To mod or not to mod a Sony SCD1

Well I have been toying with this idea for a number of years. Never had the courage to mod my Sony SCD1 having read so many conflicting reports.
I still find my un- modded Sony SCD1 really great in the bass and quite musical through my Audio Research tube amps and ML Requests. Can Audiogoners particularly those who have had their Sony's modded in the past relate their experiences?
Particularly in relation to Super Clock 4 and power supply upgrade. Any views will be appreciated. Thanks.
I went from a stock sony 777, supposedly the same sonically as a SCD-1, to a modded SCD-1: superclock 3, black gates, vishays, so definitely an older mod than you're looking at.

that being said, what I noticed in the switch was more 'delicacy', humanity, analog-ness - not more whizz-bang or pounding bass. to my ears it was a definite improvement.

given the age of the SCD-1, the expense of mods, the expense of (future) repairs on the SCD-1 (assuming you can get parts), I wouldn't do it if I were you. I'd spend the money on a great DAC (SCD-1's are considered great transports) and when the SCD dies on you, either go HD or get another CDP to use as a transport. the only downside is if you have lots of SACDs (which won't play through a DAC).

incidentally, the guy at RAM told me that a fully modded oppo 83se (the unmodded version was $500) will beat a SCD-1 with the best ($$$!) mods he has.
Complete waste of money at this stage of the game.

You'd be better off buying a new Sony 5400ES, IMO.
Had an unmodded 777 for ten years. When it went bad got a 5400es. The 5400 is much better than the 777 or scd-1 especially on redbook. Also you can get the 5400 modded if you want. You can get a new 5400 for $1100 but I don't feel any need to mod my 5400
I used to be a big time modder, but moved away from it completely and here is why. The econmoics don't work. You will take a hit of 75% on most any mod - i.e. you spend $1000 bucks on a mod and you loose $750 when you resell the modded piece. If you had spend the $1,000 bucks on a better stock component and bought it smart, you loose $250 at most when you resell. So it is far more sensible to save the mod money and buy better components.

All this would be moot if a $1,000 mod takes a $1,000 piece to $5,000 performance levels. Despite all sort of claims of giant killer mods, I never personally experienced one myself - I got more sound quality improvement per $$$ spend from buying better components than modding.

Bottom line. Get higher grade stock components instead of spending money on mods.
Particularly in relation to Super Clock 4 and power supply upgrade

Super Clock 4 (or any other “super clock”) does not "fix" the nasty PLL clocking of the SCD-1 featuring very high jitter (regardless of the external reference). There is a lot more that need be done, meaning, the entire clocking architecture must be changed/replaced.

Power supply/Black Gate caps upgrade will sure sound "different" but not necessarily "better"; you need to replace the entire analog output stage before doing any “Black Gate upgrade”.

The sad part is that, the SCD-1/SCD-777 is built like a tank and have very nice disc spinning transports, but are flawed by design, IMO! While this is “fixable” to a large extent, it really depends on whether you really want to keep this player or not. If you are listening mostly to CDs, just forget it.

Alex Peychev
The 5400 is much better than the 777 or scd-1 especially on redbook.

Sure, the inferior 5400 transport gets backed by "superior" Digital Signal Processing (DSP) that is not even Sony! It is Matsushita/Panasonic. Yes, Sony has outsourced this to a larger/cheaper manufacturer (with Burr-Brown DACs)!

While I'd agree that the 5400 is better (stock), it has nowhere near the potential of SCD-1/SCD-777, sorry to say!

IMO, of course, as usual!

Alex Peychev
That's very good insight, Edorr. Thank you!
Case in point of modding economics. You buy a a "build like a tank" $1500 SCD-1 and do $3000 worth of mods. Your $4500 modded player now has a resale value of $2500.

Alternatively, you can buy a used "build like a tank" Emm labs CDSA se for $5000. In a fire sale, resale value is still $4500. Do the math.

Now, your modder will tell you the modded Sony with "trounce" the EMM labs player - this type of claims are not consistent with my experience. Even if the modded Sony is marginally better, I'd rather have a $500 writeoff on my balance sheet than $2000.
Aplhifi Which Bur -Brown Dacs are in the Sony?
And how many Dacs are in the Sony?
I tried to Google this and could not locate an answer.
Thanks Gary
There's only one Dac in the Sony, a PCM 1796.


Aplhifi Which Bur -Brown Dacs are in the Sony?

The service manual lists DSD1796 which is the same as PCM1796.

In my previous post I've mistaken the 5400 with a DVD player. So here is a correction:

The 5400 is not even Panasonic; it is built around a single MediaTek chip (Sony re-labeled) that is found in every $100-200 DVD player (Pioneer, Sony, Oppo, etc.) It is a single-chip-DVD-player processor with HDMI output. The video capabilities are unused in the 5400 but they have PCM and DSD on the HDMI connector. Apart from the fact that this is the most cost-effective single-chip solution available (so the different internal stages interfere with each other), the entire processor runs from a single 27MHz clock reference (that has nothing to do with audio, BTW). Then, inside, there is an extremely jittery PLL to provide clocks for the audio.

Though Sony did a clever job clocking the DAC directly from the 22M audio reference, they are using programmable PLL (75pS jitter) to "convert" 22M to 27M for the MediaTek chip. This results in enormous jitter level coming with the audio data stream to the DAC.

Oh well, what can I say? Blows my mind reading "Sony 5400 the best under $10,000".

Alex Peychev
Aplhifi Thanks for the detailed description.
may i ask whether my experience of hiss is related to mod?

this scd-1 come with clock, opa and capacitor mod. before i can appreciate any benefit of this mod. i noticed a hiss by the following: play a cd, stop and crank up the volume. now, a hiss can be heard very easily. i do not feel this is right but have no idea what would be the cause.

i plan to change opa627 back to something more prove(like 5532, tentatively) to see whether it would be quieter.