TRL 595-how good is it?

I am a digital junky, so I have been thru well over a dozen players in the past 12 months. My favorite is the APL 3910. I just bought the TRL Sony 595 from the Tsunami auction, and will receive next week. Any one here have experience with this machine? I TT Paul from TRL and he said he is still shaking his head from disbelief on how good this puppy sounds. I am impatient, so would love some feedback. I also love the fact it is a 5 disc changer. Could it be a world beater? I have TT a person who sold his Cary 303/200 after burning this puppy in.

Ehquiring minds want to know


What's TRL web address? Thanks
It is really good :)
Stephaen Harrell of 6 Moons has a review on it coming out soon.
Do a search over on AA Hi Rez forum.
Many very experienced people really enjoy it.
You will certainly like it. Whether you think it is better than something else will be interesting to hear. Each person has different tastes.
It may be a matter of different presentations rather than X is better than Y.
I will say that I am done wondering about or looking for a digital front end. check em out
Hey 711: You hit the jackpot! You'll find very few units on the market that will sound better at any price. Be patient and be ready to call all your friends over. The best monies you've spent in audio period in regards to digital. Hand on there is more coming. Keep your ears and eyes open. Later!
Patience is really not my virtue here, but I am having fun.

BTW, what else is coming?
How good is it? There are 8 friends of mine right now that own the TRL/Sony 595 that are keeping quiet until they sell their other various modified players, to insure that they get the maximum price.

While I have no real experience with Klipsch loudspeakers of any kind, nor any of your other associated gear, I feel confident that you will like the TRL 595. My primary source used to be my modified Scully 270 open reel deck, playing back my 300 some master dubs. Now I load 5 CD's or SACD's and sit back and enjoy: 1) The analog tape sound of their unit and 2) The convenience of the 5 disc player. (a huge plus for a lazy mid-life guy like myself) 3) And, I don't miss spooling tape and listening to the entire reel, just to hear that one favorite song at the end of the reel. (I realize that any CD player can remedy number 3, but until now, not one has sounded like my mod'ed Scully playing back 2 track masters.)

But what it all comes down to is, if it weren't for number 1 listed above, I wouldn't use it much.

Patience .... patience ...
I have had mine for about a week now and am very impressed. I know this is an over used summary of audio gear but this deck is a great value. There are claims that it competes with the most expensive players out there... which I can't confirm without doing AB's on my system. I do know that for $650 it is a no brainier. It is very airy and high end sounding. I am hearing things I've never heard... bla bla bla. I am curious as to what other more experienced listeners have to say about it over time. One thing about about my player though is that the power button doesn't work. I have been traveling and just haven't gotten around to talking to Paul. I am keeping it on all the time any way to burn it in. The carousel is a real bonus for me. Although I haven’t quite figured out my base management with my Redbook CD's when I throw them on the carousel with SACD's. I have to leave my AV receiver on 6 ch input and it is not sending the lower frequencies to the sub. But like I said I haven't had allot of time to work with it. My experience with Paul/TRL has been excellent. Maybe one of these days I'll be able to afford one of those big TRL amps.
Guys, thanks for the feedback, I am looking forward to breaking in all my new stuff. Jes45, my Reimer Tetons were delivered yesterday, so I have a few hundred hours to break them in as well. Hopefully Paul will ship my player by tuesday, so I have it by Friday. I will let it burn in for about 10 days, and give it a listen then. I really, really like the fact it is a 5 disk player. I may in fact need 2, if it is that good. I will respect all in that I will not post until the right time.

Lokie, I hope you get your unit working proper, I am sur Paul will make all right. He really seems like a standup guy, and seems genuinely amazed himself on the sonics of this 12 lb wonder. I am sure there are better, but at what cost.

Patience, ok, I guess I will have to be patient.
I want to follow up on my previous comments that I'm sure the base management issue that I'm having has nothing to with the TRL mod. And everything to do with my receiver and user error.
I am interested on the experiences of other users which might help me out.
Lokie: the power switch is disconnected. This is part of the mod. According to Paul, this is important. Your unit is not broken. Listen and enjoy! (I know that I have been)

711: there is better and I've heard it. I've heard the $30K Tube Research Labs proto-type in their listening room and yes, it is better than the TRL/Sony 595. But it is $29,200 more, so it had better be, right?

Sounds like you have a lot of new gear showing up at the same time. I've heard that the Reimers need a little time to fully break in, (like any other good speaker), so hopefully everything settles in around the same time ...
Does anyone knows what kind of mods are done to this units? I just send him an e-mail asking if he has worked with the 2000ES ( basically the same model with a few extras) but would like to know a bit more about the 595.
Thanks and enjoy your units.
Jes45, Thanks for the vote of confidence, I am burning the speaker in as I write, they are starting to open up a bit, but, far from what I have heard others sound like. I have been having issues with one of my amps, and just bought a BPT 3.5 sig to try. Along with waiting for my TRL, and Modwright, a few PC's, and interconnects, my system sounds just fine. heh heh. Thank god my PP's and APL are working fine. All is not lost, my glass is just half full right now.
Paul Weitzel views the mods as a proprietary process which is fairly common. He does not publish or disclose specific details to my knowledge.
They "optimize all circuits" and if I recall correctly form my emails with Paul they used their $30,000 reference signal processor to voice and tune the mod.

What I will tell you is whatever they do-it is quite an extraordinary unit which defies all logic in terms of the modest investment. The sound is breathtaking.
Jahaira: You are correct sir... I talked to Paul and as you stated the power switch is disabled for improved sonics.
I have to say that I have been sceptical of the whole burn in phenom that I read about so much.I have never experienced it myself until now. After about 2-3 weeks of burn in this thing is really sounding phenominal (not that it didn't sound good to start with). That's the good news.. the bad news is that I've suddenly got the upgrade rash and find myself scurring to look for new speakers. I feel like I just put a piece of equipment in my system that signifcantly leaped frogged everything else.
Thanks Lokie, but it wasn't me who answered your question. It was Jes45 .... Anyway, the break-in time with this Sony models are long ( with my 2000ES took over 250 hours) but worth it.

Don't get caught in the upgrade game until you get used to your new system. Maybe your actual speakers found their perfect match.

The 2000ES is basically the same unit ( 595) with a few additions and the use of 2 transformers. The main board is the same but has 1 less cap ( replaced with the additional transformer...?...).

Paul responded me and told me that he also offer the same mods to the 2000ES at the same price and conditions. What he does to the units is, like LKDog said, propietary. The important thing is that the unit with mods are affordables and represents a great investement.
I have to agree that the break in is extensive and since the mods likely add another element of break in required I am still hearing changes (good ones) after nearly a month and probably 325 hours.

I had not played the unit for about a day and a half as I just added a new phono preamp I am playing around with.

I think the "rest" did something. The bass extension and air is now at another level. This is quite a piece of gear.
We are talking about changes and improvement but have not specified where they are...CD and/or SACD playback? The circuits on these babys needs extensive break-in on both formats. My unit was set 24/7 with 3 CD's and a SACD's inside. Since the unit determined what format was playing ( front light is on when it's a hi-rez multi-disc) he has several hours on each format. The Default set the 2-channel SACD on and no hybrid side was playing during break-in.

My 2000ES is very good on both formats and bass has improved over my previous system ( which was nothing fancy but included good pieces and was 6:1 in cost). Sony has done something really nice with this cheap units and TRL seems to add the remaining piece on the puzzle.
Guys what are you comparing this unit to ???

There was a wild statement by one of the posters that he has 8 friends that are selling there modded units for this unit.
I have emailed that poster for more specific details as to which modded units they were compared to, but he would not help me.

So, I understand that all are impressed with this unit and for the modest price I am surly interested.
But, what has it been compared to, other $500 players with $500 modds or what ??? Or $4000 players ??? Or $4000 modded players???
Could you believe a $23,000 unit ?
I was in the market for a Meitner combo. I even had one in my system for over 1 month.

Hope this helps you, Ken.
Wow, That is some claim.
If this is true, why would anyone buy TRL $20,000 Player?
I am going to buy one.
Umm, actually the TRL combo is $30K and I have heard the proto-type which is better than the TRL595. Is it $29,200 better? Some will pay the price for the difference. You get what you pay for ...

Best wishes,
Lets be honest, there is no way a $700 modded player will perform as good as a $20,000 + Player.

Thus far all this thread has added is:
1. This is a top secrete mod that no body knows what's inside.
2. Many people will be selling off there modded units but can't disclose who they are(because they dont want to ruin there Used Resale value) or do we know what mods those sellers have.

If this unit is so great for so little money, TRl should make these units full time and they would be flying off the shevles.
Yes, I believe you get what you pay for.

I think TRL is doing a lot of these, actually. One person had TRL source them the 595 when they placed their order instead of shipping one to them and TRL stated that they order from 10-30 a week for modding. That is separate from the ones people send them.

TRL and Paul Weitzel have a lot of products and projects.
I have no idea what part of their revenue this represents of their business, but after the pro reviews come out-there will no doubt be even more requests.

I think the whole modding business is part technical/hardware and mostly art of the design and ability to systemically create an end product synergy of sound.

I am sure there are "house" voicings by all modders based upon what they feel is the ideal reproduction of music.
I believe that whether it is any of the very fine modders (Wright, Empirical Audio, APL, TRL, etc) you are paying for their intellectual design for that unit or brand line.

I don't know exactly how TRL makes the 595 so good. They certainly know what they are doing and I like their "house" sound.

I think the only thing you can do is try and give one a listen, if possible, and see what you think.

Guys, it is real fun reading this thread. Thanks Mr. Smilin...:-)

Now, I am wondering, what would be a cost effective modification which is highly proprietary and sells for $550 (assuming the base machine cost is about $100)?

Looking at the Service Manual of the 595, it can be clearly seen that it does not cost even $50 for Sony to manufacture this little puppy.

I am sure that it sounds good for the money, or even better, but a little and as cheap as it can get player can only do so much. I am also sure that TRL has done a great job with possible power supply, clock and their tube output mod, but this is not changing the fact that we are talking about $50 machine to begin with.

Better than $20K machines, even more, better than Meitner? I’d think many times before making this kind of statement...:-)

Enjoy the music!

Hi Lkdog,

I am glad that you brought up the "house" voicings/sound issue. Would you elaborate more on the house sound of TRL unit and, better yet, possible comparison with other modders if you had prior experience. I believe that will be helpful for us to know what to expect or how that's going to work (synergistically) in our systems. Thanks.
The work done to the TLR is "propietary" , meaning that it's a secret and the reviews from actual owners don't specify anything meaningful. The only one that told something is at the reviews section. It includes an IEC, replaced some caps and eliminate some filtering settings. The transport is dampened too and it doesn't include any tubes. There is another thread very interesting ( which includes postings by LKdog and myself )and that explained a few things and future reviews from Positive Feedback and 6Moonaudio.

Paul seems to be a great person and a dedicated proffesional with lots of knowledge in digital designs. People who owned his equipments and modifications are very happy with his work. He has a site, and it has usefull information.

Yes, the modest cost completely defies logic. From the little I know about the mod it hints in some ways of the Decware mod approach that Steve Deckert does to a SONY sacd/cd (although he does actually use a tube output, where TRL does not). I think there is a minimalist/purity approach taken in some way. TRL does not add a lot of higher end parts according to Paul Wietzel, but I do not know specifically so my musings are not that valid.
The only observable change is a 3 prong IEC plug put in, and the hole where the old cord came out.

Again, the outcome or result is the ultimate benchmark of their mod, no matter what the cost of the initial platform.
If they can make a $139 unit (what I paid for the 595) sound great-more power to them.
They also will apply their same modification paradigm/approach to the higher end Sony sacd/cd's if folks are more comfortable with a beginning platform of better build quality.

The Sony 595 is not going to win any accolades for some of the things that are usually associated with build quality (weight,dampening, construction materials, rca jacks, "name" internal parts, etc). It has plastic feet! The stock unit has a captive power cord :)
It looks and feels like a sub $200 unit.


The "house" sound to me (and this is strictly my interpretation so take it with a grain of salt) is a voicing toward an extremely detailed, transparent, airy, extended "analog" presentation. Think high end turntable setup where the large soundstage envelopes or washes over the speakers/room in a a slightly relaxed (not intrusive) smooth way, but does not lose definition or resolution.

It does that balancing act very well of smoothness, but still defined detailed and resolved.

As an amateur musician/music producer, I am startled by the ability to separate out bass lines, for instance, in such a way as to communicate their musiciality. Low HZ detail is not easy for a mix to present and often gets lost by the engineer or the CD player cannot reproduce it clearly enough. The detail of the 595 is quite stunning, but it remains musical. The separation of instruments is similar to what I hear when I have a mix recorded in 24/96 before I mix it down to 16/44.

I am at some loss to describe the aural experience verbally.

Short answer- a really really nice analog turntable setup.

One outome for me has been listening to CD's I had given up on as being enjoyable, especially vocals which I think digital often does poorly. These CD's now truly sound remixed-as if somebody found the original analog two track tapes with simple miking and then remade the CD. You can really hear the room/venue ambience (again like a really good TT setup).

All of my comments are based upon redbook.
I have only one SACD (Monk-Straight No Chaser). It sounds wonderful in this unit. Does piano very very well which is also hard for digtial to do IMHO.

I should state I have fairly decent, but modest system components:

MF A300 Integrated amp
ACI Sapphire (25th Ann Edition) monitors
ACI Titan sub.

I should also state that I do not have experience enough to compare to a lot of other digital sources-modded or stock.

I do know what I like, and have some sense of the traditional shortcomings of digital. The TRL mod seems to address those very well and makes excellent music.

Hope this provides some insight as to what it does and does not do.

I believe that Stepahen Harrell told me his review is coming out by the end of the month on 6 Moons.

I am looking forward to see what he has to say.
He has a more informed ability, obviously, than someone like me.

Finally, the advances that engineers and pro modders are making in digital is a good thing for all.
TRL is certainly a viable option as are many others.

I will say that I am done wondering about what else is out there.... am I getting everything out of my their better sound, etc, etc.

There undoubtedly is at some price, but this makes you not really care or worry about it.
Well, I do ot have my unit yet, and am also waiting on a Modwright 3910 for my HT. I plan on letting my daughter use this for her friends ect. That way she won't be playing with my tubed units. After burning in the unit I will have a little personnal shootout of my own, with my ears, in my system. Boy I will really be playing with myself then. Heh heh.

Alex, chill baby, your APL is the BEST digital I have ever heard, anywhere, at and at any price. As you Know, in the last year I have owned

Shanling T200C
Sony XA777ES
AA Capitole II
MF Tri-Vista
Esoteric DV-50
Xindak SCD-2
Exemplar 2900
Exemplar 3910
EE Minimax
and quite a few other's....I know of only 1 unit that reigns supreme, to me, and that is the APL. I still like variety, as it is the spice of life, plus I love the multi disk aspect for music, but I also love having ALL formats like my 3910. Redbook, SACD, DVD-A, HDCD, and Video. Did I miss anything?

Ain't this obsession a hoot.

Lkdog, I look forward to hearing the TRL and playing with this puppy, and am exited about having the ability to throw in a bunch of discs, to satisfy my LAZY ASS., And my daughters friends dancing feet. I also like to be able to throw a mix of SACD's along with Redbook at the same time. I am sure for critical listening pleasure, I will use the APL, and for multi channel, HT, Video, I will use the Modwright.

So there I go(I think)
Thanks everyone for the more detailed info on this unit it has truly helped me.
Thanks a lot, Lkdog. for taking time to explain in details.

The "house sound" you described (with analogy to analogue playback) seems to be something I've been seeking and would appreciate.

Well, a very respected professional reviewer had a fellow audio afficiando walk into his listening room when he had the 595 playing and this friend promptly said something like "hey, did you get a new turntable?".
It does seem to have that character.
Paul Weitzel did comment to me via email that he feels it does address the longstanding analog vs. digital argument and that digital done well can sound as good as great analog.
I think he has done a great job on that account. Good LP's and good CD's provide me a similar enjoyable listening experience now.
Hope all works out for you in your exploring options.
I have a C2000ES for 3 months as a backup for the ailing 777ES, and I have had a couple of correspondences with Paul. I have informed Paul that I will send the unit to him in one of these days. Analogue playback is still my main source, so it's good to know what kind of change or improvement in sonic performance that potential mod would bring to the digital playback. Thanks again.
Yes, I have heard he has done several of the 2000ES models with great success. As an ES model they would have a better build quality in certain areas.

It is subjective and system dependent in many ways to describe any audio source unit (or any piece of audio gear) so I am always hesitant to make any extreme claims, especially since I do not have access to a lot of gear like a pro reviewer might. There are certainly many fine digital sources out there.

This could be a very enjoyable unit for you (and I do think most people), and I will not qualify it by syaing "for the money".
It is just plain very, very good. Now, whether it meets someone's specific system needs and ideals-well you almost have to try it I guess.
I do know that there are some very experienced people who have the 777ES and like the TRL mod better.
Good Luck!

I am not surprised by the superiority of a TRL-595/C2000ES to a stock 777ES, as I have been told. Since I still have this ailing 777ES, I cannot help but wondering how much better this TRL mod can bring to it. It is unfortunate that I could not find any comments anywhere regarding a TRL-777ES (if there is such thing).
Good listening!
Twu2... You may want to check out this review.
I got it today, the burn in begins........
Great!! Don't forget about us..... let us know how it doeas and compares to your other units.
711, I can't wait to hear your comparison of the TRL with your APL and your forthcoming ModWright.
The unit definately need time to burn in, the first listen sounded pretty ugly. I will check again in a few days. I put in 3 redbooks and 2 sacd to burn in, and have it o n 2-channel, continuous play. Time will tell, but, I am hopeful. I really got this so my daughter does not play with my APL. And for parties.
Give it at least 2 weeks on 24/7 .... Yes, it takes that long of break-in period ( stock). I don't know how it change with mods...
Paul Weitzel told me in an e-mail that it takes about 500 hrs (!) to fully burn in. He implied that after 100 hrs it would be just listenable - perhaps. "tolerable" was I think the word he used. He also said that, since the circuitry is essentially the same no matter whether a CD or SACD is playing, you can burn it in with just a CD.
Yeah, thats what I figured, I guess I will just have to suffer with my APL. wink wink
Maxxfell, the 595 is the cheapest possible CD/SACD player as intended by its manufacturer – Sony Electronics. It incorporates All-in-one, cost effective Digital Signal Processor which has the Servo, CD and SACD processing built in. Although it is just one processor, it still has COMPETELY different signal paths for CD (PCM) and SACD (DSD) as well as separate output ports for both formats. Also, the DACs used in the 595 have dedicated PCM and DSD ports with separate processing for the formats.

Bottom line: As all other SACD/CD players, 595 require separate burn in with CD and SACD.

Mr. Smilin, it was a good decision to alternate between CD and SACD. Please let us know when the "miracle" happens and the 595 starts "singing" better than Meitner...:-)

Alex, if the 595 will sing better than Meitner,
I will buy 20 of them.If only miracle happen.Bon

As another digital mod professional, I would think you would be above such troll like commentary that this thread is now disintegrating into. I am surprised that you are involving yourself in this end user banter to be honest.
I am sure you have better things to do. No one was attacking you or your work, which by several accounts is excellent.

711smilin also has no intention of coming to any conclusion other than the TRL mod is inadequate and "you da man" Alex, so no worries.

My only question is whether his daughter will let him borrow the TRL.
Hi Alex: Thank you for the information. I was posting what Paul Weitzel had told me, as I remember it. I'm certain that he advised burning in with a CD only, though I'm sure that using an SACD too will do no harm to the machine. If I get one of his modded machines, I'll follow his advice, since I wouldn't get one of his modded machines unless I thought he knew what he was talking about. Just as, if I got one of your modded machines, I'd follow your advice.


Why talk about me this way? I just tell it, the way I hear it. This is a fun journey for me, and I put my money, where my mouth is, not just words, like you. If in fact the TRL is better, in any way than Alex's mods, I will be HAPPY, Floored, astonished, and in no way would I keep it a secret. I am in this for fun, not profit. I would love to get the best digital for 700 bucks. I would be nutz not too. Only time will tell. BTW, since you are a professional modder, who are you?

Best of luck in your journey.
I couldn't agree more, LK Dog. When the lights are turned on, watch all the cockroaches scramble.

What seems evident to me:

1) 711smilin has no intention of giving the TRL unit a fair shake. That seems very odd to me. What would he have to gain by doing this? Does this seem odd to anyone else? Does it mean ... (although even if he did, why would I consider his opinion over anyone elses?)

2) Alex is extremely concerned about the TRL mod unit. (And he should be). Why any modifier out there would stoop so low as to flame a competitor in the same business on-line is beyond me. Alex's comments remind me of 3 of the 4 roofing contractors that gave us bids on a roof replacement a few years back. Three of them spent the majority of their sales presentation running down the competition. The fourth contractor didn't. Guess who got the job?

3)This has been a thread about the TRL mod, which is the best baragin that I've seen in audio (in my 30 some years in the hobby) at only $550 plus shipping.

4) Jayctoy: I actually had the Meitner DAC6 and modified 1000 in my system. Can you say the same? Really. Have you ever seen one?

5) Jayctoy: Did you know that Weitzel (TRL) used the DAC8 and ADC8 for almost a year for his live DSD recordings? Would you think that a man that actually had the unit and used it for live recordings would know the sound of each unit? (Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you, Jayctoy, the ADC8 and DAC8 are separate units. One is a D to A convertor and the other is a A to D convertor, eight channels each. Can you guess which one is which?)

6) Do a google search, Tube Research Labs has an impeccable reputation. Can this be said for others?

Something just seems a little fishy about this thread now. Why all the hatred?
Guys!!! Just a few points:

1- I used 3 CDs and 2 SACds in my Sony SCD-C2000ES while break-in the unit. I don't know any technical information on its design but what Alex said about the way the signal travels makes sence to me.

2- The SCD-C2000ES and 595 are basically the same units with a few differences. Both units are modified by TRL and the 2000ES is supposed to be a bit better.

3- The original message has turned into a dispute and we should stay on track. I don't doubt these units can benefit from any modder's work ( Alex, Dan Wright, Ric S, Paul or anyone else). Most units from many brands do, so we should stay with the TRL which is the one discussed.

4- Sarcasm are out of order. LKDog bring some good details and I appreciate the.

5- After 711Smiling is ready to report on the several units he had /will heard, we should stay calm and look for reports. His opinion will be usefull.