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"the upgrade company" <component mods>  

post #1 of 2187
Thread Starter 
I have a very modest system by AVS standards (but I have always gotten great and REALISTIC advice from this august body)

Sony ES CD
Music Hall DAC
Adcom GFP-565 Pre
Bryston 2B-lp amp
B&W cdm-1 speakers
Velodyne DD series sub
14 gauges home depot speaker wire and cheap bluejean interconnects

I would love to imrpove my systems overall performance when playing both CD's and lossless files from my computer (through USB on Music Hall tube DAC).

I stumbled upon "The Upgrade Company" and contacted them for a quote. The price to upgrade my CD,DAC, Pre and Amp, while high seemed quite reasonable compared to purchasing new.

Does anyone have any experience with "the Upgrade Company"? Is it worth the cost? Does it work or is it more audiophile black magic/snake oil? Given the expense I am only interested in clear and obvious audible improvements.

Thanks
Edit/Delete Message
post #2 of 2187
Hard to say, he refuses to tell you anything about the upgrade. My guess is pure snake oil.

From his site:

Quote:


What parts are changed? What does an "upgrade" consist of?

Asking Upgrade Company LLC to divulge our details of the upgrade ahead of time in an email or telephone conversation without paying for the upgrade is the same thing as giving part of the upgrade away for free.
We are a business. A very successful business. We do not give critical important details such as the parts we use away for free in an email or telephone discussion. For free you ask? Asking for key upgrade details for free ahead of time is essentially stealing.

Can you list the modifications made in the upgrade?

The short answer is "No". We feel our upgrades comprise unique Intellectual Property, and as such are protected by U.S. Law (Research the law, particularly "Trade Secrets").
post #3 of 2187
Hi,

I have had much success working with David and the Upgrade Company for going on 2 years. David has performed upgrades on quite a large number of my components including CD/DVD player, Blu-ray player, Pre/Pro, preamp, many amps, DAC, and Power Conditioners. Yes the upgrades do make decided improvement in performance. Besides just replacing parts, much of David's efforts are in controlling noise. He will generally work on damping and vibration of the machines as well as incorporating filters. He replaces parts in specific areas of the circuitry design, installs better RCA connectors, and generally an IEC inlet if it is lacking in the original design.

To show how much faith that I have in David's work, I am purchasing another pair of Aragon Palladium 1K monoblock amps and one of the pair is being sent off for upgrade to match my other 4. The 6th one will be used as a back-up.

If I can be of any more assistance and you want particulars for the equipment please let me know.

Rich
post #4 of 2187
I am with Rich on this one. 5 years ago I was a skeptic and David did not have a money back guarantee. I was pretty impressed with the first mod on my Marantz SA-12 dvd/cd/sacd player but was not ready for what was going to come down the line later on. Nobody has anything to lose with the money back offer now but I can guarantee you won't use it. Also, the more revealing your system is the more you realize what you have. Go to his website and read the testimonials. Try and get in touch with some others who have had some work done by them. You will hear things like "best money spent on audio" or "I can't believe I have been chasing this sound for years".
post #5 of 2187
Quote:
Originally Posted by raulduke69 View Post

Given the expense I am only interested in clear and obvious audible improvements.

Then my best advice is a speaker upgrade. I have auditioned the B&W CMD-1 and though they are a good little monitor, they are a little monitor. Your best result will be a more dynamic speaker.

I am curious how someone measures or compares a mod, new to old? Your audible memories is about 3 seonds. If I ship my CDP/DAC or other piece of equipment to a modifier pay $$ wait for the unit to ship back, upon its return my brain will tell my ears it sounds better, after all of that effort it will sound better. This is the best description of psychoacoustics I can think of.
post #6 of 2187
I'm curious about the money back guarantee. If you want your money back, do you send the component back, and he removes all the mods and returns it to stock? Does he still warranty the work after that? The manufacturer sure won't warranty it anymore.
post #7 of 2187
Quote:
Originally Posted by raulduke69 View Post

I have a very modest system by AVS standards (but I have always gotten great and REALISTIC advice from this august body)

Sony ES CD
Music Hall DAC
Adcom GFP-565 Pre
Bryston 2B-lp amp
B&W cdm-1 speakers
Velodyne DD series sub
14 gauges home depot speaker wire and cheap bluejean interconnects

I would love to imrpove my systems overall performance when playing both CD's and lossless files from my computer (through USB on Music Hall tube DAC).

I stumbled upon "The Upgrade Company" and contacted them for a quote. The price to upgrade my CD,DAC, Pre and Amp, while high seemed quite reasonable compared to purchasing new.

Does anyone have any experience with "the Upgrade Company"? Is it worth the cost? Does it work or is it more audiophile black magic/snake oil? Given the expense I am only interested in clear and obvious audible improvements.

Thanks
Edit/Delete Message

I'd be a little suspicious of this fishy behavior. They could divulge the nature of the mods without giving too much away, ie not give part specifics but for example say something like we use teflon caps on the outputs or upgrade opamps or whatever.
post #8 of 2187
Quote:
Originally Posted by rno63 View Post

I am with Rich on this one. 5 years ago I was a skeptic and David did not have a money back guarantee. I was pretty impressed with the first mod on my Marantz SA-12 dvd/cd/sacd player but was not ready for what was going to come down the line later on. Nobody has anything to lose with the money back offer now but I can guarantee you won't use it. Also, the more revealing your system is the more you realize what you have. Go to his website and read the testimonials. Try and get in touch with some others who have had some work done by them. You will hear things like "best money spent on audio" or "I can't believe I have been chasing this sound for years".

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ugly1 View Post

I'd be a little suspicious of this fishy behavior. They could divulge the nature of the mods without giving too much away, ie not give part specifics but for example say something like we use teflon caps on the outputs or upgrade opamps or whatever.

i'd be even more suspicious when someone who has never posted here before is giving approval as a satisfied customer about a product that is deemed suspect to begin with.

There are other mod companies out there that are very cut and dry and will go into detail with you about what they do to your components and have a bit of a following if you truly are seeking this route. Modwright is one that comes to mind.
post #9 of 2187
Your speakers are a serious weak-link. I'd look into upgrading that before anything else.
post #10 of 2187
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fanaticalism View Post

i'd be even more suspicious when someone who has never posted here before is giving approval as a satisfied customer about a product that is deemed suspect to begin with.

There are other mod companies out there that are very cut and dry and will go into detail with you about what they do to your components and have a bit of a following if you truly are seeking this route. Modwright is one that comes to mind.

I would even be more suspicious about the guy who has posted almost 3,000 times, and doesn't know the Marantz line of the past, only to find this thread so he could send his pop for modwright. What is the difference?
post #11 of 2187
The truly curious thing is that, whatever the forum, every time TUC comes up, there's always one or two brandy-spanking new posters plugging the product.

A few months back on another forum, several TUC customers posted fairly negative opinions of their experience. Mr. S. showed up and behaved very, very badly.
post #12 of 2187
Quote:
Originally Posted by K Shep View Post

Then my best advice is a speaker upgrade. I have auditioned the B&W CMD-1 and though they are a good little monitor, they are a little monitor. Your best result will be a more dynamic speaker.

I am curious how someone measures or compares a mod, new to old? Your audible memories is about 3 seonds. If I ship my CDP/DAC or other piece of equipment to a modifier pay $$ wait for the unit to ship back, upon its return my brain will tell my ears it sounds better, after all of that effort it will sound better. This is the best description of psychoacoustics I can think of.

I was looking into this company. I have a tube amp and a McIntosh MVP861. Just purchased the MVP and was wondering if my integrated tube amp could be upgraded cheaply (as compared to shelling out a lot more coin for a new one) on improving the sound of the integrated amp to get the most from the 861.

Dave just wanted to upgrade my MVP861. I would definitely not be able to tell after getting it back if the sound would be better or not. I'd need another AVP861 unmodded and would have to compare that way. So, I decided to upgrade my tubes on the amp instead. Is there a difference? Hard to say as I'm still 'breaking them in' (the new tubes that is).

As for the money back guarantee, he buys the modded piece back from you and sells it on his website I believe. Not 100% sure but that is what I got from it (and he warranties his work).

I'm not saying anything one way or the other on this as I have no first hand experience with him, but I'm glad I bought the tubes instead.
post #13 of 2187
RUR, what other forum? Please eloborate so the poster can take a look himself as well as me. Do you have a link? I have been on other forums and have not seen much. All I am saying is the poster can look at the testimonial on the upgrade company website and chat with those who have posted there. I have an Oppo bdp 83 coming from them so if you want me to elaborate on it I can for you or anyone else.

Tyler Acoustics D3
Two JL Audio F113
Two Linn Klout Amps
Ming Da MC2A3
Upgrade Company Denon 5910CI
Morrow Audio SP4 and MA4 wire
Xindak FP-Gold, Lessloss, Analysis Plus Silver Power Oval cords
post #14 of 2187
Like the previous TUC thread here @ AVS, that thread has been deleted or moved to non-public access. A related thread with some details is still accessible and may be found here.
post #15 of 2187
Quote:
Originally Posted by raulduke69 View Post

I have a very modest system by AVS standards (but I have always gotten great and REALISTIC advice from this august body)

Sony ES CD
Music Hall DAC
Adcom GFP-565 Pre
Bryston 2B-lp amp
B&W cdm-1 speakers
Velodyne DD series sub
14 gauges home depot speaker wire and cheap bluejean interconnects

I would love to imrpove my systems overall performance when playing both CD's and lossless files from my computer (through USB on Music Hall tube DAC).

I stumbled upon "The Upgrade Company" and contacted them for a quote. The price to upgrade my CD,DAC, Pre and Amp, while high seemed quite reasonable compared to purchasing new.

Does anyone have any experience with "the Upgrade Company"? Is it worth the cost? Does it work or is it more audiophile black magic/snake oil? Given the expense I am only interested in clear and obvious audible improvements.

Thanks
Edit/Delete Message

Hi there,

I am from The Netherlands Europe and i ordered An Oppo 83 Signature Edition from The upgrade Company and they shipped it yesterday.

I got in contact with TUC through the Avforums.com and this company has a great reputation.

It´s my first buy from David Schulte and i will give you guys an update very soon. I think it´s a very cheap way to upgrade your gear.

Once i have received my Oppo i will send my Denon dvd A1XVA(5910 US model i think) player for an upgrade

It´s a very nice person and very fast with e-mail.

Regards and good luck !!
post #16 of 2187
Quote:
Originally Posted by rno63 View Post

I would even be more suspicious about the guy who has posted almost 3,000 times, and doesn't know the Marantz line of the past, only to find this thread so he could send his pop for modwright. What is the difference?

Loyalty is strong with you!


Have no idea what you're referring to by your comment about past Marantz products, as it is completely irrelevant to the thread.

In any event, I do not believe in mods, as there is objective evidence as to its validity. What I will say is that anything pertaining TUC always seems to bring out the worst in some posters in their defense (by some, I mean one or two NEW posters that mysteriously come up whenever someone brings them up).

My point in bringing up Modwright is that atleast they give you an idea of what they provide in terms of service where as far as I can tell, anything done by TUC is a complete secret and owners aren't even allowed to "look under the hood" or post pictures for a better understanding of what was done. Many who have these mods done don't even know what it is their looking for. They make these decisions based purely on word of mouth since there is no objective data that they can atleast look into for some sort of perspective of what to expect.

Carry on defending...
post #17 of 2187
Quote:
Originally Posted by denon a1xva View Post

Hi there,

I am from The Netherlands Europe and i ordered An Oppo 83 Signature Edition from The upgrade Company and they shipped it yesterday.

I got in contact with TUC through the Avforums.com and this company has a great reputation.

It´s my first buy from David Schulte and i will give you guys an update very soon. I think it´s a very cheap way to upgrade your gear.

Once i have received my Oppo i will send my Denon dvd A1XVA(5910 US model i think) player for an upgrade

It´s a very nice person and very fast with e-mail.

Regards and good luck !!

So you will have another piece of gear modded without even knowing the results of the previous piece?
post #18 of 2187
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fanaticalism View Post

So you will have another piece of gear modded without even knowing the results of the previous piece?


.Only if i am satisfied with it. i will send my Denon..
post #19 of 2187
I just had my Esoteric DV-60 upgraded by the Upgrade Company. I have never had any audio equipment modified before. I will honestly say, however, that it was a HUGE jump up in performance. I really don't care if you guys believe me or not. I have no reason to lie. I was also a bit skeptical prior to sending the unit in. And no, I didn't do a double blind study. Nor do I post on avsforum often. The difference, however, was literally night and day. After thousands of dollars spent on new and used AV gear, this upgrade was the most noticable improvement I have EVER had. I will be sending my Marantz blu-ray player in for an upgrade next week.
post #20 of 2187
Quote:
Originally Posted by denon a1xva View Post

.Only if i am satisfied with it. i will send my Denon..

Sounds like you are buying the Oppo already modified from TUC? Will you have a stock BDP83 to compare it to?

If not, how in the world can you determine you are happy with the mods?
post #21 of 2187
Quote:
Originally Posted by WilliamZX11 View Post

Sounds like you are buying the Oppo already modified from TUC? Will you have a stock BDP83 to compare it to?

If not, how in the world can you determine you are happy with the mods?

After the burn in period i will compare it with a stock BDP 83 from a dutch forum member here in The Netherlands.

I will also compare it with my Denon A1XVA player, the Signature Edition must be better than my A1XVA.
post #22 of 2187
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fanaticalism View Post

i'd be even more suspicious when someone who has never posted here before is giving approval as a satisfied customer about a product that is deemed suspect to begin with.

Quote:
Originally Posted by denon a1xva View Post

It´s my first buy from David Schulte and i will give you guys an update very soon.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dbs17 View Post

I have never had any audio equipment modified before. Nor do I post on avsforum often. The difference, however, was literally night and day.

Fanaticalism,
Thank you for pointing out a very curoius fact. Where do these members suddenly come from?
post #23 of 2187
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbs17 View Post

After thousands of dollars spent on new and used AV gear, this upgrade was the most noticable improvement I have EVER had. I will be sending my Marantz blu-ray player in for an upgrade next week.

What do you know, another happy customer and the unit is probably not even broken in yet. Oh I know it looks very suspicious and we all know each other and talk often. We have to make sure we are all on the same page you know. Blast away guys.
post #24 of 2187
I suspect prospective customers would be wise to solicit input from arthurs, jrebman and ted_b via PM over at Audiocircle (ted_b also posts here), in order to understand some of the negative feedback for TUC. All three are long-term, respected members of that forum.
post #25 of 2187
Quote:
Originally Posted by rno63 View Post

What do you know, another happy customer and the unit is probably not even broken in yet. Oh I know it looks very suspicious and we all know each other and talk often. We have to make sure we are all on the same page you know. Blast away guys.

rno,
How many hours will it take to break in dbs17's Esoteric DV-60? Does TUC give its customers a time frame in which to expect an audible difference to occur? Does an audible improvement continue for 100 hours until it reaches its prime?
post #26 of 2187
K shep, they are great right out of the box but just like wire they take some time to season. Not sure exactly how many hours before you stop noticing improvements but anything after day one is just icing on the cake. Morrow Audio solid core wire does the same thing. I highly recommend this wire as well. You get a lot for your money but not to the same degree as an upgraded cdp.
post #27 of 2187
Quote:
Originally Posted by RUR View Post

I suspect prospective customers would be wise to solicit input from arthurs, jrebman and ted_b via PM over at Audiocircle (ted_b also posts here), in order to understand some of the negative feedback for TUC. All three are long-term, respected members of that forum.

Doesn't Ted_b own Modwright gear and has for a long time? He seems to be on a lot of the Modwright forums.
post #28 of 2187
Quote:
Originally Posted by rno63 View Post

K shep, they are great right out of the box but just like wire they take some time to season. Not sure exactly how many hours before you stop noticing improvements but anything after day one is just icing on the cake. Morrow Audio solid core wire does the same thing. I highly recommend this wire as well. You get a lot for your money but not to the same degree as an upgraded cdp.

Wires and burn in? At least I know better than to trust your review on any equipment now.

Thanks.
post #29 of 2187
Quote:
Originally Posted by rno63 View Post

Doesn't Ted_b own Modwright gear and has for a long time? He seems to be on a lot of the Modwright forums.

Ted has a very eclectic system (actually systems) containing gear from a variety of manufacturers. If you're insinuating that Ted would create or embellish stories of a negative TUC experience as a result of some form of Modwright loyalty, I believe you're badly mistaken.

What about jrebman and arthurs? Is it a conspiracy? Look, all I'm suggesting is that folks interested in TUC should be made aware that there are both positive and negative opinions of the product and of the owner.

Caveat emptor.
post #30 of 2187
These new posters here for TUC are curious...
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