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Rega Apollo or Sony c555es or Sony ns9100es... - Page 3

post #31 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by pageman99 View Post
You're probably right, but there's the matter of budget... Not to mention ic issues, blah, blah.

I do wonder if the Rega Saturn would sound better with a dac. Maybe different.
Different? Yes. Better? Not sure..
post #32 of 65
Wait, so he said the stock 9100 sounds better than the C555ES modded, or the 9100 modded sounds better than the C555ES modded, or the modded 9100 sounds better than the modded C555ES?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pageman99 View Post
Ok, everybody, thanks for all your help!

I pulled the trigger in a new Sony DVP-NS9100ES.

I spoke with Matt Anker at SACDmods.com and had a very informative conversation with him. I've spoken with him before and I think he's very straightforward and honest.

His opinion is that the DVP-NS9100ES actually sounds better than the scd 555es after mods. He had a number of technical reasons and I pretty much understood where he was coming from. If you look at his system (pics at his site) that he uses to test his finished product, you'd have to trust his ears, for sure.

He also feels that the 9100 sounds better than the 555 w/o mods. A good thing as I was going to drop ship the player to him at school, but he's finishing up now and will be home in Cambridge after June 1st or so. I'll get a chance to break it in and give a listen to it pre mods. Hopefully, I won't get the urge to buy some other piece of gear in the meantime. Curse you headfi.

Here is the odd part of the conversation. He equated the XE777ES sound with that of the 555! Wow! That took me by surprise, but I didn't really have time to press him on it, but he felt the sound is very similar to the 555 similar parts in key areas etc. Also a modded 777 might be better than the 9100, but I can't do it and after a bit of conversation with local techs, no one wanted to try, at least no one I felt I could trust.

The Rega I eliminated as it seems to have had a fair amount of software issues (all fixed now according to the distributor). There's also quite a few of them on audiogon at the moment. Not a good sign IMO. Besides we have a local dealer here and while his price is fair by the time I add local tax, I don't feel that I'd be getting my money's worth compared to a modded DVP-NS9100ES.

After all I'm trying to stay away from the upgrade bug and I don't think the Apollo would do it.

The Stello. This was tough. I'm considering going balanced with my Senn 650's. SACDmods can add true balanced outs for only $75. To do balanced with the Stello I'd have to go DA220. Then I'd have to get a more expensive transport to compete with the SACDmods 9100.

I also considered the Denon 3910 but it's focus appears to be video. The audio side is a bit of a stepchild. The lack of a dedicated audio power supply made me cross this one off.

Thanks again everyone.

Now the waiting begins...
post #33 of 65
Quote:
Here is the odd part of the conversation. He equated the XE777ES sound with that of the 555! Wow! That took me by surprise, but I didn't really have time to press him on it, but he felt the sound is very similar to the 555 similar parts in key areas etc. Also a modded 777 might be better than the 9100, but I can't do it and after a bit of conversation with local techs, no one wanted to try, at least no one I felt I could trust.
So he thinks the stock XA777ES and C555ES sounds about the same or the stock XA777ES sounds better than the modded C555ES? Please explain.
post #34 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by pageman99 View Post
Ok, everybody, thanks for all your help!

I pulled the trigger in a new Sony DVP-NS9100ES.

I spoke with Matt Anker at SACDmods.com and had a very informative conversation with him. I've spoken with him before and I think he's very straightforward and honest.

His opinion is that the DVP-NS9100ES actually sounds better than the scd 555es after mods. He had a number of technical reasons and I pretty much understood where he was coming from. If you look at his system (pics at his site) that he uses to test his finished product, you'd have to trust his ears, for sure.

He also feels that the 9100 sounds better than the 555 w/o mods. A good thing as I was going to drop ship the player to him at school, but he's finishing up now and will be home in Cambridge after June 1st or so. I'll get a chance to break it in and give a listen to it pre mods. Hopefully, I won't get the urge to buy some other piece of gear in the meantime. Curse you headfi.

Here is the odd part of the conversation. He equated the XE777ES sound with that of the 555! Wow! That took me by surprise, but I didn't really have time to press him on it, but he felt the sound is very similar to the 555 similar parts in key areas etc. Also a modded 777 might be better than the 9100, but I can't do it and after a bit of conversation with local techs, no one wanted to try, at least no one I felt I could trust.

The Rega I eliminated as it seems to have had a fair amount of software issues (all fixed now according to the distributor). There's also quite a few of them on audiogon at the moment. Not a good sign IMO. Besides we have a local dealer here and while his price is fair by the time I add local tax, I don't feel that I'd be getting my money's worth compared to a modded DVP-NS9100ES.

After all I'm trying to stay away from the upgrade bug and I don't think the Apollo would do it.

The Stello. This was tough. I'm considering going balanced with my Senn 650's. SACDmods can add true balanced outs for only $75. To do balanced with the Stello I'd have to go DA220. Then I'd have to get a more expensive transport to compete with the SACDmods 9100.

I also considered the Denon 3910 but it's focus appears to be video. The audio side is a bit of a stepchild. The lack of a dedicated audio power supply made me cross this one off.

Thanks again everyone.

Now the waiting begins...
I believe Alex Peychev of APL hifi mods Denon 3910s. They aren't specifically listed on his site, but given that the most recent post in his forums speak of a newly modded said unit... I'm sure he still does it. I am a big convert to his products and I'm sure after he is done with it, it won't primarily be focused on video. Mmmm 6 paralleled AKM DACs per channel/clock upgrade/tubed output stage/other upgrades.
post #35 of 65
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Azure View Post
Wait, so he said the stock 9100 sounds better than the C555ES modded, or the 9100 modded sounds better than the C555ES modded, or the modded 9100 sounds better than the modded C555ES?
Sorry, I wasn't clear. Stock vs stock, of course.
post #36 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by pageman99 View Post
Sorry, I wasn't clear. Stock vs stock, of course.
So, he prefers the modded 9100 over the modded C555ES, and the stock 9100 over the stock C555ES?

What about the XA777ES? Did he say stock XA777ES sounds better than modded C555ES?
post #37 of 65
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Azure View Post
So, he prefers the modded 9100 over the modded C555ES, and the stock 9100 over the stock C555ES?

What about the XA777ES? Did he say stock XA777ES sounds better than modded C555ES?
Well, to the best of my remembrance, he said he prefers the modded 9100 over the modded 555, yes. And the stock 9100 to the stock 555. I recall the said the stock 555 sounds definitely "mid fi".

To your second question, we didn't really talk about stock 777 vs modded 555, but he seemed to think the 777's signature sound is very similar to the stock 555, that is, very "mid fi". But remember, we didn't go into great detail about this, and though I'm sure of what I recall, I'd give him a call. His cell phone # is listed on his site. He is very accessible, and willing to answer questions very directly.

My guess is that his standards are quite high, and that he simply doesn't care much for "mid-fi". After all if you look at his personal system, it's a killer.

Hope this helps. Oh, yes BTW another member here also did the SACDmods on the 9100, and if you run a search on 9100es, it will show up. I think his name was Mikey01 or something close to that. He wasn't real impressed with the 9100's stock sound. So, as usual, everyone's taste and system is different.

Hope this helps.
post #38 of 65
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssportclay View Post
I think you made a good choice.If the price doesn't hurt you enough,the wait will probably kill you.
Waiting is always the hardest part, isn't it. I've spent months making up my mind. Now that I have, I want it now!!!

It'll be drop shipped to Matt next week and hopefully I'll have it in 2-3 weeks. He's kind of in transition between school, finals and home, so we'll see.

Can't wait.

The funny thing is that since I'm picking up the balanced outs option, now I'm figuring out which amp will be most synergistic with the 650's and Ultrasones. Not to mention what gear to put up for sale to fincance all this silliness.

We ARE nuts here. But then we all knew that.

I'll post impressions when I get the Sony, but for now I guess it's time to move over to the amps forum.
post #39 of 65
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Icarium View Post
I believe Alex Peychev of APL hifi mods Denon 3910s. They aren't specifically listed on his site, but given that the most recent post in his forums speak of a newly modded said unit... I'm sure he still does it. I am a big convert to his products and I'm sure after he is done with it, it won't primarily be focused on video. Mmmm 6 paralleled AKM DACs per channel/clock upgrade/tubed output stage/other upgrades.

"...Mmmm 6 paralleled AKM DACs per channel/clock upgrade/tubed output stage/other upgrades..."

Aargh, can't think about that. I've already gone way over budget.

When I started this search for a new source, I thought a Stello for $700 or so would be a bit of a stretch. But now with the 9100 and SACDmods, I'm into about twice that.

Now that I think about it, that's about right for this place. Make a budget, spend twice that figure, and feel like it was just about the right amount.

Yep, headfi math...
post #40 of 65
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by purk View Post
So he thinks the stock XA777ES and C555ES sounds about the same or the stock XA777ES sounds better than the modded C555ES? Please explain.
Yeah, that the stock XA777ES and stock 555ES sound similar. I got the impression he was talking about their signature, not necessarily the quality of their sound. But I definitely got the impression that he meant quality as well. As he doesn't really mod 777's, I didn't spend more than a sentence or two on the topic.

But of course you'd have to ask him directly, because it doesn't make a lot of sense to me either. Maybe we miscommunicated somehow. After I hung up, I thought boy the 777 vs 555 part didn't make sense, maybe he was talking about another Sony 777 model. Who knows. Sony keeps using the same numbers over and over in vastly different machines.

Anyhow, see my previous post to Azure for the somewhat expanded version of my conversation with him FWIW.
post #41 of 65
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ccontreras View Post
Congrats on the new DVD!!
for days also it has been buying one in Audiogon

http://cls.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cls....lay&1183717051
http://cls.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/cls....deo&1182998608

Thanks, I got a brand new one for only $40 more after fees and shipping and including the 5 year warranty, tho that will be void after the mods.

There seem to be quite a few out there still.
post #42 of 65
Quote:
Yeah, that the stock XA777ES and stock 555ES sound similar. I got the impression he was talking about their signature, not necessarily the quality of their sound. But I definitely got the impression that he meant quality as well. As he doesn't really mod 777's, I didn't spend more than a sentence or two on the topic.
Again, the player I recommend you to check out was the SCD-777ES (the sister model to the SCD-1) not the XA777ES. The SCD-777ES is the single ended version of the SCD-1.

About a year ago, I had both the SCD-777ES and SACDmods C555ES in my setup and I noticed that the SCD-777ES was not as good as the SACDmods C555ES in the redbook playback but definitely is better than the modded C555ES in the SACD playback. Realizing the potential, I replaced the stock SCD-777ES with the OPA-627BPs and my slightly modded SCD-777ES was on par with SACDmods in redbook playback. I later sold my slightly modded SCD-777ES and bought the Richard Kern Modded SCD-777ES three months later. I kept the R. Kern Modded SCD-777ES for another three months before I upgrade to the Kern/Modwright Modified Sony SCD-777ES. FYI, a highly modify SCD-777ES and SCD-1 can pretty much compete with anything on the market. They sound excellent.

I would also like to add that I have never auditioned the XA777ES, therefore, I can't comment on that unit. However, the stock C555ES is definitely harsher and thinner sounding than the stock SCD-777ES.

Here is the list of many Sony CD players that I auditioned in my environment:

1) Sony CDP-XA20ES
2) Sony CDP-XA7ES
3) Sony CDP-X707ES
4) Sony SCD-C333ES
5) Sony SCD-C555ES
6) Sony SCD-C333ES (modwright package)
7) Sony SCD-C555ES (SACDmods statement package)
8) Sony SCD-555ES (European model - SCD-1 & SCD-777ES generation machine)
9) Sony SCD-777ES (later modded with OPA-627BPs)
10) Sony SCD-1
11) Sony SCD-777ES (Richard Kern Modded player w/ around 2K worth of modification)
12) Sony SCD-777ES (Kern + Modwright Modded player w/ around 4 or 5K worth of modification)


PS:
I also audiotioned the modwright Sony DVP-999ES and Mulveling's Meridian G08 and think very highly of these two units.
post #43 of 65
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by purk View Post
Again, the player I recommend you to check out was the SCD-777ES (the sister model to the SCD-1) not the XA777ES. The SCD-777ES is the single ended version of the SCD-1.

About a year ago, I had both the SCD-777ES and SACDmods C555ES in my setup and I noticed that the SCD-777ES was not as good as the SACDmods C555ES in the redbook playback but definitely is better than the modded C555ES in the SACD playback. Realizing the potential, I replaced the stock SCD-777ES with the OPA-627BPs and my slightly modded SCD-777ES was on par with SACDmods in redbook playback. I later sold my slightly modded SCD-777ES and bought the Richard Kern Modded SCD-777ES three months later. I kept the R. Kern Modded SCD-777ES for another three months before I upgrade to the Kern/Modwright Modified Sony SCD-777ES. FYI, a highly modify SCD-777ES and SCD-1 can pretty much compete with anything on the market. They sound excellent.

I would also like to add that I have never auditioned the XA777ES, therefore, I can't comment on that unit. However, the stock C555ES is definitely harsher and thinner sounding than the stock SCD-777ES.

Here is the list of many Sony CD players that I auditioned in my environment:

1) Sony CDP-XA20ES
2) Sony CDP-XA7ES
3) Sony CDP-X707ES
4) Sony SCD-C333ES
5) Sony SCD-C555ES
6) Sony SCD-C333ES (modwright package)
7) Sony SCD-C555ES (SACDmods statement package)
8) Sony SCD-555ES (European model - SCD-1 & SCD-777ES generation machine)
9) Sony SCD-777ES (later modded with OPA-627BPs)
10) Sony SCD-1
11) Sony SCD-777ES (Richard Kern Modded player w/ around 2K worth of modification)
12) Sony SCD-777ES (Kern + Modwright Modded player w/ around 4 or 5K worth of modification)


PS:
I also audiotioned the modwright Sony DVP-999ES and Mulveling's Meridian G08 and think very highly of these two units.

Thanks again Purk, you are definitely king of Sony sources!

Based on the info I've been able to find, I'd have to say your rankings are accurate. The SCD 777ES would have been the best value with the most potential as well. Unfortunately, I couldn't find one from a reliable source. Though there is one listed on audiogon, but from a seller with 0 feedback.

The other factor is the age of these units. I don't know if it's true, but some anecdotal evidence I've found here and on other sites points to a slow deterioration of the lasers in the older Sony units. Maybe true, maybe not, but a risk I wasn't willing to take.

While the DVP NS9100ES, may not have the highest ceiling of all the available units, it can be found new at reasonable prices. Plus, I'm not so sure I have the capability of appreciating (or affording) the absolute best source at this point.

I'm posting all this in the hopes that those researching this type of source can benefit from from all the knowledge accumulated by those who have spent a lot of time actually listening and working with these units.

Having it all in one thread should be a huge help to everyone.

As far as the 999ES, Matt at SACmods feels the 9100ES sounds much better after modification, at least with his mods.

Maybe we can get together at a future meet and compare them all. I think that would be a lot of fun.
post #44 of 65
Quote:
As far as the 999ES, Matt at SACmods feels the 9100ES sounds much better after modification, at least with his mods.

Maybe we can get together at a future meet and compare them all. I think that would be a lot of fun.
Don't get me wrong. You made a good choice with the 9100ES as it is a much better machine than the 999ES. What I was trying to say was the stock SCD-777ES was one heck of a player w/o the modification and much better after the modification. The Modwright modified units are excellent sounding. If I have around 1.5K budget, I will buy the Modwright 999ES.
post #45 of 65
Thread Starter 
Purk, I'm sure you're correct about modwright as I've heard good things as well. And I understand where you're coming from and hopefully it will help others trying to make the same choices I faced.

The reasons, FWIW, I went with SACDmods is that he's only 90 minutes away from me when he's in Cambridge, OH. Plus I've had conversations with him previously and I felt I could trust him without reservation.

Another factor was the HDMI connection of the 9100, as I've got a large screen LCD TV that will also run off of the system. Though of secondary importance, it was definitely a factor. Also, I've bought refurbished a few times from different manufacturers and there's a lot of luck involved in getting one that's cosmetically satisfactory. Many, have scratches and nicks, not severe, but bad enough that I hadn't been pleased.

Thanks again, though for sharing your experience.
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