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Which CD player to mod?
Which CD player to mod?
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Old 8th December 2003, 11:15 PM   #1
bluetomgold is offline bluetomgold  United Kingdom
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Default Which CD player to mod?


I'm new to all this but fancy getting my fingers dirty modifying a CD player. I have a very basic understanding of electronics and audio circuitry, but can solder pretty well...

I currently use an old philips CD100, which I'd love to experiment with at a later date, but with my lack of experience I'd be too worried about damaging it.

Candidates for modding are currently:

Arcam Alpha 5
Arcam Alpha One
Marantz CD50
Technics SL-PS900 (quite nice, separate power supply for audio)
Mission DAD5/DAC5
Technics SL-PG100A (a challenge?)

I'd love to hear if anyone has any positive experience of modding any of these players.
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Old 10th December 2003, 02:38 PM   #2
SimontY is offline SimontY  United Kingdom
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Hi bluetomgold!

As no-one cleverer than me has said owt yet, I'll start things off for you!

I'm afraid I have no experience of the players you mention, but I have modified two players, the 2nd being a Marantz CD63KI. This is a very good player to mod, as the service manual is available from somewhere here(?) and there are lots of crap parts inside! It can be had for about 100 apparently, though I paid 180 for mine, seems a few people wanted them then - about 1yr ago - www.ebay.co.uk. Also good would be the successors: 67IISE, KI etc. The CD67SE sounds smooth in stock form, so that might be a safe bet. I hated the sound of the stock CD63ki because it was so harsh. It really needs a lot of work to make it sound anything like real music (one-note bass and harsh, brash top end - like an over-priced piece of boom-box)

But the modding is so much fun! A good place to start would be with the opamps - all the players you mention probably have crap ones - so replace with something nice like OPA2604 - which I used. Going to that from an NEXXX (cant remember) was a good upgrade, and for only a few quid. Use a small film cap across the PSU pins to ground too.

Shield ICs, add damping (bitumen, blue-tac, sorbothane etc) to the chassis, change the feet to Russ Andres Oak Cones (don't use anything soft IME, use hard cones). Change the power lead to something braided - someone suggests silicone insulation to be beneficial in reducing nasty SQ. Add an X-rated cap to the mains where it comes in the player, and maybe an inductor in series with live, and with neutral - this seems to help a little. One of the biggest things you can do to make it more musical is to change the diodes (dont know which are most important) to Schottky types - this makes the top end MUCH sweeter (well, it did on mine). You can play around beefing up the analogue psu caps - that might be fun too. You can remove the DC-blocking caps from the output if you don't have much DC there. If you can do it this will possibly be the biggest upgrade, even bigger than reclocking or changing op-amps. Change resistors to metal film 1% tolerance. That might help, it will cerainly change the sound!

Anyway, nuff said, I need to work now!

Please come back and tell us what you decide to try/buy etc...

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Old 5th September 2005, 09:59 PM   #3
seawolf is offline seawolf  Israel
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Default Mission dad5 dac5

Hi, I'm interested in buying that unit......
Would you like to sell it?

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