The Frankensteining of Amplifiers

There is an Anthem Statement P2 on Audiogon right now. A really great amp that has garnered good reviews. This particular amp has had many parts replaced in an attempt to upgrade it: resistors caps, wiring etc. I assume that when an amp is initially designed and tested by ear the parts are purposefully chosen to reach a certain sound. Can we assume that replacing parts willy nilly will necessarily improve the sound? May it throw off a purposeful delicate balance of parts in an original design and create something much less than the original? Anyone have any experience with this?
IMHO, it's not necessarily a good thing.  As an example, Da Hong Seetoo used to modify Jadis gear, and while he made it objectively better from a measurements standpoint, some of us felt that the mods robbed us of the Jadis house sound that we wanted.  I believe one of our members here on A-gon actually had the mods undone in a piece he had gotten.  Others, of course, liked the sound he created, so in large part it was a personal preference issue.

As another example, my prior speakers seemed like a good candidate for upgraded crossovers, so we built a standalone crossover box and put far better quality parts into that crossover.  However, the chokes we used were so much better that they had a different resistance value (even though they were rated the same) and it made the speakers unbearably bright.  Fortunately, the designer of the speakers was a member of our audio club, so he came over and redesigned the crossover to accommodate the new parts.  The end result was a much better-sounding speaker (to my ears), but it took a lot of work.

Ultimately, if someone has modified their gear, I'm sure they did it to sound better to them (and it indeed might sound better on an objective and subjective scale), but in that case I'd still want to hear it myself before buying it, because it may not necessarily sound the same as the brand name on the equipment.
No worries PC is a known and good modifier. Parts were not replaced willy nilly. The unit will sound better than stock. Well done and thought out upgrades always improve the sound of gear. The original units didn't use these better parts as they have cost constraints they must live under.

I am no engineer, so I leave that to the designer of the product, whether it be amps or speakers. I see all these posts about replacing caps, replacing this replacing that...I don't get it really. Something made you buy that amp or that pair of speakers. What made you buy it was the sound signature. That sound signiture, as you said, was built in by the the engineer of the product. That person most likely has a better trained ear than my 52 year old ears....I buy things because i think they sound good...and then I leave it alone. If I prefer a different sound, I sell it. 
audioguy85 - I’m no engineer either, but my car, while a well designed sports car, benefitted greatly from an engine control unit and transmission control unit “tune.”  These were done by professional mechanics using “tunes” (essentially software changes to the cars computer controls) made by a world wide recognized company with decades of experience.  In other words, no willy-nilly. To any subjective tester the car’s engine is much more powerful and the transmission shifts faster, while retaining the car’s great handling characteristics and reliability.  Using your rationale, I’ve ruined my car!
your car analogy is very relevant here. Your car seems to have been done by pros with some carefully selected modifications intended to raise the bar on an already very good performance profile. Other modders seem to just go to the local hot rod or rider shop and throw all the junk they can find on their ride resulting in power curve suck-outs and incorrect suspension geometry. Like everything in life, a lot depends upon the skill of the modder and the quality and applicability of the parts being used as well as the overall intention of the owner as to what he expects to achieve.

Looking at the ad, the parts replaced fall into 'veils' category:

They most probably will make the amplifier more transparent without radically changing the innate sound quality...

assuming the modifier has the expertise, equipment and EARS to evaluate the changes.

We're I in the market for the Anthem 'house sound', I'd consider it.

Well her is my two cents worth.  Upgrading parts or swapping parts comes down to what parts.  Most manufacturers build equipment to a price point.  The old Counterpoint SA-5000 preamp used a $7.00 volume control for a $4000 mfg. list priced unit.  It sounds good but not the best that can be applied.

When I modify something I generally begin with the power supply.  I use Nichicon caps there.  They are very good sounding, not too expensive and they provide good results.  I look at the other parts to see what is in there.  Resistors like Mills, Aamtrans, Caddock to me always sound better in the correct position. I also like the sound of V-Caps.

Sometimes I feel the design is not the best and I may upgrade that also.  That may require a little more skill.  I also like to go with point-to-point wiring when I can.

Changing the house sound will happen but it depends on what you are looking for.  More sound stage dimension?  More details?  Deeper Bass extension.  Clarity, dynamics, slam, etc. Once you get a handle on what parts make those sound changes, you can get a better idea of what the unit will sound like.

This has nothing to do with the skill of the modifier, as anyone of you can swap out these parts.  It is really not rocket science or very hard.  Plus you can hear the differences and decide for your self if just swapping out parts works for you.

As far as the car analogy, yes you probably need more skill installing those modification but they are probably already designed and tested kits.  For parts swapping, think of changing tire brands, performance tires, larger tires, to see how those change the performance of your car, installing larger brake calipers, things like that some of you can probably do on your own.

If you look at the Vandersteen speaker HP filters, they use WIMA capacitors and cheap resistors along with a dip switch that costs a dollar but the retail price for the pair is $900!  I built my own and in my opinion they are a level up.

Just sayin'.  Happy listening.    


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Although this thread is based on fairly new gear, lest not forget that the overhaul of a 30 - 40 year old piece can significantly upgrade the original, as parts are superior today, and older parts are, well, old...
There is more than one way to great sound. Buying and selling is not for me anymore. Far too much hassle and cost. Those of us with solid DIY skills and experience know how greatly we can improve upon a nice sounding piece of gear.  We know because we have been there and done that with mods and upgrades.....over and over. We know. Astounding the sonic gain that can be realized with our stock gear. Astounding. Well, not all know this because they have not done it and learned over the years. Just be open minded and understand there are many roads to audio enjoyment. 
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As a modded for over 20 years and a Previous Audio store owner 
I can tell you this most electronics have average parts at best ,
unless spending well over $10 k , why because 25% or less actually go into the product including the case ,the rest is overhead ,and dealer markup. Why do you think Dan Modwright 
has been so successful in the past .Loudspeakers even more so. 
I upgrade every piece of equipment in some fashion ,digital you are very limited ,unless it has output coupling capacitors , 
amplifiers for sure plenty of resistors , capacitors, wiring 
and most equipment have Cheap gold over brass connectors 
which truly hurt your musical fidelity ,for Copper has 4 times the 
conductivity and Much better sounding ,my whole system has 
gold over High purity Copper as well as all my wiring is the best Solid Core Litz !6-9s OCC Copper porous Teflon dielectric .
VH Audio Best .by having just the same ultra purity wiring 
throughout your system it creates great system synergy,high purity Copper connectors just add to this .Everything in the audio chain count including quality Fuses and power cords. 
If you send me an email  or state a list of the brand parts type 
of upgraded parts I can tell you how good a job they did .

I just read the upgrades , I know Chris Johnsons work well from Parts Connecxion and the list of parts is very respectable , noticeably better then stock. it would have been nice to see inside but that is pretty respectable 
and you do have a warranty . I would say go for it .