Toshiba 3950 w/ John Swenson Mod vs. 1543 Non-Oversampled Dac - diyAudio
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Old 22nd November 2004, 02:11 PM   #1
Tuber is offline Tuber  United States
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Default Toshiba 3950 w/ John Swenson Mod vs. 1543 Non-Oversampled Dac

I have a Toshiba 3950 with which I am taking the output directly off the DAC chip (bypassing the onboard output circuitry). I was thinking about making a non-oversampled DAC using a TDA1543 or 1545 chip but was wondering if this would be an improvement over the Toshiba's DAC? I don't want to spend the money on making a DAC if I'm not going to get an improvement. Any thoughts on this would be appreciated. Thanks

Joe


P.S. Additionally I have dampened the chassis with floor tile and the transport/clock with rope caulk. Are there any other suggested mechanical mods?
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Old 22nd November 2004, 02:54 PM   #2
00940 is offline 00940  Belgium
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Some interesting reading about the digital output of the toshiba :

http://www6.head-fi.org/forums/showt...8&page=1&pp=15
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Old 22nd November 2004, 07:05 PM   #3
Tuber is offline Tuber  United States
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00940,

That link was interesting but seems to contradict what everyone over at AA are saying and the review Stereophile gave to the 3950. The writer of that post seems to have done his homework but it is "over my head" so I can't validate or invalidate it. Could someone else give their interpretation?

Maybe upgrading the filter caps supplying the DAC and receiver chip may reduce the errors found with the Toshiba. The Panasonic is more expensive so maybe this could be one of the determining factors.

I've been using the 3950 as my dvd in my HT setup and have no complaints on picture quality or sound so I would say it is a piece of junk and I've been enjoying it listening to music so I'm not getting rid of it anytime soon.
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Old 22nd November 2004, 09:46 PM   #4
pburke is offline pburke  Germany
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I've been using a modded 3950 as transport for a few months now, feeding an external DDDAC1543 via SPDIF. The combo is quite up there with $3000+ gear that gets all sorts of awards in the "real world" press. The built-in DAC on the other hand sounds pretty awful to me. It's not quite perfrect, but for what it cost me to mod it is an amazing little box. I had it hooked up to a system where the power cords alone cost more than my entire setup at home, and it did quite well in that setting.

Re the 3960 - there are different verisons of that player, one of which uses some really low grade chips (was it "Zoran?" - do some searches, as some folks on other forums have posted photos of the different board versions)

I'd stay away from the 3960 - it seems to be the low-buck version of the 3950, and the remote is total crap on it.

Peter
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Old 23rd November 2004, 04:27 PM   #5
Tuber is offline Tuber  United States
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Thanks Peter, but did you bypass the output section on your player? If so, what type of capacitors did you use coming off the DAC?

Oops, in my earlier post I meant to say I WOULDN'T call it a piece of junk.

Joe
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Old 27th November 2004, 11:22 PM   #6
pburke is offline pburke  Germany
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I didn't bypass the output stage (analog I guess is what you're talking about) - however, I did replace every single cap on the boards and bypassed almost all of them with Wimas. I replaced the stock RCA out with a BNC and wired it properly with coax inside the player. It looks great as a DVD player where I don't care much about the analog out (cheap speakers there) and it is now an excellent transport, much better than my own highly modded Cambridge Audio D500 or a friend's Rega.

The only thing I have yet to do on the transport is to replace the rectifier diodes with 4amp schottkys (the 1amp variety blows up...)

My unit is damped to the max (about 180 yards of rope caulk and a full sheet of isodamp on the more sensitive transport surface), is sitting on a polished 7075 aluminum plate bonded to the player base that floats on classic "hip joints" roller bearing following Barry Diament's design. All that is on an air suspension.

So it's a nicely modded unit, about $200 invested so far, and it simply blows away transports costing 5-times as much. Still, it has no dice against a USB-SPDIF (M-Audio Audiophile on laptop) transport, which is why I stopped working on the Toshiba tweaks short of my initial plan to fully replace the chassis and power parts of it with batteries. the comparison was quite sobering - there's no point to tweak transports when a computer can sound that much better. It wasn't even funny... (and remember - that Toshiba sounds just about as good as a the platinum level of this player

http://www.modwright.com/products/in...?product_id=10

in a direct head-to head compare with the same DAC.

The computer kills them both

Peter
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Old 28th November 2004, 01:42 PM   #7
Previously: Kuei Yang Wang
 
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Konnichiwa,

Quote:
Originally posted by Tuber
That link was interesting but seems to contradict what everyone over at AA are saying and the review Stereophile gave to the 3950. The writer of that post seems to have done his homework but it is "over my head" so I can't validate or invalidate it. Could someone else give their interpretation?
The "interpretation" is that the Toshiba applies Sample Rate conversion somwehre and thus the Data available on the Digital output of the Toshiba (and likely also that fed to the DAC0 is altered from what is on the CD.

If it sounds the same, different, better or worse as a result depends highly on personal perception I suspect.

Quote:
Originally posted by Tuber
Maybe upgrading the filter caps supplying the DAC and receiver chip may reduce the errors found with the Toshiba.
That is highly unlikely.

Quote:
Originally posted by Tuber
The Panasonic is more expensive so maybe this could be one of the determining factors.
That is highly unlikely again, except that Pana obviously used a chipset allowing a bit accurate digital output.

Sayonara
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