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  1. #1

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    Default A Tale of Two Changers......

    I have the unique experience of being able to compare two Sony SCD-CE775 SACD changers at the same time. They LOOK the same…but they are not. One is a well broken in stock version and the other is a full-on modified version from SACDMODS by Matthew Anker. I recently purchased the modified version from TroyD. As usual the transaction was excellent and the CDP was packed to survive almost anything. It is a good thing he did considering the outer box looked like it had been drop onto my porch with a pair of large grappling hooks. On to the comparison.

    I have several duplicate CDs so I was able to load them into the changers so that I had identical music in each slot of the changer. I stacked them on top of each other and connected one to the CD input and the other to the VCR2 input of my AVR with identical Audioquest Copperhead interconnects. These inputs were chosen since they are next to the other on my remote. The cool part is that a single Sony remote will operate the changers simultaneously. I made sure the settings on the AVR were identical for both inputs and after that I was able to seamlessly change from one SCD-CE775 to the other with a click of the remote and compare identical music instantly.

    The initial listening was done with 3 redbook CDs. Mary Chapin-Carpenter “Come On, Come On”, Joan Osborne “Relish” and Jackson Browne “Late For The Sky”. At first with the Mary Chapin-Carpenter CD the differences seemed subtle. A little more weight of the vocals and less bright/forward (a Sony CDP characteristic). At first that came across as less detailed but the more I listened, the more it became apparent that it was actually more realistic vs less detailed. Bass was better as well. On the Joan Osborne CD the improvements seemed less subtle and more “yeah…that’s better!” The instruments took a more prominent sound vs a bit thin sounding on the stock. Soundstage and depth were much improved. Bass again was noticeably better. The same was true for the Jackson Browne CD.

    My only SACD duplicate is Allman Brothers “Eat A Peach”. The second I went from stock to mod, my reaction was…”DAMN…That’s impressive!”… and it was. This is an excellent CD to begin with and the mods took it to a level that is hard to describe. Clarity, soundstage, depth, bass…everything was a notch above what I thought was great to begin with.

    The stock SCD-CE775 is actually a very good performer and no slouch with SACD. I have compared it to better regarded CDPs and it holds it’s own IMO. The Matthew Anker modifications take a very good CDP changer and make it a great CDP changer.

    This comparison took place with my HT setup using a Denon AVR and RT55i speakers and a Dayton Titanic Sub. I will be hooking the modified SCD-CE775 to my NAD gear and the SDA 1Cs in the near future. I will be interested to see how the redbook compares to the NAD and Cambridge Audio CDPs. The SACD should be impressive in this setup as well.
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    Last edited by shack; 01-23-2007 at 11:19 AM.
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  2. #2

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    Default

    Nice review, enjoy!!!
    'Political Correctness'.........defined

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  3. #3

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    fun stuff.. big question. and it's ok if you don't want to divulge this info.. but how much coinage did the mods run ya? just curious.

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    Quote Originally Posted by danger boy
    fun stuff.. big question. and it's ok if you don't want to divulge this info.. but how much coinage did the mods run ya? just curious.
    If I'm reading correct, Troy had the unit modded before Shack aquired it.
    Prices are actually listed on the SACDMODS website.

    http://www.sacdmods.com/

  5. #5

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    The price of all the mods would run about $440. Here is the site listing what the mods consist of and the price.

    http://www.sacdmods.com/CE775.htm

    Since I purchased the player from Troy here on the forum, it is common knowledge that I paid $275 for the modified SCD-CE775. Maybe of the best "bargains" I've purchased here or anywhere else.
    "Just because you’re offended doesn’t mean you’re right." - Ricky Gervais

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  6. #6
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    Good review, nice read. . . I'm green that I don't own it! $275 damn it.:D

  7. #7

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    Awesome....I'm glad that it made it safe and sound. I've been looking fwd to this comparison for some time now.

    I have just recently aquired the Sony SCD-555ES modded my sacdmods and the sound is nothing short of breathtaking. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Matt Anker's mods.

    BDT
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  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by TroyD
    I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Matt Anker's mods.

    BDT
    Same here. I was always curious as to how much they improved the sound and if it was worth the price of the mods. The answer is yes. I know Mark was thinking about modding his SCD-555ES but I don't think he ever did. If not...he probably should.
    "Just because you’re offended doesn’t mean you’re right." - Ricky Gervais

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  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by TroyD
    I've been looking fwd to this comparison for some time now.
    I'm planning on keeping both units just as they are. One stock...one modified. No more than I have invested the stock unit, I'll keep it as a backup SACD player. If anyone ever wants to hear the difference before taking the mod plunge...they are welcome to give me a call and come by for a comparison.
    "Just because you’re offended doesn’t mean you’re right." - Ricky Gervais

    "For those who believe, no proof is necessary. For those who don't believe, no proof is possible." - Stuart Chase

    "Consistency requires you to be as ignorant today as you were a year ago." - Bernard Berenson

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by shack
    Same here. I was always curious as to how much they improved the sound and if it was worth the price of the mods. The answer is yes. I know Mark was thinking about modding his SCD-555ES but I don't think he ever did. If not...he probably should.
    Agreed, now, I'm not going to say that the modded SCD-555ES is at the level of, say, the Tri-Vista and comparable but I'll go on record as saying that it's not far away either.

    BDT
    I plan for the future. - F1Nut

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by TroyD
    Agreed, now, I'm not going to say that the modded SCD-555ES is at the level of, say, the Tri-Vista and comparable but I'll go on record as saying that it's not far away either.

    BDT
    You can pick up a SCD-C222ES or SCD-C555ES on audiogon in the $350 -$550 range from time to time. Add the $400 ± mods and you have a SACD player that "comes somewhat close" to the $6,500 Musical Fidelity Tri-Vista for less than $1,000? Mmmmmm.....could be a plan.
    "Just because you’re offended doesn’t mean you’re right." - Ricky Gervais

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    I wish this guy did mods for my SCD-C333ES. I could get mods done for mine, but it seems that only one doing it is Vacuum State (or US reps) and the price tag is $1100-$1500 depending on the level.

    I have been told that it would be the best sounding changer on the planet with the Level 5 mods ($1500), but that would almost outprice my entire 2-ch system. Maybe someday, down the road...

    http://www.warrengregoire.com/hifi-s...y-sacd-mod.htm
    Last edited by billbillw; 01-23-2007 at 04:04 PM.

  13. #13

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    As I recall, the SCD-C333ES was considered a good sounding player, but had some build quality or operational issues. I think that is why you don't see many offers to mod this player.
    "Just because you’re offended doesn’t mean you’re right." - Ricky Gervais

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  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by shack
    As I recall, the SCD-C333ES was considered a good sounding player, but had some build quality or operational issues. I think that is why you don't see many offers to mod this player.
    Its because it uses the VC24 chipset, like the SCD-1, SCD-777es, and DVD-S9000ES.

    The mod takes the signal straight from the VC24 output and doesn't use any DACs or Opamps. The VC24 is said to output an almost analog waveform.
    Last edited by billbillw; 01-23-2007 at 04:26 PM.

  15. #15

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    Nice write up. I'm sold on modded Sony's. Plenty of places and price ranges to go and get it done.
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