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Hotrodding the X-Fi: A Layman's Guide (No 56k) - Page 100

post #1486 of 2194
Quote:
Originally Posted by s1rrah View Post
@Bichi:
You know ... I bought a soldering iron today and started testing the removal process on some OPAMPS on an old SB Live 5.1 card I have ... and for the life of me, after I heated up the existing stock solder on the Live's OPAMPS, I couldn't get the dang legs to seperate from the board! Do you have any suggestions?
See the first few pictures/description for desoldering opamps: (for SB0460, but same technique used, generally)
- beginner solderer, eh? DO NOT PULL or TWIST on opamp leads! Pads/traces rip away easily!
X-FI Op Amp and Cap Modification eSnips Folder

Quote:
Originally Posted by s1rrah View Post
Bichi:
Also ... even better ... do you do mods for folks?
No, I don't, not enough time, unpredictable schedule and price would be high to make it worth my time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by s1rrah View Post
Out from Elite Pro line out (Front L/R) to amp: Diminished soundstage, overall bland sound across all freq's, and bass that's just not nearly as taut or deep as the EMU 0404.
Can't comment on EMU 0404 vs. X-FI Elite since I have no direct 0404 experience.
- based on objective RMAA and pinknoise analysis X-FI tests, its fairly flat. (flat from a test perspective)
- SB0550 driver = v5.12.6.1187; all effects off, bitmatched set.

Assuming your X-FI is not defective and not knowing your subjective listening tastes:
- entertainment mode, as opposed to audio creation mode?
- enable X-FI EAX and X-FI Crystalizer effects?
- use front Line-Out from card, as opposed to external box?
- do RMAA tests on your EMU 0404 to see if it's freq spectra rises at low and high ends?
- might be an X-FI output impedance/level or Practical Devices XM4 input impedance mismatch?

If you willing to risk keeping your X-FI, might try:
- increasing front Line-Out capacitor values (C45, C35, C58, C49) to 68uf:
- Panasonic FM 68uf @ 16vdc: Digikey PN: P12921-ND
- changing +/- 12vdc filter caps (C104, C133) to:
- Panasonic FM 330uf @ 25vdc: Digikey PN: P12387-ND
- simple, easy and reversible (provided original caps are carefully removed) tests to do than opamp swap.
post #1487 of 2194
Quote:
Originally Posted by s1rrah View Post
I *am* actually using the line-out from the card itself; I'm running out from the green, front L/R channel.

I sold the breakout box a while back due to it's inferior OPAMPS and DAC (though I am missing the phono preamp!).
Have you tried the digital/line out from the card itself instead of from the Front ( L/R) ?
post #1488 of 2194
I made these modifications too, and it sounds sweeeeeeet
post #1489 of 2194
Quote:
Originally Posted by aZn_plyR View Post
Have you tried the digital/line out from the card itself instead of from the Front ( L/R) ?
I can't find a cable local that will work with the digital out. And besides, I would have to run into a DAC for that to work, right?

...

Otherwise ...

You guys must have mad soldering skills because I tore the hell out of an old SB Live card (test card) trying to get one of the original OPAMPS off ... never could get it free of the card.

Anyway ... I'm not *touching* my X-fi and will wait till I can find someone to do the mod for me.
post #1490 of 2194
Hey. Great mod. I have an OEM SB0460 and I changed the Line-Out opamp to AD8599 yesterday. At first there was a lot of noise and distortion, so I thought I screwed something up, but after a few hours it cleared up and it sounds really nice. I've got some capacitors on the way; I'll let you know how it goes.
post #1491 of 2194

Audigy (1) opamps

Guys, before I do the opamp change on my X-Fi, I decided to try it on something less valuable. And I picked my Audigy (1) soundcard. And quess what. There are 4 pcs of the very same opamps, the 4558C - but there is also one piece of the 33078 ST opamp too. Probably for imput or what?

Nevermind. But I do wonder, since the pinouts are the very same:
MC4558CD datasheet pdf datenblatt - STMicroelectronics - WIDE BANDWIDTH DUAL BIPOLAR OPERATIONAL AMPLIFIERS ::: ALLDATASHEET :::
33078 datasheet pdf datenblatt - STMicroelectronics - LOW NOISE DUAL OPERATIONAL AMPLIFIERS ::: ALLDATASHEET :::
...if I can replace all 5 of them on the Audigy (1) and if the card still going to work after

I think it will, but I better ask if someone has experiences with this
post #1492 of 2194
Hey guys,

Thank you all for your help in doing this mod.

I have a question:

I destroyed some pads on my headphone opamp section, so I routed all the input (5,6 and 2,3) and power leads (4,8) to another opamp (the surround one). Everything works fine, except even at max volume, the volume is very low. Does anyone know what is wrong or where I can get more power on the board?

Thanks,
post #1493 of 2194
Here is the report for my lineout1 repair and lineout2 compare with almost all the other capacitors replaced (I still have to find appropriate parts for -5v and +5v voltage regulators filter caps)

RMAA Results for Lineout 2:




Old OPAMP removed:




The faulty muting transistor:




Detailed view of muting bypass:




General view of the card:




Lineout 1 RMAA results:




RMAA results for lineout 1 are a little strange, but the cause could be some passive component of the differential circuit going out of spec.
Anyway the new OPAMP sounds a lot better than 4556 when driving my HD555 headphones.

As you can see for Lineout 2 there is no audible effect when replacing the stock decoupling caps, but I think some little improvement can still be obtained by replacing +-5v rails filter caps.

post #1494 of 2194
After reading the entire thread a month ago I have finally completed the mod. I want to thank cotdt and all of the others who contributed in discussion for making this one of the easiest hardmods I have ever done.
LM4562 in action


Old cap compared to the Panasonic FC


New cap in place


I did the mod on a sb0670 (the HP oem version of the x-fi music) Which works with the SB summer beta drivers.
The dynamic range has been greatly increased and everything seems much cooler and crisper.

If anyone is interested in the card please pm me.

Thanks again for this awesome mod!
post #1495 of 2194
Quote:
Originally Posted by catx View Post
"...RMAA results for lineout 1 are a little strange, but the cause could be some passive component of the differential circuit going out of spec..."
Catx,
- very nice!

If you mean the difference between RMAA Left/Right channel levels, it might be one of the Line-IN coupling caps has drifted out of spec.
- since RMAA is in loop-back mode, Line-IN is in test path.
- quick test is to use AUX-IN, instead of Line-IN.

Line-In jack -> C49, C48 = Line-In coupling caps -> WM8775 ADC
AUX IN -> C102, C104 = AUX-IN coupling caps -> WM8775 ADC

Part Location/ID Pic:
X-FI-MOD-070b - eSnips, share anything

AUX-IN Pinout:
LL
post #1496 of 2194
I just replaced the there output opamps from the old useless (they was used even in Audigy (1) !!!) MC4558C ( MC4558CD datasheet pdf datenblatt - STMicroelectronics - WIDE BANDWIDTH DUAL BIPOLAR OPERATIONAL AMPLIFIERS ::: ALLDATASHEET ::: ) to the praised LM4562 ( LM4562 datasheet pdf datenblatt - National Semiconductor - Dual High Performance, High Fidelity Audio Operational Amplifier ::: ALLDATASHEET ::: ) opamps. It was kinda easy, however the changes are minimal. You cannot hear any difference in mp3 bellow 320kBi, that is for sure. When we talking about DTS 768kBi, well, ten there finally is some difference But not so major. It is obvious that complete recap of the Jamicon crap caps has to be done as well, as the audiojacks has to be gold-plated for the subwoofer connection, the whole subwoofer has to be recapped and possibly modified also, so there is a notable difference.

It is worth to replace the another 3 opamps? Eg. I replaced only the there in row...

And anyone know, witch caps do filter voltage and are NOT audio caps?
post #1497 of 2194
hi,
first im soory if my english is not so good ,
anyway this therd is amazing and convince me to make the mod to my X-FI platinum.

the only thing that prevent me to do so, is the lack of "spacial" components in my country (or that i dont know where to look ) ,
like the cap and the opamp...
i did found some cap that look ok but i want to be sure its a 2200uF/16v from comany that called "ADE" how is this cap compare to the blackgate ?

about the opamp there is a place in the web that make over-sea shiping ?

thx, keep up the good work
post #1498 of 2194
Looking on National Semiconductor's site, the distributor I found for Israel was Easttronics.
post #1499 of 2194
Quote:
Originally Posted by michell View Post
hi,
first im soory if my english is not so good ,
anyway this therd is amazing and convince me to make the mod to my X-FI platinum.

the only thing that prevent me to do so, is the lack of "spacial" components in my country (or that i dont know where to look ) ,
like the cap and the opamp...
i did found some cap that look ok but i want to be sure its a 2200uF/16v from comany that called "ADE" how is this cap compare to the blackgate ?

about the opamp there is a place in the web that make over-sea shiping ?

thx, keep up the good work

Have you tried ordering samples direct from National Semiconductor (www.national.com)?

You can only order 3 samples at a time but in total, over the past four months or so, I've received 12 OPAMPS from them for free.

I'm currently burning in an LM4562 (MDIP socketed) in my Practical Devices XM4. Just got three in the mail today (gonna give away the other two to random XM4/XM5 owners in a bit.

Man! Did that thing ever sound grainy and rough when I first fired it up! Is that normal for the LM4562? I mean .. it was HARSH.

Anyway ... two hours playing and it's smoothing out unbelievably.

To early to comment on whether it has improved my amp or not ... but will do some A/B listens against a couple other fully burned OPAMPS this weekend.

...
post #1500 of 2194
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chipp View Post
Looking on National Semiconductor's site, the distributor I found for Israel was Easttronics.
oh this is wonderful,
eastronics is the distributor of intel in israel and im working wite them alot (im work in a comuter company) so i hope they got the opamp in stoc cuse it will take alot of time to order sampels from NS


Quote:
Have you tried ordering samples direct from National Semiconductor (www.national.com)?

You can only order 3 samples at a time but in total, over the past four months or so, I've received 12 OPAMPS from them for free.

I'm currently burning in an LM4562 (MDIP socketed) in my Practical Devices XM4. Just got three in the mail today (gonna give away the other two to random XM4/XM5 owners in a bit.

Man! Did that thing ever sound grainy and rough when I first fired it up! Is that normal for the LM4562? I mean .. it was HARSH.

Anyway ... two hours playing and it's smoothing out unbelievably.

To early to comment on whether it has improved my amp or not ... but will do some A/B listens against a couple other fully burned OPAMPS this weekend.
i tried to order from NS and i can order 5 sampels at ones so if the distributor of NS in israel dont have the opamp in stoc i will order them from SM.
about the burning in.... i belive after a good burn in will soind amazing

by the whey can someone write me a good online store to order the BlackGate from?

realy thx you all
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