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Hotrodding the X-Fi: A Layman's Guide (No 56k) - Page 24

post #346 of 2194
just reading this guid and thinking instead of using expensive ERS paper why not get better sheilding from a metal plate in a plastic bag stuck onto the card?
post #347 of 2194
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kipman725 View Post
just reading this guid and thinking instead of using expensive ERS paper why not get better sheilding from a metal plate in a plastic bag stuck onto the card?
yes, it should work the same.
post #348 of 2194
Quote:
Originally Posted by kipman725 View Post
just reading this guid and thinking instead of using expensive ERS paper why not get better sheilding from a metal plate in a plastic bag stuck onto the card?
Did that a year ago with a Oxford Compass kit;made no difference whatsoever.
post #349 of 2194
Quote:
I'm just saying that the Blackgate sounds better because it's a Blackgate, not because the capacitance is larger. Reason is because people are asking questions like "Can I use 2200uF computer-grade capacitors?" I don't think they will create the same difference I heard with the Blackgates.
Agreed. If someone thinks of another cap type, the Nichicon "Muse" KZ (KG you suggested is updated to KZ) would be a good choice, but NOT the computer grade capacitors. Did you test the "runtime" with an amp in the setup?
BTW Blackgate alone does make quite a difference too.
post #350 of 2194

Successful opamp transplantation

I would like to report another successful LM4562 mod.

The soundcard used is an XFi XMusic which i purchased a few days ago. The opamp came directly from national semiconductor, 11$ shipping fee (for that a UPS bus drove up to my house and i had to sign for the insured package, so i don't think i was overcharged, altough regular airmail in a padded envelope would've worked for me..)

The result is very impressive. The difference in sound is immediately clear, the basses are tighter, highs are cleaner, the whole sound is, subjectively, improved quite dramatically. I have not changed the power capacitor (yet).

As for the actual procedure..
I cut off the old chip using a fine sidecutter, used copper wick to clean up the solderbumps from the connector pads (this will help proper placement of the new chip even if it doesnt look neccesary).

By far the hardest part for me (very shaky hands due to tiredness..) was placing the chip perfectly into position and keeping it there while fixating the first leg.

Once the first leg is soldered just royally apply tin to each leg, and use copper wick to remove the excess tin. This took no more then a minute or two, much easier then the placement part!

I was really in no shape to do this sort of thing when i did it.. but patience is not one of my virtues.. now that i'm able to actually *see* it properly on the closeup, I realize I could've removed a bit more tin but i'll leave that for when i do the capacitor bit

Other notes: I did not bother to ground my soldering station but did do the procedure barefoot. I set the temp knob on the solder station about 1/3 the way up (~250C). No need to get hotter then needed to melt tin.

Sorry for the lengthy post but maybe someone who plans to do this mod finds some information in it.. And for those who doubt: yes its very much worth the trouble.

Finally a big thank you to cotdt for doing this mod and posting about it! Knowing I could improve it made me decide to get an XFi and i'm very happy I did. Before the mod, I had mixed feelings about the sound.. I only did the opamp mod yet so far but wow what a difference.. Thanks!

Result:

post #351 of 2194
Maybe it may help to put down some hot glue to hold the chip in the proper place prior to soldering it. I guess nobody has decided to put in chip sockets instead? so you could try out different amps. Though the LM are very nice soudning chips.
post #352 of 2194
there isn't really room for sockets or anything like that. Recall we are working with SOIC op-amps here.

Basically you want to solder one pin and then you can twist the op-amp into place and then solder the diagonal pin, go back and reset the first pin and then go on to the rest
post #353 of 2194
For those of you having problems with space for the blackgate cap. You can also solder the cap onto the back of the board and it will work fine. (this of course is if you have room under the card.)
post #354 of 2194
As to the "glue down the op-amp before soldering" thing... you can do that with a paste flux. If you're doing surface-mount soldering and don't know why you'd need flux, I recommend finding out!

As to the chip socket thing, the BrownDog range of adapters are well-regarded. Whether you'll have room in your computer for it is another matter...
post #355 of 2194
Another question to cotdt or anyone else that may know:

I checked my local hifi component store and they have regular black gates and 'nonpolar' black gates. The latter are said to be better and cost accordingly, but are they fit for this situation?
post #356 of 2194
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by phalanger View Post
Another question to cotdt or anyone else that may know:

I checked my local hifi component store and they have regular black gates and 'nonpolar' black gates. The latter are said to be better and cost accordingly, but are they fit for this situation?
Of course. I'm surprised that they sell Blackgates locally.
post #357 of 2194
Me too, and very pleased

http://www.hificollective.co.uk/comp...gate_caps.html

(thats not my local store.. but shows them all)

Nonpolar would be the red ones i take it? they come in 470uF max. Could you explain in two sentences what the difference is between regular and nonpolar?
post #358 of 2194
Anyone thought of using the FK series Blackgate cap instead of the Standard? There is a 1000uf 16v model or a 220uf 16v.
post #359 of 2194
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by phalanger View Post
Me too, and very pleased

http://www.hificollective.co.uk/comp...gate_caps.html

(thats not my local store.. but shows them all)

Nonpolar would be the red ones i take it? they come in 470uF max. Could you explain in two sentences what the difference is between regular and nonpolar?
the color of the nonpolars can be red or black. the nonpolars are bigger. certain applications require nonpolar caps.
post #360 of 2194
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by M3NTAL View Post
Anyone thought of using the FK series Blackgate cap instead of the Standard? There is a 1000uf 16v model or a 220uf 16v.
probably a better choice, now that i think about it.
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