Coherent Systems - Reviews

Alan Magwood - Coherent upgrade service

Last year I decided to replace my ageing Trichord transport and DAC which had given sterling service over the years, before the transport gave up the ghost. I auditioned what I thought would be a comparable two box set-up alongside my Trichord at the local hi-fi store, expecting a significant improvement in performance, considering the age of my set-up was, however I was surprised to find how close the two sounded. The dealer told me I'd have to spend about 3,500 for a CD player to get a significant improvement.

At this point I decided to research a good mid-priced player that I could have modified with a Trichord clock and a Never Connected power supply to hopefully give me a cost-effective improvement.

So a PIONEER PD DG9 Mk2 was ordered, which had the bonus of playing SACD's as well. Out of the box, the PIONEER displayed increased detail and staging but lacked warmth, presence and texture in the mid range.

I contacted Coherent Systems to discuss the above modifications. Having examined the Pioneer, Tony explained that improving the function of the power supplies for both the analogue and digital output stages along with reducing the noise floor across the main power circuitry would deliver the results I was looking for. Installing a new clock and PSU and this point, he said, would throw the sound out of balance. Rather like putting a powerful car engine into a standard Mini.

So deciding to proceed I took his advice and a couple of weeks later he returned the player in person and installed the Pioneer. Tony contatced me after a few days to check on initial findings and I was able to report that the sound was more solid and assured.

Due to some of the parts installed like Sanyo Oscons capacitors, Silicone Carbide ultra fast diodes and other high quality components that the finial sound would take a while to burn in. Sure enough, when he called a couple of weeks later, the sound had opened up, the midrange was now open and rich without losing any of the detail. Music seems more real, with greater depth and shape to the notes.

I've no doubt that I'll be returning the PIONEER to Tony to have the Trichord clock and power supply installed.

Many thanks

Alan Magwood, South West, Januray 2014

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