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Teac CDP-1100 TLE (TNT Ltd Edition) Stage 1

[Italian version]

We couldn't miss this! A nicely designed and built CD player offered at a price that is simple unbelievable!
In other words, a must for every serious tweaker.
If you've lost our listening test of the standard version of this player, I'd strongly recommend reading it before proceeding any further.

I've called this first session of tweaks stage 1 just because a heavier Stage 2 is on its way. It'll appear anytime soon on your fav mag.

Getting started

A weak spot of every budget CD player is the cabinet, normally very light and prone to become resonant.
The Teac CD-P1100 is a clever design: it uses 5 screws to secure the top cover to the cabinet, instead of the ubiquitous four lateral screws.
Hence the cabinet of this player is already pretty stiff but there's still room for improving this parameter.
The worst thing in this player are the plastic/rubber feet and the CD-P1100 has proven to be very sensitive to any change of feet/cones/spikes.
I've tried almost anything available and my conclusion is that the stock feet of the Teac are responsible for its slow and lazy sound: using three brass spikes the sound becomes faster and crisper though the overall balance turns to be a little bit unpleasant (even if clearly better than with the stock feet).
The real LEAP has been caused by the use of three rubber feet that are normally used to avoid that the doors hit the walls.
These are self-adhesive soft cilinders that one glues to the door in order to avoid any noisy and potentially dangerous contact with the rear wall. Dunno the exact name of these devices in English but they are available at any drug-store or DIY-store: they normally come in blisters of four units, in two colors: dark brown and transparent (soooo cool!!!).
They are obviously very cheap, two US $ for the set of four.
See below to read about the improvements these devices did to the Teac player.

The top cover clearly needed some dampening so, firstly, I've tried to listen to the player WITHOUT top cover: as a result the sound became faster, way too fast!!! It was like any note was in a hurry to leave the place to its subsequent: in other words, a complete disaster.
Then I've decided that the *dampening* of the top cover was THE choice.
Any serious tweaker should have a roll of seld-adhesive cork at home: glue a sheet of this on the inside of the top cover and under the cabinet. This is sufficient to reduce dramatically the resonancies of the chassis.
Then take some blue-tack and spread it over the sides of the chassis. Now you can install the top cover and tighten the 5 screws. Just a little advice: since on cheap CD players (and components in general) the quality-control is on the poor side, before installing the top cover, check each screw inside the player.
Some of these may be loose. So, tighten them enough but not too much!!! There are some plastic parts that don't like excessive torque.
So your Stage 1 is ready to rock: with less than 10 $ your budget player is going to fight against the best budget players around. Will it survive?

Blood, Sweat and...Fears

The Teac CD-P1100 TLE Stage 1 sounds clearly better than the stock one: the bass and the mid range now are more defined, detailed and articulated.
Even the slight roll-off of the high range seems a little bit cured.
Overall dynamics increased a lot and this player now sounds much more realistic, less lazy and slow than before.
The effect of the tweakings on the 3D imaging were quite surprising: image depth increased while some virtual plane inside the soundstage moved forward...in other words the soundstage became wider and deeper.
Of course, it is not the 3D imaging of an expensive player but it is fairly decent and for less than 200 $ we can't ask for more.
Now the Teac sounds like a player that costs at least twice though it still can't reach the sound quality of the top budget players like the Marantz CD 67, some JVC or NAD, just to name few examples.


Of course we recommend to read our Disclaimer notice on tweaking your HiFi components.
This Stage 1 version sounds pretty well for the money and can be considered a first step to learn the secrets of HiFi tweaking.
It is easy, there's nothing to sold, no caps to change, no ICs to modify. Anyone can do it.
For almost nothing. Plus, these mods are virtually invisible, so that nobody will be able to tell your player has been modified :-) except for its sound, clearly different from the one of a 200 $ player.

© Copyright 1998 Lucio Cadeddu

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