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Hotrodding the X-Fi: A Layman's Guide (No 56k) - Page 50

post #736 of 2194
WOW! Now understand that I really don't have alot to compare to, as my old setup was no match for my new one, (<-- still in need of a pimeta, PLEASE COME BACK SOON MISTERX!!!) but all I can say is WOW! This new setup rocks! I can't wait to get an amp and this thing truly kick some butt! Thank you so much to Soloz2 and cotdt for thier help and for everyone in the forums. DO THIS MOD, you will be pleased in the end!
post #737 of 2194
wow.. anti static bag really make a big difference.. i tried removing it and all the songs sound so muddy(the high freqency component seems to be less, making it sounds muddy)... with anti static bag back on improve the sound...
post #738 of 2194
Quote:
Originally Posted by PPkiller View Post
wow.. anti static bag really make a big difference.. i tried removing it and all the songs sound so muddy(the high freqency component seems to be less, making it sounds muddy)... with anti static bag back on improve the sound...
the modded Xfi should not sound 'muddy' without ESD shielding. But yeah the ESD bags do work nicely, I used several of them to build a cage of sorts around the card, but with enough breathing room between the card and the shielding layers.

I got confirmation of a bunch of opamps from AD being sent my way, so more soldering fun up soon (line-in and surround chans) Pm@c: yeah some get them for free from National, not me but Analog sent them free of charge, maybe cause I used my uni address there and didn't with National. I'll probably try a few different ones on the line-in position to see which works best (my turntable tends to be hooked upto it and guitars), ill record some samples of each and compare and report if there are any notable differences.

*grooving it to his pimped up XFi as he writes, thanks again cotdt *
post #739 of 2194
or maybe i rephrase... with anti static bag.. the highs is MUCH better... :-)
post #740 of 2194
Thats strange because the anti static bag had an adverse affect on the sound for me. With the anti-static bag on I was getting alot of crackling and harsh sounds. I didnt like it very much at all. I got rid of the bag and it sounds so much better. I think it might depend on your PC too, mine is crowded with lots of wires (which I NEED to clean up some day, although its been messy for the whole 2 years I have had it with no problems yet). but yeah I guess its just preference. I personally dont like the static bag.
post #741 of 2194
Well, I did the LM4562 mod for the main line out, and the cap (470uF blackgate)...

Here's a pic of my cunning use of masking tape to hold the new op-amp in place while I soldered the first corner, damn thing kept slipping around everytime it saw the soldering iron!



and then here is the capacitor, mounted vertically, I have plenty of space, the soundcard is in the last (bottom) pci slot.



I was going to try and do some kinda RMAA tests of before and after, but I'm just enjoying the new clarity and liveness of the music. It's like I have new ears lol

cotdt, thankyou for making this guide/thread, I've made my own thread over at Overclockersclub.com if you would like to link to it or use pictures from it in this one
post #742 of 2194
Thread Starter 
ah i haven't been to overclockersclub for a while. yes i will post a link! cool!
post #743 of 2194
Damn this should be a sticky.
post #744 of 2194
Quote:
Originally Posted by hardnrg View Post
Well, I did the LM4562 mod for the main line out, and the cap (470uF blackgate)...

Here's a pic of my cunning use of masking tape to hold the new op-amp in place while I soldered the first corner, damn thing kept slipping around everytime it saw the soldering iron!
Nice looking job hardnrg . The masking tape is a smart idea I'll keep that in mind for next time cause those soic's do get very jumpy
post #745 of 2194
See I cant keep my capacitor straight up like that. I had to keep the legs full length and bend it over, since I have a PhysX card (need to put it in the last spot and X-Fi in the top spot with my modem in between. My PC is REALLY crowded. I need a new one..
post #746 of 2194
Guys im going to jump on the bandwagon here and mod my xfi xtreme music.

I have 3 of the op-amps en-route from NS, I am still up in the air about changing out the power cap or not.

If I do Im looking at probably a

470Uf 16v FK Black Gate (polarized)

or a

470Uf 16v N Black Gate (non polarized)

Im still trying to determin the effects of a larger cap and if it lead to any of the problems I read about on page 25 of this thread, also the effects of polar vs non-polar.

I have like 8 more pages to read before I have read the whole thread but I wanted to post this up in the mean time.

I am concerned with this:

Quote:
Ok, I've looked at the data.

Input voltage is matched, pins are matched, output voltage is almost matched (LM4562 a little higher), LM4562 itself uses a little more power (few mA).
On the plus side:
LM4562 has 20V/us slew rate vs 3V/us of the old opamp. Distortion, noise rejection, etc.: it's all better. BUT...
On the minus side:
LM4562 is capable of delivering 23mA, while the old opamp can do 70mA. Also, the old opamp can handle low resistance loads better than the LM4562 (though it does lead to higher distortion).

The NJM4556 is specificly made for directly driving headphones, while the LM4562 is the better "preamp". My conclusion: it's close enough to use as a drop-in replacement, provided you know what you're doing. If you want to plug in your headphone without amplification, it's possible the original opamp is a better choice.
So this applies to me directly, I run my soundcard to a splitter one goes to my sterio to amp for my speakers when I want to play loud or watch a movie. The other side goes to my headphones for when I want max SQ or have to be quiet. Note that I dont have both plugged in at the same time, I always unplug my headphones when not in use as to not actually have the signal running to two sources at once.

Here is the specs on my headphones.

Audio Technica A700's
Type: Closed Dynamic
Driver Unit: 53mm, CCAW voice coil
Magnet: Neodymium
Frequency response: 5-35,000 Hz
Impedence: 64Ω
Max. Input Power: 500mW
Sensitivity: 102dB

They drive quite nice directly from the sound card wich was a priority of mine when I was buying them since I didnt want to have to buy an amp and also maybe use them with somthing like an Ipod down the road if need be.

50% volume on the creative panel is about perfect for me, so based on what I quoted above, what do I need to expect to happen with my direct soundcard ==> headphone connection after I do the mod?
post #747 of 2194
Thread Starter 
the soundcard can drive your headphones, but consider getting an amp if you want good sound quality. if you're using 50% volume, then you're losing detail. the amount of detail and dynamics you lose is proportional to the amount of digital volume attenuation. the volume should always be set to 100% and the attenuation should be done in analog.
post #748 of 2194
I can just plug them into my sterio as the amp, however I heard you lose SQ running a pre-amp like that and your best off directly from the sound card.

Mayhaps I can rig an adapter from parts @ radio shack that has a 1/8 in/out with some resistance in the circut so I have proper listening volume at 100%, maybe an aduustable resistor of sorts??

I cant tell a diffrence in SQ from 50% volume to 100% with my sterio and its a professional series type amp, also my speakers are what I would consider quality awell (Klipsh Quintet III) Infact I think I put the volume to 50% for my sterio vs 100% because there was distortion at 100% but its been so long I cant remember.
post #749 of 2194
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ViciousXUSMC View Post
I can just plug them into my sterio as the amp, however I heard you lose SQ running a pre-amp like that and your best off directly from the sound card.

Mayhaps I can rig an adapter from parts @ radio shack that has a 1/8 in/out with some resistance in the circut so I have proper listening volume at 100%, maybe an aduustable resistor of sorts??

I cant tell a diffrence in SQ from 50% volume to 100% with my sterio and its a professional series type amp, also my speakers are what I would consider quality awell (Klipsh Quintet III) Infact I think I put the volume to 50% for my sterio vs 100% because there was distortion at 100% but its been so long I cant remember.
the output of your sound card has poor dampening compared to an amp. the improvements that come with an amp outweigh the disadvantages. consider that you attenuate the volume 1/8 of the original volume and play 16-bit music. then mathematically you are listening to 12-bit! try an experiment where you set your digital volume to minimum and your amp gain to the max, then listen. you'll notice that there is very little dynamics and it will sound flat and mushy. you might not notice with 50% but you're still losing bits.

if you're going to do that resistor trick you might as well use a volume pot. in any case the sound quality won't be very good with the poor dampening of sound straight out of the sound card.
post #750 of 2194
ViciousXUSMC - installed my 1000uf Non-polar blackgate 1 month ago and since then have aquired over 200hrs of use and no issues whatsoever.
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