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HK's Digital Next Step (Read 2903 times)
HockessinKid
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HK's Digital Next Step
05/09/20 at 12:58:46
 
In an effort to simplify my set up, I began to explore one box (streamer + DAC) solutions recently. I am currently using a Lonely Raven PC and VDAC2 DAC to stream TIDAL and access my hard drive FLAC files. This combination has performed admirably, only a fewsome hiccups streaming with QUOBUZ.

I almost pulled the trigger on a friend's used Lumin T2 network player, but became intrigued by Steve's comments and listening observations of the Cambridge CXN V2. I trust his ears. What cinched it for me was learning on Audio Circle that Dan Wright (Modwright Instruments) was considering modifications to the CXN V2, similar to those he offers on the Pioneer UHD LX-500. Dan's modded LX-500 sounds simply heavenly and incredibly accurate! I also have his excellent PH 9.0 phono preamp.

So my newly purchased network player is enroute to Amboy, WA (home of Modwright) as I write this. While Dan hasn't completely finalized the mods, it will include bypassing the stock analog stage after the Wolfson WM8740 DACs with his own Class A, Lundahl transformer coupled analog stage. Anticipated mods include:

- Upgraded Furutech IEC.
- Two linear power supplies added for digital & analog power.
- A solid state rectified & regulated, Class A tube analog stage.
- Lundahl signal transformers.
- Modwright Instruments M-Type coupling capacitors.

I expect Dan will be employing 6922 tubes and equivalents for the tube analog section, as in most of his other modifications.

Should be receiving the unit in a few weeks and I'll post some impressions. BTW, after careful consideration I'm going to keep the PC and Decware VDAC2 for back-up (you never know) or to pass on to my son for his system.

Well, there goes my stimulus funds😊.

HK
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Tommy Freefall
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Re: HK's Digital Next Step
Reply #1 - 05/10/20 at 22:49:39
 
To quote the DiCaprio character in Django Unchained:

"Gentlemen, you had my curiosity. But, now you have my attention"
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piezoman
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Re: HK's Digital Next Step
Reply #2 - 06/26/20 at 17:39:36
 
I agree with Tommy. The stock unit does not have my attention, but the modded one might. Its going to take something dramatic for me to even consider unseating my current dac/player combo. The stock Cambridge would be a downgrade.

HK, has a final price tag been applied yet?

Brad
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HockessinKid
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Re: HK's Digital Next Step
Reply #3 - 06/26/20 at 18:46:39
 
Have you listened to a stock unit? By all accounts they are receiving pretty rave reviews from listeners. Maybe not the ultimate, but for $1099 pretty nice.

Dan Wright has all the modifications designed, but he's slammed with backorders and down two technicians due to Covid-19 issues. I expect the fully modified  CXN V2 will be ready sometime next month.  Dan has not announced pricing for the modifications yet. A lot of interest has been expressed by current customers, so I expect he'll stay very busy.

I'll post a link to his Audio Circle thread once he posts info and pictures of the modifications.

HK
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piezoman
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Re: HK's Digital Next Step
Reply #4 - 06/26/20 at 22:08:58
 
HK, I'll bet that modded unit will be exquisite. Looking forward to your updates as they become available.

I'm sure the unit in stock form is indeed quite good. My apology for any negative implications.
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HockessinKid
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Re: HK's Digital Next Step
Reply #5 - 06/27/20 at 00:57:22
 
No need for an apology piezoman. †Everyone is entitled to their opinion.

I value input and listening experiences of others when it comes to stereo equipment, especially from regular posters here on the Decware forums. Everyone's ears and listening rooms are different, so its not uncommon for folks to disagree on ones listening experiences and what one likes.

Personally, I try to subject a piece of equipment to at least one month of critical listening before rendering or sharing my opinion, good or bad. That's listening to a variety of music (vinyl, CD's, or HiRez streamed music) I know intimately. It has to work in your system and your listening room. FWIW, I have also found attending Decfest (twice) provides an excellent opportunity to hear the latest and greatest Decware equipment in Steve's excellent listening room.

Case in point. I attended Defest 2020 last year just for fun with no intentions of getting any new equipment. †That was before hearing the Lii Audio drivers. †The Lii Audio 15's and Crystal 10's in various OB configurations simply floored me. †So, I eventually ended up ordering a pair of Caintuck Audio Lii 15 speakers. †These speakers provide an exceptional listening experience and are pretty easy on the wallet as well.

Cheers,

HK

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Tommy Freefall
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Re: HK's Digital Next Step
Reply #6 - 06/27/20 at 20:06:40
 
HK, similar to your situation, Iíve been seriously considering getting a Streamer/DAC component.
High on my list of potential acquisitions are the the Lumin units - their gear get a lot of high praise.
Also, PS Audio just recently released a new Streamer/DAC called the Stellar Strata (it even contains a 200wpc, class D amp).
Iím curious to see how that turns out.

Steveís recent high praise for the stock Cambridge unit gave me pause.
The Cambridge has now vaulted to the top of my list.
HK, Iím looking forward to your thoughts on the Modwright version. Those mods sound pretty awesome.
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HockessinKid
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Re: HK's Digital Next Step
Reply #7 - 06/27/20 at 20:33:17
 
Tommy,

If not for hearing Modwright's previously modified OPPO 205, the great sound of their PH 9.0 phono preamp, and Steve's comments on the Cambridge †CXN V2 w/ Roon software, I would have purchased a friends Lumin T2.

My Lonely Raven PC and VDAC2 combination sounds really great, but I'd like to have a one box solution. I was a latecomer to streaming (2018) and have tried both TIDAL and Qubuz HiRez services.

Given Dan's extensive experience with modifying digital sources, I expect this unit will compete with the very best. He's only modifying the audio circuitry chain. He says mods will include Lundahl signal transformers, a 6922 tube analog output stage w/ newly designed circuit, MW coupling caps, and a Furutech IEC.

The wait has been tough. Due to Covid-19, he's †down two technicians and dealing with a large backorder of equipment to retailers and customers. Pulling 12 hour workdays with just him and his son. I'm sure he'll finish in the next few weeks though. He has told me the wait will be "well worth it".

HK
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Nottingham Interspace TT w/ Dynavector 20x2 cart + Modwright PH 9.0X phono pre OR Modwright modded Cambridge CNX V2 streamer/DAC > CSP3-25th mods preamp > ZMA-25th mods amp > PI Audio UberBUSS > Omega SAHO XRS or Caintuck Lii15 speakers > various cables & tweaks.
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Tommy Freefall
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Re: HK's Digital Next Step
Reply #8 - 08/10/20 at 02:20:03
 
Hey HK, just checking in. Did you take delivery yet on your modded CXN V2 from ModWright?
If not, I imagine it can't be too much longer before it's completed and shipped.
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HockessinKid
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Re: HK's Digital Next Step
Reply #9 - 08/10/20 at 08:51:39
 
4-5 more weeks according to Dan. He's still down a couple techs and has a large backup of orders. Ugh!

HK
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Nottingham Interspace TT w/ Dynavector 20x2 cart + Modwright PH 9.0X phono pre OR Modwright modded Cambridge CNX V2 streamer/DAC > CSP3-25th mods preamp > ZMA-25th mods amp > PI Audio UberBUSS > Omega SAHO XRS or Caintuck Lii15 speakers > various cables & tweaks.
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HockessinKid
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Re: HK's Digital Next Step
Reply #10 - 08/25/20 at 23:47:07
 
Looks like Dan Wright has begun the modification process in earnest. Anyone interested can follow this on Facebook. Here's the link to Dan's post today.

https://www.facebook.com/100001630611649/posts/3405883309475989/

HK
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piezoman
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Re: HK's Digital Next Step
Reply #11 - 09/11/20 at 18:17:40
 
Wow. I'll bet the final result will make you speechless. Its great that you're doing this.

Thanks for sharing, HK.
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HockessinKid
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Re: HK's Digital Next Step
Reply #12 - 09/29/20 at 17:37:45
 
So, there's light at the end of the tunnel. Dan posted this message with build details on Audio Circle today. I'm very excited & expect to receive the unit near the end of October. Poor guy has had a really tough year.  NB

"Hi guys and thank you so much for your patience and support. This has been a rough year and things are not moving as quickly as I would like.

The PCB layout is done and the analog stage and analog filters, supplies, etc. all bread-boarded and proven. This is going to sound GREAT!!!

I am sending off the PCBs for production today, after double checking all mechanical coordination. This should take about a week to get them back. I will then start assembling and testing the first unit.

The design I settled on for the analog stage is based on both the Elyse DAC and the LS 300 preamp ($10K!). The mod will be offered starting at $1500! You must supply the Cambridge unit.

The design has no capacitors in the signal path. A differential signal is taken directly from the dual mono Wolfson DACs into a fully balanced, transformer coupled, 6922 based circuit. Both RCA and fully balanced XLR outputs are fed via the tube circuitry. The tube stage is powered by our own supply and we are also providing a dedicated supply for the DAC section, also of our own design. Power supply and all analog circuitry is in one box, much like the Transporter. Rectification is SS, not tube, due to space and heat constraints.

The Cambridge CXN is the first 'Swiss Army Knife' unit that I have seen since the Slim Devices Transporter, except the technology and capabilities are FAR beyond! It is a streamer/DAC, not a player, so it won't replace the Oppo 205 in this regard, but for all things digital, streamed or otherwise, this offers a fantastic one-box solution!

Again, I thank you all for your patience and support. I hope that this finds you safe and well!

Sincerely,

Dan W."
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Nottingham Interspace TT w/ Dynavector 20x2 cart + Modwright PH 9.0X phono pre OR Modwright modded Cambridge CNX V2 streamer/DAC > CSP3-25th mods preamp > ZMA-25th mods amp > PI Audio UberBUSS > Omega SAHO XRS or Caintuck Lii15 speakers > various cables & tweaks.
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Dominick
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Still like that old
time Rock and Roll!!

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Re: HK's Digital Next Step
Reply #13 - 09/29/20 at 21:41:57
 
Roger,

Thatís great news!  I canít wait to hear your impressions after the work is done.  Didnít know the Cambridge had Wolfson DACís.  Very cool!  My dadís friend had an older high end DAC with Wolfson chips and they sounded great.  

Dom
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HockessinKid
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Re: HK's Digital Next Step
Reply #14 - 10/21/20 at 12:49:38
 
Dan finished PCB assembly, filtering and input/output matching yesterday on the bread board. Everything is working properly electronically. He'll install the modification assembly in the CXN V2 chassis today. Then voicing the unit will begin.

I'll post a picture of the interior modifications when I receive it from Dan. Hoping for end of the month shipment.

HK
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Nottingham Interspace TT w/ Dynavector 20x2 cart + Modwright PH 9.0X phono pre OR Modwright modded Cambridge CNX V2 streamer/DAC > CSP3-25th mods preamp > ZMA-25th mods amp > PI Audio UberBUSS > Omega SAHO XRS or Caintuck Lii15 speakers > various cables & tweaks.
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HockessinKid
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Re: HK's Digital Next Step
Reply #15 - 10/22/20 at 23:18:13
 
Here's the picture of Dan Wright's CXN modification. Just a few tucks and some listening tests left to do.

HK
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FB_IMG_1603404830400.jpg

Nottingham Interspace TT w/ Dynavector 20x2 cart + Modwright PH 9.0X phono pre OR Modwright modded Cambridge CNX V2 streamer/DAC > CSP3-25th mods preamp > ZMA-25th mods amp > PI Audio UberBUSS > Omega SAHO XRS or Caintuck Lii15 speakers > various cables & tweaks.
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Geno
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Without music, life
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Re: HK's Digital Next Step
Reply #16 - 10/23/20 at 01:13:13
 
Man HK! Thatís going to be outrageous. I know itís been tough waiting on this. But looks like the wait is almost over. I look forward to your evaluation!
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Dominick
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Still like that old
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Re: HK's Digital Next Step
Reply #17 - 10/23/20 at 02:34:57
 
Congratulations Roger!!  I am sure it will be nothing short of amazing!! We are looking forward to your evaluations!! Thanks for the update.  

Dom
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Tommy Freefall
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Re: HK's Digital Next Step
Reply #18 - 10/23/20 at 22:55:07
 
HK, this is gonna be EPIC!
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HockessinKid
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Re: HK's Digital Next Step
Reply #19 - 10/23/20 at 23:22:09
 
Yeah, I was chatting with Dominick and mentioned I might bring it to Decfest next year, if okay with Steve.

HK
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Tommy Freefall
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Re: HK's Digital Next Step
Reply #20 - 10/24/20 at 13:55:46
 
HK, that would be a very interesting comparison.
Steve's stock CXN v2 versus your Dan Wright-modded version.
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Torii MkIV w/ 25th ann mods
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Border Patrol DAC
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Zenhead, Grado 325e
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HockessinKid
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Re: HK's Digital Next Step
Reply #21 - 10/24/20 at 18:47:01
 
Well it's a good thing the Cambridge CXN V2 will be on its way soon. My LR audio computer just died, can't get it to power up. Oh well, CD' s and vinyl until the new unit arrives😊.

Timing is everything.

Did have some good news as well. Picked up a slightly used Triode Wire Labs High Power Digital power cord for the CXN at just over 1/2 price on Agon. Figured I would go all out with the new DAC/streamer and Pete's cables sound great.

HK
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Nottingham Interspace TT w/ Dynavector 20x2 cart + Modwright PH 9.0X phono pre OR Modwright modded Cambridge CNX V2 streamer/DAC > CSP3-25th mods preamp > ZMA-25th mods amp > PI Audio UberBUSS > Omega SAHO XRS or Caintuck Lii15 speakers > various cables & tweaks.
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HockessinKid
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Re: HK's Digital Next Step
Reply #22 - 11/04/20 at 09:03:34
 
Almost done. Anticipation mounts.

HK
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20201103_161120_compress41.jpg

Nottingham Interspace TT w/ Dynavector 20x2 cart + Modwright PH 9.0X phono pre OR Modwright modded Cambridge CNX V2 streamer/DAC > CSP3-25th mods preamp > ZMA-25th mods amp > PI Audio UberBUSS > Omega SAHO XRS or Caintuck Lii15 speakers > various cables & tweaks.
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HockessinKid
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Re: HK's Digital Next Step
Reply #23 - 11/10/20 at 17:44:45
 
Here is a Facebook link to final pictures of the CXN V2 modifications done by Modwright Instruments. Dan Wright included some comments on the design and performance vs. the stock unit. The streamer/DAC has both upgraded single ended RCA and balanced outputs.

I purchased a nice matched NOS pair of early 60's Amperex 6dj8 tubes from Andy @ Vintage Tube Services to roll after I get 100 hours or more on the stock JJ tubes that Dan provides.

Link: https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=3639789836085334&id=100001630611649&...;
sfnsn=mo

Should be in my system Friday evening.

HK
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Nottingham Interspace TT w/ Dynavector 20x2 cart + Modwright PH 9.0X phono pre OR Modwright modded Cambridge CNX V2 streamer/DAC > CSP3-25th mods preamp > ZMA-25th mods amp > PI Audio UberBUSS > Omega SAHO XRS or Caintuck Lii15 speakers > various cables & tweaks.
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HockessinKid
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Re: HK's Digital Next Step
Reply #24 - 11/13/20 at 19:35:21
 
She has arrived, been installed in my system, and is playing music. I've named her "Lucille" in honor of the late, great B.B. King.

HK
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Nottingham Interspace TT w/ Dynavector 20x2 cart + Modwright PH 9.0X phono pre OR Modwright modded Cambridge CNX V2 streamer/DAC > CSP3-25th mods preamp > ZMA-25th mods amp > PI Audio UberBUSS > Omega SAHO XRS or Caintuck Lii15 speakers > various cables & tweaks.
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Tommy Freefall
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Re: HK's Digital Next Step
Reply #25 - 11/13/20 at 20:06:14
 
Sweet!
Can't wait to hear how you like it!
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Torii MkIV w/ 25th ann mods
Rachael SE34I.5
ERRx
ZStage, ZBIT, ZRock2
Tascam CD-240
Border Patrol DAC
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Declare Interconnects
Zenhead, Grado 325e
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Dominick
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Still like that old
time Rock and Roll!!

Posts: 431
Re: HK's Digital Next Step
Reply #26 - 11/14/20 at 01:56:40
 
Enjoy my friend!!  Sounds like you you are gonna be glued to your couch for the rest of the evening.

Enjoy!!

Dom
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Geno
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Without music, life
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Nietzsche

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Re: HK's Digital Next Step
Reply #27 - 11/14/20 at 20:31:59
 
Congratulations HK! I know that was tough having to wait it out. Hope you have a great weekend listening, and we will look forward to your thoughts and evaluations. By the way, if you donít mind sharing, what was the cost of the extra mods? I know the stock price tag is right at $1100.

Best,

Geno
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HockessinKid
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Re: HK's Digital Next Step
Reply #28 - 11/14/20 at 21:17:13
 
Geno,

Thank you for the kind words. I am enjoying a WHOLE NEW listening experience with the MWI modified Cambridge Audio CXN V2. Right off the bat exceptional dimensionality, body and tonality to streamed music and CD's utilizing the built-in CXN DAC. I've just installed Roon for a trial and am playing through a series of TIDAL playlists compiled by many Decware Forum posters. I've spent a lot of time listening to this music.

There's a tremendous amount of work Dan Wright puts into his prototype mods including extensive listening to the stock unit. The CXN can best be described as a digital swiss army knife as it does so many things so well. Dan's mods are like adding the finest Japanese hand hammered steel, which takes the knife and transforms it into a piece of art.

The best place for information and pricing on the modifications would be the MWI webpage. The mods are not inexpensive, as Dan uses high quality parts. I expect Dan will be including a page with information on the modifications soon or you can simply call him during the week (Pacific Time). I was able to get a reduced rate since my unit was the "guinea pig" and took several months to complete.

I've listened extensively to several high end DACs andusic streamers at audio shows and locally at Overture Audio & Video. This modified CXN rivals anything I've ever heard!

The unit comes with JJ 6922 tubes which sound very nice and clean, but I have some 1960's Amperex 6DJ8 tubes on order. Hope this helps.

HK
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PXL_20201114_212201653_compress61.jpg

Nottingham Interspace TT w/ Dynavector 20x2 cart + Modwright PH 9.0X phono pre OR Modwright modded Cambridge CNX V2 streamer/DAC > CSP3-25th mods preamp > ZMA-25th mods amp > PI Audio UberBUSS > Omega SAHO XRS or Caintuck Lii15 speakers > various cables & tweaks.
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Geno
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Without music, life
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Nietzsche

Posts: 1098
Re: HK's Digital Next Step
Reply #29 - 11/15/20 at 15:37:07
 
Lucille is a real beauty! Iím green with envy. Iíll have to get in touch with Modwright and get some details😉
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SE84UFO (25th Mods) / CSP3 preamp
Cambr. Audio CXN (ModWright) / Cambr. Audio CXC / ZBIT
Technics 1210 MK5 (KAB Mods)- KAB/Ortof ProS 40 cart / ZP3 (25th Mods)
Otari MX5050 R2R
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piezoman
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Re: HK's Digital Next Step
Reply #30 - 11/16/20 at 14:43:26
 
Congratulations HK! You helped forge a new path in audio nirvana  ;)
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Taboo MK IV-25th
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Bryston BDA-3 / BDP-2
Brick Wall Surge/Line Conditioner, Ansuz Sparkz Conditioning
Audeze LCD-3F
IC's: DSR-II, BC Silver XLR
Cables: ZStyx, DHC-1, Curious
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HockessinKid
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Posts: 582
Re: HK's Digital Next Step
Reply #31 - 11/20/20 at 21:47:26
 
For those who may be following this thread, here is a link to my review of the Modwright Instruments Cambridge Audio CXN V2 modifications. It includes a link to Modwright's webpage for the modification details.

https://www.decware.com/cgi-bin/yabb22/YaBB.pl?num=1605908635/0#0

HK
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Nottingham Interspace TT w/ Dynavector 20x2 cart + Modwright PH 9.0X phono pre OR Modwright modded Cambridge CNX V2 streamer/DAC > CSP3-25th mods preamp > ZMA-25th mods amp > PI Audio UberBUSS > Omega SAHO XRS or Caintuck Lii15 speakers > various cables & tweaks.
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