Esoteric Mods

I own an Esoteric P70/D70 Transport and DAC, I am considering having both modded. I have been doing some limited research, however I would like to hear from anyone who has had their Esoteric units modded to get some feedback. My units are still under warranty for another 6 months. I would like to know the names and websites of some reputable companies I can contact. Bottom line is it worth investing into. Thanks for your help
I tried both kinds of Audio Consulting silver transformers in a DIY modded SCD-1 and ended up with the Silver Rocks. Many of the ideas & parts in the project came from RAM-- Kyle has always shared ideas freely. The sound of both transformers is natural & smooth & resolving, yet with a purity & sweetness in the treble that surprises relative to EMM, DCS, et al. The Silver Rocks sound less compressed & have better dynamics & bass control & fine detail. Audio Consulting transformers are expensive, but there is less labor involved in the mod project, since the stock output stage is jetisoned instead of modified piecemeal.

Add a Superclock 4 (or Ultraclock) & some judicious mods to power & that CDP should sound great.
Thanks a bunch for your input. I was really apprehensive about having this mod done, now I feel much better, I will have my DAC modded first, followed by my Transport.
I waited three years for Kyle of Reference Audio Mods to complete the personally hand selected components for my "World Class, West Coast Showroom System". $28,000 later I have one of the MOST BEAUTIFUL BOAT ANCHOR SYSTEMS you ever made. I traveled over 35 times taking 3 1/2 hours in each road trip to your parent's house to watch you work on your mother's kitchen table, only to find that half of our appointments were not kept as you hadn't made it home from the night before, that's what you treated my business!!

Here is a list of unresolved issues from day one:
1. Custom Marantz 8260 universal CD/DVD transport W/Cocobola Chassis that from the 1st day didn't play anything more than a few select Cd's in redbook and within the first year stopped playing altogether. Marantz refused to service the dreaded TOC error as Klyle's work negated the warrentee which he also refused to honor.

2. Silver Rock TVC preamp in a Custom Cocobola Chassis that despite my repeated requests STILL only has ONE input. Too difficult for you Kyle? I only paid excess of $5000 for this little GEM!

3. Custom made Carver ZR-1600 D Class Amp that he smoked right in front of my eyes and dispute a world wide power advertisement campaign between he and his last Carver client he quickly discontinued as unreliable but refused to take back. Oh yes, he matched this 600 watt pro audio amp with his 98db efficient 60 watt $10,600 bent wood horn speakers that blew the tweeters in the first 2 months of use. A short in the way he wired up the output RCA's caused the problem with the AMP and the speaker failure in one swift act! To his credit was repaired yet I still couldn't stand the high frequency hiss that remained and could be heard over the music, I never was able to use and I replaced. Later I found two HUGE Oil In Paper capacitors (a $300 charge for these) that were NOT even hooked up & super glued inside, his excuse was that he tried to cure the lack luster bass response (which didn't work out and said he left in place for me to try again later). Nice eh?? This piece O' Crap cost me $4,500!!! Oh, did I mention the 30 LB. $1500 custom transformer? Later I learned that this amp was sold for $1000 and returned from another dissatisfied customer who didn't like the sound either and threatened to sue. Thanks for the memories!! !!

4. Kyle delivered his custom $5,500 power filter system that amounted to a series of coils, capacitors and a huge transformer that sat loosely on two pieces of 2x6 boards he found behind his father's garage. His promises to install in a covered hard wood box for my protection left unfinished and proved to be a fire hazard and with open wiring had to be removed so my dogs didn't electrocute themselves. Kyle are these products UL approved???

5. AS a 30 yr veteran jeweler I watched Kyle work with limited tools, a cheap Weller solder iron and his fathers Fluke Multimeter. What no scope or any other testing gear? I observed and heard his excuse for absolutely the worst soldering techniques where he feels that globs of solder, like super glue was excessively used as he had past problems in shipping returns as his work was such a mess. Real "CRAPS MAN SHIP" here folks, I personally bought him a MetCal solder station which did help but his sloppy workmanship remains a genuine problem. I can't trust him to fix and can't sell for parts.

His response to all of these issues was "Jim if you want MORE sound, you'll have to pay for it"??
There are always two sides to every story.

Time rebuttal
35 times? More like 10. And much of the reason why is because Jim kept bringing over different pieces of wood for his custom chassis' he wanted. Back in 2005 I was a bit naive on what projects I should take on or not take on. I clearly admit I was in the wrong for taking on thi project. Yes, it took 3 years to finish but also 3 years for him to pay!

Marantz Rebuttal
Problem here has nothing to do with the mods but rather the inherent TOC problem with the Marantz SA8260. We recently put approximately 800+ in free upgrades and replaced the mechanism and faulty Marantz board free of charge
Price for Custom made marantz was $3550. this included complete custom made chassis for $450.00 Marantz stock player(~1000) for and mods! Silver rock transformers alone were $1600 retail so when one does the Math we did this at cost at best.

Silver Rock Rebuttal
Jim paid $2350. The TVC's were alone were $1700 retail. Again do the Math and we broke even at best. Seems like some large discrepancies in prices???

Carver Amp Rebuttal
The Carver amp was the hottest modification at the time and we too felt it was a great amp for the dollar. With mods it sounded superb. Yes, there was an inherent his to this amplifier. Jim paid $2400 for full custom mods and chassis and stock amplifier

AC Correction device rebuttal
Jim needs to take responsibility for his DIY purchases. These are superb AC correction devices from Audio Consulting which costs a total of $2900.00

I believe this is a good point as it took you 3 years to pay and even then I was shorted a grand. I developed a program where jim could assemble diode bridges for me in order to reduce his debt. The bottom line is that the price for the three items(Player, TVC, and amplifier) was as follows:

3550 for Marantz SA8260(custom chassis and silver rock mods)
2350 for Silver tvc and custom chassis, AC wooden knobs,Wbt
2400 for Carver( stock amp, mods and chassis)

9300 total for all 3 customized pieces of which I provided a refund check for $2200, 800 in free upgrades, and more work on the TVC.

So at the end of the day and after 3years of work with Jim I refunded him completely for an amplifier we did 0ver 6 years ago. We have completely fixed his marantz and even did 800 in free upgrades. Doing more free work on his Silver rock TVC as well. So at this point the war has stopped I know I am not perfect and will never claim to be but I have to at least present my side when plenty of the information provided is untrue and exaggerated.


Kyle Takenaga

I had a similar experience. About 4 yrs. ago I had Kyle upgrade a previous mod that he had done to my Marantz
8260. It was already fully modded with the wooden chaise made with curly maple wood and signature parts. I
sent it back to him because they had the new Ultra regs, Ultra-clock, etc.... So I sent the unit in and paid
everything up front. Little did I know it would be nearly three years before I would finally be taken care of
after countless phone calls, ignored phone calls , unanswered messages and e-mails, threats, and

I never got my Marantz back!!!! I don't know what has become of it!!! I never seen it again. After nearly
three yrs. of persistence and threats to go on public sites he finally shipped me a Statement Modded Oppo 83
SE with a super clock 4, which with further persistence on my part he sent me the Ultra-clock Mk2, Which I had
to install myself. The player had issues the I had to trouble shoot myself. I finally got everything working
properly. I fixed the problems myself because I was not about to risk sending it back to Kyle and maybe never
seeing it again.

Since then Doug Jesse at ASi Technology has taken the player to new heights by adding By bee music rails and
battery supply its truly a world class player now and is currently the best I've heard at any price.Doug Jesse
at ASi Tech has been a God send he is truly knowledgeable and is a man of his word and is doing some cutting
edge modifications. I can't recommend him enough.

In the end Kyle finally satisfied me but after 3 yrs of waiting and pleading for him to keep his word and do
what I paid him to do.

What can I say? It was a bad experience for me. But a lesson learned. I now use Asi tech for all of my