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Incredible X-Fi mod *WILL VOID YOUR WARRANTY*, 56K WARNING - Page 93

post #921 of 979
Why assert I'd have forgotten such a thing? Again science is just a method of going about explaining something, like why it can't work. It can also be tricky to make the distinction between a difference and an improvement. Least and diminished returns further applies.

This area is also a described science that's seen as a black art to most. You'd probably get better results with that stuff lining the sides the of the case as vibration damping..erm, loading? Remember they recommend for higher effectiveness to have layers, thickness counts.
post #922 of 979
What is the value on those small caps?
Thanks,
post #923 of 979
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bad_Dude View Post
What is the value on those small caps?
Thanks,
If you have a card yell us... The values remain te same as stock. Or you can search this thread. As stated numerous times this mod is not recommended and there are new cards how that perform better than modified X-Fis.
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post #924 of 979
You can still learn a lot by swapping caps around in an old card and certainly improve on the performance that's there. If you concentrate on areas of concern where a real improvement can be had there's going to be very little difference on a new card besides drivers and the lessons learnt will carry over.
post #925 of 979
I just mod another of these Xtreme Music card without the heatsink with the op Amp LME49860MA. The quality is about the same but the mid is a little warmer than the LM4562MA. The LM4562MA has more prominent highs.
I used both cards with the 1000uF/16V Nichicon Muse KZ caps.
My next mod will be with the LME49720MA.
Has any one tried these two new op Amps?
Thanks,
post #926 of 979
LME49860MA is the wrong op amp for this application given that you're unlikely to ever use it optimally powered, which will decrease it's performance. The LM4562 is the better choice for it will operate better as a direct replacement since it will be more optimally powered.

Given equal optimization, and probably an almost identical internal design, these op amps should end up sounding identical, so it is somewhat futile swapping them about looking for the ideal when the outcome produced is more in part due to the detail in their surroundings. You're hearing the Muse KZ more than anything else... are you sure that's what you want to be hearing?


Your next mod is a waste of time because the LME49720MA is exactly the LM4562, despite what some said about it sounding different. The only difference is the # printed on it when they renamed it to make part of a series. National has confirmed there's no changes or other differences and it is the same chip. If you should swap it and actually hear a difference, it's because for one thing they do take a little burn in time depending how you implement it, up to several hours and at least one hour, before it starts to sound cohesive and the mids fill out. Or you're looking at variations in solder quality, which are probably greater than variations in manufacturing of the IC itself, and certainly bypass cap tolerance and quality.

As per changing the overal sonic characteristics of the device itself they're locked in stone by the DAC and it's support circuitry. You can swap from a 5532 to an LM4562 and despite miner variation it will stay essentially the same, provided each was optimized for the op amp and there wasnt' some pre existing issue with the implementation of it.

One of the best reasons to use something like the lm4562 is it's a dirt cheap way of greatly improving what was there simply with a swap. You can't generally do it and reap benefits if it's limited by bypassing, like a large Muse would do.

What you're looking to improve on realistically are things like DC offset/drift, poor accuracy/weak slew rates etc. An op amp like the LM4562 allows direct differential DC coupling from the DAC and DC coupled at the output as well directly feeding the input of a power amp without additional low grade or even high grade coupling caps.

If you just keep swapping op amps I wouldn't expect much, try messing with the DAC as well.
post #927 of 979
Quote:
Originally Posted by rollemup View Post
LME49860MA is the wrong op amp for this application given that you're unlikely to ever use it optimally powered, which will decrease it's performance. The LM4562 is the better choice for it will operate better as a direct replacement since it will be more optimally powered.

Given equal optimization, and probably an almost identical internal design, these op amps should end up sounding identical, so it is somewhat futile swapping them about looking for the ideal when the outcome produced is more in part due to the detail in their surroundings. You're hearing the Muse KZ more than anything else... are you sure that's what you want to be hearing?


Your next mod is a waste of time because the LME49720MA is exactly the LM4562, despite what some said about it sounding different. The only difference is the # printed on it when they renamed it to make part of a series. National has confirmed there's no changes or other differences and it is the same chip. If you should swap it and actually hear a difference, it's because for one thing they do take a little burn in time depending how you implement it, up to several hours and at least one hour, before it starts to sound cohesive and the mids fill out. Or you're looking at variations in solder quality, which are probably greater than variations in manufacturing of the IC itself, and certainly bypass cap tolerance and quality.

As per changing the overal sonic characteristics of the device itself they're locked in stone by the DAC and it's support circuitry. You can swap from a 5532 to an LM4562 and despite miner variation it will stay essentially the same, provided each was optimized for the op amp and there wasnt' some pre existing issue with the implementation of it.

One of the best reasons to use something like the lm4562 is it's a dirt cheap way of greatly improving what was there simply with a swap. You can't generally do it and reap benefits if it's limited by bypassing, like a large Muse would do.

What you're looking to improve on realistically are things like DC offset/drift, poor accuracy/weak slew rates etc. An op amp like the LM4562 allows direct differential DC coupling from the DAC and DC coupled at the output as well directly feeding the input of a power amp without additional low grade or even high grade coupling caps.

If you just keep swapping op amps I wouldn't expect much, try messing with the DAC as well.

Thanks for the information. What do you think of the AD8599 op-amp? I heard many said that these are better than the LM4562.
What about changing out those small caps, will that help the analog sound quality?
Thanks,
post #928 of 979
I haven't tried it myself but unless they're discussing their own flawed subjective preferences pertaining to their having decided it's "better than", and considering most of them can listen to identical op amps (LM4562 Vs Renamed LM4562) and swear that one is improved over the other, I really put no faith whatsoever in such statements.

If you look at the specs and measurements I think it's safe to say it stands no chance playing in the same field as the LM4562, but if you haven't a clue how to implement such a thing optimally, you're going to run into serious problems with bypassing with the higher bandwidth LM4562 and variants before you will with one that has 1/5 that power bandwidth. That alone will likely account for the most significant difference both in sound and in use.

Looking at the measurements again I"m a little concerned with the uglyness in graphs for gain and phase which look nearly chaotic, particularly in phase, and particularly throughout the audioband. Perhaps an artifact of some distortion cancellation scheme? However the same dirt appears in all graphs across that range, from PSRR to CMRR.

LM4562 should walk all over this, but it's going to come down to your implementation of it, and if you do them both appropiately it will again just end up sounding like the DAC with very little in between.

In terms of changing out small caps I have no idea which ones you mean, but in terms of what's generally used by manufacturers and their intrinsic flaws, as to what's actually available for use to swap with? There is some risk envolved, you could make it worse, but if you use the right parts, it can help improve the quality in output from the DAC considerably.

You have to start looking at the whole as a system though. While those "little caps" are probably a weak area well worth singling out, do not neglect how they interract with their surroundings. Some, in fact, are going to matter a lot more than others depending where they were used. This is why it's a great idea to practice on a cheap card though. You'll get experience out of this that will be transferable to every other card or or commercial audio gear.
post #929 of 979
Quote:
Originally Posted by rollemup View Post
I haven't tried it myself but unless they're discussing their own flawed subjective preferences pertaining to their having decided it's "better than", and considering most of them can listen to identical op amps (LM4562 Vs Renamed LM4562) and swear that one is improved over the other, I really put no faith whatsoever in such statements.

If you look at the specs and measurements I think it's safe to say it stands no chance playing in the same field as the LM4562, but if you haven't a clue how to implement such a thing optimally, you're going to run into serious problems with bypassing with the higher bandwidth LM4562 and variants before you will with one that has 1/5 that power bandwidth. That alone will likely account for the most significant difference both in sound and in use.

Looking at the measurements again I"m a little concerned with the uglyness in graphs for gain and phase which look nearly chaotic, particularly in phase, and particularly throughout the audioband. Perhaps an artifact of some distortion cancellation scheme? However the same dirt appears in all graphs across that range, from PSRR to CMRR.

LM4562 should walk all over this, but it's going to come down to your implementation of it, and if you do them both appropiately it will again just end up sounding like the DAC with very little in between.

In terms of changing out small caps I have no idea which ones you mean, but in terms of what's generally used by manufacturers and their intrinsic flaws, as to what's actually available for use to swap with? There is some risk envolved, you could make it worse, but if you use the right parts, it can help improve the quality in output from the DAC considerably.

You have to start looking at the whole as a system though. While those "little caps" are probably a weak area well worth singling out, do not neglect how they interract with their surroundings. Some, in fact, are going to matter a lot more than others depending where they were used. This is why it's a great idea to practice on a cheap card though. You'll get experience out of this that will be transferable to every other card or or commercial audio gear.
Is there a guide to this card as to which cap changes matter to sound quality?
Thanks.
post #930 of 979
Probably not, but sound electronics are not limited to sound cards, skills and techniques are transferable, so get a handfull of parts that you think are worthwhile, and look at all the areas of potential concern like pre and aft regulator bypassing/decoupling, voltage reference nodes, all power rails and I/O, and have at it one change at a time.

EDIT:

Meh, I shouldn't downplay the difficulty in the challenge so much. It's quite insane when you begin, every change equates to a difference and not every difference is an improvement, but one tends to take them as such. It's how you end up with a mountain of recommendations on forums that dont' make any sense. You really do have to try it yourself and get to know what works and what doesn't, it's a lot of very time consuming work, but if you want to learn a craft it's possible.
Edited by rollemup - 5/10/10 at 2:58am
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