? What?? This thread seems to have simply died... so I am a bit late in the game, I guess... I'm sniffing around for threads on the Modwright 999, as I just bought one recently from an audiogon member. Unfortunately he witheld a "minor" detail.... It refuses to read the sacd layer of dual layer sacd's.
His excuse is (get this... you're gonna love it) "I don't own any sacd's, so I wasn't aware of it". Not likely. Anyways, I haven't had a chance to hear sacd playback through the unit, but on redbook, it truly does shine.... However, my vinyl front end still sounds better to me, and to be honest, in my revealing system (highly sensitive horn speakers) the difference between single sided 45rpm vinyl, and 33 rpm vinyl is not 'distinctly spectacular' by any means. In fact, I have old 33rpm pressings with better sonics and fidelity than highly rated "holy grail" re-issues, and I have some 33rpms that just plain stink.
So it is hard for me to take your comparison seriously. If the 'big hit' was the 45rpm vinyl, the 33's must have been pretty cruddy!
I almost wish I had never bought a turntable...... I was perfectly happy with my system, a nice chinese integrated tube amp, a pair of paradigm stand mount speakers, a mid-level NAD cd player... it sounded great!
Then I got a pioneer sacd-dvd-a player, and better speakers... now we're cooking!!
Then I heard about these cheap, but tweakable and amazing Lenco record players...... the rest is history.
As soon as I played the first album on that da*n thing, (Dire Straits) it was OVER! Then , of course I had to upgrade, tonearm, cartridge, phonostage....
the $2 records from Salvation Army were DESTROYING my $25 SACD's!!!
the amount of retreivable information within those grooves was limitless!! I needed to upgrade my whole system to keep up with this 'new' medium!
The amp was replaced, then replaced again... the phonostage upgraded... the cartridge upgraded, I needed to try moving coils, and step-up transformers, the voices told me! Silver interconnects, tube phono preamps, ruby cantilevers... I needed to tweak that tonearm, rewire it, change the weights on it...... the plinth: slate, more tubes!! Hornspeakers!!! Single Ended Triodes!!! Silver capacitors!!! and so on, and so on..... until I found myself huddled, situated in the sweet-spot between the six-foot tall, horn loaded behemoths in my living room, lights out, household appliances unplugged... holding my breath and listening to sitar music...... I don't even LIKE sitar music!!!!!
But the voices, they told me that it's the best recording ever put to vinyl!!! pressed on ultra pure, rare, special vinyl, recorded with special mics in a special hall, by special musicians.. the BEST!!!!
I had become a member of the very cult I once mocked! The upper echelon of inner-circle of audiophile elitists... the vinyl , tubes, and horns, crowd!!!
I had abandoned the cd player , it was ignored and abandoned during my all consuming quest for the perfect sound!
I tried to go back, but I had gone too far, my 'vinyl front-end' (it was no longer a mere turntable, it was now a system unto itself) was now such a high resolution source, I had put so much time and $$$ into finding a perfect balance and synergy between the cartridge, phono preamp, interconnects, amp, tubes,and speaker cables that I had gone through countless components and configurations, having found, and then lost, the 'perfect balance' so many times... to put a cd player back into the mix was an exercise in futility.
Listening to CD's was depressing. They sucked. There was nothing there, no 'life' no 'snap' everything seemed like elevator music the sound was sterile, and un-engaging. I looked at the little silver box, and I hated it. I wanted it out of my house. It didn't fit, it didn't belong. I realized after a moment, that my tonearm, hell, my cartridge cost more than my cd player did!
So I began the quest: I wanted "analog" digital. Everybody was using it as a descriptor, and , dammit, I wanted some!!!
I knew I could never afford Wadia, or Esoteric, or DCS etc...
I found an SACDMODS player on EBAY, for $350, promptly lied to my wife, and bought it.
With apprehension, and yes, even a bit of excitement, I set it up, dusted off one of my SACD's and played it. It wasn't bad. I played a record. I played a cd.
Over the next several months, as that modded cd player sat gathering dust, I began noticing a trend toward Non-Oversampling DACS. People were talking about them. A lot. I began formulating a hazy plan, My wife went to Europe to visit family, and my plan came to fruition! I bought a chinese, solid state NOS DAC. Now we're talking! More snap! more Texture!!! more life to the music! Geez! I went 3 days without listening to a single record!! But after a particularly gruelling 18hr day at work, I came home, put my feet up, and put a Mikes Davis album on that turntable! You know the rest, I finally ended up with an Audio Note nos TUBE dac, and a modded , dedicated transport.
I was happy with it, but still found the gap between my redbook and (non-45rpm haha) vinyl to be so wide that I kind of admitted defeat: I would possibly never have the means to enjoy , truly, deeply enjoy, digitally reproduced music in my own home. Sometimes, make that a lot of times, I don't want to clean a damn record, clean a stylus, fiddle with an antiskate setting........ sometimes I want to just press a damn button, and be taken away, taken into an orchestra hall, or a jazz club... I want to feel the space appear in my living room, I want to hear the musicians shifting around, moving the horn to their mouth, turning a page, taking a breath.. right in front of me!
I'm getting that with vinyl. I want that with digital.
This Modwright has been the only thing that has gotten me close, I left my turntable alone for the first WEEK that I had it!
I went out to the record store and bought CD'S!!!! Things were looking real, real good! I was fiddling around with interconnects and powercords...., I had moments, I was given glimpses of the promise that awaited.. I knew that with a bit of minor tweaking, I finally had a digital front-end that could perform on the same level, and even at a higher level than my vinyl-front end!!!
Then the laser died.
I'm awaiting delivery of a new laser and transport from a donor machine, and in the meantime I've upgraded my phono preamp, and I'm still not seeing a huge difference between my well-recorded 33 rpm records and my 45's!!
But I do know one thing... none of it is going to matter much once I get my modwright up and running again!!!