CD/DVD Modding : Pros & Cons.

The meaning of modding/tuning is for me crystal clear, better performance throught better parts, Pwr Supply regulations,new clock/converter etct.
are there any limits :
(1) price/performance
(2) warranty issue
(3) clear and proofable mods

FWIW - I don't think the new HD-DVD or Blu-Ray players will play CD, SACD, and/or DVD-A. The HD-DVD may play CD, I am not sure.

For video, perhaps one of these new technologies will do a good job with the old DVDs, but who knows if the old DVDs will even be that important to you in a year or two.

Here's my experience so far - I had a Sony Blu-Ray for demo, it outputted video and audio with pretty much no adjustability. In the store, the big improvement with this player was definitely the movie audio - by a long-shot - even over the video improvement. But this improvement is only realizable by using the analog outputs of the player due to the higher resolution of this audio.

Because of this, I think a legitimate question is: Will they begin to release Audio [2-channel] versions of Blu-Ray or HD-DVD? If not, then there will still be a use for a CD, SACD, and DVD-A player…provided you like those formats.

Now…my player is an Esoteric DV-50 that has been to The Upgrade Company. It also has an SDI output to feed my DVDO VP30 [the SDI is unecessary overkill BTW]. The video with this set-up was pretty darned close when comparing the old DVD Superbit version of The Fifth Element to the HD version playing from the Sony. However, the video from the same Superbit disc playing on the Sony was not so nice at all. It lacked detail and was washed out.

For audio, Dave Schulte at The Upgrade Company [TUC] has done just amazing work. The improvement is very easily noticeable. My player is considered by many to be a dinosaur, but I just cannot believe how well it performs after TUC’s work. I don’t know what he did, and because of the crystal clear result – I don’t care. I do know a lot of work has gone into it, with a lot of real parts.

I have tried other modded machines, and won’t bother anymore. Ckrody makes some good points, so my advice would be to ask Dave Schulte what he recommends depending on what you want for a result, and just get it done. If you are in the Philadelphia area, then you can try to stop by sometime for a listen.

One more thing regarding warranty – I had a video problem once with my player after I got it back from TUC. I returned it and he went through the whole thing. We had a lot of conversations trying to get it sorted out. It ended up being a bad SDI connection inside my Video processor not the DV-50. My point is that TUC went to bat and did everything possible to make sure the player was right without me demanding it. I was out the shipping [not inconsequential for a 55 lb player], but it was all my own doing anyway. I cannot complain.

Lastly - forget resale. This is a big minus to modding. You pretty much eat any investment in modding. Just accept that going in. Thankfully, I am more than satisfied with my decision. Actually, I am amazed more than anything else.

- sorry for the length
Hi Dave, also very good points,it confort me that you are happy with your wonderful Modded unit and you had only positive exp. with modders.
Unfortunatly I´m Italian, it would be a pleasure to listen some music together.
I have a friend in Padova with no TV/radio who listen only to LP´s, Pre/Amp 211 based and a pair of DIY Goto Speakers.He´s really happy, the sound if terrific but he´s living in the past, I like the future that why I try to stay up to date...and buy some more lps!!
thanks for the good reply.
I am pretty much sold on modifications of good sounding equipment. With the caveat that maybe I have never spent enough retail to get to the point that I can't benefit from modifications.

Thus far, I have had the following pieces of equipment modded with very good to fantastic results: Audio Van Alstine Hybrid Fet-valve 250 w/ch amp, Airtight ATC-1 tube preamp (power supply was also removed from the chassis and put into a separate chassis among other things), Rega Planet (the original) CD players that I use as a transport to feed my dacs, and a EAD (?) transport. All of my work has been performed by Joseph Chow at Audiohorizons. I have yet to be disappointed. My system(s) clearly reproduce musical in a much more satisfying, spacious, and involving manner after mods.

I don't think though that you can modify bad sounding equipment and make it sound great - at least not in gereral.
If you want to try a modded unit, I would suggest looking for an already modified by a reputable modder used unit. This to me is more logical because the resale value of the modded components is terrible. If you buy 2/3k player and spend about $1k to modify it, the money spent on the mods will be lost for the most part when you sell the player.
If you are not one of those who likes to change things frequently, this may not apply, given the fact that you will like the sound and overall performance of the modded unit to begin with.
I have a modded Pioneer from Audiocom UK,I waited 9 months!! and when the baby arrived back i opened it only to discover that I payed 1800€ and I got a 100€ half mods.
I´m really disgusted from that but It´s my fault to trust the people,I asked my money back but you can imagine the reply, I´ll go to the court against Mr. Bartlett from Audiocom.
That´s why I´m trying to share experiences, never make the same mistake twice.