If an external DAC improves the bass response

In principle, every drive should contain 100% of the data stored on a CD / DVD / SACD or BluRay !! correct !! select, and practically everyone amplifier should pass this information "correctly" to the speakers. Even though the differences in the circuits are rather small, there are enormous differences in sound and quality the hi-fi equipment, why ??

In our opinion, this is primarily due to electrical and mechanical inadequacies. These are not only (unsurprisingly) available in inexpensive, but often also in very expensive devices. The bridge rectifiers, unspeakable in our opinion, can really be found in devices EVERYONE Price range, as well as rather inexpensive electrolytic capacitors. But something can practically always be changed with reasonable effort if you know how !!

Electrical inadequacies: Anyone who has ever watched a rotating CD in the open player suspects that servo and focus controls have to do very hard work. Hardly any CD is really flat, and hardly any is exactly centered! With up to 500 revolutions per minute, the laser must always be kept exactly in the right track AND always at the same distance from the silver disc. If that doesn't work, error correction will help. BUT: No error correction works perfectly, and despite all the tricks, e.g. by nesting the data, even with relatively small failures, only mean values ​​can be formed according to the information last read. This means nothing else than that the information actually stored on the CD cannot be completely reproduced and is therefore practically lost !! And since this is a problem with the playback process, this data is missing every time the CD is played. A simple and for us groundbreaking conclusion can be drawn from this:

There must be enough "power" for fast tracking movements of the laser !!

Because we can assume that the manufacturer of the CD drive designed the controls powerfully enough, but mostly the manufacturer of the device saved the power supply for the servo and focus controls. Because they don't seem to have anything to do with the sound, do they? Incidentally, this "frugality" is not only to be found in inexpensive devices, but also very often in the most expensive CD players.

Precise clock: Further improvements may be possible if the drive is given a more precise clock, because this controls the read-out speed of the data. The more precise the clock, in particular with little drift and resistant to external influences, the more precisely it follows bit after bit. In theory, jitter can be minimized through precise timing. That's why we have the hearing ways MASTER CLOCK which replaces the cheap quartz in the device with a precise and mechanically stable clock.

Jitter:Is jitter good for explaining the differences in the sound of digital drives? In our opinion rather not, because 1.) So far there is no proof that any person has ever "heard" jitter beyond any doubt. 2.) Anyone who carefully studies test reports will repeatedly come across devices that, according to the published measurements, have massive problems with jitter, but still sound excellent according to the test report. So if a lot of jitter were actually "damaging to the sound", how can the device still sound great?

Mechanical shortcomings:The pits on the CD / SACD / BluRay etc. are only a few thousandths of a millimeter in diameter. Vibrations that penetrate the laser as a result of internal events, e.g. motors, or external influences, e.g. sound in the form of music, can therefore seriously disrupt the readout process.

These devices are intended to reproduce electrical signals that are converted into sound by loudspeakers, aren't they? In addition, at least the permanent operation of two motors is necessary, and every manufacturer should be familiar with the problem and provide appropriate remedies, see e.g. the double belt drive of the CEC TL 2N. The fact is, however, that with a few exceptions, the red pencil is often used here too, because there does not seem to be a direct connection with the sound of the device, does it?

Because: the more precisely the drive works, the better the result will be. Even the best DA converter cannot convert what "the source" does not deliver, and that cannot be reproduced by the best system.

The HiFiWERKSTATT hoer-wege has a large number of circuit diagrams equipment, or can obtain them (but not in all cases). We can use it to create detailed instructions on which components you should swap for better sound. The instructions for "self-soldering" also contain tips on mechanical immobilization. We deliver all of the required components in the very best quality. If you don't want to or can't solder yourself, or if no circuit diagram is available, send us your device for modification. With an appointment, the conversion can usually be carried out within 10 days.

As a rule, the modification of a CD player includes the following points:

Power supply: Shielded power cable, massive cable gland, solid power plug, ultra-fast diodes, fast storage capacitors (PANASONIC FC and FM, which are partly bridged with foils), etc. The power supply for the processor on the MAIN-BOARD and all other ICs is also upgraded . According to our recommendations, between 20 and 120 components are exchanged, depending on the device. One can generally say: the more expensive the device, the more parts can or should be replaced! By the way, we haven't had a CD player or CD drive "on the table" that we couldn't improve significantly !!

Digital outputs: Optical outputs are only second choice in terms of sound, coaxial - i.e. wired - sound still the best. In order to equip CD players with optical digital outputs with 2 coaxial outputs, the HiFiWERKSTATT hoer-wege has the circuit board DIGITAL OUT developed that provides two decoupled and buffered coaxial, digital outputs via WBT RCA sockets.

Analog outputs: Here, too, the inexpensive parts in the player are exchanged for better ones, or this part is no longer used at all, but a high-quality, external DAC is connected to the digital outputs, see DA converter on the HiFiWERKSTATT website. The CD player is then only used as a CD drive and, thanks to the current DAC, is then fit for a new future.

Mechanically: The base and lid are particularly susceptible to resonance; everyone can easily provide for damping here. As an example, the photo shows the bottom of the PD-S507. Unfortunately, as with the ONKYO players DX-7222 and DX-7333, many small parts have to be cut to size, which can be done with a lot of time, a sharp carpet knife and steel ruler, and some hot air is also helpful when fitting the bitumen.

Is it all worth it? Before you had a good device, the sound is decent in relation to the price range. But .......... it could sound less "strenuous" or "technical", and a bit "livelier", guitar strings and percussion, for example, could be more finely resolved and fade away more naturally. High voices in particular should not sound so "annoying" and sibilants should be less emphasized. More punchy with cleaner and deeper bass and a little less nervous wouldn't be bad either, and the music couldn't "stick" to the speakers, wouldn't it?

After the renovation, the loudspeakers may "disappear"; there is a "wall" of music. The interpreters are clearly locatable and three-dimensional in space. Acoustic instruments in particular sound relaxed and natural, the wealth of timbres, e.g. of a clarinet, increases significantly, voices are clearly understandable and less "technical", etc. In short: You hear music where you only heard tones before and you don't want to "stop" anymore.

Why settle for less?

You will find a list of the devices that we have already successfully modified here.

Modifying an amplifier is also worthwhile, because
a better, faster and less disruptive one Power supply With, for example, a high-quality power cord, ultra-fast diodes instead of cheap bridge rectifiers, fast storage capacitors (such as PANASONIC TSHA and MUNDORF MLGO) and significantly better components in the signal path, this also ensures considerably better sound "results".

With the current amplifiers we can of course also assume that the designer has basically done everything "right". This means that the amplifier changes the input signal minimally or not at all under almost all circumstances, of course except for the required amplification, and therefore presents an almost "perfect" copy at the output. Nevertheless, no hi-fi enthusiast will want to claim that all amplifiers sound the same. This is astonishing, as the underlying circuits of tube, transistor and Class-D amplifiers differ only marginally. What may not be common knowledge: Electronic circuits are not patentable !! In the opinion of the judges, a slightly different arrangement of the individual components is not worthy of a patent.
We do not want to comment on the opinions of the patent courts, nor degrade the work of the amplifier developers. However, we are of the opinion that the tonal differences are rather small due to (allegedly) ingenious circuits. But that doesn't mean that in principle every amplifier can do "everything". An amplifier always consists of several "elements" than there are: The size and capacity of the transformer, the power storage electrolytic capacitors, the provision of the required "auxiliary voltages", the actual amplifier and its transistors, the heat sink, the monitoring Circuit, etc. The amplifier circuit is only a small part that would not work at all without a power supply, heat sink, connectors, etc. And with that the question is allowed which parts of the amplifier influence the sound and how, and can these possibly be improved with reasonable effort? By the way, we didn't have an amplifier (tube, transistor or Class-D) "on the table" that we couldn't significantly upgrade !! And that's why we also offer our very extensive and thorough modifications for amplifiers, see here. [up]

Hotline: The HiFiWERKSTATT hoer-wege will be happy to answer your questions about our offers on the phone number 0421/647321 Monday - Friday from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Mailto: [email protected]

HiFiWERKSTATT hoer-wege
Stephan Horwege
Gallberg 40
District of Neuenkirchen near Bremen
the description of the journey can be found in the imprint.