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Hotrodding the X-Fi: A Layman's Guide (No 56k) - Page 101

post #1501 of 2194
Black Gate Audio Capacitors
http://www.partsconnexion.com/catalo...ctrolytic.html
post #1502 of 2194
Well me being the rookie who thinks he can do anything, went and cut off the old opamp, and everything was actually going well until I noticed one of the areas that you solder the pins of the opamp to fell off (while removing the old one), and the solder wont hold to that area.
Well I finished soldering everything else up and tried it out and amazement, I have sound!....but only in the left side...the right is nice and quiet, so I'm screwed right? I've convinced myself to have the "live and learn" mentality, but its still frustrating. If anyone has a suggestion I'm open for it
post #1503 of 2194

thanks its realy help me


by the way,
there is a better cap that i shold be order insted of the basic series of the black gate ?
or there is no noticeable difference?
post #1504 of 2194
unknown123 - mate, I got 26 years of soldering experience. Quess what was the first thing I did? I practice exchanging opamp on old Audigy (1) card. If you did not use extremly sharp micro cutter and if you move it just a little bit while cutting - say good-bye to the X-Fi.
Unless you manage to connect the pad to the rest of the card again. It is not impossible, unless it go straight down into layer-connecting hole, I did worser repairs, but like I say, I solder actively for 26 years now, soon 27...
"Rookie who thinks he can do anything" probably end up buying a new X-Fi card.


michell - Different caps are there for different purposes. Use audio grade caps (like Black Gate or Elna RSF) where is audio going and use low-ESR caps where is voltage filering going on (Samxon, Rubycon, Nichicon, Panasonic).

I think it will be quite unpopular in this thread, but using a known good audio cap for voltage filtering (eg. instead of C177 - a stock 220uF 16V Jamicon) for the main X-Fi chip, where the audio is in pure digital form and then claiming that the audio get imporoved, is insane at best.

It is true, however, that the TPS54352 voltage regulator is not designed to work with very low-ESR cap like Os-con polymers or Samxon GA/GC or Ruby MCZ or Nichicon HZ and such.
http://www.ti.com/lit/gpn/tps54352
But thazt still does not made change the pure digital state of audio there into analog one, that would benefit from Black Gate cap.

The audio get converted from digital to analog audio form in DAC, witch is the Cirrus Logic CS4382 thing for the X-Fi Fatal1ty and from there is wise to use audio caps to pass thru the audio, yet still double check for the cap purpose.
http://www.cirrus.com/en/pubs/proDat.../CS4382_F1.pdf

I mean - Jamicons are
1) known bad caps that will degenerate over time and even fail miserably
2) they are NOT audio grade caps, so it is killing your audio too
3) they are NOT low-ESR caps, good for voltage filering

Creative use Jamicons everywhere. For a good example, take a look at recommended TPS54352 circuit and notice that on the voltage imput TI recommend at least 100uF low-ESR elyte and at least 10uF ceramic cap soldered as close to the chip, as possible. This Creative did, but the imput elyte is a 22uF only (!!!) Jamicon crap - C172.

It would be foolish to not improve the capacity to what it should be (at least) and also to use a audio grade cap there. I used a 150uF 6.3V Nichicon HE there. A good cap for this position.

For the audio passing, well, I would recommend Elna RSF caps. In places where is even need to be a cap. There are many examples that it is not need everywhere...
post #1505 of 2194
Quote:
Originally Posted by trodas View Post
unknown123 - mate, I got 26 years of soldering experience. Quess what was the first thing I did? I practice exchanging opamp on old Audigy (1) card. If you did not use extremly sharp micro cutter and if you move it just a little bit while cutting - say good-bye to the X-Fi.
Unless you manage to connect the pad to the rest of the card again. It is not impossible, unless it go straight down into layer-connecting hole, I did worser repairs, but like I say, I solder actively for 26 years now, soon 27...
"Rookie who thinks he can do anything" probably end up buying a new X-Fi card.


michell - Different caps are there for different purposes. Use audio grade caps (like Black Gate or Elna RSF) where is audio going and use low-ESR caps where is voltage filering going on (Samxon, Rubycon, Nichicon, Panasonic).

I think it will be quite unpopular in this thread, but using a known good audio cap for voltage filtering (eg. instead of C177 - a stock 220uF 16V Jamicon) for the main X-Fi chip, where the audio is in pure digital form and then claiming that the audio get imporoved, is insane at best.

It is true, however, that the TPS54352 voltage regulator is not designed to work with very low-ESR cap like Os-con polymers or Samxon GA/GC or Ruby MCZ or Nichicon HZ and such.
http://www.ti.com/lit/gpn/tps54352
But thazt still does not made change the pure digital state of audio there into analog one, that would benefit from Black Gate cap.

The audio get converted from digital to analog audio form in DAC, witch is the Cirrus Logic CS4382 thing for the X-Fi Fatal1ty and from there is wise to use audio caps to pass thru the audio, yet still double check for the cap purpose.
http://www.cirrus.com/en/pubs/proDat.../CS4382_F1.pdf

I mean - Jamicons are
1) known bad caps that will degenerate over time and even fail miserably
2) they are NOT audio grade caps, so it is killing your audio too
3) they are NOT low-ESR caps, good for voltage filering

Creative use Jamicons everywhere. For a good example, take a look at recommended TPS54352 circuit and notice that on the voltage imput TI recommend at least 100uF low-ESR elyte and at least 10uF ceramic cap soldered as close to the chip, as possible. This Creative did, but the imput elyte is a 22uF only (!!!) Jamicon crap - C172.

It would be foolish to not improve the capacity to what it should be (at least) and also to use a audio grade cap there. I used a 150uF 6.3V Nichicon HE there. A good cap for this position.

For the audio passing, well, I would recommend Elna RSF caps. In places where is even need to be a cap. There are many examples that it is not need everywhere...

wow thx for the comprehensive answer....
ok so now im goin to order the blackgate 16v 2200uf and the opamp 4562...
hope they arrive in this month

thank you again for the help
post #1506 of 2194
just read all 151 pages, very informative. I am now ready to do this mod... well, once I buy a X-fi
post #1507 of 2194
Quote:
Originally Posted by trodas View Post
unknown123 - mate, I got 26 years of soldering experience. Quess what was the first thing I did? I practice exchanging opamp on old Audigy (1) card. If you did not use extremly sharp micro cutter and if you move it just a little bit while cutting - say good-bye to the X-Fi.
Unless you manage to connect the pad to the rest of the card again. It is not impossible, unless it go straight down into layer-connecting hole, I did worser repairs, but like I say, I solder actively for 26 years now, soon 27...
"Rookie who thinks he can do anything" probably end up buying a new X-Fi card.
This was the only thing I had to practice on. Well it just gave me more of a reason to buy some more stuff, and if I ever do get another x-fi im sure I wont make the same mistake.
post #1508 of 2194
michell - well, good luck.


unknown123 - damn, you did not had one old spare/dead mainboard to try that on first? No friend in driveable distance who might allow you to practice on such board/card? It is hard to believe that. I know, Arizona is big and with few people, but... Well, you know, everyone is general after a battle
And in the end, you are right. Creative stuff is not exactly "hot buy" ... It is true, that they made good bang in games, but that it is. Unless you, customer, mod the whole card, you get only mediocre sound (same opamps in X-Fi as in Audigy (1) ...? Come on!) and soon as the Jamicons run out of life, problems and even lockups in sound-intensive games...

What sound card you planing on buying then?
post #1509 of 2194
I actually just ordered a 2move to use as a DAC/amp for my PC, it should also be nice for iPod and laptop use, I have heard nothing but good things about these.
post #1510 of 2194
Oh, crap!
After some reading there I just realized why the differences I hear are't nowhere near big, almost impossible. I replaced the there opamps in line, improving my subwoofer/surround, but not the most important Left/Right front channels!
Time to replace the 4th slightly bigger one, lol


cotdt -
Quote:
There are probably 20-30 on the board but half of them are coupling capacitors which you want to short anyway. I beleive you short almost a dozen capacitors if you do the surround channels and certain others, so in reality you're only replacing a dozen or so capacitors.
Quote:
you want to short the 16 capacitors closest to each of the 4 opamps.
So you guys say to short really all these 16 caps...? I must admit that getting rid of the Jamicon crap sounds very good to me, but such brutal change... Really to do that?

Then what audio-passing-caps will be there still left, lol...?
post #1511 of 2194
Quote:
Originally Posted by trodas View Post
"...I think it will be quite unpopular in this thread, but using a known good audio cap for voltage filtering (eg. instead of C177 - a stock 220uF 16V Jamicon) for the main X-Fi chip, where the audio is in pure digital form and then claiming that the audio get imporoved, is insane at best..."
old news
- latest evidence by Catx:
http://www.head-fi.org/forums/3694789-post1467.html

Quote:
Originally Posted by trodas View Post
"...It is true, however, that the TPS54352 voltage regulator is not designed to work with very low-ESR cap like Os-con polymers or Samxon GA/GC or Ruby MCZ or Nichicon HZ and such.
http://www.ti.com/lit/gpn/tps54352
But thazt still does not made change the pure digital state of audio there into analog one, that would benefit from Black Gate cap..."
Not correct.
- limitation is the inductor value Creative selected for the stock capacitor type.
- this applies to both SB0460 (Music, Fatality, etc.) and SB0550 (Elite)

See original posts on smVreg TPS54352, measurements, which supplies 1.2vdc to CA20K1.
http://www.head-fi.org/forums/3269637-post1295.html
http://www.head-fi.org/forums/3269940-post1296.html
post #1512 of 2194
SB0460 (X-FI Fatality, Music, etc., variants)
- Reference Picture with part annotations, as of Oct 10, 2007
- Part/component description in TXT format
- last update to SB0460, transitioned to SB0550 Elite

clipped from TXT description:

Changes with Greatest audio quality impact:
- Line-Out coupling capacitors: C23, C50, C76, C77 (Front Line-Out)
- Power decoupling capacitors: C46, C72
- Opamps: U2~U5, depending on desired number of channels
- for recording: C49, C48
- all other changes are optional


Have fun and good luck!

SB0550 (Elite)
- will be posting latest, updated test results, components, etc, in the next two weeks...

SB0460 Annotated Parts Reference Picture:
X-FI-MOD-099a - eSnips, share anything

SB0460 Part/ID/Description for picture above, in TXT format:
X-FI-MOD-099b - eSnips, share anything
post #1513 of 2194
Quote:
Originally Posted by unknown123 View Post
"...until I noticed one of the areas that you solder the pins of the opamp to fell off (while removing the old one), and the solder wont hold to that area. ..."
"... so I'm screwed right? I've convinced myself to have the "live and learn" mentality, but its still frustrating. If anyone has a suggestion I'm open for it
If you can take a good close-up picture of the damaged area and post, I might be able to suggest a "wire-re-route" fix...

Close-up quality similar to this, as an example:
X-FI-MOD-092b - eSnips, share anything
post #1514 of 2194
bichi -
Quote:
using a known good audio cap for voltage filtering (eg. instead of C177 - a stock 220uF 16V Jamicon) for the main X-Fi chip, where the audio is in pure digital form and then claiming that the audio get imporoved, is insane at best...

old news
- latest evidence by Catx:
Glad you agree with me on this. I have new news anyway. I just tried a Samon RS 3300uF 10V witch SHOULD has the ripple near the TI suggested 1500 - 1700mA, but it turns out to be bugger. The card is not recognized at all, so the voltage regulator shut off.
So, using Samxon RS 3300uF 10V as C177 = dead X-Fi.

Replaced with Samxon GC 1000uF 6.3V as C177 = X-Fi is present in my system, BUT NO SOUND, thanks to the stupid idea you guys bang to my head - thanks to removing the 22uF decoupling caps to all the - now LM4562 ones. Great idea!



Quote:
It is true, however, that the TPS54352 voltage regulator is not designed to work with very low-ESR cap like Os-con polymers or Samxon GA/GC or Ruby MCZ or Nichicon HZ and such.
http://www.ti.com/lit/gpn/tps54352
But thazt still does not made change the pure digital state of audio there into analog one, that would benefit from Black Gate cap...
Quote:
Not correct.
- limitation is the inductor value Creative selected for the stock capacitor type.
- this applies to both SB0460 (Music, Fatality, etc.) and SB0550 (Elite)
It is true and your own measurments confirm that, as mine did and as the experiement with very big cap that shut the regulator down effectively.
In your tests, the voltage is much cleaner using the Jamicon crap that Oscon and in RMAA tests the Oscon take beating from Panny FK.
Hence trying there a very big capacitances and very low ERS caps is a no-no thing. It can even render the card not working. In better cases, it just made the voltage spikes affecting the requlting quality.

Perhaps you misread my horrible english only...? Because you are saying what I'm saing... just a bit differently. And not to worry, I studied your mod. I had some serious question about it, tough

They are mainly related to choice of some caps. I mean - it should be discovered and measured what each one certain caps do and then replace them with the type according to the use of the cap. Either low-ESR (voltage filtering) or audio grade (when used for audio). As the 16x decoupling 22uF Jamicons are and w/o them I hear NO SOUND

Quote:
SB0460 Annotated Parts Reference Picture
Good one. But can you tell me, what the C91 a C119 do? I'm affraid that they support the voltage filering and a bigger cap there should be handy?
C16 - are you sure this is not voltage filtering cap for the DAC? I put a 470uF 6.3V Samxon GD there
The cap behing C46 - the voltge filtering one for the opamps - what it is his purpose? Filtering gameport voltage? Must it he 25V one?
C108 and C107 - they are connected to the DAC FILT+ port. You sure the best choice are the tantal caps there?
What does do C96 and C114?
post #1515 of 2194

muted X-Fi

So, there is how it looked like with all the 22uF 16V Jamicons shorted as recommended:



However there is a "slight" problem - no sound at all
What is worser is, that even when I actually undo this and put there instead of the cursed Jamicons a Panny FC 22uF 25V caps, there is still no sound. So, what I did today to end up with not working X-Fi?

Simple.

Exchanged the last remaining Left/Right opamp to the LM4562.
Replaced C177 from Panny FM 470uF 16V to Samxon RS 3300uF 10V.
Replaced C16 from Panny FM 220uF 10V to Samxon GD 470uF 6.3V.
Removed 16 pcs of coupling caps C23, C50, C76, C77, C28, C55, C85, C83, C61, C32, C62, C26, C67, C36, C34 and C68 and shorted them all with wire to get rid of the cursed Jamicons and improve the quality of sound output.

Took photos, put back in PC and my audiocard was not detected anymore.
Brilliant.

Replaced C177 from Samxon RS 3300uF 10V to Samxon GC 1000uF 6.3V.

Put back in PC, card now detected properly and Creative diag report no errors, yet still not a whisper from speakers...



Quote:
Creative Diagnostics 4.0 Test Log
Detected device:
SB X-Fi [CF00]

Tested device:SB X-Fi [CF00]
02/09/2008 05:00:19PM Drivers Tests Pass
02/09/2008 05:00:22PM Windows Multimedia Tests Pass
02/09/2008 05:00:23PM DirectSound Tests Pass
...so I tried put the 16 pcs of coupling caps back there. Only instead of Jamicons 22uF 16V I used Panny FC 22uF 25V - they are at least usable for low-end audio, so till I get real audio caps, like Elna RSF ones, they have to do it...

But still no sound at all.

Then I changed back the C16 from Samxon GD 470uF 6.3V to Panny FM 220uF 10V that was there, yet still no change. Card still stays muted.

Suggestions...?



PS. as you probably noticed, the there "surroud" opamps are "MTRA L4562 MA", yet the last one is "MURA L4562 MA" that come in different samples shipment. There is it even better visible:

Should I worry about it? I think it is just the TI date labels or something like that...? Or it is not?
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