Reference lampizator jobs

a chronological list with newest on the bottom of the heap.

when credibility becomes an issue

This reference list is constantly growing. From early childhood I always had this itch to open my mechanical toys and find out how they work. When opening the CD player - the more expensive it is - the more critical I am.
I am pushing towards 100 players that I opened up , examined and lampized.
I do not waste time to document the bad ones. I only document these ones worth to be lampized.
The CD accumulate in my house - on the table, under the sofa, on the window-sill, everywhere. Sometimes good friends help me get rid of the better ones. I am grateful for that.
Starting from my early experiments I found out, that for some reason the tube CDP (real ones that is) available commercially are superior to these non-tubed regardless of the price.
My own Balanced Audio Technology BAT VK-D5SE turned out to be one of the best. It was beaten only by the magical Tube Technology Fulcrum DAC-transport combo. And I read many positive reviews of the Jo-Lida and Tjoeb! hybrid CDP's. I also love the Audio-Note dac line, especially DAC3 upwards. But from commercially available ready players - that's about it.
 So far i haven't found a stock form player which is built properly and plays good sound. Not a single one. And this has nothing to do with price, not even a loose correlation.I swear that 100 Euro is maximum that I would pay for a CD player and then it is time to mod it to civillize it. The only exception is Audio-Note, company which since the eighties promotes op-amp less CD DAC products. Their DACS are so good that they should be the reference at every price level. Speaking of price - thats the problem with Audionote - sometimes prices resemble serial numbers or bank account numbers. At least they are honest about it - they give an option to buy kits and they tell you ecactly what is the difference between DAC3 and 4. Most other companies bullshit customers to no end.

My simple reasoning was that there must be something about  op-amp less designs, it is where the Lampizator enters the scene. It changes simple players into giant killers.
There is no better way of finding out the truth than trying.

Which CD player is suitable for lampization?

Well, every one. So far I haven't seen a CDP which is un-suitable, except the Kenwood D1000. Generally, if a player has a DAC chip- and everyone has - it can be modified so we get rid of the output stage and instead we send the signal from DAC to the lampizator directly.

Very broadly we can generalize and divide the CD chips - DACs- into two main categories: with current type output and with voltage output.
The current type output DACs are promising better quality but require very careful approach to lampization, they require only very sensitive tubes and the reward is very good.
The Voltage Out players offer us easy job, require low amplification tubes and also we have an option of SNIPIT BYPASS - the puristic connection of the DAC output directly to the outputs. It is described in dedicated SNIPIT section. The sound quality of Voltage output DACS usually but not allways is inferior to properly lampized Current Output systems.

Another subjective division is to say that all the world's players can be divided into two categories: the TDA1541 DAC players and all other. That suggests (not without a reason) that the TDA is a special chip, by far the most important DAC in the history of mankind. 25 years after it's creation - it is still in my opinion unbeaten champion of good sound but ALWAYS requires heavy tuning. There is a separate section dealing with squeezing from the TDA chip 10 times more quality than its makers at Philips ever thought possible.

You can browse through the loosely documented, chaotic story of my 4 years of free evenings which god knows why I decided to spend with the soldering iron and magnifying glass. I gotta get out  more !!!!





CD DAC giant shoot-out contest - the battle of champions

GOOD CD PLAYER LIST  - great sound without any modifications - just buy and enjoy

The Transport article with explanation how CD mechanisms "sound"

This is a small and yet in-complete datamining page of mine containing PDF papers of the chips:   DAC chip data-mining

My list of lampization reference list is constantly growing and at the time of writing consists of:

BAT VK-D5SE (actually that was the test unit tubed by design but nevertheless my reference and inspiration.)

Kenwood CD4090 - the 5090's poor cousin - but a good 'un

First lampization: Kenwood CD5090 (4 units)

Pioneer PDS-904

DVD Panasonic S47
DVD Panasonic S75

Revox B226-S (2 pieces), Revox B126, B226,

Denon DCD-2560

Pioneer Video Laserdisk S1200

NAD 541

Kenwood D1000

Naim CDS-1 and it's baby - CDI

Grundig Fine Arts CD-9009 (my reference) - NEW: THIRD INCARNATION  

Copland 289

Marantz CD-60

Marantz CD-17 

Marantz CD63SE and CD-63
DENON DCD-1450AR  (PCM1702)

Shanling T200 NEW: Update with Sowter TRANSFORMERS

Kenwood 7090 (8 x  BB1702  !!!)  NEW: Update with Sowter TRANSFORMERS or without

California Audio Labs DX-1


4 x Grundig Fine Arts CD-9000

 Rotel RCD-991

REVOX EXCEPTION E-426 (january 07)

( Feb 07)Cambridge Audio Dacmagic 2 gold

Philips DAC-960 (TDA1541) 

2 x Philips CD 630 

JVC K2  XL-Z1050 - almost new candidate for the KING   

Loewe CD9000. Loewe my love !      

Philips CD304mkII 2 x 

B&O CD5500

Grundig 8400 MKII


Meridian 506.20

2 x Philips CD-880 (!!!)

2 x Marantz CD 40

Mission Cyrus DAD-1

Cambridge Audio CD3 player (4 x TDA1541A !!!)


Grundig 905

4 x SONY CD-227ESD

2 x AKAI CD-50 (based on DAC AD-1856)

NAIM CDS-1 revisited

Zhalou DAC 2.5 from Hong Kong China 

Grundig Fine Arts CD-1

Marantz CD80

Cambridge CD-4  

Grundig CD8100

2 x Marantz CD94 MK2 

Marantz CD94MK1

Kenwood  9010X transport

2 x Sony CDP-337ESD - superb CD which is a candidate to the throne of CD kingdom

Philips CD960 player

Shanling CD300

Yamaha CD480
Wolfson DAC based Cambridge Azur 640 CD player - MK1 and Mk2

Cirrus Logic CS4397 DAC - OH MY GOD !

Vincent - CD-S6 player with PCM 1732 DAC and LOTS OF SURPRIZES INSIDE  

Sony CDP-555ESD monster

WADIA transport preparing to marry a Lampucera chipset

Cambridge CD2 player  

NAD C 521i player with minimum comments
TEAC VRDS-25 with 4 x AD1862 DACs and Sony KS151A mechanism and  VRDS.

nakamichi CD Player4 with AD-1864N DAC chip

Lampizator meets his destiny: The intergrated one box DAC is born - meet LAMPUCERA Ver. 1,0

Cambridge DVD89 - a surprisingly great player that does movies too. cambridge DVD

MHZS CD88 the most innovative CD player of the decade !

Marzntz CD67SE LAmpucerized    (what is HDAM,     anybody ?????? )

Lampucera 2.0 - new version of PCBlampucera max

Philips CD-751 almost the new king of CD kingdom !Philips CD751 with TDA1549

Marantz CD50 with maximum efforts

SATCH DAC from China with TDA1541ASATCH DAC

Philips CD753Philips CD753

Arcam Diva CD73ARCAM CD73

AMC CD9 player (not lampized yet).

zero dac

REVOX B225  revoxB225

Nakamichi CDP2-E

Philips CD104Philips CD104

Grundig 9009 as a transport

Sony CDP-338ESD

Sony CDP-710

Audio-Note DAC4 anybody ?Audio Note DAC-4

Sony 333ESD lampized proper 

Pioneer PD-S06 with PCM1702 DACS  pioneer

Sony CDP-557ESD


Sabre ESS buffalo  DAC

Theta Data Universal Transport

TEAC T1 transportTeac VRDS

Pioneer DVD aka Goldmund

Pioneer PD-S703Pioneer PD-S703


TEAC VRDS-25 with 4 x AD1862 DACs and Sony KS151A mechanism and  VRDS.


ES9018 32 bit Esstech DAC Sabre32 Reference arrived - the first test in Poland. Maybe , who knows, the first test in Europe. Possibly - the first lampized Esstech ES9018 in the World ?

Lite DAC-AH Lampized

Philips CD940 and cd930 used as Transport and as player too

Kenwood DP8010 with PCM58 DAC

Wolfson DAC WM8742 with Lampizator  WM8742 DAC


Wolfson DAC WM8742 wolfson 

Fischer AD-ZI CD player / transportfischer AD-z1

Marantz CD5000mar5000

Philips CD 710 player - a cheap gem.CD710

Meridian 207 nightmare

Arcam Diva CD73

Mephisto 1 player / transport.

CEC TL-1X Deconstructed

Luxman D103u

Arcam Delta 170 CD Transport


Stelmach DAC

Audio Note AN-CD1 player

 Bloodac - DAC 4,0 NOS with 4 times TDA1541A -

Sony CDP X-55ES
Teac VRDS D10
Denon CDM-280

SL-PS700 Technics player

Analog Devices DAC kit AD1865 NOS.

TEAC VRDS transport Esoteric P2

AMC CD8B / CD60 (with PCM1716 DAC)

Tube Technology Fulcrum DAC

Ultracurve Behringer DAC / Processor / computer

Audio Alchemy ACD-PRO  player

Sugden CD-21 player

Krell KAV-300cd

CEC TL51X Transport


Arcam player with a RingDac
Playstation One

Marantz 40 Revisited
Sony CDP-228ESD
Denon CDC-1560
Marantz CD73 and 74
Grundig 8150
2 Technics MASH player - 470
Mephisto 2 transport improved