I’ve heard about Toshiba SD-3950/3960 DVD Player from many modders on the web. Sadly, the SD-3950/3960 is only available on the US. For sure, the voltage is going to be 110 Volt. Here, in my country (Indonesia), we use 220 Volt. So, I can’t use that player without a step down transformer. And for your information, a step down transformer will reduce the sonic quality. That’s why, I always avoid the usage of step up/down transformer.

About last year, I saw the SD-2960 on local electronic store. I didn’t have any intention to buy that at that moment. Few weeks ago, I read again about this Toshiba on the web (the SD-3950/3960, not the SD-2960 that I saw at local store). Didn’t know why, but I asked my friend who worked near the store to check the availability on SD-2960. My phone rang and he told me that he found it. I didn’t have to think twice, then I asked him to buy it and sent it to me.

Here’s my SD-2960 picture below:

The sound quality so far is very good. Quite warm, not too bright. The transport mechanism quality is average. It’s a quite soft when loading my CD, but I need to damp it later to reduce the vibration. It’s a spinner, not a vibrator.

Picture above is the audio board. You can see Zoran processor there. Some say that the Toshiba processor is better, but I don’t do video anyway. So, I don’t have to care about this. You also can see a lot of capacitor there. The SD-3950/3960 version has less capacitor, but the SD-2960 has about 47 electrolytic capacitor (on the audio and power supply boards). After do some research, I can guarantee that the SD-2960 is not a 220 Volt version of SD-3960. It’s a tottaly different board, though the basic principe should remains the same. I’ve checked on forums and never found similiar board. So, I consider this SD-2960 is not a 220 Volt version of SD-3960.

Picture above the power supply based. Some electrolytics there. The big one on lower left is 450 Volt caps (not cheap to get good replacement). Nothing special here, just diodes, resistors, and elcos. Those elcos should bring a lot of improvement if replaced.

Above is the zoomed version of the D/A and op-amp. Toshiba uses Burr Brown PCM TI 1751. The op-am is CHMC 4558. The key here is to replace the electrolytic which connect the D/A output to op-amp input, with higher grade like BlackGate non-polar. We can also replace the power supply caps which supply the D/A and op-amp. I have traced the caps and found some those caps. Will replace them also.

The zoomed version again. This is a two layers board. Not easy to trace it without bringing headache 🙁 I don’t get any information about BB TI 1751 (not even from Burr Brown itself). So, the nearest data sheet should be TI 1742 (I need the data sheet to check the pins assignment).

Also, I don’t know much about CHMC 4558 (I think JRC or NJM are more common from such player, but this one is CHMC). But, since I’m going to bypass the op-amp and let the output from D/A directly to output, I think I don’t have to pay extra attention to this op-amp. If you have any interest to play with SMD device, the op-amp should be easily replaced with OPA2134, OPA2604, OPA627, or op-amps from AD (like 825, 826, etc). You will need Brown-Dog adapter to convert 2x single op-amp to single 8 pins package.

I will post more pics soon after I mod this player.