Power supply improvement for CD player

I'm using a Lexicon RT 20. Can the PS be improved? How?
If you haven't already; the simplest place to start is a
high quality power cord(ie: Synergistic Research or Analysis
Plus) and HI-FI Tuning Supreme main fuse. Replace the
diodes with HEXFRED or Cree Schottky
rectifiers(http://www.partsconnexion.com/rectifier_diode_cree.html), the regulators with
Bellesons(http://www.partsconnexion.com/regulator_belleson_main.html) and as many capacitors as possible, with Sanyo OS-
and/or Nichicon Fine
Golds(http://www.partsconnexion.com/capacitor_ele_nichicon_fg.html). Parts Connexion has a sale on right now; 20% off
on everything and deeper discounts on the Bellesons.
Hey man, this is the method. #1: Settle on a power cord. Detachable cords are BULL. If your unit has an EIC/whatever, socket...you want to trace the AC input path up to the transformer. If you encounter a fuse, or some Power conditioning circuit, solder the the bare positive of the power cord directly to the fuse, and a short wire from the other side of the fuse to the transformer input. Shorten any wire lengths as possible. Trace the ground and solder the bare power cord ground wire to the spot. Secure the power cord to the chassis in a manor that is secure. #2: Un- bolt the transformer from the chassis. Find/buy a adequate size (for the transformer) block, or square of rubbery stuff (that wont melt or burst into flames from modest heat). Buy some GE Silicone III(gold). Generously glue the rubber pad to the chassis, then glue the bottom of the transformer to the pad.*NOTE: DO NOT PLACE THE UNIT-UPSIDE DOWN, OR ON SIDES AFTER THIS STEP...FOREVER. Be brave, you can manage that. Let the silicone cure, and now, step #3: You want to fabricate a wall/barer to isolate the the transformer and anything AC, or having to do with power supply, from the other circuits within the chassis. By all means, strive for engineering excellence. But, you can glue Aluminum Foil to cut-out to shape Cardboard with the GE silicone, Form your wall in the chassis up to the top of the chassis(mind that the cover can be secured without crush/deforming wall) and GLUE IT IN PLACE. Attach a small wire from the foil to the chassis. CONGRATULATIONS...what you have done is to DIRECTLY SOLDERED the AC Connection out to the wall, "FLOATED" the Transformer TO ELIMINATE VIBRATION TRANSFER to chassis, and ISOLATED THE POWER SUPPLY within the unit. Without modifying the actual power supply circuit, this is the best you can do. You may feel compelled to improvise on the steps described. By all means, use your imagination to raise the modification to your own standard of excellence. The result as described is max purity of device operation. Another level of performance from the same Unit. *Try this with ALL your components. All the best to you.
If you take the steps RODMAN99999 outlined, you WILL change the output character of the circuit. Beware of spending money on "across the board" modifications of older Digital equipment. I do not wish to discourage in any way, but be mindful that the D/A conversion scheme, and analog output stage were designed with the power supply to support them in a R&D situation. substitution of power supply components that are "better" does not, as a rule, ensure a more desirable Audio quality. Brightness, edge, forwardness or an opaque quality all are possible results of power supply circuit alterations out-of-hand without trial and evaluation. This law when it comes to fine audio. Ultimately, the digital and analog circuits of you unit have the last say on quality of output. If you like the sound of your unit now and wish to enhance it, think twice about changes that will require money and component swaps on the power supply. The result might disappoint, or be unacceptably different from what you had. Apply "passive" modifications...My advice, or just get a "better" unit. Good luck, and enjoy the music.
Great posts! Great.....I love it. Agoners learn!
Why do you want to change the PS ?
If the power supply components are replaced with those as
outlined, and of the same values as the OEMs; the only
characteristics that will change will be a quieter/blacker
background, greater dynamics, more natural highs and
improved sound staging/imaging. I've done these mods, or
similar, to a wide variety of components, over the past 35
years. The reactions/appreciation, from my customers, were
unanimous and always enthusiastic. Virtually every piece of
equipment I've personally owned, has also undergone power
supply mods, with nothing but a more realistic presentation
as a result. I listen to way too much live music, every
week, to accept otherwise. I don't hand out advice lightly.
I hear YOU RODMAN99999. These things (improvements)are possible by that route. No doubt there. I'm only advising the practical. Our fellow(or other)member should take a serious look... at what's ALREADY ON the PS board, and do a small(uhm) evaluation whether it's worth it/practical to swap-out any component after it is compared to a possible replacement. I would bet Lexicon did well on PS execution(device selection) as is. BE AWARE OF THE SITUATION. Then act accordingly to your findings(re:"across the board-out-of hand", no..no.). Recommended every-time. Personally, I've tinkered since High School. In '78, I attended the Army Signal school at Fort Gordon,GA in the Fixed Radio Repair (32H)course. Served as a technician with the 323rd Maintenance Co. at Ft Devens MA for some time. I play guitar, my baby is a black '67 Les Paul Custom I (I purchased in '79 for $500. try that today..).That said, I always search for ways to get better audio quality from stuff I own, as I'm sure we AudiogoN's do as a community. I will only try to give bottom line advice, not experiments or assumptions about what's in what YOU own, unless I OWN, or have in the past have had direct knowledge of THAT unit's design. Circuit modifications on well designed(RT-20)digital gear, that cannot be measured(lucky for you), are subjective and subtle at best. Or it wouldn't have been what you wanted to own in the first place, right? Better Fuse($$),ok...,esoteric power"cord", well...cable gauge(thickness) maters most, before alloy quality($$$) or any theoretical strand layout schemes($$$$). You can find a "ultimate" power cord at HOME DEPOT.Throw away that "detachable" socket and solder direct to unit. Use a decent Hospital Grade plug for the wall side from there as well, with $3.50 snap-on ferrite blockers attached to both ends from PARTS EXPRESS, and forget about it. I feel I have expressed quite enough for today, hope you manage to enjoy the music!
Jafant. It's not that I 'want' to change the power supply-- I'm just searching for ways to "improve" the detail, nuance' perhaps lower the sound floor, provide a little more dynamics. I appreciate finding economical ways of improving sound.
Rodman your info is much appreciated. (Expertise is not obtained without time and effort and usually cost. Sounds reasonable to me. I am not technically knowledgeable and would be afraid to try doing any work myself. What level of technician is required for these changes? Where are you located?
Your statement regarding the, "ultimate" power
cord being found a Home Depot, has me wondering if you
actually believe research has been static since your
schooling, back in the day. I would think these guys(or
their customers) might take issue:
(http://www.analysisplusinc.com/) The results of the
circuit mods, as outlined, would neither be subjective OR
subtle. ie: The TacT RCS 2.2X preamp(a very well designed
digital unit) that I am presently using, was modded
similarly(the Bellesons weren't available then), the
improvements: obvious to anyone within earshot and much more
like the real thing(the common reaction). I feel no need to
enter a pissing contest regarding my
schooling/degrees/experience, or the guitars I've
owned(always loved the old Les Pauls, but only had a '69
Fender Strat, under the couch for a while). However,
addressing the topic: I would bet that you've never compared
any actual, "high-end" power cords(let's just call
that, over $300), with your Home Depot cord, or auditioned a
component, with it's power supply circuit modded as
outlined(be honest now). The total price of the components
listed(on sale at Parts Connexion), for Mr P's unit, would
come in under $100.00(minus the cord and fuse upgrades). If
he limits himself to your advice, he will rob himself of
much musical pleasure(not to mention the gratification of
personally performing the operation). I always manage to
enjoy the music, but- I refuse to settle for what a
manufacturer's R & D department's budget may have limited
them to. Raw electronic components have evolved and vastly
improved over the years. I like to keep up. Help yourself
to the ubiquitous 'Last Word', if you feel the need. Happy
Mr P- As a possible, low-cost experiment, contact The Cable
Company and see if they have a sample of this PC:
(http://www.thecableco.com/Product/Power-Oval-10) If so- it
should cost around $30.00 to audition, in your system.
Synergistic Research offers a money back guarantee, if their
fuses do not provide the audible improvements claimed:
Together, they should result in an audible difference. I
would be very interested in hearing your impressions, should
you try this.
MR P- I missed your post(12-9). Sorry! I'm in Indianpolis, IN. The mods would require someone that is adept at desoldering and soldering. The components that would be replaced are easily accessed, on your equipment. Where are you located?
I'm near Vancouver,BC, Canada.
Hi Rodman. I have used an MIT Oracle AC3-non networked pc, and an Oracle AC1-networked pc with 1 box. Preferred the AC1 and that's what's used now.. I found isolating the analog from digital, using an Equitech blemished 2Q transformer in a box, a benefit I would never step back from. I also have experimented with additional isolation and conditioning for the RT-20 and found additional benefit. I'm hoping the ac cleanliness these efforts have provided will allow me to eek out additional nuance and emotion by the changes you've suggested. I can't afford to replace the Rt-20 now so wouldn't do anything to it myself.
Digital circuits(anywhere in your house) will generally
cause noise(high freq interference) on your AC, so-
isolating them is a good call. Turning anything digital off,
while listening to analog, is also beneficial. The MIT AC1
is an excellent cord. I don't know how resolving the rest of
your system might be, but- if you are able to discern
improvements, related to your other AC tweaks; the fuse(s)
mentioned should make obvious/audible changes. I would
still suggest trying one of the Analysis Plus cords(higher
line than what I suggested earlier/more comparable to the
MIT), just for the sake of comparison. You may find the
presentation more dynamic. Of course; the tweaks are easy
to reverse, should you not appreciate the
differences(unlikely, in the case of the fuse). If you do
try another cord; give it time to settle(or burn-in), before
doing much critical listening. Too bad you're not closer to
Indy. I've always enjoyed teaching others how to do their
own mods. Shipping gear is somewhat risky, with the
gorillas that work for the carriers nowdays. BTW- This is
another cord, that some prefer to the AC1:
Have you ever tried a Power Cord setup as I suggested? At least you don't sell power cords, so you could keep yourself open to that. Dan D'Agostino uses a method I wish I could use, #8(?)gauge twisted copper from the transformer to the breaker box(done by the utility co.). Prohibitively expensive for me. Beyond that, considering the wire quality running from my box (it is not Kimber Kable)to the wall outlet, the relatively short wires that connect the unit to that outlet need only to mach that in-wall wire's (must be copper, no aluminum)transfer capabilities. Twisted strand and conductor(to spin-off magnetic field)copper cable is not expensive. Shorter is better. If there is excess length, braid it as possible for even more magnetic field rejection. Snap-on, or pull-over RF Blockers(of largest diameter you can find)on each end. Aftermarket types, used with typical in-wall wiring, can only mach that at any price(tang quality of the plug and receptacle is an exception). This is my view. I did not belittle your advice or dismiss your methods. I had no aim to be cynical. You(RODMAN99999)had mentioned your "experience" in response to me, first. No "pissing around" here. I respectfully related some of mine.
And no, I haven't listened A/B to modified such as mentioned. I would like to. I am waiting on my new system to become available(Sony TA-A1ES/HAP-Z1ES). I will then take an exhaustive look for ANY possibilities, and I will Post.
Hello Mr C- I only mentioned my experience, directly
related to modding, not overall schooling, etc. You'll
notice that I never put your advice down. I never
personally hardwire PCs, because I like to be able to try
different PCs on my equipment. IECs facilitate that, not to
mention being able to keep a valued cable, if I sell the
gear. Some of the first mods that I ever tried, involved
ferrite beads on every internal wire, as you recommended on
the PC. I further recognize the value and wisdom of
eliminating contact points and isolating power supplies from
adjacent circuits. I'm actually big on removing the power
supply from the chassis altogether, when practical. I do
still(or otherwise) extensively use the shielding I
mentioned in this thread: (http://forum.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/fr.pl?htech&1328289757&&&/Shielding-components-from-EMI-RFI-Help-p) (http://www.emsclad.com/examples/emi-rfi-shielding.html)
This stuff would be my choice, in place of your
foil/cardboard idea, though at a much higher price point:
Cj. I have found the MIT Oracle AC3, a non-networked pc, to be a "vast" improvement over stock cords. Have you ever tried one?
Rod, any comments on any type of Bybee devices for the power supply?
Been tempted, but- never have tried any. Sorry!
Ptss -

keep us posted on your project!
12-09-13: Ptss

"Jafant. It's not that I 'want' to change the power supply-- I'm just searching for ways to "improve" the detail, nuance' perhaps lower the sound floor, provide a little more dynamics. I appreciate finding economical ways of improving sound."


This product would be right up your alley...the Akiko Audio Tuning Sticks.

Pluging the 'ac stick' into the dedicated outlet feeding my system did exactly what you quoted above,its a wonderful tweak.Highly recommended,I'm sure you will not be disapointed.
Thx Aolmrd. Will check into it.