Earlier in the year, after my Carver amp flamed out one of the output transistors, I took it to my tech guy for repair. While at his house he demoed for me a project of his....a modded Rotel RCD-855 cdp. I was extremely impressed with the very warm sound of unit but the price was too high for me. A few weeks ago he called to tell me he would sell me one for about half the asking cost. All I needed to do was let people listen and talk about it alot as this is a new venture of his.
He won't tell me all the details of the mods as he wants to remain exclusive with this type of modding. Here's what I do know...He starts with a Rotel RCD-855 because it had a very high quality German made swing arm laser unit and turntable motor. He's left the TDA-1541 DAC in place but modded the decoupling cap(s). The op-amps have been changed to more modern units. Now the good part, he's bypassed the on board output stage and inserted a new circuit board with two tubes for output. The board has two transformer power supplies with one dedicated to the tube warmers.
That's all the technical stuff I know so far. The result is pure magic. I've only played a couple disks so far but it's the best cd player I've heard outside a high end audio show room. Very close to vinyl like warmth and presence especially with my Carver TFM-25 and Carver C-1 pre. Freakishly wide soundstage on the SDA-1C's and depth I've never heard on cd before. Sweet articulated but not splashy highs and big bass slam with no muddiness. These are my initial impressions after just a few disks.
To say I'm stoked is an understatement. The closest to analog sound I've heard yet and it's in my rig!! Longer term review to follow.