I have had my Empirical Audio modified DVP-S7700 for a few weeks now, and I just had to say a few words about it. Nothing too detailed as I haven't taken notes and anaylzed the hell out of it.
First, I just do not understand how the transport can make much of a difference in the sound. I always thought the biggest bang-for-the-buck would be the DAC. I mean the transport just sends the signal of X's and O's to the DAC where it gets re-clocked and sorted out into an analog signal that my pre-amp can understand.
I could not have been more mistaken. The difference was jaw-dropping. I used to listen 80% to vinyl and 20% to CD's. For the past few weeks it has gone the opposite. I have been spinning a lot of CD's lately, and I just keep pulling them out.
On orchestral pieces in particular, strings have a naturalness to them that I have never heard in my system. Seperation and air are there in spades as well as a smoothness and refinement that I have not had before. And it really doesn't matter what type of music I am listening to, they all seem to benefit. Classical, jazz, rock, thrash, speed metal, punk, ska, easy listening, east african wind chime ensembles, grunge, disco, hip-hop, rock 'n roll, gospel, R&B, opera and my daughters Disney CD's all sound better.
So in case I wasn't clear, I don't understand why it works, all I know is that this is one of those jaw dropping, I can't beleive my system had this potential, WOW kind of moments.
If you are looking for a great transport pick up a DVP-S7700 for under $300 and get the mods for $500. You will not regret it.
Oh, I almost forgot to mention that Steve from Empirical is the real deal. He knows what he's doing and he is very fast at getting the mods done and back out the door to you.
I have no affiliation with Steve or Empirical other than the fact that my name is also Steve.