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Hotrodding the X-Fi: A Layman's Guide (No 56k) - Page 70

post #1036 of 2194
It tried fixing it... I think it's just not gonna happen.

But, if I get the I/O drive, would I still be able to use the card, and just use the drive instead of the actual card port?

I have enough money for the drive, but not enough for a whole new card. So, I've either gotta get the drive, or just buy a cheaper card.
post #1037 of 2194
cotdt, can you tell us which one is for line-in op for Elite Pro? Because I'm doing recordings, so I want to change it too. Thanks in advance.
post #1038 of 2194
has anyone tried opamps other than the LM4562? what about the OPA2227 or OPA2107? can they be used as well? they look pretty promising.
post #1039 of 2194
I used them on the X-Meridian they are nice amps. CL used craps amps when they built the card so changing them with ANY decent opamp will yield great results. 2107 is expensive last time I checked and has a very clear analytical sound. The 2227 has a very nice bass heavy tone with glossy highs.
Hope that helps.
post #1040 of 2194
Quote:
Originally Posted by dufflover View Post
ok, just to confirm then, here's what I've taken that to mean and I've used paint to dot the 16 caps which I think are the ones to short.

(note, I haven't physically taken my card out to see which ones are 22uF ones yet)

There aren't any 22uf caps on the Elite Pro. They are 47uf. Don't bypass any in the row closest to the DACs except the closest one to you when the card is mounted in the computer. The rest are power supply caps & you will damage the card if you bypass those.

Just bought the Elite Pro today & modded it already

Correction there is one or two 22uf caps but not where they can be bypassed as they are part of the power circuit
post #1041 of 2194
By the way VERY PLEASED with the sound of the modded Elite pro compared to the modded platinum. Significantly better!!
post #1042 of 2194
I can't find any Blackgates in my country. Is there anyone who can kindly ship it to me? Of course, I will pay accordingly. I am in New Zealand by the way.

If not, are there any other alternatives for the Blackgates?
post #1043 of 2194
Panasonic FM, or a good Nichicon cap
post #1044 of 2194
can you elaborate more on "good Nichicon cap"? what series?
post #1045 of 2194
Quote:
Originally Posted by germanium View Post
By the way VERY PLEASED with the sound of the modded Elite pro compared to the modded platinum. Significantly better!!
Hi Germanium, could you confirm the red-dotted ones in the picture are the exact caps need to be shorted?

Do you know which op is for line-in recording? one 5532? I want to replace it with LME49860 too. Thanks!
post #1046 of 2194
Quote:
Originally Posted by ter1 View Post
Hi Germanium, could you confirm the red-dotted ones in the picture are the exact caps need to be shorted?

Do you know which op is for line-in recording? one 5532? I want to replace it with LME49860 too. Thanks!
Yes indeed the red dotted caps are the ones to short. The one in the pic that you labled "Line In" is correct. I don't have the card out of my computer now as I'm enjoying it very much. Next time I pull it out I will compare your pics with the real deal & see if the area you asked is dell specific though that may be a while. I looked up the specs on the AKM ADC & though not quite top of the line it is extremely good. Those four large caps next to it can be increased to 1000uf from 470uf. The pdf from the website for akm confirms that that will lower distortion in the bass region, not that that is a real problem though as creative has done a good job on this board, at least in that respect.

I also bypassed the 220uf power supply cap with1-3.3uf metalized film cap and in the row of caps closest to the DACs I bypassed the 100uf cap with 2-3.3uf metalized film caps in parallel & the 47uf cap was bypassed with 1-3.3uf metalized film cap. I wanted to keep these proportional to each othe to match the prportion of the caps they were bypassing. This is what really opened up the soundstage. There is only room enough to do this with one of the dacs so make sure it is the front channels DAC which is closest to you when you open computer case.



Bypassing the power supply caps with metalized film not only opened up the soundstage but made the treble smoother sounding as well as way more detailed. Bypassing power supply cap with metalized film is not new but I do it differently because the way most companies do it leaves a discontinuity in the sound in that the mids still sound slightly muffled & the highs sound open & sweet the way they do it (they do with caps that are way smaller than mine such as 1uf or less). I wanted to open up the midrange so it doesn't sound muffled & going to bypass caps this large improves the sound all the way down into the upper bass so there in no muffled sound anywhere in whole frequency range. It does this by lowering the output impedance of the powersupply throughout the frequency range. It is this lack of muffled sound that brings out the sounstage & life of the music

By the way don't let anyone tell you if you can't measure it you can't hear it. I have run the tests & it measure dead on in frequence response to the stock card. Distortion measured .0001% worse (big WOW) but when you look at the spectrum the modded card looks superior to the stock card in that the noise floor is much cleaner with a lot fewer spikes but just one or two spikes that go slightly higher than the stock card. Even though there are very slight diferences in the measured performance none are sufficient to explane the difference in audible performance!!
post #1047 of 2194
Quote:
Originally Posted by germanium View Post
There aren't any 22uf caps on the Elite Pro. They are 47uf. Don't bypass any in the row closest to the DACs except the closest one to you when the card is mounted in the computer. The rest are power supply caps & you will damage the card if you bypass those.

Just bought the Elite Pro today & modded it already

Correction there is one or two 22uf caps but not where they can be bypassed as they are part of the power circuit
Well just to clarify with the above post as well where you say they are ones to short , I personally have the XtremeMusic - so are those caps the right ones then?
(sorry if the photo was of the Elite Pro ... looks very similar to the Music)
post #1048 of 2194
Quote:
Originally Posted by germanium View Post
Yes indeed the red dotted caps are the ones to short. The one in the pic that you labled "Line In" is correct. I don't have the card out of my computer now as I'm enjoying it very much. Next time I pull it out I will compare your pics with the real deal & see if the area you asked is dell specific though that may be a while. I looked up the specs on the AKM ADC & though not quite top of the line it is extremely good. Those four large caps next to it can be increased to 1000uf from 470uf. The pdf from the website for akm confirms that that will lower distortion in the bass region, not that that is a real problem though as creative has done a good job on this board, at least in that respect.

I also bypassed the 220uf power supply cap with1-3.3uf metalized film cap and in the row of caps closest to the DACs I bypassed the 100uf cap with 2-3.3uf metalized film caps in parallel & the 47uf cap was bypassed with 1-3.3uf metalized film cap. I wanted to keep these proportional to each othe to match the prportion of the caps they were bypassing. This is what really opened up the soundstage. There is only room enough to do this with one of the dacs so make sure it is the front channels DAC which is closest to you when you open computer case.



Bypassing the power supply caps with metalized film not only opened up the soundstage but made the treble smoother sounding as well as way more detailed. Bypassing power supply cap with metalized film is not new but I do it differently because the way most companies do it leaves a discontinuity in the sound in that the mids still sound slightly muffled & the highs sound open & sweet the way they do it (they do with caps that are way smaller than mine such as 1uf or less). I wanted to open up the midrange so it doesn't sound muffled & going to bypass caps this large improves the sound all the way down into the upper bass so there in no muffled sound anywhere in whole frequency range. It does this by lowering the output impedance of the powersupply throughout the frequency range. It is this lack of muffled sound that brings out the sounstage & life of the music

By the way don't let anyone tell you if you can't measure it you can't hear it. I have run the tests & it measure dead on in frequence response to the stock card. Distortion measured .0001% worse (big WOW) but when you look at the spectrum the modded card looks superior to the stock card in that the noise floor is much cleaner with a lot fewer spikes but just one or two spikes that go slightly higher than the stock card. Even though there are very slight diferences in the measured performance none are sufficient to explane the difference in audible performance!!


Thank you for your very detailed info!! I'm now want to have a summary w/ picture....

1. The red-dotted caps need to be shorted.
2. The blue-dotted op is for line-in, need to be replace with LME49860.
3. The 4 caps with blue "100" be bypassed with 2 3.3uf metalized film caps in parallel.
4. The 4 cpas with "47" be bypassed with 1 3.3uf metalized film cap.
5. The blue-line 4 caps can be replaced to 1000uf ones for ADC.

Are the above right? If so, I think lots of modder will follow...

but is the 220uf power supply cap as you stated "I also bypassed the 220uf power supply cap with1-3.3uf metalized film cap" the Jamicon near the DSP?

Also, I have some questions about your mod,
1. Do you suggest to replace the power caps (both "100" and "47") with more capacitance BG ones? If with more capacitance ones, the capacitance for film caps need to be changed too, right? --------or--------------
Just replace them with the same capacitance 100uf/25v and 47uf/16v BG ones with your suggested bypassed caps,
which will be the better choice?

2. After your mod, how about the RMAA frequency response line for 96kHz? Still sharp drop after 20kHz?

3. I'm thinking the caps of 4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11 are for the ADC, what's your suggestions of them? Replace with better BG ones? How about the capacitances? Bigger?

4. What's the functions of cap 1,2 and 3? What's your suggestions?

5. What metalized film caps are you using? Suggest more better ones?

I know it's quite a lot of questions, but we all want to make elite pro even better.... thx...


It's better you take a shot of your mod!~~
post #1049 of 2194
I own the XtremeGamer version, I should still be able to replace the opamp and cap and sheild it shouldn't I? If yes, can someone provide a picture of which caps I would short?
post #1050 of 2194
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gautama View Post
I own the XtremeGamer version, I should still be able to replace the opamp and cap and sheild it shouldn't I? If yes, can someone provide a picture of which caps I would short?
Wouldn't it be the same ones as on the XtremeMusic? (which I think are the red dotted ones on the above pic and mine).
haha, confirmation would be good so I don't fry my soundcard

Quote:
Originally Posted by soloz2 View Post
Panasonic FM, or a good Nichicon cap
Quote:
Originally Posted by hyyam85 View Post
can you elaborate more on "good Nichicon cap"? what series?
heh, I've got access to a Panasonic FM (well "CE FM" on the actual cap), a RubyCon ZL, and/or a Nichicon HE.
I take it then the preferred ranking is?:
1. Pana FM
2. Nichicon HE
3. Rubycon ZL

(the Pana FM is quite ahead of the other two in specs, but the Nichicons were the most expensive )
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