Pathos TT RR Mods/Upgrades - 2

Cellcbern

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Jul 30, 2015
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Superb job by Bill Thalman of Music Technology, Inc. in Springfield, VA on the 2nd and most ambitious upgrade (3rd photo from left) of my (made in 2004) Pathos TT RR. The attached photos show the differences between the stock amp and the modified versions. No changes in circuit design, just upgraded parts and wire. Note that the Pathos factory was helpful with both the 2011 and 2020 mods.

The Pathos TT is one of the best and most celebrated integrated amps of all time, and arguably the best implementation of Pathos' unique Inpol circuit. Nevertheless it was built to a price point and therefore didn't feature premium parts. Many years ago Nick Doshi of Doshi Audio was a factory authorized repair tech for Pathos, and when I asked the Pathos factory about performance improvements they suggested several parts upgrades and recommended I contact Nick Doshi to do the work. The result is shown in the middle photo, where you can see (among other things) that generic capacitors have been replaced with Mundorf and Clarity Cap. The modified amp sounded significantly better than stock - lower noise floor, better pace, improved bass heft, less sibblance, and more. It was good enough in fact that even after going to an audio show I had no itch to upgrade....for a decade.

I took the TT to Bill Thalman in 2020 for repair, but since he would have it open I decided to do another round of upgrading, this time in an attempt to make it the best amp it could be by using top shelf parts. The list includes Dueland Cast PIO Tinned Copper Foil capacitors (the huge ones), Bybee Music Rails (near the heat sinks), Yamamoto teflon tube sockets, Stage III Concepts silver and Dueland tinned copper hookup wire, Vishay Z-foil resistors, etc. Because of the amp's age I also replaced the main and power boards and other parts with the latest versions, which Pathos says will give me a sonic improvement by themselves. It is breaking in now and I will report on how it sounds. Again I am floored by Bill's work which looks OEM.
 

Attachments

  • Pathos TT stock.jpg
    Pathos TT stock.jpg
    122.2 KB · Views: 81
  • Pathos TT 2011 Doshi mods.JPG
    Pathos TT 2011 Doshi mods.JPG
    1.8 MB · Views: 77
  • Pathos TT Bill's 2020 Mods 1.JPG
    Pathos TT Bill's 2020 Mods 1.JPG
    1.9 MB · Views: 81

Cellcbern

VIP/Donor
Jul 30, 2015
1,216
718
585
70
Washington, DC
After more than three weeks of 24/7 play, the heavily modified/upgraded amp has "shifted gears" and sounds wonderful. It is faster, more authoritative, and more articulate than both the stock Pathos TT and my 2011 upgrade. Those big Dueland Cast PIO tinned copper capacitors are a revelation. Noise floor, clarity, timbre, tone density, soundstaging, etc. - everything is improved over the previous version. Together with the ZR Acoustics panels I am getting the best sound of my life.
 

Cellcbern

VIP/Donor
Jul 30, 2015
1,216
718
585
70
Washington, DC
After more than three weeks of 24/7 play, the heavily modified/upgraded amp has "shifted gears" and sounds wonderful. It is faster, more authoritative, and more articulate than both the stock Pathos TT and my 2011 upgrade. Those big Dueland Cast PIO tinned copper capacitors are a revelation. Noise floor, clarity, timbre, tone density, soundstaging, etc. - everything is improved over the previous version. Together with the ZR Acoustics panels I am getting the best sound of my life.
Approaching 500 hours since the major mods/upgrades, the Pathos TT "shifted gears" again this evening. Don't see how it can sound much better than this. I have listened to many amplifiers - at audio shows, dealers, and audiophiles' homes - over 40+ years. I can honestly say that I have never heard more natural sounding and transparent amplication at any price, from separates or another integrated amp. It cannot make bad recordings sound good, but across all formats and genres of music there is not a hint of distortion, etch, or electronic artifact. Simply amazing.
 

Henkvd55

New Member
May 16, 2021
2
0
1
71
Superb job by Bill Thalman of Music Technology, Inc. in Springfield, VA on the 2nd and most ambitious upgrade (3rd photo from left) of my (made in 2004) Pathos TT RR. The attached photos show the differences between the stock amp and the modified versions. No changes in circuit design, just upgraded parts and wire. Note that the Pathos factory was helpful with both the 2011 and 2020 mods.

The Pathos TT is one of the best and most celebrated integrated amps of all time, and arguably the best implementation of Pathos' unique Inpol circuit. Nevertheless it was built to a price point and therefore didn't feature premium parts. Many years ago Nick Doshi of Doshi Audio was a factory authorized repair tech for Pathos, and when I asked the Pathos factory about performance improvements they suggested several parts upgrades and recommended I contact Nick Doshi to do the work. The result is shown in the middle photo, where you can see (among other things) that generic capacitors have been replaced with Mundorf and Clarity Cap. The modified amp sounded significantly better than stock - lower noise floor, better pace, improved bass heft, less sibblance, and more. It was good enough in fact that even after going to an audio show I had no itch to upgrade....for a decade.

I took the TT to Bill Thalman in 2020 for repair, but since he would have it open I decided to do another round of upgrading, this time in an attempt to make it the best amp it could be by using top shelf parts. The list includes Dueland Cast PIO Tinned Copper Foil capacitors (the huge ones), Bybee Music Rails (near the heat sinks), Yamamoto teflon tube sockets, Stage III Concepts silver and Dueland tinned copper hookup wire, Vishay Z-foil resistors, etc. Because of the amp's age I also replaced the main and power boards and other parts with the latest versions, which Pathos says will give me a sonic improvement by themselves. It is breaking in now and I will report on how it sounds. Again I am floored by Bill's work which looks OEM.
 

Cellcbern

VIP/Donor
Jul 30, 2015
1,216
718
585
70
Washington, DC
You updated the power board, is that a board from Pathos?
I was advised by Pathos that since I was doing these upgrades, and given the age of my amp, it made sense to change the main board and the two "power boards" (the ones that the power transistors are mounted on, which attach to the big vertical heat sinks) to the latest versions. Pathos said that these boards sound better than the ones from the early 2000's. I also elected to change the big red capacitors to the latest versions. All of these parts were ordered from Pathos via Upscale Audio which is now their USA rep.
 

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