Music Hall CD25
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BMBROWN911

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I bought one of these players around christmas and I love it but I was reading other reviews of it and some guy said that there was a dimmer control only found on the remote that makes it sound better? Im not even sure if thats even real or what but this guy was talking about and I was wondering if anyone else had heard about it or knows what he may be talkin about.
 
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Bill Ward

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I think I can be of help here.

On page 9 of the owner's manual, in the Using the Remote section, I find the following:


Quote:

Display
Dims the display. Three display settings are available. Pressing the Display button repeatedly toggles through the settings. Turning the display down generally improves the sound.


So try the Display button on the remote and see what you think.

BW
 
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RulyS

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Thanks, for the reminder. I just tried it on my cd25 player but could not tell any difference in sound.

Anybody out there gone all out to spend the $700 total upgrade from the stock player? If so, is it worth it? I'm thinking about doing it, but fear I'll get it back and wonder if it was worth it.
 
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bundee1

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I think a couple of people did get the mods done. Do a search, as there was a thread about a month ago that mentioned it. If you are going to get it used live with it for a while and see what you would like to change. If youre buying new just spring the extra $150 and get the mods right off the bat. Its less of a hassle to get it all at once to avoid shipping it back and forth.
 
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RulyS

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Thanks, I'll search for it.
 
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stryker

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Quote:

Originally posted by RulyS
Anybody out there gone all out to spend the $700 total upgrade from the stock player? If so, is it worth it? I'm thinking about doing it, but fear I'll get it back and wonder if it was worth it.


I'm getting a modded player straight from a dealer so I can't audition it stock. I have heard enough about the modded player from people here whose opinions I (so far) respect and they have never been negative given its price/performance ratio.

It's all up to you and what you can ultimately hear and want. For me, I believe I can hear differences and, more importantly, appreciate them. Many in this world do not care about such things and don't have enough experience with high-end to make these distinctions and I was right there with those not too long ago (though I was always into the hobby itself). However, as I've gained more exp. with high-end gear I can hear (and more importantly *care*) what the fuss is about. If that's you too, I am sure you will hear it.

My player will have a new clock, which I feel is more salient than the resistor and cap upgrades that other mods shops install, in addition to new opamps, fast-recovery diodes, vibration damping, and RCA jacks. It is unlikely that these upgrades will not sound noticeably better than the stock parts. In terms of objective, measureable performance, these new parts will be superior to stock. Ultimately, though, in this hobby, there is no substitute for your own direct experience in your own system, so you may have to roll the dice to answer your own question.

Good luck with it. I'll be posting my impressions of this source mod when I get enough time with it.
 
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RulyS

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I'm going to keep an eye out for your post...I'd love to read it.
 
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Ticky

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Stryker,

I'm interested in the modded Music Hall as well. Please do post your impressions.

One Question -

Did you purchase your modded CD25 from Underwood HiFi? If so, I saw on audiogon that they listed the new modded CD25 for $870, while on their external website, the price was $970. I'm wondering if its the same mod.
 
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stryker

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This is a different mod. I think they may have reduced the price in response to increased competition. I purchased this unit from Sound Odyssey www.soundodyssey.com for the bargain price of $645 shipped !!!

I would imagine it's a bit better than the Underwood Level 1+ model because of the clock upgrade. The Underwood mod upgrades some resistors and capacitors in addition to Vampire RCA jacks. However, by far, the clock upgrade makes the most improvement after the opamp upgrade, IMHO. The resistors and cap upgrades are okay, but they don't improve the sound the way a dedicated clock would. I'm sold on the low-jitter argument after hearing some sources with very low jitter readings. The Trichord 4 clock, like the LC Audio X03 clock, is a clock on steroids. It absolutely raises the quality of the signal going to the DAC chip. It's also much more expensive than the cap and resistor upgrades, but less labor intensive to install. Therefore, much of the markup for the Underwood mod is for labor costs since it's not done in-house in that sense. I mentioned that difference with the owner who basically agreed with me on that distinction. He felt the clock upgrade was a better tweak as the stock resistors and caps weren't too bad. I would have to agree on that, but take it with a grain of salt as I have very limited knowledge of these things.

As for the sound? Awesome! I love it. I've recently auditioned a SACDmods C222ES and Benchmark DAC 1 among some other sources. This unit beats the 222 hands down for Redbook probably due to the better opamps in it. The 222 can't touch it for its dynamics and speed/attack. It's pretty close to the Benchmark but I'd have to do a side-by-side on it. The Benchmark had that upsampling signature to it which I found a little too aggressive or harsh due to the DAC 1's already neutral (bright?) sound. Suffice it to say the Music Hall has got some great resolution and it's definitely a high-end player. The highs are crystal-clear without being fatiguing and the bass has real slam to it. Beck's Sea Change sounds just beautiful with its HDCD encoding. It's not SACD-level but its still a bonus as I'm finding out a few of my cds are HDCD encoded and I wasn't aware of that.

I have about 50 hours on it so its just breaking in. Also, I'm soon having a power supply installed just for the clock itself, which should improve the sound a bit. The final upgrade is a ZapFilter which I'm also going to add sometime soon. However, the opamps still sound pretty good to my ears.

I highly recommend it if you really want to enter high-end on a budget. For $645 brand new, this unit is hard to beat!
 
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Ticky

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Thanks a bunch for the reply!

Yes, I did see the sound Odyssey mod on audiogon, but wasn't sure what that was about. Thanks for explanation. This is great... perhaps for once I might actually stay within my budget (~$600).

BTW - What about warranty though? I assume the original manufacturer's warranty is void because of the mod.
 
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stryker

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AFAIK, the warranty is not void as it was installed by an authorized dealer. I'll ask but I know the Underwood mod is covered under factory warranty too.
 
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Xeno7651

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stryker,
If the sound odyssey music hall is as good as the underwood level 1+ music hall, you're getting a killer deal. I pretty much agree with you on the mark-up of the underwood music hall since it is modified in Canada and then sent back to UnderwoodHifi in the States adding to the shipping expense.

From all the players I have heard so far (Jolida, Shanling, Meridian, Arcam), the level 1+ underwood music hall has the best speed and attack, although I find it a little lean in the bass. Did you find the sound odyssey music hall to be lean in the bass?
 
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stryker

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Xeno,

It's still burning in but I would say that the bass could be considered a little lean. Two things in the mix have me holding off on that, though. One, I recently changed from 600s to 650s which, that alone, improved the bass so its harder to determine. Also, as an amp, the MPX3 has great bass. Those two pieces in my system (which is headphone only, btw) make up for any bass deficiencies. I'll be listening closely tonight.


As for the Sound Odyssey vs. Underwood sound, I haven't heard the Underwood model. I would like to know how much higher-end caps and resistors will improve the sound vs. those that are stock but I still think the clock upgrade would be superior, all things being equal. The power supply in this unit seems to be the weakest but that wil lbe addressed by the clock power supply mod and the Zapfilter.
 
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stryker

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Per the recommendation of Brice at Sound Odyssey, I am going to try out the "Never Connected Power Supply" by Trichord. He maintains the effect of this supply on the sound is substantial and "worth every penny" despite it being much more than the LC Audio 115V LClock power supply. Since the clock is no longer a passive component, he maintains that good power will really improve the sound.

I guess I'll find out. I've never felt pressured in any way for anything so I'll assume his intentions are (mostly) pure. I'll check it out and post my impressions.
 
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Ticky

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Stryker,

Are you DIYing the powersupply to the CDP yourself? If not, how much is the cost of the installment and Trichord powersupply?


Also, to stray off topic just a little bit, I noted that you have the Olehbach cables. I'm thinking getting those to replace my stock as well. Do you think its worth the money?
 
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