Professional Digital
Audio Upgrades
CD Players, Transports & DACs

Like classic FM Tuners, digital audio components—even new ones--can also benefit substantially from upgrades to either the CDP, the transport, or to  the Digital/Analog Converter.

If you are thinking of buying a new CDP. Transport, or DAC, or buying a separate transport and DAC in order to improve your CD Player’s performance, perhaps you should reconsider.  Consider getting a professionally engineered digital audio upgrade from Component Plus, USA instead.

Who is Component Plus? (click here)

Words of Praise about Component Plus, USA Upgrades
Here are a few testimonials from Audiogon members, who as members are more discriminating than usual.  With the exception of Joebone, these remarks about Joseph Chow’s upgrades were unsolicited words of praise, but after receiving them, we did request permission to print them here using their Audiogon name.

Cedar writes:  I received my Levinson 37 transport back. After 3 hours of playing, I am surprised and delighted by the improvement. Most striking to me is the relaxed quality of the music. It's like I'm listening to my turntable. Voices have become real. Renee Fleming, Luciano Pavarotti, Buddy Guy, Eric Clapton - we all got together last evening for a sing along! The sound stage has deepened by about 50%. The output transformers, which are the new parts, are still breaking in. The music may get better yet. I can reduce the output level by about 1/3, and still get better imaging, detail, separation, and coherence than ever before. The stock Levinson 37 is a good transport. This change has made it a great transport. (Cedar)

Joebone wrote: "His mods to my Accuphase T-109 tuner unquestionably reflect genuine value.    The tuner is even quieter than it had been before, leading to a degree of resolution, micro-dynamics and transparency that exceed one's expectations from FM broadcasts.    Bass information is much more precise . . . and on good classical and jazz programming, brass instruments are showing genuine sheen and bite.   The lateral soundstage is also improved, and I think there may be a bit more depth.   On the right material, I find a transparency reminiscent of master-tape-in-a-control-room experiences and monitor-board recordings from my prior life as a professional musician. . . . I would not hesitate to again utilize Joseph [Chow]'s expertise."  (Joebone)

Cola 45 said about his Sansui TU-9900: “I got the tuner today. [I have] just one word for you.  You are amazing.” (cola 45)

Hrtless, who had his Kyocera tuner upgraded wrote:  "First let me say, you do beautiful work. The insertion of the RCA connectors and the IEC plug is very well done. Second, I will be very proud to show off that silver sticker on the rear of the unit that notes that you modified the tuner." (htless)

Gargoyle, who purchased an upgraded Sansui TU-719, wrote:  "I got the tuner on Friday and got it powered up today. All I can say is WOW! I never knew FM could sound this good. This Sansui is fantastic and it looks like it just came off the shelf not like a 20+ year old unit. You are a true credit to the hobby." (gargoyle)

Nealhood, who was a little uncertain about buying an upgraded Sony ST s555ES, wrote after receiving it: "The bass and midrange on this Sony sound quite natural and pleasant.  Overall I am very pleased." (nealhood)

Boozerocket, who purchased a Sansui TU-9900 for what he considered a good price, wrote: "I received the Sansui yesterday. This is the tuner I have been looking for. It is truly exceptional." (boozerocket)

Finally, Stressnot had these lengthy comments to make about a Yamaha T-85 that underwent extensive upgrading modifications:  "Overall, the tuner sounds incredibly good. Maybe it's taken a little while for some of the new parts to properly burn in, but as I listen to it now, I am hearing sharp detail, without it sounding at all harsh. The bass goes deep, but remains focused, and the highs sound smooth, but not rolled off.

"I think that the IEC AC inlet installation alone is a great improvement. It allows me to use a much better power cord, which provides an airy and expansive sound. But of course, all the other new parts make it all even better.

"I just had an FM outdoor antenna installed, and get a clear, beautiful sounding signal on many distant as well as local stations with it connected to this tuner." ( Stressnot)            

We want our customers to be pleased and so far they have been.

Why upgrade?
Often the performance from a quality upgraded CDP, Transport or DAC will exceed the performance of a much more expensive component.  For example, an upgraded 20-year old high grade Sony CDP purchased on eBay for $150 performed better as a transport (where all the changes had been made) than a Sonic Frontier SFT-1, and its superiority was not subtle. The cost of the Sony after upgrades, including purchase price was $525.  It was vastly superior to a $699 stock Music Hall 25, and even superior to an upgraded Music Hall 25, which with upgrades had twice as much money in it as the Sony.  Many old Denon’s would also benefit from such upgrades.  I suspect this upgraded Sony would best any number of recent Sonys selling for over $1000, and not only Sonys either. 

DAC Loaner Program
When you order a DAC upgrade with Component Plus, USA, Joseph Chow will loan you one of his DAC designs, the Audio Horizons solid state DAC-2, to use while your own DAC is being upgraded.  This will shorten the time you will be without music.  We have two programs, and there is no charge for either program, not even a freight charge. 1) You order and prepay your DAC upgrade. As soon as you ship and send us tracking information, we will ship the DAC-2 to you. When we are done upgrading your DAC, we will notify you, and ask you to please ship the DAC back to us.  Once we receive a tracking number we will ship your DAC back to you. 2) If you wish to receive the DAC before you ship and to return it to us after you receive your DAC back, you will allow us to put a hold on your credit card for $1000.  A hold is not a charge; it is just a reserve against your credit limit.  Once the DAC is returned, we will release the hold.

Component Plus, USA offers two upgrade packages:

Basic Upgrade. Cost: $250-$500 including parts.  Upgrade includes the following:

  1. Replace all audio stage coupling capacitors with Blackgate capacitors.
  2. Replace the audio stage Op Am IC’s with Burr Brown or similar quality, using a plug in socket so when improved Op Amp IC’s later become available they can easily be inserted.
  3. Replace ceramic caps with high Q caps, mainly on DAC section or low pass active filter.
  4. Replace with high quality wires in between power switch.
  5. Add the filter to reduce the display noises.
  6. Clean the interior and exterior of the CDP.
  7. Provide an itemized list of parts replaced, including the replaced parts.

Premium Upgrade.  Cost: $375 including parts.  Upgrade includes the following:

  1. Install IEC socket, replace with 16 AWG high quality wire.
  2. Install a premium AC line filter in line between the IEC input and the transformer.
  3. Replace all wire between power switch and the power supply with 16 AWG high quality low noise, high Q wire.
  4. Replace and upgrade the wires from the IEC to the Power supply PC Board with upgraded high Q wire.
  5. Replace critical audio path wire with upgraded high Q wire.
  6. Replace all audio stage coupling capacitors with Blackgate Non polar capacitors.
  7. Replace the power supply capacitors with larger, higher voltage, upgraded capacitors.
  8. Replace the audio stage Op Amp IC’s with Burr Brown or similar quality, using a plug in socket so that when improved Op Amp IC’s become available they can easily be inserted.
  9. Replace ceramic caps by high Q caps, mainly on DAC section or low pass active filter.
  10. Replace DC power supply low noise rectifier diodes.
  11. Replace with high quality gold plated RCAs.
  12. Add the filter to reduce the display noises.
  13. Clean the interior and exterior of the CDP.
  14. Provide an itemized list of parts replaced, including the replaced parts.
  15. Provide before and after specs on the THD and S/N.

For those who want an upgraded shield Hi Q AC power cord (see photo) as well as the Premium Package adds $175.00. 

For those who choose the Premium Package and want an upgraded Digital output at the same time, using a high quality digital transformer on the coaxial output or, who wish to replace the poor quality Toslink with a high quality AT&T ST type optical connector, add $200 for the high quality digital transformer, together with a digital coaxial cable matched to the Q and capacitance of the unit.  Add $300 for the coaxial digital transformer with optimized digital coaxial cable and the AT & T ST type optical connector.

Custom made high quality digital cable in the length of choice is designed to optimize the digital fidelity with the customer’s outboard DAC.

All upgrades are guaranteed, parts and labor, for 90 days.