Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Computer Audio › Hotrodding the X-Fi: A Layman's Guide (No 56k)
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Hotrodding the X-Fi: A Layman's Guide (No 56k) - Page 4

post #46 of 2182
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jo427 View Post

What did you use for an insulation layer between the ERS paper and the card? Also, you hot glued the Blackgate Cap to the board with a layer of ERS paper under the cap? Did you use an insulation layer there, and everyplace you used the ERS paper?
I used a mousepad. Anything works. The ERS paper is actually not even conductive when I measured it. I put some ERS Paper on the chips because it's potentially a source of EMI, but it probably doesn't make any difference. I would just use it on the DAC chip and the entire back side of the card. I glued the capacitor to prevent it from vibrating.
post #47 of 2182
Be aware that the card puts out about 30millivolt D.C. with stock op amp at output with the coupling caps shorted. This may not seem like a lot & in most cases its not but if you have D.C. coupled amps upstream without D.C. offset compensation you can cause the amp to over heat & possably damage you amp & speakers.

You will also notice some popping sounds as the computer is booting up & shutting down.

That said the mod is really worth it especially if you have D.C. coupled amps that have D.C. offset protection. I'v done this to mine over a year ago & all my amps are D.C. coupled but with D.C. offset protection in my preamp. The sound is as good or better than my SACD player (SCD222ES).
post #48 of 2182
Very interesting Hotrodding, I would like to do it on my X-Fi Elite Pro but not on the card itself ( because the card is very imprtant to me it might be damaged if something done wrong) therefore I would like to do it in the breakbox which should be faster than doing it in the card,

so if the detail of Hotrodding the breakbox can be provided it will be very easy and more safe . .
post #49 of 2182
Quote:
Originally Posted by germanium View Post
Be aware that the card puts out about 30millivolt D.C. with stock op amp at output with the coupling caps shorted. This may not seem like a lot & in most cases its not but if you have D.C. coupled amps upstream without D.C. offset compensation you can cause the amp to over heat & possably damage you amp & speakers.

You will also notice some popping sounds as the computer is booting up & shutting down.

That said the mod is really worth it especially if you have D.C. coupled amps that have D.C. offset protection. I'v done this to mine over a year ago & all my amps are D.C. coupled but with D.C. offset protection in my preamp. The sound is as good or better than my SACD player (SCD222ES).
I have a Xtremegamer and would like to do this mod, but this sounds dangerous. How do I know what I have? I uses xfi analog out to headfive and dt990. Will I damage my amp and headphones with this mod?
post #50 of 2182
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Henmyr View Post
I have a Xtremegamer and would like to do this mod, but this sounds dangerous. How do I know what I have? I uses xfi analog out to headfive and dt990. Will I damage my amp and headphones with this mod?
What germanium did was DC-couple all his equipment, which is very good for sound quality but not as safe (although this can also be safe). If you use stock amp, 99% of the gear I've come across comes with input filter capacitors so you should be safe. To be absolutely safe, it's best to change opamps and the capacitors at the same time. I'm quite sure that with the LM4562s installed, you should get less than 10mV DC which is not a problem at all. Seriously though, even with the stock opamps the chances of equipment damage is small.

Edit: The Corda Headfive should be safe. If I remember correctly, he used WIMAS in the signal path.
post #51 of 2182

fun with a soldering iron

The prospect of making a dull sound card sound great is intriguing. The safe handling of the ERS paper also seems to be a vague art form. Why not just insert big sheets of it inside the computer case to separate the card form everything else? I am in the market for the best DAC in the $700 or less category and the more reviews I read (many good ones on head-fi) the more I go round and round.

Opinions differ greatly. It seems the benchmark can be beat for less $$. The Audio Note kits are $2,000+. Maybe the new Stello DA100? Which dealers sell Stello in America???
post #52 of 2182
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jo427 View Post
The prospect of making a dull sound card sound great is intriguing. The safe handling of the ERS paper also seems to be a vague art form. Why not just insert big sheets of it inside the computer case to separate the card form everything else? I am in the market for the best DAC in the $700 or less category and the more reviews I read (many good ones on head-fi) the more I go round and round.

Opinions differ greatly. It seems the benchmark can be beat for less $$. The Audio Note kits are $2,000+. Maybe the new Stello DA100? Which dealers sell Stello in America???
Yes I agree that the Benchmark is not too hard to beat these days. When it first came out it was a giant killer, but now it itself has become the giant that new cheaper DACs aim to kill.

Stello DA100 does look like a killer because it has discrete outputs and a very good AKM DAC chip, but I wonder why it is priced so cheap. Maybe it is indeed a killer, or maybe they cut corners somewhere. I am trying to find someone who has this DAC so I can do a shootout against my modded Zhaolu, which is my reference because it has beaten the Aqvox, Apogee, and Lavry in shootouts. My Zhaolu has the Zapfilter discrete output which is a proven and famous design.
post #53 of 2182
Does anybody know which is the correspondence between the surround op-amps and the output channels? I only have 3 lm4562 amps and I would like to replace those corresponding to the 5.1 output.

Thanks!
post #54 of 2182
I have not looked closely, but they are probably directly in order with the way the jacks are.... shortest traces and all.
post #55 of 2182
I want to get an Xtrememusic and try this mod out but I am nervous about soldering because I am terrible at it.

Maybe I'll use my Audigy 2ZS as a test subject

For clarification on the opamp model number from national semiconductor, it's the LM4562MASOIC NARROW, right?
post #56 of 2182
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AngryGuy View Post
I want to get an Xtrememusic and try this mod out but I am nervous about soldering because I am terrible at it.

Maybe I'll use my Audigy 2ZS as a test subject

For clarification on the opamp model number from national semiconductor, it's the LM4562MA SOIC NARROW, right?
Yes, the number is LM4562MA. The other one is the DIP8 version which is much bigger and require a Browndog adaptor to work. Yes, use the Audigy as your test subject! But you'll be more than happy with the X-Fi. They did a much better job on the drivers and software aspect of it, and it doesn't resample anymore. The X-Fi is a good product, and I used to be a Creative basher but now they do an excellent job.
post #57 of 2182
im not sure about terminology like opamps and stuff like that, but i was wondering, aside from cleaner sound, does this mod increase the amount of current that the card can put out, or is it strictly a mod to increase the quality of the sound that it puts out?
post #58 of 2182
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Soymilk View Post
im not sure about terminology like opamps and stuff like that, but i was wondering, aside from cleaner sound, does this mod increase the amount of current that the card can put out, or is it strictly a mod to increase the quality of the sound that it puts out?
sound quality. although it does use a larger power supply capacitor so it might also help deliver more current. you'll still need an amp or maybe just a dedicated buffer to drive most full-sized headphones. the card can directly drive the AKG K701, but it's clearly not getting enough current so dynamics suffers.
post #59 of 2182
This thread is so killing me. I can't wait to see the update when the parts get to you and you recap the card. You are crazy cool for doing this for me. Thanks!
post #60 of 2182
Quote:
Originally Posted by cotdt View Post
sound quality. although it does use a larger power supply capacitor so it might also help deliver more current. you'll still need an amp or maybe just a dedicated buffer to drive most full-sized headphones. the card can directly drive the AKG K701, but it's clearly not getting enough current so dynamics suffers.
kinda off topic, but what's a dedicated buffer?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Computer Audio
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Computer Audio › Hotrodding the X-Fi: A Layman's Guide (No 56k)