I ordered some DIY tweeks (ZapFilter and LClock XO) from a Danish company LCAudio) for about $375 and I said that I'd report on the sonic improvements to my Rotel 971. These improvements apparently can be done to almost any mid-fi CD player. Their web site talks about elavating the sound from a sub $1000 midfi player to that of a hi-end $3K + CD player. I was skeptical but willing to give it a try. BTW, this is not for the faint of heart ... you have to break some solder connections on the main CD board with a dremel tool, solder wires to the board, remove the clock crystal, drill holes, etc...
I had a problem of not grounding things correctly to start, but their email was very responsive (I actually took some photos and emailed them to Denmark and they immediately diagnosed the problem).
When I first listened to my player with this new low jitter clock (about $130) I was totaly blown away. Sound was rich and fluid, transparancy was increased dramaticaly, the soundstage got huge ... but the most important thing was that listener fatigue was totally gone. Acoustic guitar was "in the room" and the HDCD cut Brothers in Arms from Dire Straits, Sultans of Swing was fantastic.
This is what they claim and I believe them. "The LClockXO is The worlds first CD upgrade Master Clock, to reach a jitter level below -120 dB (rms value). This high-end reference clock can be fitted in any CD player and most DVD players, and will improve soundstage, sonic visibility, and bass distinction."
I'm curently working on installing the ZAPfilter (new analog output stage without OpAmps). The Zapfilter is an analog stage to replace existing circuits. According to LCAudio, "The ZAPfilter circuits are built without operational amplifiers in the signal path, to obtain a relaxed and warm tone balance, without losing precision and open soundstage."
I'll report on this mod if I don't blow up my player first :)
How much do you think this would do for a Pioneer mega-changer? I would really like a megachanger for organizing my cds bujt don't want to give up much sound quality. And I do not have an unlimted budget.
Nad 533 turntable, sounds better.
Save your time and money.
Can't remember the last time I played a C.D.
I think this tweek would improve the sound of most any low-mid-fi players. I noticed a big difference with just the new (LOW JITTER) CLOCK BOARD. You could try that for approx $130 if your'rew handy with a soldering iron. The othe rhting you could do is replace the op-amps, LC Audio has low cost op amps as replacements. Check out their web site.
I think someone mentioned this tweek with the Trichord Clock some time ago (maby a year or so) here at Audio Asylum! I have not yet searched the old posts! But you might find some useful information! As fare as I remember he was quite happy with the improvements!!
The sould with the new lowjitter clock was a hugh improvement. I'm still working on getting the new analog output stage to work. It appears they're shut down for the holidays ... I'll report when I get this working.
I will be anxious to hear what your results are with these products. Their page looks good, and the finished products look great, but SOUND baby, that's what I'm interested in. Philosophical marketing gobledy-gook is one thing, what you get for the time and money is the real deal. Please post results as they are available! Good luck.
I did the same to my Sony XA5ES with the LCClock XO! I improved the sound stage more than I had expected! I also builded there Sidewinder Preamplifier though I clearely think that the LC-Clock gave me the most!!
I agree (so far), it really is amazing to me that by just reducing the jitter and improving the clock waveform can provide such a big sonic improvement. I'm still working on getting the ZAPfilter working ... hopefully today. Did you install the ZAPfilter on your SONY ?
No! It was'nt available at the time an right now my money goes under the tree! ;o)! But I did upgraded the OP-AMPs to the AD825 modules with some effect! Still I think it is amasing what the clock did! I look forward to here from your experience with the ZAP-Filter!
Yup ... your're right. It's hard to believe that just by upgrading a clock that puts out digital pulses more acurately that such a fantastic sonic improvement would be realized. I got so excited, that I quickly installed the new analog output stage too, but haven't got it working yet ... maybe after Christmas !!! :-)
This post is made possible by the generous support of people like you and our sponsors: