Rebuild Packages - CEC 3300 CD Player

The CEC 3300 player is one I have had very good luck in modding, and even resembles a phono system. It's that warm and mild sounding. Basically what I did here was a cap upgrade using Oscon types. Well, there's a little more to it than that, but there always is.

I took the time to clean up the circuit where I could, added some copper grounding, swapped out some voltage regulators that would have been upset seeing the Oscons at their output, and added a resistor swap or two, and finally put some caps where none were previously. All of this may sound rather benign compared to all the big talk you read about elsewhere installing new clocks, reducing jitter, etc. Well, what I found, and plenty of others agree, is that certain noise problems must be removed before any advanced circuits can be inserted, else you just move the real problems around and sure, it sounds different, but not necessarily better. You just shifted a pile of crud from one place to another.

If all this is vague, let's go deeper. Noise is the number one problem of CD players. What I mean by noise is the turbulance you would see on a scope in very high bandwidth mode should you go probing around on the power supply rails, and even ground itself. You'd almost stand there aghast with your draw dropping if you'd see what was really there. It's massive. The stock caps that come with most players do not do the job, simple as that. But, I think you along with everyone else would probably agree on that one. This is where the Oscons come in, and a fine job they do if I say so myself. You won't by any means get a flat line on your scope trace once you use these, but I can tell you that noise is very much reduced, and that alone has an impact. Merely cleaning up the digital section part of your player has major influence. Anyway, there it is, the plain facts as a good tech that knows his way around a digital circuit can tell you.

Now, the second part of this problem is that you have to have a good ground setup. At the very high frequencies, everything,.....even copper wire, is seen as a resistance. And where you have resistance, you have a voltage drop given a current going through it. I added some makeshift groundplaning in the form of regular copper tape. It fits the bill as good as anything and I have a bunch on hand. Between the caps and ground, the major problem of noise is alleviated to a very good degree.

The 3300 is not really made to accomodate a separate clock install, because of the way the traces are both shared and laid out. But that's ok, because I'm of the opinion it wouldn't make a bit of difference without the aforementioned problems being taken care of first. And that I can speak of through experience with the impact being what it is. The 3300 also has some interesting analog modules at the DAC output that are pretty much a black box. Not much you can do with them, so those are left alone.

I also change the input power from Japan's 100vac to our 120vac, so you can chuck that adapter. I never did like that thing.

Anyway, there you have it. You get a cap change on ALL boards (even the display), some other parts swaps, extra wiring, and a power change. I'll have to charge $350 for this one because of the time disassembly, fabrication, testing, and reassembly takes. It's basically all that I can see that need be done to this CD player. You could attempt this yourself, but remember you need an anti-static mat for all the CMOS in there. The 3300 is basically a well made player and worth an upgrade, and I can guarantee you a much kinder and gentler analog sound with these mods.



Contact Ken Ealey Audio