Author Topic: modifying Marantz Wadia transports  (Read 5832 times)

Offline stevenvalve

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modifying Marantz Wadia transports
« on: July 22, 2014, 08:13:37 PM »
Anyone with a Wadia 3200, Maratz 95, Marantz CD12, Marantz 94, or Marantz mark 2 will be interested in these modifications. First i need to say the Wadia is a Marantz made transport and once modified is the best transport i have ever heard. This modified wadia 3200 is so good it hard to believe it can be improved, in all the areas that matter it is just superb. So real natural and organic its amazing, I will show you here, how to mod it, and most importantly what parts to use. Standard they are very good transports but can be a little white, bright, rough, and course,  but with these mods it will be propelled into the magical. It is so important to use the exact combination of parts i have used here, because these components colouration's are perfect to fix the Wadia and Marantz transports problem's, First you need to get some Sanyo oscons 440 uf SG, remember i said SG not SP (Marantz transports use 47uf) electrolytic capacitors, I think there is about 6 of these, the flavour is just perfect for this player, Rich natural organic and most important they are not bright, Then you need the black Elna for audio compact electrolytic with the words (for Audio) printed on them, try to get the made in Japan caps if possible, again the flavor is just right. Now 1 Elna Simic 2. You can see in the pictures some of the bigger ones will not fit so just lay them down on a thin layer of Blue-tack and run flying leads. You can work out from the pictures where to put them. Is there a better transport out there (probably) but this sounds so good, does it matter. The modified battery powered clock you can see in the picture is another story.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2014, 08:37:19 PM by stevenvalve »

Offline stevenvalve

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Re: modifying Marantz Wadia transports
« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2014, 08:58:30 PM »
I have always said, my philosophy is less is more. The power board (Pictured) on my Wadia allows me to use the electronic button at the front to switch it on and off.  Just recently it stoped working, I could no longer switch on, and to make it matters worse I had people coming for a session, so I bypassed the board completely and ran the power straight from the mains. After all I can fix it later, I had always thought, that little board could not affect the sound too much. Well it did, so much more natural with it gone. As we know everything affects the outcome.  Does it ever end.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2014, 11:30:18 PM by stevenvalve »

Offline brenden

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Re: modifying Marantz Wadia transports
« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2014, 10:33:33 PM »
You aren't using Duelunds as bypass caps for the clock are you Steve ?   Pretty exotic .

          Agree with what you have said ,the Elna for audio caps are great ,as are the older Elna for Hi Fi,and have also added the big Stargets to the list  .  Very hard to get Japanese ones now .Are the Oscons 470uf or 440  ?  I will be putting some in my 94 soon ,but don't have any SG .Where is the best place to get the SG  ?

   

Offline stevenvalve

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Re: modifying Marantz Wadia transports
« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2014, 11:34:46 PM »
You aren't using Duelunds as bypass caps for the clock are you Steve ?   Pretty exotic .

          Agree with what you have said ,the Elna for audio caps are great ,as are the older Elna for Hi Fi,and have also added the big Stargets to the list  .  Very hard to get Japanese ones now .Are the Oscons 470uf or 440  ?  I will be putting some in my 94 soon ,but don't have any SG .Where is the best place to get the SG  ?

   
Yes I think (Oscons SG 470uf).   Where is the best place to get the SG.......  Well.. they are extinct. You have to be lucky on the net.

Offline stevenvalve

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Re: modifying Marantz Wadia transports
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2014, 05:35:50 PM »
You can see here, the female plug I attached on this transport is a furutech.  I put small copper rods into the 3 screw holes then soldered to the rods in a staggered fashion so its easy to join multiple wires.
« Last Edit: August 03, 2014, 11:57:32 PM by stevenvalve »

Offline stevenvalve

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Re: modifying Marantz Wadia transports
« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2014, 06:39:25 PM »
You aren't using Duelunds as bypass caps for the clock are you Steve ?   Pretty exotic .

       


  After completing the full on clock mods, i needed a pair of Caps, i had these Duelunds laying around, Trouble is I have tried to remove them for something else, but it is never the same without them. it's now an expensive clock.

Offline omodo

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Re: modifying Marantz Wadia transports
« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2014, 07:27:10 PM »
thanks for the detail you have shared in this thread Steven!

the Elna (for audio) are still easy enough to source, even through reliable channels (i.e. non-ebay+china), but as you have already mentioned the SG capacitors are another story.

have you experimented with any of the newer range of OS-CON, i.e. SEP, SEPC, etc. And if these are NFG, is there a next-best option for the SG OS-CON in these positions?

Offline rab

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Re: modifying Marantz Wadia transports
« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2014, 09:46:44 PM »
Thanks Steven, very interesting.

I found a picture i took of the internals of my own Wadia, which i understand was modified by crazikid based on Steven's advice.
π
I see there are some differences to yours. In mine, there is a different cap (is it a different kinbd of Oscon?) where you have what i assume is an Elna..? Also you have a large cylindrical cap near the chip (the "A" chip?) where mine appears to be stock. I also notice you have different small caps near the A-chip: small red ones instead of the square green ones in mine. Did you replace yours, or are they (different) stock?

- r.


Offline Jehuty

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Re: modifying Marantz Wadia transports
« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2014, 12:01:03 AM »
what i assume is an Elna..?

Correct. Those are Elna Cerafine caps. Nice electrolytics , I have some myself but I think Steve prefers OSCON SG in those positions.
Not all that matters can be measured, not all that can be measured matters.

Offline stevenvalve

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Re: modifying Marantz Wadia transports
« Reply #9 on: August 06, 2014, 02:08:38 AM »
Thanks Steven, very interesting.

I found a picture i took of the internals of my own Wadia, which i understand was modified by crazikid based on Steven's advice.
π
I see there are some differences to yours. In mine, there is a different cap (is it a different kinbd of Oscon?) where you have what i assume is an Elna..? Also you have a large cylindrical cap near the chip (the "A" chip?) where mine appears to be stock. I also notice you have different small caps near the A-chip: small red ones instead of the square green ones in mine. Did you replace yours, or are they (different) stock?

- r.
Rab, The cap choices look right, they look to be 470 uf Oscons SG. The Elnas look to be the right ones as well, and the nearest cap to you may be an Elna simic 2. The extra cap I have is a 15 uf Solen PB on some flying leads, and the cap next to it is a special value 6.8uf electrolytic and I don't think you can change that value, I will change it for a nice 6.8 electrolytic when I get around to it. But even now my Wadia is so good its hard to believe I can improve it, so I have been in no rush.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2014, 02:11:52 AM by stevenvalve »

Offline stevenvalve

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Re: modifying Marantz Wadia transports
« Reply #10 on: August 06, 2014, 02:37:52 AM »
Rab like mine it looks like it has sockets installed for the A chip, this is important because each A chip can and does sound different, I have learned what chip numbers sound brilliant. You can tell via the 2 number codes, probably from two different factories. One number type is magical, so natural. I tried many to eventually learn the secret. This chip is critical because it drives the clock, word, data, it's what makes the Marantz CD player transports ultimately sound the way it does, a poor sounding A chip means a poor sounding transport. Think of it as an extension of a TDA1541A S2 and just as important. Great thing is that these A chips are cheap and easy to get, that is why its handy to have sockets.   I see the 3 fuses have been bypassed, good move.

Offline stevenvalve

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Re: modifying Marantz Wadia transports
« Reply #11 on: August 06, 2014, 03:05:29 AM »
The clock I use is an old Tricord version 2. I found the version 2 to be better than the newer model Tricord clocks, the newer clocks are probably better in measurements and do sound cleaner, but are more complicated. They unfortunately sound threadbare, lacking weight and body. The early Tricord version 2 clock has weight, body and warmth, flesh and bone, just more like real music. As you can see mine is heavily modified with Shinkoh resistors, Sidereal and duelund capacitors, and is battery powered. Plus i have sockets and that allowed me to listen to many crystals and no surprize, they mostly all sounded different, even from the same batch. Usually even from the same batch about 1 in 5 crystals will be magical. After listening to about 10 crystals i found one....... very very tasty crystal.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2014, 11:21:45 AM by stevenvalve »

Offline stevenvalve

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Re: modifying Marantz Wadia transports
« Reply #12 on: October 06, 2014, 03:46:43 PM »
thanks for the detail you have shared in this thread Steven!

the Elna (for audio) are still easy enough to source, even through reliable channels (i.e. non-ebay+china), but as you have already mentioned the SG capacitors are another story.

have you experimented with any of the newer range of OS-CON, i.e. SEP, SEPC, etc. And if these are NFG, is there a next-best option for the SG OS-CON in these positions?
I have not tried the all the caps out there, I have no doubt there are many combinations that could work as well, but who want's to play that game, buying tons of different one's and spending months trying different combinations, The one's I have chosen work beautifully, and all the work has been done. Also one problem is very few caps had the sound I needed like the OS-CON SG. example the Panasonic FCs where similar in sound to these but sounded a little unsophisticated, rough and coarse, just to electrolytic sounding.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2014, 05:09:26 PM by stevenvalve »

Offline stevenvalve

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Re: modifying Marantz Wadia transports
« Reply #13 on: October 06, 2014, 05:03:10 PM »
How good are these Wadia 3200 transports. I have had many transports over the years including 2 of the famous CDC-CEC TL1 considered by many to be most musical transport around. Indeed when I was modifying my Wadia 3200, i had these as a reference. The stock TL1 has some great attributes including a tremendous sense of space, air, bloom, and smoothness and above all great soundstage. The CDC TL1s weakness included weak base, a slightly artificial character to the timbre of instruments and voices, also it's a little polite, and veiled, with a slightly diffused solidarity of images and focus. This last aspect is a common problem with transports like the TL1 with such a big wide soundstage. They are a great musical transport and once modified via a expert like Mark OTL, a member of this forum, can I have been told take on a new level of performance. The modified Wadia 3200 set up correctly with a top flight valve DAC is almost flawless in it's performance with voice and instrument. It presents fantastic instrument timbre and character, with absolutely no veil at all. These transports sound so amazingly real, they really are, you are there, Still not as good as the TL1 in some areas. But as we all know, in this HIFI world, nothing is the best in all parameters.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2014, 07:18:59 PM by stevenvalve »

Offline matt200sr

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Re: modifying Marantz Wadia transports
« Reply #14 on: October 06, 2014, 11:04:43 PM »
Great info within this thread thanks Steve for sharing.

My CD94 is currently with Zenelectro and is being fitted with his clock as well as other mods and I would like to start collecting some Elna's and Oscon's for when it is finished. 

I will soon be sporting a very expensive Esoteric K-03 (on it's way from Japan) for my ML2 Reference system, a decision borne from regret after selling my Killerdac to another Perth enthusiast. I like the higher end Esoteric sound (not very impressed with the K-07 however) but I doubt I will replicate the magic of my ML1 Reference system complete with Killerdac and the modified Mingda.  :(

I will start looking around for caps but can anyone recommend where to get them? Meanwhile I will practice my soldering skills on upgrading some easier to obtain parts on my other recently acquired CD94.

Thanks again Steven.

Offline stevenvalve

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Re: modifying Marantz Wadia transports
« Reply #15 on: October 06, 2014, 11:17:26 PM »
There is a forum member here, who has the right Sanyo ocon SGs, 470 uf, but will he part with any?. 

Offline brenden

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Re: modifying Marantz Wadia transports
« Reply #16 on: October 07, 2014, 09:28:41 PM »
These Sanyo Oscons are used ,but as far as I can tell ,they are genuine. I bought a some and very happy with them .Just beware they are  short leads . These are the ones you got Steve .

               http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/1PCS-SANYO-SG-16v470uf-Silver-plated-feet-Solid-Capacitor-/181377171806?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2a3aec015e


       These are fabulous ,and I got this seller to source more for me. They may be even better than than  For Audio IMO .

          http://www.ebay.com/itm/2-X-MADE-IN-JAPAN-ELNA-STARGET-6800uF-35V-AUDIO-GRADE-ELECTROLYTIC-CAPACITOR-/251572956854?pt=Vintage_Electronics_R2&hash=item3a92eaaeb6


   I have been able to buy some great caps from Yahoo Japan including some excellent film caps for different applications  ,many "made in Japan" Elnas like this .Just beware of the dates on the caps .I prefer to buy newer ones mostly after 1995 ,but the quality of these elnas would likely last many,many  years if used underrated .I use 35v to replace 25v or even 16v  etc .

      http://yahoo.aleado.com/lot?auctionID=n140134306 

    Also check out the oil caps and valves etc ,some amazing stuff there .


     The  Elna cap dates are mostly on the side but are sometimes on top like my big can cerafines.  the first 2 numbers are the year ,and the second 2 numbers are the week it was manufactured.  for example 9918 would be week 18 ,year 1999.

       I recently bought some beautiful gold lead Silmic 2 Alpha caps from Japan  .These are the top grade custom made  Silmics

           


    Some  asian sellers I have bought genuine Elna  caps from on Ebay  have been  HKaudioparts   WKleung and audjade_chn.  ,and would buy caps  from them again .

         If you need any more info let me know .
 
                                                          Ian .

             


Offline vitavoxdude

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Re: modifying Marantz Wadia transports
« Reply #17 on: October 08, 2014, 08:22:24 PM »
Look closely at the ebay caps and you will see, they have all be used :'(
We all like different things so lets all agree to disagree and if any common ground is found then worship it.  Mine is the KD hence being present on this forum.

Offline brenden

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Re: modifying Marantz Wadia transports
« Reply #18 on: October 08, 2014, 08:35:02 PM »
Yep that's right ,I thought I mentioned that but I forgot .
                           These Oscons  are pulls ,but if you want  Oscons these are the only option at present .I think Oscons are pretty hardy , long life  ,and  don't have electrolyte to dry out  ,so worth the punt for digital circuits .Just test them before installing .

Offline brenden

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Re: modifying Marantz Wadia transports
« Reply #19 on: October 08, 2014, 09:03:23 PM »
Just reread my original post ,I did mention they were used .