Tent Labs XO3 Clock Impessions

I bit the bullet and ordered a Tent Labs XO3.
I have a Pioneer PD77 which is similar to PD95 which I've compared to a lot of transports and it's held it's head up very well against transports costing 10x more, as I'm using it as a transport only with a Musical Fidelity A3.24 (modded) dac (see previous posts on mods) I've always been interested in trying Guido's clock as it seems to be the best ready made one out there.

The Tent XO3 has a new SPIDF output as well, thou I thought that the one in the Pioneer was going to be hard to beat as it uses a transormer coupled output with a Motorola MC74HCU04 as a buffer very similar to Guido's new SPDIF output on the XO3 , but I instaled it anyway and retianed the original as well, so what, it's another rca on the back.

I was not prepared for what I heard when I first powered the system up, the difference was quite astounding, the transparency that I heard of music that I know well and thought that I've already heard at it's best was breathtaking, the impact of transients was as if the system had no limit to it's headroom, and the decay of instruments, seemed to fade into a black abyss, this clock has blown me away.
I've heard other clocks before, not on my system, the best one before yesterday was the LC XO3, it was very good but does'nt seem to have the impact that the Tent Labs has.


The oringinal SPIDF sounded better with the XO3 clock, but the new SPIDF was better.
If you get one of these XO3's do'nt bother adding a new SPIDF output rca, convert the old one over to the new SPIDF XO3 output that way the back of your machine will still look original.

Anyone who is contemplating doing a Pioneer PD77 or a PD95 be prepared, they are a real pain to put a clock into because of a packed inards and layered boards and no space to mount the XO3

Thank you Guido for showing me the light.
It's the old Lin Sondek addage get the front end right first.

Cheers George
 
One question George:

Does the Tent X03 has a built-in coaxial output?

I have checked Tent's website and it wasn't really specific about this.

Yes, the PD77 is a really a pain in the *** to mod. The digital and servo section is a big piece of PCB with lots of chips and caps on in.

Thanks

Btw, can you post up some pictures of this mod? Thanks
 
Yes it does Ruach, and a very good one at that, just mount an rca or bnc on the back and wire it in, and you'll become a beliver like me.
Can'nt belive Pioneer did'nt put a coax digital out on that machine, it's near the top in the model line up, all the better now if you insert a Tent XO3 as you will have even better than they could give.

Cheers George
 
Ho!!!, and Ruach if your pd-s904 uses the same CXD1167Q decoder chip, Guido's site has pin 5 as the tap off for the signal for the SPIDF out when it is acually pin 27, don't get caught out by this, and also on his instructions, he mentions it's a white wire that you use when it's yellow. I mentioned it to him yesterday but he has'nt got around to fixing it yet.
As for photos I wish you would have asked yesterday as even the lid removal is a pain 15 bloody screws just to get the lid off. I'll do it next time I'm saying to myself, (I'm bored what can I do today).

Cheers George
 
Thanks George for your comments.

I have been looking for a commercial solution to a coaxial digital output for sometime. I will definately try the Tent XO3.

The Pioneer PD-S904 is the top of the consumer range for Pioneer's stable platter cdp from 1995-1997. I had a look at the service manual for the 904 and it appears that Pioneer took out the coaxial digital output for the Asian 904.

This make of the stable platter is also used in Wadia 301, though it is a world of difference when compared to the stable platter mechanism of your PD77.

The 904 uses a Sony CXD-2500BQ servo chip and I think I should be able to tap the SPDIF output from Pin 24.

Btw, it is better to tap the SPDIF output from the servo chip or the decoder chip?
 
Decoder, that's where it all starts from. Double check that pin 24 is right, as the CXD1167Q was wrong on Guido's site, try to get a Data Sheet on the CXD-2500BQ just to be sure. I think the pinouts on Guido's site are given to him by outside sources, and some could be suspect. Better safe than sorry.

Cheers George
 
georgehifi said:
Without seeing the circuit I'm almost sure it's the CXD-2500Q.
Guido could answer more positively, it's around this time he lurkes around here. Just wait a little and he'll throw his two bobs worth in.

Cheers George


Hi George,

Yes, lurking around

Pin 60 indeed is the digital output of the CXD2500 chip. That can be fed straight into the XO3 SPDIF input.

The XO3 SPDIF output is equiped with wiring, as to support various players and required output connectors (I prefer BNC)

Happy to hear you like the new sound

all the best
 
Tent x03...

Hi,

I am looking into adding an external clock to my denon dvd 2900 and I was wondering if this mod would also make the video perform better?


Has anyone done a clock in the dvd 2900? Is it worth the effort? (Some have expressed doubts due to surrounding clock circutry)


Where is a good place online to buy an Tent x03 from?
Is tent based in europe? (Should I have my brother buy while he is in England:)


God bless...

Mark
 
Re: tent

Htguy said:
Hi,

I did check tent.com, but it does not give any dvd 2900 specific info or people who have tried it with the 2900.


Thanks

God bless...


Mark

Hi

Various 2900 customers report goopd results

In general I do not supply specific info, too much work to sort everything out.

The 2900 loader needs to be removed (6 screws). The the clock IC is at the back, next to the 27.000 MHz crystal. Look for the IC datasheet and follow the generic instructions on my site.

Additioally you can find the distributor list.

best regards
 
Oops, one thing I forgot to ask...

Hi,

I have a dvd 2900 that I have added an SDI output to and I was wondering if I could send the 27.000 clock signal directly to it and then send a second connection the the main board clock? (Ok so I am sure some of you who know a lot about this stuff are probably laughing your back side off, but I had to ask)


God bless...

Mark
 
Re: diy fun...

Htguy said:
HI,

Yep, nothing like puttig $150 into a $35 player, that's what this is all about! (I think its the satisfaction of taking a $35 player and making it sound better than a player that costs $600;)

God bless...

Mark


The $600 player has been in the recycling bin for a while now. We're aiming at outperforming the $2000+ crowd here.
 
pburke said:
Guido,

what's the word on putting the XO3 into the infamous Toshiba SD-3950? Has anyone done that already that you know of? I know the clock is 27mHz in there, but the SPDIF output pin? There's like 150 pins on the main chip.

Peter (hoping to be able to spend another $150 on this $35 player :))


Hi Peter

I heard good things on the 3950. Puttig a new clock in will improve the player up to the level limitted by its' own potential. SPDIF could be traced back from its' original output back to the source.

Moneywise it is worth the effort as long as you find the improvement in line with the investment, to me the initial (buying) price doesn't count then.....

cheers
 
Guido Tent said:



Hi Peter

I heard good things on the 3950. Puttig a new clock in will improve the player up to the level limitted by its' own potential. SPDIF could be traced back from its' original output back to the source.

Moneywise it is worth the effort as long as you find the improvement in line with the investment, to me the initial (buying) price doesn't count then.....

cheers

I'll see if I can trace the SPDIF to the chip - got a spare 3950 on my parts shelf for those projects.

as for the money, I know what the XO did in my DAC, especially with the cleaner power, so it will most likely be a very significant gain over the el-cheapo clock that's in the Toshiba now.

Peter