Sonics of tube modifications from Modwright

I have the Sony Modwright 999ES with Signature Truth mods. As you know it is highly regarded for redbook performance. And I think my player is very good. But, a dealer who I have done business with characterizes the sound of this player and others from Modwright as lacking transparency. I don't agree. I always thought of transparency as hearing into the music or like hearing through to the music. I've not noticed a lack of transparency in my 999ES, but I've only been in this hobby a few years and possibly I'm missing something.(Stereophile defines transparency below.) Whether Sony-platforms, Denon platforms etc., do you enjoy the transparency of your modded modwright player?

From the Stereophiles glossary:
"transparency, transparent 1) A quality of sound reproduction that gives the impression of listening through the system to the original sounds, rather than to a pair of loudspeakers. 2) Freedom from veiling, texturing, or any other quality which tends to obscure the signal. A quality of crystalline clarity."
Interestingly, Robert Harley's "Complete Guide to High End Audio" defines transparent as:
Sonic description of a component or system that has very low levels of coloration. A soundstage that in which the acoustic space sounds clear rather than veiled.
Based on the first sentence dealing with coloration, my opinion of the Modwright Sony 999ES with Signature Truth mod is that the player is colored. It's not neutral like at least one other player I have owned. It has a bit of midrange warmth and is a touch rolled off in the highs, IMO. Having said this, I really like the player, so the non-neutrality does not bother me.

Regarding the second sentence of the definition, I find the Modwright produces a very clear acoustic space.

i don't perceive any subtractive coloration when listening to modwright components. if anything, they are too detailed.
Wonder if dealer is just saying this beause he assumes that anything added is and artifact that is is uneeded.Like NR filter (I used to use cassettes w/o Dolby myself).But if you look at the parts used in Modwright or Parts Connection Mods the cost multiple that is needed to a part is about four to one.That is if you ad a $10 diode you'd need charge $40 for it in retail.Thus you get a decent value with parts in after market,say with Blackgate Caps, as opposed to the ones that Sony uses because of cost constriants,paying for their retail value and labor.So if they know what they are doing it makes for a better product period.It maybe the dealer is thinking,and thus hearing added elemeants why he assumes pushes unit farther away from "straight wire and gain".But even I question the tube outputs.I just feel that tubes should be sued to change voltage in a pre as opposed to aaded as a filter.I have heard units with Parts Connection work but not Modwright.Haven't done it yet to do it but I'd like to A/B signature truth mods with tube output and without but from modded equipment I have heard I am sure it's better than stock.I think that the dealer might have a point if he were speaking about cost is no object players like a $10K Meridian where they have no contraints on R and D plus parts.Buyt with a $500 to $3K unit from Sony?Bring your unit in and do a blind A/B for him.Nop doubt he'd prefer the Modwright AND think it the more transparent.
Chazzbo: This dealer is not a brick and mortar where I could simply take my player to his store and A/B against some of his players. I met him online through Audiogon. When I listed my equipment, his opinion of Modwrights is that they lack transparency. It was the first time I'd seen that description of their house sound. This dealer said, and I quote, "I am not a big fan of the Modwright tubed stage.. it looses too much info/transparency, its punchy and somewhat musical, but blurs the info somewhat and slows it down... some like that.. I feel it sounds additive.. almost like an old loudness control..." This dealer has been promoting that the Cary 306 SACD would be more to my liking based on my sonic preferences, but I'm sticking with the 999ES.
This dealer said, and I quote, "I am not a big fan of the Modwright tubed stage.. it looses too much info/transparency, its punchy and somewhat musical, but blurs the info somewhat and slows it down... some like that.. I feel it sounds additive.. almost like an old loudness control..."

I wonder how much listening this dealer has done, and in what context. Were these impressions from lingering for a few cuts in a room at CES, or have they listened to the player at length? Regardless, there is very clearly a conflict of interest in asking someone who is in the business of trying to sell a competing unit.

I have a 9000ES Modwright that has everything BUT the tube mods (no external power either). I would call it extremely fast and, as Mr. Tennis observed generally, hyper-detailed. I can't comment on the Signature Truth mod, which is a different output stage. Mine is SS with Bybees. I would not have described the output as colored, nor having a tube-warmth, as Tvad observes of his player. I would describe the sound as fast, articulate and crystal clear. It can be very revealing of flawed recordings, and in that way is a bit of a detriment, as I find them more annoying to listen to than on my previous front end (Muse). But then I do enjoy the better recordings even more as it becomes more revealing of nuance and details which I enjoy in those cases. I do think I'll have Dan add the tube and external power mod eventually. I recall a thread on AudioAsylum that was by someone else in Seattle who described a demonstration in which Dan brought along a couple of players with different stages of modification to an audio-club meeting. I think there was also a member of the club who had a player with some stage of his mods. The observation the poster was making was that Dan could clearly demonstrate the differences in the various levels of modification to the small gathering of audiophiles, where the majority agreed that the progression was definitely in an upward trend and worth the investment. Do a search over on AudioAsylum and you may find that thread - I would but don't have time at the moment. If no one's found it by the next time I check in, I'll look for it if I have time then. I'm pretty sure it was on the Asylum, but it could have been here too.

Foster 9
I also have a Modwright Sony 999ES with Signature Truth mods and I don't hear a lack of transparency that is espoused by your dealer.Jax2,I think pointed to the dealer as having a "conflict of interest" in which I believe Jax2 is correct in his assessment which I also agree upon. This unit has surpassed my highest expectations. I don't have the "tubed" power supply as of yet but plan to contact Dan in a few weeks to get one.Let your own ears decide not someone who has other motives with regard to steering you to another product.

my experiences at ces tell me today's products are designed to be neutral. very rarely do you find a "warm" sounding component.

resolution sells. coloration is criticized, especially veiling and masking "information".

i'm surprised at how many audiophiles use the term "warm" and "rich" to describe the sound of components when such characterizations are what manufacturers are trying to avoid.
The degree of coloration I mentioned above is small. In fact, had I not previously owned a less colored digital source, I'd probably also say my Modwright 999ES is uncolored. The differences are hard to detect unless one has the opportunity to A/B components in the same system. A luxury I had.

I believe the new Modwright 9100ES is more neutral than the Modwright Sony 999ES. This is based on listening in the Modwright room at T.H.E. Show, and on comments made by others who have owned or heard both.

My experience with the Modwright SWL9.0 preamp was that it was a neutral, uncolored component.

I have a hard time reconciling the dealer's comments about coloration in Modwright components. Overall, coloration is not a quality I attribute to Modwright gear.