Sony DVP-S7700 mods

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audioengr

Sony DVP-S7700 mods
« on: 3 Mar 2003, 12:26 am »
I traded some perfect crystal silver wire for a bag of mod parts from Dan Wright so that I could do the 7700 mods myself that he usually does.  Well, I did the mods (I left out some of the parts because they didn't make sense to me) and there was a small improvement, but being a digital engineer, I decided to sketch out the circuit to see what other mistakes they made.

I was surprised to find very poor digital design techniques.  Therefore, I decided to redesign the circuit and cut the traces out of the board and rewire it my own way.  The edges of the digital signals were really ragged and there was a lot of "band-aids" to slow the edge rate etc.. in order to pass FCC., who gives a hoot about FCC??????  Also ESD protection, which is a good thing, but not if it kills the sound.  The series transmission line terminator was in the wrong place and so on.

Well, to make the story short, after my mods, it is nothing less than spectacular.  The intensity and dynamics of the music have increased 2-3 fold.  Music finally sounds like live music.  I have never seen such clean, fast waveforms from a transport.  The imaging is truly holographic.

I made these mods right after Brad Judah and Andy Bartha (old time modder) brought over their cheap CDP with mods and their Music Fidelity upsampling dac for a shootout with my stuff (the 7700 and a ModWright modified Perpetual Technologies 3A dac).  Andy's mods to the transport were impressive (and expensive), but my 7700 mods are better.  The MF DAC has good bass response, but lacks HF extension.  I think with the right opamps it would be perfect though.  I really helps to have 25 years design experience as a digital hardware engineer.

If anyone else is interested in these mods, I may have time this summer to do some.  Right now, I am pretty busy with the wire business.  I will have to charge around $800-$1K.

TheChairGuy

Sony DVP-S7700 mods
« Reply #1 on: 3 Mar 2003, 07:22 pm »
Audioengr,

Sounds interesting, as you may remember, I too have the S7700 that I use with my MSB Gold Lnk 3 and Power Base. Mine has a custom MSB 192 k output and it's a real scream.

Intersting sounding upgrade tho... :wink:

OBF

Sony DVP-S7700 mods
« Reply #2 on: 3 Mar 2003, 08:52 pm »
Audioengr,

Would your mods be a total mod that includes part/most of what Dan is doing, but with your own unique twist, or are they more digitally oriented and totally different than the power supply, analog stage, etc.... type mods that Dan is doing? Are you only looking at that particular Sony?  There seems to be a lot of current interest in the Pioneer universals and the philips SACD plaers.

audioengr

Sony DVP-S7700 mods
« Reply #3 on: 3 Mar 2003, 10:42 pm »
Quote
Would your mods be a total mod that includes part/most of what Dan is doing, but with your own unique twist, or are they more digitally oriented and totally different than the power supply, analog stage, etc.... type mods that Dan is doing?


I basically did all of Dan's mods to the power and listened to the result and then I ripped-up the digital stuff and rewired it and swapped parts around.  His mods do make a difference in focus, but ripping up the digital output and rewiring it gives the music body and liveness.  Before, the saxes sounded reedy and the piano sounded like muted strings.  Afterwards, the saxes sound like resonating brass and the piano like resonating wood and strings.

Quote
Are you only looking at that particular Sony?


So far, but I am interested in having a SACD player that will also be an excellent transport to take to shows.  Have not identified the one yet.  May need to be a 777.

Quote
There seems to be a lot of current interest in the Pioneer universals and the philips SACD players.


I have heard the Philips SACD player with Dan's mods and it's very musical, but I need more HF extension - I believe the tubes prevent this.  It is also a bit flimsy, as are the cheap Pioneers.  The 47 might be a good candidate though.

audioengr

Sony DVP-S7700 mods
« Reply #4 on: 3 Mar 2003, 10:50 pm »
Chairguy - have you done the Dan Wright mods to the 7700 yet?

If so, then I could probably do the digital path mods for you for a lot less money.  I takes about 3 hours to do it and my eyes are about to come out of their sockets from looking through magnifiers to see the small surface-mount parts.  They are a bitch to unsolder too, because they are all glued-down as well.  This mod is so incredible that I want others to hear it.  There are not any expensive parts, just swapping parts around and cutting traces and rewiring etc...I also put a sheet of Stillpoints EMI absorber inside - really cleans-up the trailing edge harmonics.

And rest assured, I am an excellent reworker.  26 years experience in labs working for Intel (I managed the lab manager there), Unisys and others.

OBF

Sony DVP-S7700 mods
« Reply #5 on: 3 Mar 2003, 11:00 pm »
I don't know if the 47 is any less flimsy, but I would be willing to bet that if you could come up with a formula that incorporates what Dan and Ric (see below) are doing, but improve over that by reworking the digital, and at a reasonable price (the real kicker  :D ), I think you'd find a huge demand for the mods.  The same mod would apply to the cheaper DV-45 which is what I want.

If you think the tubes are limiting HF extension, maybe Ric's mod would be a better base for you to start with.  He also redesiged the output stage, but it's SS and I've heard he does good work.  Also note his comments on the reliability of the Pioneer transport.

http://www.tweakaudio.com/Pioneer%2045A-47Ai.html

JoshK

Sony DVP-S7700 mods
« Reply #6 on: 3 Mar 2003, 11:03 pm »
Audioengr,

Not sure if I am misunderstaning you or not but do you think these mods would benefit the 777?  Actually I have a XA777 and have been thinking about doing parts upgrades but this makes it sound like there is much more to be done then just parts.

audioengr

Sony DVP-S7700 mods
« Reply #7 on: 4 Mar 2003, 01:57 am »
JoshK wrote:

Quote
Not sure if I am misunderstaning you or not but do you think these mods would benefit the 777?


I cannot be sure that the same type of mod would apply to the 777, but if they are copying the circuit topology from one player to the next, they probably made the same mistakes again.  May be different designers on the 777 though.  If I have a chance to look inside a 777, I will post my thoughts on it.

JohnR

Sony DVP-S7700 mods
« Reply #8 on: 4 Mar 2003, 02:02 am »
Steve, care to provide a little information on how you modified it?

audioengr

Sony DVP-S7700 mods
« Reply #9 on: 4 Mar 2003, 02:12 am »
Give away the family jewels - yeah right.......  Sorry, this is too sweet to share.  Besides, unless you are routinely doing mods to SMT circuitry, you won't even have the right tools.

JohnR

Sony DVP-S7700 mods
« Reply #10 on: 4 Mar 2003, 02:18 am »
Well, this is the Lab, which is supposed to be about sharing information on design, tweaking, DIY, and so on. If this is a commercial posting then it really should be in Market Square. OK?

JoshK

Sony DVP-S7700 mods
« Reply #11 on: 4 Mar 2003, 03:28 am »
I can see where Steve is coming from in not wanting to share, but I have to side with John.  This is the lab, so it should be a thread for open sharing only.

JohnR

Sony DVP-S7700 mods
« Reply #12 on: 4 Mar 2003, 04:24 am »
Done.

Steve, hope this is OK. Just a matter of nudging the various areas of the site in the right direction :-)

audioengr

Sony DVP-S7700 mods
« Reply #13 on: 4 Mar 2003, 06:12 am »
No Problem.  I was not really planning to do mods for money, but since there is interest and if I have the time......  I am really excited about the result.

audioengr

Update - shootout with modded SCD-1
« Reply #14 on: 9 Mar 2003, 06:06 pm »
This weekend I put my DVP-S7700 with mods (plus the P-3A DAC and my Bitmeister digital cable) up against a SCD-1 with $3500 in mods.  They sounded virtually identical.  In blind tests I dont think anyone could tell the difference.  The owner of the SCD-1 said that no other player or DAC had ever come this close.

bubba966

Sony DVP-S7700 mods
« Reply #15 on: 8 Apr 2003, 02:02 am »
Could this type of mod be applied to other players without too much difficulty?

I've got a Pioneer DV-38A that I'm fairly sure I'm keeping. But I've got to look at the DV-47Ai a little harder before I decide if I'm keeping the 38A or not.

Whichever one I keep I'd like to improve the digital out at some point. And if I can get the video circuity improved as well that'd be great.

audioengr

Sony DVP-S7700 mods
« Reply #16 on: 8 Apr 2003, 07:31 pm »
bubba966 wrote:

Quote
Could this type of mod be applied to other players without too much difficulty?

I've got a Pioneer DV-38A that I'm fairly sure I'm keeping. But I've got to look at the DV-47Ai a little harder before I decide if I'm keeping the 38A or not.


I believe that a similar mod can be applied to most players, depending on the circuit board inside.  Send me an email and we can set something up.

bubba966

Sony DVP-S7700 mods
« Reply #17 on: 18 Apr 2003, 01:23 am »
Quote from: audioengr
bubba966 wrote:

Quote
Could this type of mod be applied to other players without too much difficulty?

I've got a Pioneer DV-38A that I'm fairly sure I'm keeping. But I've got to look at the DV-47Ai a little harder before I decide if I'm keeping the 38A or not.


I believe that a similar mod can be applied to most players, depending on the circuit board inside.  Send me an email and we can set something up.


Would it be helpful for you if you had the service manual for a player you're not familiar with? Or are these circuits easy enough for you to figure out w/out one?