Cullen ZP-80 Mod and D-Link 3 mod

Hi all:

I bought the PS Audio D link 3 level 4 mod from Rick Cullen. I though it was great but as mentioned below needs a lot of time to break in. All in all, a great DAC for the money. Very analog sounding. I then added the ZP80 to my Sonos system. Oh my. What a difference over the stock unit. It makes the Sonos sound like a great transport. Perhaps it is the combination of the two units that work so well. I am using the Sonos volume control (until my Supertek Chardonnay Pre amp is built) and even that sounds ok (particularly at loud volumes). I think the whole system needs to break in a little more and I need to experiment with a few different cable choices but I could not be happier with Rick's work.
Thanks for the write up on the zp80 mod. I just added the benchmark dac1 to my system in hope of improving the zp80 experience.
Are you able to A/B with a non-modded ZP80? Just curious how much of the improvement comes from the great dac that you added and how much comes from the zp80 mod.
A concern I had when deciding on a DAC to add to my Sonos system was if it had a volume control (like the Benchmark). You want the Sonos to be near the max volume setting to send the most accurate digital bits to your DAC. Thus, the DACs volume control regulates how I can best attain near max volume for the loudness I generally listen to music. This allows you to use the convenience of the Sonos controller. Loss in sound quality happens at the lower/lowest listening levels of the volume bar from Sonos. If the DAC can't 'regulate' the volume you might be listening to levels predominantly at the low end of the Sonos controller and thus are sending digital bits to your DAC that aren't as 'bit perfect'. So beware of what DAC you use and how you use it.
I really agree with Frederick21's response. The digital volume control on the Sonos (or any nearly any digital volume control) loses resolution at low volume levels. You might not listen for these details as much during low volume levels but this is where most of us spend the most time enjoying music. For my main system, I am going with a preamp (The Supratek Chardonay) to maintain the music and full sound at low volume levels. This means the Sonos volume control will not work (it will be fixed). For my other systems in the house, I am just going with the digial volume of the Sonos for convenience sake.
I just had Rick Cullen do the ZP 90 mod and install a cardas AES/EBU cable
running into a Wadia 521 dac with GNS reference mod and I am thrilled.
I finally took the time to plug in one of my non modded sonos zp80's next to my cullen modded zp-80. I then tried to A/B. It was not blind and I had to swap the coax cable that runs to my benchmark DAC but I could tell a differnce (I thought).
My next step is to enlist the wife to make it blind...