Coherent Systems - Reviews

Paul Jeffery - Coherent Modifications

The following mods were undertaken by Coherent Systems to a stock Musical Fidelity X-Ray V3, and PMC GB1s:

X-RayV3:

  • Trichord Clock 4 crystal oscillator fitted.
  • Trichord dedicated clock PSU fitted.
  • 5 Volt digital supply replaced with custom super-regulator.
  • All decoupling and bypass capacitors upgraded.
  • Main power supply through-hole smoothing capacitors upgraded.
  • Furutech Rhodium-plated IEC inlet socket fitted.
  • WBT "Nextgen" digital output socket fitted.
  • Digital wiring replaced with Coherent Systems "Connoiseur" wiring.
  • PLL Filter upgraded with metal-film capacitors and precision resistors.
  • Power-supply wiring improved.

The mods reflect its use as a dedicated transport.

Used with X-DACv3, X-10v3 tube buffer biamped with X-150 and X-P200 amplifiers - initially via stock Tannoy 609s, later with Coherent-modded PMC GB1s.

Result: even before running-in, the lift in performance was dramatic and immediate. Even through the (temporary) Tannoys the modded CDP immediately outperformed the unmodified setup, with a musically more cohesive performance. 250 hours of run-in time later and the performance is massively bootstrapped - as much as two price-classes above its previous capability. The X-Ray remains a neutral and detailed player that simply plays the music without sanitising it, while the vital "Believability Factor" has leaped-up!

In my experience, you would need to spend at least 1500 new to improve on this sound, and I have heard CDPs retailing close to 2500 that do not sound better to my ears.


PMC GB1s:

This job involved an upgrade to the crossovers. All capacitors and resistors were significantly upgraded with carefully-selected high-grade components.

Result: stunning: WOW! Before, the PMCs "presented" the sound, not unpleasantly, but not neutrally either. Now they "communicate" it. All definable areas have improved, so seamlessly that it is my pet-fave, that Believability Factor that once-again sums it up best - everything, very simply, sounds more real. Cost of the upgrade was 175 and I'd be looking to spend at least 1500 to even *equal* the modded GB1s.

There is always the possibility that DIY mods can put a system out of synergy unless painstakingly chosen items, based on thousands of hours of experience, are used. Using Coherent's expertise has avoided that pitfall, and yielded a result that comfortably exceeds the sum of its parts. I consider this work an absolute bargain, and commend it to anyone who is approaching where they want to be on their upgrade path, and who wants to increase their system's performance without losing either its fundamental character nor the approval of their nearest and dearest!

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