Instrument separation and detail were breath taking
I let my player burn-in further without doing much analytical listening. At the 100 hour mark, I
figured it would be a good time to do an A-B between my modded 8003 and my stock 7003. Now you
know that the 7003 is very similar to the 8003 and, for all intents and purposes, I couldn't tell their
sound apart. So I figured that the 7003 would be as good a reference for a stock 8003 as I could get. I
then sat down and compared them over an hour of intensive listening. It was no contest. The modded
8003 had more of everything. Highs were smoother and less "digital". Cymbal decay was superior.
Instrument separation and detail were breathtaking. What used to be a splashy mess of brush over
drums on Diana Krall's "Cry Me A River" now actually sounded like brush over drums. Bass, oh the
bass! Punchy and deep with lot of oomph. Less boomy and bloated than the "stock" 8003. Soundstage
was also wider and deeper. The one downside is that the vocals seem less forward - I and love forward
vocals. But this could just be a side effect of the increased soundstage.
In short, your mods have delivered everything I had requested:-
1. Better decay in the cymbals - check
2. Clear mids with more detail - check
3. Deeper, punchier bass - check
$600+ is an awful lot to spend on the 8003, costing almost as much at the player itself. But for those
who like the marantz house sound and just want to take their favourite cdp up a notch, I'd highly
recommend your mods. I'll just give this warning to them though - you may have to question your
investment for about a 100 hours or so, but once the player finds its "voice", you'll be as pleased as
punch you did the mods.
- Kevin, on his modded Marantz SA8003 CDP