Modified DVP-S7700

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Modified DVP-S7700
« on: 10 Jul 2003, 10:20 pm »
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.


Modified DVP-S7700
« Reply #1 on: 10 Jul 2003, 11:32 pm »
Have you had a chance to run any DVD's through it yet?

I've been wanting to have Steve mod a DV-47Ai that I've recently picked up.

But I'll only be using it for DVD's as I don't bother with CD/SACD/DVD-A. And I've not heard anyone's opinion of what is does for DD & DTS bitstreams. Steve has said it should also improve playback for DD & DTS. And I'd bet that if he feels it will, that it will.

I've got the player, and the service manual for him. But DHL damaged the Ai in transit & it won't play anything. So I've got to get it running or replaced before I can get going on his mods.

Anyway, glad to hear you're enjoying your modded Sony. Hopefully I'll experience a similar result if/when I get my Ai done.


Modified DVP-S7700
« Reply #2 on: 10 Jul 2003, 11:41 pm »
I tried my modded 7700 for DVD playback, and was disapointed in the video section when compared to my Panny RP91, so much that I didn't even compare the audio section.


Modified DVP-S7700
« Reply #3 on: 11 Jul 2003, 02:13 am »
Right now I don't even have a TV within 30 feet of my 2 channel rig.  Someday I might have a multi-channel setup in conjunction with my 2 channel.  But no time soon.  This is strictly a 2 channel transport.  

My wife is going out of town next week, and she gets real suspicious when I start moving things around.  I might try it next week in my HT setup to see how it compares to my Pioneer Elite DV-37 (stock).  But that's the best comparison I can make.  Not sure if that would hep you.


Modified DVP-S7700
« Reply #4 on: 11 Jul 2003, 06:19 am »
I would imagine that a comparison between your modded Sony & stock Pioneer would be fairly good as they were pretty comparable machines while they were in production.

Looking forward to hearing how it goes...


Modified DVP-S7700
« Reply #5 on: 13 Jul 2003, 05:27 pm »
I have not noticed any degradation in the video output of the 7700 after mods myself, but I only use the Svideo outputs.  

I do install a small sheet of Stillpoints EMI material that could affect this.  If you feel that the video has degraded, just try removing the Stillpoints material from the top of the cover and see if that makes a difference.  It is held-on with double-sided sticky glue.  This is the only thing in the mod that could have affected the video.


Modified DVP-S7700
« Reply #6 on: 13 Jul 2003, 07:16 pm »
I never tried the video before I sent the 7700 unit to you, so I don't know if it was degraded or not, but the video with my Panny RP91 is outstanding, and the 7700 was close, but not quite up to it.

So my decision was just to run the 7700 as a 2 channel transport and use the 91 for movies and MC music.

I suspect that the 7700 video was not degraded by your mods, but that as a TOTL DVDP that was a few generations beyond the 7700 that the video section of the 91 was just better to begin with.


Modified DVP-S7700
« Reply #7 on: 22 Nov 2003, 04:53 pm »
Just to follow-up on my original post, I was so impressed with Steve's transport mods, that I sent him my P3A and got the full boat mods with Superclock II.  I will post a full review later, but after 48 hours of burn-in I sat down to listen today.

I was expecting, well, I'm not sure what I was expecting.  But after listening to several different types and pieces of music, I have finally put my finger on it.  The only thing coming from my speakers is smooth, unrestrained music.  And while it seems to do everything right, what it doesn't do is also important to note.  No sibilance, no grain, no digital artifacts, no bloat.  Just pure music.  Strings are strings, not some semblence of strings.  Drums have snap.  Organ goes deep (real deep).  Vocals are awesome, sax has bite, bass is tight and deep (did I saw it goes deep?) and soundstage is huge and wide and deep (deep again).

I'm not sure when I will be able to pull myself away from just listening to music.  My wife is out of town and I am a complete zombie, just sitting and staring and listening.  

I will post a fuller review later.  

Nice work Steve


Modified DVP-S7700
« Reply #8 on: 26 Nov 2003, 04:12 am »
Glad to hear you loving Steve's P3-A   :lol:

A few weeks ago I got a steal on Ebay and nailed a mint S-7700 for under $200.  Wouldn't you know it, UPS trashed it!!   :(

I HATE UPS!!  Never use them!!  :nono:

Anyway...I found another S-7700 (at a higher price of course) and Steve should have it in a few days.

I can't wait to hear how Steve's S-7700 compares with my Sonic Frontiers SFT-1.  I am pretty sure it will be a very nice improvement.

After that, I will try the P3-A dac.  instead of going with that, I might have Steve mod my Electrocomapniet ECD-1 dac instead.

BTW, nice system.