Modifying a Pioneer Elite PD-65......

I have just picked up the latest issue of UK's "Hi-Fi News" last night at a local mall, and then when I got home and started reading it, I happened to find a fantastic looking (and I assume, fantastic sounding too) high-end audio system profiled inside of it. This system consists of a Genesis Speaker System, Jeff Rowland Amplification, a Basis Turntable System (I think.... but cannot remember), a Nakamichi 1000 ZXL Cassette Deck, and an Accuphase CD Player right along with a Pioneer Elite PD-65 CD Player that they claimed they have modified and has turned it into a transport only. And I am thinking that you must be very careful when you are having components modified by aftermarket audio component modifiers and so forth. And while I am thinking of that, I am thinking now, what if I can get me a used Pioneer Elite PD-65 and have it modified and turn it into a transport only and then pair it with a Perpetual Technologies P-3A DAC??? What kind of combination will that be. I know I can get me a Perpetual Technologies P-3A DAC for about $800.00. What I want to know is who can do modifications on a Pioneer Elite PD-65 CD Player so that it can be a transport only, and how much will such a modification would cost??

I believe that Dan Wright of Modwright does mods to the Pioneer PD65. Check him out at
It's my impression that an unmodified PD-65 works just fine as a transport.
The PD-65 works better as a transport than it does as a player. The limitation as a player is due to the fact that it makes use of Pioneer's proprietary DAC's. These are not as good of performers as some other DAC's that are available.

As to doing upgrades to the PD-65, i know that most of the well known modifiers have messed around with them quite a bit. This would include but not be limited to Stan Warren, John Hillig, Ric Schulz, Dan Wright, etc... I would look into having someone upgrade the clock circuitry, replace some caps, damp the transport and play around with the power supply on these. If i was going to run it strictly as a transport, i would disconnect the DAC circuitry but do it in a fashion that was easily reversible. Sean
I had Dan Wright modified my PD65 and I am using the Perpetual Technology P-1A ; P-3A with the PPPS (power supply) and I am very satisfied. Go for it.
If you can get your hands on a 5 disc Aiwa XM-35 or XM-37 changer, it will soundly beat the Pioneer as a transport, and cost much less. Addtionally Stan Warren offers a very unique mod to it for a little over $100. Even with this mod, this transport is still dirt cheap. (FYI: The Aiwa is virtually identical in sound as compared to the multi thousand dollar Wadia transport! This is NOT an exageration).

Unfortunatly, this cheapo Aiwa anomoly is not easy to find, being that it was discontinued 6 months ago. It was sold at places like Best Buy for around $100. It soundly defeated my Pioneer PD93 transport, which was superior to the PD65 model. Good luck on your quest.
Tony Diogevenes (sp?) of G&D Transforms modifies PD-65's.
and tony makes arguably the best transport ever (UTP-1). find tony.

I recently bought a G&D Reference transport,and it is very good!
I have modded a number of PD-65's. I perform a number of digital and power mods to improve the S/PDIF output as well as installing a modded Superclock3. It becomes a pretty good transport with these mods, and it has the stable platter, which is a plus.

However, even with all of these mods, the Sony DVP-S7700, Pioneer DV-47 and several other current players, such as the Denon 2900 and 5900 are still better as transports, after being modded of course. The Pd-65 is an old design and the newer players are much better. Make sure to select a modder that knows digital.

Steve N.
Empirical Audio
If you stick to getting a Pioneer, try to find the PD-75. It has a better build.
are the older transports more desireable due to the better build / increased relability ?

it seems the newer units out of china will "eventually" have problems ?
Some older CD units may be better mechanically, but the lasers go out or out of alignment more easily, and the digital electronics is just not as good, including the servos. The DVD players actually have more precise tracking and laser focus mechanisms, but not all of them have decent lasers for reading CD's. You have to pick the right one. I like the Sony DVP-S7700 and 7000 because they have separate DVD and CD lasers.