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QLS QA-550 WAV Player review


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#1 kajak12

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Posted 14 January 2010 - 07:33 PM

curiosity got the better of me.at a $189.00 including postage i could not resist.thanks to john from coemaudio.really nice chap to deal with...QLS QA-550 WAV Player is very compact and easy to setup.
very plain and simple wav player.9v power supply included.

first of all i changed the power supply to a 12 car battery(no problems).its much better on a 12v battery then the standard power supply.
sound stage depth and with is very good indead much better then i thought its going to be.
no changing cd's is a bonus.sd card does it all.
resolution is great outstanding i am actually supprised how well it sounds in stock form.
worth every $$$$$ at a $189.00

now for the open minded people,yes tweaking can be done.capasitor changes and power supply(12v battery)yes it comes with sony osconns in the board.they are the sp version the sg version is better.(more weight less analytical
comparing to my marantz cd94 modded transport.
it lacks weight in the instruments and vocals in fact the whole range.the depth and width of sound stage is just like a cd94.so it has pottential and a lot of it.if it had the weight that my cd94 does, then i would be in heaven.

at $189.00 its still bang for your buck.i have started modds all ready,waiting for more caps to arrive.
all of the above is whats happens on my sytem,yours could be diffrent.
i will post more as i do modding.

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#2 coemaudio

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Posted 16 January 2010 - 06:13 PM

Thanks for the kajak :)

If anyone is interested in trying this out, just shoot me a PM. I'm sure I could work something.

#3 tuyen

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Posted 16 January 2010 - 06:31 PM

Waiting for mine to come in the post John :)

This could be the ultimate digital transport. What jitter??


#4 flemo

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Posted 16 January 2010 - 09:54 PM

Good stuff Kajak12, wondering when you were going to reveal your latest toy.

I'll be keen to try one when I can decide on a DAC.

I look forward to your updates when you put the different caps in.

Don't forget to include before and after pic's too!

Cheers, flemo.

#5 kajak12

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Posted 17 January 2010 - 02:31 PM

Good stuff Kajak12, wondering when you were going to reveal your latest toy.

I'll be keen to try one when I can decide on a DAC.

I look forward to your updates when you put the different caps in.

Don't forget to include before and after pic's too!

Cheers, flemo.


here you go flemo more mods done,system warming up.i had this combination at mrsquishy house yesterday,i neede some of his caps i cant find mine.will report later on in the day

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#6 kajak12

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Posted 17 January 2010 - 04:16 PM

well people cap changes work very well with this transport.getting better more weight less analytical sounding.still not up to the cd94 but it will get their.
take the little lcd screen off you cant see it anyway and works better without it.
also i will disconnect the toslink out put as i dont need it anyway.

bang for your buck transport forget dvd player they are useless.

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#7 flemo

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Posted 17 January 2010 - 06:54 PM

I can see the potential for DIY modded WAV Player GTG shootouts here in Perth.

That would be interesting as most people would mod them to suit their system's requirements.

Cheers, flemo.

#8 kajak12

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Posted 17 January 2010 - 10:01 PM

I can see the potential for DIY modded WAV Player GTG shootouts here in Perth.

That would be interesting as most people would mod them to suit their system's requirements.

Cheers, flemo.

bingo flemo combination of caps to suite systems and create synergy.very early stages flemo more work to go.another toy to play with.so far i have spent only $189.00 as i have a some caps at home.rule no1 dont throw any caps away one day you might need them....

well one day i will take wav player to a GTG and run it against any transport people have.

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#9 coemaudio

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Posted 18 January 2010 - 12:49 PM

Waiting for mine to come in the post John ;)

This could be the ultimate digital transport. What jitter??


Should arrive today mate :) sent it out by Express Post last Thursday.

bingo flemo combination of caps to suite systems and create synergy.very early stages flemo more work to go.another toy to play with.so far i have spent only $189.00 as i have a some caps at home.rule no1 dont throw any caps away one day you might need them....

well one day i will take wav player to a GTG and run it against any transport people have.


Keep us update :) I will be performing mods soon, just when I know what you guys have come up with.


Cheers
John

#10 kajak12

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Posted 18 January 2010 - 06:01 PM

R&D is $50.00 p/h current rates john

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#11 tuyen

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Posted 18 January 2010 - 10:04 PM

I'm running this little beauty in my system at the moment and I can hear good things. Very good things. a LOT of potential. This player in stock form would kill most peoples cdp transports easily.

Let the mods begin!! ;)

PS. Thanks JohN!


#12 kajak12

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Posted 19 January 2010 - 11:59 PM

I'm running this little beauty in my system at the moment and I can hear good things. Very good things. a LOT of potential. This player in stock form would kill most peoples cdp transports easily.

Let the mods begin!! :(

PS. Thanks JohN!

i told you tuyen its only the begining.too bad for transports costing big $$$$$$$$$ like $10,000 sonicly i will take them on anytime.
basics are their just have to tune them to your system.

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#13 gamve

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Posted 20 January 2010 - 06:47 PM

Thanks John,
Mine arrived in the post earlier this week. Playing for the first time tonight. Very promising but a few bugs to iron out. Sounds pretty good strait out of the box and I'm only using the direct digital in DAC in my Aiwa XK-S9000 cassette player at the moment as a friend has my Altmann. I'm sure a decent DAC better power supply, caps and the IS2 connection will make many of the better CD players sound a bit frightened. This thing has giant killer potential at an icy pole price.

#14 tuyen

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Posted 20 January 2010 - 09:11 PM

Using a 12V car battery instead of the poo 9V DC wall adapter. Little bit more weight in the sound :(


#15 kajak12

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Posted 31 January 2010 - 10:03 PM

so its just getting better in my system as i play around with diffrent parts and combinations.the way i have it setup now is a killer.its tuned to what i like and sounds full and reach with space around instruments.enough detail without being attacking.i can certanly live with this in my system for a very long time.


FLEMO this is where you come in and make a nice box to fit the caps in.but first i have to wait on some other caps to arrive as R&D is still happening.

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#16 flemo

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Posted 31 January 2010 - 10:34 PM

That's the first time I have seen cap's which are bigger than the actual component!! :)
Lookin' good mate, I'm keen to listen to it so we'll have to arrange that in the near future.

No drama's about the box just let me know what you need, but please don't ask me to paint it!! :nana

#17 tuyen

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 04:15 PM

I'm not far behind you Mario. Hope you are having fun trying different internal components and learning bit more each time. I know it is a much more rewarding feeling then forever changing external components and finding such little to nil difference each time! (even though price might exponentially increase ha ha).

Will forever keep my crazy modded marantz cd94 transport as a backup but for now, this little gem has taken over as my primary transport! My system is sounding pretty good.

thumbs up


#18 kajak12

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 08:16 PM

That's the first time I have seen cap's which are bigger than the actual component!! :)
Lookin' good mate, I'm keen to listen to it so we'll have to arrange that in the near future.

No drama's about the box just let me know what you need, but please don't ask me to paint it!! :P


well flemo smd caps and resistors (surface mount)is just a cheap way of doing audio.they are small and very very cheap.a long time ago caps and resitors looked like components.now you cant read values with the naked eye.that is why most pcb's are small in components now they use smd crap.saves costs and more profit margin.
well i dont like smd stuff i think it suck it sounds thin analytical cold no weight too hifi like.
how ever the circuit desighn is great so what it needs is some better more musical caps and resistors.

flemo its a great toy to play with.i am ready to take the big $$$$$ transports on now,but i dont think anyone in perth will be up to it.(their $10,0000 transport worth less then a $1000.people dont like that flemo,their pride is on the line.



flemo one day you will make a box for it,what we have to do is write WADIA on it so its worth X 10 the original $$$$$ + gst.:nana

we use nice pine and varnish it flemo.or any other wood of your prefrence.
anyway i am really enjoying this little wav player and i hope i will get to mod a few in perth for people.also tune them to their system...

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Give a man a bank and he can rob the world..........


#19 ozcal

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 08:36 PM

Great stuff guys, look forward to hearing one soon.
Now if Flemo will build me a beautiful case and someone can work out how to fit a bigger front panel mounted display and buttons and Kajak or Tuyen will do the tuning mods I will be happy :)
Audio GD CD7SE transport , Satch Max DAC (NOS 16bit ,valve output stage)Sony CDP -502ES ,Supratek Chardonnay pre-amp: , Rotel RHB10 power amp, Gale 401A speakers. Linn Sondek TT Grace 707mk2 tonearm , AT91BL cart , Modded Yaquin MS-22B Riaa pre,
PC based transport up and running but still at Alpha stage.

#20 flemo

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 09:16 PM

Hey Ozcal, maybe we should both buy a WAV player at the same time, I can build a few cases at the same time, and Kajak12 and Tuyen assist can with the tweeking at the same time. Like a bit of a mini production line for the Perth SNAers? I think it could work??

flemo.

#21 kajak12

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 09:56 PM

Great stuff guys, look forward to hearing one soon.
Now if Flemo will build me a beautiful case and someone can work out how to fit a bigger front panel mounted display and buttons and Kajak or Tuyen will do the tuning mods I will be happy :)

the lcd screen just shows track numbers.its very small,and it works better without it as it creates noise in the circuit.thats why my is off.besides i just listen and dont care about numbers or looks,its the sound ozcal.
mods are not a problem,soon i will have a smd removing soldering iron as its too much f---ing around with a normal soldering iron.
its my excuse to my wife to get one anyway.
thats why i just sold some valves om sna to fund my new soldering iron.i will be selling more valves soon

i have 2 of them at home right now ready for tweaking for some friends.

Edited by kajak12, 01 February 2010 - 10:08 PM.
adding xtra

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#22 kajak12

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 09:59 PM

Hey Ozcal, maybe we should both buy a WAV player at the same time, I can build a few cases at the same time, and Kajak12 and Tuyen assist can with the tweeking at the same time. Like a bit of a mini production line for the Perth SNAers? I think it could work??

flemo.

i dont see why not flemo.i can set the wav player up for caps and then people can buy their own and try until they get a synergy on their system.

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#23 kajak12

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Posted 04 February 2010 - 07:53 PM

the next phase is starting soon,when i get my resistors to replace the smd ones.hope fully they should be all here in about 2 weeks.
pain in the arse job but it has to be done flemo.

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#24 flemo

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Posted 04 February 2010 - 07:59 PM

the next phase is starting soon,when i get my resistors to replace the smd ones.hope fully they should be all here in about 2 weeks.
pain in the arse job but it has to be done flemo.


I'm glad you know what you're doing mate. I hope to order mine soon, though I wont have a dac for little while yet!

#25 kajak12

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Posted 05 February 2010 - 07:41 PM

I'm glad you know what you're doing mate. I hope to order mine soon, though I wont have a dac for little while yet!

i dont know what i am doing just playing around until i get the right combination of parts,it takes time and money to get synergy.
but its a passion and a chellange to get their flemo.
once i get the combo right it will all be worth it.(combination of parts will not be made public)

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#26 ozcal

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Posted 05 February 2010 - 07:59 PM

I'm glad you know what you're doing mate. I hope to order mine soon, though I wont have a dac for little while yet!

Pete you can borrow my dacmagic to get you up and running if you like.
Wolster has it at the mo.
Kajak , understandable reason to remove the display but I have other folk in the house to consider.Is it possible to do something electronically to prevent the display feeding noise back in to the audio circuits?
Audio GD CD7SE transport , Satch Max DAC (NOS 16bit ,valve output stage)Sony CDP -502ES ,Supratek Chardonnay pre-amp: , Rotel RHB10 power amp, Gale 401A speakers. Linn Sondek TT Grace 707mk2 tonearm , AT91BL cart , Modded Yaquin MS-22B Riaa pre,
PC based transport up and running but still at Alpha stage.

#27 kajak12

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Posted 05 February 2010 - 11:45 PM

Pete you can borrow my dacmagic to get you up and running if you like.
Wolster has it at the mo.
Kajak , understandable reason to remove the display but I have other folk in the house to consider.Is it possible to do something electronically to prevent the display feeding noise back in to the audio circuits?

not that i know,display just shows track number.i have a tech friend in qld who is also working on the wav player he might be able to do something way over my head.

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#28 flemo

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Posted 08 February 2010 - 01:05 AM

I was able to listen to Kajak12's DIY modified wav player today and I have to admit I was impressed. So much so that I will not be puchasing a CD transport (or CDP).

It was pitted against a modded Marantz CD94 transport and althought the CD94 had more weight and was a tad smoother, I felt the wav had more resolution and a better overall dynamic sound without being washed out.

The scary thing is Kajak12 is still modifying it and he believes it has more potential for significant improvement.

We also compared Kajak12's modded wav against a stock wav and the differences were substantial.

At $187.00 it would have to be the hi-fi buy of the decade, now I just have work out where I heading with a dac!

Cheers, flemo.

#29 wolster

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Posted 08 February 2010 - 07:49 AM

As ozcal said, flemo, I have his dacmagic and am not using it so call & arrange to pick it up, mate.

Cheers
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#30 tuyen

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Posted 08 February 2010 - 04:58 PM

You have good ears flemo. I agree with your thoughts. The modified wav player is a bit more precise, imaging is bit sharper/clearer.

Note this bargain priced wav player is going up against my marantz cd94 (cdm-1 mechanism) with upgraded caps in the digital output stage and a highly modified trichord clock running off 12v car battery. Pretty much beez kneez for standard cd transport in my opinion! Damn impressive!!





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