+ 30 Day In Home 100% Refund Period
+ 5 Year Parts & Labor Warranty with Every Signature Edition Upgrade
+ 100% GUARANTEED to beat ANYTHING else on the market!
Nothing we sell ever comes back.
We don't even have to advertise. Once our clients experience for themselves the extreme high performance & "bang for the buck" we deliver, they keep coming back as funds permit.
The Upgrade Company would not continue to be A+ rated on the nationwide BBB algorithm month after month unless we were delivering on our promises.
Bel Canto Testimonials
Unsolicited Customer Testimonials - Every client has paid The Upgrade Company LLC in full. No kickbacks, no commissions, no fees of any kind for recommending our products and services.
Bel Canto Player PL-1 DVD/ CD/SACD player SE upgrade transformation feedback
David I accept your explanation for my experience: “Sonic & visual gains are mostly due to massive reduction of radio frequencies spewed out into the air inside the unit by the clocks on that video board which massively contaminated the power supplies and all analog and all digital parts and circuitry. Removing this board caused a massive reduction in the number of feet of wiring & parts & circuit traces collecting all that RFI generated inside the player by clocks.”
As you know, during my Bel Canto PL-1 SE upgrade, I asked to have my SDI video board disconnected since it had failed and Bel Canto could not repair it and I really no longer needed this video board after moving to my Upgrade Company Oppo 95 SE Blu-ray player for all video playback.
When my PL-1 was returned, I discovered my remote control no longer worked due to the disconnected video board. After obtaining your permission to break the SE Upgrade seal, enter the box, and reconnect the SDI video board to get remote control function back, I noticed a severe deterioration in music playback. As a music purist my decision was a NO BRAINER, I immediately disconnected this video board again, and am now foregoing music playback without the use of a remote control. You guys are correct! Not having those clocks on that board spewing RFI into the power supply digital and analog circuitry, the sound got WAY better on top of your SE upgrade. RF contamination doe indeed appear to be a HUGE factor in electronic reproduction.
My Bel Canto Player PL-1 sounds simply fantastic with your SE upgrade. It is now even better then my Upgrade Co. Oppo 95 SE did. When you sent me back my Oppo 95 it clearly bettered this $7500 Bel Canto PL-1 on music playback. Video of course was a lot better too.
This also proves that upgrading a modest Oppo player with your SE upgrade RFI/EMI riddance technology & higher end parts and wiring does indeed far surpass much more expensive players.
Bel Canto PRE-2 Mutli-channel Preamplifier Upgrade Testimonial
by UCLA Professor of Music and composer, Prof. Paul Reale (retired)
The preamp is the heart of any audio, multi-channel music or video system, because all signal sources must pass through it. Traditionally, reviewers in the audiophile press rhapsodize about the "straight wire with gain" concept that should be the paradigm of all preamp design. This hopelessly simplistic assessment ignores some primary features that good preamps must have. First: live music is phase incoherent, meaning that all first violins that sound like they start together do not in real life, but coming out of a loudspeaker, they do. The partial chorus effect of a live violin section is the essence of what makes live music live. It is then the job of electronic devices to create the illusion by revealing every nuance of each instrument: that means micro dynamics, timbral honesty, and real silence.
For decades I searched for a preamp that would add no coloration to the musical thread, yet would create dynamic excitement to the total recording. Initially, I used tubed designs by McIntosh and Luxman, which had a euphonic roundness to the sound was a believable illusion of a real concert. Unfortunately, these euphonic colorations were at variance with the real sound. Eventually, I did a complete about-face and had a proprietary passive line stage made for me with short, silver wire runs. Finally, I had my clarity, but the visceral impact of live music was missing. It was in the area of microdynamics that this feature was lost. About three years ago, after auditioning many preamps, both tube, hybrid, and solid state, I came across the Bel Canto PRE2. It had most of the clarity of the passive "silver" line stage, but it had some punch, very necessary for the newly acquired Sound Lab M-1 PX's that I had gotten. I always felt that this was a good compromise: many Sound Lab owners tried to compensate for the electrostatic problem by using tube amplifiers, which, by definition, are more dynamic because there are wider voltage swings that accompany the impedance swings over the sonic spectrum. That way I see the problem: live music has a "rounded" quality that is the result of a fully realized spectrum of the sound in real time. Tube preamps mimic this effect, while not really communicating the real contour. You can compare live vs. recorded sound by focusing on the decays of instruments. Any electronics that get in the way lessen this effect, which is why direct-to-disk LP's are often so satisfying.
Dave Schulte of The Upgrade Company had already upgraded my EMM Labs CDSD-SE & DAC6e-SE digital front end with spectacular results, when he suggested that he could improve my preamp. I liked the Bel Canto preamp overall the best of all the stock units I had auditioned, but it could not provide that holographic sound stage that tube preamps mimic with ease, at the expense of tonal accuracy. What I was looking for was that effect of instrumental and vocal fullness, often associated with "bloom," common to preamps with pure vacuum tube design. When I got the unit back from him I did the usual burn in on each of the inputs, and I noticed on one of the burn in CD's a noticeable increase in the resolution of fine detail in the sonic layers. Just maybe, this upgrade would create the control amp that I had sought for decades.
What, exactly would be the needed improvements?
- Image stability: the ideal preamp would create a rock solid stereo image, based on the retrieval of low level information.
- Timbral rightness: the envelope of each instrument would give it a unique sense of presence: particularly the attack and the decay.
- Proper rendering of micro dynamics: our illusions of loud and soft have a lot to do with apparent, subjective perception, rather than an absolute measurement of dB's. A violin playing forte is putting out .2 of an acoustic watt, while a bass drum at the same dynamic level could put out 20 or more watts. Particularly critical is the moment of attack of the bow on the string. There is the illusion of great energy in live performance that is almost impossible to capture listening to a recording. The generation of loudness at different frequencies creates terrible problems for the preamp/amp pair, where the impedance can vary by a factor of 10.
- Overall smoothness: rather than cold or euphonically sweet, the sound would have a smooth, effortless quality that should compel the listener to turn down the sound, because the soundfield has so much more believability and weight. As it turns out, the upgraded preamp has all of these qualities in the extreme. Particularly in the area of microdynamics, the real decay of the instrumental and vocal envelope is completely revealed, giving much of that holographic presentation that is rare in any solid state preamp. I have never used a better control amplifier.
February 7, 2011
When it comes to musical sound, I am impossible to fool. I have absolute pitch and can tell you the manufacturer of a recorded piano. Major performance organizations, electronics companies (like Wadia, Bybee and others), as well as MAJOR record producers have relied on my ear for accuracy. I don't care to know details on what you do to dramatically improve my gear/sound, you get results, and that is GAME OVER.
Hope things are going well. I have over 1000 hours on the dac now and could not be happier with the results. The performance is easily some the best digital I have heard. I listen to the music without paying attention to audiophile parameters, but to the musical performance of the artist.
Thank you so much,
Billy Thompson, FL
Page information last updated: 06/05/2020
Disclaimer: We believe but do not guarantee that the information on this website is correct at the time of publication.