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  #1  
Old 01-23-2010, 12:49 PM
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Default Modding a 5900?

Anyone have any experience with Modded units...

I have had a 5900 a long time now, and have occasionally considered modding it. The 5900 imperticular is considered to be a very good choice for such upgrades as it's Digital topology is 100% balanced, only lacking in a balanced Analog stage. The Ultimate Mod has my attention the most.. the Idea of a fully balance Tube output section, on top of a bunch of other rocksolid modifications has me a bit dreamy.

I want to have the choice to have a great CD player/SACD player that will stay with me for a very long and glorious time. And there is added incentive to keep something that has been with me a long time already and mold it into something even more wonderful... breathing life and longevity back into it. (corny i know.).

I also have a 3800bdci, and while the video is great.. I'll be turning that in and eventually get something that is 3D certified.. So no point doing anything to that...

There is other options though too... Perhaps I could just get a High-end DAC (MDA1000 comes to mind). Or perhaps just get a high end CD player only (and save the sacd play back when I get a MVP88? of the future). Or Tube Dac like the "_______" (lol not sure you fill in the blank and let me know.

I'm having a hard time making up my mind... lol

I have confirmed the 5900 can get the Ultimate Mod for a retrofit price of $3,590. They claim it is the best modded unit they have ever created and will compete with any player at any price point... Now normally when you hear that sort of talk you wonder, but Chris Johnson was the brains behind the Mod, and is very respected individual in the industry. (or at least i think he is. lol)

Here's some info on the mods available...

Underwood HiFi high-performance modifications

Looking for any and all opinion.

Thanks in advance.
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B&W 802Ds, HTM2D, 805s, JL Audio F113's, MX150, MC501s, MC205, MDA1000, Denon 3800BDCI, Sonos ZP90 (Cullin Mod), 60" Kuro
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Round one to Chuck.
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  #2  
Old 01-23-2010, 04:18 PM
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Default Another option

Here's another potential option that would give you a good idea of what a modded 5900 would sound like with much less of an investment...

Denon Universal Plyr 5900 For Sale | AudiogoN

I just happened to come across this earlier today, and thought of your post. I have no affiliation with the seller. My thought is that if you bought this and it didn't meet your expectations you could easily recoup the money you spent, or you could sell your current unit if you do like the improvement that comes with the Modwright unit and probably come out close to even.

Either way keep us posted on what you decide to do.
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Denon AVR-A100
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Sonore Ultrarendu with Uptone Audio LPS-1.2
ModWright Oppo BDP-105 with Signature Truth Tube Modifications
Clearaudio Performance SE TT with Hana SL MC cartridge
Musical Surroundings Phonomena II+ phono preamp
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EVALUATION: ModWright LS 36.5 line stage
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  #3  
Old 01-23-2010, 08:03 PM
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That is an interesting Option, although I get very leary when i see 0 Feed back, and a bent button(s)... hmmmm.

I notice you have Modwright Oppo BDP-83, whats your experience with that perticular unit.
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B&W 802Ds, HTM2D, 805s, JL Audio F113's, MX150, MC501s, MC205, MDA1000, Denon 3800BDCI, Sonos ZP90 (Cullin Mod), 60" Kuro
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Round one to Chuck.
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  #4  
Old 01-23-2010, 11:30 PM
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Default

Poobah - you are absolutely right - I did not notice the fact that there is a bent button at first, and you do have to be very cautious about dealing with someone with zero feedback. I would be leary as well but for a high quality unit like the 5900 it is a tempting price and perhaps still worth looking into...

As far as my Modwright Oppo BDP-83, I have been wanting to write a formal review here at AA but have not yet for the following reason: I volunteered my stock Oppo for Dan Wright to develop his modifications on, and have given him some feedback based on my initial impressions of the modified unit after I received it. Dan has since incorporated feedback from me and others (primarily making some minor changes to the analog filtering and the power supply) to the final version production units Modwright is now working on. I have not yet sent my unit back for those final updates (primarily due to holidays and him being at CES earlier this month) so I still need to schedule a time to get those done. Once that happens, I will write a full review which will be based on the final version of Dan's work.

I will say that the analog audio quality of the stock BDP-83 does not even closely resemble Dan's modified version - it really is a night and day improvement in every way. Since I had my unit modified the new SE version has come out from Oppo with the ESS DAC and some improvements to the analog section and power supply (as I am sure you know there have been several threads here at AA about the Oppo SE). Dan is also performing basically the same mods to the SE version as to the non-SE, and based on his impressions after his mods the two units are very close, with the modified SE version being a little more detailed and solid-state sounding vs the modified non-SE version, but both clearly better than the stock SE.

If you are interested in going with a new Blu-Ray player right now vs investing $$ in your Denon 5900, I would take a long look at the Oppo BDP-83 SE, and then deciding if you want to take it to the next level with Dan's modifications. I am extremely happy with my unit so far and I know when I get it updated to the final production version it will be even better!
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McIntosh MC501s, XRT29s, XR27, WS350s
Denon AVR-A100
JL Audio F113s with CR-1 Crossover
Schiit Audio Yggdrasil DAC
Sonore Ultrarendu with Uptone Audio LPS-1.2
ModWright Oppo BDP-105 with Signature Truth Tube Modifications
Clearaudio Performance SE TT with Hana SL MC cartridge
Musical Surroundings Phonomena II+ phono preamp
ASC & RealTraps Panels; APS PurePower 2000; Daedalus Audio DiDs
LAT International, Wireworld, WyWires Cables
EVALUATION: ModWright LS 36.5 line stage
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  #5  
Old 01-24-2010, 11:24 AM
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Default

Much appreciated...

I'm going to hold out for a 3D certfied machine of the near future.. But do look forward to reading your review of the Oppo unit.
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Round one to Chuck.
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  #6  
Old 01-28-2010, 08:24 PM
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Well I think the 5900 will remain unchanged...

I've decided I'm going to go with a Tube Dac... In fact it will open a bunch of welcomed options.

1. Either Tube or Solid State options to suit listening material or tastes.
2. USB connection.. Not that I know I'll need it.. but the option is there.
3. Ear Phone Jack.. Again not sure, but might come in handy if Wifey is in a perticular bad mood?

Music Hall DAC25.2 (but Modified in a big way). Total cost after mod's about 3000usd. And interestingly enough, Music Hall fully warrenties Underwood Modifications... So no worries on that end.

But I'm can still be talked out of it (or heck tomorrow I might go with something else entirely?)... (Here's all the details.






Underwood Mod's...

The Music Hall DAC25.2 is a very nice tube DAC that has a USB input as well as both RCA & balanced outputs. It also has a good headphone amp.

The stock DAC has a very good design architecture but is a little on the soft side when run thru the tube RCA output stage. This is fine if listening to Internet radio but not what we want for quality high definition music systems. In addition, the DAC also has a fully balanced side that is only run solid state. We have designed a comprehensive set of mods that makes this DAC superb. The mods were designed by Chris Johnson, the founder and former president of Sonic frontiers.

There is a clock mod as well as both Level-1 and Level-2 mods for both the RCA tube output stage as well as the XLR balanced solid state output stage. We also have a basic $250 mod to upgrade the headphone amp.

The following details the mods:
Clock mod [$799 + frt. preinstalled, $350 + frt. retro-fit]: We add an upgraded Burson Audio clock to the basic DAC. This improves the bass performance, imaging and midrange performance of the basic unit.
At $799 for a new DAC with the $350 clock mod, the clock-modified DAC25.2 is a very good sub $1000 DAC and considerably better than the stock DAC in both RCA tube and XLR solid state output versions.

Level-1 RCA tube mod [$1.390 + frt. preinstalled, $990 + frt. retrofit, $200 for clock mod if ordered at the same time]:
• 3 x dual Analog Devices AD8620 SMT op amps mounted on custom DIP adaptors
• 2 x Mundorf M-Cap metalized polypropylene output coupling caps; 2 x MultiCap RTX tin foil, polystyrene film bypass caps
• 1 x Russian mil-spec 6h23p-eb “ultra low noise” 6922-type tube to replace the stock tube
• 1 x Teflon composite silver-plated tube socket
• 2 feet of DH LABS 23 awg pure 99.99% pure silver, solid-core hook-up wire, with foamed teflon, tape wrap dielectric
• 2 x high curren” ultra low impedance, Linear Technology adjustable power supply regulators/ LT1033 & 1085
• 8 x MUR860 ultra fast, soft recover Hexfred style rectifying diodes
• 5 x Black-Gate N-Series non-polar electrolytic power supply caps.
• 18 x Takman & Riken Japanese-made audio-grade carbon film 1% signal resistors to replace the cheap stock resistors.
• 1 6”x12” Soundcoat sheet damps chassis resonances.
• 4 x small EAR compliant sorbothane isolation feet.
• 7.5 hours of installation labor

The Level-2 RCA tube mod is all of the above with the addition of [$1.790 + frt. preinstalled, $1.390 + frt. retrofit, $200 for clock mod if ordered at the same time]:
• 3 x dual Burson Audio discrete op amp modules on custom circuit board assemblies, terminated with DIP spaced flying leads. These parts each contain over 68 parts per module. They are considered the best opamps made and are effectively all discrete parts
• 9 hours total labor

The final modified RCA tube DAC is superb. It has just enough tube liquidity to add warmth to many system. It outperforms the Parts Connexion modified Benchmark by a good bit.

XLR Solid State Level-1 mod [$1.190 + frt. preinstalled, $790 + frt. retrofit, $200 for clock mod if ordered at the same time]:
• 1 x pair of dual Analog Devices AD8620 SMT op amps mounted on custom DIP adaptors
• 2 x high current ultra low impedance Linear Technology adjustable power supply regulators/LT1033 & 1085
• 8 x MUR860 ultra fast, soft recover Hexfred style rectifying diodes
• 16 x Takman Japanese-made audio-grade carbon film 1% resistors
• 1 6”x12” Soundcoat sheet, for damping chassis resonances
• 4 x small EAR compliant sorbothane isolation feet
• 1 x German made HiFi Tuning“Classic pure silver element/end-cap fuse, which uses a ceramic body and is internally damped and cryo-treated
• 6 hours of installation labor

XLR Solid State Level-2 mod [$1.490 + frt. preinstalled, $990 + frt. retrofit, $200 for clock mod if ordered at the same time]:
• One matched pair of “dual” BURSON AUDIO “discrete” op amp modules, on custom circuit board assemblies, terminated with DIP spaced flying leads. Over 68 parts per module.
• Over 7.5 hours labor

Headphone Output Option [$750 + frt. preinstalled, $290 + frt. retrofit]:
• 1 x Analog Devices AD8620 driver/buffer op amp (mounted on DIP adapter)
• 4 x polystyrene filter-network capacitors
• 4 x Takman Japanese-made audio-grade carbon film 1% resistors
• 4 x Black-Gate C-series audio coupling capacitors
• 1.5 feet of Connex BL-Ag pure 99.9% silver, Teflon insulated, shielded interconnect cable
• 2 hours labor
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B&W 802Ds, HTM2D, 805s, JL Audio F113's, MX150, MC501s, MC205, MDA1000, Denon 3800BDCI, Sonos ZP90 (Cullin Mod), 60" Kuro
Cables - Cardas Golden Reference

Round one to Chuck.

Last edited by Poobah; 01-28-2010 at 09:35 PM.
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  #7  
Old 01-29-2010, 09:23 PM
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Poobah....I've heard the Music Hall. Stock and all the features, this is a great sounding dac. For the $$ the Music Hall is a good deal.

Dave
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  #8  
Old 01-29-2010, 09:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by f1 fan View Post
Poobah....I've heard the Music Hall. Stock and all the features, this is a great sounding dac. For the $$ the Music Hall is a good deal.

Dave
Yes I was still very excited about the possiblity of adding this to my system up to earlier this afternoon.. Then my Dealer had to open his mouth and offer up another excellent Idea.... See

Yet another Solution...
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B&W 802Ds, HTM2D, 805s, JL Audio F113's, MX150, MC501s, MC205, MDA1000, Denon 3800BDCI, Sonos ZP90 (Cullin Mod), 60" Kuro
Cables - Cardas Golden Reference

Round one to Chuck.
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  #9  
Old 01-29-2010, 10:42 PM
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Poobah.....save your coins and get the C2300 & MX150. This combo will provide all your listening and viewing needs.

Get them now before you change your mind

Dave
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  #10  
Old 12-17-2011, 12:52 PM
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Default

Im in the process of 'updating' my current home theatre setup. Seems to be a perpetual thing. Anyway, I really like my Denon 5910CI. So instead of replacing it, Im sending it in to the upgrade company for their full treatment.
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