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Hotrodding the X-Fi: A Layman's Guide (No 56k) - Page 104

post #1546 of 2194
Quote:
Originally Posted by minivan View Post
had these pic posted before? if it had , sorry, the thread is too long for me to go through.
the mod applied 12v to the opamp through those wiring instead of 5v.he used AD8620BRz for the main sound, op2604 for others.

where did he draw the 12v from? it looks like two resistors near the front of the pci slot, but opposite ends of the resistors?
post #1547 of 2194
Has anybody tried doing any mods to the xMod?
post #1548 of 2194
Random Murderer - the mod loooks a bit crazy to me. He took the 12V directly from the PCI connectors. This way he add all the noise the 12V line took over going in the machine to the opamps voltage input. It is true, however, that these LM4562 suxxkas can operate, as mentioned there:
LM4562 - Dual High Performance, High Fidelity Audio Operational Amplifier
on voltage ranges from 2.5V to 17V, and 12V probably give a good boost of the output signal strenght. Neverless I would not do it this way. I would try either mod the UA78M05C voltage regulator ( http://www.ortodoxism.ro/datasheets2...p82zof95wy.pdf ) to give me like 9 or 10V or just replace it with 9 or 10V compatible regulator. That way I would eliminate all the noise from voltage and still give the output a considerable boost.
The question is, why this is wanted and what results this could give in terms of quality.

And I think that heatsinking these opamps should be in order then Less temperature = less noise


Anyone know, what are the JP2 jumper on the Fatal1ty (SB0460) for?
post #1549 of 2194
Just give an update on my SB0550 mods.

Replaced all OSCON decouple caps to tantalum ones. It appears the ultra low ESR OSCON has some side effects when directly replaced the electrolytic caps, and could cause regulator instable. Normally when OSCON is used, the circuit need to be modified slightly to prevent its high ripple current due to low ESR. The tantalum ones have medium ESR (~0.5ohm at 100KHz) are ideal for direct replacement. But tant caps are not very tolerant to voltage overrating, general guidance is the voltage rate should be at least 2X, sometimes 3X of the actual voltage.

Also found the AUX power connector on my mobo (Abit IN9-32MAX) next the sound card introduced significant noise, since I don't run SLI, removed that connector improved both SNR and dynamic range by about 2db.

I also made similar DIP socket adapter like bichi's for line-out opamp. Now using the DIP 8-pin LME49860, decoupled with 2 10uf/35v Sprague tant and the dynamic is noticeably improved. However, the RMAA score does not change much, as we are reaching the limit of the ADC SNR and dynamic range up ceiling. All three opamps for line-in have been changed to LME49860 SOIC.




Changed the DAC coupling caps from 66uF MLCC to 88uF MLCC, thanks bichi for giving these caps to me to try. The bass is further improved, but I personally don't feel the high is too bright. Maybe because this time I only listened thru my LD MK III tube amp, but not directly connect the headphone to the line-out.

I played a little bit with the ADC coupling cap C27, C15 (stock 10uf NP) and C29, C14 (stock 47uf/16v), now all socketed. See the following result for comparisons:



I settled with the combination of 22uf MLCC for C27, C15, and 68uf tantalum for C29, C14. The frequency response is awesome with moderated IMD+Noise. I also tried 66uf MLCC for C29 and C14, but the IMD+Noise jumped to 0.0065, so definitely don't put too many MLCC in the audio path. The only thing troubles me is my SB0550 stereo crosstalk have some funny pattern, it starts climbing from 1KHz almost linearly in 24/48 and 24/96 testing. The stock elite pro had the same issue even before I start modding, and the official RMAA X-Fi test report illustrated the same pattern.



stock X-Fi Elite Pro before modding


To identify the cause of this crosstalk issue, I ran a few tests. 1) The DSP internal loopback (select record input "Wave" in Audio Creation Mode) testing. 2) SB0550 digital out to my receiver to decode and the receiver preamp out is connected to SB0550 line-in. This bypasses the line-out section. 3) SB0550 line-out connects to a laptop's line-in (w/ realtek chip) to run RMAA record-only test on the laptop, this bypasses the line-in section. 4) Just for comparison, the laptop's external loopback crosstalk patern.



Can anyone who have X-Fi Elite Pro also check you stereo crosstalk pattern? My SB0550 is the original release that does not have heatsink (I added heatsink myself) and the X-RAM is only on the component side of the PCB and the back side PCB does not have soldering pad for X-RAM. Bichi's SB0550 repair picture shows his one has X-RAM on both side of PCB, and it has stock heatsink, so looks like the SB0550 has two version of PCB and maybe the older version has some design issue, or firmware issue. Can anyone confirm?
post #1550 of 2194
Is the new PCIe version of the Xi-Fi Xtreme Audio sutable for this mod?

PCI Express Sound Blaster X-Fi Xtreme Audio SB1040EF - Sound Blaster - Your Movies and Music. Way Better
post #1551 of 2194
eboy2003 - interesting work, congratulations! The LME49860 is not made in SOIC package, or is it? It is better that the LM4562MA ...?
Do it have sense to replace the Mic input opamp? With the LM4562MA...?

And as I see the add heatsink - helps? The chip is overheating that much?


PS. middle stage of my experiments - Panny FC 22uF 25V used, before simple wires



Not bad But only wires are better - give better audio details
(and noticably stronger bass line, witch is somewhat extreme sometimes...)
post #1552 of 2194
Quote:
Originally Posted by trodas View Post
eboy2003 - interesting work, congratulations! The LME49860 is not made in SOIC package, or is it? It is better that the LM4562MA ...?
yes, there is a SOIC narrow LME49860, i have 5 on the way. the only diference between the 49860 and the 4562 is that the 49860 is rated for 44v, whereas the 4562 is only rated for 36v.
Quote:
Originally Posted by trodas View Post
PS. middle stage of my experiments - Panny FC 22uF 25V used, before simple wires



Not bad But only wires are better - give better audio details
(and noticably stronger bass line, witch is somewhat extreme sometimes...)
would you recommend removing the caps and replacing it with wire if an equalizer is used to reduce bass?
post #1553 of 2194
From what I heard from a National sales guy LME49860/LME49720/LM4562 are all same chips but binned, similar to how intel marks their CPU clock speed.

The SB0460 runs all opamps at +/- 5V, so using LME49860 does not make any sense. SB0550, on the other hand, runs all opamps at +/- 12V directly from PCI bus w/o additional regulator, so having a good PSU and opamp is more important.

Anyone with SB0550 done some stereo crosstalk testing yet?
post #1554 of 2194
What?
- LME49860, including siblings, will operate down to +/-2.5vdc, Vcc/Vee.
- note operating at lower voltages reduces output swing, obviously.
- and wasn't that part of your "beats X-FI Elite" "marketecture," when you sold yer SB0460, eBoy2k3? LOL!

See THD+N, PSRR, Output Vo, Freqs, etc., vs. supply voltage, LME49860 datasheet.

Bottom line, LME49860 will work with +/-5vdc supply, as well as siblings, barring slight price increase, in some cases.
- worked fine on SB0460 when I was playing with it...

Price Reference: Digikey; quant 1; Mar 05, 08
LM4562 DIP or SOIC: $5.70000
LME49720 DIP or SOIC: $5.70000
LME49860 DIP or SOIC: $6.18000

LME49860 Datasheet:
http://www.national.com/ds.cgi/LM/LME49860.pdf

eboy2k3: more toys to play with, cheap! And its local to us too!
- eBay Store - MeasureExplorer: Prototype Boards: ME-PB-101RW wireless circuit proto prototype PCB board
- be prepared to spend more cash, next time we meet. LOL! (read: LM3886)
- model number of desolder tool I was yakking about: Hakko 808 (Frys)
- pictured, lower left, in the 633 stand: X-FI-MOD-001b - eSnips, share anything
post #1555 of 2194
Random Murderer -
Quote:
only diference between the 49860 and the 4562 is that the 49860 is rated for 44v, whereas the 4562 is only rated for 36v
Then the 4562 might be better off operating at 5V in Fatal1ty I think.

Quote:
would you recommend removing the caps and replacing it with wire if an equalizer is used to reduce bass?
Yes, definitively. And I think the bass is probably meant to be this way strong. After all the subwoofer effects in Matrix series, The Last Samurai and other DTC movies I tested are made for shaking your world and to sound realistic. So they do now...
The difference in bass is the biggest one, however my ears catch up a notable difference in the music "details", if I can label it that So, I would definitively recommend that to everyone.

It is very simple in fact. Jamicon caps are terrible crappy caps. Jamicons are the very last thing ANYONE want to stand between them and the music. Jamicons are not low ESR caps, nor audio caps. And on top of that, they are known to dry and fail miserably, they are known bad caps.
Conclusion - all Jamicons must get OFF my card. The sooner the better.


eboy2003 -
Quote:
SB0550, on the other hand, runs all opamps at +/- 12V directly from PCI bus w/o additional regulator, so having a good PSU...
I would add - so having a good PSU with good caps (Samxons, Rubycons, Nichicons low-ESR lines couples with ceramic caps and polymers on the PCI bus) and great voltge filtering is absolutely mandatory.

If nothing of that is installed, then the whole noise the mainboard and PSU put to the PCI voltage lines end up on your Opamps.

This is the latest thing anyone want. Opamps voltage should be as clean, as possible. And the on-card voltage regulator, as X-Fi has, is the way to go. Reading this, I would definitively NOT want SB0550. Direct opamps powering from 12V line from PCI is very bad for audio quality.
Frankly spoken, it suxx. Creative design at work ...


bichi -
Quote:
perating at lower voltages reduces output swing
Good point!
post #1556 of 2194
SB0550 X-FI Elite hardcore U7 Carrier/Socketed Mods:
- can apply to SB0460 U2 Line-Out, but not tested

OPA2134 + 47uf @ 16vdc Panasonic S mini (standard 85c) + 100nf across V+ and V- (back of board)
- warmish flat, good hi-image, separation and soundstage, mild attack, a bit boosted in bass

LME49860 + 47uf @ 16vdc Panasonic S mini (standard 85c) + 100nf across V+ and V- (back of board)
- studio flat, good hi-image, separation and soundstage, fast attack, accurate bass

NE5532D + 47uf @ 16vdc Panasonic S mini (standard 85c) + 100nf across V+ and V- (back of board)
- flattish, good image, separation and soundstage, lively dynamics, full bass

Other med-ESR/low ESR electrolytics (FC 47uf, FM 68uf) seemed to push mids forward and "stiffen" high end
Tantalum 47uf seemed to slow bass down, but still sounded OK

Source:
Kikujiro; title track, piano/violin/viola/bell solos (48k/24b from Kikujiro DVD)
Rickie Lee Jones CD; "Easy Money"
Corinne Bailey Ray CD; "Put Your Records On"
Sarah McLachlan; "World on Fire" (48k/24b from "Afterglow Live" DVD)
Do It Acappella (Spike Lee/PBS) CD - "Lion Sleeps Tonight" - Mint Juleps/Ladysmith Black Mambazo

Playback:
M-Audio BX5a; set flat with 56hz -3db rolloff
Sennheiser HD-414 SL (32-ohm originals, remuffed and re-ringed)

Pictures:
SB0550 - Rear mounted 100nf capacitor between +V and -V rails for U7 Line-Out opamp - see picture X-FI-MOD-105 for circuit
X-FI-MOD-107 - eSnips, share anything

SB0550 - Test U7 carriers with solder-pads for +V/-V bypass capacitor - (caps not installed until rear-mounted 100nf cap is removed) - see picture X-FI-MOD-105 for circuit
X-FI-MOD-108 - eSnips, share anything


eboy2k3:
- now that you've socketed, time to exchange U7 carriers, eh?
- kind of a "bee-atch," positioning caps on carrier; vertical is too tall and left/right mounting jams into MLCCs, eh?
- agreed, getting close to the limits of this board...
post #1557 of 2194
well, i finished hotrodding my buddy's x-fi xtreme music, but he only gets audio out of the left channel... at first i thought it was because maybe the op-amp wasn't soldered on completely, so i resoldered it, then i thought it was because i removed the decoupling caps, so i replaced them to no avail. still only audio out of the left channel. wtf? help?
post #1558 of 2194
SB0550 - X-FI Elite Pro only, Change Log and Pictures:
- as of March 02, 2008

CURRENTLY INSTALLED:
U7: (socketed/carrier) LME49860; +V/-V to gnd: Panasonic "S" mini 47uf @ 16vdc standard 85c; 100nf across +V/-V, back of board
Line-Out (C35, C45, C56, C49): TDK MLCC X7R, stacked, 22uf @ 16vdc x 4; 88uf (matched to +/- 0.4uf)

U3: (socketed) AD8599
Line-Ina (C15, C27): TDK MLCC X7R, 22uf @ 16vdc (matched to +/- 0.2uf)
Line-Inb: (C14, C29): Panasonic FM, 68uf @ 16vdc (matched to +/- 1uf)
C47, C51, C7, C4: Kemet M+ TANT 680uf @ 6.3vdc (matched to +/- 3uf)

C40: Panasonic "S" SMT 100uf @ 16vdc
C55: Panasonic FM, 68uf @ 16vdc
C63: Kemet TANT, 33uf @ 15vdc

C104, C133: Panasonic FM, 330uf @ 25vdc
C161: Rubycon MBZ, 1500uf @ 6.3vdc
C154: Panasonic FM, 220uf @ 25vdc

U4: heatsink added
VR4: heatsink added

Rest of caps replaced with Kemet or Panasonic TANT's at stock values

Reference Picture:
X-FI-MOD-109 - eSnips, share anything

Part Description in TXT format, ZIPPED:
X-FI-MOD-109 - eSnips, share anything
post #1559 of 2194
Some help please!

I took my X-FI extrememusic (retail) to the company and have somone modded the OpAmp (LM4562MA) to the card, all four. The orientation is right, the solder job looks nice and clean and everything seems in order.

But when I got the card back yesturday, plug into my computer, no sound comes out of any of the channels.

I have tried different PCI Slots, Reinstall Drivers, and still nothing.

What could be the problem?
Again, no sound to any of the channels.


thanks in advice
post #1560 of 2194
Has nobody done this mod to an audigy 2 zs? i need to know which opamp is the stereo opamp before i go soldering...
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