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Old 25th November 2008, 04:36 AM   #1
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Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Lafayette, Louisiana
Default Modify a Soundstream Reference 700s

Has anyone ever modified a Soundstream Reference 700s? I had a guy on another forum tell me that the power supply could be rebuilt, the Darlington output devices could be changed, and Burr Brown op amps could be added to my Reference 700s to "beef it up" and get better Sound Quality out of it.

I was just wondering if anyone here has ever heard of such a modification and would know what parts I would need to change?

Sadly, I have no idea where to begin
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Old 25th November 2008, 06:43 AM   #2
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Northern California
This sounds interesting, I hope others respond to you request. I would like to see what gets fielded about this topic.

There is not much space inside any Ref series amp to be building bigger then what SoundStream already did.
Ref's were pretty much High current/low voltage type amps by design, so I think most will be hard pressed to beef up. It will be interesting to hear others input on this one.

I do recall Jaime of JandR recommending a Ti op-amp for upgrade not a Burr-Brown. I just can't remember which one it was now. Perhaps someone else will think of it. Or maybe you could email Jaime thru his ebay store JandR electronics....
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Old 27th November 2008, 10:44 PM   #3
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Location: Lafayette, Louisiana

I received a reply from Jaime and he said that he is no longer performing repair or modification services for Soundstream amplifiers
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Old 28th November 2008, 08:31 AM   #4
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Northern California
I was afraid of that. I can't really blame him. Off shore products and the cost of doing business is just killing the independent nowadays.

Shame, his talents will be sorely missed.

Beefing up a Ref series is pretty tough. But the TLO op-amps are replaceable. If I were you I would goggle up the Texas Instruments web site and look through there op-amp product line for possible upgrades.
Burr-Brown was bought by Ti many years ago so you should be able to gain some info from the Ti site. Beware of the current high end op-amps draw. This could cause 16 volt rail issues if it gets out of hand.

SoundStream used great Mosfets in the power supplies, with the stacked rectifier diodes being a weakness issue that they later in the Rub series engineered a new approach to solve failure issues.
Myself I would beef the diodes in some fashion.

Then the op-amps would be on my list to look at.

In the Rub line they changed to Toshiba high power outputs driven by a pair of what was the outputs for the Ref line. But this represents a bunch of work and it just simpler to buy a Rub line amp to get all the improvements.

Another issue were the switch's located inside the amp. Jaime still sells these in sets on ebay. As they were such a pain to find and had a serious failure rate issue. Replacing them only repairs the problem, but does nothing to prevent it from coming back.

The design of the printed circuit board and the way its assembled make for upgrade nightmares.

Nice amps though. Everybody I know that liked them and had them just loved them.

Wish I had more to share with you but I never really bumped one of these up. Most folks liked them as-is, so I did my best to return them with 100% Soundstream engineering intact inside.
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