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Incredible X-Fi mod *WILL VOID YOUR WARRANTY*, 56K WARNING - Page 94

post #931 of 979
Hi. would a cheap rubycon cap be a good replacement to my orginal 220uF jamicon. If so what option might be the best between zl/zlh ->1000/2200uF? Thanks for answers.
post #932 of 979
I take it this is for the input of the card? You don't necessarily want a physically large cap, or even in capiticance value. Look up their respective datasheets and compare their sizes and other pertinant specifications like ESR/Z and ripple.

It's common to be restricted with what you can actually get your hands on as well.

They are cheaply priced anyway, so you can try a few different sizes, like 220, 470, 680, and 1000uF... but base it on a value that maintains the proper lead spacing as what the board is made for.

It's a far better cap, so you'll be able to go up several values while keeping about the same physical size.

Those are said to be quite good caps for audio though, which you need to take with a giant grain of salt, but you're not really using themf or audio here so much as you are line filtering, which is more what they're intended for. They'll be a lot better than what you've got now.
post #933 of 979
Id try it, its for the dac supply. Thanks for your opinion.
post #934 of 979
Which DAC supply, there's likely several and they can react differenctly. Depending which it is you might even be better off with a slightly smaller ZL cap to maintain proportionality with the impedance curve of it. You probably really don't want the fattest possible cap, or you'll just get loads of bass out of it and little else.

You're probably better off to first improve the bypassing on the input of the card, that will clean up the supply for everything on it.
post #935 of 979
doesnt my auzentech x fi home theater hd have a replacable front opamp on the card for audiophiles to tweak the sound? i thought it did >_>
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post #936 of 979
It's more like audio idiots that would tweak that way.

Know anything about cars at all? Let's say you buy yourself an aftermarket crate engine that's got 600 foot lbs torque versus the stock engine of 150. You shoehorn it in there without thinking and leave everything else the same...... what happens?

Any op amp is replaceable it's just a matter of skill. Having it socketed makes blind swapping and shoe horning a fools rush, but it's no excuse for a manufacturer to initially provide with you a potentially cheap op amp with poor bypassing and decoupling, and then saying "have fun tweaker".

I'm not saying dont' tweak it but I am saying you need to know what you're in for. If you want to actually improve on it, know that it's going to get worse before it gets better, and there will almost never be a perfect recipie to follow, because everyone is a proud papa, when they effect a little change, it's "always" for the better.

To give you an example my audiodock had some of the cheapest and low gain bandwidth op amps... makes them very stable and they can endure terrible layouts as a result, given that they're so sluggish.

I swapped in an LM4562 high end audio op amp with far higher gain and bandwidth.... it immediately began to showcase the horride layout and penny pinched power distribution network. It then took me about two years and a whole lot of reworking it to come up with a bandaid that would allow that op amp to shine.

It's a stellar op amp and there's every reason for it to sound good, and it does when properly used. But to just swap them blindly I would have probably liked the results of a 741 better.

Socketing op amps is the absolute wrong way for card makers to please audiophiles, but it's a good way to sucker audiophools. What we'd be better off with is the ability to slave the cards to a decent clock. It's that kind of inability and poor quality that makes for a lot of people to not be able to tell the difference between a low quality mp3 and a lossless rip.

Not too many card makers have done anything more than symbolic gestures of creating a quality audio experience thus far, but if they can fool you with marketing, it saves on engineering.
post #937 of 979
Quote:
Originally Posted by rollemup View Post
It's more like audio idiots that would tweak that way.

Know anything about cars at all? Let's say you buy yourself an aftermarket crate engine that's got 600 foot lbs torque versus the stock engine of 150. You shoehorn it in there without thinking and leave everything else the same...... what happens?

Any op amp is replaceable it's just a matter of skill. Having it socketed makes blind swapping and shoe horning a fools rush, but it's no excuse for a manufacturer to initially provide with you a potentially cheap op amp with poor bypassing and decoupling, and then saying "have fun tweaker".

I'm not saying dont' tweak it but I am saying you need to know what you're in for. If you want to actually improve on it, know that it's going to get worse before it gets better, and there will almost never be a perfect recipie to follow, because everyone is a proud papa, when they effect a little change, it's "always" for the better.

To give you an example my audiodock had some of the cheapest and low gain bandwidth op amps... makes them very stable and they can endure terrible layouts as a result, given that they're so sluggish.

I swapped in an LM4562 high end audio op amp with far higher gain and bandwidth.... it immediately began to showcase the horride layout and penny pinched power distribution network. It then took me about two years and a whole lot of reworking it to come up with a bandaid that would allow that op amp to shine.

It's a stellar op amp and there's every reason for it to sound good, and it does when properly used. But to just swap them blindly I would have probably liked the results of a 741 better.

Socketing op amps is the absolute wrong way for card makers to please audiophiles, but it's a good way to sucker audiophools. What we'd be better off with is the ability to slave the cards to a decent clock. It's that kind of inability and poor quality that makes for a lot of people to not be able to tell the difference between a low quality mp3 and a lossless rip.

Not too many card makers have done anything more than symbolic gestures of creating a quality audio experience thus far, but if they can fool you with marketing, it saves on engineering.

ehh... my goal when i bought my auzentech x fi home theater hd was to be better than the x fi titanium. if it is then i'm happy. im using digital coax to my NAD t 751 reciever and ill know whether it was worth it when i get some decent speakers for it. right not im using two garbage kenwood bookshelves and a z5500 driver for the center. im gunna build some with drivers i have laying around (gunna use two polk 6.5 inch drivers for full range, two tweeters that are decent and two logitech z5500 as midrange). my goal is for it to sound better than the polk TSI 200 lol.

i need to find a local shop where i can LISTEN to some klipsch WF 34 before i actually buy them.

anyway, is this sound card better than the NAD and klipsch can produce or not good enough or par would you say?
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post #938 of 979
HMmm..... HDMI audiophile card, eh? Yeah, I dunno, If I wanted video signals mingling with my audio I'd use a video card, and not joke about it being audiophile, but a company needs products. Really, we need to stop accepting this kind of CRAP, or it will never improve.

HDMI itself as far as I understand it is a bogus standard that's only purpose of existance is to encapsulate copy protection... it does nothing for performance, but they market it like it does. Having it intermingled with that video signal is going to do to it no good, that is for certain. It's like gold leaf on your cell bars.

Anyway if you're taking a digital output from the card to your NAD receiver, then you needn't worry about fussing with the op amps, because I'm sure those drive the analog outputs.

Comparing cards such as this to one another, even with the best op amps and decoupling and so on, is kind of moot because they're all very firmly in the low fi category, at least unless they offer the option to be slaved off of an external master clock. You should look up soundcard and reclocking, you'll find quite some discussion. I'm certainly not an expert on the subject. That's really where the quality is to be made up though, because it's really where the quality is suffering.
post #939 of 979
Quote:
Originally Posted by rollemup View Post
HMmm..... HDMI audiophile card, eh? Yeah, I dunno, If I wanted video signals mingling with my audio I'd use a video card, and not joke about it being audiophile, but a company needs products. Really, we need to stop accepting this kind of CRAP, or it will never improve.

HDMI itself as far as I understand it is a bogus standard that's only purpose of existance is to encapsulate copy protection... it does nothing for performance, but they market it like it does. Having it intermingled with that video signal is going to do to it no good, that is for certain. It's like gold leaf on your cell bars.

Anyway if you're taking a digital output from the card to your NAD receiver, then you needn't worry about fussing with the op amps, because I'm sure those drive the analog outputs.

Comparing cards such as this to one another, even with the best op amps and decoupling and so on, is kind of moot because they're all very firmly in the low fi category, at least unless they offer the option to be slaved off of an external master clock. You should look up soundcard and reclocking, you'll find quite some discussion. I'm certainly not an expert on the subject. That's really where the quality is to be made up though, because it's really where the quality is suffering.
i was under the impression that HDMI was a mini DVI port which is smaller and generally carries audio as well as video. dvi can easily carry audio though. so is it just for carrying HD video AND audio or is hdmi really just pointless?
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post #940 of 979
I did it ! I successfully removed the original stock JRC NJM4556 opamp and replaced it with the famous LM4562. I'm a complete noob at soldering believe it or not, I obtained almost all of my parts for this from Radioshack. The only things not obtained from the shack for this mod would be the LM4562 opamps and the X-acto knife I used to cut the original stock opamp off the PCB. I got LM4562 samples from National Semiconductor after getting the wrong LM4562 opamp from an eBay seller (don't get opamps off eBay BTW, don't make dumb mistakes like me).

I spent over a month carefully reading through this thread and the guide, and practiced removing and soldering SMD's on dead motherboards. I didn't even own a soldering iron when I considered attempting this mod. I saw many comments in this thread related to how hard and difficult it is to replace the opamp... I've gotta be real honest here, it's not as hard as it is made out to be or appears to be.

As a result of my noob soldering skills I accidentally scolded some of my X-Fi's Jamicon capacitors with my iron while performing the mod, oh noes . After performing the mod, I put the card in my rig having great doubts, fired on my system, booted into the OS and I was jumping like crazy when I heard the Windows login sound occur... so stoked

I am amazed that I didn't ruin my card. I couldn't be any happier about the turnout. There truly is more dynamic range and some of my music is like hearing it for the first time again. It's like getting a new toy, putting it away and forgetting about it, and coming back to it in a few years and its even better.





All clean and ready to be tinned for that LM4562 goodness.



LM4562 soldered down and chillin', but fuuuuuuuuuuu what about that cap there captain ? My card is still working great, sounds even better, lol



Not bad for my first solder job ? Please let me know.



LM4562 straight from National Semiconductor, thank you for these samples



Jammin' from foobar2000 mon



This is the poor man's tool kit for the X-Fi LM4562 opamp mod. You can have your own for ~$20
Edited by Ross211 - 10/31/10 at 1:09am
    
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