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Discussion Starter #1
My question is about the Op-Amps on the ZXR and I am wondering my best option. I have been looking at putting the LME49710HA-X2 on the center and rears op-amp positions. I've never bought an op-amp before, but I have upgraded my home theater setup lately and I figure I should also upgrade the op-amps for the center and rear channels since they aren't running Burr Browns like the fronts are.<br><br>
Need suggestions/advice on the op-amps for the center/sub and rears? Two of those will not fit side by side with how the ZXR is laid out, isn't that correct? Also which Op-Amp position is Center/Sub and which are Rears? If you have any suggestions outside of the LME49710HA X2 (<a href="http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?campid=5337413396&toolid=10001&mpre=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.com%2Fitm%2F180872434827%3FssPageName%3DSTRK%3AMEWAX%3AIT%26_trksid%3Dp3984.m1423.l2649" target="_blank">http://www.ebay.com/itm/180872434827?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1423.l2649</a>), I would definitely consider it as I found these to be cheaper than I expected. Is there something more expensive with a better sound?<br><br>
My sound chain is like this: ZXR -> Yamaha RX-V863 -> Polk Audio Monitors (Front/Rears) / Definitive Tech Pro 1000 Center. This is connected to my Yamaha through high quality analog cables into it's 7.1 Multi-Channel Input. If you'd like anymore info I would definitely offer it, I just feel like the center in particular isn't anywhere near the quality of the left and right channels.<br><br>
I know the rear and center/sub use double DIP Op-Amps for anyone that isn't aware of that (the fronts are singles)<br><br><br><br><a class="H-lightbox-open" href="http://www.overclock.net/content/type/61/id/1711083/"><img alt="" class="lightbox-enabled" data-id="1711083" data-type="61" src="http://www.overclock.net/content/type/61/id/1711083/width/500/height/1000/flags/LL" style="; width: 500px; height: 509px"></a><br><br><br><br>
If anyone has a suggestion for an overall better op-amp choice I am open to any. Should I just put Burr Browns all around?
 

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Discussion Starter #2
This is another one I was looking at:<br><br>
<a href="http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?campid=5337413396&toolid=10001&mpre=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.com%2Fitm%2FBiasing-Mod-Burr-Brown-OPA627BP-upgrade-part-for-Matrix-m-stage-AMPs-%2F130909601698%3Fpt%3DUS_Home_Audio_Amplifiers_Preamps%26hash%3Ditem1e7ad1ffa2" target="_blank">http://www.ebay.com/itm/Biasing-Mod-Burr-Brown-OPA627BP-upgrade-part-for-Matrix-m-stage-AMPs-/130909601698?pt=US_Home_Audio_Amplifiers_Preamps&hash=item1e7ad1ffa2</a><br><br>
Is that even compatible?
 

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When I had my Titanium HD I messed around with Opamps because they only cost a couple dollars. I can tell you that if you spend $100 upgrading with expensive opamps, you'll probably be disappointed because you might not even hear a difference. I would suggest just leaving them alone.
 

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The ZxR and STX are pretty much the same components - maybe the STX has been engineered better for music, but the following thread below seems to prove that reasonably significant changes can be brought about by the simple and easy act of swapping op-amps:<br><br>
<a href="http://www.head-fi.org/t/421890/the-xonar-essence-stx-q-a-tweaking-impressions-thread" target="_blank">http://www.head-fi.org/t/421890/the-xonar-essence-stx-q-a-tweaking-impressions-thread</a><br><br>
LME49990's look popular.. but if you want to really splash out then get Muses (or the cheaper Muses01's). Maybe DrGroove is right though, but if you want to stick within the confines of using a soundcard then go for it.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I didn't see an option for high quality 5.1 sound on the PC at a decent price; a 5.1 DAC was going to cost an arm and a leg.<br><br>
Thanks for the suggestions on a few Op-Amps, are you sure all these are compatible with these sound cards? I am pretty sure from what I've read the Muses01 it is a dual DIP design and 8 pin, so everything looks right. Does anyone know what type of specs I need to look for in op-amps besides 8 pin and dual DIP? I've noticed some of the models, like the one I linked to uses a resistor, so there must be a voltage limit.<br><br>
Also thanks for the link, it has been interesting and very informative.
 

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Oops sorry about the Muses01. Check out this guys post in this thread: <a href="http://www.overclock.net/t/1337761/creative-sound-blaster-z-zx-zxr-series/460#post_20494660">http://www.overclock.net/t/1337761/creative-sound-blaster-z-zx-zxr-series/460#post_20494660</a><br><br>
It would be great to keep this thread going and have a dedicated resource like the STX one above.
 

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<div class="quote-container" data-huddler-embed="/t/1435931/zxr-op-amp-suggestions-needed-and-some-op-amp-general-questions#post_21031447" data-huddler-embed-placeholder="false"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>DrGroove</strong> <a href="/t/1435931/zxr-op-amp-suggestions-needed-and-some-op-amp-general-questions#post_21031447"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif"></a><br><br>
When I had my Titanium HD I messed around with Opamps because they only cost a couple dollars. I can tell you that if you spend $100 upgrading with expensive opamps, you'll probably be disappointed because you might not even hear a difference. I would suggest just leaving them alone.</div>
</div>
<br>
The ones that Creative DID use are pretty much the cheapest DIPs you can get this side of the 741, though.<br><br>
For like $5 a piece you can get some lower-end Burr Browns that tighten the card up noticeably. You probably won't lower the noise floor much, though.<br><div class="quote-container" data-huddler-embed="/t/1435931/zxr-op-amp-suggestions-needed-and-some-op-amp-general-questions#post_21032176" data-huddler-embed-placeholder="false"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>SaLX</strong> <a href="/t/1435931/zxr-op-amp-suggestions-needed-and-some-op-amp-general-questions#post_21032176"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif"></a><br><br>
LME49990's look popular.. but if you want to really splash out then get Muses (or the cheaper Muses01's). Maybe DrGroove is right though, but if you want to stick within the confines of using a soundcard then go for it.</div>
</div>
<br>
LME49990s are only available in SOIC- surface mount. You'd need decent soldering skill and DIP converters to use them.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I agree on having a dedicated thread like the one above would be great and I do intend to buy some op-amps after I settle on which ones to get (I've spent over $45 for a single electron tube for my guitar amp, so this is not bad at all) One question I have is does it matter replacing the center/sub vs. the rears? Also shouldn't the center/sub be given different considerations (mainly bass vs. clarity and highs). It seems the center/sub should be rounded out across all ranges to meet the needs of a sub and a center channel.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
What is the difference in the Muse01 and Muse02? Also are these really a better choice than running two LME49710HA's on an adapter board? Is there anywhere that reviews or at least gives "opinions" of these Op-Amp, or other options?<br><br><br>
Right now I am thinking about running a single Muse01 with a LME49710HA X2, how does that "sound" to yall? lol<br><br><br>
Will the LME49710HA X2 prevent you from putting the EFI shield on the card?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I went with a MUSES01 201 right now only and I'm going to see how that does: <a href="http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?campid=5337413396&toolid=10001&mpre=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.com%2Fitm%2F1PCS-ORIGINAL-MUSES01-High-Quality-Audio-J-FET-Input-Dual-Operational-Amplifier-%2F161085567268%3Fpt%3DLH_DefaultDomain_0%26hash%3Ditem258172b124" target="_blank">http://www.ebay.com/itm/1PCS-ORIGINAL-MUSES01-High-Quality-Audio-J-FET-Input-Dual-Operational-Amplifier-/161085567268?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item258172b124</a><br><br>
I was looking at the spec sheet between it and the stock 2114, they are definitely done differently (how they made the sheet), but it made me question if the Muse was compatible based on voltage ratings at similar resistance and such. Also what is the difference in all the different MUSES01's available? You have like the 001, the 201, the 204, 205 and 206. Are these all just different revisions of the same design? I just don't want to make a $250 paper weight and I went with the MUSES01 based off recommendations from users and some reviews I read, so I don't know the Op-Amp that well compare to say the OPA627SM.<br><br>
Can someone reassure me what I just bought is in fact fully compatible with the ZXR?
 

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Eh, the pinout matches so it should work fine.<br><br>
Op amps are all pretty much completely interchangeable when used for audio, the only difference being specs and voltage handling, noise, etc. The voltage your sound card will be providing to the amp will be too low for that to matter.<br><br>
If you use too high speed of an op-amp you can get oscillation, but since your amps are designed for audio use that won't be a problem.<br><br>
Looking at the specs, the MUSE02 has reduced noise, better input offset, better input power ranges, and can sink more current, but is slower. The MUSE02 will probably give you more power in a headphone amplifier, but other than that you won't notice differences.<br><br>
Too find out the exact differences between the sub-models of each chip, you can usually look at the datasheet, but the datasheets for these don't have it. Its probably packaging.
 
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Discussion Starter #12
Thank you for your reply and yea I figured on the basis of how op-amps operate that there was very little chance of actually damaging anything, especially with one that is recommended for other sound cards.<br><br>
Do you know what the difference is between all the model numbers written on MUSES 01 (001, 002, 201, 204, 205, 206)<br><br>
You can see here all the random numbering on Ebay: <a href="http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?campid=5337413396&toolid=10001&mpre=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.com%2Fsch%2FElectrical-Test-Equipment-%2F92074%2Fi.html%3F_from%3DR40%26_nkw%3DMUSES01" target="_blank">http://www.ebay.com/sch/Electrical-Test-Equipment-/92074/i.html?_from=R40&_nkw=MUSES01</a><br><br>
I assume those are revisions like you see on a GPU or even less important than that.<br><br>
I will be almost exclusively using my ZXR for Surround Sound going analog RCA cables into the Multi Channel Input of my Yamaha RX-V863 then into 4 Polk Audio Monitor series speakers (Fronts:Monitor 45Bs Rears: Monitor 30s) and a Definitive Technology ProCenter 1000 center channel. I think this should definitely play a role in which Op-Amps work out best for me, do you agree?<br><br>
One thing I'd really like answered is the deal with all the numbers on the MUSES01's listed on Ebay.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Well I went ahead and got 2x OPA627SM for the 2 front channels and got two TO99 to DIP8 Adapters.<br><br>
My question is the orientation on this DIP8 Adapter, take a look at the one I got:<br><br><a class="H-lightbox-open" href="http://www.overclock.net/content/type/61/id/1749409/"><img alt="" class="lightbox-enabled" data-id="1749409" data-type="61" src="http://www.overclock.net/content/type/61/id/1749409/width/500/height/1000/flags/LL" style="; width: 500px; height: 375px"></a><br><br><br>
The OPA627SM:<br><br><a class="H-lightbox-open" href="http://www.overclock.net/content/type/61/id/1749431/"><img alt="" class="lightbox-enabled" data-id="1749431" data-type="61" src="http://www.overclock.net/content/type/61/id/1749431/width/500/height/1000/flags/LL" style="; width: 300px; height: 224px"></a><br><br>
(notice the small square tab pointing to the left on the round heat spreader)<br><br><br>
On these OPA627SM there is a small square tab on one side to show you the orientation, does that square tab go towards the solder pad that is square on this adapter or is the white circle? That is what I am assuming, but I don't like to assume anything when it comes to electronics <img alt="thumb.gif" class="bbcode_smiley" src="http://files.overclock.net/images/smilies/thumb.gif"><br><br><br>
So right now I will be running 2x OPA627SM for the fronts and a MUSES01 for the center/sub.<br><br><br>
So here is the whole lot of mods for my ZXR:<br><br><a class="H-lightbox-open" href="http://www.overclock.net/content/type/61/id/1749429/"><img alt="" class="lightbox-enabled" data-id="1749429" data-type="61" src="http://www.overclock.net/content/type/61/id/1749429/width/500/height/1000/flags/LL" style="; width: 500px; height: 483px"></a><br><br><br><br>
Edit: I went ahead and got a DIP8 Single to DIP8 Dual, only made sense, or I'd have two LME49710's sitting with the inferior NJM2114D installed.
 

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The white circle looks like its just a via- I'd ignore it and solder using the square pad as the key.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I wish I could get a definite answer on that and once I have it soldered to the adapter does the orientation of the adapter matter? There are only 2 possibilities, is there a right and a wrong direction or does it not matter? I have read the circle or indention on the Op-Amp goes towards the half moon end of the socket, but that won't help me on the OPA627SM if I get it put on the adapter backwards..<br><br>
Thanks for the help.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Oh now I get it, if you look closely at the adapter and the square solder pad, there is another small rectangle coming off that showing as the key. The circle is the indention to show you which way to orient that adapter, now I'm good to go <img alt="thumb.gif" class="bbcode_smiley" src="http://files.overclock.net/images/smilies/thumb.gif"><br><br><a class="H-lightbox-open" href="http://www.overclock.net/content/type/61/id/1751954/"><img alt="" class="lightbox-enabled" data-id="1751954" data-type="61" src="http://www.overclock.net/content/type/61/id/1751954/width/500/height/1000/flags/LL" style="; width: 500px; height: 483px"></a><br><br><b><br>
Red = Pin 1 Location<br>
Green = TO-99 Key Orientation</b><br><br><br>
So for a normal Op-Amp the circle or indention goes towards the half moon/cut out of the PCB socket. For the TO-99 style like the OPA627SM and the adapters above the metal tab will go in on the half moon/cut out PCB socket due to the tab key being in the same direction as the pin 1 white circle indication.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
My MUSES01 arrived Saturday and I installed it, however I am not positive which position is Center/Sub vs Rears. I installed it into the J3 socket because that made the most sense to me for it to be center/sub. You have J1-J4 with J1 and J2 being the fronts (I assume J1 is right and J2 is left) and then you have J3 and J4 and nothing I can find online will tell you what the locations are for these. Below in my picture you can see what I am talking about. Does anyone know if J3 is center/sub or rears? In terms of sound I believe it is J3, because the center channel has a lot more transparency to it with more detailed highs, however this could be a placebo and if someone knows for sure they could prove it. I may just end up having to email Creative because with the PCB being black and having no real labels, you can't follow the traces to anything that tells you anything you can even make an assumption based off.<br><br><a class="H-lightbox-open" href="http://www.overclock.net/content/type/61/id/1762283/"><img alt="" class="lightbox-enabled" data-id="1762283" data-type="61" src="http://www.overclock.net/content/type/61/id/1762283/width/500/height/1000/flags/LL" style="; width: 500px; height: 509px"></a>
 

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You could measure the resistance between each of the output pins on on the Op-Amps and the outputs of the card. That would which op amp goes with which output pretty obvious.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
True, but I figured this should be common knowledge (you would think Creative would tell you in their reference picture above) and you would need to use a multimeter to figure it out. I'm going to shoot them an email, but now that I think about it, doesn't changing Op-Amps void the warranty (this was mentioned in Guru3D's review).
 

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I was never able to find that information out with my X-Fi. I just assumed the 2 dual op amps where the stereo ins and outs and the 2 singles were the mike pres.
 
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