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Old 4th June 2012, 10:36 PM   #1
Kei is offline Kei  Wales
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Default Which cd player to mod?

I've got both a philips CD 930 and a marantz CD-56. I use the analogue outputs from these players into my luxman integrated amp. (no separate dac) From some listening tests i believe the marantz has more low end and definitely has a higher output level. I was expecting to hear more of a difference between a multi-bit and bit-stream player. The marantz has already had some work done as it was older so some of the electrolytic capacitors have been replaced with rubycon ZLG/panasonic FC and FM. The philips is completely untouched. I've got some more capacitors on the way and I've got a few opamps now which could be swapped around. (2x AD826, 2x OPA2604, 2x OPA2134PA, 8x NJM 2114D, 4x LM4562NA, 4x LM833N) I'm not planning on going nuts with extra supplies and NOS mods etc, just simple changes for the better. I've got the service manual for the philips but not the marantz.

Which player should get the attention?

Last edited by Kei; 6th June 2012 at 09:45 PM.
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Old 5th June 2012, 08:23 PM   #2
Kei is offline Kei  Wales
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Had a look through my components today and found i had sufficient parts to recap all but one in the philips so I've sorted that out completely. (I used 470uF in place of the 33uF as per the Fikustransport documentation as a test, no os-cons/sepc as they are too difficult to source and cost the earth) I'll replace that big 4700uF cap with a 6800 as i have a spare coming. The changes certainly seem to have made a difference as the LF that i felt was lacking before is now there in bucket fulls.
Click the image to open in full size.
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Click the image to open in full size.

This is how far i got with the marantz before i ran out of parts. (there are some on the separate board and the bottom of the CDM2) I'm still waiting for the rest of the capacitors to show up.
Click the image to open in full size.

Did some measuring aswell, the marantz outputs 2.08V vs the philips 1.79V. (0dB test tone) The opamps in the philips are getting -10.4V / +9.9V and in the marantz, they get exactly +/-14.4V. Would one of the other opamps i have be superior to the LM833's in either of the players?

Last edited by Kei; 5th June 2012 at 08:27 PM.
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Old 5th June 2012, 08:55 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Kei View Post
(I used 470uF in place of the 33uF as per the Fikustransport documentation as a test, no os-cons/sepc as they are too difficult to source and cost the earth)
How does cleaning up the S/PDIF signal create a better sound? His scope traces of before and after were quite impressive, but I don't understand the theory behind it.

Also, why use a large transformer? If you only need 50VA, why use 150VA?
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Old 5th June 2012, 09:24 PM   #4
Kei is offline Kei  Wales
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Not entirely sure either, but I don't need to improve the S/PDIF output as I don't use it. (I don't own a separate DAC)
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Old 6th June 2012, 08:08 PM   #5
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There's not that much to be gained by swapping out the LM833s IMO... in Philips/Marantz players they're usually run in inverting mode and without significant output loading and not subjected to too much in terms of high-frequency components, which eliminates their largest distortion sources.

In the Philips, I'd expect the following:
AD825: No workee - it's a single OP.
OPA2604: Not a good performer WRT distortion at low voltages.
OPA2134: Should work fine.
NJM2114: No idea
LM4562: Should work fine and give low distortion, but be a hair noisier due to high current noise.

As for the differences between the units, the CD-56 is a late-'80s TDA1541 / SAA7220P/A affair, while the CD930 uses a SAA7350 / SM5840 combo, so older generation multibit vs. early sigma-delta. SAA7350s were some of the better early 1-bit converters due to built-in switched-capacitor filters, but how they stack up today, no idea.
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Old 6th June 2012, 10:12 PM   #6
Kei is offline Kei  Wales
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Just realised i've got the dual AD826 not the single 825. Had the feeling that there would be little to gain swapping the opamps in the philips as the SAA7350 has built in opamps from what i've read. Wasn't so sure on the marantz. By choice on which unit i prefer, i'd mod the philips as its able to read more and has a lot more features, however, i don't know how far i could take the unit sound wise compared with the marantz.

As it stands, they sound remarkably similar, especially since i've replaced the majority of electrolytic capacitors in both units.
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Old 7th June 2012, 10:40 PM   #7
Kei is offline Kei  Wales
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Done most of the work on the marantz now aswell. Still waiting for the other half of my order from RS which will be here tomorrow.
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Old 8th June 2012, 01:43 AM   #8
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Do you have a manual for the Marantz? It looks like a CD160 or CD650 board. Is the decoder chip an SAA7010? If not it may be worth changing to one, or at least getting one for spare whilst they are still cheap. I'm going to stick a heatsink on mine. Nice to have all those sockets...are they original?

I changed the small-value, high voltage axial electrolytics for MKT film of the same value. Cheap, easy and more reliable, and they seem to work well.

Why the odd voltages to the opamps? What voltage regulators does it use? Are those voltages with respect to the ground pins on the opamps?

Higher-end Philips and Marantz such as CD650, together with contemporary Mission, Arcam and the gorgeous twin staggered TDA1541-equipped Sony CDP337ESD (drool), used 5532 opamps. That would be an authentic choice.

The advantage of upgrading the Marantz is that it can be uprgraded to best of breed. The Philips can be made more clean and accurate than the Marantz, but it will probably never be the best multibit player.
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Old 8th June 2012, 01:57 AM   #9
limono is offline limono  United States
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I just upgraded Arcam Alpha 5 with all capacitors changed , schottky diodes , opamps , Nx black gates on the output but no NONOS mod . Somewhat disappointing really. Rather flat and bright and not really that PRATTY sounding. Early 2000 Mcintosh DVD player with pedestrian NE5532 output stage runs over it like a tank on red book . I often read this DIY daydreaming reasoning " so I put $500 into this machine/dac/ whatever so it makes it equal to $5000 commercial offering , yeah sure like a sunny day if you never heard $5000 dollar gear in your home.
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Old 8th June 2012, 03:14 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by limono View Post
I just upgraded Arcam Alpha 5 with all capacitors changed , schottky diodes , opamps , Nx black gates on the output but no NONOS mod . Somewhat disappointing really. Rather flat and bright and not really that PRATTY sounding. Early 2000 Mcintosh DVD player with pedestrian NE5532 output stage runs over it like a tank on red book . I often read this DIY daydreaming reasoning " so I put $500 into this machine/dac/ whatever so it makes it equal to $5000 commercial offering , yeah sure like a sunny day if you never heard $5000 dollar gear in your home.
That's why I aim for authenticity and reliability. Total hi-fi, 1980s style I'm surprised at "bright"...maybe you shifted a pole with the recap and opamp swap? For me, the best TDA1541 machines, including the Alpha (don't know about the 5), aren't objectionable. Rather like with good valve amps, I can happily enjoy the sound as a legitimate presentation.
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