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 From the Captain's Chair
  Pass, Atma, BAT, Merlin, SCD-1 Workshop
  Pass Labs XA-160.8 Amplifier  pic
  Sony Modded SCD-1  pic
  SCD-1 Modded Chassis  pic
  Twisted Pear/Sony SCD-1 32bit ESS Sabre ES9018 DAC Upgrade  pic
  Merlin VSM-MX speaker with Modded BBAM  pic
  Merlin VSM Crossover Mod Claritycap MR Tweak  pic
  Merlin VSM Crossover Mod: Duelund Resistors with 2.0 V2 Wire  pic
  Merlin VSM-MX RC & Jumpers Tweak Tweak  pic
  Merlin VSM Tweeter Diffuser Tweak  pic
  Tannoy ST-100 Supertweeter Speaker  pic
  Kenwood L-07D Direct Drive Turntable  pic
  VPI Modded TNT with thread drive  pic
  VPI Modded TNT DIY bearing, clamp & platform  pic
  Trans-fi Modded Terminator Pro Linear Air Bearing Tonearm  pic
  Trans-Fi Custom Arm Wand for Universal Headshells Tonearm  pic
  Trans-Fi Reso-Mat Turntable Mat Tweak  pic
  Trans-Fi Terminator Pro Tomahawk flat wand Tonearm  pic
  Trans-Fi Terminator Balanced 4N Silver Wire harness  pic
  Trans-fi Terminator Air Flow Controller Tweak  pic
  VPI Modded TNT Custom Platter Bearing  pic
  VPI Modded TNT footer DIY Ceramic Ball points Tweak  pic
  DIY Turntable Hardwood Sandbox with Segmented Top Plate  pic
  Mark Kelly AC-1 Turntable Drive Controller  pic
  Audio Research Modded PH-2 Phono Stage  pic
  Modded PH-2 Continuously Variable Loading Mod  pic
  Modded PH-2 Expansion PCB Bottom View  pic
  Various MC & MM/MI Cartridges
  Soundsmith Grace F9 Ruby OCL Stylus Cartridge  pic
  Atma-Sphere Modded MP-1 Mark II.2  pic
  Atma-Sphere Modded MP-1 Power Supply Chassis  pic
  Balanced Audio Modded VK-75SE  pic
  BAT VK75SE mod Cardas No-Stress binding posts Tweak  pic
  Velodyne Modded DD-15  pic
  Optima Yellow Top & Odyssey PC2150 Battery Supplies  pic
  Sennheiser HE60 Electrostatic Headphones Speaker
  DIY Roller Ball Footers Black Pearls Tweak  pic
  Balanced Power DIY Power Conditioner/Distributor Tweak  pic

Pass, Atma, BAT, Merlin, SCD-1 Workshop
After too much audiophile nervosa, I'm at the point where modifying high-quality components has mostly eliminated equipment churn. The effect of modifying even quite expensive components can be surprising, leading me to the conclusion that as generally applied, the term "house sound" is a euphemism for compromised resolution & transparency.

Batteries are excellent power sources for low-current front-end components. The modded SCD-1 and the Merlin BBAM "bass equalizer" have been converted to run on large deep-cycle SLA batteries. Odyssey & Optima batteries were selected for their high amp-hour reserve & low internal impedance, which is critical to maximizing transient response even for milliamp loads.

SCD-1 mods include conversion of internal DAC section to dual-mono ESS 32-bit Sabre DACs, passive analog stage of Audio Consulting New Silver Rock transformers, Audiocom Superclock 4 & PPR2 discrete voltage regulators, V-Cap, REL, Blackgate, Rubycon, Hovland, Caddock & Vishay upgrades, and Audio Consulting silver wire in natural cotton sleeves.

Op amps in the Merlin BBAM benefit as much as Sony DSPs from large batteries and the addition of custom discrete DC regulators.

The BAT VK75SE is a nice piece, further improved with V-Caps, Schottky rectifiers, silver wire, and TX2575 resistors.

The Velodyne DD-15 has improved control & impact after light modifications to AC/DC rectification & internal wiring.

The Atma-Sphere MP-1 MKII is a terrific preamp that has been improved after conversion of phono section to hybrid SS/tube, stroking power supply with Cree Schottky diodes, and adding various V-Cap, ClarityCap MR, & Texas Components/Vishay pieces.

The modded VPI TNT is more focused and lively after conversion from rubber belts to more speed-stable thread drive (with custom pulley drivetrain), and replacement of stock sprung suspension with an unsprung, mass-loaded plinth on top of a hybrid coupling/decoupling platform of sandbox, springs, and maple butcher block. Mark Kelly's AC-1 drive controller improves the speed stability of the turntable, while powering the VPI 300 RPM AC motor with a large 12V battery.

More recent steps up include Pass Labs XA-160.8 monoblocks, Pass XP-25 phono stage, Kenwood L07D turntable, DIY Parts Connexion/DH Labs BL-Ag ICs, and a roundelay of Stillpoints and Star Sound platforms.
Dgarretson  (System | Reviews | Threads | Answers | This Thread)

  Responses (1-50 of 233)
Click title to read one, or click date to read all below it.

03-13-06   System edited: i just added a velodyne dd-15 sub to the merl ...   Dgarretson

06-23-06   Wow david! i can certainly tell that you have spent some fun ...   David_berry

07-02-06   Cabling changes. i recently moved past the diy audio consult ...   Dgarretson

10-06-06   Would you mind sharing your experiences modding the scd1. an ...   njmakhija@

10-06-06   I have put some of this in writing & can share it with you. ...   Dgarretson

10-07-06   Dave- i just bought a sms-1 and am trying to make a decision ...   Swampwalker

10-07-06   Swampwalker, sorry but i have heard only the velodyne dd-15 ...   Dgarretson

10-10-06   I have run in the new audiocom superclock 4 in the scd-1 & ...   Dgarretson

12-24-06   System edited: recently replaced the bat vk5i with an atmasp ...   Dgarretson

01-18-07   System edited: upgraded the phono section of the atmasphere ...   Dgarretson

02-27-07   How does the super-modded digital front end sound compared t ...   Morris

02-28-07   Morris, i'd add to your point that one's preference for ana ...   Dgarretson

02-28-07   Thanks for the comments. good point. like you, i had the lu ...   Morris

02-28-07   Morris, btw i like your dac with statue tweak. similarly i h ...   Dgarretson

03-13-07   Dgarretson, great system and interesting commentary! a fri ...   Sbank

03-13-07   Spencer, very nice system back at you... i heard ma1's for ...   Dgarretson

03-13-07   Sorry i meant to write: if like the mp-1, the mp-3 generates ...   Dgarretson

04-09-07: Dgarretson
System edited: The BAT VK75SE woke up with V-Cap teflon caps in place of the stock paper-in-oil coupling caps. More detail, texture, clarity, treble extension, bass control, improved linearity, less overemphasis of the presence region.
Dgarretson  (System | Reviews | Threads | Answers | This Thread)

05-05-07   System edited: i did a clean sweep of all coupling caps end- ...   Dgarretson

05-26-07   Hi dgarretson, i am interested in your use of electrolytic ...   Drajreynolds

05-26-07   Aaron, i use rubycon zl electrolytics in filtering applicat ...   Dgarretson

05-26-07   Aaron, my mistake... i meant to say 50,000uf in total capaci ...   Dgarretson

06-01-07   Maybe out of date, but i eventually decided that i preferred ...   Swampwalker

06-01-07   I listened to some atma ma-1s recently and was taken by thei ...   Dgarretson

06-06-07   Dgarretson, very nice system. i am interested in your 75se ...   Analogtroll

06-07-07   This non-factory mod requires four teflon v-cap .22uf/600v t ...   Dgarretson

06-20-07   System edited: big improvement in vinyl playback after tweak ...   Dgarretson

06-25-07   Just wondering if you had any further mods planned for your ...   Cathode

06-25-07   What you suggest sounds good. absent a schematic i've not ha ...   Dgarretson

06-25-07   Stock is el-cheapo versions of all the above. it obviously ...   Cathode

07-09-07   System edited: replacing the stock scd-1 wire harnesses with ...   Dgarretson

07-27-07   System edited: in the vk75se i replaced the stock 2' belden ...   Dgarretson

07-31-07   Hey, just looked up your system. it has been great talking ...   Dgad

07-31-07   Dgad, i will shortly build a spring plaform for the cdp. i s ...   Dgarretson

08-31-07   System edited: the latest mods to the bat vk75se have transf ...   Dgarretson

09-11-07   System edited: i made several modifications to the velodyne ...   Dgarretson

09-11-07   Don't make me start thinking of tweeking my subwoofer. i ha ...   Dgad

09-12-07   Thanks, dgad. my guess is that your wilson sub has excellent ...   Dgarretson

09-18-07   System edited: modded the power supply chassis of the atma-s ...   Dgarretson

09-28-07   System edited: moving on the the atma mp-1 mkii, i replaced ...   Dgarretson

10-26-07   System edited: modification to vpi tnt. after years of just ...   Dgarretson

11-12-07   System edited: modded vpi motor with tensioning pulley to im ...   Dgarretson

11-23-07   System edited: added a system of pressure rollers to improve ...   Dgarretson

11-30-07   Nice wood panels on your scd-1 good job !   Rickmak

12-08-07   System edited: stability of vpi tnt thread-drive system was ...   Dgarretson

01-09-08   System edited: added mark kelly's ac-1 drive controller kit( ...   Dgarretson

02-05-08   System edited: (photo added) uprated from 90,000uf to 500,00 ...   Dgarretson

02-12-08   System edited: (photo added) i quadrupled capacitance across ...   Dgarretson

02-22-08   System edited: i installed teddy pardo's diy teddyreg(pinkfi ...   Dgarretson

03-08-08   System edited: i upgraded the modded merlin bbam with custom ...   Dgarretson

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