CD63SE as transport only, condensed list needed - diyAudio
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Old 6th July 2008, 03:23 PM   #1
Dan_ed is offline Dan_ed  United States
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Default CD63SE as transport only, condensed list needed

I know there are extensive mods available for this CDP, but I'd rather use it as a transport and go with an external DAC since I know there is better technology available. Also, I may want to have USB input to the DAC. However, I keep seeing references to a few mods to make the transport work even better. Has anyone done these mods? And, what other mods would be suggested to make this work well using only the digital outputs?
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Old 6th July 2008, 05:28 PM   #2
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I am a bit confused... Does this not have possibly the best DAC chip ever in it? If I was going to use just a transport I would sell this and build the Shigaclone. At least this way someone would get to enjoy the DAC in it.
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Old 6th July 2008, 05:50 PM   #3
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Do you listen to any SACD or DVD-A? If not, you will have a hard time finding a better DAC regardless of vintage. If you want to have a USB input, easily done with numerous DIY modules out there and could be implemented with the Marantz's DAC. If you were to add a better I/V and output stage this player is great!

If you have the skill to do the mods, why not DIY the whole thing? Sell the Marantz to a loving home or keep it for a second system. Make your own transport. Make your own DAC with whatever input you will need.

I am looking the route of a SACD transport and HTPC to a DAC, preamp, amp, speakers/headphones. There are no interconnects as I intent to use terminal blocks or solder. This frees up a lot of cash to do a good job on a DAC. The transport/DAC is made up from the spinner and SACD decoder from a Denon DVD-1930Ci, Twisted Pear Buffalo DAC, and a Pass Labs D1 I/V and ouput stage. Use whatever format spinner you want, hack the I2S(DSD for SACD) lines before the DAC chip and send that signal to a DAC that has I2S inputs. Leads should be kept as short as possible. This will then skip the conversion to S/PDIF and back with normal digital ins/outs leading to much better imaging and open sound. The Buffalo DAC will operate at voltage out so you could stop there and have a great unit. If you decided to get it all out of the DAC, DIY a Pass Labs D1 I/V stage in balanced or SE. Just add a Twisted Pear OTTO switch and the USB=>I2S module, stick it in a box, and you have a CD player with USB input to for the DAC section.

PS. If you have the computer really close to the DAC I would suggest a ESI Julia soundcard modded to send I2S to the DAC and forget about the transport all together unless like me you want SACD.
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Old 6th July 2008, 05:52 PM   #4
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I have a heavily modified CD67SE per the thread here, a Shigaclone and two well-respected DIY DACS. The Shigaclone smokes the CD67SE as a transport. Spend the $70 and get started on your Shigaclone. You'll really enjoy it.

Actually, I also have a modded Marantz DV7600 Universal and the Shigaclone smokes it too. There's close to $1500 of Marantz gear and the $70 Shig beats it. Quite a feat.

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Old 6th July 2008, 06:12 PM   #5
Dan_ed is offline Dan_ed  United States
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So, is it the analog stage that holds this unit back? I haven't used this cdp for several years but when I did I used and external Adcom DAC because it sounded much better than what the 63se would put out on its own. My son's Sony (can't remember the model) also sounded much better than this one.

Yes, I keep looking at through the mods for the Marantz players and this one already has most of them from the factory. I don't want to butcher it or anything. Maybe a better clock?

I'll check into the Shigaclone as well.
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Old 6th July 2008, 06:19 PM   #6
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I have never heard a Shigaclone but I have no doubt. I plan to try a similar build with my Denon SACD spinner but pure DSD direct. I will not need to convert and that is a big plus! My intent is to make a top loader out of the Denon and build the Motherboard of the PC into a wood/copper base that the DAC and spinner are joined to. The I2S lines from the puter and DSD lines from the DAC will be kept to less than 2". I am certain this will better than a seperate transport and PC using USB and S/PDIF connections with pricey cables that all degrade the sound. After the DAC I/V stage the signal will be wired directly to an 24V Aikido linestage/headamp. This is where it all ends until I return to Thailand and build a FW F5 to go with a pair of Audio Nirvana Cast super 12 drivers in a TL or OB/with a sub. The Buffalo DAC has a pretty good volume control and will be used. The PS for the HTPC, DAC, preamp will be housed in a seperate box with Xformer conditioned balanced power for the analog and seperate one for the digital.

So if the Shigaclone has I2S outs then you could build one in the same chassis as a Twisted Pear Opus or Buffalo DAC with USB input.

If you used you PC as a transport with a modded ESI Julia with I2S output, you could skip the transport all together and have DVD-A, DualDisc, Blu-Ray, DVD movies, and if you want SACD just add a $100 used Denon player's donated guts. This gets you hard disc performance and near universal media playback without the additional conversions.
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Old 6th July 2008, 09:54 PM   #7
Dan_ed is offline Dan_ed  United States
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Well, the Shigaclone looks good but there doesn't seem to be a very good probability of finding the right parts to start with here in the U.S. I'll keep it in mind, but the 63se will do for now.

I listen to vinyl mostly and I'm not really interested in any formats other than redbook. I figured that if I built a DAC I may as well add the capability to play files from a harddrive since there is so much music out there for downloading.
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Old 6th July 2008, 11:02 PM   #8
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Well, the Buffalo DAC has a PCM receiver in the chip or can be switched for I2S/DSD. That way you could use a PCM transport instead of hacking the I2S or PC S/PDIF. I still would suggest a ESI Julia soundcard modded for I2S out and a DAC with I2S in. The conversion is completely omited and you may start wondering if vinyl is still king?
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Old 29th April 2009, 03:16 PM   #9
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Question What happens to the DVD-A and CD signals?

Hi Khundude,
Sorry to revive this old thread but I had a few questions on the DSD mod for the Denon. I am thinking of picking up a 19x0 player and mod it to tap out the DSD output. I am hoping to build a Buffalo32 sometime in the future and pair it with the Denon. I would be using this player to play SACDs, DVD-As and the occasional CD. My question is, if you tap out the DSD line and pipe it to the DAC, what happens when I play a CD or a DVD-A? Would there be any kind of output at the DSD tap or would I need another tap to pipe out the DVD-A and CD digits to the DAC? I'm sorry if it's a stupid question but I am pretty new to DIY and most of what I read on the subject in the different threads flew way over my head. Thanks for your input!


P.S: If and when I get my Denon and the Buffalo32, I might also be looking at getting an ESI Juli@ and mod it for use with my HTPC...
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Old 24th April 2011, 01:18 PM   #10
Thomo is offline Thomo  United Kingdom
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Hi guys. From experience I know there are a few things you can do the the good old cd63 as a transport but the two most important ones are:

Regulate the driver IC's & improve their psu.

Clock the servo IC (not the dac).

Just these two mods alone with transform the cd63 into a fantastic transport. The clocking of the servo ic brings about the same level of improvement as clocking the dac.

Cheers, Lee.
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