+ 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.
Unsolicited Testimonials sent to David J. Schulte & The Upgrade Company
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.
Denon AVR-X7200WA and Oppo BDP-105D with Signature Edition Upgrade
Two Denon Unit Signature Edition Upgrade
Dear Upgrade Co,
I wanted to write you to provide feedback on my two Denon units.
These two SE Upgraded Denon units play music at a level equal to my far more expensive stereo music system. They do all the things in an audiophile’s check list very well: depth, imaging, soundstaging, details, transparency, neutrality, micro/macro dynamics, rhythm and pace, etc. Their most outstanding quality is the ability to present music with a presence, palpability and physicality that create a good illusion of live music. They are truly amazing performers, especially given their relatively modest costs. The video performance is equally fine. Pictures are detailed and smooth especially with good sources such as BluRay discs. Colors are deep, saturated but natural. Contrast is especially good, rendering images with realistic perspectives. I am extremely pleased that I have purchased these two components….one of the better decisions in my life.
I want to commend you for your SE upgrades inside my Denon AVR-X7200WA and Denon DBT-3313UDCI. I have close to 200 hours on these two Denon components now. I can summarize by saying that they have far exceeded my expectations. They are phenomenal values at their respective price points. I can heartily recommend them to any home theater buff or music lover who wants a top notch system without spending a fortune.
You are welcome to put my feedback in your Customer Testimonials.
Phil Ho, California
Both my DENON PMA-2000 Integrated Amp & DENON DVD-3910 player were SE upgraded years ago. I was quite happy with the better-than-anything else performance Upgrade Co. provides.
I received an email from you guys which informed me of new updates back in 2015, worthy of re-sending the pieces in for additional updates. Your audio advice I have always found to be correct, so I jumped at the opportunity.
I thought I was well past the point of any significant performance gains. I was dead wrong. The updates gave a large improvement. I can hear details in music that I couldn't before. At medium & high volumes, what I thought was "loud" was still some remaining harshness, now it's all gone.
Sounds beautiful and perfect!
I hear TimePortal power cords offer even higher performance.
Looking forward to trying those next!
Chris Sanabria PhD, Texas
Denon AVR- 5308Ci top line receiver & Denon 4010Ci Bluray DVD CD player linked by TimePortal Reference HDMI & TimePortal DenonLink cables.
Follow up: I am having a great time my SE Upgraded Denon AVR- 5308Ci w/3D & Audessey updates & Denon 4010Ci Bluray DVD CD player linked by your TimePortal HDMI & DenonLink cables. I can't say which I am impressed by more, the video improvement is just outstanding and the sound is far better that I had ever expected I could achieve. The upscaling of DVD's is something to be admired, Bluray's look absolutely pristine and live.
I would say that I am getting the same improvements that others have described in their testimonials listed on Upgrade Co's website.
I am sure that the sound will eventually win out as everything burns in but I am amazed on how much improved the picture is. Phenomenal work. Thank you.
Dear Upgrade Company,
I was about to write a reserved narrative with limited adjectives, but it would be a grave injustice to what you electronic wizards have accomplished.
You guys are stone-cold crazy skilled!!
As you know my wife and AV friends were all highly impressed a year ago with our new Upgrade Company Oppo 93 which blew away our stock 93 and all the other players we auditioned, (we picked yours to keep), that was NOTHING compared to what you guys deliver NOW with your $299 SE upgrade UPDATE!!
My 7.2 speaker/subwoofer system has been thru top of the line Yamaha, Onkyo & Integra flagship components, and never…I repeat, NEVER, have I seen so much woofer cone activity, and sheer "in the room presence" that is totally rocking my house. You guys put the "Vulcan Mind Meld” on my Denon AVP-A1HDci & Oppo. The picture and sound is just incredible. We now proudly sit in my home theater with a larger group of friends, and trust me, it has nothing to do with our social skills. There is nothing we've heard ANYWHERE that even comes close to what is now happening in my system.
You’ve outdone yourselves and raised the "State of the Art" bar in a redonkulous way!! WOW! WOW & WOW!! When you recommended that all clients promptly send back their SE upgraded gear to be updated I couldn’t pack it up fast enough. Eight days later, I got my gear back. Acoustical depth/width were INSTANTLY GIGANTIC IN TNE ROOM POWERFUL AND LIVE. We are "in the movie" dude. While you were working on my components, I used my stock naked unshielded non radio frequency treated Denon AVR-4308Ci and stock internally naked non-RFI/EMI treated Oppo 93 (factory).
When I got the components back, transparency, soundstage, bass slam & depth, overall liquidity/detail/speed, sparkle, "liveness" and imaging were ALL DRAMATICALLY improved!! No comparison between factory components and your LATEST Signature Edition upgrades! Not even close, no way no how!!
All our AV friends say the same thing: WOW
The audio through the SE’d Denon AVP-A1HDCI & Oppo 93 SE:
DVDs & Blu-ray's & CD's & SACD's are ALL incredible sounding now!! No bad discs. I do not need a separate 2-channel system. No way. A much higher audio performance with GREATLY improved picture quality. Blu-ray's look & sound like I'm THERE. My 10 speakers (2 centers) and 2 huge subs in my HT have amazingly just DISAPPEARED!!
I am now a proud owner of imaging WAY beyond the speakers themselves. SEEMLESS - like I'm IN THE MOVIE. Background ocean waves, birds, stuff buzzing or flying through my listening room, the sound of ocean breezes (let alone waves! That stuff came out in your last SE upgrade) are in my room. The ultimate thing I’ve now heard is the soft sound of the actor’s garments rubbing as they move around during dialogues. Even when cranked up to the MAX everything is sooo buttery smooth and velvety liquid and crystal clear. Try THAT with stock gear - We're still grinning.
The Upgrade Company's technology has completely removed the veiling that is so awful with ALL stock naked radio frequency contaminated HiFi & Video equipment irregardless of the name on the front if it!! Stock Krell EVO & stock McIntosh sound like crap compared to your SE upgraded gear you guys are cranking out. That stock sky high priced stuff is so harsh veiled fuzzy flat tinny small & boring sounding in direct comparison with video that's noisy and washed out - not live like we're getting.
My wife loves Sabrina (Harrison Ford version). We’ve seen this movie 20 times, if not 100. She thought I’d purchased another expensive component. She was absolutely amazed at the video clarity and the total sonic transformation that occurred after your latest SE upgrades. Sabrina showed shockingly bright sparkly garments and very black properly graduated tuxedos with super white shirts that do not glow like stock gear. 3D. Background video resolution is much more detailed and wonderfully distracting. Not fuzzy washed out full of artifacts like stock players and video scalers. Mind you we have good power line conditioning on everything in the system - that is a must do: right off the bat.
Prior to The Upgrade Company's technologies, our big plasma was looking long in the tooth…BUT SHE”S NEVER LOOKED SOO DARN SPECTACULAR!!! We do not need a new TV. DID I TELL YOU WE ARE WATCHING ALL OUR MOVIES AGAIN!?!? This is a true testament to your technology. Exponential dividends. My plasma has never looked sweeter (really 3D-ish ), my audio is over the moon wonderful, my woofers are dancing like I'v never seen them PUMP, and I now have a larger posse’ of friends!! Nuff Said!! Gonna send you my large beverage & snack tab now....
Keep us informed as your discoveries evolve on your quest for the ultimate audio & video SIGNAL INTEGRITY.
These online geeks and "reviewers" are a total sham. They are keeping the TRUTH from consumers.
Absolutely MIND NUMBING & ABSOLUTELY SHOCKING!!!
Thank you so much for finally delivering an IMAX-like experience in our home.
Love what you're doing!!
A client FOR LIFE
Isaiah in Ohio
Denon DVD-5910Ci upgrade including optional XLR output stage, McIntosh 871 & 205 players
I decided to drive to The Upgrade Company way up in Harbor Springs Michigan to collect my newly upgraded equipment in person, rather then risk shipping damage. I ended up spending a couple of days there comparing the sound of several upgraded players against some really high end stock Esoteric digital they had for comparisons.
On display were the stock $45,000 Esoteric P-03/D-03/G-0Rb 3-box CD/SACD set and a $14,000 Esoteric X-01 Limited Edition. I verified under the covers that each Esoteric was stock/unmodified. I looked carefully and could not see any signs of modification or upgrades from the brochure pictures. We listened and compared the sound of many stock and upgraded players over the weekend We were always careful to eliminate variables by using the same power cords and interconnects and resonance/shelf support rack for all of the comparisons. We adjusted the volume of the units with a handheld dB meter to make sure that all of the listening tests were fair. There were 2 high end systems setup in different areas. One of Upgrade Co's demo systems had an upgraded McIntosh C-200 preamp which has a digital readout input level trim, which memorizes the trim settings for each input so it made it very convenient to A-B mutliple inputs at the same dB level quickly without having to adjust the volume setting. On the other system, an upgraded Audio Research LS-10 had a similar input level trim feature as well as an A-B input instant comparison button on the factory remote control for instant level matched A-B comparisons. Any input & level can be programmed.
All of the comparisons used the same brand/model power cords and the same brand/model interconnects with dual or triple copies of the same discs for instant accurate comparisons.
The first unit that I listened to was an upgraded McIntosh MC-205 CD changer they use for background music during upgrades, versus the stock Esoteric X-01 Limited Edition and the stock Esoteric P-03/D-03/G-0Rb set. I could tell right away the upgraded McIntosh MC-205 player provided more detail, with far better highs, midrange, and bass along with a huge soundstage, precise imaging and far greater micro/macro dynamics over the Esoteric X-01 Limited Edition or the expensive Esoteric P-01/D-01/G-0Rb set. We also A-B'd an upgraded McIntosh MVP-871 and upgraded Denon DVD-5910Ci fitted with optional balanced outputs, and other units stock and upgraded, but I dont want to speak out against too many manufacturers.
The stock Esoteric units might sound acceptable to someone unfamiliar with upgraded/modified ultra high end performance, however, in direct side-by-side comparison they sounded dull and flat. Even the $45,000 Esoteric set did not have near the detail, body, transparency or resolution any of the upgraded players exhibited. This may sound like a big fat lie, but it's absolutely the truth. Additionally, the stock Esoteric's tended to sound constricted small and “nasal”, much harsher and more strident than the upgraded players.
It's a shame what these manufacturer's are charging. I witnessed firsthand many Upgrade Company upgraded players surpass the $45,000 Esoteric setup by a wide margin, and they only costs a fraction of the cost in comparison. Almost a crime. To top all this off, the Esoteric 3 box player required 3 expensive MIT Oracle power cords, (2) MIT Oracle 110 ohm AES-EBU digital cables and (2) MIT clock link BNC cables to operate. That's a huge additional expense right there in cabling.
I understand the high priced Esoteric models after being upgraded perform in an entirely different league above everything we heard, but there were no upgraded Esoterics on hand at the time to double blind A-B.
I'm truly impressed.
Richard Nelridge, PA
I would definitely go Upgrade Co's upgrade route over stock. I purchased one of their brand new & SE upgraded Denon 3930ci Universal players which I directly compared to a stock $14,000 Esoteric X-01 Limited Edition CD/SACD player and it kicked its butt big time. I was very skeptical at first until I heard it myself. What Upgrade Co.s advertises is all true. Dave's a really great guy to do business with. He goes out of his way to please you. Look at the 14 day In Home Satisfaction Guarantee, who else does that? As far as the Audiogon website, big name manufacturers who advetise put a lot of pressure on Audiogon to stop Upgrade Co's "For Profit Built" advertisements pictures blowing the lid off of the high end audio scam.
Take the plunge you won't be sorry.
Dan Fish, Portage Michigan
Audiogon ID: SUPAFISH
Denon AVP-1HD Preamp Processor "Signature Edition" upgrade
When I first purchased my Denon AVP I was happy with its functionality, and it had a crisp detailed dynamic sound. But it was also thin, somewhat gritty and had no bass. After The Upgrade Company did their magic it became something entirely different, with a rich full sound, deep powerful bass, plenty of dynamics and much smoother than before. It also has plenty of soundstage depth and focus. It completely walks all over the Theta Casablanca lll I had, which I used to believe was the king of pre/pro’s and could not be touched. Highly recommended, but only if you have The Upgrade Company make it what it can be.
Bill Hilleary | Manufacturing Manager | Microsoft Corporation
DON'T MAKE THE SAME MISTAKE AS I DID
I want to tell you what happened on my way to upgrading to a modified player. In the past I had started with a decent cd player the AH TJOEB 4000. I liked it but did not love the sound. Even after tube rolling it still didn't move me or make me stay up for hours listening to music. Next I tried and had in my system a REGA SATURN cd player for about 8 mos. The player produced sound that was better (more detail, micro dynamics) but it had no soul to the music reproduction. IMHO the audio player plus the rest of the equipment should move me and make me get lost in the music. I was really tired of trying to see which digital source will work in my system.
After spending countless hours reading this and that about modified audio equipment I thought this may be the way to go and began my search for a modified CD/DVD player. I found out there are many companies claiming to modify players, some had good reviews from fellow A'goners and other publications and some not so good. I narrowed my choices to three main competitors. I relied on word of mouth and customer satisfaction of audio products that they claimed could be modified.
I saw an ad in Audiogon for a "namewithheld" modified version of a Denon 3910 player. After again talking to a few supposedly satisfied customers I proceeded to purchase their modded 3910. After speaking a few times to the owner he ordered me his new version of the 3910. He said it would be done in a matter of a few days. Naturally i said let's proceed and I waited patiently for when he was to send me out the 3910. I tried calling him after a week and didn't receive a phone call or an email back. When he finally called back he said it wasn't ready and would take a few more weeks. I hesitantly agreed and waited patiently for my player. It finally was ready after 6 weeks!! After receiving the player I hooked it up and it turned out to be defective! Needless to say I was not happy I of course returned the player at my own expense for repair. It took the owner approx 2 weeks before telling me that there was indeed a problem; they forgot to install supposedly some important resistors in the player. All along as I do nightly I was still searching and conversing on Agon and somehow stumbled on THE UPGRADE COMPANY. I was especially impressed with all the positive customer reviews…and David Schulte's concepts about modifying audio equipment: don't try to re-engineer it like another mod company did and failed. Not to mention their 100% satisfaction gurantee.
At this point I was not impressed with my current experience with the other company and decided what the heck and contacted Upgrade Co. I was pleasantly surprised to get hold of David the CEO so quickly (unlike the other company) David took the time and asked what I was looking for and I explained the problem I was encountering with the other company. David knew who this other company was and told me and he said that his upgrades are so much more superior to theirs and you will really be moved by the sound of his mods. I thought to myself what a bold statement from a confident man he must know his stuff. David always makes the effort to know what his competitors are doing for their modifications. David also told me again the sound will be so much more superior and the quality of his parts will leave all others in the dust. Again a bold statement but guess what I liked that confidence in a company! David told me to return the current player and get my money back and he would build me a better 3910 and send it out asap.
Fast forward about a week when I received The Upgrade Company's version of the Denon 3910. When I received it and plugged it in there was no comparison in sound quality and workmanship. The player was more heavier in weight than the previous company. Oh and this is very important to me: the relentless pursuit of customer satisfaction. A prime example was after I had the player for only a few days David called me up and told me he had discovered an improvement to his already wonderful sounding 3910 player and it would dramatically increase the enjoyment of my 3910. I told him that I was very happy with the sound and this was only having a few hours of break in. He kept insisting that I needed to get this mod done on the 3910 for free, just return shipping cost. Of course I gave in and sent the player back and within a week I received the 3910 and plugged it back into my system. Damn if David wasn't right again! There was now a very immediate improvement in the sound and a change for the better. What were the immediate changes? How about more solid bass, sweeter midrange and even more effortless highs. All of this with little break-in. To say that I was pleased with the results was an understatement.
I wanted to wait a few months to post this review because I wanted to properly let the 3910 burn in, especially the Black Gate caps which are well known to tke about 800hrs to fully burn in.
Here is what you can expect. Nice sound around 200 hrs. Dips a bunch at 300hrs. Jump to 600 hrs and you start to see Upgrade Co's potential. At 800 hrs you will first hand witness the beautiful sound they provide. You may ask what you will be rewarded with read on... The balance of musicality and neutrality of this player is truly shocking. There is a harmonic rightness to the midrange and upper bass that literally had my jaw drop. Never have I experienced this before with a player. I have listened to Meridians, Esoterics, Aero, and even several other modded Denon 3910's from chat forum favorite mod companies. David's version beats them all IMHO. For once I was listening to music and not equipment. This in itself is no small feat but I truly believe David has nailed it firmly. To see if i was just imagining this euphoria I had a few of my audiophile friends over for a listen. Most of these guys had very excellent systems and preferred vinyl over cds. Well after a few hrs of listening they really grew to like the sound of this 3910 player. They all agreed that they were very impressed with the music reproduction the player was conveying into my room.
So what have I learned from all this? Not all modification companies are the same, not all modified players are the same. Futhermore, not all customer service is the same. If you want to purchase an incredible sounding player like the 3910, want and expect first rate customer service along with the constant pursuit of excellence in the company and the product you need only call David Schulte.
Like I found out the hard way and like so many satisfied clients before me I am pleased I did make the right choice. I firmly believe you will not be disappointed and you will enjoy the end result.
Denon DVD-5910Ci Signature Edition upgraded vs $13,000 Esoteric UX-1+ $13,000 Esoteric G-0S outboard Master Clock
I used to own an $13,000 Esoteric UX-1 and $13,000 G-0s Master Clock unit with $10,000+ worth of Transparent Reference MM power cords and digital cables. I now use an Upgrade Company "Signature Edition" Denon 5910ci and it is far superior on all material to the Esoteric combo, and for obviously a whole lot less money.
Bill Hilleary | Manufacturing Manager | Microsoft Corporation
I just have to tell you a quick story. When I got my Denon from you, it blew away my $8400.00 Esoteric X-03SE so badly that I took it back to my Esoteric dealer and told him to sell it. He has had it for 8 months and gotten nothing done, so I decided that I would go pick it up and sell it myself. It is just incredible to me that your $1500.00 upgraded Denon just walks all over that $8400.00 Esoteric. The Denon makes the Esoteric virtually unlistenable. The music through the Esoteric...if you can call it that, has no life, it is very boring. Lacks depth, detail and just overall musicality.
You have a great product to sell, I am so glad that you were recommended to me. I am one very happy customer.
Mike B. in Oklahoma
Mike later purchased an upgraded McIntosh MVP-861 which he reports outperfomed his upgraded Denon 3910.
Here is a small write up on the Signature Edition upgraded Denon 5910Ci. I am really happy with it. Feel free to post this to your website… if possible just put my first name but feel free to give my phone number to any customer that would like to get in touch with me.
After reading about your upgrades in several audio forums I looked for you website and read through some of the info and testimonials. I was really impressed on how your customers really made an effort to praise you and your outstanding work and now I understand why. I’m glad I persuaded myself to call you and place an order without knowing you or even having heard your upgraded gear. My order was only based on communications with Dave the confidence he gave me and opinions from his previous clients.
If you are reading this and read some of the other testimonials/reviews, you will notice that it almost seems there is a contest on who can express more eloquently what Dave's upgrades did for their music enjoyment. English is not my first language so I'm not going to try to win this contest but I hope it helps convince someone on calling Dave or trying to audition “Signature Edition” upgraded equipment.
I bought a traded-in "Signature Edition upgraded" Denon 5910Ci. Dave assured me that with new upgrades to his current “standard” it will surely beat my $45,000 retail dCs stack (Verdi/Delius/Purcell) and it did. The same day the 5910 was delivered I unpacked and installed it. I let it warm for a only a couple of hours before spinning the first CD. During this time I was listening to the dCs so that I could compare the sound. Without the recommended “burn-in” time, the 5910 had better a separation of instruments, tighter bass, better soundstage, etc,etc (other testimonials describe the upgrade transformation in more detail and I fully agree with them). The difference initially was not night and day but it was VERY easy to tell which was the better player. The improvement was as significant as when I upgraded to the dCs but this change makes music sound a lot more “musical” and enjoyable rather than extremely detailed and analytical.
However after a couple of weeks the sound just keeps evolving and getting better.
The upgraded 5910 seems to be a very accurate player as it differentiates how well a CD is recorded, much more so than the dCs stack. “The better the CD the better the sound” which is a double edged sword as you tend to play more of the “better recorded” CDs. Still the “not so good CDs” sound fully listenable and such difference grows as the CD recording improves.
My experience with The Upgrade Company has been FANTASTIC. I already ordered a "Signature Edition" upgraded DAC to further improve the performance of the 5910, and I have just ordered a NuForce Oppo 83SE Signature Edition for my Home Theater system in a different room. I can’t wait to get them. The Upgrade Company really and truly gives you a lot more than just claims of "State of the Art".
The Upgrade Company gives you higher performing equipment at a significantly lower price than "cost-is-no-object" high end brands, even when purchasing them used. Dave gives you very good advice, recommendations on how to improve your sound, provides great service and maintains very close communication. I have not had the privilege of meeting Dave in person but it has been a pleasure to deal with him and will surely keep coming back for new upgrades and advice ….. many thanks Dave!
Manuel in Mexico City
Manuel has continued to purchase numerous Upgrade Co. upgraded models including new & upgraded Onkyo prepro, Oppo 83SE bluray player, Wadia dac, and more
I hope you are well. I just wanted also to send you my review of the Denon DVDa1, which you are welcome to publish on Upgrade Co's website.
I contacted David Schulte after I had previously let him upgrade an Esoteric X-03 for me along with a Denon DVD-3930Ci which both left me very satisfied. In order to upgrade to some expensive new speakers and amplification, I sold some of my gear and bought a barely used Denon DVDa1(European analogue to the former Denon flagship player DVD-9000 with dual-differential Burr-Brown 1704 dac's) and shipped it to David for Upgrade Co's Signature Edition upgrade. I called David and after we talked, David told me what he planned to do and gave me the schedule.
What I like most about David is his quick answers on emails and that he is always available to speak to once you develop a relationship.
In professional terms, David does always more then he needs to in order to satisfy you.
After I have received the player back, my first impressions were very positive: not only did the NOS Denon DVD-A1 look like brand new, it sounded really good right out of the box. After letting it burn it properly for 150 hours, the minimum David recommends, with the help of the Purist Audio System Enhancer CD, I listened seriously to the system and I need to tell you: This is all I wanted from my system: the PRAT, bass, mids, highs, 3D soundstage, it was all there with superior ease and control which helped to figure out every little detail in the recording. This Player is fantastic. I am very happy that I have such a knowledgeable modifier as David and his Upgrade Company. His service and modifications are simply shocking. Along with my new pricey TAD Pioneers S-1EX speakers, Musical Fidelity KW 500 and the TUC Signature upgraded Denon DVD A-1 digital source, Cardas GR Speaker cables and AQ Sky interconnects, I have arrived in Audio Heaven.
On a personal note I would advise everyone considering to put together a really good high end system: Buy used audio gear and let it be upgraded. That’s the route to go and also save money. After experiencing and comparing 3 players by The Upgrade Company over the past 18 months, they are the bona fide address to do that.
You have many companies here in Germany and Europe who offer audio mods, but the fact that I am paying high amounts for shipping to Michigan, says a lot and is my highest praise I can give to David Schulte and The Upgrade Company.
Ron in Berlin, Germany
When it was time to upgrade both my DVD player and my CD player I began to look around for something that might possibly allow me to combine those functions in one unit. I’d read reviews in the past of modified Denon DVD players that sounded pretty good, so I began to scour the internet for more information.
One of the ‘modifiers’ mentioned on various websites was David Schulte and his “Upgrade Company”. There were two things that piqued my interest: First, the fact that he offered a money back guarantee, and secondly, the fact that I could not find one person who was unhappy with the results of his work. That is very unusual on the internet.
I sent a query to the Upgrade Company and within 24 hours got a phone call from David seeking to answer my questions. After some conversation, I chose to order a Denon 3800BDci player. It didn’t have the SACD ability I was thinking about, but David repeatedly assured me that I’d be so happy with it’s standard redbook CD capabilities that I wouldn’t want to pursue SACD any further.
When I got my modified Denon 3800BDci player, I immediately put it into my system and began to burn it in. David said to wait at least 100hrs before critical listening, but at 72hrs I weakened. I was very pleased with what I heard. It still had some roughness in the upper octaves, but the midbass and bass performance was so much better than my Audio Research CD3 it was replacing that I could hardly believe it.
At about 3 weeks, a problem arose. When I turned on the unit, I would hear loud static that would slowly decline…but never really go away. It was like listening a very badly worn vinyl disc. David and I emailed back and forth for weeks with me getting more impatient by the moment. I started to think I would be the first unhappy client, but he assured me that we would see this through.
Finally, I sent it back to David, frankly with ‘not-so-high’ expectations. He went to work on it and although he found nothing he could see upon inspection, replaced a number of caps and did some extra mods to it that he had discovered since I had bought it. He assured me it would improve the performance “more than a notch or two”. “Yeah right”…I thought.
I got it back and turned it on with major trepidation. What I heard absolutely knocked my socks off and I’ve been in this hobby for 37 years. What’s more, as it has broken in further, it has only gotten better. I could go on in all sorts of audiophile terms about string tone or macro and microdynamics…about transient capabilities and the ‘woody’ sound of an acoustic guitar or cello, but that really doesn’t do it justice.
Perhaps the best thing I can say is that what I am hearing from my system sounds the most like live music it has ever sounded. It has full, taut bass impact and a natural high end that only sizzles on the very worst recordings. The midrange is liquid, yet detailed and revealing. I’m very sensitive to harshness in the upper midrange and this unit strikes the best balance between detail and smoothness I’ve ever heard in my home.
Bottom line: I can highly recommend the Denon 3800BDci with the Upgrade Company mods. I recommend even more highly David Schulte as a man of integrity who goes the second mile to deliver on what he has promised and takes customer service seriously.
Rev. Robert Ahlberg
I just wanted to give you an update on the Denon DVD-3910 I bought with your Signature Edition upgrade.
I have used quite a few CD players, but this was a very pleasant yet unexpected surprise. It easily bested my unmodded Reimyo CDP-777 but also it clearly out performed a highly touted modified OPPO 980 player with a SuperClock 4+PS all "modded" out by RAM. The Signature upgraded 3910's sound is very full and natural yet also very extended and detailed.
Fred M. NH
David: Here is my testimonial on the Denon 2930 upgrade. You are welcome to post it on your website and you may also pass along my e-mail address to anyone wishing to contact me as a reference.
Just wanted to let you know the upgraded Denon 2930 is finally broken in, and sounds much better than I imagined. It's hard for me to believe a solid-state player can sound so good. The upgraded player does what so many more expensive units cannot do -- retrieve all the harmonics and detail from the disc, but without adding brightness. When I play my favorite songs, I find myself letting the rest of the disc play out again and again. The sound quality is downright addictive!
I would be impressed with the sound even if the upgraded 2930 were a CD-only player. But -- even better -- the upgraded Denon 2930 is a play-it-all machine that also does SACD, DVD-A, DVD, and MP3 discs with the same stunning sound quality. Watching movies is much better with top-notch sound quality to bring out the best in both music and dialogue.
Recently, one of the local dealers in Dallas, TX had a wine-and-cheese event showing off some very expensive gear: Meridian, Krell Evolution, Transparent Cable, etc. Imagine my surprise when I went home and found my upgraded Denon 2930 was competitive with the best-sounding player at the store -- the Krell Evolution player. The smoothness, detail, and refinement of the very expensive Krell were present in my upgraded unit. The upgraded Denon 2930 is the smartest hi-fi purchase I have ever made!
I look forward to having my other components upgraded by The Upgrade Company in the future.
Jonathan Dunn, TX
I received the Signature Edition upgraded Denon 3910 player and have spent some serious time listening. The short time I have been listening is very positive. It sounds better right out-of-the-box than my Dexa D-clock "modified" Eastsound CD-E5 RedBook CD player that's ben touted. Can't wait till I get more time for listening. Very impressive!
Rune Norgaard, Denmark
I am AMAZED. The sound is FANTASTIC. I believed in you since you answered my first e-mail but I was not waiting this sound change. The 3910 likes a new and different gear.
Now I am sure I HAD MADE THE VERY BEST DECISION to send you it.
The sound is AMAZINGLY clear, full detailed lush liquid and better than the major quantity of CD/SACM/DVD you can find here . I think when hours will be pass it sound will be better and better.The video is fantastic also , a great upgrading.
Dave I am really surprised and I want to give you THANKS for it.
Now I KNOW I must assure you the final is tremendously satisfactory.
Thank you Dave once more. Here, in Spain you have a friend. I could not imagine what can you do with my LINN UNIDISK 1.1.
Now I am a happy man and I can enjoy my gear. Some friend thought I was crazy to send to USA a DENON 3910 from Spain but now they are surprised and thinking I am right.
Constantino García, Spain
I own an Upgrade Co. Denon 2900, Upgrade Co. Forte 4A Amp, and Upgrade Co. AES AE-3 tubed preamp. I have heard direct A-B comparisons with many very high priced models that Dave has upgraded. I was very fortunate to live within an hour so I'd stop in now and then to hear different pieces before Upgrade Co. moved to wonderful Harbor Springs. You will not be at all disappointed with any piece of equipment you have upgraded. I have been able to hear my 2900 compared to the $10,000 EMM Labs 1-box player, the CDSA-SE, the Reimyo CDP-777, the Esoteric X-01 Limited Edition, and Wadia 581SE, to be honest you would be wasting your money to pay $5000-$20000 for a player. An upgraded Denon makes any stock player sound thin, gritty and dull. Dave is a good person that believes in giving his customers State of the Art sound without taking out a 2nd mortgage on their house.
As for Audiogon they have been pressured by EMM Labs and other company's to remove The Upgrade Company, so much for free enterprise and freedom of speech!
Brian Borgman, MI
"In the beginning, God created the Heavens and the Earth. On the sixth day, God created the first human being Adam with perfect hearing.
Where do we get the perfect sound system?
Since 1987, I have been buying used stereo equipment to save money. Later I decided to try having my equipment upgraded. I bought a few pieces of upgraded equipment from other modifier's/upgrader's, but typically, whenever you called for a status, they would simply state they were "busy".
I started looking around for other experts on upgrading stereo equipment. I read about the "modification" experience's of many people on Audiogon. One day someone mentioned about David Schulte of The Upgrade Company. Many other Audiogoner members also praised him highly for his service and the sonic quality of the upgraded products. They said that David had turned their DVD player into an outstanding player that bested, to their ears, the really high dollar CD players in direct A-B comparisons. That got me interested. I further read about people who had decided to replace the clocks inside CD players with the "SuperClocks" and similar. lets just say that with my experience, I simply do not agree with that upgrade path. It is apparent that only the original designers of the circuits should be the ones to determine the clock type and rate of a circuit. To my ears, there is no comparison to the results David gets with his upgrading.
I decided to call David Schulte on the phone. He sounded very helpful, friendly, and willing to explain the upgrades over the phone. I agreed with his approach, and decided to purchase an upgraded Denon DVD-9000 disc player from him. Within one week, I received the player. Right off the bat, I was delighted with the openness of sound, and the rich and full voices of the singers.
David then told me that in order to appreciate the sound of the Denon 9000, I would need to replace my preamplifier and power amplifier. That would sound like a sale pitch if that had come from a normal sales man. I trust David as I appreciate his goal to "forever improve your system" attitude. I bought an upgraded Audible Illusions L-2 preamplifier, and two upgraded McIntosh MC-122 power amplifiers from him. He told me that the upgraded MC-122 would best stock power amplifiers under $10,000. I trust his judgement, because they sound remarkable. I do not hear sound quality like this in any Hi-End Audio Showroom.
As I played the Phantom of the Opera with four of his upgraded equipment, the orchestra stayed behind the singers all the time. There was no muddiness. The female voices inside Phantom sound so life like that my wife feels like she is listening to a live performance in the theatre. My wife seldom sits in front of my stereo system for more than an hour. Now she does. That in itself is bold testimony to David's upgrades. I have played CD after CD until midnight on many a night. I find that the better a recording is, the better my upgraded system sounds. There is apparently tremendous potential inside used audio gear that once upgraded allows it to become true State of the Art.
Recently, he advised me to buy an Exact Power EP-15A AC re-generator to get another big improvement from my system. So I did, and bought an upgraded EP-15A from him. This improvement is significant. The orchestra of the Phantom of the Opera has authority and body, and the singers sound strong on the loud passages, and decent on the soft passages. His advices are always proper.
Last month, he told me that the MIT Cables are the best. I bought a pair of MIT Oracle v1.1 interconnect for my 9000. That pair of interconnect separates the instruments from the singers in a well laid out manner. I could hear each individual voice with no muddiness. Articulation is clear and definite. I could tell a female voice from a male voice in a chorus. Now my wife thinks that the orchestra sounds powerful on the system!
Even though I have not listened to the expensive CD players like the EMM Labs and Esoteric just yet, but I do listen to my own live recording of our pastor at church . When I play back my own live recording on the 9000 with the MIT Oracle v1.1, our pastor sounds so natural, sweet, and live.
Previously, I used Mogami as my microphone cable for my live recording. I would always see my HHB CD recorder showing a -40 db of noise on the LED volume meter. I thought that noise came from the air flow. Last Sunday, I decided to use the MIT Oracle v1.1 as my microphone cable. Wow, my HHB CD recorder no longer shows any noise on the LED volume meter. Our pastor sounds crisp on a dead silent background with fullness and roundness.
To sum up, David Schulte's "The Upgrade Co." is world class at a bargain. He always delivers, and exceeds my expectations. He is courteous and willing to help you improve your system. I have spent less than $20,000 on my system, and it sounds extremely life like and three dimensional. I now use my saved money for the MIT Oracle interconnects, power cords for each of my components, and maybe one day Oracle speaker cables.
Which system would you choose? Stock State-of-the-Art equipment or equipment upgraded to State-of-the-Art level along with MIT cables for the same investment? I pick the second, and I am totally pleased with my choice."
Denon DVD-3910 Upgrade
I was looking for a way to improve the sound of my home theater system and determined that my 8 year old DVD/CD player was the weak link. I didn't have a large budget so I decided to buy a used DVD/CD Player that performed decently and have it upgraded. There were many companies that were willing to upgrade my Denon 3910, but most of the prices out there were astronomical. I finally heard about David Schulte and decided to give him a call. I spoke with David about his experience with the Denon 3910 and some of the improvements he would make. I have to admit I was a little skeptical, but decided to give the Upgrade Company a try.
Easy to Work With:
When I shipped the Denon to David’s shop he immediately sent me an email letting me know that the unit arrived safely and most notably that he had already started working on installing the upgraded components and parts. I was really impressed about this sense of urgency since my past experiences with upgrading equipment usually resulted in weeks and sometimes months of waiting.
Within a week from when I sent David my Denon 3910 he had it back at my house. I had never experienced such a quick turn-around. With David, there is no long waiting.
Customer Satisfaction and Follow-Up:
Once I got the Denon back I started the break-in period. The initial sound improvements were subtle, but improvements in the video were noticeable right away. The picture on my rear projection TV was much clearer than before. The Images were very clear especially for a 10 year old rear projection TV. On the audio side of things I could tell that the Blackgate Caps and other new parts David installed in the audio circuit needed time to break-in. During the entire break-in period (300-500 hours of playing time) David was very conscientious about emailing me and sometimes calling me to make sure that I understood what was happening during the break in period and that I was satisfied with the performance of the player. When David sensed that I was not completely satisfied with the improvements (before the break-in was finished) David requested that I send the unit back (he even took the price of shipping off the cost of the upgrade) and assured me that the improvements we had initially talked about would be realized. David just wanted to make sure that everything was working properly. While the Denon 3910 was in David’s shop he traced the problem down to some faulty capacitors. Again, within the week, the Denon was back at my house playing in my system, but this time the sound was noticeably improved. Now the sound of my system began to generate sonic qualities that I could only imagine before now. The notes coming out of my speakers were extremely clear and natural sounding. Notes that just seemed to hang in the air for the longest time beyond what I had ever experienced previously. There was no hint of brightness or harshness whatsoever. Just pure natural sounding notes from one end of the frequency spectrum to the other. The highs were clear and natural and the lows were powerful and taut. Another impressive quality was that prior to David’s modification, whenever I turned up the volume of my system to loud levels the sound would become fatiguing. Now that was not happening at all. At times I became concerned that I might actually damage the speaker drivers if I played my system any louder and even at those volume levels my system sounded very pure and natural.
Now that the Denon 3910 has had a chance to fully break-in, I am repeatedly impressed whenever I settle into my listening chair no matter which CD or DVD I am playing. Each note is impressively clear and natural. No longer did my system sound harsh, bright, muffled or fatiguing. All of those problems are now gone.
Having now gone through this upgrade experience with David Schulte of the Upgrade Company, I look back and realize how easy David made this experience for me. If you are interested in having any kind of upgrade modification to your existing audio or video equipment and want great customer service, high quality parts, and workmanship, I wholeheartedly recommend that you give The Upgrade Company a call!
Tom in Nebraska
Denon DVD-2900 upgrade
I have never written a review before but felt compelled to share my experience with my recently upgraded Denon 2900 from The Upgrade Company. I wanted a modification that would upgrade all channels and video as well, while keeping the stock functionality of the unit. Most mod companies I spoke to only upgrade the front channels and only benefit CD playback. I use my Denon as a universal player. So with my concerns alleviated by David, I sent him my player. When the player was returned to me and after about 100 hours of break in, the overall refinement and sound was just unbelievable. I can now truly say that my 2900 can hold its own with the big boys. It definitely is much better than my Naim CDX that costs 4 times more! I noticed a very quiet, jet-black background. The cold, harsh and un-involving stock player was now replaced with a very smooth refined sound that has more focus, with images in well defined spaces. But the benefit was not just to audio but to video as well. The picture has less grain, and the clarity and vibrancy of colors have increased. It seems like a veil was lifted of the TV screen. Really!
I never thought I would ever label a DVD player soulful, but now every time I play Music DVD’s, CD’s, DVD A or SACD the experience has been involving and passionate. I always knew that the 2900 was the weak link in my system but after the upgrade from David, my 2900 is a worthy source component in conjunction with my SimAudio Amp and Processor.
The cost benefit has been tremendous and I am very happy with the modification work from The Upgrade Company.
Joe Ledesma, S. California
Page information last updated: 06/05/2020
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