+ 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.
Please call +1 269-352-7609 to place order
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
McIntosh C-46 Preamp Signature Edition Upgrade
Dave, the C46 SE is awesome!! It indeed improves the sound dramatically over all the other stock and your older SE upgraded preamps, just as you promised me it would.
I tried quite a few power amplifiers with the new SE'd C46 and the one which sounds the best on my B&W 802D's is the McIntosh MC602 it beats my MC501 Monoblocks.
Your Oppo 105D SE Bybees Isoclean source is still sounding the best but I don't have any other SE upgraded sources to try. The C46 SE is just awesome with the stock (for now) MC602.
Still using all TimePortal Cables, some have the new RFI EMI ridding stuff, and Symposium vibration control devices.
Sounds great now I can't wait to get the 602 upgraded and now I'm even thinking about bi-amping the 802D's.
Ultimate Level of Music
I am extending my sincerest thank you today to everyone at The Upgrade Company for helping me to achieve the high level of music & video performance I've longed to achieve for well over two decades. I could never have achieved this ultimate high level of music as well as video reproduction without The Upgrade Company's help and unique knowledge. This afternoon, I've been listening to my music collection and I cannot believe the incredible inner detail and sheer holographic realism present in recordings, even older standard 16bit/44khz CD's, all thanks to you. Concert videos & movies look fabulous, nothing like they do in even in the best showrooms.
Your Audio Research, EAR, Bel Canto, Oppo, McIntosh hardware upgrades have brought out the best in music and video reproduction I've experienced. The TimePortal "RFI EMI Ridded" power cords, XLR interconnects& speaker cables are sonic stunners and really completed each system.
I cannot thank you enough! Thank you, thank you, thank you...
Extremely Satisfied Customer,
New Prague, MN.
McIntosh MVP-871 Signature Edition Upgrade
My 871 arrived home here successfully, thank you. I recently sold a new $11,000 McIntosh MCD1100 player. I find my "New" SE upgraded McIntosh 871 player with your SE upgrade not a bit inferior, the soundstage is really impressive. It sounds incredible. When I demonstrated it for my wife, putting on one of her favorites, she just looked at me and smiled. I believe this is a sound we have not heard before, it is so detailed and live, she said. Exiting to know that things will become even better with the burn in!
Baard Freiberg, Norway
Here are my impressions for my recently purchased McIntosh MVP 881 Signature Edition.
Feel free to use this as a testimonial on Upgrade Co’s website if you wish.
I have been doing business with The Upgrade Company for nearly 7 years now. I’ve been running a Signature Edition (SE) upgraded McIntosh MVP 871 Universal player as my primary source for my audio/video system. It had been performing wonderfully, but I was longing for Blu-ray video capability. After several communications with David on what was the best universal player out now, he recommended the SE upgraded $8500 McIntosh MVP 881 Bluray Universal CD SACD player with truly balanced analog output stage, first class linear R-Core transformer based power supply, video, DSP’s & transport taken from the $6000 Marantz UD-9004 behemoth considered by some to be one of the finest Bluray players ever made, right below the McIntosh MVP-881. I couldn’t resist, and went ahead with the purchase.
Audiophiles new to The Upgrade Company may think I’ve left out a significant detail because I didn’t upgrade a stock MVP 881: I bought it already upgraded. Why would I do this without doing a pre/post upgrade listening test? Well, after nearly 7 years of experiencing over and over and over what The Upgrade Company does with audio/video equipment, I’m basically spoiled and I want everything in my system upgraded by The Upgrade Company. This is what happens when you experience the consistent performance of a company who delivers the very best results.
Back to the MVP 881, I was very impressed with its performance. Its sonic detail and musicality surpassed my very fine upgraded MVP 871 which had previously beaten my Ayre CX7eMP and all the other digital sources in my local high end store showrooms I A-B’d. Not only did I notice a big analog audio improvement even better then my Audio Logic 34MXL tubed DAC was before its recent Upgrade Co update, but the 881 SE’s DVD video performance was also significantly improved. Blu-ray capability is just pristine, but now our collection of standard DVD’s is even more enjoyable, thanks to the SE upgraded MVP 881. I don’t have the ability to write about audio equipment with wonderful flowery words like a master sommelier would about a fine wine, but I know what I hear, and what my wife and friends see when we A-B. The music is much more enjoyable and better using any adjectives you want. Veils have been lifted from the musical & video reproduction. It’s like I’ve got a whole new CD, DVD and Bluray collection to rediscover. I get to hear & see things that were covered up before due to all the RFI & EMI contamination, cheap wiring and cheap OEM parts. The performance my wife and I get at home is much higher than the non-SE upgraded high priced audio gear from brick & mortar stores. If that doesn’t make The Upgrade Company’s efforts worthwhile, I don’t know what does.
A few sources & salespeople & competitors will revert to slamming The Upgrade Company as “a sham” and “no measurable specifications have been published.” Like that matters at all. Fisher and Kenwood held the same specs 20-30 years ago as the latest & greatest stock gear does today. Specs do not tell anything about how a unit will sound or look. Experienced audiophiles know this.
I really have to wonder if these people have any idea whatsoever the extreme high performance their missing out on. There is no way a customer can be disappointed with an SE upgraded product. Obviously they’ve never dealt with David Schulte, know how successful The Upgrade Company really is, or ever evaluated a pre and post upgrade. Billionaires have A-B’d and decided in favor of The Upgrade Company. For those of us with less funds to risk, your purchase is backed by a 100% satisfaction guaranteed 100% money back two week return policy so it’s a no-brainer. The risk is really all on The Upgrade Company. In my experience the SE upgraded units I’ve purchased all beat units costing many times more.
Regarding specifications, I’m sure they could publish reams of data for all pre and post upgrade work. However, my ears & eyes don’t see numbers, they see RESULTS. I know what sounds great and looks great in direct comparisons with gear far more expensive, and what doesn’t. That’s what The Upgrade Company is all about, making good things sound much better at a price us people who are not billionaires can afford.
I salute The Upgrade Company’s efforts and look forward to the day when I can get another upgraded component for my system.
U.S. Air Force Maj, retired
McIntosh Purchase Testimonial
I've always heard good things about McIntosh, especially their tube amplifiers. One day while I was searching the Internet for more information and opinions on McIntosh products, I came across The Upgrade Company. I read a lot of the client testimonials on Upgrade's website and my mood just brightened up. After figuring out the time difference, I made a call to Upgrade Company. David was very patient in providing me with detailed information and various options available. After several e-mail exchanges and checking my own budget, I decided to order brand new McIntosh from The Upgrade Company in Michigan. The "Two week In Home Trial" guarantee helped my decision. With that sort of guarantee it's a "no brainer".
During the whole time, I was kept updated on the process. When I received the packages, I was so excited but yet nervous to open the boxes. Smiles came across when I found out that everything including the tubes were in perfect condition! J Right from the start, there was a big difference. The sound is so much better. Very open with vocals that are crystal clear and close to me (feels like the singer is right in front of me). Interestingly, even my mother-in-law who is not into audio at all just happened to be staying with us at the time, commented on the big improvements. I am sure the sound will get even better after break-in period.
I would really like to say "Thank You" for fulfilling my dream of owning McIntosh products.
David, Sorry I haven't sent you any feedback until now, things were very busy over the holidays.
I love my new McIntosh 891 SE. I'm going to give you another testimonial to show you how much I appreciate the work you've been doing for me.
Upgrade Co's SE upgrade of the new $5500 McIntosh MVP 891 Blu ray Universal player has increased my audio (and video) performance significantly over my previous Upgrade Co. NuForce Oppo 83SE I wrote about.
In comparison, the McIntosh 891 SE sounds warmer and extremely analogue sounding. Like a fine LP. More natural and organic, deep fast articulate bass response, live pristine mids & highs. I have a great sounding analog front end to A-B. The 891 SE brought a 100% improvement to my digital collection. If you had the chance to hear this upgraded player I can assure you'll never be able to go back to any non-Upgrade Co. digital. Detail is 30% better in a smooth artifact free analog way, never etched nor aggressive. Sound staging is 30% improved: better spatial accuracy, larger very 3D presentation. Tons of air and space between performers, left to right and front to back
My two year old Upgrade Co SE upgraded NuForce Oppo 83SE player was no slouch in comparisons I've made against all sorts of stock and modded gear. Upgrade's approach is the best digital I've heard.
Over the past two years, Oppo themselves have even been "borrowing" bits of The Upgrade Company's highly unique upgrades. However manufacturers still cannot afford the time & materials it takes to actually replicate The Upgrade Company's complete RFI & EMI shielding/dissipation/attenuation technologies nor their thorough attention to details like the best parts and wiring throughout.
Manufacturers today are now stealing some of Upgrade's innovations into their latest models: in the stock 891, McIntosh installs some silver conductor shielding for the first time. Marantz, Integra and others are also installing conductor shielding here and there as they can afford. However this is a clear violation of intellectual property laws.
With many Upgrade Company SE upgrades throughout my gear, The Upgrade Company has played a pivotal role in transforming my "pharmacist salary system" to true "cost is no object" performance. Upgrade's proprietary methods of totally ridding RFI & EMI out of the inside of the gear consistently creams stock cost-is-no-object gear. That sky high expensive stuff is still full of inexpensive parts & cheap naked wiring and chipsets it's crazy. Upgrade needs to add more pictures on their site showing this as a fact.
Every mod I've had by The Upgrade Company has totally floor me and FAR surpassed the cost of the mods. Frankly I feel they ought to be charging a lot more for their mods. I'd say that every $1,000 invested
nets you back more like $25,000 in MSRP. My SE upgraded NuForce Oppo outperformed the stock Esoteric K-01 & EMM Labs XDS-1 for example.
IMHO, if you want the very best Universal player on the market today, it's The Upgrade Company's McIntosh MVP-891. Even it's stereo performance has outperformed others "all out" mods with tubes and clocks and all that nonsense. My 891 sounds WAY more "tubelike" than the "ModWrong" modded Sony 5400ES and Oppo 95's/105's we've A-B'd.
Don't waste your money on naked unshielded gear.
Unless Upgrade Co. has installed their SE upgrade and 7 levels of
RFI & EMI treatment, I don't care how much money you've invested
into power line conditioning or cabling: In no way shape or form
do external line conditioners or cables or "Bybee filters" or "Bybee
Rails" get rid or prevent RFI & EMI that's injected into the signals,
circuits and power supplies INSIDE your gear from right out of airwaves.
Until The Upgrade Company has upgraded/shielded/attenuated/dissipated the massive RFI & EMI INSIDE of every component in your system, you are a LONG way off from ever
achieving "State of the Art" performance. You have poor signal integrity no matter what brand or how much you've spent.
Without Upgrade's technology, your system is a good 25-30% buzz and fuzz. You have no idea just how fuzzy, veiled, dull and flat your naked gear sounds until you've compared it directly in your own system.
My player is just phenomenal now with your redundant shielding/dissipation over it's original SE upgrade. I need to get my 252 out to you asap.
Bill Debree Jr.
McIntosh MCD-500 SD/SACD Player with Segnature Edition Upgrade
Hi David at The Upgrade Company,
I just wanted to thank you for your “Signature Edition upgrade” to my McIntosh MCD-500 CD/SACD player. As you know, I have never wrote to you before in regards to the remarkable sonics the “Signature Edition” upgraded MCD500 provides.
As a testament to how good the Signature Edition upgrades are, my Listening Panel have all remarked: “If you ever sell any more equipment off, whatever you do, don’t get rid of the “Mac!!”--meaning the upgraded MCD 500.
I have a Listening Panel as I have a wide array of equipment I use. I have known Albert Von Schweikert at Von Schweikert Audio some time since my medical school days and I use an array of equipment with the Listening Panels assistance to critique any new Von Schweikert speakers under development as free services to provide feedback and opinions. While I have recently sold off a large amount of my equipment, I decided in agreement with the Listening Panel to keep the “Mac”.
Discs played back were many and a wide variety of both CD and SACD. We used the fabulous Mapleshade Recording “Elegy for the End of the Cold War” with Marcus Raskin (great job Pierre Sprey!), XRCD2 disc entitled “Best Audiophile Voices II”, and a Sampler Disc from Usher Audio. The first thing I noticed with all recordings is the absolutely jet black background. This resulted in amazing low level detail, instrumental decays that went on seemingly forever, and vast increase in the sense of the hall the recording was made in which resulted in at a marked expansion of the soundstage in all directions at least 1/3rd in width and height and at least 50%+ in depth. Performers now appeared in stunning 3-dimensions with a huge amount of air and space surrounding them the likes of which I’d never heard from any CD Player ever before, and this opinion is coming from a 25-year veteran and jaded Audiophile! I would add that the sound not only rivaled, but now surpasses the most expensive turntable set-ups I have ever heard including the Rockport Sirius, Caliburn, and Clear Audio Statement. I didn’t think I would ever say that or experience sound from a CD Player that could even begin to compare to a top Analog Rig.
The bass was now a perfect blend of power and proper pitch and speed and with a startling dynamic range that made me jump in my seat from surprise on countless occasions. The midrange is also incredibly natural with just the right blend of highly resolved detailed coupled with fullness and correctly executed fundamentals and full overtones/harmonics. The highs have even better extension, detail, and the just the correct amount of “sweetness” heard in live music. The most praiseworthy improvement is that instruments sound exactly like they do when heard live. A piano sounds like a piano, a trumpet like a trumpet, an acoustic guitar like an acoustic guitar—those being the 3 instruments I play, but was true of all instruments. The same is true of Vocalists that now sound so natural with a full head, chest, and body, I could finally suspend belief that I was simply listening to a good recording and transcend into sound that is normally only heard in a live performance. Both I and my Listening Panel play several musical instruments and listen to live music on a regular basis which is the criteria to be part of the Listening Panel.
I can’t imagine any major sonic areas where any further improvement could possibly be made to The Upgrade Company Signature Edition upgraded MCD-500. I am frankly still trying to wrap my mind and heart around how such stunning sound from any source, let alone digital could even be possible.
If you are even having a hint of consideration to purchase a new piece of High End audio new or used, I strongly advise you to forgo ANY stock model at any price and opt instead for an Upgrade Co Signature Edition upgraded model.
I recommend you suspend any hesitation and don’t walk, but sprint to David at The Upgrade Company and look forward to receiving your very own sonic masterpiece!! Bravo David, Bravo!!!
Glenn A. Thomas, M.D.
aka Dr. Glenn
My Signature Edition upgraded McIntosh 871 sounds fantastic! I have a $30,000.00 analog vinyl setup, and it sounds very much like the sound coming from it.
I'm very pleased.
(6) McIntosh Signature Upgrades
Dear Mr. Schulte,
I must tell you that I was skeptical that the latest McIntosh components could be dramatically improved upon. It wasn't until you had offered me several clients to speak with directly that I decided to move forward. Each of your clients stated that they were very pleased with the upgrades.
Here is my testimonial for Upgrade Co's website:
I did extensive verification on The Upgrade Company including speaking directly with clients.
I also contacted the nationwide Better Business Bureau who verified The Upgrade Company's top A+ Better Business Bureau rating and provided me with a full report. I know this cannot be bought so the BBB rating carried a lot of weight.
I first decided to buy a "Signature Edition upgraded" McIntosh MVP-871 Universal CD Player from The Upgrade Company. When I received the unit about a week later, the McIntosh MVP-871 SE literally made my system come to life. My brother and I were literally WOWED. The system had so much more clarity and definition. The bass was awesome. I couldn't believe what I heard. Then I took the 871SE to my brother’s house and tried it on his system: same thing, right away we noticed how awesome it sounded over all the other high end players we'd ever heard.
So I called David back at The Upgrade Company and told him how beautiful the upgraded 871SE sounded and that I was very satisfied. David told me that McIntosh really sounds the best in an all SE upgraded McIntosh system, fully RFI & EMI shielded and with all the thin cheap aluminum wiring replaced with no corroded factory aluminum "fast-on" push on type connections for speed of manufacturing. What I heard was just the tip of the iceberg so to speak. I had planned to utilize the 871 combined with all-McIntosh electronics anyway, so I purchased a new McIntosh C-50 preamplifier, (2) McIntosh MC-275 50th Anniversary Edition tube amps, (1) McIntosh MC-402 400wpc power amplifier, (1) McIntosh MEN- 220 Active Crossover/Room EQ, (1pr) B&W-802 Diamond speakers, all stock from local dealers.
When I received the stock McIntosh components prior to having Upgrade Co upgrade them, I first assembled the system with the MC-402 alone and then setup the (2) 275’s for monoblock configuration into the mid/high inputs of the B&W 802D speakers with the MC-402 amp driving the bottom half of the 802D speakers, bi-amped. The MEN 220 was used to balance out & actively cross over the (3) amplifiers as well as perform Room Correction. The MEN-220 made a huge difference in the sound quality once it adjusted itself with it's calibrated microphone to analyze the room acoustics and my system. Frankly I was pretty satisfied with my new McIntosh purchases, like most McIntosh owners are, never knowing how awesome McIntosh can really sound once it has been SE upgraded by Upgrade Co. After living with my SE upgraded McIntosh 871 player, I knew there was far more sound bottled up inside my factory mass produced unshielded McIntosh C-50, MEN-220, 402 and 275's.
I had guests over one evening for a listening party and they got a chance to hear the stock McIntosh system driven by the SE upgraded McIntosh 871 Universal player, before any of the new McIntosh SE upgrades were performed. Everyone thought it sounded nice. I listened to the system for another week and then decided to move forward with Upgrade Co's "SE upgrades" to enhance the quality much further over the stock unshielded factory mass-produced McIntosh "For Profit Built" condition.
I sent the MC-402 and MEN-220 to the Upgrade Company first. When the units came back, once the 402SE and MEN-220SE were back in my setup, I sent both 275 amps in for the SE upgrades.
While the 275's were being upgraded, I listened carefully to the upgraded 402 without the MEN-220 to see how it sounded alone. The upgraded 402 sound quality became way better then stock in every way, and better then when the stock MEN-220 was in the system. Amazing. The SE upgrade made huge improvements to the 402 amp. It sounded so much smoother and more musical with a really jet black background. With only the SE upgraded 402 so far and no MEN-220 room EQ/crossover, I couldn't believe how the instruments were so much more detailed, separated, with much greater clarity. I was able to hear the faintest sounds with much more definition and dynamics; the bass was much deeper and richer, with fantastic pitch. I would have been elated with the 402SE all by itself but I decided to hook up the SE upgraded MEN-220 and the MC-402 together. Holy Cow: I could not believe the sound I heard. My brother was over at the time and listened to the partially SE upgraded system and said the sound quality was simply fantastic now. Unlike anything we'd hear before. However the best was yet to come....
So I decided to send in my (2) 275's for the SE upgrades. If I had known that Upgrade Co's SE upgrade to just the MC-402 and MEN-220 would make such a big difference, I would have been satisfied with the upgraded MC-402 and MEN- 220. I could have saved money by not buying the two 275 amps in the first place. The sound made such a huge jump forward with the 402 & MEN-220 upgrades. I'm now bi-amping the 275's with the MC-402 through the MEN-220. First, I monoblocked the 275’s to the 802D's without the MEN 220. I immediately noticed the 275’s were now more powerful and cleaner than the original stock 275's due to far higher quality lower ESR parts like V-Caps and all the shielding ridding RFI & EMI that robbed the power supply storage. The 275's are not just more powerful now, they have a much more natural & realisitic presentation over stock with even more natural mids & highs & sense of space then the truly excellent SE upgraded 402 does. The 402 does bass just fantastic now. Fast and deep with excellent pitch definition. The SE upgrade on the 275's did the same great things that I heard with the other SE upgrades: a massive leap up in sound all around.
My system now sounds vastly superior to stock or anything I have ever heard in any showroom.
I invited the same guests back over who had heard my same exact system stock prior to the SE upgrades and they were flat out amazed by the drastic improvements in sound quality. I did not have to tell them that the system was upgraded; it really doesn't take a trained ear to tell the difference. Night and Day they said. You can hear the massive improvements from other rooms, the SE upgrades made that big of an improvement.
More McIntosh owners need to hear for themselves how awesome their McIntosh components can perform after being fully shielded and upgraded inside by Upgrade Co's SE upgrades.
There is simply no comparison with stock. If you have any doubts, give me a call or drop by for a listen. The Upgrade Co. has my contact details
McIntosh MVP-871 Signature Edition upgrade
Marantz KI Pearl Integrated Amplifier Signature Edition upgrade
I must admit that I was skeptical that someone living in northern Michigan could greatly enhance high end products made by some of the best audio designers of our time. After talking with David J. Schulte, the Founder & CEO of The Upgrade Company, I was willing to try their Signature Edition upgrades, so I sent in my Marantz KI Pearl integrated amplifier. The results left me well beyond pleased - I was astounded, and continue to be on a daily basis when I fire it up. Even the headphone output now sounds great. I have since met David at his home, and find him to be a likeable, trustworthy and phenomenally intelligent man. He is definitely onto something with his proprietary upgrades. After my Marantz amp, I talked to him about working on a CD player for me, and he suggested getting a McIntosh MVP-871. I found a used one, purchased it and sent it to David. It was returned shortly (Upgrade Co's turnaround time is typically a few days plus shipping once it arrives) and placed in my system. I had been using a Bryston BCD-1 cd player, and it was immediately apparent that the upgraded 871 was a profound improvement over the BCD-1 in every way, even before it had any burn-in time on it.
You won’t have to wonder what is different when you turn your upgraded equipment on - you will know, you will smile, and you will realize you made the right decision. My system has come alive. Everything I hear is now far clearer, far less digital and has a much more solid feel.
Music is now much more enveloping and involving than I have ever experienced in my system. I can follow instrumental lines I have never heard before. In fact, I can only remember only a couple of comparable listening experiences in my 19 years of attendance at CES. And my amp, CD player and speakers all are less than $4000 each. My system now paints a much more musical picture. I find myself more immersed emotionally, and the music has a greater urgency or meaning than I have previously experienced anywhere.
The upgrades are everything I wanted in the years I have been buying the ”newer, better” stuff, but never got. There is another path to nirvana- and it goes through David Schulte’s skilled hands. Most likely it will lead to the best ever sound from your system, maybe the best you have ever heard. The best thing about my upgraded equipment is that it just keeps getting better every day - it is a long way from being broken in.
It is worth every penny.
NEW McIntosh C48 Signature Edition upgraded preamplifier with USB/Coaxial digital inputs
It has outperformed my ModWright LS 100, Ayre K-5ex MP, Cary SLP-03 preamps and still needs time to break in. Time to do some "spring cleaning" with these.
The other preamp that I have owned previously was the BAT VK-32SE (which was a sonic disaster and cost $8,000).
My son is a musician and cannot believe how natural and acoustically correct the music has become with the C48 now as the "soul" of my system.
David, thank you for your help and work in upgrading the McIntosh C48 to the best preamp I have ever owned!
McIntosh MC-402 Power Amplifier "Signature Edition" upgrade
I'm selling my other amps. I've never heard an amplifier make as much difference as this "new" upgraded MC-402. It's really improved a lot over all the other high end amplifiers I've tried on my Wilson MAXX 2's. Made a big improvement in the sound of my system. Everything you said turned out to be true: much blacker background, far more transparent and detailed, deeper & stronger bass, pristine mids and highs, improved depth and imaging, more musical, many veils have been lifted, a lot of grunge wiped away to reveal an entirely new experience over several stock high end amps I've run. It beat my Mark Levinson 333.5 & Parasound JC-1 Monoblock amps so bad I'm wondering how much better a matching upgraded McIntosh preamp would sound? This 402 upgrade was a really big jump, let me know.
Warren Hingst, Nebraska
U.S. Air Force Officer (retired)
McIntosh MC-402, C-220, MVP-871 Signature Edition upgrades emailed to us by client Jonathan Cheek in Oregon USA
McIntosh upgrades, JM Labs & Vienna Acoustics Mozart speaker crossover upgrades
I am enclosing photos of my JM Lab Focal "Alto" Utopia Be speakers, on which your company recently upgraded the crossover networks. I have been absolutely amazed by the transformation of these speakers. The Altos sounded pretty good, just from the factory, but with the upgrades, they have reached a new level.
Replacing the standard capacitors with the Mundorf silver+oil and the standard resisters with the Mundorf Supreme resistors, other tweeks to the inductors and adding other dampening & quieting elements, this has all allowed these otherwise excellent speakers to achieve the full measure of their potential. They are now so revealing, there is so much of clarity and definition. Instruments are separated.... Voices are rich and truthful. The background is so black.... The soundstage is so deep and spacious .... And the bass is incredible.
This is the second pair of speakers that i have had The Upgrade Company do for me. Now it is difficult for me to listen to any "factory" speaker, knowing what they could sound like if they were upgraded. Most companies, to meet a particular price point, can not include the highest level of components; they are good, but not of the audiophile quality. It is amazing to me what can be accomplished by these small upgrades.
The Upgrade Company has also upgraded many of my McIntosh audio components such as preamps, CD players and amplifiers...all with tremendous results. I am pleased to give my highest recommendation for David Schulte & The Upgrade Company. Not only is David extremely knowledgable in his craft, but he is a gentleman of the highest reputation.
John R. Porter
McIntosh MVP-871 and MCD-205 upgrades
I decided to drive to The Upgrade Company way up in Harbor Springs Michigan to colect 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, weaker bass, small soundstage, “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
Rich has continued to purchase Upgrade Co. upgraded components. Rich trekked back up from Pennsylvania the following summer in July 2010 to collect more upgraded gear in person. Rich purchased an upgraded NuForce Edition 83SE BluRay Universal player, upgraded Lavry DA-10 dac, upgraded amplifiers & power conditioners, TimePortal Reference power cords & interconnects & speaker cables.
I really can't believe how good the upgraded 871 sounds!
Your upgrade is super. Before it was difficult to crank up the old CD player, always preferring vinyl. Now it is a different story. Just super.
Classe SSP-800 Prepro, Classe CA-5200 Amp, Cable Box upgrades, McIntosh MCD-205 CD player upgrade & NuForce Oppo BDP-83SE with Signature Edition Upgrade
Here is a long overdue update:
The Classe SSP-800 prepro upgrade exceeded my expectations. The naturalness, the ease of the music, the accuracy of the midrange and highs and the clean, tight bass is quite apparent. The NuForce Edition Oppo BDP-83SE with your Signature Edition upgrade also exceeded my expectations: it's now got a pristine picture and hits way above it price point. The noise reduction techniques you focus on in your upgrades are readily apparent to me over everything else I've tried. Do not let the crap on the internet from wanna-be competitors posting on forums as consumers dissuade you. You are really onto something here. Even my Classe CA-5200 Power Amp was dramatically transformed by The Upgrade Company's upgrades & shielding.
The upgraded McIntosh MCD-205 CD changer sounds superb. Some of the cleanest, blackest, most transparent sound I have heard from CD's. I can just imagine a new upgraded McIntosh 881...
My system sings a very musical, accurate and detailed presentation of a live event. I've also been venturing into NYC HiFi showrooms and the trade shows for years and I'm telling you I'm not missing anything now. What I have now with your upgrades sounds better.
McIntosh MVP-871 Signature Edition Upgrade as posted by it's owner in an online chat forum:
I must publicly confess . . . I have committed an unpardonable sin for which you McIntosh purists will probably demand my immediate excommunication.
I bought a brand new piece of McIntosh gear and sent it to the audio equivalent of a chop shop, otherwise known as an equipment modifier.
I had read an online review posted by a customer extolling the virtues of a McIntosh MVP871 which was modified by The Upgrade Company.
I read the review several times, contacted the author and several other individuals who had experienced Upgrade Company modifications, found them all to be extremely pleased, and decided to bite the bullet myself.
As you are no doubt aware, brand new MVP871 machines have recently been offered on Audiogon for around $2,000 - not a bad price for a really excellent universal player which had originally sold for $5,500.
Anyway, I purchased a new MVP871 for $2,000, had it sent to David at The Upgrade Company for his SE mods and I am absolutely astonished.
I really don't know how good the machine is in comparison to the MCD500, or other Mac machines, but I can tell you from long experience, that the modified 871 is one of the best sounding CD/SACD players I've ever listened to. (I'm using it along with SF Mementos, McIntosh MA-7000, and JL Audio F112 sub). I actually replaced an Esoteric UX-3 with the machine because, when I installed the SE upgraded McIntosh 871 in my system, the modified Mac left the Esoteric in the dust.
I also believe that it sounds better than the Esoteric X-03 (modified - by Reference Audio Mods) that resides in my "other" system.
I fully believe that the 871 images better than any other machine I've owned. Male and Female voices are extremely realistic. When you start a disc with a solo singer, magically the singer actually stands up in front of you and opens his/her mouth and starts to sing. Vocal groups are spread out in front of you - just like the real thing. Orchestral music is incredibly lifelike. Instruments are properly placed and sound like they are supposed to sound. Resolution is exemplary, the total picture is one of refinement. Not too bright, not too dull, just right.
For a total cost of slightly under $3000,(The modifications were $995, and took less than a week to perform.) I believe I have a truly superior machine. The 871 does not have several features that the MCD500 offers; but it does play HDCD, HDAD, DVD-Audio, DVD-Video as well as CD and SACD.
I have actually compared my upgraded 871 directly to a stock McIntosh 871. The things I notice most are:
- Better imaging - more exact placement of voices and instruments within the soundstage.
- A fuller soundstage - wider, taller and deeper. The stage now extends outside of the speakers - closely akin to the soundstage that I am accustomed to hearing from my LP's on an excellent turntable.
- Better tonality, more exact reproduction of voices and instruments. My "tests" in this regard are the human voice - especially female - (try Rob Wasserman Duets, Jennifer Warnes Ballad of the Runaway Horse. For male voice, anything by Neil Diamond - (his voice is hard to get). I find that the Oboe is also difficult to reproduce properly and I listen to several good recordings featuring that instrument. I have spent the last 50 years trying to properly align phono cartridges and use the same recordings, along with many others to gauge correct VTA etc. I've listened to good audio for many years and, while I don't profess to have golden ears, I have a fairly good handle on what sounds good and what doesn't.
- Improved overall resolution, more refined presentation. In massed orchestral recordings, the individual instruments are more distinctly presented as are individual voices in a choral work.
- I just like it better, it sounds more musical, and I am happy that I had the work done.
- I now have a couple hundred hours of playing time on the unit and it continues to get better and better. Soundstaging, Imaging and Tonality are all outstanding - almost better than vinyl!!!!
I really feel that The Upgrade Company worked magic on the already very good 871 machine. It has turned it into a truly world class player. I would heartily recommend that you take a look at The Upgrade Company!
MAIN SYSTEM: Avalon Eidolons and/or Audio Physic Caldera 3, Spectral DMC 30SL, DMA 360's, Spectral/MIT cable, Basis Debut V vacuum, Graham Phantom, Graham Nightingale, PASS X-ono, Esoteric X-03
UPSTAIRS SYSTEM: Sonus Faber Guarneri Memento, JL Audio F112, McIntosh MA7000 Integrated, McIntosh MVP871, VPI Scoutmaster, Koetsu Pro IV cartridge, Mark Levinson No. 25s phono stage, 14,000 LPs
Jonathan Price, Georgia
McIntosh MVP-871 Upgrade Co. SIGNATURE EDITION Vs. stock McIntosh MCD-500
I'm not new to audio (3 decade’s worth) and I would like to share my experience with my new McIntosh MVP871 upgraded by The Upgrade Company to their "Signature Edition" upgrade versus my MCD-500 I bought new.
I have owned many CD players including the following models that were upgraded by David Schulte of The Upgrade Company - Denon 3910 SE then a Denon 5910 SE then a $14,000 Exoteric X-01 Limited SE upgraded. As I moved up, I've always been very satisfied with The Upgrade Company's work and recommendations.
After buying a McIntosh C-2300 preamp and MC-252 power amp, I decided that it would be nice to have a full McIntosh system, so I bought a new MCD-500 CD/SACD Player.
I listen to all kind of music but mainly to Jazz and Blues such as Oscar Peterson, Ray Brown, Keith Jarrett, Diana Krall, Doug MacLeaod, etc.
The MCD-500 is a fine player indeed, but I was clearly missing something that really connected me with the music that I had previously enjoyed in all of the Upgrade Company players I'd owned.
So I contacted Dave at the Upgrade Company to see what he had to say, and he mentioned that the McIntosh MVP-871 once upgraded to their "Signature Edition" is an amazing player that had held its own with some of the most expensive 2 and 3 box players made.
After many discussions with Dave and verifying The Upgrade Co's 7 day in home money back guarantee that states they will buy back the unit if I'm not satisfied, as well as reading the posts here by Viktor, I decided to buy a new McIntosh MVP-871 and send it over for The Upgrade Company's "Signature Edition" upgrade.
The 871 sounded like a great idea to me because I wanted to have an "all McIntosh system" and because the 871 is a true Universal player so I can play my DVD-Audio and HDCD Disks which I really missed listening to.
I received the 871 in about a week and let it play for only 48 hrs before I tested against the MCD500 because I couldn't wait any longer - you know the feeling!
Well, I'm very excited by the outcome as the MVP-871 SE easily outperforms the MCD-500 in direct side-by-side comparisons on the same cabling.
The 871 SE has superior resolution, weight, transparency and a jet black background. All of this with increased musicality. The voices are just in front of you, you feel closer to the musicians and much easier to connect with the music.
After one week of burn-in, the SE upgraded 871 is becoming even more refined and resolute overall, and bass notes are deeper and better defined as well. Big improvements over the MCD-500.
I never thought a McIntosh player could be upgraded and certainly not to this level of performance. Also, I prefer the sound of the 871 SE to the $14,000 Esoteric X-01 Limited that was also SE upgraded.
There is something about the McIntosh sound that is difficult to put words around - overall ease + musicality.
I'm sharing my experience here for those who perhaps would like to dramatically improve their McIntosh player without losing money selling their old CD player and then buying a new one like I did, which turned out to be nowhere near as good as the upgraded 871.
Before someone asks me: I have no experience with upgraded Mac preamps and amps - at least not yet!
Anyone who lives in the Philly area, please feel free to drop by for a listen or do some A-B comparisons.
Dan Comeau, PA
McIntosh MVP-871 Upgrade Company "Signature Edition" upgraded, McIntosh MCD-500, Rega P5 turntable, McIntosh C-2300, McIntosh MC-252, Montana EPS2 speakers
Page information last updated: 20/04/2017
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