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Hotrodding the X-Fi: A Layman's Guide (No 56k) - Page 135

post #2011 of 2194
Originally Posted by fab_flix View Post
I tried replacing the opamps. But on the front I've put the one that was on the line in and the other channels are opamp-less. That's the way it is now and still the sound sucks.
Is there the possibility that all opamps were gone during the modding?
Should I use a new opamp?
yes, replace them with new opamps.
post #2012 of 2194
The card is toasted. No sound at all.
I made the order for an X-Fi FPS and it will arrive on Thursday. I also ordered new op-amps for it, the LME49720, which Apocalypsee suggested to use instead of the LME49860. They will arrive on Friday
Hope to post pictures on Saturday.
post #2013 of 2194
Never mind... I was being dumb.
post #2014 of 2194
Is it possible to replace the whole DAC? or are there too many factors involved? Ie step up to the DAC in the Elite Pro from the Xtreme Gamer card.
post #2015 of 2194
As I discovered... The DAC on the Elite Pro is actually 4 stereo DACs, not just 1 8 channel DAC, so you couldn't just replace it straight chip for chip.

MAYBE it's possible to run just the front 2 channels through 1 of the Elite Pro chips, if you run wires off from all the right traces, haven't looked into voltage requirements etc.

TBH, it's better to upgrade the opamp, if you use it on the lower cards, or upgrade to the Elite Pro and modify that, IMO.
post #2016 of 2194
I am working towards many of the mods on this site already (I have LM4562s, am sourcing Blackgates, will get my iron from home at xmas) but I was just thinking if it would be feasible to upgrade to DAC itself. It certainly doesnt look easy, but I thought maybe even larger gains could maybe be had. Certainly Cirrus even has some chips in a higher line that would work?

I guess an eight channel DAC really limits the available options, especially if you want to keep it that way (8 Channels).

edit: Suggested devices for Pro Audio Mixer

The PCM1609A fits the package size of the Cirrus Logic chip. The voltages look okay... I think. I don't know too much about this; I suppose the card wouldn't have controllers for this chip would it? Or is it a data in data out sort of operation? Could I gift my X-Fi with 192kHz support?
post #2017 of 2194
Just wanted to say, I have used one of these.... (only because I didn't have a 2 pin version)


Using some CAT5e cable, I bodged a SPDIF and ground connection to the pin outs here...


across pins 9 for the center core, and 7 for the ground.

It's working very well, and means you can have the I/O jack running for Mic In, confirmed it works. Very pleased for some crappy wire tbh

Just need a nice method of getting the cable out of the case and I am all sorted (ATM, the SPDIF out goes to my hifi (Sony MD hifi so me and the Mrs can listen at the same time, it has optical in, so goes through a little converter box first).
post #2018 of 2194
Are op amps bypassed when using digital signals like coaxial or toslink? I read it on the forums that someone posted that. just wanted to confirm
post #2019 of 2194
yes. the op amps are in the analog circuit.
post #2020 of 2194
So, I just finished the mod as described by the OP. It was my first time welding anything so it took me a while and I had a rough patch where I was only getting sound out of 1 channel.

After trying again and playing with the solder at the pads i finally have the card functioning normally.

I have one question though.. Does it matter if the soldering job isn't really the cleanest? The area around the opamp looks a little burnt and dirty now, as does the solder at the opamp legs. Kind of black and silverish. Can this affect how well the opamp functions? The way I see it is either current gets through and everything works perfect or it doesn't, there is not an in-between.

If anyone could shed some light on this I'd appreciate it.
post #2021 of 2194
No it doesn't matter. Provided there are no solder bridges or the job is so messy it will short out the card. You said it works, so it works. That being said it is nice to be able to solder nice and neat and that will come with time and practice.
If the card is operating then everything is ok.
post #2022 of 2194

SB Audigy 2 Platinum eX

I've searched but didn't find any specific mention for this; anyone with guidance/experience on doing something like this to an SB Audigy 2 Platinum eX?

I'm a novice with a soldering gun, but from what I've gleaned from the thread, I'd be replacing the opamps and caps in the breakout box that has the 1/4" jacks on it.
post #2023 of 2194
(refering to the eXtremegamer)
Originally Posted by soloz2 View Post
no, the op-amps are not standard SOIC so you cannot swap op-amps. you can do the rest of the mods if you want though
Wait, does this mean that I cannot mod my eXtremegamer card's op-amps? Isn't that the bulk of this mod?

Say it an'it so, I want to mod myself a better card
post #2024 of 2194

Impressions, impressions

I must say that modding is time consuming...

Now, I finally added that misplaced capacitor of mine and the impressions are...not exciting. The card sounds somewhat better than the onboard sound, but stock Elite pro did anyway. There is high noise floor like on my ALC888 I didn't have this kind of things before modding my card. It seems as if the card's sound became more detailed but everything else stayed the same.

It's muddy, not alive and noisy.

Now that is strange, maybe because I have wires instead of decoupling caps, but everybody else seems to be fine without them.

What is stranger though is that I had an Xtreme music card, only replaced the opamp with LM4562 and...I had no left channel because of my crap soldering, BUT...the sound in the left was like a dream...a gave away that card, but I still miss it. It was airy, emotional, involving, sweet, present, strong and the bass just soooo controlled.

I noticed some people complaining about Lm4562 as lifeless and things, and I just couldn't saw why. Now I do...it seems as though the performance vary from piece to piece and the chips are a hit or miss.

There seems to be no other explanation how a badly soldered lm4562 on xtreme music would sound so good on mono, and a perfectly soldered lm4562 on Elite pro without decoupling caps and with a replaced C63 cap to rubycon AND a blackgate NX 1500uf 16v for the power capacitor* sound noisy, have snap, crackle, pop appear, and become emotionless and just plain !

I don't like the sound from it, and only way for the music to have some *meat* to it is to run it through my Little Dot MKIII, but then I lose detail !

WAIT ! I just remembered another difference. I ran my Xtreme music on stereo but through the opamp slot for surrounds. I enabled stereo xpand in the panel and run a normal 2 channel sound through the second left jack. The opamp was placed in the third slot from what I remember. I could also archive the stereo while fiddling in music creation mode. It sounded as spectacular, although mono !

Maybe others had impressions of lm4562 performing different in different cards or different opamp slots ? I wonder if it's just me or maybe some LM's ship faulty or just plain bad

I'll be replacing caps in my elite pro soon, will report how it sounds then, just have to get some quality caps, and money for it ! If anybody's interested I could upload the pic's of my elite pro, but I doubt it would be helpful.

Sorry for the long rant, food for thought though


*it's supposed to not change the sound that much or at all, only eliminating noise because of the filtering
post #2025 of 2194
How much DC offset is there with no caps in place btw?

And it is certainly very strange that it sounds so poor in comparison
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