"Ultra High Performance Hi-Fi Modifications & Products"
Why modify your Hi-Fi Digital and Analog equipment?
All CD, SACD, DVD & DVD-A players, preamplifiers, amplifiers and processors have
a vast amount of additional sonic potential because they are made to a specific
price point and use low costing grade parts.
Why should ASi modify your existing Digital Source?
Replacing your CD/DVD/Blu-ray player for a newer reference model is likely to
prove a costly venture with marginal sonic gains. More importantly, if we examine
the costs of a new purchase a relatively small percentage is for the build and
parts of the machine. As an example, your purchase would consist of the
With these costs deducted, it is feasible that the actual cost of the electronic
used in the machine you are buying is typically $100-125! Of course, all
manufactures have costs and this has to be accepted. But in almost all cases,
30 - 50% of your allocated budget for a new machine invested into modification
of your existing Hi-Fi component will equate to far better sound!
(This is why we can take a $750-$1500 stock unit (for example, Oppo
BDP-105D), you would spend in total less than $3K for a great mod package
(remember your money is going straight 100% to the performance of the unit)
and continually outperform every type of off the shelf player that is out there
and you save many thousands of dollars, its that simple!).
ASi Audio Approach to Executing Digital Modifications
Currently, on a worldwide basis and primarily through the explosion of the internet,
audiophiles may purchase new, used, and modified digital audio equipment. It is apparent
the digital audio era is present in full force triggering the births of new innovative companies
as well as causing the mature to develop an ever increasing number of new products. In
addition to all this, digital modification has recently developed into another valid avenue of
purchase for the audio enthusiast. The choices out there are unquestionably immense! How
does one choose? What path does one take? New? Used? Modifications?… Help!!!
It is our belief that the modification avenue will get you the “most bang for the buck”. Many
great mod companies have developed and completed some very good sounding digital front-
ends for relatively bargain basement prices. ASi would like to explain how we specifically and
systematically address an SACD/CD player modification. These are current methods that
constantly change as we discover more through increased resolution.
<---- This is the sound!!
POWER SUPPLY MODIFICATION
The power that feeds any digital circuit is absolutely critical! However, before we go any
further, we categorically believe no matter how good a power supply is executed, or how
extreme the parts quality, this will NEVER be enough!! Unfortunately, we have a much bigger
problem with our AC mains worldwide causing more bad sound then you can possibly fathom.
On the other hand, high quality supplies are essential to high quality sound…no two ways
around it. A player may consists of either a classical linear power supply or the more efficient
and increasingly popular switching supply. Some may have both. The digital circuits and their
power supplys in CD players for example are so frequently overlooked, and commonly the
components used are low grade electrolytic capacitors whose characteristics do not produce
low E. S.R, low distortion, fast discharge/recharge, low microphony. Similarly diodes are low
grade silicon types, which are noisy & slow and ringy.
Any compromising in the digital circuits will yield poorer results further along the chain in the
analogue domain. Smearing, masking, muddiness, compression etc...... are examples of a
piss poor digital power supply.
Our approach here is simple:
Adding or improving the stock IEC will provide better grip on the power cord and better
voltage integrity. Remember connections will oxidize over time, its better to have a better
conductor for the power to pass!
Changing the internal wiring to a better wire such as silver wire and cotton tubing will yield
better sound due to lower impednace and faster conductance.
Replacing stock fuses for aftermarket higher quality fuse will lower the impedance, improve
the conductance and still keep the unit safe from fire issues. Yes, completely removing the
fuse and bypassing might be better, but the "peace of mind" factor will be much higher if there
was a better quality fuse inside than stock.
Replacing the stock noisy silicon diodes in digital sources, preamps, power amps, etc with our
custom handmade ultra low impedance diode bridges will bring a much lower switching noise
and reduce impedence for much cleaner sound. It works hand in hand with other mods to
completely remove the glare, grain and hardness/harshness from the music!
Exchanging stock electrolytic capacitors for our ultra low impedance types in the digital or
analog power supplys will markedly improve the sound quality in terms of greatly improved
dynamics, transparency, detail, tonal purity, depth, definition and a quieter background.
If the circuit requires regulation, a simple 78XX or LM317 type regulators are not enough.
These devices are much to slow and very high in impedence for good sound. We replace
them with ultra low impedance and tuned discrete voltage regulation circuits to dramatically
improve the sound and the video!
The 3 main Criteria for improve ANY digital source
In more than 90 - 95% of CD players (SACD, DVD & DVD-A ) the master clock whose function
is to generate a low jitter square wave, is a simple passive circuit which uses the input of an
inverter, typically 74HCU04 and consists of a quartz crystal, 2x low value capacitors in series
fixed to ground, and 1-2 resistors. The remaining 5 - 10% of players are slightly better and
use a clock oscillator module which uses its own inverter and has a better temperature
stability, or use a single discrete transistor oscillator circuit. This is true of machines costing
$500- to $20,000+- regardless of manufacturer or model.
None of these methods are suitable and all produce high losses of resolution for both audio
and video recording and playback, Period.
Replacing these clock circuits with a aftermarket reference type clock provides an exceptional
improvement in all areas of sound & picture quality. The internal clock of digital gear has a
profound effect on the music and video.
The effect of a clocking upgrade is like adding a supercharger to your car!
OUTPUT STAGE DELETIONS/MODIFICATIONS
We feel the analog output stage of any player or DAC is the most important.
This is the primary area where most music gets “lost” or becomes “compressed” and “lifeless”.
This is due to the fact that manufacturers design analog output stages using spec sheets from
opamp manufacturers, the signal goes through many signal resistors, signal coupling
capacitors, signal pathway transistors and relays and other nasties.
Many solutions exists in this area as it is the one aspect that very much distinguishes the
modders from each other.
Here is our approach, which we feel is the best balanced sounding:
Remove all analog filtering. We believe this really is performed to satisfy the scope and not
the ear because music sounds compressed with filtering.
Execute summation and amplification with transformers (if the circuit allows).
Using a transformer based analog output stage offers many improvments:
~Removes all signal pathway parts such as resistors, coupling capacitors, transistors, etc..
~In Dual Differential designs (most players), allows for TRUE BALANCED XLR OUTPUTS!!!
~Provide galvantic isolation, allows less noise to pass into the DAC area and raise S/N ratio
~Very low impedance, and higher output voltage lead to better system flexibility.
~Remove the needs for the AC mains so you don't have noises and harmonics effecting this
very sensitive area of the unit and you are rewarded with a much lower noise floor, more
ambient detail and a super huge sound stage that is balanced and live sounding!