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dublin78 16th January 2008 04:15 PM

DIYPARADISE CD63 based "music centre"
A year or so ago, I was reading an article about a cheap NOS DAC on the TNT website. At the end the author Geoff Husband stated that this DAC was a good candidate for his T-System, a high performance low budget system based around a T-amp for under 400 Euros.

This got me thinking. I had been aware of Yeo's DIYPARADISE.COM products, and I thought that I could better this T-System and put it all in one case with one power lead and one on/off switch, and have some fun to boot.

I did alot of research into components (diy modules mainly) and wracked by brain about which CD/DVD player to chop up. There were so many options, and eventually I gave up and went for the ubiquitous Marantz CD63. There is plenty of back-up on several forums for this machine, and I thought that it would be simpler to improve for this reason.

So I purchased an untidy scratched unit for 25 and set off. I had read many good reports on the Monica NOS DAC so one of these kits was purchased too. At the same time I bought a Charlize amp, as it was also well regarded on this forum and others. To complete my system, I would need a volume control and/or a pre-amp. For simplicity and purity, I decided to go passive, and I splashed out on a 25K Stepped attenuator from DIY Fidelity, which uses Vishay/Dale military grade resistors. Not the cheapest solution, bit I couldn't resist.

I laid these out on a test board and used a Meanwell 3.2A 12V SMPS as a power supply. The quality of the diyparadise units was excellent and they produced an excellent sound, however the output from the Monica2 DAC was low and consequently sound levels were not high. I put my Musical Fidelity Pre in the siganl path and wow. The Charlize is certainly capable of good volume.

At this time I had been following a thread on the diyparadise forum about Rudolf Broertjes' SS I/V Gain Stage, which soon became available on Yeo's website. I thought that this should go some way to sort my problem out so I purchased on of these. Oh and a USB to SPDIF converter (as I was having a delivery from Malaysia.

Nearly there. The SS I/V stage was reported to be even better at higher voltage (18v or 24v), so I would need something with a higher voltage than the Meanwell smps to supply it. I had a KEYENCE KV-U3 24v smps with three seperate outputs already, so I put this into play. I would need to drop the voltages down to 12v for Monica, and 18v for the SS I/V stage. I was lucky enough to purchase an AUDIOCOM INVISUS super regulator
and a AUDIOCOM Q-POWER super regulator, cheaply off ebay. The
INVISUS is to supply Monica at 12v, and the Q-POWER is to supply the SS I/V stage at 18v.

Apart from a couple of selector switches and various connectors that was it.

I built a wooden housing out of five pieces of 24mm ply laminated together. This allowed me to have a one piece shell, which effectively had been carved out to accomomdate the electronics (I cut the centres of the sheets out to specific shapes prior to laminating. A bit of routering afterward and job done. The wood was stained, selaed with sanding sealer sanded again and finally polished with couloured wax polish. I had a piece of 12mm toughened glass made to act as a lid, allowing the guts to be viewed.

Here are some photos.

Hopefully this will lead to discussions on how to improve this further. This is my first project of this kind.

There are some matching speakers on their way MT-TL using Fostex FE-127e...


dublin78 16th January 2008 04:19 PM

Lots more photos.

I had to check they worked first.







dublin78 16th January 2008 04:22 PM

And more.









dublin78 16th January 2008 04:23 PM

Last few





dublin78 16th January 2008 04:34 PM

So to recap:

The "music centre" consists of a Marantz CD63 rehoused into a wood and glass case.

The digital output goes to a DIYPARADISE Monica 2 NOS DAC module, which is powered by the KEYENCE 24v smps via an AUDIOCOM INVISUS 12V super regulator.

The output from Monica goes to the DIYPARADISE Rudolf Broertjes' SS I/V Gain Stage. This is again powered by the KEYENCE 24v smps but this time via the 18V Q-POWER super regulator.

The output from the gain stage goes to the DIY FIDELITY 25K stepped attenuator.

From the attenuator the signal is amplified by a DIYPARADISE Charlize tripath amp. This is powered at 13.8V from a 3.2A Meanwell smps.

To make things fun, I added a selector before the DAC so that I can swap the inputs between the CD63, a DIYPARADISE USB coverter and an alternative spdif source.

In the spirit of things, I also put a selector switch before the attenuator so that I can switch between the DAC, the normal outputs from the CD63, and an alternative RCA source.

john blackburn 16th January 2008 07:47 PM

Lovely work and precisely what a mate wants building (though he doesn't really know it yet)
He wants something in ply with matching bookshelf sized speakers and yours is the benchmark so far.
Thanks for the inspiration and keep up the good work.

kuroguy 17th January 2008 03:29 AM

I was planning something like your music centre with the addition of an embedded microprocesssor to play digital media inside the same box as well as tone controls. I'll certainly use yours as the yardstick. Nice Job.

planet10 17th January 2008 05:57 AM

Re: DIYPARADISE CD63 based "music centre"


Originally posted by dublin78
I splashed out on a 25K Stepped attenuator from DIY Fidelity, which uses Vishay/Dale military grade resistors. Not the cheapest solution, bit I couldn't resist.
Actually for a stepped attenuator, it is dirt cheap. I've had my eye on those, how well does it work.


dublin78 17th January 2008 10:26 AM


Actually for a stepped attenuator, it is dirt cheap.
Yes, I agree.

I paid AUS$50 plus another 25, because I didn't trust myself to build it. Then there is postage from Oz too.

It sounds fine. I can't say great, because I have not compared it to an APLS say. Also, my diyaudio fullrange reference project MT-TL monopoles are not completed yet. I have only tried my system with large inefficient floorstanders so far. Impressive nonetheless.

I am not entireley sure that the 25K Ohm version was the way to go. I can always try adding resistors in series or parallel to alter it.

philpoole 17th January 2008 07:39 PM

Like it!
That looks great!
I'd love to rehouse my CD player, but I'd be so concerned about accurately aligning the CD tray with the hole in the front panel so it doesn't foul. Was that part an easy job? I still can't think how it could be anything but difficult (I could imagine myself getting it right eventually on the 8th attempt, with the 7 other front panels thrown in the bin).

Did you ever consider removing the black plastic front to the drawer (it should slide or click off) and fit a bespoke wooden equivalent, to match the rest of the unit?
Absolutely brilliant!

Well done.

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