Modifying WM1Z/A
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Whitigir

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I create this topic for the sole purposes of modifying, and sharing impressions, experiences, and potential upgrades. You are all welcome to modify and post your wm1A/Z here, and to put up further works perform on the Walkman.

To replace WM1Z internal wires to Balanced side


*disclaimer* before proceeding, do understand that you are doing this at your own risk, and if you damaged your players, it is your fault. Please ask people who have experienced working in smartphone, and soldering, electrical devices to help you out. I am not held reliable for any accidents you may found and put yourself into. Only proceed when you are confident.


*With all due respects* who is out to make profit, please do not use my guide to "rip-off" the customers. This guide was put up from my sole-finding of modifying and tinkering with my expensive Wm1z, in order to help the people to improve their Wm1z further. I am a huge fan of "audio quality over anything else", and I would be happy to see other people be enjoying it as well. Hence the reason why I put it up. I disagree with people using my guide to rip-off potential customers who only want to improve their player for better quality and performances. If I found any reports about "rip-off" using my guide. All the future findings from my experiences will not be published again. Pm, if you have any questions. It should only be a couple hours work, if cables wires and materials are provided, and hence labor rate and charge shall be according to the time and labor performed.


First of all: make sure you have no rings on your fingers as it will scratch your precious 1z body. Turn it off!!


Next up: turn your 1z on it back, and use a hard plastic card such as credit card or those that come with smartphone fix kit. Use heat gun on low setting and be patient Start peeling from the up top corner from either sides. Green or red.


Orange is NFC antenna amplification. Be careful using heat gun at low temperature and do to slowly, not to damage the NFC antenna underneath, the white part. I do not use my NFC, so I took it off to make sure no noise gets transmitted into the digital block.


Peel the leather off completely to expose the Wm1z inside.
IMG_1690.JPG



Then you can see the plastic casing outside which is screwed onto the main chassis. I will upgrade picture later. Unscrew all 4 corners, and pull it off off


Then you will see the circuitry section exposed inside


IMG_1691.JPG


Next you will need to proceed from step to step.


1/ pull off the Bluetooth antenna, use a tweezer to pull it up vertically and parallel to the surface it attached to...otherwise you risk pulling off the copper adhesive and destroy the antenna itself. Then tape the antenna to a side so it won't get in your way


2/ peel back the key LED and wire detector plug and tape it to the side so it is clearing the way. The tapes and glues that hold the plugs is a bit tough. Just be careful not to damage the wires.


3/ pull the black spacer from the back (bottom) toward the top of the 1z and pull it up.


4/ unscrew the screw in the clear plastic wires holder. Take it out.



IMG_1692.JPG


Next, you will see the wires soldered onto the 1z board which is clearly marked L- L+ R- R+ (left to right looking from top down to bottom). Do this from step to step in sequential. Desoldering the L- then L+ then R- then R+. Then pull the wires out.



Now, the stock socket is configured in this configuration. From the bottom to the top of the Walkman , toward the Socket opening.
IMG_1737.JPG

1/ L+

Empty/ Wires detector, there is the red wire attached. Avoid touching it with your iron

2/ L-

3/ R+

4/ R-

Now, when you desoldering this part. Start out with L-, L+, R-, R+ (1,2,3,4 red)


If you are finished until this step, congratulation ! You are ready to upgrade the wires.

You can chose to suck out the Sony Solder and use your own!

Have the wires of your choices, and start wiring it in from the socket with L+ then L-. Now move along into the board and solder up R+ then R-


**make sure** you did not mess up the polarity, short them out, confused them up...etc...etc.

**make sure** to use good judgement on the length of the wires.


Next step is to solder in R- (4-blue) ***First*** (notice this is the one out at the top end of the socket), and then R+ (3-blue). Doesn't matter, if you do it in reverse, it is just harder for you to snug your solder iron tip inside to reach it. You can solder it to the top terminal, doesn't matter. The only thing is that getting it too close to touching the chassis is not a good idea here.


Then, proceed into the board with R+ then R-


Have you done everything ? Great. Use your MultiMeter to trace the wires again to make sure you did not screwup any insulator along the wires and short them out, check all 4 wires, and the chassis ground. All clear ? Great ! You have done the upgrading for your WM1Z inner wire upgrade. Congratulation ! Now you will truly have something special and unique to your taste.


I chose to use Silver-gold Wires in braided configurations. Here is the finished upgrade of mine

IMG_1675.JPG


Now, you can start putting them back together.


Clear plastic wire holder, screw it in


Black Bluetooth antenna, put the top in first and push it down, you will hear it click. Do not force anything, if there are any resistance, more than likely your wires are taking up more spaces, carefully move them so they can fit nicely


Put the Bluetooth antenna snapped in carefully


Pull down the LeD and wire detector, replace the 2 sides glues if you need to, attach it firmly.


Black plastic casing in, screw it in


Slap the back leather in, firmly press it, and use your nails to snug it in under the chassis grooves.


Done!!!
 

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nc8000

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Amazing. I certainly have neither the skills nor the balls to do this.
 
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Whitigir

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Overkill Red

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Great job writing up a very detailed and helpful guide! My friends and I have also been experimenting with internal wiring modifications for the 1Z and its nice to see and read about others doing the same.

Looking forward to your impressions. I'll be replacing the wiring on my 1Z as well when it arrives this weekend.
 
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Whitigir

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Great job writing up a very detailed and helpful guide! My friends and I have also been experimenting with internal wiring modifications for the 1Z and its nice to see and read about others doing the same.

Looking forward to your impressions. I'll be replacing the wiring on my 1Z as well when it arrives this weekend.
The best so far is the wiring with silver-gold That I am using. Now, I am curious about what Crystal the Wm1A/Z have on the board
 
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Overkill Red

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The best so far is the wiring with silver-gold That I am using. Now, I am curious about what Crystal the Wm1A/Z have on the board
Crystal Cable wiring should alleviate what some may feel is excessive warmth on the 1Z, sounds like a good choice.
 
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Whitigir

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Crystal Cable wiring should alleviate what some may feel is excessive warmth on the 1Z, sounds like a good choice.
Ah, I meant the crystal clock oscillators :D. I did try Silver as wiring materials, it didn't fit my taste well enough
 
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Overkill Red

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Ah, I meant the crystal clock oscillators :D. I did try Silver as wiring materials, it didn't fit my taste well enough
Ahh, I had those replaced on my AK240SS as well, definitely a MAJOR improvement if you can get it swapped.

Am planning on eventually sending my player to Musashi Sound Technology in Japan for an upgrade to the amp and power sections. For now wiring upgrades among other things should work just fine.
 
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Whitigir

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Amp and power section will need major overhaul. It is like upgrading Capacitors, Resistors, Transistors, regulators....all that stuff. If anyone is going to do this. I think it is best to work on Wm1A :D. The Walkman is not like AK
 
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Whitigir

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IMG_1738.JPG

Another uniquely upgraded wm1Z for helping out another fellow enthusiast. Hope to see his impressions here soon.
 
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hamhamhamsta

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I did the WM!Z mod shown by Whitigirl where kimber cable is replaced by Mundorf silver gold cable and power cable also is replaced. I only have a couple hours of listening to the 1Z mod b/c of family obligations and work and still trying to wrap my head around this, and want to make sure that what I’m hearing is not based on initial honeymoon period. Its mostly positive changes. Whitigirl explain a lot of technical changes in terms of bass, treble etc., so I’ll touch that only lightly. I don't think I can do better job than him. I’m using andromeda and ref 8 balanced cable. The strength of Andromeda is amazing soundstage, 3D sounds, good with female voices and it tends to make music more beautiful. As for its weakness, it feels a bit artificial tonally, and as a result, it delivers music quite exceptional, but is lacking in the emotional department. I also use L size Symbio W eartips. And I use the equalizer heavily.

This is the eq that I used; I got this from King Rudi Facebook post.

0 1 0 3 2 5 4 6 5 7
31 62 125 250 500 1000 2000 4000 8000 16000


Without eq, the mod 1Z seems a bit too warm. I tried using JVC FX850 iem & Ref 8 cable, but still sounds quite horrible, its bass is tightened and cleaned up but it’s too warm. So, my guess is, to take great advantage of this mod, your iem must be up to par to notice the changes.


For 1Z mod, the biggest changes are the warmth is cleaned up by huge margin. 1Z has this enveloping warmth that surrounds the music, it's good and sometimes intoxicating, but obscures the instruments, making them bit fuzzy and the 1Z can sometimes seem a bit too relax. Due to clearing of the warmth, treble seems to go up one or two notches. Everything is crystal clear in the treble region. However, dynamics improved/increased by huge margin. I'm not sure it’s because of the power cable mod or not, but everything become alive. In the past, I compared 1A to 1Z, in terms of music as 2D and lifeless. But now I think comparing 1Z mod to before the mod, unmodded 1Z feels fuzzier, a little more mist between my ears and the music. With the mod, it’s like there is just empty space and then the music. No air, nothing, nada. Musical instruments are clearly and vividly presented, I do not have to concentrate hard to hear them, its jus there presented in its glory. Due to improved dynamics, each instrument seems to have a 3 D shapes, it’s almost as if you can touch them.

You know how 1Z is excellent with male voices because of the warmth. With the mod, male voices still maintain most of its excellence, but the main attraction with the mod 1Z is now female voices. I know it’s hard to believe, that’s why I keep trying to listen to them to make sure I’m hearing right. You can hear every intonation, feelings for each note. I listen mostly to Cpop, mostly vocals, well with andromeda and 1Z mod, most of the songs that I listen were sang in studios. They felt like these singers sing live in front of me. It’s hard to believe, if the songs are live, then that’s one thing. But to hear studio music sounding like they are live, that’s something else. And the crazy part is, most of these Cpop songs that I listen too, they are mostly MP3 320 kbps. They sound better than FLAC and DSD that I have. Probably the master is good, but still that is amazing. Mod 1Z is energetic, high powered but not too aggressive. 1Z potential is always there, but seems to be held back by Kimber cable and power cable. 1Z levels up another level, when Kimber cable is swapped with higher grade cable, Power cable should be swapped too, because I think they increase dynamics by quite a huge margin. The only thing you’ll lose is some warmth and lack of dynamics.


Another thing, 1Z has this thing where you can choose to use string, male, female voices and percussions. I could never hear the differences between them using 1Z. After the mod, I could not only hear the difference, but also perceive them. When I choose female voices, the treble becomes sharper, high notes they sparkle, and not just fizzle out and then gone. The only way I could hear studio songs sounding like live was when I listen to 1Z using SE 5-way Ref Ultimate, with PW 1960 BlackIcon 4 core cable (that’s a US$2k cable, but that’s another story). That’s crazy. My SE Ref Ultimate is on reshell, but I’m looking forward to listening to them with mod 1Z in few weeks. I’ll also be getting Warbler Prelude in couple weeks and looking forward to see what is the hype all about.
 
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Great impression :), the mod does bring new life into 1z
 
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Thanks for sharing the modification procedure @Whitigir. I love my 1z much more after u modified mine. Great stuff indeed.
 
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I create this topic for the sole purposes of modifying, and sharing impressions, experiences, and potential upgrades. You are all welcome to modify and post your wm1A/Z here, and to put up further works perform on the Walkman.

To replace WM1Z internal wires to Balanced side


*disclaimer* before proceeding, do understand that you are doing this at your own risk, and if you damaged your players, it is your fault. Please ask people who have experienced working in smartphone, and soldering, electrical devices to help you out. I am not held reliable for any accidents you may found and put yourself into. Only proceed when you are confident.


*With all due respects* who is out to make profit, please do not use my guide to "rip-off" the customers. This guide was put up from my sole-finding of modifying and tinkering with my expensive Wm1z, in order to help the people to improve their Wm1z further. I am a huge fan of "audio quality over anything else", and I would be happy to see other people be enjoying it as well. Hence the reason why I put it up. I disagree with people using my guide to rip-off potential customers who only want to improve their player for better quality and performances. If I found any reports about "rip-off" using my guide. All the future findings from my experiences will not be published again. Pm, if you have any questions. It should only be a couple hours work, if cables wires and materials are provided, and hence labor rate and charge shall be according to the time and labor performed.


First of all: make sure you have no rings on your fingers as it will scratch your precious 1z body. Turn it off!!


Next up: turn your 1z on it back, and use a hard plastic card such as credit card or those that come with smartphone fix kit. Use heat gun on low setting and be patient Start peeling from the up top corner from either sides. Green or red.


Orange is NFC antenna amplification. Be careful using heat gun at low temperature and do to slowly, not to damage the NFC antenna underneath, the white part. I do not use my NFC, so I took it off to make sure no noise gets transmitted into the digital block.


Peel the leather off completely to expose the Wm1z inside.



Then you can see the plastic casing outside which is screwed onto the main chassis. I will upgrade picture later. Unscrew all 4 corners, and pull it off off


Then you will see the circuitry section exposed inside




Next you will need to proceed from step to step.


1/ pull off the Bluetooth antenna, use a tweezer to pull it up vertically and parallel to the surface it attached to...otherwise you risk pulling off the copper adhesive and destroy the antenna itself. Then tape the antenna to a side so it won't get in your way


2/ peel back the key LED and wire detector plug and tape it to the side so it is clearing the way. The tapes and glues that hold the plugs is a bit tough. Just be careful not to damage the wires.


3/ pull the black spacer from the back (bottom) toward the top of the 1z and pull it up.


4/ unscrew the screw in the clear plastic wires holder. Take it out.





Next, you will see the wires soldered onto the 1z board which is clearly marked L- L+ R- R+ (left to right looking from top down to bottom). Do this from step to step in sequential. Desoldering the L- then L+ then R- then R+. Then pull the wires out.



Now, the stock socket is configured in this configuration. From the bottom to the top of the Walkman , toward the Socket opening.


1/ L+

Empty/ Wires detector, there is the red wire attached. Avoid touching it with your iron

2/ L-

3/ R+

4/ R-

Now, when you desoldering this part. Start out with L-, L+, R-, R+ (1,2,3,4 red)


If you are finished until this step, congratulation ! You are ready to upgrade the wires.

You can chose to suck out the Sony Solder and use your own!

Have the wires of your choices, and start wiring it in from the socket with L+ then L-. Now move along into the board and solder up R+ then R-


**make sure** you did not mess up the polarity, short them out, confused them up...etc...etc.

**make sure** to use good judgement on the length of the wires.


Next step is to solder in R- (4-blue) ***First*** (notice this is the one out at the top end of the socket), and then R+ (3-blue). Doesn't matter, if you do it in reverse, it is just harder for you to snug your solder iron tip inside to reach it. You can solder it to the top terminal, doesn't matter. The only thing is that getting it too close to touching the chassis is not a good idea here.


Then, proceed into the board with R+ then R-


Have you done everything ? Great. Use your MultiMeter to trace the wires again to make sure you did not screwup any insulator along the wires and short them out, check all 4 wires, and the chassis ground. All clear ? Great ! You have done the upgrading for your WM1Z inner wire upgrade. Congratulation ! Now you will truly have something special and unique to your taste.


I chose to use Silver-gold Wires in braided configurations. Here is the finished upgrade of mine



Now, you can start putting them back together.


Clear plastic wire holder, screw it in


Black Bluetooth antenna, put the top in first and push it down, you will hear it click. Do not force anything, if there are any resistance, more than likely your wires are taking up more spaces, carefully move them so they can fit nicely


Put the Bluetooth antenna snapped in carefully


Pull down the LeD and wire detector, replace the 2 sides glues if you need to, attach it firmly.


Black plastic casing in, screw it in


Slap the back leather in, firmly press it, and use your nails to snug it in under the chassis grooves.


Done!!!
https://music-sanctuary.com/products/1960s-mod-wm1-zx300
music sanctuary is offering a service with 1960 wires.
 
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Whitigir

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