Hot rodding a SCD1 is a complete waste of money. Better look at some of the newer DAC's amd good, old transports.
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It depends on what your goal is. A modded scd-1 if done properly can sound quite fantastic. However like the poster above states you will not get your money back out of the mods should you decide to sell the unit.
I have a modded scd-1 that I plan on keeping for a long time. I have heard the ayre and it is a very good player but it is not up to the performance capabilities of my sony.
Thanks for the responses. I have been watching the prices on the modded units and yes I agree you don't get the money back that was invested in the payer.
This weekend I compared the EMM and the Ayre players. Nice sounding players. The EMM is quite a bit better than both the Sony and the Ayre. At twice the price it should. You get what you pay for.
Question to Dgarretson. How much to really make the Sony sing and which mods?
Options & costs vary considerably depending on whether you DIY or outsource mods. VSE has mostly cornered the market with its drop-in, productized, fully warrantied replacement analog stage, clock & lite mods to power (for $1500-3K depending on whether balanced or SE.) I took a DIY approach based initially on ideas & parts from Reference Audio Mods, and added various improvements of my own incrementally. In retrospect, for under $1500, the initial steps that make the greatest improvement are Audiocom Superclock 4, replacement of select op amps, surface mount resistors & caps in the analog section, and installation of Schottky rectifiers and several discrete DC regulators. For a further bump up the entire analog section can be replaced with a buffered transformer ouput and AC power can be replaced with batteries. RAM does such mods, or I can provide further info to the DIYer.
How good is it? After $5K in mods RBCD on this SCD-1 equals or surpasses a very good vinyl front end.
Richard Kern was the first modder to dig into & mod the unit and work with the Audiocom Superclock. He posted his early findings to the forums circa Y2K, and was greeted by an ocean of skeptics who doubted that the stock player could be improved. Sound familiar? In casual listening at shows at least, I have found DCS, Burmester, Reimyo, Zanden all lacking relative to a well-modded SCD-1.
I had a modified 777ES, with Kern mods on the transport board, Superclock 2 and high quality resistors and a Jerry Ozment designed tubed/transformer coupled output stage (essentially the analog section of my Audio Logic DAC). The sound was, to my ears, better than most units I have heard from dCS, Esoteric, Accuphase and even the first version of the EMM Labs gear. I replaced it with the EMM Labs CDSD/DCC2SE combination. I lost a little warmth in the midbass region (which also muddied things up just a little there) and gained a little better resolution, dynamics and deep bass reproduction. My friend who bought my 777ES loves the sound of it, he has actually cut back a lot on his analog listening because of it.
You will not get your money back from any mods, and repair work on one may be a little hard to get (I believe many of the modifiers can do repairs, though), but sonically a well-modified unit is more than competitive with what's out there in today's marketplace.
I have to agree with the quality of sound coming out of these modded sonys. And I don't want to keep beating a dead horse here. But my goodness I just can not believe the soundsatge this player throws and the micro dynamics are just stunning.
Associated electronics are cj premier 350 amp , cj premier 16lsII pre-amp and HGA cabling (DNA interconnects and X-32 Speaker cables). And I almost forgot Thiel 3.6 speakers and the sony scd-1. Thats it very simple sytem but the sound is very pleasing.
Most of the time everyone sticks up for their gear. I have an Ayre C-5xe. One of the design attributes that brought me to it was that the transport is easily replaced in the future. Mods are interesting, but tough to compare. Listen to everything you can. The Ayre player has gotten enough press and several reviewers use it as a reference. I will say that the DVD-A performance is awesome. I have several 192khz discs and it is fantastic. At it's price new or used it's tough to beat. I have no complaints.
I too own Ayre C5xe and have a valhalla power cord on it. Stunning, and far more musical than sony. Sound stage is an affect that too many people try to get to with gear in audiophileism. Music is what's most important! If the speakers are set up properly in the room then the sound stage will fall in to proper place accordingly. If the speakers are set up right for the room and the coherency, timing, rhythem, timbre, etc., all couples well to that room and the soundstage still lacks, well it's time to upgrade! C5xe is better and it's a much better design internally. Valhalla power is like adding butter to toast. You have to have it.
Interesting feedback from the Ayre owners.
Still on the fence but now I am looking at both a Transporter for the convenience, and then maybe the Ayre for the disc's.
This will fit my budget and make the system really easy to use for my wife and offer a new way to listen to my music.
Been reading the latest on the Linn Klimax DS and I think that this will be the future.
When I was in Seattle for Definitive Music Matters show in Feb there were a number of companies (Sooloos, Linn, Sonos, etc doing demos with their digital servers and to be honest it gives a new way of enjoying music. The level of convenience is first rate, the SQ was hard to judge except in the Linn room. The sound was first rate to say the least.