PLEASE NOTE NEW YAMAHA
CD-S3000 NEEDED FOR UPGRADE
Below is discontinued model
JLTi Dedicated CD and SACD Player - Features our new type of
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
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
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
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
Terra Firma Clock
Custom Output Stage
Back-EMF Noise Reduction
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
Tannoy Dimension 8
Musiclink Super Balanced interconnects (for SACD player)
Musicwave Plus speaker cables
Musiclink interconnects (for turntable)
Pro-Ject RPM 6 with
Ortofon Rhondo Bronze Cartridge
North Coast NSW, Australia