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Rotel RCD-965BX Discrete

The RCD-965BX Discrete was the top of the range 965 model - it was a 965BX LE with an extra UK designed discrete transistor output stage fitted to improve the already high standard of replay this player provided. This does not however improve the source of the music, the DAC itself. 

By fitting a NET Audio RockClock and optional VDC Power Supply then the source is much improved with the discrete output stage being capable of accurately reproducing the large increase in sonic quality which has now been achieved.

Full instructions on how to wire the RockClock output to the main PCB and the optional PSU to the mains input wiring are viewable below.

Rotel RCD-965

Fitting of a NET Audio Clock Kit inside a RCD-965 BX or RCD-965 BX Discrete.

Fitting the NET Audio Clock Kit inside a Rotel 965 is a fairly simple procedure. To determine which player you have firstly remove the screws retaining the lid and then remove the lid from the player. Inspect the main PSU capacitor in the player - if it is as shown in the photograph below then it should be replaced - if it is marked with the Rotel name then it should be left on the circuit board. These types with the Rotel insignia are normally found in the LE or sometimes the Discrete versions of the player.

Remove the two digital lead plugs from the circuit board (just behind the display area). Remove the three screws from under the transport mechanism (under the player bottom plate) - you will have to unscrew one of the feet to do this. Now remove the six screws holding the front panel on. Lift up the mechanism CD clamp and remove the two springs - now remove the clamp. Push the CD drawer forwards from inside the player, tilt the from panel slightly forwards so that the CD drawer can be removed. Lift the front panel and cables and fold back over the top of the player and rest behind the player. Unscrew the PCB holding screws and lift the circuit board up. You can now de-solder the opamps (not on the Discrete version) - it is easier to cut the leads on the opamps first and then remove each lead individually instead of trying to get the opamp out all at once. Now solder in the IC sockets, noting the orientation - pin 1 goes nearest the main heatsink. Fit the OPA604 opamps into the sockets.

De-solder the crystal, the two small capacitors leading from the crystal and the resistor which goes across the crystal connections. Solder in the red and black wires as per the picture below. Remove the two capacitors marked with an X in the photo noting their positive leads (long leads on the replacements) and replace with the two from the upgrade kit. Only the smaller or the two is replaced on the versions which have a Rotel part fitted. Refit the CD player in the reverse of the removal procedure.

Place the clock close to the circuit board, trying to keep the red and black wires as short as possible. The Red wire solders to the pin marked O on the RockClock and the Black wire solders to the pin marked with a G which is the clock ground. Solder the orange wire to the Clock PSU pin and then solder to the left hand leg of the 7805 voltage regulator (viewed from the rear of the player) on the rear of the heatsink.

Check all wires and screws - if all is OK, switch the player on and your upgrade is now complete.

This is a 965BX Discrete, but the PSU parts are the same.

Standard 965BX.

This is a guide to upgrading the Rotel 965. Unfortunately NET Audio cannot carry out the circuit modifications due to other commitments.

The Orange wire solders to the left hand leg of the voltage regulator as marked with an "L" in the photograph above when the clock is

installed without a NET Audio Clock PSU.

Rotel RCD965-BX Upgrade Kit.

The Rotel RCD965-BX has a fine reputation for being one of the all time great mid price CD players from the 90s. Even today it can give some quite expensive models a run for their money.

The RCD965-BX is an excellent player to upgrade as it already ha a high level of performance and with the fitment of Clock and a few tweaks and changes to the PSU and opamps, you now have a true giant killer of a player for a lot less money.

NET Audio has put together a Mod Kit for the RCD965-BX to raise it to this level of its performance to new levels and consists of the following:-

  • One Micro, Mini or RockClock.
  • Two OPA604PA Opamps and IC Sockets.
  • One 4.7uF 16V Tantalum Capacitor
  • One 8200uF 16V Panasonic FC Capacitor
  • Silver plated PTFE signal wire and PSU cable.
  • Four or eight self adhesive mounting feet.

Total Price for the MicroClock version excluding P+P = £46.50.

Total Price for the RockClock version excluding P+P = £98.50.

For those who would like extra performance then a Clock PSU can be added for a reduced price if bought with the RCD965-BX Upgrade Kit.

Total Price for one Clock PSU excluding P+P = £40.00.