I bought this toy some time ago. I put it at the output of my old Philips CD player. It does make some difference in the audio, especially in playing vocal. It makes the sound more human.
After reading some articles about modifying tube amplifiers and gears, I started to plan for a mod of my good old friend.
Replacing all the passive components is an option but it also costs $$. Given the budget considerations, I decided to spend some money to replace the low-value capacitors (those 4.7uF or below) to nice looking red WIMA capacitors. Low value capacitors are sensitive to high frequency tones. I believe replacing them by higher quality models can give me a new feeling.
Replace the two tubes? I enjoy the soft sound of the original 6922. I am not a heavy listener and I cannot be one. Every time I relaxed and enjoyed the music in the couch, my beloved wife could always find some chores for me to do. She likes seeing me busy. 😛
Ok, after desoldered the old caps and put up the new red ones, it is time to appreciation. The same CD player, the good old NAD 3020 and a pair of KEF Coda 7 – only the capacitors are changed.
The familiar CD of Diana Krall’s “All or Nothing at All” gave another presentation. It played differently. At first, I could only say the sound was clearer. The feeling was immediate. I did not turn up the volume because the family rule (set by my wife) banded it. I could not say there are more details in the music but there are something more. It just like the different between milk chocolate and chocolate with almond. The new caps give another texture to the same music – a texture that I like.
The mod is a simple one and the risk is quite low. There is no alternation of the circuitry. Also, the voltage is low (only 12V) in the whole X-10D. I did not need to worry about being shocked, burned, or killed by the charged caps.