Originally Posted by JohnAV
Reminder the thread is Analog Audio Discussion, not about can power supplies effect HDMI video.
That it is, but you might be missing the point. I was actually intrigued by some of RS's output mods up to the point where he made the HDMI video claim. At that point, he severely lost credibility IMHO. That calls into question the remainder of the audio mods.
To mis-quote a Pixar movie, "anyone can mod". That's not necessarily a bad thing, and I have no doubt that with the cost/benefit restraints removed, there is always room for improvement in most circuit designs. But that doesn't mean that all mods are an improvement, and when you get to the point where you're messing with circuits where the difference is in the noise floor of a -110dB dynamic range, you're getting to the point where "different" is so subtle that it might or might not even be better. When you start doing things like cutting carefully engineered high-speed PCB traces (that are basically waveguides at high frequency) to install replacement clocks with wire leads that induct more jitter than they remove, you could easily be reducing the quality of your gear, not improving it.
I have no problem believing that bypassing the coupling caps could theoretically improve the sound. However, how many of you have amps capable of driving or inputting pure DC? Not many, I'd wager: DC is a very bad thing for amplifiers and a terrible thing for speakers. So what about all those caps in your preamps? And your amps? Are you gonna bypass them too? Are you going to mod your preamp and your amp also? When you do, are you going to install a servo circuit to keep your speakers from melting? So you see, I won't say there *couldn't* be a benefit, but I also doubt that the benefit would be as substantial as other changes that could be made, especially given the fact that you already have other caps in your signal path. That is, unless Oppo is using the worst possible parts in their output stage, which seems unlikely.
And here's a clue: I guarantee you that the equipment used to record your music in the first place had capacitors in its signal path, and I can assure you they were nowhere near as exotic as some of the audiophile caps that people mod with.
As far as subjectivism vs. objectivism goes, you have to use your ears, no question. But you also have to be aware of how malleable your brain is, and how short-term listening and viewing memory actually is. The reason psychoacoustic compression works at all is because the human brain is very susceptible to tricks.
I prefer to use my eyes and ears, but question my brain. I also prefer rational approaches to circuit design rather than dartboard approaches. If you find yourself looking to see or hear improvements that you don't already expect to exist as a natural feature of your design, your brain can will them into existence, just as surely as it can be tricked by optical illusions. If your designs are influenced by "magic" results, i.e. I did this thing over here with the power supply in my BD player and lo, my HDMI TV picture improved, then you are either selling snake oil or deceiving yourself. Cause and effect: could there be some other reason your picture looked better that was unrelated to the power supply mods? Time of day, room brightness, your eyes adjusting to lighting conditions? If you have not eliminated all possibilities in an organized fashion, and generated reproducible results that can pass a double-blind test, then you are kidding yourself.
What really amazes me are how people who have neither heard nor seen any of these units are so eager to believe that there MUST be SOME magical improvement involving a few tweaks that can make the unit far, far better in every way than it would be, compared to how it was designed by the engineers who created it in the first place. There's practically a line forming for people to void their warranty on units they haven't even heard or seen yet.
If you have so little confidence in Oppo's engineering talent, why are you buying the product?
Here's another clue: if you are planning to have Oppo or Nuforce drop ship a BDP-83SE directly to a modder without actually listening to it first, you should seriously consider having yourself tested for OCD.