Enjoying my modded Sony 7700!

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. Read 4708 times.

drewski

  • Newbie
  • Posts: 2
Enjoying my modded Sony 7700!
« on: 31 Mar 2004, 08:30 pm »
I've been enjoying my Turbo Modded Sony DVP-S7700 for about a month now and wanted to share my thoughts on this unit...

When I first decided to do this, I purchased a used 7700 unit and tried it out.  I must say that the stock unit was about as bad of a CD player that I've ever heard- boomy and flabby bass, ear peircing highs, and muddy mids.  I couldn't listen to for more than 5 minutes it was so bad.  I was really regretting this purchase because I wasn't too optimistic that even with all the great reviews that I found regarding the mods, it would ever be a great sounding transport.  I even told Steve that I was very skeptical that he could turn this into a decent transport.  Thanks goodness I was wrong.

I had the full blown Turbo mod done with the Jensen caps.  The first thing that I noticed was that this unit had dyamics and pop to it.  Snare drums were dynamic and realistic- like they are supposed to sound.  Too often it sounds like a wet noodle hitting the snare rather than a drumstick- not with this unit.  Transients were natural, even with my amp that sometimes doesn't do such a great job in this department.

Bass was incredible as well.  A bass sounded, well, like a bass!  I never realized the full potential of my Vandersteen 2WQ subs unit I put this unit on it.  There's something really special when you can hear every last detail from the pluck of the string to the very deepest note- it brings a different level of emotion to a good jazz recording.

Even with all the dynamics and detail, this unit wasn't fatiguing in any way.  The top end was smooth and detailed, but not bright.  Imaging and soundstaging was natural and realistic.  Vocals and mids were natural and so clean and clear.  That's the first time that I've used those words to describe mids, but that's about the only way I can describe it.

I'm using this unit now with an Electrocompaniet DAC and to me, it's a great combination- Steve says he can make it an even better combo by fixing up the DAC, but for now, I'm going to leave well enough alone!  I've had quite a bit of gear come and go, but for the first time, my wife even said that she was impressed with the sound of this unit- almost brought tears to my eyes to have my wife notice anything having to do with my stereo gear!  She said it was like having the singer and studio in our family room!

Just for reference, I'm using Merlin TSM monitors, Electrocompaniet preamp, Electrocompaniet DAC, Cardas Neutral reference speaker and interconnect cables, Acoustic Zen and Cardas digital cable, Monarchy DIP, Vandersteen 2WQ subs, Vandersteen active Xover, PS Audio HCA2 amp, and PS Audio power cables.

zybar

Enjoying my modded Sony 7700!
« Reply #1 on: 31 Mar 2004, 08:43 pm »
Drewski,

I have the S-7700 without the Turbomod (Steve didn't offer it at that point) and I am also using the ECD-1.  In fact, I just got the EC 4.7 preamp (yesterday) and I am enjoying that as well.

I agree with your assessment.  Although I never tried to the S-7700 in stock form, I did directly compare the modifed S-7700 to a $3000 Sonic Frontiers transport.  The S-7700 was pretty much better all around and it hasn't had problems reading certain cd's like the SF transport did.

I have had extensive conversations and e-mails with Steve about upgrading my ECD-1.  Besides not having the funds, I have also been a little worried about changing the character of the dac too much.  To my ears, the ECD-1 is what I am looking for.  It is detailed, dynamic, and full sounding without being fatiguing or artifical sounding.  I would hate for a mod to do anything to that balance.  

Anyway, if you take the plunge on the dac let me know and I will keep you posted if I go first.

BTW, which Electrocompaniet pre do you have?  

George

blizzard

Vandersteen 2WQ's
« Reply #2 on: 31 Mar 2004, 09:34 pm »
Hi Drewski,
  I too have had great luck with Steve Nugent's mods.  He modded both my transport and DAC -- both incredible.

  I am also am running monitors (Dynaudio) and a pair of subs.  I'm using a Marchand active 24db crossover.  When listening to my Dyns full range the sound is breathtaking.  Whenever I put my crossover in the loop, it kills most of the benefits that I had gained from Nugent's mods.

  Out of curiosity -- My questions for you are:  
     1.  What kind of crossover is the Vandersteen (slopes and xo frequencies)?  
     2.  And, have you experienced a degrading of the sound when going from full range monitors to monitors with a sub--like I have?

             Thanks,
                 Steve

drewski

  • Newbie
  • Posts: 2
Enjoying my modded Sony 7700!
« Reply #3 on: 31 Mar 2004, 10:03 pm »
Zybar- very interesting that our systems are so similar!  As much as I like the mods for the 7700, I don't think I'm going to risk modding my ECD-1 because sometimes it's more the synergy between the two units (which right now sounds fantastic to my ears).  I think that I would try to find a modded version of another DAC before I tried modifying the ECD-1.  But I'll let you know if I decide to take the plunge!

Blizzard- the way that the Vandersteen crossover works is in conjunction with the Vandersteen sub amps.  It drops the low frequencies by 6db, then the sub boosts the low frequencies back in (I don't have the details on the specifics, but that's the general idea).  You match the crossover with the amp by changing dip switches to match the input impendance of your amplifier.  I was never really happy using external crossovers in the past, but the 6db drop that the Vandersteen crossover has seems to have minimal affect on the overall sound.  This particular crossover is made for the Vandersteen 5's, but a lot of people order them for the Vandy subs.  They also make a passive one which isn't bad, but not as transparent as their active one.

Marbles

Enjoying my modded Sony 7700!
« Reply #4 on: 31 Mar 2004, 10:17 pm »
Another Empirical modded S7700 convert and I have an Empirical modded Perp Tech P3a DAC that is killer.

Steve does very good work.

You guys with the stock ECD-1's might want to get a demo of Steve's modded Perp Tech P3a.

blizzard

xo
« Reply #5 on: 31 Mar 2004, 10:35 pm »
Thanks Drewski,
  Got ya.  I had a similar xo a while back that came with an Infinity sub.  The dips are for a passive line stage high pass and then it goes active low pass.  I was actually contmplating doing something like this.

  By the way, you definately should give a listen to Steve's Turbo P-3A DAC (or I'm sure any of his DAC mods for that matter).  I am 99% positive that you will be amazed.  "Synergy Be Damned"!

        Thanks Again,
                Steve

TheChairGuy

Enjoying my modded Sony 7700!
« Reply #6 on: 6 May 2004, 01:48 am »
Well guys, I just took the Empirical plunge myself today.

I shipped out my 7700 (with MSB 192K upsampler) , MSB Gold Link III DAC and Power Base off to Steve. It will be the largest single outlay of cash on this neurotic hobby and I am feeling quite fine with it.  The dude (Steve) knows his digital. Getting the TurboMod with Jensen's.

Marbles, JCoat007 and others review of their 7700 was helpful in deciding, but the kicker was hearing Steve's system at CES in January. One hour I hung out in his room...'twas pleasant indeed.

Those of you with the 7700 and use it's headphone output, did the Level 2 and or TurboMod greatly enhance your listening pleasure?  Steve says it does, but he is also tweeking a couple op amps for even better sound once he's under the hood.

I gotta' agree with Drewski's assesmment of the 7700 as a CD player - it blows.  Audio with DVD's are better, but picture is as good or better than my new-ish Pioneer 656a.  Not bad for a 5 year old model.

What Steve extracts from this player as a CD transport is unreal....it's very fatiguing as a transport in stock form.

Double Ugly

Enjoying my modded Sony 7700!
« Reply #7 on: 6 May 2004, 02:52 am »
Quote from: TheChairGuy
Well guys, I just took the Empirical plunge myself today.

I shipped out my 7700 (with MSB 192K upsampler) , MSB Gold Link III DAC and Power Base off to Steve. It will be the largest single outlay of cash on this neurotic hobby and I am feeling quite fine with it.  The dude (Steve) knows his digital. Getting the TurboMod with Jensen's.

Marbles, JCoat007 and others review of their 7700 was helpful in deciding, but the kicker was hearing Steve's system at CES in January. One hour I hung out in his room ...

You did well, my friend.

I don't know how the 7700 sounds in stock form, but Steve's modded version is amazing.  In fact, I fell so hard for the demo unit I was auditioning that I bought it...even as I awaited the return of my Sony 777ES from Steve.   :o   THAT'S how good it sounds.  I may now have a transport I don't need (anybody wanna buy a nice EA-modded DVP-CX777ES?), but even my wife got teary-eyed at the prospect of returning the 7700.  If the miser queen wanted to spend money for a second transport before the return of a newly-modded unit, you KNOW I had to buy it.

What Steve does with this unit is magic, especially for the price.  I can't wait to hear your impressions.

DU

TheChairGuy

Enjoying my modded Sony 7700!
« Reply #8 on: 6 May 2004, 03:13 am »
DU,

Yeah, Steve told me you were so taken with the Sony 7700 that you bought his demo...now he has too look for a new one to replace it. I thought you got your 777es back long ago?  Was it taking awhile, so you decided to give Steve's 7700 transport a go to keep you occupied?  What areyou pairing it with DAC-wise?

My wife is totally cool with the upgrade.  I am fairly miserly myself on many things (the original George 'Dubya' and Abe scream regularly for air from my left pocket  :) ) and she knows this.  That I have this one enduring passion that is quality sound, and even that I don't spend too wildly on, so she is cool with it all.

I have actually wanted to upgrade earlier in the year, but my cash flow is very seasonal.  Not many chairs sell September - March in the US  :(

I had originally wanted to do it in smaller financial chunks, but having the 192K upgrade built in and Steve's relative unfamiliarity with the MSB gear meant it was best to send in all at once.

The good news for all you out here with MSB 192K upgraded 7700's and those that want better headphone quality form the 7700 and those that have MSB Link and Gold Links and those that have the P1000 Power Base.....I am your guinea pig. Oink.

Double Ugly

Enjoying my modded Sony 7700!
« Reply #9 on: 6 May 2004, 03:41 am »
Quote from: TheChairGuy
I thought you got your 777es back long ago? Was it taking awhile, so you decided to give Steve's 7700 transport a go to keep you occupied?

Yeah, due to the mods and additions Steve was/is having done to his home, it took a little longer than normal.  On top of that I was in the process of burning the 30-day return policy on several thousands of dollars worth of cables since I had no other transport.  

When the modded unit arrived damaged and unplayable (thanks again, UPS), I had to do something.  A couple of phone calls later, I had his demo unit express shipped.

Quote from: TheChairGuy
What areyou pairing it with DAC-wise?

Though I'm seriously considering other options (Steve's modded P-3A just left last week), I'm still using the "new" ack dAck! with Sonicaps.  Though not the end-all of DACs by any stretch of the imagination, it sounds fine in my system and represents a great value.

Quote from: TheChairGuy
My wife is totally cool with the upgrade.

I was mostly kidding when I called her the "miser queen", but she is a penny-pincher.  I thought I was pretty tight-fisted until I met her.  

While she's not quite as bad as I made her out to be, suffice to say it was a HUGE leap for her to say she wanted to keep the 7700.

DU

Sa-dono

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 845
Enjoying my modded Sony 7700!
« Reply #10 on: 6 May 2004, 03:52 am »
TheChairGuy:

Congrats on the new upgrades! :D I hope the MSB upgrades work out for you, so you don't feel you should have just bought a P-3A to upgrade. :mrgreen:

TheChairGuy

Enjoying my modded Sony 7700!
« Reply #11 on: 6 May 2004, 03:54 am »
Quote from: Double Ugly
While she's not quite as bad as I made her out to be, suffice to say it was a HUGE leap for her to say she wanted to keep the 7700.


That's a leap I am still awaiting to see/hear.  Tho cool to my mild audio addiction, she seems to like her CD boombox over my detail obsessed system.  

If Steve can change that, he should switch careers to marriage counseling.  :)

zybar

Enjoying my modded Sony 7700!
« Reply #12 on: 6 May 2004, 04:00 am »
I believe that is a VERY expensive mod....

 :lol:  :lol:  :lol:

George

TheChairGuy

Enjoying my modded Sony 7700!
« Reply #13 on: 6 May 2004, 04:04 am »
Quote from: Sa-dono
TheChairGuy:

Congrats on the new upgrades! :D I hope the MSB upgrades work out for you, so you don't feel you should have just bought a P-3A to upgrade. :mrgreen:


Amen, brother Sa-dono.  I thought long and hard about my options on my front end.  They ranged from Denon 5900 to Cary players to the overachieving Ah! Tjoeb, but familiarity won out and the MSB stayed and got the upgrade after all.  

Man, I DON'T want to do the Perp Tech thing afterwards.  I even have Revelation Power Umbilical and (custom - again I was guinea pig) Revelation Digital RJ45 to XLR cable (special on higher end MSB's) so I'm in pretty deep already.  I'm hoping Mr. Nugent transmission-lines / pixie dusts this crap into something outrageous.  :o

I've never been an early adopter anything (I am normally a happy, penny pinching procrastinator - comes from bootstrapping on commissions or meager seasonal cash flows most of my career), so the last few months have been quite journey for me and hope it ends shortly with a stellar upgrade of the MSB stuff.

I want to goddarn enjoy the music once and for damn all.  :wink:

lonewolfny42

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 16918
  • Speakers....What Speakers ?
Enjoying my modded Sony 7700!
« Reply #14 on: 6 May 2004, 04:33 am »
I did not know Steve modded the MSB Data Link. I've got a stock one with the P1000 power supply. Had it awhile. Not that exciting....guess mods would improve it. Keep us posted on your experience Chair Guy !! :)

audioengr

Enjoying my modded Sony 7700!
« Reply #15 on: 6 May 2004, 05:13 pm »
Blizzard - I didn't know you were using an active crossover - the Marchand.  I just happen to have just modified a DEQX programmable crossover.  The customer, similar to your situation, was unhappy with the way the crossover killed the "magic" when installed.  Well, after about 200 parts changes, the thing is singing now and actually beats my own Levinson preamp at driving my reference amp.  Very transparent, but more dynamic and more bass.  This complex mod took 4 days to do, $650 in parts and $2500 in labor.

Yours might not be as complicated as this one.  It had 20 op-amps to swap-out etc..  

This is a fairly common complaint.  The guys in the Audia room at THE Show had the same complaint - I may mod their crossover as well.

TheChairGuy

Enjoying my modded Sony 7700!
« Reply #16 on: 6 May 2004, 05:23 pm »
Steve,

Are those guys at Audia around?  I met them across the way from you at CES, had a great time talking, emailed them twice, and got no reply.  I thought their speakers were well priced and very 'kind' sounding.

How's best to contact them?

audioengr

Enjoying my modded Sony 7700!
« Reply #17 on: 7 May 2004, 04:44 pm »
Audia contact:

Fernando_Mack@msn.com

TheChairGuy

Enjoying my modded Sony 7700!
« Reply #18 on: 7 May 2004, 05:37 pm »
Thanks Steve, it was Fernando I've been trying to reach, but at his still non-working website email address...not this one that, apparently, works better.

jacobob

  • Newbie
  • Posts: 3
Empirical Audio SONY DVP7700 Mod
« Reply #19 on: 20 Jul 2004, 04:35 am »
For the past week I have been listening to Steve's mod of this SONY player. It replaced a Pioneer PD-95, as a transport, both using an EAD 7700III DAC. I have been away from my system for several months, and when I returned home and turned on the system, I was very impressed by the improvements, to say the least! The sound was well defined, crisp, and balanced across the frequency spectrum. In addition to that, Steve is a pleasure to do business with. He went out of his way to be helpful, and I felt very comfortable in all of my dealings with him regarding the player. I am so pleased with the player and with Steve, that I am shipping my DAC to him for mods, as well. Highly recommended!