TRL 595 Discussion Died Years Ago

Just wondering what 2008-9 opinions might be about the player.
I don't think TRL is doing these anymore but if you can find one used at a decent price, you'll be getting alot of performance for the buck.
TRL is still modifiying the Sony 595 and 2000 SACD/CD players to this day. Two were modified last week with the latest power supply updates. One was a customer from 2007 getting updates only and the other was sent a fresh, completely stock refurbished unit.

I agree with Lokie. If you can find one already done, buy it. Out of the hundreds of 595/2000's modified, their only issue is that a handful have had SACD disc read issues on Hybrids.
I just got one in early June 09. I'm happy with it,but the last thread generated such controversy a few years ago, I thought that a consensus might have been reached after some side by side comparasions had been done and further discussion.
What did you use prior, Shake777?
I used my Panasonic BD35 Bluray. It seems obvious to me that I'm getting more interesting music from the TRL but it would be nice to hear a side by side with the stock 595 or some other good SACD players. I was reading about some of these people who seemed to have unlimited funds and the obsession to buy multiple units each purported to be the best. Even they generally seemed pleased with the TRL

Most of what I read about TRL was positive and people seem to hold Paul in high regard. I personally like him (via email correspondence). We had a few difficulties some of which took a bit of patience on my part but things don't always go smoothly in business.

I'm mostly perplexed that the thread ended abruptly and years have gone by with no mention of the TRL 595 Mod.
Thanks for your info guys. It settled my worries a bit. I paid $750.00 and it was a little tricky to pick out the improvements during the burn in which I believe is well behind me since I think I've got over 600 hours on it.

I really do like the sound and I listen to it constantly.

What kind of players do you all have?
The fact that the talk died down shouldn't be considered good or bad, it's just the cyclical nature of things around here. From my observation, it seems that TRL generally enjoys a good rep in regard to their products and mods. But, they don't advertise and have a very sparse website, so it takes a happy customer like you to bring their products forward for discussion. I almost pulled the trigger on one of their Dude preamps recently, but something else caught my eye at the last minute.
Good point. Sometimes there's just nothing else to say. I, on the other hand, have a new toy and want to talk about it. Thank you for indulging me.

The mystery is proprietary information. I guess they feel like they developed something special and, by all rights, do not want to share what they are doing. I heard it had to do with their high dollar equipment and applying what they learned tweaking it. Paul also told me they use microscopes to get to what would otherwise be inaccessable.
The mystery is proprietary information. I guess they
feel like they developed something special and, by all rights, do not want to
share what they are doing. I heard it had to do with their high dollar
equipment and applying what they learned tweaking it. Paul also told me they
use microscopes to get to what would otherwise be inaccessable.

This is exactly why the TRL 595 discussion died years ago. You've answered
your own question.

To my knowledge, TRL is the only modification service that does not disclose
exactly what is performed on customers' equipment. As a result, a potential
customer for TRL modifications must make the purchase decision on faith.

People like me who wanted to know what specifically was done for $750 were
blasted by others who vehemently defended TRL's decision not to disclose
the details.

The threads quickly took on the qualities and fervor of religious debate until
they spun out of control and everyone took a permanent "time
out" and ceased the discussion.

It was bizarre.

It's TRL's prerogative to keep their modification details a mystery, and for
many happy TRL customers, the details don't matter.
IMHO for those that don't have extensive experience in circuit design and pretend they have an answer or answers to the mysteries yet to be truly discovered in getting it exactly right, we have the neysayers,like TVAD. Here we have an enthusiast who has a part time job hanging out on this site, dolling out dubious info at best. Check out his response history it's in the thousands. Then we have TRL a verified 35 year vet of an original tube circuit , manufacturing the finest 800 watt tube amps ever made, bar none. Nobody to date has been able to copy any of his proprietary circuits . The bonified engineers have tried with no luck . Has TRL had it's anomolies absolutely. Is it in the mainstream reviewer circuit, like Krell, Pass, Jadis, MBL, Cary and the rest ? No way Jose' some experienced seasoned philes are trying to pass on the good word and our good friend TVAD wants to tear it apart and get the details of the latest. How many manufacturer's have copyied RCA tubed circuits over the years? The copy cats and vultures will steal your heart and soul in a nano second. Tvad wants details for 750.00 when he got details for thousands on a Denon 3910 that the vendor went awol without the coutesy of a post card. TRL is a phone call away with real reliable cust service. Talk about bizarro it could be TVAD! Is TRL the best on the planet, that always remains to be seen. There will always be the pros and cons depending on the reason for the season :)
See what I mean, Shake777...
There is nothing new under the sun. While I have not heard TRL, I am skeptical of modders who fail to disclose methods. The aftermarket is small and it is futile to struggle over crumbs; the best ideas are more likely to be ignored than copied. Awhile back someone sent me detailed photos of the botched work of a well-known modder(who shall remain nameless) who similarly shrouds his work in secrecy. Buyer beware.
See what I mean Goner's no substance just fleeting unsubstanciated mindless opinion. Chatter ...More like the washerwomen in the laundrymat. Hardly deserves a response. Keep pointing the finger staying on the defensive. Just answer the questions T. How many repsonses are you at now, and how is the Denon doing? How much money did you spend on the player and mod,and what was his explanation? See what I mean, shake 777 and this is what we get from our beloved TVAD . No answers just babble!

There is nothing new under the sun !
What in the Sam H--- does that mean? Does the budda statue idol have some significance in your life? I have a feeling there is a full one out tonight. :) :)

I actually thought Tvad's response here was very balanced compared to previous posts on TRL threads. This coming from someone who has flamed him in the past for what I felt were his unwelcome and unwarranted comments on TRL threads.

The TRL/APL war is no secret and the threads are available to those who wish to seek them out here or on AA. Looking back on them they were like crusades fought by religious zealots with each side holding on to the death to defend their tenets.

It's no secret that I have an allegiance to TRL. They have a right to keep their information proprietary. It's our right to decide to buy based on that. Heck, I bought an amp from them that is one of the best I ever heard and I couldn't even pop open the top. Didn't stop me from enjoying it though.

I think Tvad summed it up nicely here:

It's TRL's prerogative to keep their modification details a mystery, and for
many happy TRL customers, the details don't matter.
Cleo, you are right with your analysis. My beef is why did he respond period. The question was how are TRL players currently? TVAD has no empirical knowledge and has the history of bad blood. Smoothing it over and working into formats that he doesn't belong is his forte' IMHO. It's his passionate idle time whether he has ligitimate info or not. Like someone who is in a crowd that just likes to hear themselves talk. Look up his responses they are staggering in number, mind boggling. Although it can be frustrating Cleo it is all a part of the game here on these social networking sites. Hope you got a chance to hear the new improved circuit designs! Be well!
Lithiumjoe, having performed digital mods myself, I am familiar with the significant time and parts expense often required to achieve performance. I'm therefore curious about anyone whose "secret sauce" can do the job for the short money. What makes TRL somewhat unusual is $20K-$140K custom tube amps positioned beside CDP mods $500-$1K. Is it really that much more difficult to make a good tube amp than a top CDP? Then there are stories like this, from a forum where contributors know something of electronics.

Sometimes mysteries are best left unsolved.

I see your point.

FWIW, the following is just a generalization of what I have come to see here of late on Audiogon. There seems to be a persona created among certain members that they are "the men" of Audiogon. How the persona was created, either self anointed or member blessed, is irrelevant, but there are those who feel that a thread isn't worth its salt unless they post their thoughts, regardless of whether it is relevant to the topic or not.

Its too bad it has come to this here. I really miss the days of Sean, Romy the Cat, and many others who are gone from here who actually had very meaningful things to say and whose posts were very informative. I spend a lot of my time over at the Asylum and Circle now, as well as peruse Romy's site. Lots more interesting reading.

BTW - I'm calling Brian this weekend to discuss The Dude. I'm hoping to get it soon as I think I'm ready to go back to a tube preamp.

I've always enjoyed reading your posts here and elsewhere and can appreciate your opinions on digital mods. IIRC you are fond of the transformer output stage that Kyle at RAM has developed with the Audio Consulting Silver Rock transformers (an enhancement also used by Kevin Carter at K&K Audio with Lundahl transformers for an Original CDP marketed by Moon Audio). In comparison to RAM that specifically lists all the details of their mods, the concept of proprietary mods is certainly hard to grasp, but I can say that I have been rewarded with my leap of faith.

Concerning the link to the article you posted, there are always two sides to a story. However, if you are interested in hearing a TRL modded unit, please feel free to email me offline. I'd be happy to lend you my TRL modified DAC. Feel free to open it up and look inside. Some of the mods are very apparent, while others not so. As we both know its the sound that really counts though.
Clio: Just for the record, TRL has modifed over 1000 units over the past 5 years. Considering the numbers, you'd expect to find dozens for sale, here at the Gon, but you don't.

This said, it appears that the "leap of faith" worked out for many others. too.
Clio, Thanks for your thoughtful remarks and for your offer to audition a TRL unit. Perhaps this can be arranged. In defense of TRL's apparent practices, I have heard recently from several good techs how much can be gained by potting or shielding digital circuitry. This is probably the one area I have not personally explored as an amateur modder. I believe the practice is antithetical to the RAM/Audio Consulting nature-boy philosophy exemplified by unshielded wires, distain for Mu-shielded transformers, and preference for wood enclosures. But I need to experiment with this. If the performance improvements are worthwhile, then this may explain how TRL can mod digital economically.

Agreed, there are two sides to every story, and dissappointed customers are everywhere. But one would be justifiably pissed discovering that a modder who had just covered his PCB with epoxy failed to tie down a solder joint.
Thanks, its obvious that there's controversery around disclosure and I'm not trained to understand the details, even if they were available. Again, I do believe a company has a right to their secrets. If the product outperforms the compettion, that's what impresses me and thats what I care about.

I'm more concerned about where the mod sits in the hierachy of players.

The first mention of SACD I heard was about the early part of March and I was offered the Sony XA5400 for $1$400.00. No way since I had somehow lost my deep affection for serious listening to music years ago.

But the SACD acronym stuck and I started looking into it. Viola! Sony CE595 for $140.00.Found a great review on the stock unit and it was an easy choice. I also preferred the 5 disc carousel.

I ran across the TRL mod reviews. I was mostly dicouraged by my Klipsch Forum but I liked the idea that for a several hundred I could beat out the players costing much more. I went for it after corresponding with Paul. Its a good player and it renewed my love of listening to good music.

But how good? I know I should trust my ears and enjoy, but I also care about more recent reviews from better more experienced ears than mine. If not so be it. Thanks
David I'm running out on my Lithium! Although, if you are talking about a manufacturer that has responded to the economic hard times and passing a real savings in audio to the end user. Your right you hit the nail on the head.These mods could sell for a lot more and still command the same audience. When Shake pulls the trigger on the current TRL 595. He will be back on the site shouting from the rooftops.Your cheap shots taking a poke from a customer in 04'who may of had a ligitimate grievance without any understanding of the other side or concern for the reason for the season. It speaks volumes to the integrity of your rheteric. Maybe your a progressive prosecuting attorney by trade with an agenda to move forward. I know a president who could use you in his cabinet. Anyone can find bones in our closet, but why did they get there? Don't exactly know what happened in 04' but it sure isn't a concern in 09'. Maybe for you and Budda ? Your a typical load of hot air in an empty suit. Yeah, I fooled around with some mods, and I know great designers and repairmen, so what. David the cheap shot artist! Please can you answer your affinity with Budda, is he one of your modded magical mystery men or is he a form of worship for you?

I purchased a modified Sony 900 from TRL about 1.5 years ago. I so enjoy it. I just sent it back to TRL for Paul's latest power supply upgrade. I have it back now and have to tell you the sound is perfect to me. Relaxed, open and so natural. I have not heard a CD player sound this beautiful.

I now own TRL gear and wire all around with the exception of my Silverline Bolero speakers. I am so off the buyng and selling merry-go-round now. I just buy music and some odds and ends like amp stands etc.

I just want to confirm that my Sony unit from TRL is wonderful. The work is obvious with the top removed and his power supply modification fantastic. The power supply modification alone will transform any piece of gear as it is that profoundly good.

I'm very perplexed because I put my TRL 595 up for sale so I could raise money to get a Sony 400 disc player modified by TRL. I'm not getting any bids on my auction, not one after a ton of views. OK it looks a little awful on the door but that is going to be fixed and the rest of it looks perfect. I think I should at least get some lowball offers, although thats not what I want. If anyone could shed light for me I'd greatly appreciate it as I've got a little over a day left. By the way, I'm not soliciting for offers here as that would be outside the rules of the discussion forum. I'm just looking for advise. Sincere Thanks,
Shake 777

I see that you are a recent member of Audiogon, and your question from yesterday suggests you’re not familiar with the way auctions go on this site. I myself am not that familiar with the auction process on Audiogon because I do almost all my buying from the classified ads. However, from the little I’ve observed of auctions, almost all the bids come at the very end of the auction. With the automated proxy bidding system, there’s no reason to bid any earlier. On a rare occasion, someone might attempt a “shut out” bid, but that only works if the bid is fairly high and therefore runs the risk of overpaying.

Your question would be more relevant if you asked it after your auction failed. In that case, it might be because you are a “zero feedback” seller. It’s often been said in these forums that “everyone starts with zero feedback.” However, because buyers are at greater risk (they pay before receiving the goods), it’s easier for a newcomer to start out as a buyer and build up feedback before selling. I’m not saying it’s impossible to sell with zero feedback, just harder.
Thanks for the good common sense information, I appreciate it.
My TRL modded Marantz SA8001 came back sounding worse overall than the original.I will be careful next time mod anything as I also got a lemon Shanling 3000 level II mod with Dexa clock from Chris Johnson from Parts connection here in Canada who designs mods for Underwood Hifi in the US.
I wonder about break-in time?What say you?Good luck,Bob
It has being playing for a month and did break in by opening up etc.It is well broken in.Thanks for asking Bob.

My TRL 8001 sounds awesome. It’s beaten some high-buck players in my system. As for the Weitzel’s use of potting to conceal their work, I can certainly understand why. I’ve heard numerous horror stories of talented designers being ripped off in this hobby. Yes, concealed work immediately opens one up to suspicion, but as I said, I can understand why Paul and Brian do it. I’ve known them for quite a while now, and I can assure anyone that there’s nothing underhanded going on. It’s just a case of talented people wanting to protect their work from the unscrupulous.
I sent the Marantz SA8001 back to Paul and he claimed Marantz had a faulty part in the unit which must have failed when I fired it up...or so I assume.I sent the unit back across the border twice because they refused it at the border now that anything with a laser over $500 is considered a"potentially hazardous product".The bureaucracy and paranoia down there is just off the scale since 911 and all the bona fide security issues it raised.I do blame you folks however this is just crazy.

Anyway,in the end Paul sent the unit back to me.My overall shipping costs were in the $300 range however the unit sounds absolutely breath taking after a lengthy break in.I have never heard any digital front end regardless of price sound so good .Paul is a very kind and patient man and IMHO his mods are the real deal.

Happy Listening


Kelowna B.C.

Any of you guy still using a 595TRL spinner?
Happy Listening!
I wish I still had mine with battery power supply. 


how long did you own the 595? Did you compare it to any other spinners?

Happy Listening!

I had mine for perhaps 5 years. At the time it bested ( to me only) all manner of CD players costing up to $4000 or so. My unit had additional power supply and output cap mods that I did and it also had Paul’s battery power supply added.

Now this player sounds very at ease and warm with a definite personality which may not be exciting enough for some. It is the antithesis of bright or edgy. Perhaps too dull for some. Paul modified the Marantz unit for those who wanted more top end emphasis and sparkle.

Thank You- grannyring

which spinner replaced your 595 ?

Happy Listening!

Well I am trying to remember, but as I recall it was a Cary 306. I really do wish I would have kept the TRL player.  
Thanks! again grannyring

the Cary 306 is legendary.
Happy Listening!

how does the 595 sound w/o the battery power supply?
Happy Listening!
The battery power supply was a tad less dynamic, but a little more “analog” sounding.  Just more at ease/natural and less electronic sounding. 
Thanks! again  - grannyring
Happy Listening!