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Looking Forward

The year is 2011 and despite a tumultuous time for all Americans and all businesses, I am pleased to say that we are busy and excited about new offerings and designs.

I am grateful to all of our customers for their loyalty and support. We have always worked hard to provide excellent service, performance and value that ultimately allows for the enjoyment of music.

I am excited about the performance of our tube-modified Oppo BDP-95 and Sony XA-5400ES and we are looking forward to the future offering of our own USB DAC.

ModWright. Keeps rolling along...

We have grown as a company, significantly over the past couple of years and I am grateful to have the team that we now have. Thanks to Kristin as Director of Operations and Adi as Director of Production, I am free to pursue new designs, explore new ideas and focus on making all of our products the best that they can be. I also want to thank Alan Kimmel for all of his brilliant design knowledge, without which we would not be able to produce the products that we have today.

Staying busy, and a peek into some new stuff

I have been in 'Lock-Down' mode for the past few weeks. My team respects my shut door and knows that I am deep in the design process. The KWI 200 will be our first Integrated amp and adds a greater level of functionality, control and enhanced user interface with digital displays and minimal controls. This design has been morphing and evolving on paper for quite some time. Earlier this year, it finally gelled into a design that I feel will meet the desires of our customers in terms of performance, power and price. I am VERY excited about it! Now if I can just wean myself off of the coffee and learn to shut off my brain at night, I will be good!

New photos of the Oppo BDP-95 Tube mods are in!

We had some shots of the Oppo Mods taken recently and added to the photo galleries.  They're beautiful... check them out: http://modwright.com/gallery/album.php?s=oppo-bdp83se-mod

Bangkok Audio Show 2011 Photos!

Bangkok Audio Show 2011 Photos!

Our friend Gary with Elpa Shaw in Thailand set up a fantastic room at an A/V show in down town Bangkok earlier this month.  The room picked up the "Best Sound of the Show" award... way to go Gary!!  

Check out the photos of the show on Flicker and see what an amazing job Elpa Shaw did putting a few of our products on display.

Again, kudos Elpa Shaw, for a job well done!

2011 Rocky Mountain Audio Fest!

2011 Rocky Mountain Audio Fest!

Oct. 14 - 16th marks 2011's annual Rocky Mountain Audio Fest...My favorite show of the year!

I am looking forward to showing our new KWI 200 with our modified Sony and Oppo players, through Daedalus Audio's new 'Athena' speakers.

We will also have our full range of gear on static display and will be scheduling 'shows' throughout the event, where we demonstrate different products.

For the first time, we will also be A/B'ing, the tube-modified Oppo 95 and stock Oppo 95 players.

I look forward to seeing all of you their!

KWI 200 and Beyond!

KWI 200 and Beyond!

We have all been working VERY hard to finalize all details of the KWI 200 in order to send out first units to distributors and for upcoming shows!  It turned out beautifully and sounds exceptional.

Work on our DAC upgrade for both KWI 200 and LS 100 as well as a standalone unit continues and WILL be done this year!

Check out full information on the products page for our new KWI 200!

Norway HiFi Show 2011 - ModWright Gear!

Norway HiFi Show 2011 - ModWright Gear!

At the Norway HiFi Show 2011 over the weekend of Sept. 17-18th, our Distributor Hoium Data Hifi received EXCELLENT reception, using ModWright LS 100 and KWA 150 Signature Edition electronics, driving German Physiks speakers.

Link to Gallery with more show photos:

The room was photographed on the front page of the second largest newspaper in Norway on monday. The photo only shows the German Phsyics speakers, but I have attached other photos that show the entire showroom.

Newspaper Link: http://www.dagbladet.no/2011/09/20/kultur/musikk/analog_digital/audiofil/hi_fi/18203739/

 Audio ForumLink:

We are obviously very pleased with the excellent reception that we received in Norway and by our exceptional showing of our products by Thomas of Hoium Data and Hifi.

To those in Norway who inquired about an Integrated, the answer is yes, we do have an integrated amp. 

The KWI 200 will be shipping at the end of Oct. and you may find photos and specifications under the products page.
Link: http://www.modwright.com/products/kwi-200.php

Digital Input Mods

It has been a VERY long time coming, I realize. We first mentioned the option of a digital input mod for the Sony XA-5400ES quite a while ago. This same type of mod would also logically be offered for the Oppo mods. Well, we are close but not 100% finished, as we iron out a few programming issues. We do have a good and working hardware design however, and this board is also the basis for our own DAC design that will be available as an upgrade for the LS100 as well as the KWI200. I have also found a good and working solution for 24/192 asynchronous USB Input, that will be a part of our DAC design, but not part of our mod digital inputs (at least not for a while). In short, the long trek is nearing an end and I wanted to give an update to all of you who have been waiting and asking. Thank you, Dan Wright, President, Modwright Instruments Inc.

KWI 200 Release!

KWI 200 Release!

The KWI 200, 200W SS Integrated amp has now been released and is in full production, with units already having been shipped all over the world!

The KWI 200 was well received at RMAF 2011.  We showed with a simple and yet beautiful sounding system, consisting of modified tube-modified Oppo BDP-95 (~$3K) as source, KWI 200 Integrated ($5K US) and Daedalus Athena Loudspeakers (~$9,895).  Cabling was by WyWires.

We chose a simple system with exceptional source, speakers and cables that all represent extremely high value, to showcase the value of our 200W Integrated amp.  Optional 24/192 DAC (USB and RCA) as well as optional Phono stage, allow for a system consisting of KWI 200, speakers and cabling.

For more information, pleaes check out the KWI 200 on our Products Page!


Dan Wright

ModWright and Digital!

I am pleased to announce that I had a great conversation with the digital engineer that i have consulted with, and learned that our LONG AWAITED digitial input mod board, first installed in the Sony XA-5400ES, IS NOW COMPLETE AND WORKING!

The project took MUCH longer than expected and I cannot blame the engineer I hired for the digital 'heavy lifting' design and BGA programming.  It was, rather, a series of unfortunate events that continued to delay the design process until now....admittedly my fault, because of bad decisions I made. The good news is that I am told that it sounds fantastic and I will be receiving the first article, installed in a Sony XA-5400ES, next week.  My consultant is in the Bay Area and I am in WA, so the final work involved a bit of shipping back and forth!

Now that the digital input mod is complete, we can move onto the final design of our DAC with USB inputs, that will be available for the LS 100 and KWI 200.  I am being realistic when I say that these products will not likely be available until near the end of this year.  I am however, pleased to say that we are moving forward in earnest and the excitement level is HIGH at ModWright Central!

The PCB's are going to be ordered on Monday (Nov. 7th) for the DAC module that will plug into the digital input PCB.  The design is modular, to allow for different DAC boards to be installed, as technology progresses.  The USB interface is also separate.  The DAC chosen for this design is a Burr Brown chip.  I chose this chip because I like the sound of the chip!

The digital input board, used for the mods as well as for the actual DAC itself, has built in ultra-low jitter clock with buffered inputs, managed by microprocessor control.

While we wait for the DAC PCB's, the digital input PCBs will be assembled and soon we will make available, the digital input mod (RCA and AES/EBU) for both the Sony XA-5400ES and Oppo BDP-95 players.

We are assembling a 'digital toolbox' that will soon allow us to offer digital inputs for specific modified players, a built-in DAC module, including 24/192 asynch' USB for our preamps and integrated amp, and also a standalone tube DAC with USB and all standard digital inputs, capable of up to 24/192 operation!

The future of Computer-Based Digital at ModWright is BRIGHT!

Thanks and please check back for more information!

Dan Wright

DAC News!

Nov. 25, 2011 - DAC News Update!

We wil receive the DAC PCB's this coming week and the digital input receiver boards are about two weeks from being complete.

As soon as we receive the DAC boards next week, we can start prototyping the final DAC design for use in our LS 100 and KWI 200 Integrated amp.

Once this is complete, the design for our standalone DAC will proceed.  At this point, the standalone DAC looks like it will be a two-box design with tube power supply and tube analog stage.  It will accept USB (24/192 asynch.), RCA, AES/EBU(XLR), and toslink (optical).

The enclosures will be approximately 8"Wx10"Dx4"H and can sit side by side on the shelf or over/under on different shelves.

We have been working a LONG time on our own digital offering and I am excited to say that all of the individual components are all now complete and final testing will begin next week!

Thanks and please keep checking back for more news!


New KWA 150 Signature Edition Review!

I want to take the opportunity to thank Jerry at 10Audio.com for the wonderful review of our KWA 150 Signature Edition.  He was good enough to take unit home with him after the show and give us his impressions!




Check out the review via the link here or on our Reviews page!

Thanks Jerry!

Dan W.

New KWA 100SE and LS 100 w/Phono Review!

New KWA 100SE and LS 100 w/Phono Review!

I want to warmly thank Andy Fawcett of Audiophilia.com for penning such a fantastic, thorough and heart-felt review of our KWA 100SE 100W SS amp as well as our LS 100 w/internal phono.

Link: http://www.audiophilia.com/wp/?p=6990

This combination of LS 100 and KWA 100SE continues to be a winning combination for our customers and offers phenomenal synergy and opens a window into the music!

CES 2012....and beyond!

CES 2012....and beyond!

Well, CES is nearly upon us again! 

We will be once again showing at the Venetian, in Suite 30-2222 with Audio Machina Loudspeakers.

We will have two systems:

An integrated system consisting of.

KWI 200 w/phono and DAC.
VPI Classic I TT with high output MC Dynavector cart.
BDP-95 or computer as source for DAC input.
CRM Compact Reference Speakers.

Main system will be:

KWA 150 Signature Edition
LS 100 w/internal DAC
Transport will be Logitec touch or PC
Power Conditioning by Running Springs Audio
New Sub/Monitor system from Audio Machina

The standalone tube DAC with external supply will follow a bit later.  It turns out that this design will be slightly different than the DAC input modules for the LS 100 and KWI 200.  The DAC, clock and digital circuitry will be the same, but we have to revise the controls and data streams to indicate sampling frequency and other controls interface issues.  As a result, a new PCB will be designed, hence the delay.

2012 promises new Digital from ModWright, a standalone tube Phono Stage and more...

Happy Holidays to all and I hope to see you at CES!


To Infinity and....VERY BUSY!

I have been exceptionally busy since before CES in Jan. 2012.

We had a great show in Las Vegas in January 2012 and afterwards, I took some time to regroup and look closely at our current projects, schedules, timelines, and what we are going to do for 2012!

It is not a surprise to many of you, that we have been moving PRETTY FAST for a while now!  As a result, I realized that I simply had TOO MUCH on my plate, design-wise.  I have been slowly and methodically working through all current designs, in order to release a number of projects that have been late to offer.

The truth is, it takes TIME to do proper design, and rushing a product out before it is ready is NO recipe for success!

As a result, I have 'hunkered down' in my 'lab' and worked hard to finalize the following designs:

Digital input mods: Oppo BDP-95 and Sony XA-5400ES.
Phono upgrade for KWI 200 Integrated.
USB/RCA 24/192 fully asynch' DAC upgrade for KWI 200.
USB/RCA 24/192 fully asynch' DAC upgrade for LS 100.

In addition to going over the operation and production efficiencies of our factory.

First of all, the digital input mods for the Oppo and Sony have been in the works for A LONG time and proved to be a MUCH bigger task that initially anticipated.  We changed tack late last year, after realizing that it was not feasible to simply integrate our digital input receiver board into the Sony and Oppo.  As a result, we added our own DAC to the receiver, such that the digital input includes our own DAC, completely separate from and BETTER than the players own DAC, but feeding the same tube analog stage as part of our mods.

The Oppo is still giving me fits, but I AM making progress.  Specifically, it sounds great, but there are grounding issues that are not acceptable to me and I continue to analyze and approach this from different angles.

I am also about to install the same upgrade in the Sony XA-5400ES, where I do NOT expect the same grounding difficulties, due to a different power supply and grounding scheme in the stock player.

We have prototype installations of the full DAC and its own separate power supply, including USB input (24/192 asynch') in both the LS 100 and KWI 200.  We showed these prototypes at CES and they sounded very good, but were still not ready for final release.

The LS 100 without USB is FANTASTIC.  It is the addition of the USB module that is causing some difficulties, but I am very close to a final resolution here also.

The KWI 200 I HAVE just resolved the USB addition to the DAC - a breakthrough last week!  I have only a minor programming issue to resolve and KWI 200's WILL be shipping WITH DACs!

KWI 200 will also ship with phono, in about a week.  This worked flawlessly in the proto at CES, but I have been going over it to be sure that it is as quiet as possible and that the design is bullet-proof prior to release.

There is also the standalone DAC, that I have realized, will not be released until later this year.  I first have to FINALIZE our other digital input and DAC designs and THEN, I will move onto a standalone unit that will involve further upgrades and requires a different layout and further programming.

The bottom line is that I am NOT Superman :roll: and can't do it ALL, RIGHT NOW, and do it RIGHT!

I have decicde to complete existing projects and be sure that everything is fully tested and ready for prime-time before taking on any new designs.

Right now, the STAR of our stable, is the KWI 200, 200W SS integrated amp, available with optional DAC and Phono.

Please see writeup of show coverage in this month's issue of The Absolute Sound!  The KWI 200 received excellent mention and I have offered a unit for review, but am still waiting to hear back from this.

The KWI 200 has already been reviewed in Frances 'Haute Fidelite' where it received 6/6 stars!
Reviews are also about to be released in HK, in HiFi Review and Audio Technique.
Vietnam has at least one review in this works.
Australia has a review in a major audio print magazine that will be released in a couple of months.

Life is short and life is BUSY!  These are interesting times and also exciting times.  Technology is progressing at an amazing rate, as evidenced by computer audio.  Technology also allows us to 'do more' (read, we work more!), and as any of you with children realize, every hour of every day is precious and short.

What I am trying to say is that while there have been delays, ModWright is moving forward with many new products.  Please simply understand that quality and excellence takes time!

Thank you all for your business, support loyal following.

Take care and be well!


Dan Wright
President, ModWright Instruments Inc.

Why we do what we do....

Why we do what we do....


I'm sitting here on a beautiful spring day in Germantown TN listening to smooth jazz on my now pretty much broken in (450 hours or so) LS100 & KWA100SE and can so evidently hear why you said wait until they get the recommended hours on them before really deciding whether or not I liked them. These are wonderful musical pieces that I will enjoy listening to music through for years to come! Thank you for your dedication and talent, you provide to the rest of us  the avenue to the rich enjoyment of music! F. Chirco, 3.24.12

I just wanted to share this great feedback.  THIS is what it is all about for me!  The ideal goal is to design gear that allows you to SIMPLY RELAX and enjoy the music!

Thanks and take care!

Dan W.

Sony Digital Input Mods....NEWS!!!

Sony Digital Input Mods....NEWS!!!

OK, so I KNOW it has been a LONG time coming...and I am still not 100% complete with it, but I HAVE made a breakthrough and have NEWS finally!

The problem of noise that has been plaguing me, became clear to be grounding related, after I first resolved it in our KWI 200 and then in our LS 100. I have been trying to use 5V supplies from the player itself, but this is ALSO a no-go. So, with grounding revised AND a dedicated linear 5V supply provided inside the player, for the Digital input and DAC boards, I am rid of the noise!

I still have a few things to tidy up and optimize, but this is the first Sony XA-5400ES and I can say that it WILL be a success!

I will now apply the same grounding changes and SOMEHOW shoe-horn a dedicated supply inside the Oppo 95 and hopefully then will have success all around.

It sounds FANTASTIC! I am listening to a 24/96 feed, from an Logitech Touch, via WiFi of all things (RCA from Touch to Sony) and it sounds LIVE, NATURAL and BEAUTIFUL!

Thank you to all of you who have been SO patient. It will be FINALIZED soon!


Dan W.

T.H.E. Show Newport 2012 - Hilton Room 317!

T.H.E. Show Newport 2012 - Hilton Room 317!

We are excited about attending the second annual T.H.E. Show Newport Beach 2012!

Last years attendance was over 6500, which is incredible for a freshman effort.  Richard and Bob should be VERY pleased.  We had a great time last year and of course we will be there this year, in Hilton Hotel Room 317.

Hilton Hotel Room 317 is where we will be exhibiting with Daedalus Loudspeakers, with cabling by WyWires.

We will be showing off our Hot New KWI 200 (200W) SS Integrated Amp, with built-in phono and DAC (24/192 fully asynch., RCA & USB) options.

We will also have our LS 100 tube preamplifier with the same RCA/USB 24/192 DAC option built in.  Digital sources will include SACD or other hi-rez disc playback via ModWright Tube Modified Oppo 95 Universal player, computer audio via MAC computers into LS 100 preamp/DAC and KWI 200 DAC, via both RCA and USB inputs.  The Oppo will also feed the RCA inputs of one of the DACs, so that attendees can hear their own CD's, played through our DAC.  The LS 100 can feed the KWI 200 via its Bypass inputs, so that the pair can also act as separates, utilizing the 200 strictly as an amplifier.

The theme for us this year is MODERN INTEGRATION. We feel that the KWI 200 200W No-Compromise Integrated, exemplifies this. Requiring only turntable (for vinyl playback), computer via USB or other disc spinner via RCA input, power cable and speakers, a TRUE HIGH PERFORMANCE system can be achieved!

I am working on creating a MWI 'virtual' remote via iPad app, so that we can not only manage the computer libraries via the iPad, but can also use the iPad as remote control for the KWI 200 integrated and LS 100 preamp.

I look forward to seeing all of you there, in Room 317 at The Hilton hotel!


Dan Wright, President
ModWright Instruments Inc.

KWI 200 Feedback!

KWI 200 Feedback!

We are now shipping our High-Power, No-Compromise, Fully Integrated, 200W, KWI 200 SS, with optional phono and DAC (RCA & USB, 24/192, fully asynchronous).

The KWI 200 has been reviewed in HK, France, Vietnam, Singapore, and a review is in the works for Home Theater Online e-zine.

France's Haute Fidelite gave the KWI 200 5/5 stars!

Following are some quotes from our happy customers and dealers.

I have your integrated with DAC. Probably overkill for an office system, but I surely am happy about it.

I did match it head-to-head with my Lamm Ref 1.2 monos. They are about a year old and... well, they are simply really, really good. Claimed output of 110 per channel, Class A, but they put out more like 180 at clipping into 8 ohms. They run pretty hot.

Anyway, your integrated went toe to toe with them, and there was no knockout. Yours might have even had the edge in center imaging. Overall soundstage, especially depth, and bass definition probably went to the Lamms, but not by much. Let's just say I forgot about the fact that my reference amps were out of the system.  - J. HIghtower, May 16, 2012.

Hi Dan,

Picked up the fully loaded KWI-200 from Vince @ Tri-cell a couple days ago, looks and sounds great ( as usual ).

Part of this exercise of putting the PHONO and DAC into the mix was to evaluate “ on board “ add on” components, which fewer manufacture are doing these days it seems.
   I have an Oracle Paris turntable with carbon fiber arm and Paris 1.6mv output MC cartridge. I made some simple comparisons last night and although the [$8K phono pre from different mfr.] has a slightly better midrange in terms of supple presentation, it is certainly not worth the price of admission when compared to Dans own!
The Modwright phono pre section sounds just slightly stiff ( sharpened, but not edgy ), yet I suspect this will mellow out throughout the break in period.
The DAC has resolution, depth and attack, but does not contain that “ Here’s-your-damn-music “ facet. Bravo.
I think you have likely made the best valued single amplification product currently available at a reasonable price Dan.
At any rate, great product Dan, you guys must be selling them out as fast as they are built man ! - Greg, Canadian Dealer - Image Audio, May 11, 2012



LS 100 Tube Phono Upgrade!

LS 100 Tube Phono Upgrade!

As many of you know, our LS 100 tube preamp is available with optional DAC (USB/RCA - 24.192 fully asynchronous) OR tube Phono.

The Phono was designed and intended for MC use.  As designed, with 12AU7 and 12AX7 tube, it is capable of driving cartridges down to .30mV without a stepup transformer.  Below this, a step-up is likely desired.

Because there is no MM/MC switch, it came to my attention later, that the phono stage WILL distort when used with cartridges of 2-3mV or higher.  It is fine with a 1.5mV Dynavector and a .4mV Shelter that I use for testing, but higher output MC carts and MM carts WILL drive the phono stage to overload and distortion.

Well, I did some research into this and found a way to lower the phono gain by approximately 15dB, without any sacrifice in sonics.

The phono stage uses a single 12AU7 in the first stage, and a single 12AX7 in the second stage.  For max gain, this is the tube complement that should be used.  Substituting a 12AU7 for the 12AX 7 (now two 12AU7's are used for phono board), the phono stage provides 15dB less gain and will allow for a greater range of cartridges.

Thanks and please don't hesitate to call with any questions about upgrading an existing LS 100 to add DAC or Phono.  Please note that only ONE option, DAC or Phono may be installed in the LS 100 however.

The KWI 200 Integrated amp DOES allow for installation of both DAC and SS phono stage.


Dan W.
ModWright Instruments Inc.

Life is too short...

…To not enjoy the finer things in life.

I write this, as I savor a new treat – Black Maple Hill, small batch, Kentucky Straight Bourbon, handmade sour mash.  A treat that I brought back from California, thanks to Nina Sventitsky of WyWires, who was good enough to pick it up for me from Hi-Time cellars.  This fine establishment, was recommended by Dave Clark of Positive Feedback.  I asked Nina to have the proprietor suggest something unique and rare. They apparently have a FINE selection of wine and spirits.

Like High End Audio, Bourbon is one of a few simple pleasures for which I take time, in my busy life.  I also enjoy a CAO Brazilian cigar to complement good bourbon.

Personally, it comes down to quality and not compromising the few simple pleasures in our busy routines.  Our ‘personal’ time is more scarce it seems, as modern life becomes increasingly complex and demanding.

Another item that recently improved my life is an iPhone.  My staff said that now EVERY CEO in the country has a smart phone…OK, so I was a hold-out and used a cheap cell phone until now.  The iPhone has simply BECOME a part of my life. The ability to email, talk, text, photograph, work, and in general, stay in touch with work and family is incredible.  In the case of the iPhone, there is simply excellence in the design, both aesthetically and in terms of use and function.  AGAIN, it is about QUALITY!

The notion of ‘Excellence’  has been at the heart of all ModWright products, since inception.  It is embodied in our mission statement: Elegance.Simplicity.Truth.

This has become even MORE important to me as time speeds ahead.  I realize the necessity of ALWAYS striving to improve and refine our products, designs and methods.  The goal being, to design and build products that are ‘EXCEPTIONAL’.  Like the ubiquitous iPhone, fine bourbon and cigars, ModWright’s audio equipment should be a pure and simple pleasure, that opens a gateway to musical enjoyment.

At the end of the day as I take a last glance at my smart phone, pour a drink and settle back to enjoy music during the brief respite at the end of my day, I ALSO want to escape into music.

It is my desire, that all of our products, be EXCEPTIONAL!

Don’t forget to enjoy the Finer Things in life….


Dan Wright

President, ModWright Instruments Inc.



Our first U.S. review of the KWI 200 has now been published.  Penned by Terry London, for Home Theater Review.com, we are pleased to see a 5/5 star rating.

Review Link: KWI 200.

"I believe that Dan Wright has really "hit the ball out of the park" with his new KWI 200 Integrated Amplifier. Because of its build quality, handsome, physical appearance along with its beautiful rendering of the music's timbres, warmth and details without losing its punch or macro-dynamics, I would classify the KWI 200 as one of the best integrated amps on the market today, regardless of price. I would strongly recommend to put this on your audition list if your think you are in the process of selecting an integrated amp for your system." - Terry London, Home Theater Review.com

Please take the time to read the review, if you are in the market for a TRUE No-Compromise SS integrated, designed for todays world.  Including optional USB/RCA input DAC and Phono sage, the KWI 200 offers a FULL function integrated to suit all of your needs and with 200W (8 ohm)/ 400W (4 ohm) of high-current power, will drive virtually ANY speaker.

Thanks and please contact your local dealer to audition.

Dan Wright
President, ModWright Instruments Inc.

And so it begins...

And so it begins...

As I sIt on the front porch and watch the mist clear as the sun rises, it's 5AM in sleepy Amboy WA and I realized that summer is truly with us.

For me this means less rain, more outside work on the property and a busy travel schedule.  HK, Shanghai, Vietnam, L.A. and Denver lay ahead of me.

Being born and raised in Alaska makes me even more sensitive to and appreciative of, the shift from Winter into Spring and Summer.  The dark winters and LONG summer days of my youth meant a quantum shift in my outlook and re-juvination of spirit as the seasons changed.

This must be ingrained in my psyche as I still feel this internal shift when summer dawns in rural WA.

2012 is the year of the KWI 200 Integrated Amp and introduction of ModWright's first DAC.  The DAC, currently only available as an internal upgrade for the LS 100 tube preamp and KWI 200 Integrated Amp, will be released as a standalone design in the future.  No release date yet for the standalone DAC, but it is proceeding nicely.  All designs are fully asynchronous, 24/192 capable with USB and SPDIF (RCA) inputs at a minimum.

Along with a transition in my own head and seasons, I feel a shift also, not just in the global order itself, but in the world of audio.  The way we enjoy music is changing.  People are looking to simplify, as the benefits of technology provide what I like to call 'Modern Integration'.

There is a shift towards Integrated amplifiers these days...products that are TRULY integrated designs, not just scaled down versions of their respective separates.  We seek a greater simplicity in our lives, but not at the expense of sonics.

Computer audio and smart phones have helped this change and technology as a whole, has made us accustomed to doing more with less.  Often times, such as the case of MP3 and compressed audio, this comes at a price.  However, with incredibly cheap memory, Solid State and conventional hard drives, storage space is no longer a concern.  As a result, FLAC, WAV, AIFF and all uncompressed formats, with resolutions as high as 24/192 are now available to us, that were previously not available on a silver disc - excepting DVD-A and SACD.

My Spring and summer evenings involve landscaping, roto-tilling, tree pruning and gardening.  This insures that I get my daily dose of vitamin D, much needed exercise and a re-connection to the earth.  I simply spend too much time in my office/shop in the winter time and need to re-charge in the summer!

In the evenings, I find myself relaxing with headphones and my smart phone.  OK, so uncompressed files are on the phone at least, but I find myself shocked at how good this is, and how far technology has come.

As summer yawns warmly ahead and visions of the Far East and LONG plane rides await, I am excited about the future of audio.  'Modern Integration' is a GOOD thing.  Computers, smart phones, Integrated amps and the way we enjoy music is changing, for the better.

I have personally chosen to embrace this and hope that younger people will be encouraged to toss their MP3 tracks and enjoy hi-rez downloads through GOOD systems.  High end is evolving, just like all of us and the rest of the world.

Change isn't always bad...

Dan Wright
President, ModWright Instruments Inc.

Open House at Echo Audio in Portland OR!

Open House at Echo Audio in Portland OR!

First of all, Kudos to Kurt Doslu for putting on a fantastic open house at Echo Audio in Portland:


Echo Audio
1015 SW Washington St. Portland OR 97205
888.248.ECHO (3246) or 503.223.2292  /  Email info@echohifi.com

Portland is a wonderful city, with culture, character and MUSIC!  From the symphony at Arlene Schnitzer Concert hall to fresh music at small venues such as the Roseland Theater.  Portland is simply alive with music!

Echo Audio is a new/used audio shop, that embodies the Portland spirit.  it is urban, hip, and always full of exciting new products and loyal customers, dropping by to see what has been taking in, new or used, for sale.

At the grand opening, artwork by Kurts wife and another local artist were on display both upstairs and adorning the walls of the shop.  The art, modern and abstract on the whole, simply brought the store alive with a virtual feast for the eyes to complement music for the ears.

The most important thing I noted from the evening however, was the diversity of people in attendance.  Young and old, men and women, from the hard-core audiophile, to the younger consumers, checking out the wall of headphones, jacked into their iphones and ipods.

Kurt caries products from Audio Engine, Marantz, to McIntosh, Wadia, Tannoy and ModWright....in short, the full spectrum of audio equipment, from powered desktop speakers, to high-end audiophile systems.

The beauty of this, especially in a city like Portland, populated by equal parts young hipsters and 'empty nest boomers' is that Echo Audio offers a gateway to and stepping off point, for those just getting into audio as well as the seasoned audiophile.  THIS helps the health of the audio industry in general, educating the next generation of audiophiles.

One of my employees jokes that I'm like a Shark, continuously moving forward, forced to keep water flowing through its gills.  I am continuously moving forward, watching the future and direction of audio, to be sure that we can provide what customers actually WANT, such as Integrated amps and DACs to allow the enjoyment of computer based hi-rez audio!

Music that night was played from a Meridian digital front end, controlled via iPad.  Jeff Dorgay of Tone Audio http://www.toneaudio.com, DJ'd and he kept the mix FRESH, from Black Sabbath to Beethoven!

We brought a new KWI 200 for Kurt to put on display, but the system that night had already been setup and I got there after it started, so the KWI 200 was not used at the opening.

Kristin and her friend Bruce joined me and they (being the 30'ish youngsters that they are) were blown away by the headphones and excited by the Audio Engine powered speakers.  I agree...the Audio Engine powered desktop speakers are an INCREDIBLE PRODUCT for the office and provide EXCEPTIONAL sound at a very reasonable price.  THIS is where the younger audiophiles will get on the 'audio train' I believe.

[Kristin and I]

If I could sum up the theme of the evening in one thought:
Music, sharing, energy and revelation.  

Bravo Kurt, for a great evening and for Echo Audio, offering a gateway to the joys of music through quality audio gear for ALL.

Thanks for reading and don't forget to take time out of your day to ENJOY MUSIC....


Dan Wright
President, ModWright Instruments Inc.


On music and passion...


On music and passion...
In the hobby of high end audio, I believe that we often lose sight of what audio equipment is designed to do....to produce music as natural and accurately as possible.
Oddly enough (don't laugh), this came to me as I was watching 'The Voice' on TV.  There was a singing competition between two contestants who were both good.  One guy had soul and passion in his voice.  His tone and presentation though, is what really moved me. You could feel the pain of his past and the strength of his soul in the present.  When he sang, you could see his soul.
Music has a power that transcends mere spoken word and connects to our heart and soul.  It is emotive and moving.  In our fast-paced world of technology, work demands and the fast pace of all that we do, we need to feed our souls.  For me, music is one way that I regain balanced in life.
I feel that it important, to take that bit of time, no matter how small, to step out of our routine of responsibilities and stress and escape to our own place of piece.  For me this is music.
When the equipment is right, we are able to simply relax and enjoy our music.  We close our eyes and the world falls away.  We are transcended to a different place.  We may be mourning the heartache of the soulful blues singer, or stepping back into Beethoven or Mozart's time of regal beauty.  Or, we may be reaching back several decades to the rock concert that shook the world of our younger self.
Emotion, passion and release...from the reality of our daily life.  We are able to embrace the beauty of whatever genre of music we personally enjoy.  High-end audio equipment is the means by which we attain this connection....to the soul of the artist, the beauty of the music and the time or place that music takes us.
Don't forget to take time from your busy life to escape into the music.  And, when you are listening to music through your carefully selected and tuned audio system, remember to just relax and let the music move you.
Dan Wright
President, ModWright Instruments Inc (MWI)

New Mods: Oppo BDP-103 and BDP-105!


OK guys, first of all, updates on the units as I have both stock 103 and 105 in house right now, thank you to customers who opted to let me use their units develop the mod!
The stock 105 IS superior sounding, to my ears, to the stock 103.  Not even needing an A/B.  The 103 is GOOD, but has the sound that I find typical with units powered by a SMPS (Switched mode power supply) and with cap coupled outputs....Perhaps you can already see where I am going on the 103 front!
The 105 on CD only so far, is REALLY good stock!  I am surprised at how good it is, to be honest.  Oppo REALLY stepped up their game with this unit, improving the power supply design and overall chassis design. They also added SPDIF and USB digital inputs.  I have not listened to USB inputs yet, but will do so today and report back with my findings there!
It is true that they split out the 8 DACs, in a different way than the 95, where they stacked four DACs per channel.  At least one pair is used for the Headphone outs, and the rest are split between balanced outputs and single-ended outputs.  Not really sure why, but based on Q&A from Oppo, it was to give greater separation between SE and balanced outs.  Now in my mind, a person will EITHER be using it via RCA or XLR and will either be listening to headphones, or speakers.  Not really sure why they felt the need to separate all outputs like this.  With our tube mods, I will experiment to see how best to utilize the 8 DACs on the chip, with the end result being, that XLR, RCA and headphone outputs ALL benefit (i.e. are fed exclusively) from our balanced tube circuit.
The other question is, what does the SMPS supply, in the 105?  It appears that their linear, regulated supply, already powers the DACs and analog stages.  Not sure if it powers the digital input circuitry.  I would expect that video is relegated to the SMPS and as such, it is POSSIBLE that we will offer an upgrade to this supply, including a new, linear, regulated supply instead.
I am also going to consider a discrete SS analog stage for the 105, at a lower price than the tube stage, as it will of course, not require the outboard tube supply or umbilical.
I am going to be finishing the first PCB for the 103 today and I could nearly put the 95 mod directly into the 105 as it is.  The 95 tube mod will be the basis for the 105 mod, with plans to upgrade the external tube supply as well as the tube analog stage.  I also have to determine how the eight DACs on the chip will be used.
I expect to have reports back on both mods in the next two weeks!
The 95 mod benefited from a years worth of R&D into the Sony XA-5400ES mod.  The 105 benefits from the R&D developed from the 95 mod.  We are not re-inventing the wheel in this case!  Rather, we are streamlining and improving the performance of the 'wheel' for the 105 and adapting to the design changes in the new unit.  Because of this, it will NOT take long to have the mod finalized!
Once the mod design is complete, we will be able to turn units around in a 2-week time frame.
If you are interested, please contact us NOW and Kristin will add your name to a list that she has already started compiling.  We will contact those from the list, from the top, once the mods are complete and schedule start dates from there.
The 103 and 105 are BOTH very exciting units!
If the results of my work meet my expectations:
The 103 will be a FANTASTIC machine for ~$1K, that will perform very well for audio, both 2CH and MCH and will be improved in both its performance as a video player and a transport for feeding digital audio to a pre/processor.
The 105 will be a WORLD CLASS player AND DAC, with our tube analog stage, for < $3500 and will perform at the $10K+ range ABSOLUTELY!  We may also offer an upgrade option to the SMPS that will further improve video playback!  I will investigate a SS mod for the 105 that is likely 1/2 the price of the tube mods.
Thank you for your interest in our work!
Dan Wright
ModWright Instruments Inc.

Oppo BDP-105 - Make it Glow!

Oppo BDP-105 - Make it Glow!

I am pleased to announce that we are well into finalizing the Oppo BDP-105 tube mods.  I expect completion in 1-2 weeks.  We are building on what we achieved with the Oppo BDP-95 and taking things to the next level, in accordance with the upgrades that Oppo has achieved with the 105!

I am currently listening to hi-rez streaming files from my PC through the USB inputs on the Oppo 105, using the Oppo's DACs, feeding our tube analog stage.  I am comparing two different external power supply designs...

Please contact us if interested! 360.247.6688!

Oppo 105 Updates!


Progress Update!
I have a working prototype using four out of the eight DACs on the SABRE chip.  It sounds fantastic via XLR and RCA, USB in via J. River Media and on all disc formats.  The proto includes the new power supply design with tube rectifier and tube regulator tubes.
Next step is to incorporate the remaining four DACs in the tube circuit and in turn, allow for upgraded HP performance as well as standard playback performance.
Further upgrades to test in, include silver wire, Tantalum resistors and dialing in tube bias (operating point) of tube circuit for ideal synergy.
I am also going to examine the possibility of replacing the SMPS (Switched Mode Power Supply) with a linear supply of our own design.  I already have a proto PCB built and assembled for the 103 PS and am working out the final details.
Just wanted everyone to know where we are at.  
Thank you!
Dan W.

Oppo BDP-105 Tube mods - REALLY GLOWING NOW!


Updates on final design of Oppo 105 tube mods:
I have decided that the headphone section will remain stock.  I may offer a headphone specific upgrade, but I am too concerned about creating TOO high of output levels and damaging headphones or ears!  I did NOT find improvement by using these extra DACs in parallel with others for our tube stage.
Silver wire installed and WOW it sounds good!  This is the 105 with tube mods that I am speaking of now!
My mod tech is going to work out the final mod board mounting and mechanical details over the weekend and the first unit will be complete next week.  The list of those interested or waiting to order the 105 tube mods is long and growing!
I am also working on the 103 SS mods.  I did NOT realize how much current the 5V supply draws, so I have had to order a bigger transformer for this and will be implementing updates to the SS mod design next week.  What I do for the 103 SS mod will translate largely to the 105.
The 105 tube mods will be rolled out next week and the SS mods for 103 and 105 will follow next week.

Oppo 105 Tube Mods - NOW TAKING ORDERS!!!


We are NOW taking orders for the 105 Tube Mods! Dec. 10, 2012.
Price: $2295
Tube mod includes:
  • Total redesign and replacement of single-ended and fully balanced output stage with our own tube analog stage (6SN7 driver tubes).
  • External PS (new design) with one rectifier (5AR4, GZ34, 5U4, 5V4 and equivalents) and two voltage regulator tubes (13EM7, 12EM7 and suitable subs.)
  • 'Truth' umbilical of our own design.
  • Upgraded Cardas GRFA series RCA's for stereo outs.
  • Upgraded Furutech cryo-treated IEC.
  • Highest Quality resistors in key signal path applications.
  • All signal wire = 99.9999% pure, cryo-treated solid-core silver wire from Cardas metals.
  • Upgrades to internal stock power supplies (Linear power supply replacement for stock SMPS not included )
  • Damping mods for chassis and transport.
  • External supply available with optional 'Hole' to allow for use of taller, larger diameter tubes other than 5AR4/GZ34 (just ask).
Unit will function as DAC or player, USB or Coax digital input and fully balanced XLR or RCA single-ended analog stereo outputs via tube analog stage.  The Oppo 105 is a true Universal Player, playing all formats for audio and video, 2CH and multi-channel (tube mod is optimized for 2CH playback).
No video or other functions of player are disabled in any way.
We are taking orders NOW!  Kristin is scheduling mods now, in the order that they are received.
Customer must supply the player and may have it drop-shipped to our address from Oppo.com or other re-seller.
50% non-refundable deposit required to secure a firm start date.  Work will be completed in no more than two weeks from start date.  Remainder due, including shipping cost, upon completion of work.
The phone was ringing all day today and tomorrow Kristin will start taking orders.  She has a lot of people on the list to contact already, so if you are interested, please call or email us right away!
Thank you,
Dan Wright
ModWright Instruments Inc.

Speakers, speakers, speakers....

People often ask WHICH speakers do I recommend with our amps and other electronics.  Well, I have a number of speakers that I can recommend, many of which based on owning them and using them every day!

Many of you know that I am a big fan of Daedalus Loudspeakers. We use the Daedalus Ulysses with all-poly crossover in our Show Room:


I also use, in my office, Audio Machina CRM (Compact Reference Monitors) and CRS (Compact Reference Subwoofers) with Sound Anchor stands.  These unique and beautiful speakers are machined out of solid billet AL and are perhaps the MOST neutral and revealing of any speaker I have heard. http://audiomachina.com/

Today we just received a new speaker from Van L Speakerworks - The Silhouette.  I met John Van L at a LA & OC Audio Society meeting this year, where we were showing our KWI 200 and he was showing his 'Quartet' speakers (the Silhouettes were damaged in shipping en-route to L.A. unfortunately).  I was VERY impressed with his speakers and he was impressed with how our amp drove his speakers.  Needless to say, we decided to arrange a speaker trial for me and an Integrated Amp trial for John.  As impressed as I was with the Quartets, the Silhouettes TRULY shocked me at how full-range (high-20's for sure), resolving and netural these speakers perform.  They TRULY disappear and throw a HUGE soundstage. http://www.vanlspeakerworks.com/silhouette.html










This year in Vietnam I also had the pleasure of supporting our Vietnamese Distributor, Audio Choice, where they showed our KWA 150 Signature Edition amps with Magnepan 3.5's.  The combination of our electronics with the Maggie 3.5's produced some of the most beautiful, balanced and magical sound that I have ever heard at a show.  I had not previously had the opportunity to listen properly to the Maggies and was VERY surprised.

OK, so what do we recommend?  Well, it really depends on your needs and your budge!

In the > $20K range, I highly recommend the Audio Machina speakers as a true Reference Loudspeaker.  Each speaker is precisely machined and finished by owner Karl Schueman, who is both a brilliant designer and master machinist.  Both sonically and aesthetically, stunning works of modern art!

In the  > $10K range, the Daedalus Loudspeakers are the work of a true Master Craftsman!  Each speaker is handmade from solid-hardwood by owner Lou HInkley.  The cabinets are of the finest joinery and each pair is unique and special, to be treasured for years.  As a musician, Lou knows music and how Live music sounds.  The Ulysses are in our Showroom for a reason!  They come ALIVE when driven by our KWA 150 Signature Edition amp!

In the < $5K range, I STRONGLY recommend the Van L speakers.  Like Daedalus Audio, Van L Speakers are sold factory direct.  As such, the value for the investment is SIGNIFICANT!  I am stunned by how good the Silhouettes are and how BIG and powerful they sound, being driven by our KWI 200 Integrated amp!  They are a 4 ohm load and of reasonable efficiency.  They would be VERY well suited by our KWA 100, KWA 100SE or KWI 200 amps.

There are lots of speakers to choose from in the market, but I wanted to take the time to share three of MY favorite speakers that I listen to on a daily basis. I KNOW that they have exceptional synergy with our amplifers, preamplifiers and modified players.

While I do not own a pair (yet anyway...) I also found INCREDIBLE synergy between our KWA 150 Signature Edition amps and the Magnepan 3.5's!  I am told that our KWI 200 is also an exceptional match with the Maggies.

If you are looking for speakers to pair with our amps, I hope that this information is helpful.  Please do not hesitate to call and ask us if you feel that your speakers will be a good fit for our amps, or which amp would best suit your speakers.

Happy Holidays!

Dan Wright

ModWright Instruments Inc.

Oppo BDP-95 Vs. BDP-105: The Results!

Oppo BDP-95 Vs. BDP-105: The Results!


Hi guys, I had a chance to do a direct A/B with the same preamp, same cable between players and preamp and every other variable the same.
Oppo 95 tube mod with tube-rectified and SS rectified external power supply.  Copper internal wiring.
Oppo 105 tube mod with tube-rectified and tube regulated external power supply, silver internal wiring and other bias and design updates to tube circuit, specific to Oppo 105. We also upgraded the power IEC to Furutech and stereo RCA's to Cardas.
I should point out that the Oppo 95 and 105 tube circuits are very similar.  We changed critical resistors types and biased the circuit differently for the 105, to voice it properly with the new external supply.  We also used ultra-pure silver wire in the 105 vs. copper wire in the 95.
The results:
I found that overall, the 105 was more open, resolving and produced a more natural presentation with a BIGGER soundstage and more holographic imaging.  There was a greater sense of air with the 105.  The 95 by comparison was just a bit warmer and darker sounding, with not as much depth.
They are both exceptional and the mod circuits are very similar, except for the external power supply.  Both players use the same DAC.  The 105 offers a headphone amp and digital inputs via optical, coax and USB, allowing it to act as a DAC - of course using our tube analog stage and taking full advantage of our mods! 
The 105 is $1200 vs. $1K for the Oppo 95.  Oppo REALLY took things to the next level with the 105!  They used a bigger overall enclosure without a fan, to allow totally passive cooling.  They also built an even more rigid and non-resonant enclosure and drive enclosure.  Lastly, the internal linear digital and analog supplies are also more sophisticated in the 105!
In keeping with Oppo's own upping the ante, we designed a NEW external tube supply and redesigned our 95 mod to offer the best possible sound with the new supply and new Oppo!
In short, the 105 tube mod IS better than the 95!  It is not a subtle difference and was quite audible!
Thank you and please contact us with any questions or to place an order and get on our list!
Dan W.
ModWright Instruments Inc.

Happy New Year!




As we step through the door of time into the New Year 2013, I find myself looking back on 2012.  For me personally, and for most every person in the world I believe, 2012 was a very dynamic year, in both good and bad ways.


We faced storms, tragedies, a presidential election and avoided the 'fiscal cliff'.  We lost a number of famous people in 2012, such as Dave Brubeck and Whitney Houston to name only two, that contributed to the music world.  We even survived the Mayan's 12.21.12 date and all woke up the next morning to tell about it.


We grew as a country and as mankind, learned tough lessons and found inner strength and wisdom of which we were not aware existed.  I learned to slow down, spend more time with family, to laugh, smile and enjoy music more.  I found that by exercising, getting healthy and working a few less hours overall, I was more efficient and effective.  I learned to appreciate the finer things in life, such as music, good bourbon and the sweet and infectious giggle of my three year old daughter.  In short, I slowed down long enough to look around and realize just how much GOOD there is in my life and in the WORLD.


I believe that it is through struggle, failure and difficult times, that we LEARN and find inner strengths in ourselves.  I believe that our country is going through this right now.  We are seeing the struggles of many and the kindness and selflessness of others.  We are a resilient people, as mankind and as a nation.  We have all had to reach deep inside of ourselves to find the strengths to endure and succeed, moving forward STRONGER and with CONFIDENCE!


The new year represents a fresh start and a new attitude of strength and confidence.  As I become more healthy physically and in life-view I see the sun shine even brighter.


Last year we released the KWI 200 and the new Oppo 105 tube mod.  This year we will finalize the Oppo 103 mod and a SS mod for the Oppo 105.  I have other designs in the works, but nothing concrete and no firm release dates.  New products will be released when they are ready and I am confident that they are the best that they can be.  I am experimenting with transformer-coupled tube designs and we shall see what comes out of this.  I will follow my passion and my heart with regards to audio design in this year.


Here's wishing everyone a Happy New Year and a bright and confident view of the new year ahead and the opportunities that it represents!




Dan Wright 

President, ModWright Instruments Inc (MWI)

Oppo 103 Mods and Linear Power Supply Updates for 103/105!


I have been working on a LPS (Linear Power Supply) to replace the SMPS (Switch-Mode Power Supply) found in the Oppo BDP 103 and BDP 105 players.  Most DVD/Blu-Ray players use SMPS supplies, due to their efficiency, low cost and ease of mfr.  The SMPS provides high-current, low voltage supplies and multiple voltages easily and cheaply.  They also generate RFI (Radio Frequency Interference) at the switching frequency of the supply.
Every since we first modified the early Pioneer DVD players in the late 90's and early 2000's, I have always thought that it would be IDEAL to replace this SMPS with a LPS designed around separate analog and digital transformers.
Well, a considerable amount of time has been spent on this.  I found that the current demands were MUCH  higher than expected (as high as 6A at 5V; 3A at +15V).  This required a pair of 56VA transformers JUST to meet the current demands.  There was then the matter of how to deal with heat dissipation.  Not large voltage drops, but HIGH current still means a lot of power dissipated by the equation P = V*I (Voltage x Current).
Dr. Lee of S. Korea had designed a LPS for the Oppo's that used AL angle as heatsinks, that are designed to conduct heat to the floor of the enclosure.  I admittedly pursued the same path, as it is the ONLY logical way to reject heat.  I used the widest angle I could find, to maximize surface area between chassis floor and AL angle heatsink.  I even applied conductive heat grease.
I finally had a design that provided clean voltage at the desired current. It BARELY fit in the unit, but it did fit.  I then did extensive listening, primarily with the Oppo BDP-103, because the 103 relies on the SMPS for digital (5V), processor and Video (5V), Motor/control (+15V) and analog Audio (+/-15V).  I compared the results directly to that of the SMPS alone.
I then compared the 103 with LPS alone, first, and then with the mods that I had planned, to a STOCK Oppo BDP-105.
Note: BDP 105 = $1200 MSRP; BDP 103 = $500 MSRP.
Note Also: BDP 105 has a linear power supply for DAC and audio circuits, in addition to SMPS.  BDP 103 has only SMPS for all functions.  Both units have the exact same video and processor PCBs.
The Results:
1) The LPS is a NO GO in the 103.  It runs too hot and the sonic benefits were simply not what I expected.  The enclosure is sealed, so there is no good way to reject heat.  Mr. Lee has designed a LPS that may be used in the unit.  I have tested and installed a 'Lee' LPS and it is a good design.  However, if you add Lee's LPS to a unit that we have modified, it WILL void our warranty.  I simply feel that the LPS generates too much heat for the 103.
2) The LPS in the 105 I have looked at extensively and decided the following:
    A) It ONLY provides 5V supply to the processor board and +15V to the drive.
    B) Despite the fact that the unit is passively ventilated, it already runs warm and I am concerned about heat.
    C) The LPS would put two transformers right below the MCH audio board and I would be concerned about EMI and other noise contributions.
    D) Ultimately, due to my findings with the 103, I have decided that the LPS for the 105 is simply not going to provide a worthwhile benefit and I am not willing to add the risk of future reliability issues, due to excess heat.
3) I listened to the 103 with LPS and SMPS and found VERY little difference.  I also measured the digital out signal and found no measurable difference.
4) The 103 stock is NOT as good as the 105 stock!  The 105 is MUCH BETTER!
5) The modified 103 (without LPS), but with upgrades to shielding, damping, parts upgrades in analog stage and power supply is much better and closer to the performance of the stock 105, but I would have to give the edge to the stock 105.
I have decided that we will offer a $500 mod for the 103 that will include the following (2CH only):
  Power Supply upgrades to stock SMPS.
  Chassis damping and shielding.
  Upgrades to analog stage (eliminate all coupling caps).
  Upgrade IEC to Furutech Cryo-treated IEC.
I am still tweaking a couple of things, but I first had to make a decision about the LPS.  I have not compared the two units strictly as transports, but would expect very similar results.  In both units, the digital out circuit, on the processor board, is powered by the SMPS.  This includes audio coax and optical out, as well as HDMI for video.  Both 105 and 103 use the same processor board and video chipset, powered by the same SMPS (Power Supply) design.
Our mods for the 103 are intended to improve its use as a player primarily.  The damping, shielding and power supply upgrades will provide some improvement to its use as a transport and for video.
Thanks guys, it has been a bit of a journey here and the results of the LPS surprised me, but I refuse to offer an upgrade that I do not feel is worthwhile and also that I am not confident of its ultimate reliability.
Dan W.

Music in the Windy City...Axpona 2013

OK, so I wrote this blog entry and am now just posting....guess I have been busy!


Axpona Chicago 2013

A time of firsts and a time of friends, family and good people.
The Axpona Chicago 2013 show was the first audio show in Chicago in the last 15 years.  This strikes me as odd for a city that is so rich in musical culture and color.  It shouldn't be surprising that the turnout was STRONG and the people who came to our room were eager to enjoy MUSIC!
I had the great fortune of showing with Olu from Dynamic Designs and, for the first time, with John Van of Van L Speakerworks.  I have shown with Dynamic Designs in the past, at past RMAF and Newport Audio shows and know their cables to be of exceptional quality and performance.  I only met John Van last year, at a presentation that was put on by ModWright, Van L and Dynamic Design cables, for the LA & OC Audio Society.  I honestly had not even HEARD of Van L Speakerworks, but I have since learned that he is WELL known in his home town of Chicago!
The goal for the show was simple.  Lets put together a simple system of HIGH QUALITY, HIGH PERFORMANCE and HIGH VALUE products!  We showed with our KWI 200 Integrated, LS 100 tube preamp and Oppo 105 with tube mods.  All cabling by Dynamic Design (Lotus Series) and speakers by Van L included the new Silhouette, and two VERY popular designs from his stable, the Duets and The Quartets.
The Duets are a two way monitor, the Quartets, an MTM monitor and the Silhouette a floor-stand, transmission line 2-way with wood laminate cones.  I personally OWN a pair of the Silhouettes, acquired since meeting John last year in OC, so I KNOW how good they are!  I had not experienced the Duets before and had only heard the Quartets at the LA & OC meeting last year.
I can only say that this show was a TRUE pleasure, in many ways!  First of all, I believe that we produced EXCEPTIONAL sound, with a system of speakers and electronics at a price of < $16K!  We were CONSISTENTLY told that our room was one of if not THE best sound at the show, and MANY of the rooms had systems, if not SPEAKERS ALONE, that retailed for over $100,000!
Our room and our system was simple.  No fancy lighting scheme, simple but effective room treatments thanks to the good people at ATS, and a lot of GREAT music!  I was consistently told that the sound in our room was 'RIGHT', 'NATURAL' and 'BALANCED'.  To me it was just MUSIC, in its truest and most natural form.
John Van has quite a following in Chicago, having been an Audio Icon for over 35 years in the Windy City!  Our room was consistently full, over the weekend, with old and new customers of John's and people who knew of ModWright and Dynamic Design Cables, but were hearing Van L's speakers for the first time.  The synergy between Van L Speakers, Dynamic Design Cables and ModWright Instruments Electronics was very special and very right! It was exciting to see people closing their eyes, tapping their feet and letting themselves be absorbed in the music.
Our music ranged from Bach to Barenaked Ladies to Miles Davis and Alice in Chains….it was an eclectic and refreshing mix and the room was CONSISTENTLY full of people enjoying it all.
For me personally, it was a true pleasure to get to know the people of Chicago, John Van and his entire family, who came out to support their father.  It was for me, a powerful weekend that reminded me of WHY I do what I DO!  It is about PASSION and it is about MUSIC!  John, Olu and Myself all have built our businesses in audio around the same passion.  We have all invested a part of ourselves in our products and our businesses.  Perhaps this is why the synergy was strong and the attendees could feel it too.
I sincerely hope that there is a show in Chicago again next year, because if there is, I will BE there!
For those of you in the Chicago Area, please visit Van L Speakerworks and check out his FANTASTIC speakers.  Van L Speakerworks is ALSO the EXCLUSIVE ILLINOIS dealer for ModWright Instruments.  If you are in the midwest and want to audition our products, please make the trip to Van L Speakerworks.

Dankeschon Munich and Hifi Deluxe 2013!


Sitting in a hotel in Munich, it is the last day of the HiFi Deluxe show, with one remaining day for High End at the MOC - Munich Convention Center.  As the rain taps a syncopated rhythm on the windows of my hotel room, I smile, thinking of the times that we had at this years High End Audio show in Munich.
I first of all want to thank Michael and Nicole of Ibex Audio, Distributors of ModWright Instruments (Germany, Austria, Switzerland) for their excellent representation of our brand and for the fantastic job that they are doing and at the HiFi Deluxe 2013 show.
Between pints of Weissen, Spaten, Dunkel and Dopplebok, I have met many wonderful people here in Germany and had a fantastic time!
Munich is not unlike my home of Washington state, in terms of temperature and weather.  It has been sunny, mild, cool and rainy on different days.  The city is beautiful with its mix of sophisticated engineering and classic architecture; a contrast of modern ingenuity and historic tradition.
To an American, it may seem odd to step into a Mercedes Benz or BMW taxi.  The fact that the Police drive BMW's may also be a surprise.  In reality, the Chevy Camaro that I saw parked on the street between Euro luxury cars is actually the MORE EXOTIC ride, in the home of German Automotive Engineering tradition.  OK, so I LIKE BMWs…what's not to like?
The people of Germany are friendly and polite.  I have found there seems to be an even greater appreciation for music and the finer things in life.  Visitors to our distributor's room at HiFi Deluxe sit quietly and take time to enjoy the music.  Michael has played a broad variety of music that shows off the system well (Von Schweikert Speakers, Harmonic Tech cabling, ModWright Instruments electronics and EERA digital).
I have had the pleasure of meeting members of the German, Dutch and Polish Press. Thank you to Marek of High Fidelity Poland as well as members of the German press from Image HiFi, Fidelity, Stereo, LP Magazine, HiFi Stars, HiFiStatement.net and others!
Some of the great beer and food I enjoyed in Munich was courtesy of Image HiFi, along with Michael and Nicole at an evening event.
While I did abstain from CES this year - first time in 13 years - I am glad that I decided to attend the Munich show this year.  Times change, and I believe the Munich show has become The Central Global Audio Exhibition.  I have met with our distributors from Europe, Asia and North America while here.  Because of its location, as well as the amount of interest in HiFi in Germany, the show is attractive to manufacturers and distributors from the East and West.  It is about 10-13 hours travel time from the West Coast of the U.S., as well as from Asia.  Both myself and Ken Koo of Audio Extreme (HK/China Distributor) travelled nearly the exact amount of time to reach the show, albeit scribing directly opposite routes around the globe.
The show at HiFi Deluxe is located at the Marriott Hotel on Berliner Strasse.  The High End show is at the MOC - Munich Convention center.  Not unlike CES and T.H.E. Show in Las Vegas every year, the High End show is a LARGE venue, where ALL brands of high-end audio and video products are shown, both on the convention center floor, as well as in the high-ceilinged, glass enclosed rooms of the Atrium.  The HiFi Deluxe show is a more intimate setting with a smaller number of vendors.  The show organizer made a GOOD decision to space the exhibition rooms out such that each room is very quiet and there is virtually no noise-contamination from adjacent rooms as is commonly the case at U.S. audio shows in hotel venues.

The MOC is a brisk center of commerce, advertising and deal-making.  The HiFi Deluxe offers a more personal interaction between consumers, dealers and distributors as well as manufacturers.  I am pleased that Ibex Audio decided to show at HiFi Deluxe.

Regretfully our time in Munich had to come to an end.  The HiF Deluxe show ended on Sat. evening, while the High End show at the MOC ended on Sun. I was able to do some sightseeing on Sunday, after concluding our business at the Marriott.

The day was spent in the city center, Marianplatz.  Something that anyone traveling to Germany should know.....ALL stores are closed on Sunday!  OK, so restaurants are open and a few places serving food, cafes and such are open, but if you want to do any shopping on Sunday, you are going to have to go to the....airport?

Strange to say, but true.  I found that the airport, because it is outside of the city, is allowed to do business on Sunday.  This is NOT just a few souvenier shops either.  I was quite surprised to find QUITE a number of people at the airport, eating lunch, shopping for grocery and sundries, clothes, you name it!  Inside of the airport is literally a multi-story shopping mall.  As I said, strange but true!

Well, the 14 hour return trip to the States was comfortable and uneventful, thanks to KLM and Delta airlines.  Opposite of my flight in, I had one layover in Amsterdam from Munich, where I then flew non-stop to Portland Oregon International.

Munich is THE international high-end audio expo in my opinion.  This year was a fantastic event and I will return next year!

Auf wiedersehen!
Dan Wright
President, ModWright Instruments Inc.

A Testament to the Oppo 105 mod by Arnie Nudell!

A Testament to the Oppo 105 mod by Arnie Nudell!
In all of my years in audio I have and never written about any of the myriad of products that I have used. As one can imagine, I have used more products than almost any individual will see or use in his or her lifetime. As is well known, over the years I have very much favored Audio Research products and used many of them over the years. For the first time, I am compelled to write about a product that is so extraordinary it has completely allowed me in a wonderful way, to enjoy music as never before. I've always prided myself, and lucky enough, to have experienced some of the greatest and most expensive audio products ever made. Some of my own products luckily have fell into that category.

The product that I am writing about, and obviously extraordinarily crazy about is the Oppo 95/105 with the complete Modwrights vacuum tube modifications. The Oppo without the modifications is a wonderful device on its own and given class A designations in the midst of many other far more expensive players. Many people I know use the Oppo as it comes from the factory in their systems and are delighted with the results. Before sending the Oppo 95 to Modwright, I spent several weeks breaking in the device and listening carefully. I found the device to be very musical with great articulation, excellent imaging and very satisfying. Having had several Modwright player modifications in the past, I knew what a great difference they would make.

After receiving the modified Oppo with all of the important Modwright magic including the double 6sn7 vacuum tube modifications of the analog section, and also, the complete three vacuum tube power supply, I  had one more thing to do which was taking Dan Wrights suggestion of using the Sophia 6sn7s and a new old stock Mullard rectifier. I then took my first listen to this device and this is where all my words will not be sufficient to really properly describe the sound that issued forth.

All of us have heard the descriptive words like resolution, articulation, huge sound field, and slam. None of these appellations can adequately describe the sound of this device. One of the ways that I would choose to describe this device over all the other DACs, players, and transports that I have heard, would be that the Modwright Oppo is the only one that really lets the emotion of the music and the players of the music really be heard in a way that is closer to the live experience than I have ever heard before. Sure, the Modwright has all of the above descriptors in spades. It has the most enveloping sound field that I've ever heard and all of the articulation and resolution that one could ask for without making the music edgy. I've heard many DACs and players that have great articulation and resolution but they seem to get it with a little more edginess in their presentation than real music ever has.

In my opinion, the best recordings of classical music has been made over the years by Reference Recordings. Now with this device,at 24/176.4 I can play their sensational H R X recordings and hear them exhibit music closer to the real thing than I have ever heard before. Also, hearing my best SACD recordings also takes the emotional quality of music to a new level.

My final remarks are very simple. If you want to hear music in all its glory I would implore you to rush out and get this Modwright Oppo,you will never be sorry.
Arnie Nudell
(Famed Genesis Loudspeaker Designer among other accomplishments - Dan Wright)

Fidelity Magazine (Germany) Review for KWA 100SE & LS 100!!!

Fidelity Magazine (Germany) Review for KWA 100SE & LS 100!!!

We just received this fantastic review and it made me smile!  It is a great read, a great review and should help us ALL remember why we first got excited about audio to begin with!



Dan Wright
ModWright Instruments

RMAF 2013 - IRIS ROOM - Where is the Iris Room????

RMAF 2013 - IRIS ROOM - Where is the Iris Room????
Hi guys, we will be at RMAF 2013 this yer (OF COURSE!!!), sharing the IRIS room with Daedalus Audio and Wywires for the second year.
The IRIS room is a MUCH larger room than most and we had exceptional sound last year!  It is NOT in the towers or in the upper floors of the atrium.  Rather, it is on the MAIN floor of the hotel, down the hall, where the meeting and other function rooms are.
Attached is a map that we drew up (OK, crude but effective), to clarify WHERE we are this year!
We will be showing the new 'Elyse' DAC in near final form in the IRIS room.
We will also be showing an early prototype of our new 'Black' phono stage, in room 514 with Dynamic Design cables.
Helius TT/arm and Dynavector XV-1S.
The ELYSE is a fully tubed DAC, transformer coupled in and out with Lundahl transformers, with RCA, XLR, BNC and USB inputs (24./192 full asynch).  Balanced and RCA outs.
BLACK phono features external dual-mono power supply, Lundahl transformer coupling in and out, 68dB gain and variable loading.
Thanks and I look forward to seeing you all there!
Dan W.



Order tube mod ($2495) for Oppo BDP-105 (customer supplied unit) and we will include FOR FREE: 2CH Bybee Rail, Audio Magic Pulse Gen and FREE SHIPPING, within the continental U.S., via UPS Ground w/ins. (Int'l customers qualify, but must pay actual freight charges).

2CH Bybee Rail upgrade = $250 value. Link: http://www.bybeelabs.com/
Audio Magice Pulse Gen Zx upgrade = $400 value. Link: http://www.audio-magic.com/Prod-PulseGenZX.html
UPS Ground shipping = up to $75 value. 


This is a ONE WEEK sale, so please call us NOW if interested!

Thanks and I look forward to hearing from you!


Dan W.

ModWright Oppo 105 - PFO Brutus Award!

ModWright Oppo 105 - PFO Brutus Award!

I want to thank David Robinson at Positive Feedback Online (PFO) for awarding us a 2013 'Brutus Award' for the Oppo 105 Modification!

2013 has been a busy year for us at ModWright!

Sales of the Oppo 105 have been exceptional and it has received praise from many customers as well as notable industry professionals such as Arnie Nudell of Infinity and Genesis fame!

This has also been a great year for the KWI 200 and towards the end of the year, I feel that both in the U.S. and abroad, the virtues of our Flagship Amplifier - The KWA 150 Signature Edition - have begun to receive much broader recognition.

It is an exciting time in Audio with Hi-Rez Digital, a resurgance in Analog playback, both tape and vinyl, as well as the explosion of Headphone listening.

I have not been lounging....

The Elyse DAC is in its final design stages, as well as a Reference Phono preamplifier.  We are expecting to release both new products by the end of Q1, 2014.

I am also investigating headphone amplifier designs, starting with hybrid tube/SS designs.

I want to take this opportunity to thank all of our loyal customers, dealers and distributors around the world for supporting ModWright Instruments and all that we do.

I also want to wish you all a Warm Holiday Season and  Happy New Year.



Dan Wright
President, ModWright Instruments Inc.

Oppo BDP 105 Darbe Edition and DSD!!!

Oppo BDP 105 Darbe Edition and DSD!!!
Hi guys, just wanted to point out something that Oppo has released.
The new Oppo BDP-105 'Darby Edition' offers both better video AND DSD 64 AND DSD 128 via USB DAC input - not a feature available with the standard Oppo BDP-105.
All of our 105 mods are DIRECTLY applicable and no change in pricing, implementation or options.  The KEY to this upgrade, in addition to better video from the brilliant guys at Oppo, is that you can NOW listen to DSD1 and DSD2 (64 and 128) streaming music files DIRECTLY from computer!  The standard 105 WILL decode DSD 64, but only via non-DAC USB inputs. you need to navigate on-screen menus or use mobile app.  Music can only be connected to Oppo BDP-105 (standard edition) via USB thumb drive or other external USB drive, but not directly from PC....until now!
The Darby Edition allows you to stream DIRECTLY from your PC and INCLUDES DSD2 (128) capbilities!
Just wanted to give everyone a heads-up.
The ModWright Oppo 105 mod continues to be one of THE MOST successful mods that we have ever released.  The Darby Edition just gives you MORE options!
Dan Wright
President, ModWright Instruments Inc.


We are pleased to announce our latest Mod for the Sony HAP-Z1ES DSD music server!
The Sony HAP-Z1ES is a music server without digital input or output and without any CD tray.  It can store as much as 1TB of music on the stock internal HD.  The HAP-Z1ES upsamples all audio files to DSD2 level high-resolution prior to decoding.
This unit plays 2CH music only and requires that must be transferred from computer or external HD via USB input.
If you are looking for a COMPLETE music server solution that also offers HIGH-REZ music playback, this is it!
It is good stock, but with our Truth modification, the Sony HAP-Z1ES is elevated to TRULY REFERENCE playback levels!
Modification Details:
1) Stock IEC replaced with Furutech IEC, hard-wired to power input of player, eliminating molex connectors.
2) Stock analog stage and ALL op-amps are replaced with our choke/transformer inductive-coupled design, featuring a new passive I-V stage and fully balanced circuitry.
3) XLR and RCA outs both fed from tube stage. XLR outs are fully differential. 
4) 'Truth' Umbilical made from 99.9999% pure Cardas Silver and Copper solid core wire and Cardas Litz for ground.
5) Upgrade of all critical digital power supply (Data, USB, and DAC supplies) with Os-Con capacitors.
6) Chassis damping applied.
7) External supply provided, to power tube stage only.
Fast, clean, organic, extended, RESOLVING and musical sound. Visceral bass and extended highs with clean and sweet midrange.  Dead quiet noise floor and exceptionally low output impedance.
I have been quietly working on this since last Nov. First unit to ship week ending April 4, 2014!
Tube complement: (2) 6922 driver. (1) 5AR4, 5U4GB, 5V4GB, 5R4GYS and equivalents for rectifier. 
This design, as well as the ELYSE DAC and PH 150 Ref. Phono all share in common, a new design direction that I have been exploring for some time, making extensive use of transformers and inductive coupling.  All circuits are ENTIRELY tube based, with the exception of SS voltage regulation.  They all also include use of the 6922 tube that I have found ideal for use in these circuits. 6922, 6DJ8, 7308 are all acceptable tubes to be used.  I am also going to evaluate 6N1P and 6H30 tubes this week!
Full tube mod as described with external supply and 'Truth' umbilical = $2995.
Intro pricing = $2495 through end of April!
Please contact us if you are interested in having a HAP-Z1ES modified or have questions.
We are now booking starting dates beginning: April 28, 2014!
Photo provided here is of the First Article.  Full details as well as professional photographs will follow in the Modiifcations portion of our site soon!
Dan Wright
President, ModWright Instruments

Munch High End 2014

Munch High End 2014

Just got back from the Munich High End Show and HiFi Deluxe, 2014.

I want to thank our distributor  Ibex, for putting on a great exhibit at HiFi Deluxe.

I also want to thank Tune Audio, Signal Projects and Amazon Audio for a great showing at the MOC (Munich Convention Center).

We had a great time and made beautiful music at HiFi Deluxe:

Analog only system.
Endeavor Audio Loudspeakers
Rui Borges TT/Ikeda arm and cartridge
ModWright KWA 150SE Amp
ModWright LS 36.5 'DM' tube preamp
ModWright PH 150 Reference Phono Stage (NEW!)

We made beautiful music at the High End Audio show (MOC):

Tune Audio Anima Horn speakers and Pulse Subwoofer
Amazon Audio Analog
Signal Projects Audio cabling throughout.
ModWright Instruments KWA 150SE Amp
ModWright Instruments LS 36.5 'DM' tube preamp.
ModWright 'ELYSE' tube DAC (NEW!).

MOC System with Tune Audio Loudspeakers




A big thank you also to Jack Durant, of BD Audio, our UK distributor for all of the work he did for ModWright at the MOC.

Germany is a modern, elegant and friendly city.  We enjoyed great food, VERY good German beer and the company of many of our Euro and Global distributors at what has become THE International Audio show of the year.

I will share more photos as they become available to me.

I look forward to next year in Munich!


Dan Wright
ModWright Instruments Inc.

Munich 2014 Hifi Deluxe - Gold Show Award Best Sound!

Munich 2014 Hifi Deluxe - Gold Show Award Best Sound!

I want to thank AV Showrooms for their awarding us a Gold Show Award HiFi Deluxe Best Sound for Munich 2014.

We had a great showing of an all vinyl system, thanks to Ibex, our distributor for Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

The system consisted of:

ModWright KWA 150SE Amplier
ModWright LS 36.5 'DM' dual mono tube preamplifier
ModWright PH 150 Reference Phono stage

Endeavor Loundspeakers
Rui Borges TT
Funk Firm TT
Ikeda Arm/Cartridge
Harmonic Technology Cabling
Solid Tech Racks

This was the first PRODUCTION debut of our PH 150 Reference phono stage and this all-vinyl system sounded fantastic.

Thanks again to Ibex for their hard work and great room and to AV Showrooms for the video coverage and award.


Dan Wright
President, ModWright Instruments Inc.

New from ModWright!!!

PH 150 Reference Phono


Yes, we are NOW shipping both the new PH 150 Reference Phono stage and ELYSE DAC!!!

Professional photos are still to be arranged....

Basic Specs:

PH 150

MM/MC: 72dB max MC gain; 57dB max MM gain.

Loading: (6) resistive and (6) capacitance loadings via front panel control - on the fly!

Gain Adjustment: Front panel on-the-fly control of gain = 0dB, -6dB, -12dB attenutation.

Input Switching: MM/Mute/MC input switching on-the-fly via front panel controls.
Mono/Stereo Switching: Front panel controls.
Phase Switching: rear toggle.
XLR/RCA Output Switching: Rear toggle selects XLR (fully balanced) or RCA outs.

Power Supply: External, pure SS, via 4ft. umbilical.

Tubes: (2)6C45; (2)6922/6DJ8/7308



Digital Inputs: SPDIF (RCA); SPDIF (BNC); AES/EBU (XLR); USB (24/192 fully asynch).

Analog outputs: XLR (fully balanced); RCA.

DAC: Burr Brown PCM1794.

Digital Technology: FLGA based data and clock buffering via proprietary algorithm and custom dual frequency clock for lowest jitter. DSD capability will be future upgrade option.

Analog Circuitry: Transformer (Lundahl) coupled input and output with no capacitors in signal path. 6922 tube based design.

Power Supply: Separately regulated analog and digital supplies. Tube rectified and SS regulated high voltage supply. Current regulated tube filament supply and redundant digital voltage regulation.

Tube Rolling: Rectifier: 5AR4/5R4GYS/5U4G/5U4GB/5V4G/5V4GB/217.  Driver tubes: 6922/6DJ8/7308.

Introducing the Elyse DAC!

Introducing the Elyse DAC!

We are pleased to announce the new Elyse DAC!

The Elyse DAC has been over two years in the making and I am very excited about the results!  Elyse, the namesake of my 5-year old daughter, it is just as beautiful and full of energy as she is.

Please see the latest review from the UK!


The Elyse DAC is an all-tube design with RCA, BNC, AES/EBU and USB (24/192 fully asynchronous) inputs (will be future upgradable for DSD input).

Please contact your local dealer or distributor for more information.  If you do not have a ModWright dealer near you, please contact us for more information.

Introducing the PH 150 Ref. Phono!

Introducing the PH 150 Ref. Phono!

We are pleased to present the new PH 150 Reference Tube Phono stage with on-the-fly loading and attenuation controls.

The PH 150 is an all tube-transformer coupled design with external SS PS 150 power supply.

Max gain = 72dB.  MM/MC, Stereo/Mono,  RCA and XLR (fully balanced outs) and rear phase toggle.

Resistive and capacitive loading may be adjusted on-the-fly via front panel controls.

Gain may also be adjusted in 0, -6dB and -12dB steps, on-the-fly for both MM and MC inputs.

Inputs may also be switched on-the-fly, from MM to MC carts for tables with multiple arms.

We are very excited about our Flagship PH 150 tube phono stage.  It is receiving praise from around the globe!

For more information, please contact your local ModWright dealer or distributor.  If you do not have a dealer near you, please contact ModWright for more information.

Dan Wright
President, ModWright Instruments Inc.

New and Exciting at ModWright!

New and Exciting at ModWright!

New Review in The Absolute Sound for the ModWright Oppo 105 Truth Mods, by Jim Hannon! - http://www.theabsolutesound.com/articles/modwright-oppo-bdp-105-with-truth-modifications/

Sony HAZ-Z1ES DSD Music Server Mods!

Elyse DAC now Shipping!
Review: http://www.hifiwigwam.com/modwright-elyse-dac/

PH 150 Reference Tube Phono gains huge praise across the globe!
Review: http://www.modwright.com/cms/resources/ph150-review.pdf

ModWright Assembles 'A' Team for Munich Show in 2015!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8FKma9wD21Y (Bonn show 2014 video coverage, thank you Cor Dekker!).

Lots to be excited about right now at ModWright.  We are first of all most grateful to Jim Hannon of The Absolute Sound for his fantastic review of our Oppo 105 Truth mods.  I also want to thank Arnie Nudell for his continued praise of our products and immense support of our work.

ModWright's answer to DSD is the Oppo 105D as DAC (accepts up to DSD2 files via USB input) and the new Sony HAP-Z1ES Hi-rez music server which converts ALL music formats to DSD resolution!

The Oppo 105D is the ultimate Universal Player and DAC, as well as 4K video player for Home Theater.

The Sony HAP-Z1ES offers the ultimate music server solution for those who have made the leap to computer audio and want both Hi-Rez playback and the convenience of having their ENTIRE music library archived in one place, on one source, now with ModWright Truth Level sonics!

The Elyse DAC is ModWright's Reference tube DAC!  This is the first digital product of our own design and I am peased and proud to name it after my beautiful 5 year old daughter Elyse!  it is Lundahl transformer coupled in and out, direct-coupled with no capacitors in the signal path.  Capable of data rates up to 24/192 (DSD future upgradable), it offers Redbook and Hi-Rez playback via SPDIF, AES/EBU and USB input.  Outputs are RCA and XLR (fully balanced).  Tube complement = (2) 6922's and (1) 5AR4 (5U4GB, 5V4GB, 5R4GYS, 274 and equivalent rectifiers).

The PH 150 Reference tube phono has shipped to HK, Denmark, UK, Germany, Singapore, Philippines, Taiwan and beyond.  With on-the-fly loading for R, C and gain, MM and MC inputs, RCA and XLR fully balanced outputs and 72dB max MC gain, the PH 150 is the ultimate in vinyl playback and flexibility!

Lastly we are excited to announce that plans have been finalized for ModWright to show with the folloiwng 'A' team, in Munich 2015:

Endeavor Audio Speakers
The Funk Firm Turntable
Jorma Design Cables
ModWright Instruments Electronics

Following a Best Sound of Show at this years Bonn show, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8FKma9wD21Y (video courtesy of Cor Dekker) thanks to our German distributor Ibex, we have found this to be a Class A system!

Exciting times at ModWright!

Dan Wright
President, ModWright Instruments Inc.

Elyse DAC Feedback!

Elyse DAC Feedback!

I want to thank Mr. Anderson for his kind words.  He emailed me today, a brief writeup of how he feels about the Elyse DAC and I had to share.

God bless this Earth, God bless America, and God bless Dan and the ModWright staff. I sold my ModWright Oppo 105 based on Dan’s recommendation to try the Elyse. As the ModWright 105 is like a 5th baseball play-off game in the 9th, and the winning team just hit a game winning homer, the Elyse DAC is the 7th game in the World Series, where the winning team just hit a grand slam to win it all. ModWright has hit this out of the park. The emotion, the texture, the soul of music, has just risen ten fold in my system. I would not have known this by just listening to my previous ModWright 105, but now I have heard the light. I am not a professional reviewer, so I will let them report later on, as they can do a better job than me. I can only express my deepest gratitude to Dan and Alex, and the team at ModWright, for an exceptional, mind/ear bending experience. - J. Anderson, 12/10/14

What's New at ModWright!

What's New at ModWright!

A Picture says it all....

ModWright and Tune Audio in glorious display in the UK!

I want to thank Jack of BD Audio for his excellent representation of ModWright Instruments in the UK.

I am pleased to announce, as of today, that we will be showing in Munich, at the MOC, with Tune Audio and VPI.


Looking for a server/player/hi-rez option with tubes, DSD and min. 1TB music storage?
Retail Mod Price = $2995 (Intro mod price = $2500) - MOD SALE PRICE = $2250 - including return shipping!
The Sony HAP-Z1ES with our Truth Mods is a Modern Marvel!  It is the solution to hi-rez music playback without the need of a player or separate DAC/computer combination.  The HAP-Z1ES has an internal 1TB HD and the ability to add additional USB external HD's for more storage.  It uses dual Burr Brown PCM 1795 DACs and is exceptionally well designed and built.
Our mod takes this great server/player and replaces the stock analog stage with our own Class A, Lundahl Transformer coupled, 6922-based tube analog stage.
Pure Class A.
Zero Negative Feedback.
External tube rectified power supply.
Upgraded 'Truth' umbilical to connect external supply to player.
Upgrades to stock digital supplies, including Os-Con caps for lowest jitter and best performance.
The Sony HAP-Z1ES is capable of playing all DSD and DSD2 files AND also converts ALL music files to DSD resolution before decoding!
We have been thrilled with this Modern Machine.  Whether listening to your archived music library, streaming digital radio or other music, you will find the convenience and sound of the Truth Modified HAP-Z1ES player to be fantastic!
It can also be controlled via IOS or Android app with any smart device.
If you are interested, please don't hesitate to call or email us directly:
Dan Wright
President, ModWright Instruments Inc.

Editor's Choice Award! ModWright Oppo 105D Mod!

Editor's Choice Award! ModWright Oppo 105D Mod!

I am pleased to announce that the ModWright BDP 105 (and 105D) modification have been awarded an Editor's Choice Award for 2015 in The Absolute Sound.  Jim Hannon wrote a great review of this mod in a prevoius isssue.

The Sony HAPZ-1ES (stock) ALSO received an Editor's Choice award and we ALSO offer a fantastic mod for the Sony.  We are currently offering a sale on the HAPZ-1ES mods = $2250 ($2500 intro price/ $2995 retail).

Please let us knwo if you are interested in having either unit modified as we are getting busier every day!


Dan W.

Unveiling at Capital Audio Fest...

We are pleased to unveil a new product and potential new direction for ModWright Instruments (MWI). We hope you like it!  Please come and check it out if you are able. Please visit us in the Randal Room and Room 309.


We are also going to be debuting a prototype of the SWL 9.0 Anniversary Edition preamp.  This marks 16 years in business and 12 years after the release of the first SWL 9.0SE linestage, the namesake of Spencer Wright, 9.0lb at birth!

Hope you like what you see at the unveiling (photos will be shared if not present) and please share your thoughts and feedback.


Dan Wright

Ambrose and Capital Audiofest 2015

Ambrose and Capital Audiofest 2015

We were so happy to unveil the Ambrose Concept tube amp from MWI at Capital Audiofest 2015.  This is a joint venture of ModWright, Electraprint, Daedalus Audio and CJ Manufacturing.

The circuit design and transformer winding are by Jack Elliano, woodwork by Lou Hinkley of Daedalus Audio and Custom Machining by Dave Palka of CJ Manufacturing.  We are all very excited about how this turned out.

Ambrose SE EL34 Tube Amp

(All photos by Scot Hull, Part Time Audiophile)

Captial Audiofest 2015 was a great show and a credit to Gary Gill's hard work and excellent service from the Hilton Hotel, Rockville MD.

We had two rooms, both with Daedalus Speakers and Wywires cabling.  The smaller room, hosted by our MD dealer, Scott Dalzell of Viva HiFi featured our new SWL 9.0 Anniversary Edition in proto form, as well as our Elyse DAC, PH 150 Reference Phono stage and ModWright modified Oppo 105D.

The larger room (Randolf Room) featured our KWA 150SE as amplifier and our LS 36.5 'DM' as preamp.  In the Randolf room, we were pleased to be able to spin vinyl with the new VPI Avenger Turntable.  We used a VPI Aries in the smaller room.

Our thanks go out to the excellent photography and coverage from Scot Hull of Part Time Audiophile:


We are also most grateful to Stereophile for their blog coverage by Art Dudley:


And also to Herb Reichert


Speaking of which, yes Herb, I would love to have you review the SWL 9.0 Anniversary Edition when available.

And Art, yes of course you will be called first when I have an Ambrose ready for review. ;)

Our sincere gratitude also goes out to AVS forum for their video coverage of our room:


I will continue to share more as it comes in, but I wanted to put what we had together so far, in one blog post.



RMAF 2015 and the new 845 DS Monoblocks!!!

RMAF 2015 and the new 845 DS Monoblocks!!!

We are excited to prepare for this years RMAF show in Denver, CO, Oct. 2-4, 2015.

World Premier! We will be debuting several new products, including the Cost No Object 845 DS SET mono blocks - 32W/CH - in room 8002. 


We will be showing the 845 DS Monoblocks in room 8002 with Skogrand cables, Endeavor loudspeakers, Triangle Art TT, arm and Cartridge.  The rest of the system will include ModWrght LS 36.5 'DM', Elyse DAC, PH 150 phono and modified Oppo 105D.

The 10W/CH SE EL34 Ambrose tube amp will be on display also.

Two new prototype products:

The SWL 9.0 Anniversary Edition preamp (< $3K), with integral headphone amp, similar styling as the orginal SWL 9.0SE with better sound!

We are bringing an early prototype of an all tube headphone amp, designed by Damon Coffman of Coffman labs, to go into production as a ModWright product.  It provides 2-3W+ power for the most demanding headphones, and offers mini, 1/4" and XLR inputs. (2)6922's and (4)12B4's, all NOS make up the tube complement.  We will be giving after-hours demos of the new headphone amp in the Iris room with a number of high-end headhpones and WyWires cable.

MWI will be in the Iris room With Daedalus and Wywires, 8002 as described above and our Elyse DAC and PH 150 will be used in room 422 with Purity, Daedalus and Wywires.

I look forward to seeing you all there!  Please stop by Friday night at 6:00 in room 8002 and the Iris room where we will have informal gatherings.


Dan W.

New Vibration Isolation Products!

New Vibration Isolation Products!
I have been quite pleased to use the DiD's (Daedalus Isolation Devices) at the last two shows with Lou from Daedalus Audio.  These devices have been designed by Lou Hinkley over the past couple of years and they are extremely effective!
The design operates on the principles of vibration dissipation between multi-dissimilar material boundaries as well as through rotational energy.  The design incorporates AL, steel, hardwood and brass, and includes steel ball bearings inside the device to allow for the dissipation of rotational energy.  Rather than reflect vibrational energy back into the device, or transmit it to a rack or other high-mass base, the device actually dissipates the energy itself.
I was very impressed with the what I heard, including increase in space, depth, resolution and low-level detail, that simply brings you closer to the actual live musical event.
At RMAF and Capital Audiofest, we did live-demonstrations in which we played a track with and without the DiD's under the Elyse DAC.  The results were clear and obvious to those present. I have found them to be exceptionally effective under ANY tube gear in PARTICULAR, but also under SS products.
They were standard issue as the footers for our 845 DS Cost No Object SET monoblocks as well as our Ambrose 10W SE amp.
Intro retail price is $160 EA or $480/set of three as I recommend them to be used.
We are offering discounts to ALL of our mod customers and MWI product owners.  Please call or email for more information.
Dan W.

Tube amps, Ambrose, 845 DS and RMAF - In Search of the Perfect Song...

Tube amps, Ambrose, 845 DS and RMAF - In Search of the Perfect Song...

I want to thank Carol Clark for writing a fantastic article titled: In Search of the Perfect Song, the RMAF Edition:


At RMAF this year, we took a step in a new direction for ModWright, featuring two new tube amps, both Single Ended, with exquisite fit and finish, in a collaboration with Daedalus Audio (wood work and design), Electraprint Audio (transformers and tube design technology) and CJ Manufacturing (brilliant metalwork).

The Ambrose is a 10W EL34 based, Class A, single ended design.


The 845 DS is a 30W SET, Class A1, Cost No Object Monoblock design.

845 DS

The article is about the ONE SONG that for each of us, gives the True experience of escape that only music can.

Carol describes this experience with The Cure's song "Play for Today" through the Ambrose amp, Daedalus Poseidon speakers and WyWires Diamond cables as follows:

 Almost immediately I began to get lost in the song, feeling those chills that signify this is one of my perfect songs. By midway through I was oblivious to anything around me, except the music. Wow.

We had installed the 845 DS monos in another room early in the show and ultimately found that they were a better match with the more efficient Poseidon speakers.

Carol was kind enough to come back and listen again on the third day. Her comments about the same song in the same system, but this time with the 845 DS SET monoblocks:

The first time I listened to the song in this room it was crazy good, but this time it was even better. The music came out and surrounded me, and the shivers were even stronger. These amplifiers with these speakers are a winning combination. If I had my way, I would have taken up that sweet spot seat and sat there for the rest of the day, listening to every song on the Paris recording. Everything in that system just melded together in the best way possible.

Thank you Carol, for your kind words, sharing YOUR favorite song, and for being one of my favorite people in Audio.


Introducing Tryst, the first dedicated Headphone Amp from MWI.

Base Price: $2995 - Factory Direct (special finish and options may add to cost).

‘trist’ : A secret meeting or rendezvous…

Factory direct model was chosen to allow best value to customer and no compromise in component, build quality, finish and sound.

Come see TRYST AT SoCal CanJam March 19-20 in Costa Mesa, CA!

Circuit Design by Damon Coffman of Coffman Labs


Oxblood Custom Finish, Tryst and TPS Power Supply

Tryst was designed to drive all modern headhpones, with the exception of Stax and other electrostats, that require a specific type of amplifier.  We have successfully used Tryst with HiFi Man, Mr. Speaker Ethers, The Abyss and Audeze's LCD series of headphones as well as more conventional offerings from Sennheiser and Grado. At 3W+ into 18 ohms, the amp offers plenty of power for the most demanding applications.

We designed the unit with two source inputs, two preamp outputs for use as a preamp or with other powered desktop speakers, etc.  Outputs include 1/4" stereo, IEM (mini stereo) and 4 pin XLR balanced outputs.  The circuit is all tube, interstage and output transformer coupled with custom hand-wound transformers from Jack Elliano at Electraprint Audio.

Power supply is external and SS rectified and choke current regulated.
Tube Complement: (2) 6922, (4) 12B4 - all NOS.
Circuit Design: PP transformer coupled with zero negative feedback and pure Class A operation.

Controls include input select: Mute, I, II. Volume (noble pot). IEM only enabled when 1/4" Jack has headphones or 1/4" Jack adaptor installed.
MWI caps and top quality shielded wire throughout to insure absolute quiet performance. 
Power supply is fully external for the same reason, with custom WyWires umbilical connecting supply to amp (3ft).

Custom finishes available for tube 'hood' and transformer bell ends. Base enclosures are flat black. Knobs and connectors on face are silver. Faceplates are hand polished black anodized AL.
These units are built on a 'Bespoke' model with regards to finish and possibly other options such as wiring and internal components.

Custom Black Metallic Finish with polished Steel End Bells

External Tryst Power Supply (TPS)

Thank you again for your support and feedback.  I look forward to seeing you at SoCal CanJam, this weekend! (March 19-20, 2016).

For order inquiries and questions:
ModWright Instruments Inc (MWI)
email: modwright@yahoo.com
Call: 360.247.6688

Axpona 2016 - Awards and Coverage!

Axpona 2016 - Awards and Coverage!
We had a great show at Axpona 2016 in Chicago this year.  I have finally caught my breath long enough to share the coverage and awards.
We showed in the Sheffield room with Triangle Art, Egglestonworks Speakers, Skogrand Cables and Massif Racks. We had big and powerful sound in a Reference System!
Part Time Audiophile Coverage
Enjoy the Music Coverage
We also showed with Ryan Speakers, pairing our SWL 9.0 Anniversary Edition preamp and KWA 150 Signature Edition Reference SS amp with the Ryan 630 floor standers with great success!  This pairing showed a fantastic system that was affordable to most.  It was a simple and elegant system and room and the sound was phenomenal!
The Absolute Sound - Electronics $20K and under - Most Significant! SWL 9.0 Anniversary Edition Release!
Positive Feedback Online - Audio Oasis Award
AV Showrooms Golden Show Award AXPONA 2016 BEST SOUND!
Thank you to all that we saw at Axpona this year and I hope to see more of you next year!
Dan Wright
President, ModWright Instruments

PFO Audio Oasis Award - Axpona 2016 Coverage

PFO Audio Oasis Award - Axpona 2016 Coverage


Thank you once again to David Robinson for the great photos and Audio Oasis award for our room with Ryan Speakers.  I too felt that this system had a special synergy and the attendees agreed.  Many telling me that this room weas their favorite and the sound we were getting from modestly priced ($5K) Ryan 630 speakers that just did everything right.

It was also the first big reveal of our new SWL 9.0 Anniversary Edition preamp and I was thrilled with the results.

New SWL 9.0 Anniversary Edition in pictures!

New SWL 9.0 Anniversary Edition in pictures!

Thanks to Lee Shelly for the great photography.

Announcing our new SWL 9.0 Anniversary Edition preamp, celebrating 13 years since the release of our first product, the SWL 9.0SE, and 17 years in business.

Please contact your local MWI dealer or distributor or contact us to find your nearest dealer!

New Tryst Headphone Amp in Pictures!

New Tryst Headphone Amp in Pictures!

Thanks to Lee Shelly for the great photography!

Announcing our new Tryst Headphone Amp, in Oxblood finish.

MWI's first headphone amp offers 3W of power, capable of driving headphones from 16 ohm to 600 ohm, including all modern headphones (excluding electrostats).

The Evolution of MWI Tube Design

The Evolution of MWI Tube Design

Evolution of MWI Tube Design

In July of 2015, Dan Wright visited Jack Elliano of Electraprint Audio, Master transformer winder.  The intent of the visit was to learn to wind our own chokes for R&D and custom work.  In the process, Dan also learned many of the secrets involved in winding audio output transformers, which are the key to the magic of any tube amp’s sound!

While visiting Jack, Dan heard a 10W, Single Ended (SE) EL34 based prototype that Jack had been working on.  The technology, dubbed Isolinear by Elliano, focused on the reduction of IMD (Intermodulation Distortion) as well as THD (Total Harmonic Distortion). Jack found a way to design a circuit, in single ended mode, with the EL34 (only), operating as a Pure Pentode with a specific transformer design.

Dan was struck by how natural, dynamic and ‘live’ the sound was, from the 10W amp. Working alongside Jack, Dan wound a pair of these special design transformers so that he could build a 10W EL34 amp for himself.  The results were stunning here, as they were at Jack’s, and from this, the ‘Ambrose’ line of tube amps from MWI was born.

The Original Ambrose
(Debuted at Capital Audiofest in DC with rave reviews, in late August 2015)
Retail Price: $10,000

Power: 10W Pure Class A.

Tubes: (1) EL34 per channel and (1)12AT7 per stereo amp.

Inputs: (1) Pair RCA.

Outputs: (1) Pair 5-way binding posts.

Transformers: Power and Audi Output Transformers: Custom Electraprint transformers, wound for 6 ohm load.

Finish and Build: Mirror polished Stainless Steel top plate.

Precision machined and engraved, 1” thick solid AL billet top and bottom plates and edge trim. Highly figured Flamed Maple enclosure with dovetail joinery construction and hand-rubbed oil finish. All point-point internal construction with custom MWI capacitors and the best possible components.

The desire for more power prompted the next concept build. The 845 SET (Single Ended Triode) is capable of putting out as much as 32W in Class A1.  32W is enough power to drive a much broader range of speakers.  While the 10W Ambrose sounded beautiful, it required speakers of a higher efficiency.

An inquiry to Jack Elliano again returned a transformer and circuit design with custom reactors and output transformers, capable of achieving this result, with the same Isolinear technology.  It was decided that this would be a CNO (Cost No Object) Statement design!

NOS (New Old Stock) Westinghouse ceramic 845 tube sockets, Tektronix ceramic wire mounts with silver contacts, PSSS (Partial Silver Stranded Secondary) audio output transformers, MWI caps, and Skogrand Beethoven Ultra-Reference internal wiring were chosen for the internal build.

The enclosure was designed similarly to the original Ambrose, but with highly figured Instrument Grade Walnut enclosure, mirror polished stainless steel top plate and 1” thick AL billet top and bottom plates.

Due to the size of the transformers and tubes, these were designed as mono-blocks.  Each enclosure was 16”W x 24”D x 6”H, not counting tubes or transformers. Where the original Ambrose featured exposed transformers, the 845 DS included AL transformer covers (two per mono block), finished in ‘Oxblood Hue’ prismatic powder coat, for a deep and rich burgundy wine color.

The sound of the 845 DS is spacious and deep, with an ‘unworldly’ soundstage. We have never heard such a boundless soundstage and open presentation in our reference system. Operating at 1200V plate voltage, the 845 SET, driven by 6HV5 Compactron Beam Triode allowed for enormous voltage swing and unparalleled headroom. The 845 DS offers the sweet midrange of a good SET amp with the power and dynamics of a high power amp.

Ambrose 845 DS Mono Blocks
(Debuted at Rocky Mountain Audio Fest in Denver with ecstatic reception in early Oct, 2015)
Retail Price: $49,995/pr.

Power: 32W Pure Class A.

Tubes: (1) 845 Direct Heated Triode and (1) 6HV5 Compactron Beam Triode per mono amp.

Inputs: (1) Pair RCA.

Outputs: (1) Pair 5-way binding posts.

Transformers:  Power, Audio Output Transformers, Chokes and Reactors. Custom Electraprint design, wound for 6 ohm load.

Finish and Build: Mirror polished Stainless Steel top plate.

Precision machined and engraved, 1” thick solid AL billet top and bottom plates and edge trim. Highly figured Flamed Maple enclosure with dovetail joinery construction and hand-rubbed oil finish. All point-point internal construction with custom MWI capacitors and the best possible components. Oxblood Hue prismatic powder coat finished transformer covers.

Photo courtesy of Part-Time Audiophile.

The evolution of these concept designs culminated in the Ambrose A30 mono block amplifiers, as production models. We determined that 30W was needed to drive a greater variety of loudspeakers, and the EL34 tube provided the right combination of excellent sonics, tube availability and reasonable build cost.

We knew that a single EL34 tube could produce a clean and low distortion (IMD and THD) 10W of VERY musical power.  Further research with Jack Elliano proved that the same could be done with two EL34’s in parallel for 20W, but at the time, three tubes was problematic, leading to oscillation and instability.  This initial research was done with Dan and Jack Elliano in July of 2015.

Early in 2016, Jack called Dan to tell him that he found a way to stabilize the Trio of EL34 parallel pentodes for a 30W Ambrose amplifier. Dan travelled to Vegas again to work with Jack and listen to the prototype.  It was GOOD and Dan felt that a sweet spot had been found. It was a clean 30W of power that did not require HUGE power transformers operating at 1200V and expensive 845 tubes.

Dan requested a special pair of output transformers designed for a 30W EL34 Ambrose mono block pair, capable of EXCELLENT low AND high frequency response.  This was a special design because transformer designs often require a compromise of bandwidth due to the physics involved in Single Ended output transformers.  More core mass was added and the design was revised by Jack Elliano to deliver what we needed.

The Ambrose A30 Mono Blocks were born. The A30’s possessed the sparkle, dynamics and lively sound of the 10W Ambrose AND enough power to drive a much greater variety of speakers.  It was also much less costly to build than the Reference 845 DS mono blocks, making it more attainable for a greater customer base.

Ambrose A30 Mono Blocks
(Debuted at T.H.E. Show, Newport, CA, in early June 2016. We knew we had hit the mark!)
Retail: $15,000/pr.

Power: 30W Pure Class A.

Tubes: (3) EL34 and (1)12AT7 per mono amp.

Inputs: (1) Pair RCA.

Outputs: (1) Pair 5-way binding posts.

All point-point internal construction with custom MWI capacitors and the best possible components.

Transformers:  Power and Audio Output Transformers. Custom Electraprint, wound for 6 ohm load.

Finish and Build: 3/8” precision machined and engraved AL billet top and bottom plates.

Highly figured Flamed Maple enclosure with dovetail joinery construction and hand-rubbed oil finish. Oxblood Hue prismatic finish transformer covers.

Photo courtesy of Positive Feedback Online.

MWI’s Tube Amp Journey

ModWright has always designed tube source products and preamps, from digital to analog, but our amps have always been solid state.  The reason for this is that Dan has never been satisfied with the sound of tube amps that he has heard.

Having owned OTL, Push-Pull and SET (Single Ended Triode) amplifiers, Dan has always been familiar with the strengths of each and also their weaknesses. Dan has always felt that tube amps, while beautiful sounding in many respects, tend to fall short in terms of speed, dynamics, resolution and frequency response. This is where SS amps have the edge.

The best SS amps can achieve the shortcomings of tube amps and still offer remarkable sonics without edge, glare or grain.  It is for this reason, that MWI has always designed tube preamps for their beautiful sound and SS amps, for their control and power.

This process of design, education and enlightenment has taught Dan that Tube Amps CAN be remarkable and achieve a level of sonic realism and beauty that SS amps cannot. While the laws of physics and magnetics will always set SS and tube designs apart, in what they are ultimately capable of, we feel that the Ambrose line of amplifiers has reached a level of performance and power that we feel merits the MWI name.

The Ambrose A30 mono blocks, with Daedalus speakers at T.H.E. Show, Newport CA, 2015, showed the world a level of sonic beautify and live sound that we have never achieved at a show before. Musicians, audio engineers and audiophiles alike who heard the system, all remarked that there was a magic in the system that was special and new.

The Journey is never over, but we at MWI are enjoying the ride.  This chronicles the evolution of the Ambrose A30 mono block tube amplifiers.

PH 150 Stereophile Review!

PH 150 Stereophile Review!

I want to thank Michael Fremer for the excellent review of our PH 150 Reference phono stage in Stereophile magazine.

Link to PDF of print review: 


Ambrose A30's make their mark...

Ambrose A30's make their mark...

Feedback from some of our first Ambrose A30 SE tube mono block amps:


A30 Monoblock in Flamed Maple


Thanks Dan - just listened again to the A30 and it is closer to the music than any other amp I know. I am getting goosebumps when listening to an instrument as it is more than just LISTENING with my ears …. difficult to explain …. it goes deep into my heart/ soul ….  it is so natural „life like" and close …..


The sound is exquisite, and the units are beautiful. I feel the same way I did when I bought my '96 Impala SS. The connection is immediate, and the expectation is that I will keep them forever. The amps are also as well proportioned as the SS. Industrial art does not come along that often. Best to you and yours, Dave


Flamed maple face finish


Ebonized Walnut, White Maple, Figured Walnut

New Tube Mod!

Progress is being made into a new mod for the Marantz SA8005 CD/SACD player, transport and DAC.


I chose this player to mod as a 2CH Stereo Music only player for the following reasons:

Extremely well built and designed.

Features Digital input: toslink, spdif and USB (Hi-Rez and DSD1, DSD2)

Features Digital output: toslink, spdif - properly designed!

Plays CD and SACD's.

Ideal as an Audio Only player, with no video circuitry and better stock power supplies.

I am particule about the mods that we take on, and I spend time investigating every aspect of the new player, to be sure that we make it the very best that it can be.  It is for this reason that we do not do custom or on-off mods.

I have thoroughly reviewed the schematics for this unit and am pleased to say that it is VERY well engineered!

All digital circuits are fully isolated from analog circuits. Very important with modern Hi-Rez media and I have not seen this in other players.

All linear power supplies, well executed.

Dual clocks for PCM and DSD media.

All discrete analog stage (sounds good, but our tube mods will replace this entirely).

Excellent built quality and a quiet drive.

I have at this point wired in a tube circuit to evaluate and have optimized the grounds and analog filtering.  The sound is exceptional!

I am planning both SS and Tube mods at different price-points.

Please contact us if you have a Marantz SA8005 or are interested in a modified Audio only 2CH player/DAC.

Stay tuned for more!

New Mod - Promo Deal - Act Now!!!

The Marantz SA8005 player mods are the hot topic around ModWright!

I am VERY excited about the results of our new 5687 based tube circuit for the Marantz SA8005 CD/SACD player with digital inputs and outputs, including USB input for hi-rez and DSD1, DSD2 streaming!

Stock player cost = $1200


Tube mod retail price = $2500

The Promo!

In order to offer our first customres a good deal and jump start this new mod, I have decided to offer a tiered discount structure as follows. These customers must confirm a reservation to have their player modified (customer must supply player) and a 50% deposit is required (non-refundable) to secure a start date and place in line.

Customer #1: 50% off mod cost! (SOLD)
Customers #2 - #5: 40% off. (SOLD)
Customers #6-8: 30% off. (#6 SOLD - 7-8 AVAILABLE)
Customers #8-#10: 20% off. (AVAILABLE)

The Marantz SA8005 with our 5687 based tube mods offers a level of detail, resolution, dynamics and overall musical presention that is the closest I have heard to that of our Reference Elyse DAC ($6900).

At less than half the price, the Marantz with our mods offers CD/SACD playback AND DSD capability (Elyse only does up to 24/192) over DAC USB input!

This has been compared to our Sony XA-5400ES 6SN7 tube mod, which uses the same tube circuit as our acclaimed Oppo 105/105D tube mods and the Marantz is CLEARLY better.  It is simply more open, resolving and revealing.  It is still very analog and has beautiful midrange and tube hologrpahic imaging....it is SIMPLY more open and resolving!

My entire staff has taken time this week to sit in the show room and listen to their favorite music through the Marantz SA8005 with tube mods and all agree that it is the best that our system has ever sounded!

If interested, ACT NOW!  We have already filled the first six positions and I expect the remaining discount starting dates will go very fast!

SA8005 Mods Updates!

OK, updates!
1) PS 9.0 (Tube rectified and SS regulated) Vs. PS 9.9 (Tube rectified and regulated): The PS 9.0 offers the clearest window to the music and I believe suits the Marantz SA8005 the best!
2) Audio Magice Pulse Gen Zx Option: Installed with switch and tested in and out of circuit. Subtle but worthwhile improvement in resolution, detail and openness.  While the mod is on par with a component upgrade, the Audio Magic is on par with a cable upgrade.  Optional additional upgrade, recommended ($400).
3) Bybee rail option (1) installed at 5V supply to DAC. Clearly measures better and lower noise to DAC chip results in less jitter and better sound. Optional additional upgrade, recommended ($225). Like Audio Magic upgrade, subtle but audible, like a cable upgrade.
To be clear, when I say subtle but audible, I mean that you can hear the difference in an A/B.  The mod itself is like a component change or upgrade in that it is 100% obvious from the first notes that things are BETTER! This is what I feel you hear comparing the stock SA8005 to the ModWright tube modified SA8005.
Addition of the Audio Magic and Bybee Rail upgrades are worthwhile and audible.  Like changing cables, the improvement is there, just not always as obvious as a component upgrade.
The difference in power supplies is also fairly obvious to my ears.  Some may prefer the more romantic and tubey presentation of the PS 9.9 power supply and we can certainly supply the mod with that if desired.  Other mods have included this supply because, to my ears, the net synergy was best with this supply over the PS 9.0.  In this case, I feel that the best synergy is with the PS 9.0.
Units are coming in and the first will be done soon.  I have just about fully optimized every aspect of our first article and then the first units will begin rolling out.
Please note, we have TWO Early Customer discount slots available still, at 20% off of retail.
All of the first ten Early Customers will also have the option to return their units for any upgrades that are made in the future, at no cost to them (aside from shipping).  This is sort of a Beta Group and the benefits of discount pricing and future updating all apply.
Dan W.


UPDATE: 10.27.31

First production unit complete by mod tech John G. and approved by Dan Wright.  Final details of grounding and wire routing complete.  Production will now ramp up.

Umbilicals and external power supplies are built ahead by my production team already.

Twelve units + in the queue right now.

Happy customers will be receiving the first units soon!

Call now to reserve your spot!


New Marantz SA8005 Tube Mods! Our customers say it best!

"Got my Modwright Marantz SA8005 today. Initial reaction, YOWZA!!!!!! More to come."

"The tonality of this SA8005 is unbelievable, very natural, live and organic sounding."

I received my MW SA8005 yesterday and wanted to give the unit 24 hours before any initial observations and know it will take 200+ hours before the caps and other components begin to burn-in. You will not be disappointed with this unit, it is flat out musical with rock stable imaging and a picture perfect soundstage!"

The first thirteen units sent are just now starting to arrive in our customers hands.  More feedback to come.  We are VERY excited about this new mod!

Trsyt Headphone Amp Receives Product of the Year Award!!!

Trsyt Headphone Amp Receives Product of the Year Award!!!

2016 Headphone Amp of the Year: The Modwright Tryst Tube Headphone Amplifier





The ModWright Tryst is a collaboration between Dan Wright of ModWright and Damon Coffman from Coffman Labs. The Tryst uses a pair of 6922's and a quad of 12B4's to deliver a solid 3 Watts into 18 Ohms from its exceptionally stylish case. The amp has 1/8", 1/4" and four pin balanced headphone jacks allowing for virtually any headphone to be used. An external power supply is connected with a custom WyWires umbilical. The sound is open and engaging bringing out a sweet tube essence without it being overly "Tubey".  In fact, the amp is very fast and it delivers a crisp and accurate presentation, a result many tube amps are unable to produce. The separation of the amp and power supply makes it a very quiet amp with more than ample power to drive you favorite headphones to their best sound. - Eric Neff (Headphone.guru)


New Marantz SA8005 Tube Mods! Page Added to site!

New Marantz SA8005 Tube Mods! Page Added to site!

We have added the mod page to our site for the new Marantz SA8005 Truth mods.

Finished Photos will be added to the site.


REVIEW: SWL 9.0 Anniversary Edition - Tone Audio

REVIEW: SWL 9.0 Anniversary Edition - Tone Audio

Thanks to Jeff Dorgay of Tone Audio for a great review of the SWL 9.0 Anniversary Edition preamp.  The review is noteworthy because Jeff was the first to review the original SWL 9.0SE over 13 year aso, our first manufactured product to market.

The new SWL 9.0 Anniversary Edition preamp at $2900US is our entry level preamp and punches WAY above its price piont.  The original SWL 9.0SE was a hit and this new design is a complete redesign and signifcantly better in every way.

It is also a return to our use of the 5687 tube. Low distortion and high current lend it exceptional sonics!

The Marantz SA8005 tube mod benefits from the design developed for the SWL 9.0 Anniversary Edition!  Those that know how good the Marantz mod is, should seriously check our the SWL 9.0 Anniversary Edition preamp!

New $1K Phono Design Updates!

Exciting new $1K phono design news!
I have just finished evaluating our new Discrete Opamp Design and it sounds great!
I have first configured a single discrete op-amp with active and passive RIAA correction, with 36dB of MM gain.
I am using a 2.4mV high output MC cartridge into our 11dB gain SWL 9.0 Anniversary Edition and I am getting GOOD gain and sound! With a 5mV MM cart, it would be IDEAL!
Now obviously I am not stopping there, and the final design will be MM and MC.  What is exciting however, is that MM gain can be achieved with low noise and great sound, from a single discrete Opamp!
The next step will be to look at using either a fully discrete MC head-amp for additional gain, vs. two discrete Opamp stages to achieve min. 60dB MC gain.
I just wanted to share this exciting news, because this is a crude prototype and little has been given to shielding of the circuit or enclosure at this point. The finished product will be quiet, flexible, MM/MC and produce exceptional sound at an affordable price!
We are on our way! More to come!

Distribution for France! JFF

Distribution for France! JFF

We are pleased to announce that JFF will be representing ModWright Instruments in France.

I have had the pleasure of knowing Patrice, owner of JFF for a number of years and I am happy to have JFF be the French agent for ModWright Instrument products.

  133 Chemin de Crépieux
  69300 CALUIRE 
  Office : +33 (0) 952 572 360

2017 The Absolute Editor's Choice Awards!

2017 The Absolute Editor's Choice Awards!

We are honored to have two products listed in The Absolute Sound's Editor's Choice Awards!

ModWright Modified Oppo BDP-105

"The build quality is exemplary and the sound quality exceptional. It is the first digital player that JH has had in his listening room that didn't make him want to immediately return to his analog rig --- and that's because the ModWright sounds so uuch like analog in many respects, without giving up the bass extension and control, clarity, fine detail, resolution, and convenience that can make digital so attractive."
Jim Hannon - The Absolute Sound


ModWright PH 150 Reference Phono:

"Its transparency, transient speed, timbral purity, palpability, expansive yet accurate soundstage, fine resolution, and deep, black, virtually silent background combine to make it a truly noteworthy achievement..." 
Greg Weaver - The Absolute Sound

Oppo Sonica Tube Mod - Update!

OK guys, I have the bread-boarded circuit playing in the music room now!  I am running it direct to the amp to make sure that it is quiet and I am very pleased!

I have it designed with 6922 tubes at the moment.  The 5687 is also a great tube, but I think that with the SABRE DAC, the 6922 may be the better choice.  There is also the possibility of using the 6SN7 again, but I have to see how it works with this fully differential, transformer coupled circuit.

The Sonica is TRULY the modern day replacement for the Slim Devices (Logitech) Transporter.  Ethernet, WiFi, Blue Tooth, Apple Airplay, USB (thumb drive or computer/server), RCA, toslink digital inputs. It even has analog inputs, which are then converted to digital and decoded in order to allow for volume control.  This makes sense if this is your primary source and you have one other analog source that you also want to run. Otherwise, you could have a myriad of different digital sources connected to different inputs also.

For Example:

  • Analog tuner or other analog device into analog inputs.  The signal will be converted to digital and then decoded, but it will all pass through the DAC and tube analog stage.
  • Main music server connected via USB, ethernet or WiFi.
  • Music from your phone via blue tooth.
  • Music from a Sonos unit into the Coax or toslink digital inputs.
  • CD's played from a CD/DVD player as a transport into Coax or toslink digital inputs.
  • Music from Mac computer via Airplay.

Pricing is expected to be in line with our other mods, starting at $2500 (mod only) for full tube mod with external PS 9.0 (tube rectified but not regulated - sounds best for this model) supply and Truth umbilical.  Audio Magic Pulse Gen and Bybee rails will be evaluated also.

The tube circuit is fully differential, end to end, Lundahl transformer coupled in and out.  Passive I-V, no op-amps, zero negative feedback. Fully balanced and Single Ended (RCA) outs. Like our other mods, because of the transformer coupling, it will work well with RCA OR XLR, but not both at the same time.  I may add a toggle for selecting RCA or XLR, not sure yet.

I am very excited!  This mod takes full advantage of the newest SABRE DAC chip and its full resolution and low noise floor.

More to come!

Expect to see the Sonica DAC at Axpona!



The One....

Have you been waiting for 'The One'?

If so, come visit ModWright Instruments at Axpona Chicago.


'The One' is coming...



Ambrose A30 - An Owner's Perspective...

Following is a well expressed review and feedback about our Ambrose A30, custom built, 30W, SE, Artisan Made tube Mono Blocks:
Dan: Here is a long overdue update on my experience with the Ambrose A30's:
The hallmark of the Ambrose A30's sound is tonal accuracy, neutrality, and free flowing music that sounds natural. I have the tubed mono blocks in three integrated systems. This works because the A30's are adaptive and flexible, fitted for many roles. 
In its simplest form, I have the mono blocks driving Harbeth M30 monitors.The source is a Modwright modified Sony HAP1es which moves through a Modwright 9.0 preamp by way of an Integra 70.6 home theater receiver. All wires are by Wywires. The room is 13 x 13 and well damped. 
This two channel stereo system is perfect for acoustic music and classic rock. "Time in a Bottle" by Jim Croce was a song he wrote before the birth of his son. But the words and events (Croce's death at age 30) turned the song into something more expansive. The tone and timbre of his voice must be captured truthfully to fully convey his universal sentiments. The Ambrose A30 amps and the Harbeth M30 monitors do this more accurately than anything I have heard. The two guitars and the harpsichord provide a haunting backdrop.
"Black Magic Woman/Gypsy Queen" by Santana uses a soundstage flanked by percussion well defined in comparison to the soaring guitar solos. The fusion of rock and Latin music is both brilliant in scope and beautiful to hear. As my installer, Mark Wheeland of Bowman Electronics noted, "All I can say is it is one of the most inviting systems. It pulls you in, and you don't want to leave." The stereo only system does well with many kinds of music, including jazz, roots and classical recordings. 
We expand to system II by adding the surround sound channels - PSB Imagine II speakers run in parallel for the center (an idea from Mark) and PSB mini-Alphas for the side and back. Also included are two fine sounding subwoofers, the REL Britannia B-3 and the PSB SubSeries 450. This allows us to listen to large scale music, including, of course, movie soundtracks. 
Take, for example, Dave Grusin's score for "Three Days of the Condor."
The movie has as its theme, "Maybe there is another CIA, inside the CIA." Grusin's soundtrack is a score within a score - mysterious jazz, moody love themes, and 1970's rhythm and blues. Dave Grusin on the Rhodes provides a fitting background for Max Von Sydow's recitation of post-Watergate espionage for the benefit of a very puzzled Robert Redford.  The solo sax background when the lovers depart is another effective use of a minimal but emotional musical backdrop to the cinematic story. 
The Ambrose A30's and Harbeth M30 combo do especially well with strings, both in large and small settings. In "Music of Strangers: Yo Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble," we get exceptional sound from the stringed instruments, especially the Cello. There are two reasons for this, in my opinion. The Ambrose A30's fit the Harbeth M30's like a glove. This, in turn, gives freedom to the concept of the Harbeth speakers, which is to allow proper bracing and other techniques to allow the sound coming out of the speakers to mimic the sounds of instruments. This works as well on large-scale productions such as the DVD, "Diana Krall: Live in Paris." The synergy works at both extremes. 
Finally, we move to system III: Dolby Atmos. This is the most important recent development for home theater sound, in my humble opinion. You add four speakers to the ceiling for the sole purpose of the special effects. I do not know how it works but it does. "John Wick," "Gravity," the "Hunger Games," "Hacksaw Ridge," and especially "Mad Max (Fury Road)" provide good examples of the kind of realism that this new technology can produce. What does the Modwright preamp - Ambrose A30's - Harbeth M30 combination add to the experience? Both clarity and calmness. Dialogue is natural, clear, and simply put, part of the movie. In other words, you find yourself watching the movie, and not the sum of its parts.
In conclusion, finding equipment that works together well in various iterations takes time. I started with the Harbeths and built around them with an eye toward synergy. I got lucky with the Ambrose A30 tube amps. I knew the Harbeths would be flexible. I was pleased to find the new amps by Dan Wright, Jack Elliano, Lou Hinkley and Dave Palka to be so remarkably utilitarian. That is not the impression most people have of tube amps. Talented designers and unique products can change those impressions. That is what the Ambrose A30's tubed mono blocks did for me.

ModWright Sonica DAC Mod Axpona Debut!

ModWright Sonica DAC Mod Axpona Debut!
The ModWright Oppo Sonica DAC Tube Mod made its debut in room 530 at Axpona Chicago last weekend.
We had the best show sound to date!  The Sonica DAC was our digital source, fed via WyWires Diamond USB from Mac Mini, streaming digital from Redbook, Hi-Rez to DSD. People were blown away!
The new Ulysses Apollo speaker with proprietary 10" Woofer also made its debut. Driven by 30W SE tube amps (Ambrose 30's), the entire presentation from digital was resolving, harmonically true, fast, dynamic and exciting.  The 96dB efficient Apollos with their ultra-fast 10" custom woofer produced tight, deep and controlled bass, showing the ultimate potential of the Sonica DAC mod.
We played a wide variety of music from Jazz to rock, folk to classical and everything we played left people stunned.  The last track we played at 4:30 on Sunday, to a full room, was Hugh Masekela's 'Coal Train'. At the end of the song, everyone just shook their head in silent appreciation.  It was a very exciting show and I am pleased to say that the Oppo Sonica DAC tube mod met all of my expectations, in a system that was already improved in every way, from ModWright, Daedalus Audio and WyWires.
The phone has already started ringing today. If you are interested in tube mods for the Sonica DAC, please call us right away!

Oppo UDP-205 Mod Details and Scheduling!

The tube mod developed for the Sonica DAC and proven to be EXCEPTIONAL from our showing at Axpona Chicago this last weekend, WILL be directly transferable to the Oppo UDP-205 Universal 4K player.  The mod PCB will have to be customized to fit the 205, but the circuitry, external supply and implementation will be the same.
Summary of mods offering, schedule and options:
  • Tube mod for UDP-205 will be the same circuit as for the Oppo Sonica DAC. Lundahl transformer input and output coupled, fully balanced, with RCA and XLR fully balanced outs.
  • PS 9.0 (V10) external supply included in the mod.  This is different than the PS 9.0 (V9.9) that was used for the Oppo 105.  Different voltage and only tube rectified, not tube regulated. NOTE: OLDER PS 9.0 supplies (V9.0 and V9.9 versions) WILL NOT work with this mod.
  • Truth umbilical will be included (all copper conductors, no silver).  Any existing truth mod umbilical will work with this new mod.
  • IEC upgraded to Furutech.
  • Mod will include damping mods to enclosure and drive.
  • Base tube mod, including external PS 9.0 (V10) and Truth Umbilical = $2500.
  • Audio Magic Pulse Gen option is available: Price = $400 (add option)
Timeline for UDP-205 Mods:
  • 2-3 weeks before first mods ship.  PCB outline needs to be revised and new PCBs ordered.
  • 7-10 day turnaround for all mod customers from scheduled start date to ship date.
  • Orders will be taken and scheduled on a first-come, first-serve basis. We currently have 7 customers who have already scheduled the mod. We have another 35 people who have been given this same information by email.
  • Early customers to schedule in the next week will receive special pricing.

Tryst Headphone Amp at LAAS

Tryst Headphone Amp at LAAS

Thanks to Jim Hannon for mention of our Tryst Heapdhone amp at LAAS this year.


We had a great show and I was happy to show people what we can do with a high end tube heapdhone amp - 3W, P-P, Pure Class A with zero feedback.  Handwound custom output transformers from Electraprint Audio and external power supply.

Customer Testimonials - Oppo UDP-205 Mods!

Our customers say it best....

Just a few testimonials from our Oppo UDP-205 mod customers.

I've done a fair amount of critical listening this afternoon & the 205 is now revealing instruments I have not identified in the music before. Also the music has more presence, not that it seemed to lack presence with the 105. I'll be doing an ABA comparison in the next few days but the conclusion seems to be pretty clear! There is one problem with it though - a desire to spend too much time listening to the music!
A very satisfied customer.

- P. Bain 7.17.17

It sounds fantastic! (even with the stock tubes!)
Clear powerful improvement in the bass.  Dynamics, which were already good, have improved and resolved considerably.  Detail is greater, but that might be because of the improved dynamics of the inner detail. I am really hearing microdynamics that I have not heard before in oft-listened-to recordings. Soundstage has widened significantly.  And overall clarity and “naturalness” of the music seems to have improved.
My previous DAC was a dual-femto-clocked DAC, with a separate external linear power supply.  It is well regarded.  But your 205 upgrade crushes it.
I have tried CD’s, SACD’s, high resolution source material via USB, including DSD, and it all sounds incredibly detailed and clear.  And musical.  I have found that some mods can improve this part of the sound, or that part, but the overall musicality goes out of balance.  Your 205 mods keep the music nicely balanced, without any frequency ranges dominating. 

- B.Cesanek, 8.11.17

I am so impressed with your Oppo and I consider it definitely reference grade.… the 205 is everything you said and more......As good as your Sony 5400 is I do not play it much recently.........Totally pleased with your mod Dan. 
S. Blanton 8.25.17

Thanks for the feedback and support!

Dan Wright
President, ModWright Instruments Inc.

Capital Audio Fest Demo Sale and Mod Feedback!

We are preparing for the Capital Audio Fest (CAF) 2017 show in D.C. and now is the time to purchase our Demos at great prices!
Oppo UDP-205 with full Truth tube mods + Audio Magic Upgrade-->***SOLD***
Oppo UDP-205 with full Truth tube mods + Audio Magic Upgrade-->***SOLD***
What some of our customers have to say about the UDP-205 Mod!
" This dac is an impressive marriage of the best of both worlds:  the newest SABRE dac chip and all its details and clarity, married with easily Dan's best tube mod to date.  The results are a dac that outperforms anything close to it in price, with musically real images that are saturated in color and texture like never before.  A Martin sounds like a Martin, a Taylor like a Taylor.  That's what you want in a dac." - T. Brady (10.02.17)
I've had an extended listen to the Modwright-modified OPPO UDP-205 ultra HD Bluray disc player from Amboy, WA that comes with a separate tube power supply and a two-tube addition, etc. to the player itself.  The modifications are cosmetically pleasing, so seamlessly incorporated in the housing that the casual observer will think it is a factory option.
My former disc player was an OPPO BDP-103 that I think has a great sound, and I was reluctant to replace it. That was then.
Let's cut to the chase: the Modwright OPPO UDP-205 is a phenomenal player that beautifully presents the music as I presume the artist would want. The sound is at once accurate, inviting, rich, warm, spacious, and listenable for extended periods of time.  The sound is so natural and balanced I find myself smiling during certain engaging musical passages.
Treasured discs I haven't listened to for awhile reveal nuances I don't recall hearing during their periods of regular playing.....I find myself wanting to listen to everything in my collection again just to see what might be newly revealed.
My audiophile pursuit has been focused entirely on obtaining the best listening experience possible....hopefully recreating what the artist and producer heard when they listened to the final mixes prior to release.  This device has me convinced I'm a major step closer, if not at that goal!
The Modwright OPPO UDP-205 has a permanent place in my stereo cabinet until I can be convinced another player is better, and judging from the extraordinary costs of other audiophile players, I find myself unlikely to change my mind." - R. Russel (10.09.17)

More RMAF Show Coverage - Stereophile

More RMAF Show Coverage - Stereophile

Big thanks to Jason Victor Serinus of Stereophile for his RMAF 2017 show coverage of the Iris room with ModWright/Daedaluse/WyWires and Room 9013 wtih ModWright/Studio Electric/WyWires.

We were able to show both our 30W tube amps and our 200W SS integrated with two different speakers in Studio Electric's room and as you can see, all was well received!



RMAF show coverage from Dick Olsher, The Absolute Sound

Thanks to Dick Olsher for his coverage of our A30 tube mono blocks at RMAF 2017.


Capital Audio Fest Coverage!

Capital Audio Fest Coverage!

First of all, a big thank you to Art Dudley of Stereophile for his mention of our room at Capital Audio Fest 2017:



We had great sound and a great show!

More Capital Audio Fest Coverage!

More Capital Audio Fest Coverage!

Big thanks to Greg Weaver of The Absolute Sound, writing show coverage for Enjoy The Music, for his coverage of our 2-Channel room and Headphone exhibit at CAF 2017!


ModWright is going to NYC CanJam Feb. 17-18!

ModWright will be at CanJam NYC on Feb. 17-18, 2018 at the Marriott Marquis Hotel, 1535 Broadway, New York, NY 10036. We will share the Royale private room with Danacable, Gingko Audio, and Wells Audio.

We will be showing our HA 300, 300B, 8W SET Heaphone/Integrated amp, driving HiFiMan Susvara and HE1000 headphones with Danacable Lazuli Reference cables! 
We will also be showing our Tryst 3W tube Headphone amp with Mr. Speaker Ether headphones and Danacable Lazuli cables.


Most systems in the Royale room will be using the ModWright Modified Oppo UDP-205 Tube Universal player/DAC!

Come hear SS Heaphone Amps from Wells Audio, Tube Headphone Amps by ModWright, all via some of the Worlds Best headphones by Abyss, HiFiMan and Mr. Speaker, all cabled by Danacables best Lazuli cables!

Come listen to the best headphones system in the world!

Please let me know if you will be attending! This is going to be a fantastic show!

New Product Details and Updates!

New Product Details and Updates!

We have just updated product details for our Ambrose A30 tube Amps, Ambrose One Balanced Dual Mono tube preamp, and our new HA 300, 300B based Tube Headphone/Integrated Amp!




HA300 Amp a HIT at CanJam NYC 2018!

HA300 Amp a HIT at CanJam NYC 2018!

Headfi Feedback from CanJam NYC 2018:

"Dan Wright had the best rig hands down with the HiFiMan HE1000 fed into his amp, the HA300 and a tube modded Oppo 205 with an outboard PSU serving as the DAC. Very clean sound with the right amount of bass, treble and midrange one should expect from a rig that runs over $10K" - 'gloco' HeadFi Member.


We had a great show, with HiFiMan HE1000 headphones, Mr. Speaker Ether headphones, Dana Cables and the pleasure of showing with Vinh and Norm of Gingko Audio and Jeff Wells of Wells Audio.

We were in the Royale room, which was down a side hall and separate from the main CanJam 'space', where the tables are all together and it is very loud and crowded.

I wish signage would have been better to direct people to the high end Headphone Rooms, but I was still very pleased with the quality of serious traffic that we had.  I also found the feedback for our HA300, 300B, 8W Headphone/Integrated amp to be exceptional!

I will be back next year for CanJam NYC 2019!

Review of ModWright Modified UDP-205!

Review of ModWright Modified UDP-205!

I want to thank John Grandberg for his well written and through review of the ModWright Modified UDP-205!


HA300 Amp - CanJam NYC 2018 Coverage!

HA300 Amp - CanJam NYC 2018 Coverage!

Show coverage from CanJam NYC 2018

Thanks to Headphone.guru, Frank Iacone!

About HA300 300B, 8W, HP/Integrated Amp.

"The sound is sensational and nails vocals and musical instruments making this one of the best built and attractive designs in the world."
 F. Iacone, Headphone.guru


Modwright, Oppo Digital and the future...

I just wanted to explain and clarify a few things.  As many of you know, Oppo Digital has decided to no longer manufacture new digital products and cease production of current 4K players:


They will, however, still honor warranties and provide firmware support for all existing players in the market now.  Please follow the link for full explanation.

As many of you also know, the UDP-205 is also out of stock at Oppo and most other places.  Oppo has said that they would consider a final production run of 205 players, based on demand (see link below):


I don't know how many units will be produced, but if you want to get a unit while still available, I would encourage you to sign up!

Is ModWrights still going to offer mods for Oppo Players?
Yes of course.  As long as there are Oppo players that people want to have modified, we will modify them. We also still modify the Sony HAP-Z1ES and Marantz SA8005 players. We will also be looking for new products that are popular and suitable for modifications.

Does ModWright have enough parts to continue Oppo mods?
Yes, the parts we use for our modifications are all readiy available and we will not run out of parts for our modifications. We will also continue to support the Oppo players that are modified, as far as service goes, provided that parts are available from Oppo to do so. In this regard, Oppo has indicated continued support for units under warranty.

How is ModWright connected to Oppo Digital?
We are not and never have been, aside from the fact that we offer a phenomenal after-market upgrade for their payers. We warranty our work for the Oppos separate and distinct from any Oppo warranty.  The factory warranty from Oppo will be void after we modify the player, but we have always agreed to service the players as long as we have access to parts from Oppo Digital.  Oppo is well aware of the work we do on Oppo players and they neither endorse nor condemn it.  In fact, I have heard that they understand us to do professional and quality work and have no issue with us. We have always been able to purchase any parts needed to service Oppos. However, given the high reliability of the Oppo players, we seldom need to do so. In short, ModWright and Oppo Digital are separate companies. Our upgrades make their payers better and our customers have always been very happy.  If this sells more Oppo players, I know that Oppo doesn't mind!

What will ModWright do now that Oppo has ceased making players?
We will continue to do what we have done since 2000. We will continue to offer mods for the Sony, Marantz and Oppo players in the market. We will also continue to produce our full line of amps, preamps and phono stages, both tube and SS with domestic and international distribution. While I was as shocked by the news as everyone else, it does not change the direction of ModWright Instruments Inc.

What is the next new player of the future?
I don't know. If people have suggestions for a new player for us to modify, please let me know!  I choose the products that we modify, carefully, based on their quality, reliability and popularity in the marketplace.

Thank you,

Dan Wright,
President, ModWright Instruments inc.

Praise for Oppo UDP-205 Tube Mod!

More feedback from happy customers about the UDP-205 Tube Modification!

There are still units out there and Oppo is promising one more production run! We will continue to modify the Oppo 105/105D and 205's as long as units are available!

I've always been in the CD's can never sound as good as LP's camp.  There's just something about that analogue sound.  I've been playing my kit extra hard the past few days and have come to a new conclusion.   

I moved my new ModWright Oppo 205 to the serious kit, and my conclusions are disturbing.   Just as a reminder, Thorens Prestige TT with a Koetsu Urushi Vermilion cartridge, Audible Illusions Modulus 3A valve preamp with a John Curl phono stage vs the ModWright and the same preamp.  Same monoblocks, same speakers, same everything but the source.  Ladies and Gentlemen, I'm no longer sure which source is better.  The sound is marginally different, but the quality between the two is nonexistent.   

The valve output stage is phenomenal!  I am literally stunned at how good CD's can sound.  My previous CD player was either an Oppo Digital 105D or an Arcam DV-137.   The Arcam is no where close to the new Oppo, the 105 Oppo sounds good, but the ModWright Oppo is clearly better.  Not just a little better, but huge steps forward better.  The placement of instruments and vocals is more defined,  the entire frequency range sounds more accurate and realistic, dynamics have improved, the music sounds like someone has drawn back the curtain.  Listening to Tears For Fears as I type, and this (and every CD so far) is just more musical.   I'm seriously impressed.   The ModWright modified Oppo Digital 205 may be the best CD and universal disc player I've ever heard.   Certainly competes with my turntable, which has me equally sad and happy.

- R. Gruber – 4.20.18

"hi Dan,
i just wanted to thank you one more time for the amazing work you do, the sound quality you brought to my home is just unparalleled...! 

the 205 is now broken-in and i've rolled in some NOS amperex tubes, swapped the rectifier for the philips you recommend and all i can do now is grin when i listen, and keep turning the volume up. breathtaking, rich, fluid presentation, amazing soundstage and the midrange is just to die for. love every minute of listening...

thank you so very, very much...!"

- D. Vican – 4.24.18

" This dac is an impressive marriage of the best of both worlds:  the newest SABRE dac chip and all its details and clarity, married with easily Dan's best tube mod to date.  The results are a dac that outperforms anything close to it in price, with musically real images that are saturated in color and texture like never before.  A Martin sounds like a Martin, a Taylor like a Taylor.  That's what you want in a dac." 
- T. Brady (10.02.17)


"I've had an extended listen to the Modwright-modified OPPO UDP-205 ultra HD Bluray disc player from Amboy, WA that comes with a separate tube power supply and a two-tube addition, etc. to the player itself.  The modifications are cosmetically pleasing, so seamlessly incorporated in the housing that the casual observer will think it is a factory option.

My former disc player was an OPPO BDP-103 that I think has a great sound, and I was reluctant to replace it. That was then.

Let's cut to the chase: the Modwright OPPO UDP-205 is a phenomenal player that beautifully presents the music as I presume the artist would want. The sound is at once accurate, inviting, rich, warm, spacious, and listenable for extended periods of time.  The sound is so natural and balanced I find myself smiling during certain engaging musical passages.

Treasured discs I haven't listened to for awhile reveal nuances I don't recall hearing during their periods of regular playing.....I find myself wanting to listen to everything in my collection again just to see what might be newly revealed.

My audiophile pursuit has been focused entirely on obtaining the best listening experience possible....hopefully recreating what the artist and producer heard when they listened to the final mixes prior to release.  This device has me convinced I'm a major step closer, if not at that goal!

The Modwright OPPO UDP-205 has a permanent place in my stereo cabinet until I can be convinced another player is better, and judging from the extraordinary costs of other audiophile players, I find myself unlikely to change my mind."
- R. Russel (10.09.17)


I've done a fair amount of critical listening this afternoon & the 205 is now revealing instruments I have not identified in the music before. Also the music has more presence, not that it seemed to lack presence with the 105. I'll be doing an ABA comparison in the next few days but the conclusion seems to be pretty clear! There is one problem with it though - a desire to spend too much time listening to the music!

A very satisfied customer.
- P. Bain 7.17.17

It sounds fantastic! (even with the stock tubes!)
Clear powerful improvement in the bass.  Dynamics, which were already good, have improved and resolved considerably.  Detail is greater, but that might be because of the improved dynamics of the inner detail. I am really hearing microdynamics that I have not heard before in oft-listened-to recordings. Soundstage has widened significantly.  And overall clarity and “naturalness” of the music seems to have improved.
My previous DAC was a dual-femto-clocked DAC, with a separate external linear power supply.  It is well regarded.  But your 205 upgrade crushes it.
I have tried CD’s, SACD’s, high resolution source material via USB, including DSD, and it all sounds incredibly detailed and clear.  And musical.  I have found that some mods can improve this part of the sound, or that part, but the overall musicality goes out of balance.  Your 205 mods keep the music nicely balanced, without any frequency ranges dominating. 

- B.Cesanek, 8.11.17

I am so impressed with your Oppo and I consider it definitely reference grade.… the 205 is everything you said and more......As good as your Sony 5400 is I do not play it much recently.........Totally pleased with your mod Dan. 
- S. Blanton 8.25.17

We have access to a couple of UDP-205's...

We have access to a couple of 'open box' Oppo UDP-205's...

The units would be sold at stock retail price. I am estimating $1350 - delivered to our door.

The mod cost is $2500 (+$400 for optional Audio Magic Pulse Gen upgrade).

The mod work itself will take 5-7 business days and about two weeks to secure the unit.
These WILL sell fast and payment up front in full is required to secure the units!

If you are looking for a unit NOW, then please call us right away!

Alternatively, Oppo has promised a final production run of UDP-205's to be available in June.  I have no idea how many units will be made. I have no guarantee when they will be available or when they will ship.

If you are not able to secure a unit now, and have your name on Oppo's list, please contact US and be sure you are on OUR list also, if you intend to have the UDP-205 modified. We will be contacting the people on our list for the June shipment, based on when their name is added to the list. We are already busy and when this shipment comes in, I expect we will be very busy, so please get on our list. We are not asking for a deposit or any firm commitment. We simply want to know how many people plan to have their UDP-205 modified so that we can plan time and materials accordingly.

Thanks and I look forward to hearing from you.

If you want a unit NOW, call FAST....These units will NOT lost long!

Dan Wright
President, ModWright Instruments Inc.

Vinyl Solutions from MWI!

Vinyl Solutions from MWI!

In addition to our Reference PH 150 phono stage, we offer other phono upgrades for existing products:

KWI 200: Phono upgrade option = $350. (Factory Install).

LS 100: Tube Phono upgrade option: $850 (User Install)

SWL 9.0 Anniversary Edition: Phono upgrade option = $350 (User install)

We are also working on finalizing a new PH 9.0 phono stage with external power supply, MM and MC inputs and on-the-fly loading gain and gain adjustement! Price: < $2995

If you are looking to add a TT to your system, consider the options that we have to offer! 


Dan Wright
President, ModWright Instruments Inc.

Two Fully Modified UDP-205's Available...

In two weeks or less, we are going to have two fully modifed UDP-205's available for sale.  These will be sold on a first-come, first-serve basis. If you are interested, please contact us ASAP!


Dan Wright
President, ModWright Instruments Inc.

New PH 9.0 Phono - Coming Soon!

New PH 9.0 Phono - Coming Soon!

Big thanks to Mono & Stereo for their post from 2018 Axpona of our prototype PH 9.0. We showed with Studio Electric's fantastic < $3K M4 monitors, Fern & Roby's Montrose TT with Hana SL cart and Zu's Mission cables!


The actual final PH 9.0 design and price has been set. The $2900 PH 9.0, which is STRONGLY related to our PH 150 Reference tube phono ($7900) will soon be released.  It will be a two-box solution, despite what was indicated at Axpona. The use of Lundahl step-up transformers required us to keep the power supply as far as possible from the phono circuitry.

I struggled with this, as people have less rack space these days and I want this product to be as efficient with space as your wallet! The end decision was to make the supply external, simple and utilitarian, intended to sit on the floor, behind the rack or wherever you choose. This is achieved via a suitably long 6ft. umbilical. The supply houses the choke, power transformer and most rudimentary compomnents of the power supply that are also the most likely to introduce noise to the delicate signal path.

The umbilical is a 4-pin XLR type. This is significantly cheaper than the 8 pin Switchcraft or 10-pin Amphenol connectors that we use in our PH 150 and LS 36.5 DM Reference phono and preamps. Making the chassis a simple steel enclosure without decorative faceplate, also keeps the cost down. This allow us to put ALL of the money into optimizing the SOUND of the unit.

Circuitry is REMARKABLY similar to the PH 150, right down to the same Lunhdal step-ups and tube complement: (2) 6C45's and (2) 6922's. There are some differences of course and simplifications made to reduce cost, but you really won't hear it in the final product!

The PH 9.0 phono unit itself is 10"W x 3.5"H (not counting footers) x 10"D. Power supply = 7"W x 3"H x 9"D. The enclosures are steel (acting as Faraday Cages). The phono enclosure is finished with an Aluminum faceplate. Logo and graphics will all be silkscreened, so you will not see the characteristic backlit MWI logo. [Some of you like less LEDs anyhow, so this is a plus]. Again, costs were cut in the RIGHT places, to allow for a nice looking unit that SOUNDS like its much higher priced family member. Production drawings are going out to the machinist on Monday, but here is a graphic representation of the PH 9.0 face.

You will find the same large knobs as the PH 150, as well as the same MM, Mute, MC input select and of course on-the-fly MC loading. MM loading will be fixed 47K/100pf. Two toggles on the face finish out the controls with a power on/off toggle (only small blue LED present) and a three-way toggle for gain attenuation: 0, -12dB, -6dB. This allows for optimum gain setting for MM and MC. MM max gain = 50dB; MC max gain = 66dB. There will also be a rear mono/stereo toggle.

The base design features only RCA inputs, one pair MM and one pair MC.  There is also one pair of RCA main outs. Optional fully balanced, transformer coupled XLR outputs are an add cost option (price TBD).

I am excited about this and will be announcing when the first production units are ready to go out the door. We have a good list of Beta testers and dealers/distributors waiting on this one!

Thanks for all of your support.

Dan Wright
President, ModWright Instruments Inc.

Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 Digital Preamplifier and DAC

Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 Digital Preamplifier and DAC
Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 Digital Preamplifier and DAC
Has anyone heard this unit or have any experience with it?
The specs indicate that it has all of the digital Horsepower that I would want to make a TRULY GREAT tube DAC, less the analog stage. This is the kind of product that would suit the Universal Tube Mod product that I am thinking of.
Please let me know if anyone has experience with this. DSD, MQA, Dual SABRE Ref. DACs and a very low price!