Time for a couple of pics. This RWA-Z1ES-1 shipped out today to smargo (many thanks to smargo for sending it in for me to look into and develop the first mod package for):
This is a more zoomed-out shot. The upper left of the pic (rear of the player) shows the dedicated linear power supply installation with for the tube output stage, with added heat-sinks. The Standby transformer board is moved over a few cm's to the right to fit the tube stage power supply. The power feeds to all 4 transformers (3 stock, + the tube stage power supply) are hard wired to the board now. This eliminates the molex type connectors for a cleaner, more reliable connection. Also hard wired the power feed from the IEC power jack to the Standby board.
Top cover (not shown) now held into place with (3) 6-32 size, stainless thumbscrews for easy cover removal and tube rolling. Vibration damping added to top cover underside so it no longer rings like a bell.
Dual tube output stage, zoomed-in. Hard wiring (ALO stranded OFC copper) from audio board to tube stage boards, bypassing stock header that connected the audio board to a daughter board that had the stock RCA jacks (which has been removed, permanently). New Vampire Wire RCA output jacks. Stock JJ E88CC tubes installed and ready for action.
Rear panel shot. Stock RCA jack holes covered. New Vampire RCA jacks shown. New screws installed to mount tube stage boards and their filament regulators. Panel gets warm (as does the top cover over the tube stage power supply and over the tubes) but never hot to the touch.
Tube stages automatically switches ON when you turn ON the player, and OFF when shut down. Tube stages have an auto-mute warm up delay of approx. 45 seconds to allow for tube warm up, then apply the B+ and and un-mute the outputs. To the user, its all seamless. Added power consumption is about 20W (not bad!), bringing the total power consumption to 55W max.
That's the RWA-Z1ES-1
(single-ended) modification in a nutshell. Will be added to website most likely this weekend. Price will be set to $1195 + shipping.
I'll be getting into the next phase (RWA-Z1ES-2) over this weekend as well. As mentioned before, this will be an upgrade of critical power supply rail decoupling caps on the audio board, an upgrade of analog and digital power supply board storage and decoupling caps, bridge rectifier upgrades, power input filtering, etc...
I also need to work on some options such as:
1) Remote volume controlled outputs, plus analog input jacks and switch
2) Replace HDD with SSD
3) RWA-Z1ES-1-BAL (the mod above for the XLR output stage).
Beyond that - we go Level 3 with external battery power for critical sections of the d/a conversion, clocks and tube output stage.... but stop rushing me!!!
And as mentioned before, I can look into items that you might have on your wish list. Some did email me about installing the Isabella R.E. preamp board on the back panel... you sick and twisted individual you! I love it!