Pioneer UDP-LX500 CD Player

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eichlerera1

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Pioneer UDP-LX500 CD Player
« on: 13 Apr 2019, 03:15 am »
As the proud owner of the first Pioneer UDP-LX500 Player off the line, I'm here to state this is one hell of a piece of gear.
As much as I love my Sony ES9000 mod by Dan, this player pretty much kicks it's ass!

I have to admit, upon arrival,I added some of my own tweaks to Dan's original design so this is not strictly a standard unit.
BTW, most of my tweaks were of the vibration and RFI/EMI reducing types.

This is my initial impressions with hardly any burn in. (I figure about 40-80 hrs actual playing time should do it)
This is comparing it to the Sony. I've never heard the OPPO Modded Units. (Maybe Dan can comment)
1) VERY resolving from the bass to the treble in a not-in-your-face way.
2) VERY black background!
3) I played my usual test CD cuts and discovered things I had never heard before.
4) This unit is built like a brick shit house! Very heavy with a thick metal enclosure!

I'll leave it there as this unit will definitely change and evolve given additional burn-in.
Right now it's a fetus.

I'm REALLY excited since the sound will only get better with time.
Plus I anticipate re-tubing at some time in the near future.

Paul Galli

« Last Edit: 18 Apr 2019, 03:13 pm by eichlerera1 »

modwright

Re: Pioneer UDP-LX500 CD Player
« Reply #1 on: 18 Apr 2019, 12:01 am »
Thanks to Paul for his initial impressions of our new Pioneer LX-500 tube mod!

We had two modified LX-500's at Axpona, one in the $135K Destination Audio Nike Horn speaker room with our 845 DS Tube Mono blocks. The other in the Studio Electric room with Dave's new F2 floor standers, which were a STEAL at $6900! Our entire system cost was about $25K in that room and it was awesome!

Both modified LX-500 players far surpassed my expectations and I am looking forward to feedback from the lucky customers who picked up the two show demos!

Thanks,

Dan W.

eichlerera1

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Re: Pioneer UDP-LX500 CD Player
« Reply #2 on: 20 Apr 2019, 04:22 am »
The unit is really settling in nicely.
Frankly, I'm amazed how exceptional sonically the JJ 6922 is.
What's even more sobering is that JJ produces a 6922 select, gold plated pin version which they claim is even better!

I had assumed that I would tube roll in an Amperex or a Telefunken,
but it is hard to believe that they could improve much on the existing sound.

If a classic NOS tube substitution could take this to even greater heights,
this modded Pioneer will be a World Class giant killer!

Dan has really hit a home run on this Mod....

Paul Galli
« Last Edit: 24 Apr 2019, 03:42 am by eichlerera1 »

eichlerera1

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Re: Pioneer UDP-LX500 CD Player
« Reply #3 on: 24 Apr 2019, 03:58 am »
Decided to pull the trigger today and get some vintage NOS 6922 tubes.
On Dan's advice, I called Andy Bouwman from Vintage Tube Services to get fixed up.

After discussing how the tubes would be used, we came to the conclusion that The Amperex 6922 was the best choice.
Amperex introduced the 6DJ8/6922 family of tubes in 1958.
He picked out close matching tubes from 1965 that had the same exact date code.
"USN" White label with gold pins.

Twernt cheap, but felt I had to get the best in order to determine the true capabilities of this Pioneer Player.
Hopefully, it will make a huge difference, but if it doesn't I'll let you know. (Andy is positive that it will)

Paul Galli
« Last Edit: 5 May 2019, 01:47 pm by eichlerera1 »

modwright

Re: Pioneer UDP-LX500 CD Player
« Reply #4 on: 27 Apr 2019, 05:09 pm »
The customers who received the show demo units from Axpona are thrilled with theirs!

I am preparing a larger PCB run based on the feedback and great sound we got from Axpona!

Please post with questions and if you are interested.

Thanks,

Dan W.

GregC

Re: Pioneer UDP-LX500 CD Player
« Reply #5 on: 1 May 2019, 04:13 am »
He picked out close matching tubes from 1965 that had the same exact date code.
"USN" White label, gold pins in original box.


I tried numerous 6922 tubes in a Dodd preamp that I owned for many years, and most recently I rolled some tubes in Dan's PH 9.0 SE phono stage.  For the Dodd preamp my favorites were 1965 USN-CEP 7308 USA Amperex tubes.  I think you will be very happy. 

My favorite tubes in the PH 9.0 SE are Telefunken tubes from the 60's (with the small print labels), but I also like old Siemens tubes depending on my mood.

eichlerera1

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Re: Pioneer UDP-LX500 CD Player
« Reply #6 on: 1 May 2019, 12:12 pm »
I tried numerous 6922 tubes in a Dodd preamp that I owned for many years, and most recently I rolled some tubes in Dan's PH 9.0 SE phono stage.  For the Dodd preamp my favorites were 1965 USN-CEP 7308 USA Amperex tubes.  I think you will be very happy. 

My favorite tubes in the PH 9.0 SE are Telefunken tubes from the 60's (with the small print labels), but I also like old Siemens tubes depending on my mood.

Greg,
Does the PH 9.0 also use 6922s?

GregC

Re: Pioneer UDP-LX500 CD Player
« Reply #7 on: 1 May 2019, 02:27 pm »
Greg,
Does the PH 9.0 also use 6922s?
Yes it does.

eichlerera1

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Re: Pioneer UDP-LX500 CD Player
« Reply #8 on: 2 May 2019, 04:14 am »
Got some good news and bad news.
The bad news is that great NOS signal tubes cost a small fortune.
The good news is that they can elevate the Pioneer to greater heights.

Popped in the Amperex 6922s today and sat down for some evaluation.

Believe me, I was having second thoughts about spending the money necessary to "go for it".
It would have to be an OBVIOUS positive difference for me to feel vindicated.
After about one minute (with no equipment warmup), I was smilin' from ear to ear...

The JJ 6922 is a fine tube.
With it you can climb to the top o' the mountain.
With the Amperex, you climb to the mountain top and ascend into Valhalla.

Detailed yet sweet. All facets in balance.
Not bigger bass, just ultra tight, clean, fully articulated bass. ZERO boom.
Perfect, not overly etched highs. (Serious tinkle sound factor here)
Great low, middle and high midrange.
3-D Sound Stage to die for with great imaging and layering.
Orchestral works are not muddied when all the instruments are playing. Each section are distinct from one another.
On great recordings, the "you are there" factor is quite high.
Low level details are way more evident.
Great transient response.
Yadda Yadda Yadda.

You get the idea.

With a great NOS tube, this player becomes TRULY special!

Paul Galli

eichlerera1

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Re: Pioneer UDP-LX500 CD Player
« Reply #9 on: 6 May 2019, 04:02 am »
BTW, if you have a ModWright CD Player and Preamp,
the Magnan Type Vi Interconnects running between them are a match made in Heaven!

Paul Galli

eichlerera1

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Re: Pioneer UDP-LX500 CD Player
« Reply #10 on: 10 May 2019, 04:25 am »
Was discussing tube tweaks with Andy Bouwman and the subject of tube dampening was broached.
I told him I had good success with high temp, silicon O-Rings.
He suggested brass washers fitted over the top of the tube and secured with Elmer's Glue.

I took a couple of tubes to my local ACE Hardware to see what would fit using brass fittings/washers/nuts.
Really like using brass plumber's hex-nuts in the 1/2" to 5/8" size.
Most 9-pin, small signal tubes will work quite nicely with the 5/8" nut.
My Amperex 6922 tube is a bit too skinny for the 5/8" nut and too fat for the 1/2" nut.
The solution was to take a metal file and slowly reduce the inside of the nut.
Got to a point where it fit snugly over the top and was able to use the remaining grooves to turn the nut
ever so slightly onto the tube. (Effectively screwing the nut onto the tube)

The effect of this tweak was more resolution of low level details and an increased vividness to the sound.

A cheap tweak well worth investigating if I were you!

Paul Galli

eichlerera1

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Re: Pioneer UDP-LX500 CD Player
« Reply #11 on: 19 Jun 2019, 04:46 am »
The Amperex tubes are fully broken in in my Pioneer CD player and Anniversary Pre-Amp.
Dan's circuits and Amperex tubes are  a match made in Heaven...

Paul Galli

modwright

Re: Pioneer UDP-LX500 CD Player
« Reply #12 on: 19 Jun 2019, 10:50 pm »
Right on! Thanks for sharing!

Dan

jtsnead

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Re: Pioneer UDP-LX500 CD Player
« Reply #13 on: 24 Jun 2019, 06:46 pm »
Got one last week, it's a keeper, Thanks Dan



eichlerera1

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Re: Pioneer UDP-LX500 CD Player
« Reply #14 on: 25 Jun 2019, 06:00 am »
Got one last week, it's a keeper, Thanks Dan



Please.
Try some of the tweaks I've suggested.
They will take this already great stock player to heights you couldn't imagine.

jtsnead

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Re: Pioneer UDP-LX500 CD Player
« Reply #15 on: 25 Jun 2019, 12:41 pm »
Yes I have some Siemens tubes in now with dampers. Do you know the fuse value did you try one?

dminches

Re: Pioneer UDP-LX500 CD Player
« Reply #16 on: 25 Jun 2019, 12:55 pm »
I have found that tube dampeners can go either way.  Sometimes I like the change in sound and sometimes I don't.  Trial and error.

modwright

Re: Pioneer UDP-LX500 CD Player
« Reply #17 on: 25 Jun 2019, 05:30 pm »
Thanks Jerry! I had a feeling it would beat out what you were using and that it would be the digital source to remain!

Enjoy!

eichlerera1

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Re: Pioneer UDP-LX500 CD Player
« Reply #18 on: 26 Jun 2019, 04:59 am »
Yes I have some Siemens tubes in now with dampers. Do you know the fuse value did you try one?

Siemens Halske? An excellent tube!
I'm not sure what you are getting at regarding fuses (the unit comes with a fuse on the input)

Try my brass hex nut tweak!

I really recommend the use of lead on the top of the unit for mass damping purposes.
Are you going with any kind of footers?
Are you willing to do some mechanical, damping and RFI/EMI reduction tweaks to the interior?

Paul Galli

eichlerera1

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Re: Pioneer UDP-LX500 CD Player
« Reply #19 on: 26 Jun 2019, 05:03 am »
I have found that tube dampeners can go either way.  Sometimes I like the change in sound and sometimes I don't.  Trial and error.

DM,
When using Silicon O-Rings as a tube dampening device, I've never had any deleterious effects.

P.G.