Sonic Frontiers SFD-2 MkIII... USED PRICE...

Hi All,

Have been lurking around Audiogon for several years now but this is actually my first post and the subject matter has more than likely been answered before...

I undoubtedly know technology has moved on somewhat but I've read countless post's on the net praising the Sonic Frontiers SFD-2 MkIII DAC back in the day.

As such, I have the opportunity to purchase one of these highly rated DAC's in very good and working condition, except for a couple of cosmetic marks on the front facia. The seller is claiming the unit was Dexa modified and serviced at the same time last year at PCX (I've emailed Chris Johnson to verify this)... but nothing else, so no SE+ upgrade etc, etc.  

The seller is asking a firm US$1650

So, what do you guys think... is this a fair price for this unit or what should I be offering ?

If I go ahead with this purchase, it's almost mandatory to partner it with an Assemblage D2D-1 which I'll also be doing... should hopefully be a "revitalising" listen with the rest of my set-up !

Just be careful with these get it for a good price, they are very nice sounding for Redbook replay being R2R Multibit
But these use the not too popular Ultra Analog D2400A R2R Multibit coverters, which aren't the most reliable compared to mainstream makers like Burr Brown, Analog Devices, Philips, Texas ect
And if they go boom it will become a door stop. or boat anchor.

Cheers George    

Hi George... this is the MKIII not the MkII which uses the UA's. With the exception of contacting Chris at PCX, there's absolutely zero info on the net about the MkIII as it was a rare retrofit upgrade and unless I'm mistaken it uses a completely different digital board with BB PCM1704's, PMD200 and I2Se interface etc. The BB's were/are far more reliable than the UA's, albeit, just one of the reasons why this upgrade was originally offered !

As for a good price... any thoughts ?

Seems like a lot of dough to me but i don't follow them. 
stonie OP1 posts03-24-2018 12:56pm

Hi George... this is the MKIII not the MkII which uses the UA’s.

Your right the MKIII uses my favourite and best R2R Multibit 8 X 24/96 Burr Brown PCM1704’s which I have in my Linn CD12 (they are the "K" version hand selected ) Then yes by all means grab this for that money, as it also has the best HDCD chip the PMD200 in it (which the Linn also has), get the Reference Recodings 24/96 HDCD CD’s and you won’t belive how good digital is. MY Linn was $30k here in Oz, and this has just about the same in it, and I would say just as well implemented for $1.5k BARGAIN!!! RUN DON"T WALK!

From Vaisili’s stash of goodies.


8 x PCM1704 – PMD200 – CS8414-CS

Cheers George

Thanks! for posting - George

Vaisili 's stash of goodies, indeed!  You are fortunate to own the Linn CD12.

Happy Listening!

You are fortunate to own the Linn CD12.

Happy Listening!

Yeah real funny story, it's the very last MkIII model with 4 x "K" versions of the PCM1704 and PMD200 hdcd. 
 Got it in to look at from a friend who's not short of a buck, it had intermittent 5 seconds digital noise every hour or so digital in the right channel very hard to trace, everything was smd and multilayer pcb, spent a 1/2 a day on it, impossible to fix down to component level, and with no circuit diagram, Linn won't give/sell them to anyone even to distributors, needed a new main board they kept saying you'll have to send it back.
Linn wanted $5Kaud for a new one, and they wouldn't sell me one. They said, I had to post the whole (12kg) unit back, but not back to them, but to Aus Linn distributor first, then they would send it back to them in the UK, I would have pay for post every which way, and another $1k for Linns labour plus the $5k for the board. I told the very well off owner, he knew a ripoff straightaway, and he said f*** that, give me $100 and keep it for the aluminium case. So I got it for $100 and my 1/2 day of labour and dealing with Linn.
Up shot, I worked on this thing for at least 8 days on and off, for the next 6mts in my spare time. Dismantling re-soldering in sections every smd joint, re-assembling and trying it out in between sections, almost gave up and was going to advertise it as intermittent faulty, and then one day turned it on and bingo no noise, it's been noise free now for 2 years and sounds magnificent, and to this day I have no idea how I fixed it.

Cheers George 
@georgehifi Great story that proves there is a bit of mystery in this hobby. Glad you got it working--well spent $100...oh and you had fun working on it too!
oh and you had fun working on it too!

No, I was actually crying it sounded so good when it was not digital farting, and that it couldn't be fixed unless it it went back to Linn.

Cheers George 
Good to hear you fixed your CD12... with such a stupid money repair price, I hope you told Linn to go "f*** yourselves" !