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Old 26th October 2013, 02:31 PM   #1
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Default Marantz SA-8260 Modifications Page

This is a page(s) dedicated to the modifications I have done to the Marantz SA-8260. The Marantz SA-8260 is a first generation sacd player introduced by Marantz in 2001 and discontinued in 2005. I purchased my first 8260 in October 2003. I began modifying this player a couple years later, which has been an ongoing process up to the present. This player can be made into a two channel player that can rival the best players out there. While the player comes as a multichannel player, there are now much better options for multichannel playback than the 8260. Everything contained herein, is for two channel playback.

First up, some useful links:

1. Ken Tripp’s excellent webpage Ken's - Audio and Home Theatre Pages scroll down the left side to construction, then click on SA 8260 mods. Ken’s page is a good introduction to the player and was exceedingly helpful when I was starting out. It is still a good information source on how to install an aftermarket clock.

2. Ray Vandersteen’s excellent website, Ray’s Audio Pages, Ray's Audio Page is a reference site. See the SA-8400 page, as much here applies to the SA-8260 too.

I began modifying my 8260 in the usual fashion, by swapping out various parts, much as mentioned on Ken Tripp’s page. IMO, this is a waste of time, other than for getting practice at desoldering and soldering parts on the Marantz boards.
The modifications I have finished with, and described down the page are the only ones I consider worth doing. Nothing is overly complicated or overly expensive and requires no specialized knowledge or techniques beyond basic soldering skills.

While this page is a few years late in coming, nonetheless there are still a lot of these players out there. The player's performance can be improved a great deal by spending a lot of time and some money on them to get performance on par with the top players in both rbcd and sacd playback.

The modifications will be listed in separate posts following this one.
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Old 26th October 2013, 02:39 PM   #2
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Default Player Assessment

The very first thing that needs to be done with this player is to have a properly operating player that reads and plays discs without fail. The SA-8260has a design flaw that makes the above statement not necessarily a given. This became a big issue 2 or 3 years after player introduction and became known at the TOC Read Error problem. Marantz eventually came up with a solution requiring sending the player to a Marantz Service Center and a $200 charge. But the correction can be done in diy fashion quite simply, with just the installation of a 1k resistor on the servo board. All players need to be assessed to see if they have this resistor on the servo board, even if the player seems to be operating okay. Assessment requires removal of the transport assembly and board, and inspection of the servo board under the transport. The 1k resistor must be installed from the 5th pin of the ribbon connector receptacle from the laser, across to the ground pad of C102. This is shown in the photo below. This resistor MUST be installed. Check to be sure it is there before proceeding any further.
I regularly get email requests about read problems with this player. In response I have a file with complete instructions and pics on how to correct the read error problem.
See pics at the bottom of the post.

The next thing that needs to be addressed is the laser unit itself. The TOC read error problem tended to shorten the life of the original laser unit. Many of these lasers need to be replaced even after the installation of the resistor.
The 8260 used the Sony KHM-230AAA laser. This laser was used in a number of first generation sacd players from Sony, a couple of Marantz players, and an Accuphase player.
Replacement of the laser is simple and straightforward. There are some web threads on doing this. Look

I have found that there are 2 reliable sources for replacement lasers.
1. Supermanmeliu, an ebay seller in Taiwan. Current price $119.
2. Sony parts in Laredo Texas. Sony parts only ships to US addresses. The Sony part no is 882013209.

I have purchased replacement lasers from all 3 places and received good working units. I can only recommend the above 2 for purchasing replacement lasers. Searches on google for KHM-230AAA turn up other listings and I have tried some of them. I always get the same result, a non working unit. The vendor may send a replacement, which also does not work. And then the vendor refunds some of your money. I think it's best to go with Supermanmeliu or Sony Parts.

Once the player is in proper operating order, the player should last a long time without issue. This is a well made and well built player.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg TOC Mod 4.jpg (565.3 KB, 484 views)
File Type: jpg Transpo_Servo Board 8260.jpg (653.6 KB, 461 views)

Last edited by stvnharr; 26th October 2013 at 02:54 PM.
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Old 26th October 2013, 03:01 PM   #3
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My modifications have consisted of the 5 items listed below. I consider their importance in the order given:

1. The DOS, discrete output stage. This replaces all the circuitry in the player from the CS4397 dac chip output to player output rca. Complete information, and a pcb, can be obtained here: Ray's Audio Page
Ray developed the DOS output stage, and I added some information. One change, not yet on Ray’s page is the use of the new Mundorf EVO capacitors for the output coupling cap. I have recently added this to my own DOS, with superior results in every way.

2. Analogue power supply modifications. This must be done as part of DOS installation as the DOS requires +-15v input. The simplest modification is to just change R853/855 to 4k7. This will give 15v on the positive and negative power rails to the DOS. You may also wish to swap caps in the analogue psu, per Ray’s recommendations.

I have gone much farther here. I have made my own pcb so as to use Jensen 4 pole supply caps. I also made an unregulated supply with only smoothing cap and shorting resistor. The DOS has regulators on each rail. Using a separate psu as I have done requires a separate toroid transformer. I followed Ray’s recommendation for this. This separate toroid for the analogue psu can be used with the psu on the main board, installation is pretty straightforward.

3. The installation of an aftermarket read clock. This used to be thought of as the beginning of modifications. But my experiences have shown me that it is more the icing on the cake. The Dos is primary. A clock is a nice addition. Ken Tripp’s website gives good help for those who need it.

4. Part swapping. I have swapped out most of the stock parts on the main board and many on the servo board. Part swapping is where most people begin modifications, as I did. But my experience is that nothing much really changes from doing this. However, after doing 1, 2 and 3 above, you will likely want to go further. Refer to Ray’s 8400 page if you want to swap parts.

5. Servo board modifications. This is my most recent project on the player. After reading this thread, GUIDANCE NEEDED to mod - MARANTZ SA 7001, and discussing this with Ray, I proceeded to swap out a large number of the smd caps and regulators on the servo board for higher spec capacitors and regulators. This is an extra and advanced modification. Be certain of your ability to desolder and solder smd caps before proceeding with this.

Last edited by stvnharr; 26th October 2013 at 03:11 PM.
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Old 26th October 2013, 03:07 PM   #4
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Here are some part specific things I have done in the above modifications.

1. My DOS
My DOS differs from Ray’s design in that I run it at just over 4mA, while Ray’s design runs at 2mA. Either way will work fine. Here is how I made mine into a 4mA version:
R5 & R6 2k2 resistor
R9 & R10 150R resistor
R11 220R resistor

Everything else is the same part values as Ray’s.
Low Pass filter parts: Texas Components or Vishay resistors, REL polystyrene or AMCH polypro caps
Wima film caps elsewhere. BG rail caps, DEXA regulators, Mundorf EVO output caps

Below are some pics of my modifications

2. My analogue psu:
Jensen 4 pole 6800uf supply caps
Vishay 1839 smoothing cap.
Cree 3020 diodes.

3. Aftermarket clocks
I have used Terra Firma Lite, Superclock 3, and original Tent clock. TF comes with integrated psu. SC3 and Tent require separate psu’s. I constructed psu’s with psu boards from Fidelity Audio, sadly nla. A separate, or integrated, psu is essential for any benefit from clock installation. I learned this the hard way, powering clocks from the player and hearing no difference. The benefit of a separate low noise psu cannot be understated.

4. Parts swapping
I pretty much followed Ray’s recommendations, using BG’s, Rubycons, and Panasonic caps.

5. Servo board modifications
C336 337 342 345 260 347 from 100uf/6.3v to Nichicon FP 120uf/10v caps
C339 340 135 156 185 197 278 348 234 251 235 295 from 22uf/6.3v to Nichicon FP 47uf/6.3v caps
C212 213 from 47uf/16v to Nichicon FP 100uf/16v caps
C146 from 47uf/6.3v to United Chemicon NP 56uf/10v cap
Q151 152 to LT1963 3.3v
Q153 to LT1963 2.5v
Attached Images
File Type: jpg DOS_1.JPG (217.1 KB, 411 views)
File Type: jpg Player_2.JPG (213.6 KB, 401 views)
File Type: jpg SC3.JPG (217.5 KB, 395 views)
File Type: jpg Servo_1.JPG (209.1 KB, 135 views)
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Old 27th October 2013, 05:54 PM   #5
6h5c is offline 6h5c  Netherlands
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Hi Steve,

Nice work on this thread! A very complete listing of what can be done with this player and a good starting point for everyone who owns one. Thanks for mentioning my website!


Gonna buy my little girl a pink soldering-iron
The new DOS-CFP board is out!
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Old 9th December 2015, 12:17 PM   #6
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Sir, can you send me a copy of the mod for the TOC read error? I have a SA8260 that has been sitting on the shelf for the TOC issue...I hate to part with it
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Old 10th December 2015, 07:28 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by tjkoch1999 View Post
Sir, can you send me a copy of the mod for the TOC read error? I have a SA8260 that has been sitting on the shelf for the TOC issue...I hate to part with it
You have a PM here with some information.
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Old 16th December 2015, 09:46 PM   #8
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Hi, Sir. Would you mind send me a copy about TOC issue ? my sa8260 has same issue "NO Disk " Thanks
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Old 17th December 2015, 03:29 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by xcow View Post
Hi, Sir. Would you mind send me a copy about TOC issue ? my sa8260 has same issue "NO Disk " Thanks
You have a PM here with some information.
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Old 9th February 2016, 10:24 PM   #10
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Default SA-8260 NO DISK error

I just picked up a really nice looking and sounding Marantz SA-8260 but it will only play a few of my CDs. How difficult and expensive will this be to fix? How much would a comparable new CD cost?
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