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Hotrodding the X-Fi: A Layman's Guide (No 56k) - Page 36

post #526 of 2194
Quote:
Originally Posted by cotdt View Post
they are coupling caps. they are put between the DAC and opamps.
Something like this? :

But why is there 4 of them for 2 channels?
post #527 of 2194
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by qwerty009 View Post
Something like this? :

But why is there 4 of them for 2 channels?
they are in parallel... so 22uF + 22uF
post #528 of 2194
Just finished with the mod, improvement was day and night! no more harsh highs and distorted instruments!!

Im now able to listen to recordings I used to refuse to listen to , the sound stage got wider and the bass is much accurate with a RICH CLEAR treble.

I gotta admit I was doubting how much of a major improvement it would do but it really did make a huge diffrence. Thanks to cotdt and the head-fi members for bringing up important questions that hepled me alot in the modding process.
post #529 of 2194
i dont know whats is going wrong,i am burning in the blackagate nx 24h continuosly since a week and i dont hear any sound diference.
post #530 of 2194
Quote:
Originally Posted by kirimaru View Post
i dont know whats is going wrong,i am burning in the blackagate nx 24h continuosly since a week and i dont hear any sound diference.
First, is the power cap the only upgrade you did? if so it will be harder to hear differences in sound then say if you replaced the op-amps.

We have been talking at length about how long it takes blackgates to burn in and you haven't even reached the 200hour mark. It might need some more time
post #531 of 2194
sorry,its the first time i am using blackgate,i never had to wait to long for other caps and thats why i am confused.
about opamp i am using the ad8599,for me the ad8599 sound more wider soundstage and realistic than the lm4562(in my opinion).
post #532 of 2194
Racked up about 100hrs on my 1000uf Blackgate (non-polar) and since putting it in there's definately an improvment.

Bass seems a bit deeper, more rounded and has a nice kick/punch to it. Vocal range seems to be tighter now as well.

This is running through an EL34 PP amp and integrated tube preamp through into my mishmash of drivers.


Can't wait to change the opamp but gonna leave the blackgate burn in for another week or two just to see if it develops any problems like a few have mentioned.
post #533 of 2194
If anyone is willing to mod my XtremeMusic for me, I'd be happy to pay for it. If you have the parts to mod these things and can send it back to me modded and in perfect condition, PM me please! I'd much rather have this card modded than have to buy an 0404USB and let my card go to waste!
post #534 of 2194
Why not use the AD8620 for the opamps ? It's meant to work with low voltages(like the +/- 2.5V supplied to them from the card) and it has a max current output of 60mA with much better slew rate,THD,distortion,lower crosstalk.
I have replaced the stocks with AD8620s for your information.
post #535 of 2194
Quote:
Originally Posted by Herbal View Post
Racked up about 100hrs on my 1000uf Blackgate (non-polar) and since putting it in there's definately an improvment.

Bass seems a bit deeper, more rounded and has a nice kick/punch to it. Vocal range seems to be tighter now as well.

This is running through an EL34 PP amp and integrated tube preamp through into my mishmash of drivers.


Can't wait to change the opamp but gonna leave the blackgate burn in for another week or two just to see if it develops any problems like a few have mentioned.
I fear alll your hear is a result of the placebo. The biggest improvement comes with the change of opamps and the addition of 0.1 uF caps left out by Creative.

Read the DAC ,Voltage Regulator and opamp datasheets and look at their ideal implementation diagrams.Notice the missing capacitor ?
post #536 of 2194
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ]|[ GorE View Post
Why not use the AD8620 for the opamps ? It's meant to work with low voltages(like the +/- 2.5V supplied to them from the card) and it has a max current output of 60mA with much better slew rate,THD,distortion,lower crosstalk.
I have replaced the stocks with AD8620s for your information.
i have tried the AD8620 and AD8066, but the LM4562 sounds better to my ears. the AD8620 is thin and bright.
post #537 of 2194
Quote:
Originally Posted by cotdt View Post
i have tried the AD8620 and AD8066, but the LM4562 sounds better to my ears. the AD8620 is thin and bright.
Yes,the AD8620s do sound thin than the stock JM4556 but they have an excellent soundstage and instrument separation,IMO.The vocals were the cynosure with the JM4556 with a tubby base.Not so with the ADs.

Maybe I'll try the LM4562s.
post #538 of 2194
Did caps mod today. Shorted those 20uf front channel caps and replaced 220uf Jamicon with 1200uf 16V from one broken Abit nf7 mobo (im sure it aint the best but since it has greates capacity it shoult be better?). It's hard to get good cap where i live
Opamp has been replaced some months ago. Went for ad8620 becouse had nothing else good available.
About the improvment...
When i changed opamp there was a clear improvment but after caps mod - well maybe there is something but definetly nothing big.
Some pics:


post #539 of 2194
I think quality of the capacitor is more helpful for the sound then its capacity, but you can't do much worse then the jamicon so it shouldn't hurt.

About the coupling caps I wonder if I'm the only one where shorting them made the sound worse instead of better. Without coupling caps I get distortion when I drive XFi volume higher than 50-60%. With coupling caps theres no distortion at any volume.
I'm now using 2 coupling caps instead of 4, 10uF each, seems to be enough. Notice they are parallel not serial so to use 2 the remaining 2 arent shorted but taken out the circuit.
Also I tried some anti static/interference 'paper' and it was more noticable then I expected, made the sound a little more laid back and 'rounded'.
post #540 of 2194
Quote:
Originally Posted by phalanger View Post

About the coupling caps I wonder if I'm the only one where shorting them made the sound worse instead of better. Without coupling caps I get distortion when I drive XFi volume higher than 50-60%. With coupling caps theres no distortion at any volume.
I'm now using 2 coupling caps instead of 4, 10uF each, seems to be enough. Notice they are parallel not serial so to use 2 the remaining 2 arent shorted but taken out the circuit.
I ran RMAA test after shorting the caps and it showd basically same results as before so it should be safe to say that there didnt come extra distortion.

Btw can u point out what caps are for left and what for right channel?
And theres still one thing bothering me, if those are coupling caps ment for blocking dv voltage from dac then how someone mesured 2,5V DC from them? (there was post like this somewhere here).

About the big cap... Low ESR cap was reccomended. should ESR value be as low as possible or is there some limits? Are there some other important values that i should turn intention to?
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