April 1 2008
This simple cambridge player is a multi-format DVD with 6 channel
output. Circa 250 Eu when new.
It was brought to me in a hope, that I can do something about it's not
so good sound.
I took the challenge, hoping for an easy snipit mod, which would end in
a success and I could walk around in glory.
Upon close inspection, I found the main board of "laptop style" of
tracks, parts, look and feel. I mean VERY modern and VERY VERY esemde.
SMD. Read - very small print.
The DAC is a promising chip from Crystal - the same family as in
Lampucera, Zhaolu and of course in the Meridian - meaning - a damn good
line of DACS. Namely the CS43XX line. And in particular - a CS4360.
Is it just a 6 channel version of at least the fabulous 4327 ? Lets
LET'S SNIPIT !!!
A typical DVD mechanism (100% plastic) , one main PCB and a switching
mode power supply on the left, covered by a plastic lid.
Looks like a supermarket DVD but who knows ....
The computer style board, and main DSP (the big black square thing)
must have 200 legs or even more !
I am tapping the signal from the L and R front outputs of the DAC via
the first decoupling capacitor (the black lytic 10uF/16V). This cap
removes the DC component from the DAC output. Of course - the cap could
be a better one, like a 2 uF MKP foil or something. For the record - I
am tapping to NEGATIVE legs of these capacitors.
For lampization - I would tap in same way.
If you want to upgrade the cap - connect the new cap one leg to the
POSITIVE leg of the old cap, and the new cap - to RCA or tube grids.
Of course I drilled new 10 mm holes and I installed proper new RCA's.
This way both old and new outputs are active at the same time.
The resulting sound is lower in volume, kind of "shy" but the QUALITY
increased dramatically. Even, if originally the signal just went
through one opamp per channel, one more cap, and one HF filter and one
After the snipit bypass - the sound became really high end. Everybody
commented how it opened up, how the voices became natural and live, the
microdetails explode, there is space, there is air, there is feeling of
"them being here" etc etc.
This is not the Grundig killer, but I could live with it really. I can
only imagine how good it could be with lampization, not just mere
This player would rank easily in the upper half of the machines list
which I tried at home. Or even in top 25 %.
Of course the snipit could be done for all 5+1 channels in the same way.
PROPER- April 08
transformer found its place in left front corner.
supply CRC filters glued behind the mechanism.
(because I needed low gain - tac loud enough) The tube arrangement is
stereo triode single ended class A anode follower
resistor 5 k
resistor 40 Ohms
Input via 1
uF capacitor from DAC directly (other - old - circuits cut-off from the
2,8 capacitors to new RCA's
Power 160 V
DC via 220 + 220 + 220 uf filter - CRC with a resistor of 1K
The sound of
lampized DVD has improved much compared to bypass. Clean and
transparent like the bypass, but depth, power, width,
energy and slam - are without any comparison.
It is now a
high end player without a doubt.
But the 5.1 TV
sound is strange - front is stronger than rear channels. This has to be
adjusted by amplifier settings for TV, but for stereo - it will beat
most CD players available from shop.