no one has any comments on this?? ;-)
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During the brief time I owned the TP I compared it to a stock SB3 with Lavry DA-10 as well as the Bel Canto DAC3 and preferred the SB3+(either)DAC combo, even though the two DACs are quite different in their presentation.
I can't recall if I tried the TP with the DAC...just the result of the first test above convinced me the TPs DAC was not up to par with the DACs. I was really sorta surprised, as the better power supply of the TP vs SB3 should have made some difference, but to me not enough.
I'm not a big believer in modded equipment, esp when the mod is not done by the original designer, so I didn't compare the MW although I'd have welcomed a low or no-cost opportunity to do so.
I can answer this question and ask the same question.
I have a stock transporter. I've been chasing a nagging glare issue within my system for since it's inception. My system consists of line arrays (LS6's) Cary SLP-05 and a pair of Nuforce 9SEV2's. Nice cables and power cords, filtering, cones, room treatments and even a few prayers..
Our system sounds great but still, the high frequencies on some music can send you running. I try and tell myself it's the either the speakers or the recording. We have thought about sending the Transporter to Modwright but that adds another 2K plus.
Cary is just releasing a upsampling DAC which looks like a killer DAC on paper at $1500 but don't know how it would sound it our system.
We hosted an audio GTG at our home this past weekend and one gentleman brought a prototype outboard DAC to try. It was remarkable. When inserted into our system the high frequency glare was gone. I cued up the worst offending songs through the Transporter and no longer felt like running - only listening. Low level information also improved. Electronic noise was gone but detail remained and in fact, with the fore mentioned issue removed, I heard deeper into the recordings. I didn't want this box to go home! I wish to further listen too and review this DAC which I just learned called the "Neko Audio D100 DAC".
So now knowing the TP DAC is the culprit in MY system, I question whether a modded Transport or an outboard DAC would be the way to go? For obvious reasons the outboard DAC is the more flexible solution, especially the Cary which carries a USB input. But I've heard that a Modwright Transporter might be second to none as a front end.
Then there's this "new" DAC I auditioned that sounded sweet but doesn't have a pedigree.. It costs nearly as much as the Cary's!
Thanks for your inputs!
I am a Modwright Transporter owner..in fact the first. Dan and I collaborated on the design (basically I turned Dan onto the stock one, since I was a huge Modwright customer and early beta field tester), and once he saw the huge real estate he had inside the stock one he went crazy.
Check the 6Moons review for pics of before and after, and a few of my beta comments (as ted_b).
I owned the stock TP for a few months before Dan took it and did his incredible magic. The transformation from a player that had great detail and great bandwidth (with no ability to manage that bandwidth) to one that was toe-tapping musical and tight, powerful and full of air...was a transformation that I'll never forget. I've owned or own several of his modded universal players, but the changes that occcured from going stock to Modwright (MW) was phenomenal. The midrange became organic, the tonality of instruments was glorious, and yet the incredible detail that the AKM dacs brought to the table were left intact (realize the mods are, of course, after the DAC). If you look at the before and after pics you'll see an increase of probably 20x in hi-end componentry, the largest being his huge power supply components. In fact, Dan had me and the gang (we now have a few of us field beta testers) test his newest mod, what is being called the hypermod, only a few months ago, and it was released to production in the fall. It takes what Dan's learned from his award-winning PS 36.5 separate dual mono power supply design (for his flagship preamp) and use it, albeit solid state, in the Transporter upgrade. Sensational weight and dynamics were added to an already industry-strength music streamer and tube DAC (the TP has separate digital inputs so now it;s a tube DAC too).
Bu don't take what I'm saying as gospel...heck, I'm a huge Modwright fan (but not an employee or partner). Go to his mfg circle on Audio Circle and read about all the successes folks have had doing tube rolling (it has one 5AR4/5UGB rectifier and two signal tubes)and repalcing other transports and CDp's with it.
I had Wayne of Bolder Cable develop an octal adapter (the Modwright TP has a pair of nine pin signal tube sockets) so now we're rolling 6SN7's to our hearts content. My current favorite combo is a Mullard 5Ar4 fat base (even over the metal base) with a pair of RCA Silver Label 6SN7GT's. I have the new EML mesh plate 5U4G monster bottle coming next week and look forward to eval'ing it.
Net/net, the stock TP is nice, but most importantly, it is built to a level that supports additional investment...a solid foundation with a good hi-end DAC chip and solid well-built connectors, etc. Something the Duet,Sb3 or other low-priced streamers can't claim.
Also, If you're gonna go the external DAC route I'm not sure why you'd spend the $1500-$2k for a TP to feed it.
I have a Modwright transporter. I compared the Modwright analog output with using the digital output through a very nice Hermes II tube dac. I have finally settled on the Modwright transporter and am satisfied with its after several years of trying to get my computer to be a nice source of digital music. For me, this beats the Lynx sound card or the lynx running through external DACs. After 5-6 years of not being "quite" satisfied with computer based sound, I am happy to consider selling my CD transport and DAC (need to overcome my laziness and list).
The stock product is not a Modwright (modded) Transporter, but a Logitech Transporter. So when you ask about "the basic Modwright" it's a fully modded Transporter, about $1800 above the cost of the stock Logitech one (which goes for anywhere from $1-2k depending on used, etc.). The hypermod upgrade is another $300 and is not paramount to getting great sound, just a nice new power supply upgrade to the already modded Modwright Transporter. You can't just get the hypermod on a stock TP.
I was one of the first to order the TP and at that time they were so far behind in production that they were giving away the Squeexebox to anyone willing to wait for the TP.
At first I ran the Squeezebox through the DAC of my Audio Aero Capitole as the Squeezebox DAC was not near as good as with the Capitole.
When my TP arrived I went back-and-forth between the Capitole's DAC and the TP. The TP was really good and quite analytic but by comparison the Capitole was still warmer...more 'musicality'.
Now I use the digital-out from my TP to my Anthem D2 and this is a really good combination. Folks as Slim Devices tell me that the Digital-out is no different on both the TP and Squeezebox...I should be getting the same results to my D2, either way. So, I got a really pretty thing, the TP, feeding my D2...and I am very happy.