I met Kyle of RAM at his location and listened to his Oppo
BDP-83 Blu-Ray with basic mods. I brought along my Ayre C5xe Universal player to compare. The Oppo sounded better than my $6k player.
Next I asked him to come to my house so I can compare it on my own system, Oppo was again better from bass to highs.
Kyle explains everything he mods
and what level of mods I might want on my BDP-83 Blu-Ray.
I've only found positive customer experiences with all the different mods in the market so it appears I can't go wrong with any of them.
Since I have experiences with ModWright (Transporter), I'll probably go with them when it's available. I contact Dan and they are finalizing/planning on taking orders next week or so.
Have had Dan do several mods on my equiptment. The advantage you get with Dan is that he is not just a tech, he is also a builder. He doesn't just replace parts but knows what parts replacement produces better sound.
Agree Magnumpi205. Dan has he own line of highly acclaim components so he knows his stuff. Like I said, I'm sure all the mods will be a major upgrade to stock but going with Dan mainly from positive past experience. Lately I've been very adventurist in trying unknown components with positive results so don't want to push my luck any further :-)
Dan said he's contemplating a tube analog output stage for the BDP83 ... but since I already have the MW Transporter, I'm going with SS this time. Currently have all tube components and getting too hot in the summer so need some SS ... :-)
How much was required in mod for the Oppo to beat your Ayre C5xe?
Tennisamp, I'd like to find out more about how the modded Oppo sounded next to the C5xe.
I'm sure many will disagree with me, but I just can't see pumping the kind of
money these mods cost into a cheap platform like the Oppos. It seems
analogous to the kids driving around in beater Dodge Colts with $3k wheels and
tires and $5k stereos. Maybe the Oppos are built better than I think, but it still
The Oppo BDP-83, while listening to the same cd of course; initially I had to turn the volume down, it had more power out than my C5xe. Some of the mids sounded equal to the C5xe but overall the bass was (to me) more defined as well as the highs.
The music seemed more separated from the speakers also.
He showed me the modded the power input, a Super Clock4, and
Audio Consulting output transformers, which were balanced outputs in this set-up.
I was surprised and a little disappointed that it (overall) out performed my reference Ayre C5xe.
I will mod my Oppo BDP-83 but with the Ultra clock instead. I was informed that the video quality will also be improved.
I'm like Photon46, it's counter intuitive to mod such a platform. If I didn't here it for myself I would be in doubt too. I have to trust my ears on this one.
My Modwright modded Denon DVD players has sounded fantastic all these years and now it is being replaced by the Oppo. Still deciding who to go with. Modding these players is well worth it for the improvement in sound. It is like night and day. Beats having two boxes, one for video and one for audio when you can get excellent combined performance out of one unit.
Tennisamp, I totally believe that the Oppos sound as good as you say. Kyle's mods sound amazing. He's got a really good ear and seems to know how to extract the best potential from products. I've bought two of his modifications myself in the past. My reservations just stem from the cost ratio of the mods to the original product. I suppose if one is the buy and hold type of buyer, it's all good. But if you intend to resell, the resale value on a mod package isn't too great from what I've seen.
Photon46, Resale is a real issue. I hope to enjoy mine and take it with me.
One more listening test on my friend's system.
Ayre C5xe; Bat-51se; Mono block Spectron Musican-3 mk2;
Von Schweikert VR-5se speakers.
Kyle of RAM brought over the same OPPO BDP-83 and a Marantz SA-11s1
which I believe had full mods.
It was obvious to me on the modded players, the bass was tighter/clearer with more air separating the musical instruments. The piano had sweet tones with more decay as well as the electric guitar. The vocals slightly warmer on the C5xe and about the same as the Marantz. I liked the vocals on the Oppo, with more air and separation, Diana Krall's voice was maybe sounding closer to natural.
At the end my friend was impressed, had many questions for
Kyle, who was more than willing to explain, why and what mods did what. Being my 3rd time listening/comparing, I enjoyed listening to these differences once again.
I got my unit back from Rick Schultz at EVS this week. I had the full multichannel mod done. For a couple of evenings I played a bunch of SACDs/DVD-Audios and a couple of movies. Sounded great through my system (Lexicon MC12 analog, ATI amps, Martin Logan Speakers) but it is always hard to remember what it sounded like a few weeks ago when I sent it in. The big test was to go to a good friends who works in the business and has an unmodded unit so that we could A/B. Both him and my wife were extremely skeptical. His system is MC12, Lexicon Amps, Revel Speakers. Since I was in a money back period, this was the test to whether the unit went back and have it replaced by a stock version.
The 3 of us started by listening to Diana Krall, Money from Dark Side of the Moon and Derek and the Dominos on SACDs on the stock unit. Just before switching cables, which took only 2 minutes, we replayed money. The plan was then to listen in the reverse order on my modded unit. It took all of a few seconds for each of us to look at each other and easily conclude the modded sounded significantly better in essentially the ways Ric had described it would. Airy sound with each instrument (or cash register) sounding incredibly clear and distinct with a great soundstage. At that point, the sale was final and skeptics won over. Diana Kralls voice was stunning, every breath noticible. Derek and Dominos had a little less effect but it was still there. We didnt test CDs but I would be surprised if they also dont shine.
We then tested video. My friend and I both have a Samsung SPA800P, the most accurate product available (except for the 900 model which can do better blacks) My friend is one of the best calibrators anywhere Joe Kane uses him at times and finds artifacts in milliseconds. We played some test patterns and a scene for The Rock without sound. The test patterns should no difference and a few seconds of the scene where they break into the rock was replayed dozens of times looking for a small difference. In the end nothing conclusive, both the modded and stock units looked essentially the same. We didnt test a DVD.
If you want better analog sound from the OPPO, the mod will certainly give it to you. After last nights test, I have no doubt and neither did my very skeptical wife or friend. The conclusion was immediate. For video, nothing much changed and the older MC12 does not have an HDMI input to test digital audio.
by reading the description on Rick's website ... his mods on the Oppo and Transporter are a lot more simple and afforable.
I'm wondering how his Transporter will compare to MW's ....
The discussion about comparisons of EVS versus Modwright and other modders
has been going on for years.
The bottom line as far as I am concerned is you get what you pay for.
There are many good reasons why Modwright has succeeded on such a large
scale, while others remain small, niche, one-man companies.
Well, it sounds like they are all better than a stock player. The question still remains on how they compare to each other.
If they are close, I guess it would come down to system synergy and budget.