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Hotrodding the X-Fi: A Layman's Guide (No 56k) - Page 143

post #2131 of 2194

I have an X-Fi XtremeGamer low profile, so i order some LME49720HA to testing.



Also the card has an extra 3.5mm jack for 7.1.


Skipping the desoldering process, Lme in plastic improve adaptor.


4556a Ttsop8 was removed, its just a little tricky.




Direct solder of the opa to the board.






RMAA doesnt says an accurate veredict cause recording settings in x-fi panel affect results, i didnt notice but i made a mistake taking samples cause that there´s no detail of RMAA for the moment.



THD change from 0.0038% to 0.0022%

IMD + Noise 0.0058% to 0.0041%





First, changing the opa doesnt affect the ouput volume i think changing lme is "compatible"(also is the same opa change of xtreme music).

I tested some flac of Miku Hatsune, voice pitch are more clear, loudly and defined, highs tones just sounds diferent, like separed and distinguible, bass are more contundent.


Im not an audiophile but i can notice that changing the opa improves the sound around 20% just worth the efford.




Edited by Master1280 - 3/18/11 at 4:35pm
post #2132 of 2194

Did you really have to use leads that long?

post #2133 of 2194

The main Op-Amp has a dot to indicate pin 1 but none of the surround Op-amp has that. Can I assume if I replace the old surround Op-Amps I can just follow which way the letters are facing? 

post #2134 of 2194


post #2135 of 2194

I went to cut the old main op-amp out and I did but the solder pad for pin 4 came off the board. Does anyone know where I can reroute pin 4 on the LM4562 to?

post #2136 of 2194

Pin 4 is -V supply.

post #2137 of 2194
Originally Posted by Mad Max View Post

Pin 4 is -V supply.

Thanks for the quick reponse, really appreciate it! I want to jump a small wire from pin 4 to where it needs to go but where can I tap -V on the board? I can't see the traces on the PCB from all the flux left behind. I read some where that C72 supplies -5vdc to the Op-amps, think I can tap off there?


post #2138 of 2194

Not sure.  I no longer have a soundcard to look at, lol.  hopefully someone who does know can chime in soon.

You can't wipe off the flux with a paper towel or something?  There shouldn't be any problem with that as long as you remain well grounded.

post #2139 of 2194

Alright, fixed it. Probed around the Main Op-amp area and found that the hole on the right of the the resistor underneath pin 4 of the Main Op-amp supplied about -5.10V. Took a short length 28 AWG wire and jumped from that hole to pin 4 of the op-amp and all good! Borrowed the OP's picture just to illustrate where I jumped in case anyone in the future has the same problem.



post #2140 of 2194

h1tman  (PM)

"...I fount a smd part that seems to be burned but i am mot sure. It`s number is U22. It is situated
just below the X-FI light, near the power plug. Can you tell me what is this part??..."


SB-0550 - U22 Identification

ST Microelectronics
7800 Series Regulator
Package: SOT-89

Part Number(s):
L78L09C   Grade: +/- 8%   9vdc output
L78L09AC  Grade: +/- 4%   9vdc output


Hope this helps and good luck...


SB0550-U22 Picture-800.jpg

post #2141 of 2194

Hello guys, I really appreciated this modding idea, I love good sound, but I ran into problems...

I have an X-fi music.

I decided to change its ompamp and short the 4 capacitors.

I was self confident, because I have already soldered and dissoldered SMD.

So I dissoldered the old opamp by putting a bid of solder on all the pins and I took it off very fast, to not overheat the board.

I cleaned the excess solder with a copper wick.

Then I took the nice LM4562, glued it with scotch tape, put a drop of homemade flux (rosin in methanol) and soldered the pins fast and gently. I also shorted the caps.

Result: job done very well, very good joints, at least they seem. Everything was clean around the opamp

So then I plugged the card... Oh god, the sound was kind of crispy. I mean, there was some kind of crackling which frequency was 1:1 synchronous with the one of music. I mean, if I want to listen to 50Hz, the crackling is also at the same frequency. But I could also feel the magic sound in same time.

I tried to unshorten the caps... Then one of the channels stopped working.

Then I tried reinstalling the drivers and moving the card to another PCI slot.. Both channes were online again, but the sound were still crispy..

Now I reinstalled the drivers again and only the left channel is working, the right sound very low. Stereo channels just gives a bad crispy sound.

Good thing I found a picture with the traces of the connections. But gonna take a look at the card tomorrow.


post #2142 of 2194

Guys, I'm really confused.

I checked with a multimeter every conductive path to the 1-8 pins of the opamp. They all were OK

I decided to replace the opamp with the same new one. I didn't change a thing :(

I checked the paths conductivity again, they were ok.

I don't see any component missing. I can't remember  being rude, touching or ripping something with my soldering gun.

The solderings are very clean and neat.

I can't understand what is going on.

I shorted the 4 caps again and the crackling noise went down quite much, but I can still hear it a little. But only the left channel works...


post #2143 of 2194

Hi all !


After horrible soldering jobs and 3 cards later I can atest that it should not be a beginners soldering venture. It's hard , if not impossible to do for a novice in soldering. 


Saying all that I soldered one Xtrememusic wrong, The left channel was working, beautifully but on it's own it was meh anyway...

anyway I gave it to my friend and he did some soldering on it, which was bad as well but to our amazement he made both channels work beautifully like it was a 1000 quid dac. It made Creative inspire's sound like B&W Nautilius ;)


Thinking I could replicate his feat I bought Elite pro, was thinking I would be smart and give it to an electrician. He soldered everything nice and clean, but the sound was incomparable to xtreme music which was botched but sounding awesome. It had LM4562 and shortened coupling caps. It sounded okay but not magical and emotional at all like the other did. 


I was planning to take it somewhere to get more mods done on it, but I've lost it somewhere dunno where...


So I bought another Xtreme music thinking elite pro could not compare for some reason. Try to desolder front opamp...the **** pad came off again ! this time I was going with AD8599. I thought ****..I've screwed another card....could have bought a decent DAC by now. But studying Criminology at uni taught me rational thinking. 

If the first card was botched and my friend botched it to the point of no return, maybe I could replicate this ingeniousness ? 


And so I went into soldering rage and desoldered all opamps apart from the one for mic input as BAD as I could. And  what ?


IT F****NG WORKS ! The sound is beautiful, distortion free and so bloody pleasant I can't understand why. But who cares it's working. And it's not as quiet as I thought it would be. 


For those who have destroyed their pads and thought their card is junk and beyond repair, desolder those bastard opamps (unless you are without a separate decoupling in a headphone amp or speaker amp that is) and make your card sing again.


Pictures and RMAA results tomorrow ! 


post #2144 of 2194

x-fi without opamp

et voila !

post #2145 of 2194

So I bought a regular PCI-E X-Fi Titanium SB880 (the one without the shield) about a year ago and just finished this mod. I'm not an audiophile by any means and just using some simple JVC HA-RX700 with some basic mods, but got to say this mod makes music sound much much nicer. Mainly using my computer for gaming, so I'll soon see how that works out.


I've done a few simple SMD soldering jobs before, but my method is not quite perfect yet. This was actually very easy. I use an 80 watt temp controlled soldering iron mainly cause I don't have to heat soak any components.


So I know many have been changing the caps for the PCI version, but there seems to be very little information on the PCI-E version. Can you change any cap with the same rating Elna Silmic II? I've actually got quite a few and was thinking of just changing out a few caps. Would it make a difference?

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