The CD-15.2 got a very good review in Stereophile by Sam Tellig. It is our favorite under $600 CD player. Features of the stock player are: 24bit/192kHz Burr-Brown PCM 1739 DAC, brushed aluminum faceplate, Sanyo DA11SLM CD transport mechanism, gold plated stereo outputs, power saving standby operation, coax and optical digital outputs, removable power cord, special padded vibration damping feet, voltage switchable, system remote control, easy to view display, w17w x d11.5d x h3.3 in., 13 lbs. pkg.
The mod takes it to the next level and allows it to compete with solid state players that sell for up to $1500. The mod was designed by Chris Johnson, the founder and former president of Sonic Frontiers.
The following details the Level-1 mod [$550 + frt retrofit, $890 + frt. preinstalled]:
- 2 x dual configured SMT-style Burr-Brown OPA-627 op amps on a custom DIP adapter module replace the inexpensive dual opamps used in the output buffer stage of the stock model.
- 10 x Japanese-made Takman Rey Series 1% metal film audio-grade ultra low-noise signal path ¼ & ½ watt resistors
- 4 x Nichicon ES series non-polar audio-grade electrolytic coupling capacitors with super low ESL & ESR.
- 3 x EAR small compliant Sorbothane isolation feet
- 2 x sheets of SoundCoat damping material
- 10 x feet of WBT Solder is used in the mod.
- The mod takes 3.5 hours to complete and test.
- The 12-month Music Hall factory warranty is good on the modified players.
- The unit is quieter, blacks are blacker to resolve more low-level ambience.
- It is smoother but more detailed and dynamic.
- The midrange is more natural with less electronic glare and what you typically spend big bucks to get in solid-state machines.
- imaging is improved and more defined while front to back depth is improved.
- Bass is improved. It has fuller weight and authority.