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REVIEW: ModWright Signature Truth Sony 9100ES DVD Players

71.231.106.70


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Model: Signature Truth Sony 9100ES
Category: DVD Players
Suggested Retail Price: $3500
Description: modded tube output stage SACD/CD/DVD video player
Manufacturer URL: ModWright
Model Picture: View

Review by jonbee on November 11, 2007 at 11:53:41
IP Address: 71.231.106.70
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for the Signature Truth Sony 9100ES


I've been part of this hobby for 40 years now. I adopted digital players in the mid '80s, and went through many permutations of single box/2 box/3 box players. I've owned many of the well regarded mid-priced audiophile digital front ends, and tried many different connection options, cables, anti-jitter and re-clocking devices. While my main interest has always been speakers, I never found a digital solution that sounded quite right to me.
I bought a Modwright Signature Truth Sony 999ES 4 years ago, and the digital merry go round stopped. I found a digital source that was detailed and dynamic, with stunning bass impact, yet totally natural and as comfortable to listen to as a pair of favorite old shoes. A very neat trick.
This is not a review of the 999. Those interested should read the series of reviews written on the Modwright players in Positive Feedback by Bob Levi. I can add that his views on the player, and the sound of each improvement echo my own down the line.
While my 999 was working fine for me, in anticipation of retirement I've been configuring my 3 systems for the long term, and I decided to restart the clock on my front end. My satisfaction with the 999 was such that I never considered anything other than Dan Wright's designs. I pondered his newest baby, a very cool tubed wireless transporter for a pc based music server, but decided I would probably be spinning discs for another 10 years at least, so I bought a Sony 9100 from Dan.
I'm very pleased with the outcome.
First, I plugged the tube regulated 9.0 PS into my 999, which had the choke regulated 9.0 PS. It was an immediate improvement. Midbass in particular was tighter and better defined, and the overall focus was improved. For those with modwright players not using the tube regulation, I would seriously recommend having the ps upgraded. The bang for the buck sonically is well worth it.
I then switched the players themselves, and found the overall presentation to be clearer, better defined, and somewhat drier overall. The 999 sounds more "romantic" and warmer, but much less focused. The 9100 is more literally accurate from top to bottom. Some may well prefer the sound of the 999, but I love the cleaner sonic window. The extra detail is provided without giving up the Modwright signature naturalness.
FOr those with older modwright players, I'd say the the PS upgrade provided about half the improvement over the 999 with the choke regulated PS, so that the biggest cost/benefit improvement is a PS upgrade.
Once aqain, Dan has stepped up the quality of digital playback. After 30 hours of listening, I know I've found my front end for the next decade or so. I think it is a classic, if any digital front end can be so named.


Product Weakness: Sony disc loading/unloading is noticeably slower that the 999. Remote not as flexible as 999.
Product Strengths: Naturalness, dynamic impact, bass extension, soundstaging. Sounds like music!


Associated Equipment for this Review:

Amplifier: PS Audio GCC-100
Preamplifier (or None if Integrated): none
Sources (CDP/Turntable): review
Speakers: VMPS RM30, pair granite veneered Carver subs
Cables/Interconnects: Goertz TQ silver, .99999 pure silver/teflon braids for spkrs
Music Used (Genre/Selections): Lots, every kind, plus movies
Room Size (LxWxH): 16.5 x 19.5 x 8
Room Comments/Treatments: not a lot of treatments, moderate reflection issues
Time Period/Length of Audition: 30 hours
Type of Audition/Review: Product Owner




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Topic - REVIEW: ModWright Signature Truth Sony 9100ES DVD Players - jonbee 11:53:41 11/11/07 ( 7)