Need advice - Marantz CD-52SE

Hi All,

I used to be a high end freak up till about 6-7 years ago.
I owned a DPA transport + DPA 2 piece DAC with modded Quad tube amplifiers, Promethean passive pre-amp, ROYD speakers, Ensamble cables etc. etc. - you get the idea :)
It took me a few years to get the whole set to sound just the way i loved it.
Burglers stole the whole system 2 days after my insurance has expired (my agent "forgot" to inform me) and I decided to let go of this expensive hobby for a while.

Recently, The "High End bug" is spreading in my blood again and this time around i've decided to go the "DIY way".

Anyway, to make a long story short:

I have an 8 years old Marantz CD 52 Special Edition in very good condition.
I was wondering if it's a good enough unit to base my modifications on or should i leave it alone and buy a new CD/DAC to work on.
I was thinking of the tent XO2 or even XO3 with an external DAC.

Any thoughts/past expereince will be appreciated.

Any recommendations for a reasonably priced high end DAC kit?
Any other ideas on (if and) how to get the most out of it?

Thanks again and have a wonderful week!



2002-04-08 6:41 pm
Worthwhile tweaking

I tweaked this machine quite heavily some years ago and its performance was virtually the same as that of a Meridian cd player eventually.

Try the following links:

The last link has some of my posts. Probably the best tweak (after increasing the size of the 100uF cap after the 7805 regulator-huge bass improvement from warm and mushy to tight and detailed) was to give the analogue stage its own transformer and this is done very simply by ID'ing the transformer secondary pads on the PCB that feed the +-15V lines. Cut the link between the pads and the rectifying diodes that follow and insert a new transformer (I used 50VA, but nothing wrong with 300VA!) to feed the diodes. Huge improvements here.

Good luck
The usual tricks, caps, diodes and as Dr H says, a separate PSU for the op amps. This could also be done by removing the psu safety resistors next to the op amps and feeding a DC supply direct to the op amp pins....

If you use the unit as a complete player cap of the dig out with a 75 ohm resistor.
Also listen to mains polarity as there is a huge difference when it is right..... The figure 8 mains connector fits 2 ways so swapping is easy...

Many flavours of op amps you could try....
Thank you all for the valuable info.

I will keep my marantz.

I think i will go for the XO3 and use either RAKK DAC or Audio Note DAC kits. I would rather build the DAC than get a ready made unit this time.
The Audio note kit is ~730$
the RAKK is ~610$ for the DAC + Passive output stage + PS

Any thoughts on the subject?

Thanks again all,