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Sony SCD-C555ES Hot Rod: sacdmods.com Mods Impressions/Review - Page 3

post #31 of 233
Quote:
Originally posted by markl
EDIT: Never mind, found a place that sells them individually. Bought 'em.

Mark
Care to give up your source?
post #32 of 233
Thread Starter 
I got the caps for $2.50 each from www.dedicatedaudio.com.
post #33 of 233
Thread Starter 
Quick update:

In preparation for the new player, in addition to the Cardas caps, I have also purchased the following:

1. Zu Cable BoK 2M power cord for the 555ES. I just won an auction for it on audiogon for the usual auction price, but it lists at $250 (I paid less). It is described thusly:
Quote:
Our new power cable featuring our super cool B3 field geometry, hybrid silver alloy and pure copper conductors, TFEP and xPE dielectric, 100% high magnitude shielding, billet IEC and wall plug and guaranteed performance.


2. The Police-- Synchronicity, and Ghost in the Machine SACDs

3. Peter Gabriel-- 3, So, Up, SACDs

4. Pink Floyd-- Dark Side of the Moon SACD

Should make for a sweet first listening session!

Mark
post #34 of 233
Markl, your having way to much fun. Now cut that out.
post #35 of 233
So markl, what is your follow up on the mods. How did everything turn out with your listening session?
post #36 of 233

Markl

I'd be interested in your impressions of the Zu power cable if you ever get time, especially compared the the VD stuff.
post #37 of 233
Thread Starter 
It's here, it's here!!!!!

Looks and feels just like the C333ES, that is to say, absolutely AWESOME for a changer. The changer mechanism is very quiet and just glides along without that alarming "thunk" sound. I used to own a CAL CL-10 5-disc changer which at the time was the best changer ever made, ran about $1600 around 4 years ago. The 333ES/555ES just beats it in terms of beauty, functionality, logic, and overall apparent build. It also completely trounces the two other $1000 DVD-changers I've owned. If this player is as easy to use as the 333ES, the 555 should be equally smooth-functioning, with the least amount of operational "quirks" of any player/DVD-player I've owned. Everything does what it's supposed to do. Nice.

The Cardas jacks Matthew Anker installed are just plain SWEET, big beefy and sturdy as hell. The work to the rear in intalling the jacks and the IEC cord are immaculate. I'll peek inside later tonight and sniff around.

To top it off, Sony included 2 multi-channel SACDs as a surprise gift. I got Sacred Feast: Gaudeamus directed by Paul Halley, appears to be choral music. Also got Midori, Imai, Esenbach playing Mozart. Not a big classical freak (yet) but I appreciate this nice little extra!

OK, how's it sound after about 2.5 hours and 3 CDs? Well, I've got a big ol grin on my face. So far so good! This is one POWERFUL, BIG, and DEEP sound. Tight, full bass very punchy and rythmic, has me rockin'. Later tonight, after some more CDs, I'll post more specific thoughts. Cheers, and thanks for your interest in my Sony hot-rodding adventures!

radrd, as for the Zu power cord, I listened to the BoK on my Emmeline HR-2 to break it in. The designer warns against making any hasty judgements before the 200 hour mark, and so far I only had about 48 on it when last I listened to it. I can see why he wants you to wait for break in. Not bad, but lacking a lot of the things that the Virtual Dynamics Power 2 (that usually sits on my HR-2) brings to the table. Maybe it will like the Sony better, or will improve over break-in. I have decided I will probably try at least one more cord on the 555ES. I will include that shoot-out when it happens here in this thread.

Mark
post #38 of 233

555es

I knew you would take to this player, wait until you hear the sense of space and image height with speakers. What will be most subtle, but possibly most enjoyable, will be the overall musicality of this player once it is run in. I found it easily takes up to 200 hours and more. But once its broke in, you will never find it fatiguing and anything less than engaging. Congratulations
post #39 of 233
Thread Starter 
Earl, so far I've only been listening to Redbook CDs I know like the back of my hand (about 7 so far, love that changer!), I wanted to test the player down 'n dirty on lowest common denominator performance. Well, from what I'm hearing on plain vanilla CDs, I'm almost AFRAID to listen to my SACDs! I am agog.

This I feel is really my first up-close and personal experience with a QUALITY source. The 555ES hot-rod just reeks of class straight out of the shute, it's doing lots of things I've never heard before, and it will take time to nail down exactly what they are, I'm in new territory here without a map. I'm sure I will encounter short-comings and flaws later on, but I have a feeling this is going to be one long "New Toy Honeymoon".

I've heard plenty of awsome sources in dealer showrooms, but you never know how much of what you are hearing is the speakers, amps, pre-amps, and cables. In my formal review I'll go through my source history, but it has included gear in the $1000-$1600 range recently (mostly mass-market machines, but *good* mass-market machines), and players in the $500 range 5-10 years ago, nothing to scoff at, no doubt about it, but still not truly what I would consider "audiophile-level devices".

Anyway, so far I'd say the sacdmods.com mod-ed 555ES is giving me much more of an initial contact high than did the Modwright-mod-ed 333ES (but to be fair, Modwright's mods really did give the player a very appreciable enhancement well worth the costs, but less WOW factor). I am at a little disadvantage in that I never got to hear the stock 555ES, but it's possible that with its superior chipset, a stock 555ES sounds better than a Level 1 mod-ed 333ES. Still, I feel Anker's mods have really taken the 555ES up into a class of players I've only just briefly tasted before.

Mark

(P.S. I also wanted to mention before I forgot in case I didn't say it before, Mathew's mods disable the headphone jack to simplify the circuit, but from what I remember of the 333ES's jack, you're not missing out on much.)
post #40 of 233
Quote:
radrd, as for the Zu power cord, I listened to the BoK on my Emmeline HR-2 to break it in. The designer warns against making any hasty judgements before the 200 hour mark, and so far I only had about 48 on it when last I listened to it. I can see why he wants you to wait for break in. Not bad, but lacking a lot of the things that the Virtual Dynamics Power 2 (that usually sits on my HR-2) brings to the table. Maybe it will like the Sony better, or will improve over break-in. I have decided I will probably try at least one more cord on the 555ES. I will include that shoot-out when it happens here in this thread.
Thanks Mark. If anything changes significantly, I will be interested to find out. Always looking for a new cable you know.

Congrats on the player!
post #41 of 233
Thread Starter 
So, I just opened up the 555ES (turned it OFF first, of course ) to take a look at the work inside. Very very neat and tidy. The additional boards that are added for the LC Audio X02, the zap filter, and the Zap Filter's power supply are very nicely mounted, very sturdily set in place. No need to worry about vibration, they're in there even more solidly than the original Sony circuit boards! The soldering on the new wires in the signal path look clean. Well, at least it passes this layman's test FWIW. OK, back goes the cover.

Mark
post #42 of 233
Im loving and hating this.

Ive got a 555es, but I cant move my other cdp to save my ass. I need to sell it to fund the mods. I bought the 555es with the intention of moding it, and Im very frustrated, but at the same time Im glad to hear that Markl is digging it.

Let us know after a few days break in how its coming!

k.s.
post #43 of 233
Thread Starter 
He he. KShaft, I think you will feel you got your money's worth. I HAD NO IDEA that my crummy old Redbook CDs could possibly sound this good. NO IDEA. Color me stunned! I am still saving up my SACDs for tomorrow to let it burn-in overnight. Should be a fun, relaxing weekend.

CDs on this 555ES hot-rod sound subjectively better than SACDs on the hot-rodded 333ES I used to have. I have an inkling that the power supply for the Zap Filter is very robust and clean, plus its pumping the juice through a great discrete circuit, end result is AWESOME, only word for it.

Granted, my experience with real and true high-end CDPs/SACDPs is admittedly limited, and my observations and enthusiasm comes from the perspective of someone who is only familiar with today's better $1000-$1600 sources and what they are capable of. If you are coming from that perspective, I believe you will be suitably impressed by the 555ES hot-rod.

The sound is so OPEN and DIRECT, everything sounds brand new and amazing, tons of new information sonically and especially spacially is being revealed. The dynamics are insane. It was indeed necessary for me to adjust the volume on my Emmeline down a couple notches to accommodate the stronger source signal of the 555ES hot-rod, which means the HR-2 is doing *slightly* less of the heavy lifting in this configuration (not that the R10s were even beginning to tax the HR-2s endless supply of power).

I'll post some more tomorrow after I've spun a few SACDs. Cheers.

Mark
post #44 of 233
How long does the mod take to complete?
post #45 of 233
Thread Starter 
Matthew Spaltro, it took Matthew Anker around 5 days total to complete his process (including testing burn-in, etc.), then another 3 days to reach me from Ohio UPS ground. Very quick turn-around, but that may have been because I caught him at a good time, so YMMV. In any case, he's a pleasure to deal with and answered all my many questions with thoughtful answers. Shoot him an e-mail, see what he says.

If I were to do the one-word review game with the 555ES hot-rod, I'm leaning toward "PURE" to summarize what I am hearing.

Mark
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