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Did anyone else change their CD player's oscillator?

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Michael R Price, Nov 10, 2003.

  1. Michael R Price

    Michael R Price Screenwriter

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    I just installed a new clock circuit in my CD player, the very popular Kwak-Clock-7 designed by and freely available from Elso Kwak. I'm using it in my Denon DCD-1520 with no other significant modification. This circuit cost maybe $20 to build.

    I noticed that my system sounds different now. Sounds a little "calmer." Probably an improvement, but I'm not sure yet. I think I'll recommend trying it out anyway. [​IMG]

    Has anyone else tried this sort of tweak? What do you think of it?

    Heck, any suggestions for mounting this thing in my chassis? This plastic bag method is less than comforting.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Saurav

    Saurav Cinematographer

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    Yup, I had done that to my previous CD player (along with some other mods). I noticed the same improvements you described, a more relaxed sound. I think the best way to mount it would be to drill holes in your CD player's side (or back) panel and use PCB standoffs and screws (Radio Shack has them). I don't think you have the option of drilling mounting holes into your existing PCB [​IMG]

    Have you made any other mods to your CD player? I found the biggest improvement when I upgraded the opamps in the analog section. Of course, if you're using an outboard DAC, this is a non-issue.
     
  3. Michael R Price

    Michael R Price Screenwriter

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    Saurav,

    Nice to see you again here!

    Actually I haven't done any real mods. I removed the muting transistors, shorted the output capacitors since I have MKP input caps on my amps, and removed the ceramic caps on the DAC output. I didn't replace the opamps or anything, because I am going to change the I/V stage entirely: http://home.comcast.net/~jdprice1/pi...cs/ivstage.jpg (The left part is a common base circuit designed by Jocko Homo of the DIYaudio forum and the right part is a LM317 regulator to power it since I'm too lazy to build a real power supply.)

    Actually, I noticed you got a new TDA1545[?] DAC. That's interesting because I would like to use the TDA1543 chip in a non-oversampling DAC of my own. But I'm not sure whether to put one inside my player and connect to the internal signals, or build an outboard SPDIF box and junk this CD player entirely. It is, after all, almost as old as I am. Think I'll get decent digital performance from a good sound card?
     
  4. Saurav

    Saurav Cinematographer

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    Well, I got an Ack dAck, I don't know what chip he uses inside it. Digital audio is something I stay as far away from as I can [​IMG] Can't help you with your sound card question. I have seen products which are marketed as 'audiophile sound cards', don't know how good they are though.
     
  5. Michael R Price

    Michael R Price Screenwriter

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    Oh, alright, I guess you wouldn't be interested in modifying the Marantz so its DAC doesn't use oversampling? [​IMG] (I think on some players it is pretty easy to bypass the digital filter chip.)

    Anyway even though I think I have a wiring error and my clock is not adjusted anywhere near 50% duty cycle... the improvement in sound is really something, and I can say with some confidence now that bits are not "just bits." There is a good deal less high frequency distortion, and I hear generally clearer and smoother sound though a little less "impactful." I am not sure how much of this difference is due to the extra power supply regulation on the clock circuit, which bypasses the Denon's 7805 and 7905 for a fancy discrete regulator.

    I wonder how good the oscillators in modern CD players are...
     
  6. Saurav

    Saurav Cinematographer

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    Here's another free tweak - try putting blu-tak or some other putty on the actual crystal, making sure you cover it well. This won't harm anything, and it *might* make a tiny improvement, I think crystals are sensitive to external vibrations.
     

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