Thread: Sony DVPNS92V - with a universal player this good - why buy a CD/SACD machine?

Posts: 24
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Post by mcondo April 21, 2006 (11 of 24)
Claude said:

I think there is almost no technical difference between the XB770, the XB780 and the XB790. But it could always be that they replaced a few small components that have a major incidence on the sound.

Is there some fundamental technical reason why the Sony DVPS 92/90 is such a good platform? It is hard to believe a $200 unit can be made to be as good as top of the line players by mods, however well thought out. On the other hand, how do you rationalize investing $1400 in mods in a $200 unit?

Post by 2-channel April 21, 2006 (12 of 24)
I suppose there was a very good reason for VS to choose the 90/92V as a platform, but haven't actually asked the question. I did ask how the unmodified player sounded and the reply was 'horrible'. You can speculate on the reasons for this reply, but VS only supply an upgraded machine bought in by them. Spending nearly £800 on a machine without hearing it was a non-starter.

Undeterred, I decided to audition the player and bought via the internet in the hope that I could live with it until a DIY upgrade e.g. from was installed - or return it if indeed it was horrible. First impressions were - how light it was, and how classy it looked (black, that is). First impressions on hearing it - wow - the size of that soundstage, the tiny detail. I was impressed; SACD was particularly good, with a very real sense of being at the recording venue. Focus, tonal accuracy and the rather lightweight presentation all left something to be desired. But you almost forgot about these as you were drawn inexorably back into the music.

Room for improvement, yes - horrible, no. The player is now with Chevin Audio Developments who are completing a custom upgrade. Total cost - £460 for a player I fully expect to be state-of-the-art. I'll let you know!

If there is a fundamental technical reason behind the choice, then I supect it's because Sony have an excellent basic design (the player is developed from an earlier model without HDMI) and its potential has been recognised.

Post by toddao April 21, 2006 (13 of 24)
As I am thinking of up grading from my Sony SCD-XB780,I'm finding this thread very interesting! Looking forward to what you thing after the mods.Given that you are "2channel" please do not take offence, but did you listen at all in MC?.
Does it have time delay as well as volume adjustment for each channel?

Post by 2-channel April 22, 2006 (14 of 24)
toddao said:

> ...did you listen at all in MC?.
> Does it have time delay as well as volume adjustment for each channel?

No, stereo only.

Please see the manual, (p80) here:

Hope this helps.

Post by toddao April 26, 2006 (15 of 24)
2 Channel, any news on your player yet? The modified players are available here in Sydney and I am being tempted to have a listen.

Post by 2-channel April 27, 2006 (16 of 24)
Still waiting. Expected delivery - about 12 May.

Post by toddao May 15, 2006 (17 of 24)
2channel, are you listening to your modified player?If so, how does it sound. I am hoping to hear one for myself on Thursday, so I am interested in your observations.

Post by 2-channel May 16, 2006 (18 of 24)
toddao said:

2channel, are you listening to your modified player?If so, how does it sound. I am hoping to hear one for myself on Thursday, so I am interested in your observations.


Not yet - delivery is scheduled for Wednesday 17 May.

I will be posting a review within the next few days. My upgrade differs from the standard JLTi version in that the active output stage is upgraded, instead of the using the (reduced output) replacement passive stage. This is considerably less expensive, and was chosen to avoid any problems with a direct to power-amp setup.


Post by 2-channel May 23, 2006 (19 of 24)
With apologies for the extended delay in reviewing the DVP-NS92V, and for those who want the bottom line first - this is an outstanding machine - and for those considering auditioning or purchasing - do it.

First, a brief overview of what's in the signal path between the 92V and the transducers - in this case AKG-K1000's. Answer - not a lot! To be specific, a single-input power amp - a reboxed Sonic Impact T-amp modified with Black Gate input caps. and air-cored inductors; 2 Tantalum resistors (in a 31-step Shallco switch) and some very short wires - with no switches except a shunt to ground. This not only gives the utmost transparency and accurate channel matching, but the battery driven amp allows a completely 'black' background without any trace of the fatigue associated with mains amps.

First impressions on switch-on were (again) the sheer scale of the soundstage - which is easily the biggest heard from any machine. Portrayal of depth is outstanding coupled with very good focus. The player also has the ability to shock, not only with instrumental realism but also with its attack. These qualities throw the listener headlong into the music, and it is difficult at times to focus on any one aspect of it, as there is so much going on and one is drawn to different threads almost by the second. This generates real excitement and involvement, elevating the player well out of the 'ordinary' spectrum.

In summary, it grabs you by the b...s from the first seconds and doesn't let go.

To achieve this the audio output stage has been considerably modified, including replacement of the op-amps, with the LM6172. As the MC outputs are not modifed (only Line Out L/R), some comparison can be made with the original, which sounds thin and lightweight. The LM6172 is much more muscular, warm and 'analogue' - almost, but not quite 'lush', and completely viceless. The upgrade also included a new clock and power supply stage, chassis damping and 3 (think about it) custom feet and other tweaks. The package, which did not adopt the passive stage offered in the standard upgrade because the (my) input is already shunted to ground, was completed by Colin Yallop of Chevin Audio Developments - who could not have been more helpful and professional.

The best bit, perhaps, I've left to last. What about the old problem of CD compatibility (show me a SACD player that sounds good on CD). Well, there is one now. Not good, absoulutely stunning. For example John Adams' 'Chairman Dances'. On any other player the soundstage has some depth and sounds fairly interesting. On the 92V it positively spills over with an almost visceral three dimensionality that has the attention darting between players, making the presence of hairs on the back of the neck known. And SACD? What it adds, for me, is insight. Insight and presence. An example - the Colin Matthews 'add-on' - Pluto - to Holst: The Planets, Matthews: Pluto - Halle/Mark Elder. At the end of this recording you can hear very clearly the mix fading from the acoustic 'silence' of the recording venue to the real silence of 'no signal', vanishing to a point created by the engineer. The resolution of this player is remarkable. In fact, it is completely unforgiving of crap SACD's - and I've got quite a few - ruthlessly exposing weaknesses in balance, and dubious mixing techniques etc. It plays 'em like it really is - warts an' all.

This is a first venture into 'high end' (+ £500 for me). Now I've heard what a player can sound like, there will be no going back. Very highly recommended.

Post by Claude May 23, 2006 (20 of 24)
Thank for the review, Colin.

What did you compare the Sony to?

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