline rascal101

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CD PLAYER/DAC MOD
« on: Oct 26, 2005 at 11:36 AM »
Just wanted to start a discussion on CD player modification ...

Just completed work on two my two entry level cd players:

1. Denon DCD-815
2. Sony CDP-M11

Changes done:

1. Bridge Rectifier, Gen Purpose -> Schottky (SB160)

   - To improve headroom on the input of the linear regulator. Also reduces bulk voltage ripple
   voltage due to almost zero reverse recovery time (Trr) and low forward voltage (0.7V max).

2. Bulk capacitor, Gen Purpose -> Low ESR (note 1) + decoupling capacitors
    (0.33uF polyprelene + 0.47uF metallic polyster)

   - To improve headroom and to reduce high frequency ripple & noise

3. E-cap, Gen Purpose -> Low ESR + decoupling capacitors (0.1uF polypropelene or
    metallic polyester)
   
   - Same as above. The additional 0.1uF polyprelene or metallic polyster are bypass capacitors
     to filter unwanted high frequency noise or signals

4. Decoupling capacitors, Ceramic -> Metallic polyester or polypropelene

   - Improve capacitor tolerance and improved cap performance with respect to frequency

5. IC Regulator, Mitsubishi M5290 +/-5V regulator with reset -> Use application notes
    (change capacitor values)

6. Replace/Add additional circuit at output section

   On Sony CDP: Sony CXD2552BQ (1 bit DAC) + Single op amp circuit -> Use application
   notes (differential op-amp = NE5532, buffer + filter op-amp = OPA2132)

   On Denon CD: Burr Brown PCM61P (18 bit DAC) -> Add class B push pull discrete circuit
   after internal op-amp (pin 9 of IC)

    - The sound is a bit warmer after this exercise

7. Differential filter, Nonexistent -> 1uF polypropelene

   - Put in parallel with AC inlet to reduce input AC distortion
   - Updated 12/12/05, make sure to put a 100k 1/10W discharge resistor parallel to the capacitor

8. DC blocking capacitor, 47uF e-cap -> Used recommendation of Walt  Jung on "Picking
    Capacitors" article.  See note 2.

   On Sony CD player:                               
   All connected in parallel: 2x 1uF metallic polyester + 0.22uF polyprelene capacitor

   On Denon CD player:
   Correction 11/2/05 ... should be 2x220uF ... load resistor 10k

   2x 220uF low esr cap in series in parallel to 0.22uF polyprelene series with 0.47uF metallic
   polyester capacitor. Placed load resistor of 10k to ground after the output decoupling capacitor.

9. Resistors, Carbon film -> Metal film or Metal Oxide film   
                                                     
   - Resistor performance with respect to temp is more stable. Parasitics is better on metal film
   or metal oxide film. See note 3.

10. Output filter cap (on RCA jack), 1 nF -> 3.3nF

   - Slightly lower bandwidth to elimate high frequency noise

11. Whenever possible, I used metallic polyester caps to replace low cap value electrolytic caps.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Update 11/2/05

Oops ... nearly forgot

12. Removed all output muting transistors and series resistors going to L/R output RCA jacks.

Update 03/02/08

Font, spelling and slight wording adjustments.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
I didn't modify the my cd clock on the Sony CD player due to space limitations.
Wanted to try the clock ICs I got from Phaselink Semiconductor ... sayang ...

How does it sound ... Wala na pong sibilance (dahil sa 3.3nF at mga bypass caps sa electrolytic caps),
iyung piano ay pianong piano ang tunog, malinis at walang background noise (dahil sa low esr at
bypass caps), lahat ng instrumento naririnig ko na kahit sabay sabay sila (based on my observation
this is due to the schottky rectifier + DAC modification based on application note) ...

Pictures (modified Sony CDP-M11)

Top View


Top Tilted View


Bottom View


Headphone (modified op-amp fm TI RC4558 to OPA2227)


Changed components


Clarifications or corrections on the above are accepted.


Notes:

1. Low ESR capacitors
   -  Nichicon "PM" or "HD" series, Rubycon "ZL" series, Sanyo "OSCON" series

2. Picking capacitors article

    http://home.comcast.net/~wjungieee/wsb/Picking_Capacitors_1.pdf
    http://home.comcast.net/~wjungieee/wsb/Picking_Capacitors_2.pdf

3. Sound of resistors

    http://www.sasaudiolabs.com/theory10.htm

4. Capacitor preferences in order:
 
   a. 275Vac X2 polypropelene cap (0.22uF, 0.33uF, 1uF)
   b. 250Vac Y2 polypropelene cap (1nF, 2.2nF, 3.3nF, 0.1uF)
   c. 400V metallic polyester (0.1uF, 1uF)
   d. 63V metallic polyester (1 to 10nF)

5. Updated 06/29/06 - the addition of the polyester or polypropelene caps in parallel with the e-caps
    ensures that high frequency signals are coupled to ground. At 10KHz and up, e-caps are typically
    at 1/2 of their capacitor value at 100Hz. This means that cut-off frequency extends beyond what
    it is designed for which results in high frequency signals just blowing by them.
« Last Edit: Jun 10, 2016 at 08:35 PM by rascal101 »


Offline Garp

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Re: CD PLAYER MOD
« Reply #2 on: Oct 27, 2005 at 12:33 PM »
Rascal101,

Nice work but I'm wondering aren't those ELNA caps good enough? Also are those gold or (is it yellow?) caps polystyrene or ordinary mylar?

Offline rascal101

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Re: CD PLAYER MOD
« Reply #3 on: Oct 27, 2005 at 01:30 PM »
Sir Garp,

The caps are yellow and they are metallic polyster. The white ones are metallic polyster too. The dirty white colored caps are polysterene (located at the solder side of the PCB).

I wanted to use polysterene but because of their massive size I had contented myself with putting metallic polyster.

The Elna caps are good but since my Sony CD player has been around since 1991 the Elna caps had to go. The life of electrolytic caps are rated for about 5 years only (assuming 24x7 operation). Also, I had higher rated caps 105degC rated compared to the Elna caps which are rated 85degC.


Offline Garp

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Re: CD PLAYER MOD
« Reply #4 on: Oct 27, 2005 at 03:27 PM »
Rascal101,

Thanks for sharing your experience. Keep it up  :)

Offline odyopayl

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Re: CD PLAYER MOD
« Reply #5 on: Oct 27, 2005 at 05:49 PM »
Rascal101,

Thanks for the information, looking forward in getting more tweaks from you.
More power!
odyopayl
octaver (wiredstate)

Offline rascal101

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Re: CD PLAYER MOD
« Reply #6 on: Oct 28, 2005 at 09:43 AM »
BTW, kagabi pagdating ng bahay may bumabagabag sa aking isipan dahil kulang na kulang iyung base nung Sony CD player. Kagabi naalala ko 2.2uF lang pala ang blocking cap. Iyun kasi nakalagay sa application notes. So, dinagdagan ko ng isang Oscon 180uF/16V. Parang may kulang pa rin ... Nagyayaya ng matulog si Misis ... Gusto ko pa namang dagdagan pa ... Sige na nga ... bukas ...

Pagdating ng 5:00am gumising ako at dinagdagan ko ng isa pang Oscon 180uF/16V. Kulang pa rin ... Ano ba iyan ??? Sir Gutchy tama ba ... mag parallel na lang ng choke (5mH) sa capacitor. May gain at phase anomaly kasi around 120Hz ... ay ... mababa naman pala iyung gain ~5mdB ... puwede na ... mababa rin iyung frequency. Mamayang gabi uli ...
« Last Edit: Oct 28, 2005 at 03:33 PM by rascal101 »

Offline bruno

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Re: CD PLAYER MOD
« Reply #7 on: Oct 29, 2005 at 07:10 PM »
Pre, never use an Os-con as a coupling (dc blocking) capacitor.

It's listed as one of the prohibited use because of the high leakage current.

Basahin mo ito:

http://www.sanyo.com/industrial/electronic_components/capacitors/os_con/downloads/oscon_instructions.pdf

Nasa item number 2) ng mga prohibited circuits.

Offline rascal101

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Re: CD PLAYER MOD
« Reply #8 on: Oct 30, 2005 at 11:25 AM »
Thanks Sir Bruno,

Alinsunod sa study ni Walt Jung, balik ako sa mod parehas ng Denon ko, 2x 120uF/16V (Nichicon PM) in series, 100K resistor pull-up to +5V rail from the +polarity of the caps. Pwede na sigurong i-reduce iyung inductor. Tignan ko sa Simetrix.

Cheers,

Rascal101
« Last Edit: Oct 31, 2005 at 03:44 AM by rascal101 »

Offline rascal101

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Re: CD PLAYER MOD
« Reply #9 on: Nov 02, 2005 at 10:50 AM »
Correction ... went with 2x 220uF/16V Nichicon PM in series then placed load resistor (after the caps) of 10k to gnd. Then, placed a 4.3mH inductor across the back to back e-caps. Much better ... same performance as the Denon with added base.
« Last Edit: Nov 02, 2005 at 10:53 AM by rascal101 »

Offline Narayan

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Re: CD PLAYER MOD
« Reply #10 on: Nov 02, 2005 at 11:23 AM »
rascal101,

bro, sent you a pm. thanks :D
Cayin 265/Jolida 300B
Marantz CD5001 OSE
CA CXC + PS Audio DAC 
Meadowlark Kestrel 2/ERA D5+D10

Offline rascal101

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Re: CD PLAYER MOD
« Reply #11 on: Nov 02, 2005 at 12:24 PM »
Correction again ... taas din pala leakage current nung Nichicon PM ... ah mas maganda ... Nichicon HD. Baklas uli ... BTW, low ESR -caps normally havehigh leakage currents. I guess the trick is to balance ESR and leakage current.

Offline rascal101

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Re: CD PLAYER MOD
« Reply #12 on: Nov 07, 2005 at 10:57 PM »
Settle na ako ... back to back Rubycon ZL 330uF/16V in parallel with 5mH inductor ... Ayyy ... salamat ...
« Last Edit: Nov 07, 2005 at 10:58 PM by rascal101 »

Offline bruno

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Re: CD PLAYER MOD
« Reply #13 on: Nov 08, 2005 at 12:51 AM »
Sir Rascal, do you have a capacitance meter that could measure to the pF range?  Just need to match some capacitors for a feedback loop.  Baka pwedeng makisukat sukat.

Offline bruno

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Re: CD PLAYER MOD
« Reply #14 on: Nov 08, 2005 at 11:40 AM »
Oki! Probably on thursday.  Tenx!

Offline rascal101

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Re: CD PLAYER MOD
« Reply #15 on: Nov 28, 2005 at 10:07 PM »
Napasobra ng pagpapaganda ...

Found out the hard way that increasing op-amp gain from 1.4 to 1.7 causes clipping. Originally, feedback res = 19k, input res = 14k. This was changed to feedback res = 24k, input res = unchanged.

Rascal101

Offline rascal101

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Re: CD PLAYER MOD
« Reply #16 on: Jan 30, 2006 at 12:02 PM »
The problem with large value electrolytics is the leakage current and the difficulty to discharge. This is due to the high dielectric constant on these parts. That is why it is very important to place a loading resistor from 1k to 10k as indicated in the Picking Capacitors guide from Walt Jung.

This I believe is the reason why ssss are extended in typical SS amps which are normally capacitively coupled  ;D

Offline odyopayl

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Re: CD PLAYER MOD
« Reply #17 on: Feb 02, 2006 at 08:30 AM »
Anybody? Where can I find WIMA caps with value 0.01uf & 0.1uf aside from RS components & Farnell. Lets say any drop-in place like RAON? Thanks.
odyopayl
octaver (wiredstate)

Offline rascal101

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Re: CD PLAYER MOD
« Reply #18 on: Feb 02, 2006 at 10:06 AM »
You can buy metallic polyster or metallic polyprelene caps at Eleshop, Raon. Not sure if the brand is Wima. If its another brand, I believe performance should be more or less the same.

Offline rascal101

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Re: CD PLAYER MOD
« Reply #19 on: Jun 13, 2006 at 08:13 AM »
Based on my experience in this hobby, I think it is best to reserve comments unless verified by an independent observer - one who more or less isn't as enthusiastic. For example, in general, if your wife makes an unsolicited comment on how real your audio system sounds, that's the best comment of all.

Offline odyopayl

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Re: CD PLAYER MOD
« Reply #20 on: Aug 04, 2006 at 08:27 AM »
, if your wife makes an unsolicited comment on how real your audio system sounds, that's the best comment of all.

With matching WAF
odyopayl
octaver (wiredstate)

Offline rascal101

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Re: CD PLAYER MOD
« Reply #21 on: Sep 27, 2006 at 12:30 PM »
I have already donated the Denon DCD-815 a few months back only the Sony CDP-M11 remains. To those who wish to go down this route, this path is fraught with danger however, for those who are brave enough the experience can both be frustrating and fulfilling.

After all the mods I have done all I can say is this type approach has been tried by numerous individuals and the yield is probably not as good as you want it to be. So don't aim too high unless you plan a complete re-design.  :)
« Last Edit: Sep 27, 2006 at 12:33 PM by rascal101 »

Offline bruno

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Re: CD PLAYER MOD
« Reply #22 on: Oct 04, 2006 at 02:27 AM »
Here are my tips for those planning to tweak their cdps:

1. Enjoy your unmodded cdp as much as you can while taking note of its strengths and weaknesses.
2. Plan ahead and eliminate the guesswork by having a schematic.  If a schematic is not available, tracing the path (audio, power, etc.) is the final option.
3. Do one mod at a time and note the difference (got better or worse?).  Never try to blitzkrieg your player and wonder which made the improvement or made it sound worse or made it not work anymore.
4. Use as much reference music as possible.  Don't repeat my mistake of using only one track as reference then realizing my other cds sounded crappy.

Happy tweaking.

Offline rascal101

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Re: CD PLAYER MOD
« Reply #23 on: Feb 10, 2008 at 10:28 AM »
I wonder what the Playstation would sound if similar mod is applied as above  ::)

Offline av_phile1

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Re: CD PLAYER MOD
« Reply #24 on: Feb 10, 2008 at 09:48 PM »
Here's a nice article about modifying CD players.

Modifying my Sony SCD-1 SACD player
by Roger Gordon


Modifying CD players has become a major cottage industry in the last couple of years. Quite a few individuals and companies modify and upgrade the performance of the more popular players. The buzz on the street is that these mods, while they can be somewhat pricey, are worth it. I like to get champagne sound on a beer budget, so I was intrigued by reading Ye Olde Editor's articles in Positive Feedback Online (Issues 1, 2, 3, 4, and 6) on modifying his Sony SCD-1. According to him, you can take a used mass market CD player, have it modified, and presto—world class sound for an affordable price.

In the spring of 2003, I had owned a ShanLing CDT-100 for about a year. Yes, substituting NOS Western Electric tubes for the Chinese 6P3s made a noticeable improvement in the bass, but even with the WE tubes, the ShanLing was not the best CD player on the block. I knew I had to upgrade, but to what? There was no consensus in the audiophile press as to the best CD player, and adding to the uncertainty were the format wars. Was SACD, DVD-A, or something else the wave of the future? In uncertain times, sometimes the best thing to do is to temporize.

While temporizing, I was not idle. I visited the websites of all the major CD player modifiers. I talked to audiophiles that had had mods done. I spoke directly to some of the modifiers. I learned that modifications usually improved the sound of Redbook CDs more than they improved the sound of SACDs. Since I had hundreds of CDs and no SACDs, and since CDs are cheaper and more readily available, upgrading a CD/SACD player sounded like the proper approach. At that time, the Sony SCD-1 or SCD-777ES was the player that most modifiers liked to work on. The SCD-1 was more expensive at $5000 versus $3500 (list price) for the 777ES, but several modifiers told me that the transport on the SCD-1 was much better, and that given the choice they would rather own a modified SCD-1. With that advice in mind, I logged onto Audiogon.com and bought a used SCD-1 for $2500.

When it arrived, I immediately placed it into my system. Even stock, the SCD-1 sounded better than my ShanLing. The music came out of a blacker background. There was more authority in the bass. The music was smoother, and it seemed to flow more naturally than it did with the Shanling. Listening to the SCD-1 was simply more enjoyable. This was reassuring, of course, since the ShanLing lists for $2000 versus the SCD-1's $5000. After listening to the SCD-1 for a few days, and making sure that everything was working as it should, I packed up the SCD-1 and shipped it to Dan Wright at Modwright in Portland, Oregon.

I had talked to Dan a couple of times on the phone. Based on our discussions, I decided to have him do his Absolute Truth Mod—his top-of-the-line modification. This involves putting in multiple DACs in parallel, adding Bybee filters, upgrading various parts, and replacing the output op-amps with vacuum tubes and an outboard power supply. I also asked Dan to make some additional mods that he only does on request. I had him replace the existing clock with a SuperClock II, replace the clock power supply with the SuperClock II power supply, and do the Richard Kern Transport Mod as discussed by Ye Olde Editor (in PFO Issue 6). The transport mod involves replacing all of the capacitors in the transport section with Black Gates.

It took a while to get my unit back, as the arrival of Dan's first child put a few extra demands on his time. He was also trying to get his new preamp ready for VSAC 2003. I had been warned by numerous people not to expect too much of the modded unit right out of the box, as the Black Gate capacitors take at least 300 hours to break in. I did not keep a logbook, but my guess is that it took at least 400 hours before the unit really started to sound its best.

What miracles had the modifications wrought? I had been expecting an improvement in sound quality similar to the one I heard when going from the ShanLing to the stock SCD-1. What I heard from the modded SCD-1, right out of the box, was startling. I started playing my test CDs, the ones I take to the CES, the ones I knew (or thought I knew) backwards and forwards. What I heard from each of these Red Book CDs was much more low-level detail coming out of a much blacker background. The soundstage was much deeper and wider. Instruments were more clearly fixed in space. Singers were more three-dimensional, and there was more of a feeling of them being present in the room. This was music. This was FUN!

I have now been listening to the modded unit for a little over six months. I have not noticed any change in its sound for over two months, so it appears to be burned in, finally. The improvements that I heard that first night are still there, only better, but the most important thing for me is that the modded unit plays music. While I confess to being an audiophile, I am a music lover first. If a piece of equipment does not let the heart and soul of the music come through, it is not something that I want to own. With the ShanLing, I would play a couple of CDs and then go back to playing vinyl. With the Modwright-modded SCD-1, I play CDs for eight or ten hours and don't even think about switching to vinyl. My toes tap to the music, I play my air guitar, and tears run down my cheeks when I hear an exquisite passage. I did not do this with either the ShanLing or the stock SCD-1. The mods turned the SCD-1 from a mechanical sound reproducer into a musical instrument.

How does the modded SCD-1 stack up against the competition? Unfortunately, I don't have a lineup of modded CD players to which I can compare my unit, nor do I have access to the Meitner. However, I do remember what I heard at CES 2004. Making judgments based on what you hear at audiophile shows is dangerous, but with that caveat, I can recall only one room in which I thought the CD player might be better than my modded SCD-1. The transport/DAC in this room appeared to be extracting more information from my test CDs, but the combo, which was just coming out of prototype, was going to cost between $24,000 and $30,000. For that kind of money, I hope it sounds better than my player! There was only one other room in which I thought the CD player was comparable to my modded SCD-1, but a close look revealed it to be an SCD-1 with the Modwright Absolute Truth Mod!

Is the Sony SCD-1 with the Absolute Truth Mod digital nirvana? Hardly. The best two-channel stereo reproduction that I have ever heard was also at CES 2004, in the deHavilland room, which was using a modified Ampex tape recorder to play prerecorded four-track 1/4-inch tapes. That room, which had spectacular sound, showed how much improvement digital reproduction still requires to equal the best analog sound.

Okay, the modded SCD-1 is not as good as reel-to-reel tape. Is it better than vinyl? It's an interesting question. I am a vinyl guy. I own over 6000 LPs and only 1000 CDs. On the other hand, I do not have a world-class vinyl playback system. My VPI HW-19 MkIV is only a C-class turntable. My heavily modified ET 2.5 tonearm is only B class. My Benz Micro Reference cartridge was B class when I bought it years ago, and it has probably slipped to C class with the advent of new, improved cartridges. Only my Herron Audio VTPH-1MC phono stage is A class. How does this decent, but not exceptional vinyl playback system compare to the modded SCD-1? The answer is—it depends. If all you are interested in is sound, the modded SCD-1 is better, but to my ears, my modest analog setup does a far better job of conveying the emotion of music. If I want to experience a live performance in my living room, I play vinyl. The modded SCD-1 is a distant second. Sorry, digi-guys.

Am I sorry that I bought the modded SCD-1? Not at all. I feel that the $6100 was money well spent. Based on what I have heard at various hi-fi shows, I now have a CD player that performs with the best, regardless of price. More importantly, the modded SCD-1 makes listening to CDs very enjoyable. It conveys the emotion of the music, which the ShanLing and the stock SCD-1 did not do. It does not matter to me that vinyl sounds better, as there are thousands of CDs that will never be released on vinyl, and I now have a way to hear and truly enjoy them. If you enjoy listening to music, but don't enjoy listening to CDs, you really should consider modding your CD player. Roger Gordon

Used Sony SCD-1
   $2500

Absolute Truth Mod
   3000

SuperClock II with power supply
   337

Transport Mod
   250

Shipping
   55
Total

   $6142

ModWright
1935 N.E. Cramer St.
Portland, OR 97211
TEL: 503. 288. 5159
email address: [email protected]
web address: www.modwright.com

Offline rpm

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Re: CD PLAYER MOD
« Reply #25 on: Feb 12, 2008 at 02:29 PM »
Just want to ask what good mod can be made on a Sony CDP 338 ESD.  Although I am pretty satisfied with it, I am wondering what improvements can be made by mods.

Thanks.

Offline rascal101

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Re: CD PLAYER MOD
« Reply #26 on: Feb 12, 2008 at 03:31 PM »
You can start by changing the output coupling caps to low ESR caps like Rubycon ZL. Use same capacitance values. As much as possible use same voltage if not use something higher.

If you really want more improvement, you can use Polyester or Polypropelene caps. Pls refer to below links for details/analysis

http://waltjung.org/PDFs/Picking_Capacitors_1.pdf
http://waltjung.org/PDFs/Picking_Capacitors_2.pdf

Offline rascal101

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Offline ferds

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Re: CD PLAYER MOD
« Reply #28 on: Feb 12, 2008 at 04:50 PM »
Just want to ask what good mod can be made on a Sony CDP 338 ESD.  Although I am pretty satisfied with it, I am wondering what improvements can be made by mods.

Thanks.

i've modified quite a number of CDP's.. The most significant mod u can do that will really improve the sound quality of your cdp is replace the opamp(s).. opa627/637, opa2107 and lm4562 are one of my fav opamps..

here are some pics of the CDP's i've modified

SONY CDP-228ESD - http://s75.photobucket.com/albums/i297/ferds_calma/Sony%20CDP-228ESD%20Mod/
SONY CDP-227ESD - http://s75.photobucket.com/albums/i297/ferds_calma/Sony%20CDP-227ESD%20Mods/
Marantz CD-63SE -   http://s75.photobucket.com/albums/i297/ferds_calma/Marantz%20CD-63%20SE%20mod/
Marantz CD-4000 -   http://s75.photobucket.com/albums/i297/ferds_calma/Marantz%20CD-4000%20Mods/

 ;D

------> www.FerdsAudio.com <------- Updated July 8

Offline rascal101

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Re: CD PLAYER MOD
« Reply #29 on: Feb 12, 2008 at 06:26 PM »
Ferds,

Wow dami mo na palang na modify na CDP.