Who Does the Best Mods on CD Players

I own a Pioneer PD-75 player. Am considering spending a couple hundred or so on a mod since I can't afford to buy the player of my dreams. Any opinions about who out there does the best job modding players - for example John Hillig of Musical Concepts or Stan Warren, etc.? Are these mods worth the money? Do they really improve the sound of the player? Any advice is very much appreciated.

Stan Warren came pretty highly recommended to me about 18 months ago. Stan claims that his mods on a sony dvp s9000es will improve the sonics by 25%.

A friend of a friend (who is an audio reviewer (for whatever that's worth)) had his s9000es mod'ed by Stan. From what I was told the friend of a friend claimed the sonic improvements were more like 40%.

I would suggest calling up a few different "tweakers" and talking to them. When doing something of this nature, it is important to be very clear about what you want and expect and how much you will have to pay to get those results. It is also important that you feel comfortable dealing with whomever you choose. If problems arise, you don't want to try to discuss something with someone that you think will be hard to deal with. I would also look for someone that spends a lot of time working on the specific type of products that you want to have modified. Sending a cd or dvd player to someone that primarily works on amps / preamps, etc... or sending ss to a tube specialist might not get the results that you want. Sean
I was very happy with the mods performed by Musical Concepts on my Pioneer DVD/CD player. I highly recommend their work.
Sean's advice sounds solid. I'd include Dan Wright of ModWright (www.modwright.com) in the list of people to talk to. He modified my CAL Delta with excellent results.
I would highly recommend "modwright" (www.modwright.com).
I have a Sony 333es which was modified by him and have been very satisfied with it. He was very easy to work with and very good about prompt communication. If I am in the market again, he will be at the top of my list.
I would echo Sean's comments. It isn't so much as _who's_ the best, as it is who's the best FOR YOU! Call several modders and discuss with them what you have, what you want, and what you expect. Then listen to their comments and get few for whose mods would be the best match for you. The modders will probably be straight up with you as to is what mods they provide are a match for you.
Thanks for the tips. I'll include Dan Wright in my list of people to call.

Stan Warren is the only one modifier that I know of that actually designed a totally proprietary descrete output stage that was offered in his mods (amoung his other unique circuits). He's also the only modifier with a past history of designing world class sounding pre-amplifiers that turned the reviewer community on it's ear. Other modifiers (such as Dan Wright) are very good, but I definately think Stan Warren is at the top of the heap. Some of Stan's circuits are so sophisticated that companies like Krell and Levinson could learn a thing or two if they took the time to review Stan's circuits. IMHO Stan Warren is that good!
I never had anything done by them, but spoke with them on the phone and he was very honest and a good guy to talk to. If I ever get something moded, I'd see what they could do for me.

Hate to beat the dead horse, but will a $400 mod to an older player like my Pioneer Elite PD75 make it competitive with today's players? When I asked a modifier in the past what sonic improvements I could expect, I didn't get what I thought was a clear answer. I recently auditioned a Classe CDP3 and heard much more detail and bass; but that player sells for $1,600. Does replacing parts like caps and resisters and adding Bybee filters really make a significant difference. Also, are there mods available for my player so it will upsample to 24/96 or 24/192?

Rockyboy, many "tweakers" simply minimize excess parts ( simplifying the circuitry and shortening the circuit path ) and end up going to higher grade passive parts ( resistors, capacitors, inductors, wire, rectifiers, etc... ) for the parts that are left in the circuit.

This in itself can make a rather stunning difference in my opinion. Most of the gains are typically in the areas of tranparency, liquidity, ease of "flow" and a natural presentation, increased detail with a complete lack or harshness or grain, better bass impact and definition, lower noise floor, greater extension at both frequency extremes, etc... If this sounds like a whole new piece of gear, in many situations, it really is. Then again, you have to start out with what is a good and solid foundation to build such a product upon.

As such, i would suggest talking to some of those folks mentioned in this thread along with a few others to see if your player really can compete with current models. They should be able to give you a "yes" or "no" answer. If it is yes, you'll need to know how much time and money would be involved with doing something like that.

Once you've got a general consensus and know the price ranges involved if you were to do such a thing, you'll be better informed to make such a decision. It is best to know what you are getting into BEFORE jumping in with both feet. Sean
Would it be better to add a 24/96 DAC than to modify?
Talked to Stan Warren today. He really came across as a straight shooter. He did not recommend modding my Pioneer CD player. Claimed that there were too many limitations on a player this old; that I'd be happier buying a new unit. I appreciated his candidness. Wish he were local so I could learn more from him.