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CD Player Modification Voodoo?


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Certainly should be a thread with "painfully" clear scientific evidence as to the advantages of the blue ones over the pink ones......Stick out tongueWink

So you know about the pink balls? If you want the best dampening, you need the blue balls coated with my extra special pink compound. The results are subtle but are clearly obvious to those who can hear the finest nuances their system can provide. The special coating can be applied for only 119.99 per ball, return shipping included in the continental US. [bs]

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If you have a sheet of heavy rubber lying around, try laying it on top of the player. It may improve the sound and it'll cost nothing to try.

As for resonance control under the player, I was a skeptic until I tried it and heard the difference for myself. I bought a new audio stand direct from the manufacturer in Calgary and he sent me three mushroom-shaped ceramic footers to try under any component.

I put them under the disc player in what seemed like an even weight-bearing pattern and noticed more clarity, but Leonard Cohen's voice had a higher pitch that I didn't like. I called the manufacturer and he said try a symmetrical pattern and you should hear a difference. To my surprise, I did! The voice was back to its normal pitch and the clarity was still there.

Replacing the ceramic footers with the heavy maple board gave further improvements, so it's still under the player now.

Trying these things cost me nothing and the sound is improved, plus I learned something I didn't know or wouldn't have believed before. I thought that was all good.

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Ok guys, Kevin inspired me so here's what I did. I took a plain ole' consumer grade JVC XLV221 single disc player and connected to my Sophia EL34 and my beloved Khorns. Put on some Enya Watermark. Results: same ole' sound I'm accustomed to.

But then, I removed the cover from the JVC. Results: The CD became lightish in balance, with slight forward upper midband and modest exagerration at the very top, which added a slight wispy edge tinkle. Midrange appeared a little thinner - this was mild however and certainly not objectionable. Lows were lighter in weight but bass extension was excellent, percussions having clean leading edges and powerful following tones. Midbass however was a little woolly, almost grumbly.

So then I took 4 raquetballs and painted them pink with my wife's watercolors. Rested the open CD on the 4 'pink' balls. Results: The very low bass was solid and massive, rich and expansive, without being taut to the bursting point. Sound was definitely on the warm, velvety side but with immediacy, transparency and clarity. The sound was on the warm side of neutral.

So then I took the 4 raquetballs and washed off the pink watercolor paint bringing them back to their original 'blue' humber - "Blueballs"!

Rested the open deck on the blueballs. Results: Velvety-smooth overall tonal personality with stable soundstaging and smooth musical flow. The soundstage seemed taller and wider but not deeper. Midbass was clean and vibrant. Bass extension was excellent and had weight.You could feel the strength in the recording and immediately became centered within the music. An aura of blue panoramas was sensed thru the music. This was by far music that I had not heard before.

Bottom Line: Audiophile Voodoo CD Tweak

Take off your CD covers and set your equipment on "Blueballs" - they'll Rock You! or try Pink ones if you're into "warm & fuzzy" but either way, make sure you run your CD player Naked.

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Having tried on several CD players in the past, I can tell you that I didn't notice any difference in the sound the players were producing, but I could certainly hear a difference in the players themselves. By this, I mean that adding damping material to players, particularly to the underside of the cd tray itself, *always* produced a mechanically quieter player. Particularly with cd changers and their big cd platters, there was a big difference in how much sound the machine itself produced whenver it was opening/closing the platter, or changing from one dic to another. The machines were always much quieter, and just sounded more mechanically robust. Maybe the best analogy I can make is to closing the door on a well made car, where there is just a nice solid thump when it closes, with no rattles or resonance.

I would use the sticky aluminum-foil coated tape that's used for insulating pipes, which has a thin layer of foam in it, and stick chunks of it under the chassis shell, and cut smaller pieces that would fit into the little nooks and crannies under the cd platter. Worked great, was dirt cheap and reversible, and it had the same effect on both cheap cd players and high end transports.

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My CD player doesn't have a cover over it, just some tube thingys sticking out, so I can't do the remove cover to see if it sounds different thing. But I suppose I can still do the blue balls under it thing. What would happen if I played some blues while using blue balls?


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I suspect your player is engineered past the point of needing those little tweaks. I don't see any broad expanses of buzzy bent sheet metal, for example.

It looks great. How does it sound?

I was skeptical at first about how it would sound, especially since it's built in China. But it gets rave reviews, so I took a chance. I am totally amazed at how much better this thing sounds compared to all my other decks! The soundstage is so much deeper, and the detail! I never thought digital could sound so good. This thing is built like a tank, it must weigh 25 pounds. I am totally happy with this unit. I wish I could afford the Prima Luna tube CD player, but $2500 is out of my league!
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