Modding Synergistic Research MPC to Galileo status

I recently had the good fortune of upgrading my stock Synergistic Research MPCs closer to Galileo Status by the help of a friend who is inclined to do such work.

He replaces the Synergistic MPC's four cheap, general purpose 1 amp rectifier diodes with four ultra fast, soft recovery IXYS rectifier diodes and the 470uf 50 volt dirt cheap chinese electrolytic cap with a 680uf Panasonic FM extremely low impedance, high ripple current, long life (7000 hrs). It is now a super low noise power supply.

This mod provides better shielding to Synergistic Research cables resulting in more transparency, blacker backgrounds, increased detail and warmth with even lower noise floor than stock MPCs.

I was really taken aback by the improvements mentioned above. When considering the cost of a Galileo MPC, this mod is a downright bargain.

The cost of this mod will be $40-50. I can provide contact information for additional questions regarding components and price.
I can attest to this mod. Everything Devilboy says about the upgrade has been my experience, as well. I also recently had three of my MPCs modded and the improvement was quite dramatic. In fact, I plan to get more of them done.

Glad you like the mods. Makes it a no-brainer for anyone considering the "quantum" leap to the Galileo MPC.
I too can attest to the stock MPC to the Galileo MPC upgrade and to the attributes that Devilboy describes and would like to add that any attempt to solidify the stability of the power supplied to the MPC(s) is very worthwhile.

I started off with using balanced power for the MPC power strip and then found that regenerated AC power really boosted the MPC's performance resulting in an improved image/soundstage solidity along with increased bass agility and high frequency purity.

Using unbalanced power with the Galileo MPC's is a major step up from the stock MPC's and using regenerated AC power for the Galileo MPC's is an even bigger step up akin to going from the stock MPC's to the Galileo's.

If you ever get the chance, try to hear your SR MPC's whether stock, modified or the Galileo upgrade powered by regenerated AC power. Your jaw will drop :-)
How right you are Nmmusicman. I am using an ExactPower EP15A with the M.S. modified MPC and it is really a match made in heaven. Why anyone would pay for the Galileo MPC is beyond me. For anyone on the fence about doing this, open up the Galileo MPC and take a look at what Synergistic is charging $450 for. The Galileo is a great MPC, but considering that the same performance can be achieved for 1/8th the price makes it a no-brainer to get Micheal's mod.
Devilboy, I must correct you on one thing, to be fair the list price of a SR Galileo MPC is not $450.00 its $399.00. However, you are correct in that it is way overpriced for what's inside. Four ordinary 1 amp schottky high speed rectifier diodes, an axial lead electrolytic cap of unknown origin with their logo on it, all hot glued in place, does not add up to $399.00 no matter how much quantum tunneling is performed!
My modification to your stock SR MPCs got you there for less than 1/8th the price, as you well know! You will not find a better sonic improvement option for Synergistic Research active cable owners with stock MPCs! BTW I sold my Galileo MPC a few days ago. No longer needed!
Cool! I will be doing this mod as soon as I get my Tungsten power cable. Also good info about plugging it into my PS Audio P3 AC regenerator.
You may want to try going to point-to-point wring and ditching the circuit board as we do in the Galileo MPC. This modification alone is a significant aspect of the improved performance of the Galileo MPC; that and Quantum Tunneling both winds of the transformer, the high speed diodes, and the lead wires that connect an MPC to an Active Synergistic Research product.

Oh, we also Quantum Tunnel the Syenrgistic Research capacitor that we specifically developed and voiced for the Galileo MPC.

As with all Synergistic Research products the Galileo MPC is available for in home audition.

Yours in music,
Ted Denney
Lead Designer, Synergistic Research Inc.
Ted, thanks for joining in. I did in fact at one point try hardwiring, and removed the small PC board and hardwired my IXYS diodes and Panasonic FM Cap to the secondary windings in an early modified version, but because of larger physical size and the radial leads of the components I use, simply could not comfortably fit inside the MPC enclosure. Even so, I heard minimal if any improvement. I have simply never heard great improvement in hardwiring power supplies as you have described, especially when dealing with such a small 1.5 inch by 1 inch sized PC board with only a few solder points.
I HAVE however heard tremendous improvement when one hardwires SIGNAL carrying wires, such as hardwiring loudspeaker crossovers, interconnect cables inside components avoiding chassis mount RCA connectors, and hardwiring loudspeaker cables to avoid using binding posts, etc. Your brilliant ITF Bi-Wire idea would fall into this signal carrying hardwire category, eliminating a connector and solder connection. Thanks, Michael Spallone
One other point I wanted to stress, even though devilboy mentions it in his opening post, is that the tremendous sonic results I am achieving modifying stock SR MPCs, comes from replacing the 4 active diodes to IXYS ultra fast soft recovery types, and the one passive electrolytic capacitor to an extremely low impedance Panasonic FM. This is where I have found all the sonic improvement I am hearing to come from!!
A SIGNIFICANT aspect of improved performance by simply point to point hardwiring such a small power supply instead of using the tiny PC board?? I think not! Ted & I will just have to agree to disagree!
BTW I believe SRs brilliant method of Bi-Wiring is called IFT not ITF as I mistakenly wrote in my previous post, I apologize!
The Michaelspallone mod is sounding so wonderful on my Tesla T2 SE, so far ahead of the stock MPC it's ridiculous. I'm awaiting arrival of an Element Tungsten SE and can't wait to put the modded MPC on it. I can't believe it's going to get even better than what I'm hearing now.
Very cost effictive upgrade to your original mpc's.Everything that was there with the stock ones is now if you will more enhanced in every area.Soundstage,depth,cleaner highs,better bottom end.In my opinion all this due to an improved noise floor.Once again my thanks to Michael for such an outstanding job.
I took a flyer on Michael's mod for the MPC attached to the Tranquility Basik platform. At the price I wouldn't be bothered if the mod didn't work as well for this application as it did for cables. I was pleasantly surprised by the increase in transparency and air so had the 2 MPCs for my Hologram A and D power cables modded to the same result combined with more "you are there" to the sonic picture. Thanks to Ted for designing such innovative products and to Michael for taking one of them to a higher level at a reasonable price.
I would like to apologize to the community for any confusion as to who the OP was on this thread. It was I, Devilboy, not MichaelSpallone. I contacted Audiogon asking why and how this could have happened and expressing concern as to members being confused about who wrote the post. Basically, they said it was a "glitch", explaining that it must have happened while I had a "cookie" opened in the system while communicating with Michael via email. Frankly it's all a little too bizarre. So everyone, I would like to apologize once more for Audiogon's mistake and also for any confusion this may have caused.
Michael did the mod to my T3 MPC connected to a tube power amp. Lower noise floor, much better highs and less glare. I can't say if it's equal to the Galileo but don't have any desire to compare them now.
A friend brought his modded MPC's over to my house and we compared them with my stock versions in my system. Totally agree with what everyone is reporting. It was literally night and day. Right in front of our eyes the system came much more alive and completely eliminated the hint of brightness that we heard with the stock. I sent mines off to Michael last week and when I get back from a trip they'll be waiting for me. Can't wait. Thanks Michael.
I have several MPC which stopped working, not from abuse, just expired. Any ideas as to why they sometimes stop working and how to bring them back to life? Could this mod solve the problem and make them better?

Crubio, Depending on how much time your stock SR MPCs have seen in the field, due to age, a diode or cap may have failed, in which case my modification would fix that automatically, and would absolutely make the MPC sound night and day better!
However, another possibility could be that, again due to age, you have a thermal cutoff that opened. This part is like a small fuse located just below the surface of the MPCs transformer primary windings. It is in series with the incoming AC to protect the transformer windings themselves from opening. This part replacement may also get your stock SR MPC functioning again. However, I will only replace the thermal cutoff, if needed, with my modification. All the best.

Based the overwhelming feedback on this thread I just sent my MPC from a Tungsten power cable to Mike for modding. Btw, listening now without the MPC and the sound is too bright! After only about 1 hr and I am getting a little pain in my ears which hasn't happened before. My MPC can't get back soon enough!
Just wanted to provide an update...I got my MPC back yesterday. First of all, Michael was great to deal with and worked hard to get my MPC back to me quickly. My immediate impressions of the upgrade is definitely positive. The improvements though subtle are impressive. The background got blacker, there is better audible distinction between instruments, and highs seem to linger in the air longer. Overall it is as if I am hearing more of the subtleties that is present in the recording. For anyone with SR cables I highly recommend this. This has to be one of the best improvements I have ever done to my system. This ranks up there with the addition of an AC regenerator. For $50 its an absolute no brainer.
Devilboy, you mentioned that the cap has a life of 7000 hours which only equates to 292 days of the MPC is left plugged in 24/7. Therefore, should the MPC be powered off when not in use?
Tboooe, you have nothing to worry about. The "7,000 hour" rating you're concerned with reflects EXTREME conditions in the factory that are never really duplicated in the real world. Under the day to day usage of the MPCs, we don't remotely begin to approach the manner in which the device was tested to ensure reliability.
Tboooe, just wondering if you've noticed a change once the MPC had some additional hours on it.
Devilboy, I have not heard any changes over time but I also have changed my system around lately so it's hard to tell. I am sending 2 more MPCs to Mike for mod this week. I will try to pay attention this time to see if anything changes. What is your experience?
Well, regarding the difference with the mod BEFORE break in compared to AFTER break in, the blacks got blacker, backgrounds got quieter, more "air" around voices and instruments. Now, this difference wasn't as if I changed an amp or other component, but it was there.
Michael S service is beyond A+. I sent both my SR MPCs out on a Wednesday and had them back by the following Tuesday. I had them both upgraded and the fuse repaired for less than the cost of purchasing a replacement for the one that was burned out. Great communication with emails just about everyday and tracking number update provided upon return delivery.
The system has not been used since I got the MPCs back for some other repair mods going on. Hopefully in the next week or two I'll have everything up and running. As of now I am commenting on the service and the cost of the mod comparing to getting a replacement.
Just wanted to put my two cents in....A friend of mine was curious about how Michael's modified MPCs would sound in his system so I loaned mine out to him. I've been using the stock MPCs for two weeks now. The air around voices and instruments that I've been so accustomed to is now gone. The transparency I had now sounds like a veil is covering the speakers. I don't hear nearly as much fine, inner detail as I did before due to the raising of the noise floor. What a difference not having the modded MPCs sounds like compared to having them in the system. Joe, if you're reading this: I WANT THEM BACK ASAP.
I just had three MPC's upgraded by Michael. The service was top notch. As people have already mentioned I can hear more decay in instruments and space around them. The music is more 3 dimensional than before. CDs that are well recorded and have a lot going on shine. In particular string instruments really come alive. Rodrigo Y Gabriela really comes alive on my system. This tweak is the best value for the money I have done. Thank you Michael.
Davea33, you said it. You can hear more "space" around instruments and music is more three dimensional. It's amazing what this mod does to already great SR cables. By the way, a buddy of mine turned me on to Rodrigo Y Gabriela a few months ago and I was absolutely blown away. They are truly outstanding musicians and their guitar playing is simply beautiful. My same friend saw them live a couple of months ago. Of course, they were amazing, he said. Go on YouTube and check out their cover of Stairway to Heaven and some videos with Robert Trujillo. They are big Metallica fans too. They cover Master of Puppets and One as well.
I recently had my older(2006) MPC upgraded by Michael and my only thought is what a tremendous bargain. My cables are the SR Resolution Reference FX X2 speaker cables and the difference nothing short of total transformation they went from nice cables to great. The major upgrade total soundstage with detail and blackhole type background.The Nat King Cole Christmas cd went from a diffused nice warm sound to details beyond belief with rich individual vocals and instrument placement that is on par with the best. I would suggest you contact Michael before every SR owner sends their MPC in for upgrading ahead of you. Some of the best dollars I ever spent on my Audio habit bar none.
I've seen Rodrigo Y Gabriela in concert twice. Their 'Live in Japan' CD is spectacular. With the MPC mods I could more easily visualize the guitar playing. This essentially the effect of when I say 'more space' and '3D'.

I'm hesitant to say this as there are so many cable manufacturers, opinions and system synergy is critical; however purchasing a used SR cable and then getting this tweak done for $50 could be very cost effective to improving a system. I say that as prior to the MPC upgrade I was looking to purchase a power conditioner. I still may, but the bar has been raised considerable after this change and is not as important to me now.
Davea33, yes I hear that cd is amazing. I've checked out video of them on YouTube in Japan, I assume it's the same stuff. Also, what cables are you using the modded MPCs on? I have them on interconnects, power cords and speaker cables. Basically, everything.
Jeff, Dave, & all, thanks so much for the kind words. I started out this mod to help me achieve even greater enjoyment from all of my own SR active shielded cables, for not a lot of money. Then I figured, why not offer my services to all of you SR active cable owners. Thanks again for all the kind words and great word of mouth.
I recently had my three MPCs upgraded by Michael for my Synergistic cables (Tesla T2 Power, Resolution Reference MK II XLR, Signature Ten Speaker cables). Immediately after connecting them I knew I was in for a great ride in my listening experience. After 1 week the sound was transformed to a level I never experienced before in my system, tighter bass, more air between the instruments. I continued to listen daily and after the three week burn in period I was in audiophile heaven. Jeff Hamilton drum licks on the Diana Krall Live in Paris, track 7 Devil May Care is so real I was immediately drawn into the performance.
Michael Spallone upgrade is definitely highly recommended by me.
If you get the right cabling you do not need all this complicated and expensive active shielding. It is a big money maker for the manufacturer but, contrary to the maker's claims, it can be totally avoided with the right cables -- from a different company.
I am not a technician then a stupid question: why do not replace the MPC by a 30v DC laboratory supply ?
Hello Michael,
I recently purchased Universal Speaker Cells and have two standard SR MPC's which I'd like to have modded if you are stil doing this work. I am familiar with the Galileo MPCs as I have a dual on on my Powercell MKII. Please provide contact information. Thanks in advance - twochanneldave

I got much better results with Bybee accessories than with the SR speaker cells. You might want to look into their products. I am not connected in any way with them, by the way, except as a happy customer.
Hello Sabai,
Wow - Not sure what you mean by Bybee accessories? I'm thinking about including Bybee Rails on a ModWright Oppo 105D.

Anyway, I use SR for power distribution as well as the Galileo Speaker Cells and couldn't be more pleased!!!

Can you be more specific in your comparisons?

followup -
A month or so ago I found this thread and was intrigued. I've thought about upgrading my SR Universal Speaker Cells' two std MPCs to Galileo MPCs since I bought them. But, I would need two and that mean't about $800. I thought - no way... but, I remembered what an impression the Galileo MPC (2x) made to my PowerCell 10SE MKII. ...hmmm, what to do...

Based on this thread, I eventually got in contact with Michael, sent both of the units reg mail on a Monday and had them back (even burned in overnight Thursday) on Saturday. I really couldn't believe how fast Michael turned these around. More importantly, I couldn't believe what a difference they made!

Right off the bat I heard increased high end extension, wider holographic spacial representation; yet, with more precise instrument localization - especially strings. Low bass pitch was even more melodic. The background wasn't blacker - just full of more of what the venue must have really sounded like. I like that... I like that a lot!

The modded MPCs are plugged into separate SR Tesla Plex(s) because of the layout of my room. I use Nordost Norse Bi-Wire Jumpers configured diagonally; (or +ve) - red and (or -ve)- black on my Legacy Whispers.

Michael's mods are highly recommended!

I've heard a lot of word about the Bybee Quantum Signal enhancers and if you install 10 + within your system($1000ish) it would take it to greater levels. I'm awaiting for some to be available. Even your tv will benefit from them.........
I too would like to add my very delighted feedback of Michael Spallone's SR MPC mod magic. Long time Agoner and enthusiast and can say that by far this mod has been my best and most cost effective tweak in my system over my 30yrs in this hobby. Based on the feedback from this forum, I sent Michael all (4) of my MPCs (for my SR ICs, PCs and speaker cables). Michael readily communicates and was a joy to deal with, very consultative & knowledgeable and turnaround was fast. I have had the modded MPCs in my system for a little over a month and I am more impressed every time I sit down for a listening session. The biggest impact is in a much blacker background which seems to allow the delicate details to emerge producing more air, separation, a deeper wider sound stage, more dynamics and overall a more 3d sound. My speakers disappeared. I am happy to recommend Michael's mods to any SR did wonders for my Krell KCT & FPB300c, Cary 306/200, AAD 7001 setup.
Thanks Colin for all the kind words. You should know that Colin is the first that has experienced my latest SR MPC Ver. 2 mod. I have changed the rectifier high speed diodes and the electrolytic cap, and as needed, bypassed it with a .1 or .01uf  polypropylene cap. I am now able to do away with the circuit board, and hard wire the components because of the now much smaller size of them.
 The sound is so much more transparent, with unbelievable air and decay, and with a wide open sound stage that now just explodes with unreal width and depth. It is so much better than my original SR MPC mod which was designed to be a great improvement over stock SR MPCs while sometimes approaching the performance of an SR Galileo MPC in some systems, that it is laughable! But such is progress.
 My new Ver. 2 mod is in another league altogether, now not only bettering the performance of my original MPC mod but now far exceeds those of a SR Galileo MPC as well.
Just chiming in on this thread and am happy to add my experience. Based on a comment in my system description I sent Michael two of my old dual lead MPCs to mid to Ver.2. They are on my two PowerCells and surplus as I'd already changed them out to Galileo MPCs.

Having gotten them back (super fast by the way!) I am very pleased to say that they represent a nice upgrade even on the Galileo. My system is finely tuned so changes such as the addition or removal of one HFT are pretty apparent. In this context the MPC Ver.2 go a good step towards making the system even more natural and open --  

sounds are more natural and integrated and it is easier to her each instrument in its own acoustic (case in point “All I Want” track 2 on Tierney Sutton “After Blue”, untangling the bass from the vocal is what this track is all about, ideally the bass should be well separated in space from Tierney's vocal, and the vocal itself should have uniform echo into each corner of the room (a really hard trick to pull off if your room treatment is not ideal)) -- the MPC upgrades made a good improvement in this regard

I'll now be sending six more Galileo MPCs to Michael for his work and will report on the cumulative effect

Further to my last post Micheal suggested I try the modded MPCs on my speaker cables rather than the PowerCells -- great suggestion as this placement (with Galileo MPCs back on the two cells) made a nice step up. It also freed a Galileo MPC to go on the Element CTS power cord that powers the quantum strip into which all my other SR power cord MPCs are connected -- another step up

Through all of these changes the effect I hear with each improvement is a lowering of the noise floor which seems at first to sound like a drop in perceived volume -- in fact I think what we often perceive as loudness in audio reproduction is actually the cumulative noise in the system, as the noise is reduced we can open up the volume control and appreciate more of the dynamic range in the recording. A great example of this is using a track from Vienna Teng's live recording "The Moment Always Vanishing". This is the last track on the extended version - "Soon Love Soon" (unfortunately only available as a memory stick live at her concerts in 2010 but there are a bunch of versions on YouTube from other shows so you can get a sense of what I mean). This is a recording of all the concertgoers singing along to a quiet slow song. As you get the noise floor under control it becomes easy to pick out tens of individual singers and hear each part and where in the room they are sitting. This even holds with applause, each clap and each person clapping is an individual -- and to think this is off a 16:44 DAT field recording -- makes me wonder what all the fuss with hi-res is for (ps I tend to do listening for system changes using my DCS stack as it's easier to do A:B comparisons, I also have an OK LP system which is my ultimate preference)

Anyway as I appreciate more of the value of noise control my next step will be to invest in an SR Transporter to power all of my source leads -- I'll report back on that when I get it installed