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A peek inside the Rotel RCD-991

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 


Overhead view of the inside



Gold plated sockets installed for opamp rolling



OPA627BP opamps (slurrrp) waiting to replace the stock OPA2604 and NE5532 opamps.



Close-up of one of the browndog mounted twin OPA627BPs.



OPA627BPs installed in the analog out put section.



The 2 big Nichicon Great Supply reservoir caps. Notice the Wimas and Blackgates nearby. There are roughly 20+ Blackgates capacitors in this player, all surrounded by the red Wimas.



21 generic nichicon caps located in non-critical areas of the player were replaced with low-impedance Panasonic FCs. You can see some of them in the picture. No other replacement was done as the player is already filled with Wimas, Blackgates, Nichicon's top-of-the-line Muse KZs(in the analog output stage) and a few Finegolds.

The RCD-991 is a fine player, even in stock form, and for the build and parts quality, a real bargain at between 500sgd to 800sgd in the local(Singapore, not sure about other countries) used market. A current model player with similar build quality will cost a lot more than that. Its a great way to get high end performance and build at a fraction of the price. Fantastic for redbook and hdcd playback.

Caps and ic socket installment was done by Dreamslacker(aka Firefox on sgheadphones). Opamps were bought from fellow head-fier and cpfer ufokillerz. Thanks buddy!
post #2 of 28
Nice. Very high quality. What DAC does it use?
post #3 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wodgy
Nice. Very high quality. What DAC does it use?
20 bit Burr Brown PCM-63P D/A converter plus a HDCD-compatible Pacific Microsonics PMD-100 8x digital filter.

"The RCD-991 includes switchable dither levels, a feature it shares with the Linn Sondek CD12 which happens to use the same digital filter"
the above taken from a hi-fi choice review.

link to review
post #4 of 28
You can't get much better Redbook than that. Nice player.
post #5 of 28
Thread Starter 
Thanks!
post #6 of 28
I own an 'audiophile edition' 991 and after seeing those photos, I feel proud owning one at 19, they're all quality parts in there. However it doesn't match well with my rs-1s, its too laid back and smooth. I love the refinement and warmth, but it doesn't sound as exciting to listen to as my pcdp! I think part of the problem is that I'm becoming more and more aware of how coloured the rs-1s are.
Anyway I can't wait to see how the modded emu 1212m I'm getting from Zemo compares to it, apparently it has a slightly 'laid back' dac (how can a dac be laid back!) but the ad8620 op-amps its fitted with are faster and brighter than opa2604s, so it should rock well.
post #7 of 28
Do you have any impressions on how the browndog mounted twin OPA627BPs effects the sound of the 991?
post #8 of 28
Thread Starter 
Taymat, you have a point. Amp matching is quite important, after the mods were done I hooked up the player to a Corda Ha-1 and at first thought something had gone wrong because it was sounding very laid back. Re-connecting the player to my own amp, all was well. Depends on your sonic preference really.

There was a subtle improvement in overall musicality with the 627s, not a drastic change, but definitely audible. I might try AD8066 opamps sometime in the future just to see how it affects the sound of the 991. The OPA627BPs are definitely my favourite opamps, with 4 in my amp and now 6 in the RCD-991, there's now 10 of them in my signal path
post #9 of 28
Hold on, so this thing comes STOCK with opamp sockets and Blackgates? Sweeeeeeeet! If I was a CDP man, I'd be running out to find one right now.
post #10 of 28
Thread Starter 
the opamp sockets are not stock. but yes, the Blackgates are(thats the very interesting thing about Rotel, they use Blackgates in all their cd players..well, not sure about their current models, but I've looked inside the RCD-971 and RCD-855 and they all have Blackgates in them).
post #11 of 28

Nice Player

I bought a rotel 991 AE about three years ago and used it with really good results until a couple months ago when I replaced it with a Audio Research CD3. I still have the 991 although I will be selling it soon. When I was looking for a player I looked at every cdp at the 1000-1500 price range and researched them to the point of making me sick. The 991 almost always came out on top in this price range, so I decided to get it after a couple of auditions, and it brought much musical joy until the day I replaced it with the CD3. The CD3 blows it away but it better at a couple thousand more. I think the 991 is the best player Rotel ever made, better than the new rcd1072. They sell for about 450-500 used last time I checked. That is a good deal for somebody looking for a cheap cdp. Would probably make a good transport too if a owner wanted to udgrade to a better stand alone dac.
post #12 of 28
And the cd tray is very well built for a player in this price range(991). Smooth open and close and it is solid. I have seen trays in higher cost players that are very cheap like in the Classe .3 and the $4000+ wadia 302. I could not believe now cheap the tray was in the wadia. For that kind of money they at least could have put in something a little more solid and well built. The 302 did sound very good though.
post #13 of 28
This is a well built player and the design facilitates servicing/ modding. However, the PCB is multi-layered with a groundplane and removing solder entirely is a pain in the butt.

I believe a swap of Oscons into the digital power supply and Class A biasing are being considered right now. Hehe.. Perhaps even a Clock mod?
post #14 of 28
Head-Fi member and sponsor Brice from Sound Odyssey might be able to chime in on any particulars about mods for this player. I don't think he officially does mods on these units anymore, but he did offer them for a while and probably knows a lot about the layout and schematics of it. I do know one of the mods he offered included replacement of the DAC chip with a higher-end BB chip along with a clock mod and some other stuff.
post #15 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreamslacker
This is a well built player and the design facilitates servicing/ modding. However, the PCB is multi-layered with a groundplane and removing solder entirely is a pain in the butt.

I believe a swap of Oscons into the digital power supply and Class A biasing are being considered right now. Hehe.. Perhaps even a Clock mod?
Hmm...lets see:

1. Replace finegolds in the digital power supply with Sanyo Oscons
2. Class A biasing for the OPA627BP opamps
3. Net Audio CLock and Clock PSU (Maybe)
4. New heatsinks for the voltage regulators

P.S. thanks for the info Stryker.

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