Hi-Rez Highway: REVIEW: Vacuum State Electronics Sony DVP-9000ES SACD Player (Modded) by Willie The Squid
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Model: Sony DVP-9000ES Category: SACD Player (Modded) Suggested Retail Price: $600 + $1,200 +$1,000 Description: ModWright Level III & VSE Level IV Manufacturer URL: Vacuum State Electronics Manufacturer URL: Vacuum State Electronics
Review by Willie The Squid ( A ) on January 21, 2005 at 15:44:37
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Last September I wrote the following commentary about this unit. See those comments below. This is a short update. As I read the comments from last September, most still apply.
So what are the differences? Just this...I find myself listening to vinyl less often...and often pulling LPs off before they are completed. Regular listening to the modded Sony DVP-9000ES (learning how to listen to it over an extended period of time) has resulted in a greater appreciation of what it does...its superb fidelity approaching master analog tape quality. As a result, I find myself "more aware" of and less inclined to listen to the distortions and aberrations of most vinyl. Moreover, the experience of analog "relaxation and musicality" that I spoke of in my September notes is available on fewer and fewer LPs. The best LPs are stellar...the remainder have various levels of noise and distortion (poor mastering, record wear, pops, clicks, inside groves, etc.) that do not manifest on my digital system. I wouldn't have expected it...but that's my experience. Mostly I find myself listening to the modded Sony...whether RBCD or SACD. It plays music great!
"I also had Warren Gregoire implement the VSE Level IV mod into my Sony 9000ES; the single ended version of that mod. Eighteen months earlier I had had Dan Wright (Modwright) implement his Level III mods into that same machine.
Modwright mods improved the stock Sony player quite considerably. I enjoyed that version of the unit very much. It was a big deal improvement over the stock Sony. When at the Silverdale VSAC 2003 I had an opportunity to listen to the three modded SACD machines, and that short exposure motivated me to try the VSE mods.
The VSE mods contribute SIGNIFICANT additional improvement.
I have been living with the machine for approximately 2 months now. The "doubly modded" Sony 9000ES sounds truly awesome on SACD. I had that expectation. The machine also sounds absolutely wonderful on RBCD. I was not expecting that. SWG's description / impressions of RBCD are very similar to mine.
Overall impressions are: greater transparency with much greater sense of the downward dynamic range (DDR), there is no sense of haze or grain; provides a powerful "jump" factor, relating to dynamics; much better tonality; improved balance and/or linearity; and ultimately, much more lifelike. Moreover, while modern recordings can sound "spectacular", there is absolute magic in listening to recordings from the 30's and 40's just transform -- from historic, vintage recordings into living, breathing musical performances. Really stunning, an absolute time machine.
With this machine, a well mastered RBCD is more musically enjoyable than a poorly mastered SACD. (With this machine, I can personally vouch, there are some SACDs whose mastering is "dicey" at best.) With this machine, the quality of the master tapes AND the quality of the mastering job become much more apparent in both SACD and RBCD format. Since over 90% of my digital library is RBCD, much of which will never be mastered into SACD consumer format, this is an important consideration.
Finally, when I default to vinyl playback, I continue to note a different quality of relaxation and sense of musicality that is not available from either SACD or RBCD on my modded 9000ES.......BUT, I am very much more aware of the distortions and aberrations that my vinyl playback system introduces.
I find that I am not being "driven" to listen to vinyl playback -- digital sounds real fine around my house these days."
Product Weakness: See Review Product Strengths: See Review
Associated Equipment for this Review: Amplifier: See Inmate System Preamplifier (or None if Integrated): See Inmate System Sources (CDP/Turntable): See Inmate System Speakers: See Inmate System Cables/Interconnects: See Inmate System Music Used (Genre/Selections): See Inmate System Other (Power Conditioner etc.): See Inmate System Type of Audition/Review: Product Owner Your System (if other than home audition): See my Inmate System...
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Topic - REVIEW: Vacuum State Electronics Sony DVP-9000ES SACD Player (Modded) - Willie The Squid 15:44:37 01/21/05 ( 3)
- I have VSE level 4 mod only on my Sony DVPS-9000ES - discs4sale 12:55:25 01/24/05 ( 1)
- Re: I have VSE level 4 mod only on my Sony DVPS-9000ES - Willie The Squid 16:08:14 01/24/05 ( 0)
Allen has done the Wright approach - jeromelang 17:26:57 01/21/05 ( 0)