Hi Clio, what have you compared it to so far?
If you go to my review you will see more details. Right now the only comparison being made is to the stock unit.
Prior to deciding on the stock Audio Mirror I auditioned a number of DACs, most in my system, but others in-store. They included: Audio Note (1.1x and 2.1x), 47 Labs Shigaraki, Benchmark, MSB, and Bel Canto. I am going to place an order for the Audio Sector DAC shortly and will makes some comparisons to that unit.
I can tell you that the FET output, hexfreds, and Auricaps aren't going to make a significant difference between the stock units. However, the TRL modded unit will outperform the D1 and although I haven't heard it, I'm confident will also outperform the D2, both by a wide margin. I asked TRL if using the newly upgraded parts would add value to their mods and they were pretty ambivalent about it. In fact they were pretty impressed with the stock caps in the D1 and were confused why Vlad would go with Auricaps. They didn't see the need to upgrade that area of the DAC.
Can anybody describe the signature or what to expect from the TRL mods? Is there a common quality of sound that is associated with the TRL mods? Did anyone have more than one piece of equipment modified by them? Just curious what can be improved because their mod is $550 regardless of the unit being modified. Just curious.....thanks
I have one of their solid state amps, the modified D1, and soon I will have the modified Sony DVP-NS900V. I have recently heard the modified Sony in another set-up with VMPS speakers and Atma-sphere monoblocks.
One of the things I notice about the TRL house sound is the lowered noise floor resulting in increased micro and macro dynamics. I really feel this is where TRL excels. Their ability to squeeze every last ounce of detail that a unit can deliver is amazing. Listening at low volume levels has never been easier. My neighbors love it.
As for the tonal qualities, with the digital mods the bass is cleaner and tighter. The highs lose the graininess (digititis), and the mids flourish, but aren't overly sweet.
The amp differs somewhat from the digital mods in that it is very transparent. It provides ample power and is extremly quiet. Musical reproduction is very accurate and it will expose any weaknesses that may exist in your system. I am using a tube preamp right now, but will be trying a passive preamp shortly that should give me a better idea of the TRL house sound.
I hope this helps. If you're in the SoCal area you're welcome to stop by for a listen.
Clio, thanks for your comments. I appreciate the offer to come by and listen. I am in NYC so it won't be possible. I just wanted to get a feel on what to expect from TRL mods. I did talk to them and they explained what the results of the mods should be, but I like to hear from someone who had it done. I understand they do some re-wiring of power supply, dampen the board and clock, etc. But it is tough to think that it goes beyond that for $550 as far as replacement of caps, resistors, etc. Just reducing the overall noise floor of the unit can go a long way. Which is a good thing if it can be properly achieved without sacrificing other things that the stock unit did well.
Audphile1- TRL made a huge point to me that the D1 in stock form was excellent and one of the best stock DACs that has come through their shop. It has a simple circuit which makes it easy for them to work on. TRL usually likes to replace the output caps, but in this case the stock ones tested well so they didn't bother. As a mod shop they stay away from the $40 bag of parts approach and focus on many of the things you mentioned that result in a lower noise floor (20db on the scope in my case) without sacrificing the integrity of the stock sonic signature.
I too am considering a TRL mod. In my case a CDP, an esoteric DV-50. I spoke with Paul a couple of months ago when I had some trouble with my machine. He was very helpful even though I was not a customer. I really like my system right now, but if it can be improved easily like this, perhaps it is worth a try. Since I do much of my listening at low levels, Clio09's comments are especially interesting/appealing.
I have had a bad experience with a mod before, so I am a bit apprehensive.
Dbld - money back guarantee if you don't like the mod. Not much risk except shipping cost. No one has taken TRL up on this offer after receiving their modified player. This should give you added confidence in TRL's capabilities. If you really like your player and want to squeeze a lot more out of it this is the most economical route to go.
I too had bad experience with modded player(Sound Odyssey Music Hall CD25). That's why I am hesitant to mod anything else. The only thing I would mod without thinking twice is my McCormack DNA-125 amp. And that is only because Steve McCormack is the modder that works on it. To me, if the mods are done by someone who designed the equipment is a no brainer. But TRL has excellent reputation and I have never heard 1 bad thing about them.