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The "mod your Zhalou" Thread - Page 3

post #31 of 2140
Quote:
Originally Posted by bhiggins
Has anyone traced the output circuit yet? I am curious if the DY2000 position is the one that drives the single-ended outputs.

Yes,

Middle opamp (on D1.3) drives single ended outputs. But the actual signal first passes through the outer opamps.

Cheers,
Johan
post #32 of 2140
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gabe Logan
How easy is it to install the digital input yo2tup2?
quite easy if you know how to desolder. the desolder wick i used to remove the eddie's solder didn't pick it up real well, so I used a solder vacuum. that sucked it up easily.

all you need to do is desolder the stock rca jack and remove it. you can either wire the new jack to the pads where the stock rca was soldered.... or you can do what i did, i wired it directly to the capacitor in the siginal path right before reciever chip.
post #33 of 2140
Quote:
Originally Posted by bizkid
Did anyone try 3 DY2000? The middle DY2000 improves sound so much, why not put them everywhere?
Maybe i'll try that, im going to order eddies modded zhaolu but keep my stock one for a sidebyside comparison, so an additional DY2000 wont hurt much.

Eddie also suggested the AD797 for warm mids/thick vocals, might be a good match for my A900LTD. If it keeps the lively sound of the DY2000 ill be using that one in the middle.
i found that the middle opamp doesn't make THAT much of a difference. the difference between opamps in the middle position is subtle. the side opamps, on the other hand, make quite a difference. you can swap the side opamps to "tune" the dac to your liking.

someone has three dy2000's in place and i think he said the bass and highs are a little soft.
post #34 of 2140
Quote:
Originally Posted by bizkid
Did anyone try 3 DY2000? The middle DY2000 improves sound so much, why not put them everywhere?
Maybe i'll try that, im going to order eddies modded zhaolu but keep my stock one for a sidebyside comparison, so an additional DY2000 wont hurt much.

Eddie also suggested the AD797 for warm mids/thick vocals, might be a good match for my A900LTD. If it keeps the lively sound of the DY2000 ill be using that one in the middle.

Im running 3 DY2000.

Its my favorite combo (out of 2604, 627, 821 opamps) and when I try other comobos I keep coming back to this one. The DY2000 have a smidgeon of silvery roughness in the treble, but the bass, midrange and soundstage are great.
post #35 of 2140
wow; that's suprising and impressive over the highly regarded 627. this new mystery chip seems to really have something after all. anyone know suppliers where i could get a bundle of them for cheap? they seem to be very cheap in china.
post #36 of 2140
ya where did you order your extra dy2000 from? I think I will try the tripple DY2000 combo.
post #37 of 2140
Quote:
Originally Posted by TigzStudio
ya where did you order your extra dy2000 from? I think I will try the tripple DY2000 combo.

You can get the individual parts from Eddie site.
post #38 of 2140

A Visit to Eddie's Shop in Hong Kong - more modds...

Despite I am a happy user of Stello's DA-100, having read about Zhaolu here I just couldn't resist to find out more from Eddie. I visited his workshop mid last week and would like to share with you all what I have seen / learned.

In my short 45 minutes visit I watched at least 6 modified Zhaolu D2.0 sold and went out of the door, while some other customers were listening and comparing the effect of various modds amongst themselves in the other corner of the workshop.

More interestingly, I saw at least 30 boxes of original Zhaolu D2.0 stacked inside the workshop, making rooms to get around rather limited. Looks like Eddie was having very good business with Zhaolu modifications.

I have to wait (literally queueing after his work bench) for 20 minutes until I have a chance to order my Zhaolu. I picked the CS version, and the usual Black Gate upgrade. Also asked to have the DAC heat sink modified to reduce temperature for more consistent performance. I presume the standard upgrade package (upgrading around a dozen of the resistors) also applies. I heard that clock can also be upgraded but forgot to asked. (will do next time)

I inquired about headamp modification and did not quite like the "standard" upgrade to LT1057 too much, and suggested putting in OP128 (or at least AD8620 or OP627). Then I was told a larger, upgraded headamp board will be available end of May / early June (which will offer higher current capabilities). I told Eddie that I will wait until the improved headamp board is available, hopefully I do not need to wait too long.

I also inquired if the RCA connectors can be upgraded for better performance, and was told the original ones, though plain looking, are already rhodium plated. So, I skipped that idea.

Regarding optical vs SPDIF, Eddie shared his opinion that for the Zhaolu coaxial is the way to go, unless we are talking about very long distance between the source and the DAC. He said the coaxial should bring audible difference (better) compared to Toslink.

I looked at the Zhaolu's internal and asked if the transformer can be upgraded (from look only the transformer seems to be a weak point in the overall product) . Eddie told me that this will be difficult - mainly due to space limitation. Then I become aware that Eddie is experimenting a "battery version" of the "Ultimate Zhaolu" - with 2 x 12V batteries in series (to provide the internal 24V and 5 V required). He is planning to put the batteries and the charging circuit into a separate box but not sure if he is going to offer this to public as an "upgrade". Eddie told me that the batteries provide an ultra quiet and clear power source to bring the Zhaolu to a next level of performance. BTW, this battery powered prototype can power the DAC for almost 3 days ! So, more should be in the pipeline......

I am planning to go back to Eddie's place in 2 weeks time to check on my own Zhaolu modification, and hopefully will have more news to share.

F. Lo
post #39 of 2140
fkclo

Even though I am not interested in this device, I think this was a great first-hand report and it was very helpful. I enjoyed reading your shop report.

Thanks
post #40 of 2140
anyone try replacing the power supply capacitors with better ones?
post #41 of 2140
I purchased 4 AD797 to compare to the stock opamps and the 627 but being really smart i fried all but 1 of them.Originally they were going to be on the sides with the 627 in the middle.Now i don't have enough for the middle slot.
post #42 of 2140
Quote:
Originally Posted by fkclo
Then I become aware that Eddie is experimenting a "battery version" of the "Ultimate Zhaolu" - with 2 x 12V batteries in series (to provide the internal 24V and 5 V required). He is planning to put the batteries and the charging circuit into a separate box but not sure if he is going to offer this to public as an "upgrade". Eddie told me that the batteries provide an ultra quiet and clear power source to bring the Zhaolu to a next level of performance. BTW, this battery powered prototype can power the DAC for almost 3 days ! So, more should be in the pipeline......

I am planning to go back to Eddie's place in 2 weeks time to check on my own Zhaolu modification, and hopefully will have more news to share.

F. Lo
Oh, yeah, Battery-powered Zhaolu, if available, will definitely mean my buying it. When you see him again, could you tell Eddie people are lining up to buy the battery version, so please make it happen? (People will line up after this post).

While you are there, could you also encourage him to make USB input available? (another long line will form).
post #43 of 2140
I am guessing that all these mods wont be ready or coming out untill 3.0 is finished.
post #44 of 2140
Two tweaks mentioned in the previous Monster Zhaolu thread which I have finally tried on my DAC 1.3 with very promising results:

*Ferrite ring on internal power cable from back case to switch
Normally I avoid ferrite rings like the plague, but on yo2tup2's advice I snapped on a TDK ferrite on the power cable. A faint buzz that I have had in one of my Class D amps instantly vanished and the overall background blackness increased (noise floor decreased) in a positive way. I havent noticed any drop in dynamics, but will be observing closely (the Zhaolu isnt that dynamic to start with) PS- that on/off switch is incredibly noisy even when the unit is in its switched off state(!), I wonder how much trash its generally adding to the power both in and out (and even when the unit is switched off). Maybe thats the next mod to try.

*QuickSilver Gold on the opamp pins
I think RogerWilco suggested this, but Ive been waiting to settle on my favorite opamps before trying. This contact enhancer usually makes the treble sound like hash for 100 hours before settling, so I wasnt expecting much to start with. The lower treble became instantly more forward (as expected) and removed some edginess and sounds surprisingly good with enhanced detail even at this early stage. If the positive aspects remain after it settles, then we have another winning tweak. I will report back on this one in a few days.

Even with the usual Quicksilver burn in these two tweaks have made a noticeable improvement (and I thought that I had reached the limit of such mods)

Im interested in the progress of that discreet output stage mod ;-)

I have also been following the 2.0 reports and would love to compare my 'obscenely' modded 1.3 with the new model.
post #45 of 2140
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon L
Oh, yeah, Battery-powered Zhaolu, if available, will definitely mean my buying it. When you see him again, could you tell Eddie people are lining up to buy the battery version, so please make it happen? (People will line up after this post).

While you are there, could you also encourage him to make USB input available? (another long line will form).
you'd line up to carry that box around? not me.
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