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Peter Daniel 27th March 2008 03:11 PM

Finally, an affordable CD Transport: the Shigaclone story
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While the transport I'm presenting in this thread is not really a clone, it all started with me picking inside Shigaraki and posting some pics on forum.

As those guys are quite resourceful, they quickly found that the same mechanism and similar chips are used in JVC RC-EZ31 boombox and the rest is history.

Now, after all those months, I'm quite puzzled why nobody so far came up with similar application? After all, Gainclone and Phonoclone gained so much popularity that easily surpasses the originals.

It all started when last September somebody asked me to build a PS for Shigaraki transport. I did that and had a chance to play with the transport in my own system. And while I was extensively using CEC TL0, ML31.5 and ML37 at that time, I was quite impressed by Shigaraki. In some ways it offered performance virtues none of my other transports could dream of, specifically the freshness and vitality of the sound, with very well defined PRAT (BTW, the PS based on 70VA Hammond transformer was in no way inferior to original Dumpty).

I was almost ready to buy a used Shigaraki or Flatfish when the alternative option emerged on Polish Forum. And although I was quite involved during all those months in development process, the discovery of the transport source and some fine points of modifications should be credited to other forum members there.

Now, after 6 months, my transport is almost completed and it took the spot of CEC TL0, becoming my main digital reference (I still keep TL0, both Levinsons and loaned Flatfish for comparisons).

The whole story can be read here:


While I was quite hesitant to post this info here, I think that discovery is too good to be kept secret, with time I will provide more details.
I used Shigaclone reference in the thread topic, but after some time will ask moderators to remove it.

markushbm 27th March 2008 03:56 PM

This is really great news! This Cd transport is what I have been looking for. Simple and good looking and, Im sure, sounding very fine.

I will be patiently waiting, until it`s ready.

kevinkr 27th March 2008 04:02 PM

Looks very interesting. I'm looking for a small, inexpensive transport to use with my Zhaolu which will soon be retired from my main system and put to use elsewhere. This could be the right project..

I'm going to look for one of those JVC boom boxes, anything else you might recommend?

I will tweek against my modded Sony SCD-777ES..

okapi 27th March 2008 04:07 PM

with peter's help and the photos from the polish forum i have also put together this CD player.

i was previously using a NADC541i as a transport. I found the modified JVC to be a significant improvement over the NAD. i was quite surprised by this result as i did not expect a change in the transport to have an audible effect.

The cost of all the electronic components comes in under 200 USD making it a relative deal when compared to other DIY digital source options.

I made a PDF documenting the changes, with peters permission and some updating i will post here.

Peter Daniel 27th March 2008 04:08 PM

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Sure, that PDF will be helpful


Originally posted by markushbm
I will be patiently waiting, until it`s ready.
It is ready and don't wait. All that's left to do in my transport is to nicely install the display board.

Who knows how long that JVC model will be available (the higher models, like EZ35 are no good). I am certainly stocked well;)

Peter Daniel 27th March 2008 04:21 PM

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Here's the PS schematic. I tried some popular regulators (LM317, LM2937, LT1086, LT1129) as well dual regulation and separate regulation for 5V. Nothing worked better for me than a single LM7808 from National.

I also tried few diode types, including 31DQ09 Schottkies that are supposedly used in Zanden, but again, MSR860 worked best.

Using BG STD 1000/25 after regulator is quite critical, before regulator you see BG FK 2200/35. I later switched to not available any longer BG F 1000/35 which provided more high frequency extention. You could use BG STD 1000/25 with BG N 4.7/50 bypass to compensate slight brightness but you may loose some liquidity and naturalness.

Other caps are also OK, feel free to experiment. What I present here is exactly what worked in my system (for me).

steenoe 27th March 2008 04:29 PM

Cool looking transport, Peter. What does that thing weigh? Is it copper and brass frame?


kevinkr 27th March 2008 04:37 PM

It's already way too late to purchase the JVC RC-EZ31 online, most places no longer sell this model, and one that seems to still have them in stock is located in Canada. Basing something on this mechanism is probably a non starter.. :mad:

What are the alternatives?

Peter Daniel 27th March 2008 04:43 PM

The frame is made of bronze nad copper and weighs 5kg.

I came to this matrial choice by accident, when I decided to try the copper frame I had originally made for CD-Pro. Adding later bronze base and springs improved things further.

The frame you see in the pics is the second generation where I had to compromise few things in order to gain more functionality.

Originally I had the mechanism mounted on acrylic board and later on spruce board.

Bronze/copper and springs add more dimentionality and refinement. Brass is a bit ringy, but depending on application it may worked as well.

The mechanism works best if mounted on two standoffs only, it sounded dull when I tried to hang it underneath brass frame with more contact surface. Here the pics of one prototype that did not work as I expected:

Peter Daniel 27th March 2008 04:47 PM

I got mine from BestBuy.

The first one was actually shipped to me from Poland as I couldn't find it locally.

Peter Daniel 27th March 2008 04:50 PM

When suspending mechanism from the bottom, using two spacers like this worked better than direct mount:

kevinkr 27th March 2008 04:56 PM

Tried Best Buy online, unfortunately they no longer carry this model.
I'll probably risk some low end units on eBay and see what I can come up with.

I found one I can buy for about $80 which is far more than I want to spend. Yeah I'm cheap.. ;)

Peter Daniel 27th March 2008 05:02 PM

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Now, the clock. I tried Tent clock with a dedicated PS, but it didn't worked well. My findings has been quite similar what Romy says on his site:

I later installed Citizen 300-8441 crystal from DK and this is what I use till now:

steenoe 27th March 2008 05:05 PM


Originally posted by kevinkr

I found one I can buy for about $80 which is far more than I want to spend. Yeah I'm cheap.. ;)

Ya must be kiddin' :D What is cheap?

Superb work Peter, as usual. The one that didnt work must have taken hours to make. Send it to me for proper disposal;)


Peter Daniel 27th March 2008 05:15 PM

Beside all that, there are few components that I replaced on original board (replacing too many will kill the sonics).

I basicaly removed the main filter cap and replaced all other electrolytics tied directly to rails with BG N caps and also removed their SMD bypasses. One other cap was replaced to ERO 1830, 0.1uF and that's basically all. Okapi will post PDF when it's ready.

One other thing, the output resistors are quite important, I got the best results with Caddock MK132 75R to ground and VishayS102 60R (or similar value) in series.

luvdunhill 27th March 2008 05:25 PM

any idea if and what flavor i2s might be available from the transport?

Peter Daniel 27th March 2008 05:32 PM

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I'm afraid the I2S output is not available. Here's the underside of PCB.

Peter Daniel 27th March 2008 05:33 PM

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And this is mechanism in all its glory;)

luvdunhill 27th March 2008 05:50 PM


Originally posted by Peter Daniel
I'm afraid the I2S output is not available. Here's the underside of PCB.
what about pins 33-36 on the LC78620? I'm looking at the LC78620E datasheet, as I cannot make the exact number out from your photo. Looks to be i2s output.

Also, is the "B" designation important in the model?

d to the g 27th March 2008 06:04 PM


Originally posted by luvdunhill

Also, is the "B" designation important in the model?

The first post doesn't mention the B, but the image of Peter's storage facility shows all B models. I'd like to know as well.

Peter Daniel 27th March 2008 06:05 PM

The 'B' means Black, and it's not important.

Here are the pics of the chips:

This are the mods I did (47n replaced now by 10n):

And here's the Shigaraki board:

Peter Daniel 27th March 2008 06:09 PM

If you are not able to find JVC EZ31 model, find some other cheap stereo with similar chips, same mechanism and digital output. Chances are, it will sound equally good. ;)

Tea-Bag 27th March 2008 06:44 PM

will this bad boy work?

luvdunhill 27th March 2008 06:47 PM

Re: amazon

Originally posted by mithomas
will this bad boy work?

geez, the thread is only one page :) anyways, no do a search on this page Peter said it's not the same.

Peter Daniel 27th March 2008 06:51 PM

EZ35 has different chips and no digital output on board (like with EZ31). However, it may be possible to extract the output directly from one of the chips. One of them is LC7869 0N


kevinkr 27th March 2008 06:52 PM

Re: Re: amazon

Brand new for $85.00 with shipping from:

I bought one.. Can't wait to get started on this project.. It will be just like my $150 dac project, ultimately ending up costing something like 3 - 4 X that amount by the time it is done.. :D

Tea-Bag 27th March 2008 06:53 PM

Thanks Peter,

There is an ez31 referb here,

Someone might want to grab it. I want to learn more about what I really need before diving in deep. Like reading the thread a few times. :rolleyes:

okapi 27th March 2008 07:20 PM

modification pdf
Here is a PDF that contains all the necessary modifications.

Please let me know if you find any errors and i will try and correct the document quickly.


kevinkr 27th March 2008 07:22 PM

Hi Tim,
You just need to give it a .pdf extension and all will be well. I renamed the download to cd_transport.pdf when the save option popped up and was then able to open it.

More comments later if I find any errors. Good work and thanks for sharing. My RC-EZ31 is on its way, now to demolish it before my wife sees it. :D

okapi 27th March 2008 07:24 PM

changed the link. i hope it works correctly now.

okapi 27th March 2008 07:52 PM

a few noob notes
- If you are having problems removing the mechanism from the chassis you have missed a screw or two. with all the screws removed it will come apart easily.

- You need the CD clamp attached to the underside of the door. searching through your garbage to get this back can be unpleasant.

- Removing surface mount components is best done with 2 soldering irons

- I used copper braid to wick up solder for other non surface mount components

- Heat can quickily move up PC board traces. I burnt the markings off a transistor doing this. It did not turn out to be a problem but i may have just been lucky.

- The ribbon cables have reinforced ends and can be removed from their sockets without damaging the ribbon. It takes what felt like a dangerous amount of force.

kevinkr 27th March 2008 09:59 PM

Looks like the last unit(s?) have sold out at So far as I can tell I did get one, I have not received email or any other indication otherwise.

I ordered parts from Digikey so hopefully I was not too optimistic.. :D

kepa1 28th March 2008 09:53 AM

Hi, Is there a way to get the mechanism on its own + the laser unit and assemble them? I am quite reluctant to buy a JVC thingie and throw almost all of it in the garbage bin:rolleyes:

kevinkr 28th March 2008 01:42 PM

I read that the board is actually discontinued. Not sure about the status of the mechanism, but the best way to get one of these is to buy the recommended boombox if you can find one or identify another that has a mechanism and board that will work.

My understanding is that the JVC UX-5000 ministereo (EU) or JVC FS-5000 (NA) also use the same chipset and mechanism, but you should confirm this before buying one.

It is not too easy to find. I bought one of the last available boomboxes from and it took me quite a while to find it. The order is pending which means I probably will know for sure today that this is not a red herring. The site now indicates that the RCEZ31 is discontinued and no longer available for order.

In any case if you are able to find a mechanism sans board and display it will probably end up costing you more than just scrapping a boombox for the parts. Try looking around for a used one at flea markets and on line. I'm sure they will continue to show up sporadically.

Peter Daniel 28th March 2008 02:07 PM

You can get SFP101 mechanism with a laser for approx $30:

However, you will still need control and display boards and those come only with a boombox and are certainly worth $30.

Even if you remove the CD parts, you can still use the boombox with a radio and tape.

This JVC thingie, when properly implemented, will be as good or better than CD-Pro 2 that will cost you $500 or so.

As a matter of fact, I prefer that thingie to any of the 5 transports you see in this picture:

OneyedK 28th March 2008 02:52 PM

Great topic, found a JVC in the Netherlands...

Still a few questions:

What is the reason to remove those 5 components?
What was their original function?
Would an output transformer, ratio 4:1 or 5:1 (as can be found in most Denon Cd players), be better than the resistor network you are using?

Peter Daniel 28th March 2008 03:20 PM


Originally posted by OneyedK
What is the reason to remove those 5 components?
What was their original function?
Would an output transformer, ratio 4:1 or 5:1 (as can be found in most Denon Cd players), be better than the resistor network you are using?

R4 is a choke that probably isolated the rest of the boombox circuitry from digital section, it is not needed now and actually found to degrade the sound.
R5 is a main filter cap (470uF): you don't need it if using large cap after LM7808 regulator (and if parallel with a new cap it will degrade the sound)
R1 and R2 are analog output coupling caps. You may leave them, but I needed that space to simplify wiring.
R3 is DAC bypass caps, I don't use internal DAC so I removed it; again that cap in parallel with other caps may degrade the sound.

You may try the output transformer, but I never liked them as they mess up the sound. IMO proper resistors are way better.

If the DAC is connected directly to transport's output, you may bypass the output resistors completely,. Some people reported certain gains. I use 6ft digital interconnect and it works better with resistors in place.

OneyedK 28th March 2008 03:56 PM

Thanks! When the boombox arrives, I might have more question, I'll continue to follow this topic.

kevinkr 28th March 2008 05:36 PM

My access to machine shop is relatively limited, what I am thinking of doing is getting a heavy slab of aluminum plate from online metals, mounting the mechanism using two stand-offs similar to what you did and mounting the top plate using taller standoffs at the corners and perhaps a few strategically placed elsewhere. I was thinking of using dense red oak sideboards, front and rear would be metal. I have brass foil I can use for electrostatic shielding on the sides if necessary. will make the top plate with cut out and locations for control buttons, and a front plate with cut out for the LCD.

I am thinking of using a small toroid or EI transformer to power it, and I would mount it well away from anything else.

How much mass should I be shooting for? (about 5kg? Add bar stock to get additional mass?) Any recommendations as to where to get springs and what should their modulus be to set the LF resonance of the mass + springs.

Thanks, Kevin

Peter Daniel 28th March 2008 07:14 PM

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My heavy frame came out quite accidentaly, but I'm not sure that going to such extremes is neccessary, although I was quite biased by the way Madrigal did it in ML31.5 (the lead frame is also about 5kg):

The springs I'm using are approx 2" long and 1" dia, pretty stiff, under load they compress by apprx 0.1" and resonance frequency is approx. 10Hz. Adding some dumping material inside (but not too much) seems to be beneficial and helps reduce the ringing. I bought last 4 pcs localy, but I'm pretty sure similar type can be found at McMastercarr

The Flatfish weighs approx 2.2kg and the aluminum platform is 6.7 x 9.6 x 0.6" Looking at the pics one may not figure out what those weired spiked legs are for, but they actually act as horizontal spring like suspention with resonant freq of 3-4Hz.

Peter Daniel 28th March 2008 07:17 PM

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Inside the chassis there are 3 spherical mill outs in which the poles fit loosely, allowing sideway movement.

Peter Daniel 28th March 2008 07:18 PM

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Peter Daniel 28th March 2008 07:21 PM

As to transformer, I wouldn't recommend really small units and 50VA could probably be reasonable minimum.

I also have slight preference for 96VA Hammond EI over same type 50VA unit.

tobias_svensk 28th March 2008 07:23 PM

Well here in Sweden NetOnNet has it for about $65 but shipping overseas would't be cheep I guess :)
Maybe one should buy one :)



Originally posted by kevinkr
It's already way too late to purchase the JVC RC-EZ31 online, most places no longer sell this model, and one that seems to still have them in stock is located in Canada. Basing something on this mechanism is probably a non starter.. :mad:

What are the alternatives?

Puffin 28th March 2008 07:49 PM

I can't see where the EZ31B has a Digital Out ? I have looked at the specs and cannnot see it. Is it that it is disabled for the Boombox ? Or not used and it is just a matter of connecting it up?

Peter Daniel 28th March 2008 08:20 PM

It's only on the PCB and used in the actual boombox.

kevinkr 28th March 2008 08:23 PM


Originally posted by Puffin
I can't see where the EZ31B has a Digital Out ? I have looked at the specs and cannnot see it. Is it that it is disabled for the Boombox ? Or not used and it is just a matter of connecting it up?
No digital out on RCEZ31, it's there on the pcb. Just a matter of connecting it up, and making all of the other mods detailed in the pdf file in an earlier post.

I have seen, heard, used the Shigaraki which is why I am going to build this clone.

It's gonna be fun..

Thanks Peter for sharing this and all of the additional input you have provided to my many questions.. :D

Puffin 28th March 2008 09:15 PM

In the U.K, shops have the EZ31 and the EZ31B. I see that Peter Daniel had stocked up on the EZ31B, but in this thread I see it is just referred to as the EZ31 ? Will either do ?

Peter Daniel 28th March 2008 09:26 PM

B is for Black, over here only that model was available. EZ31 should be exactly the same, just silver.

leadbelly 28th March 2008 09:30 PM

Puffin, please read the thread before posting. :)

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