Modifications



In exclusive partnership with top-tier modification houses Wyred4Sound and PartsConnexion we offer many carefully tested performance enhancement packages for select brands and models. Many honor the manufacturer's warranties.

By virtue of selling consumer-direct, we can offer these super-charged, brand-new modified models for a better price than the same modifications would cost retro-fitted - though we offer that, too.

To see which models are currently eligible; what the mod packages consist of; and to read select owner feedback - use the nav bar above and click on the brand you're interested in.

Please note that when parts are no longer available we will substitute the most current comparable parts.

We are now making available the Burson Audio & DEXA 'discrete' op amp modules as further upgrades to any mod where monolithic IC-based op amps are part of our existing parts list and where they can physically fit. The Burson & DEXA modules are a major advancement to the sonics of any unit currently limited by even the best monolithic IC-based op amp design. Contact us for details about the sonic improvements, and additional costs - to any mod they can be utilized in. To read about the Burson Opamp, click here.



Ecstatic (and unsolicited) user as well as reviewer feedback for our mods

"Walter, I gotta to tell you - those new BurrBrown OPA 627 op amps are unbelieveable! I spoke to Chris and had them installed and running in 10 minutes! It's like a new player! I thought the Shanling was great with the first upgrade. I would put this up against anything right now. Unbelieveable."

"Hi Walter, I had to write and let you know what an incredible difference you have made in my life - well, my system really. The new modifications to my Shanling CD T-100 have brought a touch of un-reality into my system!! I simply cannot believe for how much better every single aspect of the sound has changed ... and all for the positive! You took an already fabulous and world-class CD player (with your Level 1 mod) to a height that I've not heard anywhere else at any price. No kidding. I would put this player up against any in the world right now and you know that I've heard most of the so-called 'best'.

This player simply smokes them with its sheer unbridled musicality. Sure it has an astounding ability to recreate a soundstage in every dimension; and to articulate the instruments within that soundstage - but now, holy op-amps, Batman! You guys should issue a challenge to all comers - if they dare. Anyone who listens to a lot of live music would jump on this player over any I've ever heard at any price in a heartbeat ... it's that good!

Thanks again for reminding me that real musicality is possible at home (and I don't mean with just my piano). Kudos to all involved."

"Walter, I received the unit on Friday in excellent shape. Grabbed my wife's "Indigo Girls Live" CD to start the burn-in process. I ended up listening to the whole disc. Oh my God. What have you folks created? I sat on a coffee table, without moving, in front of my system for the full 70 minutes or so in utter astonishment. I think I shed a tear or two at some point. I can give all the adjectives to describe what I heard but I am sure you have heard them all. This is the best CD player I have ever heard, and I haven't even plugged the West Electric tubes in yet. You said to burn-in for 200-300 hours. I am curious as to how much better this thing will get. I have noticed that the low-end is opening up more and more. Probably due to my new AQ Python interconnects, as well as the player.

I have the unit going straight to the Sunfire amp. It has plenty of volume with most all my CDs. I have only run into one CD that was recorded at pretty low levels where the volume needed to go to about 95. Toad the Wet Sprocket, Indigo Girls, Tori Amos, Blues Traveler, Dave Matthews are being experienced with new appreciation. Even heavier rock like Creed and Rage Against the Machine sound just phenomenal. The unit shines with the before-mentioned groups, as well as some Windham Hill that I have played. I am excited to start hitting my classical collection."

"...However! By playing essentially the same leagues, distinctions narrowed such that, were you to assign percentage points and call the Cairn/Jolida as occupying opposite poles in the high 80s range, the Cairn with a slight lead, the Shanling would belong into the 93 band, with the Zanden sans ultra transport occupying the 95 marker as the best Redbook I've yet heard. Each measely point in these rarefied strata is obtained at great cost. This rating leaves some headroom for future contenders for the crown. Note how tightly spaced these players are. Now juxtapose $2,695 with $10,000. That's a lot of bright green for what under these conditions was a rather close call..."

This last is an excerpted quote from Srajan Ebaen's 6moons.com review of our Level 1 Mod Shanling T-100. The Zanden Audio Model 5000 MkII DAC in this comparison retails for $10,000.

"Hi Walter, just a quick note on the Jolida. First impressions are very good! That is after only an hour warm-up with middle-of-the-road interconnects and stock power cord. Got some smooth-plate NOS Telefunkens on the way, just out of curiosity. Next is a better PC and ICs. Looks like good old 16 bit/44.1 kHz is finally living up to its promise."

"Just received my modified Jolida 100. Right out of the box it sounded great. Build quality is exceptional, relaxed dynamics, big soundstage and effortless presentation. Love it! Going to listen some more - thanks again."

"Walter, I just wanted to drop you a line after I've listened to the Jolida JD-100 for several days. Right out of the box the Jolida beat the Rega Planet 2000 hands down.

I mean I literally hooked both units up to my VTL 5.5 and loaded the same CD in each. I began switching between the Rega and the Jolida and there was no comparison. The Jolida opened the room up, the highs were more detailed and the bass was full and engaging. The midrange was beautiful.

My next step was to pit the Jolida against my Linn Sondek LP12. Whenever I have compared the Linn with a CD player in the past, there was a distinct difference between the analog presentation and the CD. The analog would always deliver more information and detail with significant improvement in the bass. When I began the same A/B test between the Linn and the Jolida, I was amazed at how similar the Jolida's presentation was to the LP12. I'm finding it difficult to distinguish one from the other except for the clicks and pops of analog.

Thanks again for this recommendation and I look forward to seeing how the Jolida can really perform after it breaks in fully."

"Hi Walter, I received the unit on Thursday. Went out of town until this morning. After spending the day with it, whoa! What can I say, it's heads above the A-3 and the other players I have had (Meridian 506.24, 508.2, Classe .5 etc.). What bass, what smoothness. I am running an MFA tube amp, a Classe DR-6 and a pair of speakers I made (a single 10" Hartley 220HS woofer in a 3.5 cft vented box 1.5" thick, lined with sheet lead, no coil, just a Solen cap on a Danish-made Hyquphon .75" dome).I get chills up my spine when listening. Lots of air around all the instruments, not just the soloists. The player does not sound like a CD player, very analog. Thanks for all your help. You know your stuff and provide the best service! I will recommend this player to all who will listen. Thanks again, I know we will do business again."

Wally, I want to let you know how pleased I am with the modified Jolida CD player. I ordered it from you on Friday and it arrived that Monday. Thanks. As far as the sound goes, it sounds much better than my Ah Tjoeb player which is a very good player in itself, but the Jolida has a much better midrange, better bass - it's smoother, much more musical. I also have a Class A Stereophile Sony 555es SACD player which is not even close to the Jolida. The Sony is less of a player than the Ah Tjoeb, the Jolida far superior to both. This Jolida has dramatically improved my Klipschorn speakers. Thanks again. I hope to buy more products from you in the future."

"... When you add up the build quality, features, price and performance of this machine from the East (but endowed with US-based engineering as its backside label proclaims); when you count the number of less-than-stellar recordings in your collection versus its showcase examples; it doesn't take hair splitting to recognize that Jolida's affordable Vacuum Tube Reference is an awesome value with real applicability in the real world.

Its particular sonic talents will be especially appreciated in affordable systems that presently lack harmonic finesse and the kind of colorful intensity that thermionic timbres and dynamics bestow. While I don't know the platform Chris Johnson started out with, it's clear that his skillful upgrade of parts in the proper places and values highlights the famed promises of tubes while conscientously accounting for their known weaknesses..."

This last is an excerpted quote from Srajan Ebaen's 6moons.com review of our Level 1 Mod Jolida JD-100. He likes it so much, he bought the review unit.

"Walter, I received the Cd player on Thursday afternoon. When I saw the box I was worried because it was smashed a little bit. But, when I got the box open, the player was in good condition. I went home that afternoon and played a couple of CDs and was in shock. Everything over the stock unit I had before was improved - clarity, midrange and treble smoothness, spatial resolution, bass extension and tightness, soundstage etc. I'm very happy with this player and will recommend it to my friends."

"As we discussed, I have been listening to the unit that you had modded for me (incl. the op amps) and the difference is night and day. I feel like I went out and bought a whole new cdp. I hear a whole lot more detail in the music while being able to keep the volume lower at the same time. Thanks again."

"Wally, holy shit! I was an English/Journalism major and I am at a loss for words. I will write again when I come to my senses. Not feeling too well tonight, may have to take the day off to listen to my new CD collection. I think this is the way Magneplanars were meant to sound. Thanks."

"...But seriously, I don't mind at all admitting that yes, I still love the whole French {Cairn Fog v2.0] package and wouldn't part with it. And no, you don't have to spend the extra $700 to get its $1,695 award-winning performance. Alors - if you can swing the $180 difference to affix the "+" behind the Level 1 mod [of the MMF-CD25] and trade its 2134 op amps for the 627s, don't hesitate. Heck, that's less than the price of 10 CDs, something any bona fide music lover surely adds to their music library at least once every two month. So, even if this tariff entailed postponing this player's purchase by eight weeks, it'd be well worth it. I know - it's just two itsy-bitsy green parts with gold-plated spider legs. Never mind. Viagra pills, I'm told, aren't any bigger either. And look what they presumably accomplish. Seeing that the stock player retails for $600, adding another 50% to its cost nets a 100% improvement. Sounds like a wholesale deal to me!..."

This last is an excerpted quote from Srajan Ebaen's 6moons.com review of our Level 1 and 1+ Mods of the Music Hall MMF-CD25. He compared the + version to his $1,695 reference player and found the modified Music Hall every bit as good.

Why mods offer the best return for your dollar

In audio, standard manufacturer markups to retail operate within 1:5 to 1:10 ratios. That's because the distributors, manufacturer's reps and dealers all need to make a profit. Meanwhile, the manufacturers require buffer margins for advertising, tradeshows, service issues, shipping damages, rep commissions, bad debt and review loans.


"If these parts make such a difference, why didn't your manufacturers include them from the very beginning?"

The explanation is a matter of simple math. Take the cost differential of a standard $5 and premium $25 op-amp. On the surface, $20 seems a paltry surchage. But say a CD player used four of these. Multiple the raw parts cost by at least 5 (4 parts @ $20 increase = $80 x 5 = $400). This upgrade just raised the final retail by $400. What marketing had specified should be a $600 CD player became a $1,000 unit - because of four tiny little op-amps that the engineer felt would noticeably improve the sound. And our modifications include far more than just upgraded op-amps..

You can understand why manufacturers cannot afford to include such premium parts into affordable product, why everything is built to a price point. Why, by extension, state-of-the-art products are as expensive as they are. From capacitors to super-fast rectifier diodes and precision digital clocks; from solid-silver RCA terminals and hookup wire to NOS tubes, chassis damping and premium buffer amps; inserting SOTA parts into critical circuit junctions turns even so-called entry-level machines into turbo-charged rockets. Their performance now approaches or eclipses very expensive ones as sold through traditional brick-and-mortar dealers.

When we take a solid platform like the $500-retail Music Hall CD15.2 CD player and add $500 worth of premium parts, we transform it into a machine that would (using the same math as above) have to sell for between $2000 and $2500 retail. Because we sell direct, we can afford to only charge $890 plus shipping . Do you begin to see the possibilties? See customer feedback about our service and performance ethics.