Sony s7700 mods by Empirical Audio.

Does anyone have an experience with Empirical Audio mods for Sony S7700 to be used as transport? I think that the stock S7700 is already an excellent transport, and just want to make sure that it's worth the money ($500+.)

I've compared an EA modded 7700 against a few other well regarded transports and it came out stunningly well, or better, then these in most every way. I know some others who have also compared it against Mark Levinson & Meridian transports and are now using it as their reference standard.

I bought mine already turbomodded and added the Jensen cap myself later on. No clock upgrade on mine.

You can find modded one's available once in a while. For about $200 for a stock one, plus $500, it is a true bargain. Get the Turbomod version for an extra $200. The Jensen cap is a nice to have, but it is an expensive nice to have. The clock upgrade is also a very nice mod, but again expensive. However, some say the clock mod itself may be the single most important change you can make to any transport or DAC.

There's lots of notes about it on Audio Circle. You may want to search there also, on both the EA circle and the digital circle.

I'm curious to know as well. I have a Bel Canto DAC2 and considering sending in my S7700 for mods to Empirical. Would be nice to hear from someone who uses a modded S7700 with Bel Canto DAC2.
I'm curious myself on how the modded s7700 with the Bel Canto DAC2 sounds.
Thanks Bob.
Also, I'm surprised that Empirical Audio doesn't offering
IEC plug installation. I think that after market power cords will make a difference as well. But of course I can do this myself.

Supposedly, if you're using the 7700 as a transport the power cord really doesn't matter - according to Steve at EA. If you're going to install an IEC I would be careful of the grounding. The unit only has an ungrounded 2 prong power cord now, so I would actually leave the IEC ground unattached, or perhaps only ground it to the case itself.

One other thing, as a stand alone CD player after the mods the 7700 sounds really really nice too. You need a very good DAC to beat it on its own merits. Just missing some leading edge transient detail and punch/dynamics and air. But it is very smooth, extended and enjoyable on its own.

Good luck,
I've done IEC installs on 7700's for customers that requested them for $100. I dont recommend it because I dont believe it makes much difference. Maybe it will with your power cord however.

Steve N.
Empirical Audio
Just wondering if a Modded S7000 would Be equal to the Modded 7700. Just remmber many saying as a transport stock both were pretty good but some prefered the S7000.
The 7000 and the 7700 are pretty much identical transports with EA mods.
Steve, since you modify the Bel Canto DAC2 among other dacs you mod, have you had a chance to run modified S7700 with the modified DAC2? Just curious what your opinion is on this combo. Right now I am pretty satisfied with the stock 7700 into my stock DAC2, but I am pretty sure there is room for improvement. Just thinking to start with the transport first...
Yes, I have driven a modified BC DAC2 with the modded Sony 7700. The Sony sounds good with any DAC. The modded DAC2 is certainly better than a stock DAC2, but not my cup of tea. I prefer the Benchmark and the Perpetual P-3A to it. The Sony with a duplicated CD inside is really very low jitter, almost as low as computer-driven. Stock CD's have a lot of jitter in them, so I recommend duping them to CD-R.
Interesting, Steve. Copied at what speed? The lowest or doesn't matter?
"Stock CD's have a lot of jitter in them, so I recommend duping them to CD-R."

Interesting Steve. Has there been some tests done that verify this? Is there something about the commercial pressings that create read errors?
I use EAC @ 16X for copying. I think you referenced that program in your paper.
Do you suggest a slower speed?