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While below contains information you would like to read, we have since late concentrated on upgrading Oppo players. The reason is that it is capable of playing both discs and most imporetantly, full resolution files. That makes them much better value for the end user as the cost is little different from players that can play discs only. Also, Oppo provides the most full-proof way of playing files, since the 'codecs' are internal and hence no loss over USB2.0 and USB3.0 devices.



Below is discontinued model

JLTi Stereo CD & SACD Player

Level 2

Re Prices etc, Contact Joe: joeras@vacuumstate.com

230-240V Model

JLTi Dedicated CD and SACD Player - Features our new type of I/V Converter.

There is still a market for digital players that are dedicated to playing audio only. This is not multi-channel player nor playsDVDs. Many are convinced that players designed for audio only task are better than players that have to play many formats.

Now Level 2 with Positive Feedforward Correction: Before there was Negative Feedback there was FeedForward Error Correction. While we totally avoid Negative Feedback as a correction technique, resurrecting this and applying the current conversion has proved to be a revelation. The increase in transparency, openness, lack of audible grain and the ability to hear deep into the mix is extraordinary. A genuine advancement and increased listening enjoyment.

At the moment this the best Stereo Only

Dedicated Player we can supply!

For whatever reason, this new JLTi player does CDs as good or better than any digital player we know of at any price  and also plays sublime SACD disks. But to achieve this level of performance we had to come up with a new solution to an age old problem, converting 'current' from the DAC to usable 'voltage.' Until a solution was found we have mainly used voltage DACs, and we avoided the alternative current  DACs used in many up-market players. We now have finally cracked this thorny problem and we are very excited by the results. Truly State-of-the-Art solution can now be applied to current type DACs.

These so-called I/V Converters are often the real blame for what has been termed 'digital sound' or even 'digititis' - as if it was some kind of decease or affliction.

The problem is caused by the great leading edge and high level of noise that the post-DAC audio circuitry has to deal with. At very high frequencies, the usual audio circuits (operational amplifiers) have poor headroom and this leads to over-loading. They are simply overwhelmed. When the circuit is overloaded at high frequencies, it is overloaded, period. The frequency matter not.  When the exposure exceeds the capability of the audio circuit, it causes slew rate induced distortion. This is the weakness of I/V Converters. It is digital sound.

We had to come up with a bomb-proof audio circuit, one that has a huge bandwidth, low noise, low distortion and no negative feedback. So what? Aren't others doing just that? Mostly they are not and alternative solutions have been improvements rather than solutions. We need to think outside the square, and this is our forté.

The conventional I/V Converter is know as an 'Active' converter. It is done by using an opamp (either IC or discrete) and huge amount of feedback to create a 'Virtual Earth' which emulates a dead short to be seen by the output of the DAC. If you think in voltage terms this does not make sense. But I assure you, when the output is 'current' then this is actually very logical. But while it was found that this 'earth' should have no signal (if it was a real short there wouldn't be) when in fact there was always some signal when observed via an oscilloscope. So what is going on? A Virtual Earth is clearly not perfect and in reality some signal shows that it must be slightly above zero Ohms. Not a dead short.

So now lateral thinking comes into play: If indeed a small signal is considered acceptable, then why not use 'Passive' conversion? Now the use of Passive Converter is not knew and we do not pretend anything else. So what is new? Read on please.

The DAC used in our vehicle, the Yamaha CD-S1000 is the latest architecture Burr-Brown DACs that we are able to use direct coupled circuitry that elinates the use of extremely expensive coupling caps - the best cap in the world is no cap.

Solution: Aside from coping with the offset current, the actual AC audio signal can be formed across a differential pair of resistors. This differential current across a very Low Z (impedance) means we can emulate a similar signal and impedance condition to that of a Moving Coil Phono Cartridge.

Hey, here is a good idea! We already have a leading edge Moving Phono Preamp, the JLTi Phono. So now we can use Phono Preamp technology sans RIAA Equalisation and bring the output voltage up to the industry standard 2 Volt RMS. This technology fits the bill perfectly; super large bandwidth, low noise, no feedback and completely slew rate induced distortion free. Once this occurred to us we just knew we had cracked the problem even before building the first proto-type. The logic was simply irresistible and the first sample brought a smile to our face - finally after many years, this was it!

So the player's entire post-DAC circuit has been replaced along with its new SuperReg power supplies. Only a two-pole filter is used that is entirely passive.

Terra Firma Lite


  1. The Terra Firma Clock

  2. Custom Output Stage

  3. Back-EMF Noise Reduction

Terra Firma Clock

The “Terra Firm" Clock is not just another clock. A key design by our team from Vacuum State (www.vacuumstate.com) and manufactured Down Under. Not just of the highest quality but also incorporates a unique power supply, with extraordinary low frequency bandwidth that has rock like stability. Our finding that Low Frequency jitter is sonically more serious is not in itself unique, but that jitter down to sub-One Hertz is critical and usually noise in the power supply at ultra-low frequencies is far more serious than previously thought. Only by actively seeking and finding a solution (because the problem is largely unmeasurable) will it then become apparent by listening. LF noise performance in the Reference Clock easily surpasses even batteries.

Custom Zero Feedback Output Stage

Our new I/V Converter, no negative feedback, ultra-high non opamp circuit with full SuperReg power supply. Rifa Evox PPS output capacitors - outperforms the usual expensive audiophile grade types. Cryoed silver clad wire and output RCA Socket replaced with cryoed treated type.

Back-EMF Noise Reduction

Major reduction of back-EMF noise in digital circuits. Grossly overlooked and underestimated problem, often not fully understood until the results are heard. Even the most expensive players on the market are inadequate, so much so that any player can be improved by just tackling this problem alone. Using our methods the digital circuits are damped by shunting the noise into the player's ground plane and out of harms way. The sonic gains and stunning increase in focus and fluidness are immediately obvious.

This player is State-of-the-Art and should be compared to the best players in the world regardless of cost. By all means compare it with any other players that would otherwise sell for tens of thousands of dollars.

Let your ear be your final arbiter. Happy listening.


I’ve tried to tone down this review due to reader’s perhaps inherent scepticism of bold claims for audio upgrades. However, I had my Yamaha CD-S2000 upgraded by Joe Rasmussen of Custom Analogue Audio a few weeks ago with the Terra Firma Lite clock and zero feedback upgrade.

The difference in sound is not small and was a bit of a shock.

The first thing that struck me was how much better the bass was. Deeper, more tuneful and rhythmic. The slam and attack on rock tracks is fantastic. The stock Yamaha CDS2000 was no slouch as a player but the Terra Firma upgrade takes it to a different plane.

The soundstage is much more open, dynamic and coherent. The music has much more presence in the room, you just can’t ignore it. Resolution of detail is excellent. I am a happy customer with this upgrade. It gives the system the ability to really do its stuff and let the music shine through.

I have just listened to ‘Under My Thumb’ by the Rolling Stones, ABKCO SACD version. I have heard this track loads of times before but it was truly awe inspiring played back through the upgraded player. No hyperbole, the music is totally transformed.

Other associated equipment:

Yamaha AS2000 Amplifier

Tannoy Dimension 8 speakers

Transparent Musiclink Super Balanced interconnects (for SACD player)

Transparent Musicwave Plus speaker cables

Transparent Musiclink interconnects (for turntable)

Pro-Ject RPM 6 with Ortofon Rhondo Bronze Cartridge

Pro-Ject Speedbox MK2

Niall M. North Coast NSW, Australia

Just Listen To it    

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Copyright © 2003-17 Joe Rasmussen & JLTi
Last modified: Tuesday November 21, 2017

Just had a terrible thought. If "intelligent design" is unscientific, then who will design our audio equipment?