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 6

post #76 of 2181
Quote:
Originally Posted by Soymilk View Post
hmm... how much of a difference is there between the cs4382 DAC in the xtrememusic etc vs the cs4398 in the elite pro? and is there any difference between the xtrememusic etc that would matter?

also, for the option of getting different caps and replacing all of the caps on the soundcard, am i interpreting this wrong or do you mean replace all 20+ capacitors on the soundcard? (unless i'm stupid and am thinking of the wrong thing as capacitors)
quoted my question cuz it got no attention
post #77 of 2181
bedtime so soon? darn
post #78 of 2181
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Soymilk View Post
hmm... how much of a difference is there between the cs4382 DAC in the xtrememusic etc vs the cs4398 in the elite pro? and is there any difference between the xtrememusic etc that would matter?

also, for the option of getting different caps and replacing all of the caps on the soundcard, am i interpreting this wrong or do you mean replace all 20+ capacitors on the soundcard? (unless i'm stupid and am thinking of the wrong thing as capacitors)
you're going to have to hear them for yourself, because no one has ever modded an Elite Pro that i know of. however, there are some modded Zhaolu's with CS4398 and LM4562s and it should sound the same.

Yes, you can replace all the Jamicon capacitors. There are probably 20-30 on the board but half of them are coupling capacitors which you want to short anyway. I beleive you short almost a dozen capacitors if you do the surround channels and certain others, so in reality you're only replacing a dozen or so capacitors. This is entirely optional anyway, it doesn't affect sound quality. Personally, I would only replace the larger capacitors.
post #79 of 2181
I have a question. I would like to try out the mode, but afraid to do so my self

PS: I already screwed up pretty badly while moding my Deck Legend Keyboard

A 160 dollar keyboard

So currently, I am not so confident toward my soldering skill


So, here is the biggest question, would anyone do this for me?

I will pay for the shipping the component and even for the moding job as long as they are in a reasonable price. Thank you
post #80 of 2181
I am seriously considering picking up an extra x-fi card or two, modding them and then selling on other forums that are not quite as into DIY then here. Regardless of if I do that I plan to mod my x-fi. I just have to look into the budget to see if I can do it this month or if I need to wait till next month. I already have the op-amps on order

I want to see how the analogue out sounds compared to the digital out to either my upgraded Zhaolu 1.3 or my Beresford MKIII. If I like the analogue out better I'll skip the external DAC altogether... but if I still like one or the other DACs better then I'll look into upgrading the digital out.
post #81 of 2181
Quote:
Originally Posted by cotdt View Post
To add to that, for digital you want to do a different set of mods. This is taken from Empirical Audio's website for the E-MU but it applies to any sound card including the X-Fi:

Digital Sound Card Mods
===================================
This E-MU PCI card has several opportunities to improve the S/PDIF out, including reducing the output voltage (3X the spec), improving power delivery and precisely matching to 75 ohms. After the mod is installed, the S/PDIF output is 500mV peak-to-peak. The impedance is perfectly matched to 75 ohms and the risetime is an unprecedented 5 nsec, allowing use of very short S/PDIF cables. The manufacturer cannot design it this way because they would likely fail emissions testing. However, most audiophiles are expected to use high-quality S/PDIF cables, so the emissions should not be an issue.

S/PDIF mod Details:

1. Change pulse transformer
2. Impedance match to 75 ohms
3. Add power decoupling to decoder and driver chips
4. Improve digital coupling caps
5. Remove various filter components
Would these S/PDIF mods be worthwhile? Has anyone done these and reported on the outcome?
post #82 of 2181
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick63 View Post
Would these S/PDIF mods be worthwhile? Has anyone done these and reported on the outcome?
I'm pretty sure it would make a difference, but personally for digital I would use an I2S connection. Most modern DACs can be modified to accept I2S. This would be good for minimizing jitter. This is only worth it if the DAC was very high-end. Most budget external DACs would probably be beaten by a analog-modded X-Fi.
post #83 of 2181
Quote:
Originally Posted by cotdt View Post
I'm pretty sure it would make a difference, but personally for digital I would use an I2S connection. Most modern DACs can be modified to accept I2S. This would be good for minimizing jitter. This is only worth it if the DAC was very high-end. Most budget external DACs would probably be beaten by a analog-modded X-Fi.
How would you get I2S out of a computer and which sub $1000 dacs will already accept it?
post #84 of 2181
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick63 View Post
How would you get I2S out of a computer and which sub $1000 dacs will already accept it?
For output, dddac.de has instructions on making a USB-to-I2S convertor, and empirical audio also has several solutions for it.

As far as DACs go, most of them can be modified to accept I2S, and you can look at schematics provided by the DAC chip company.

the non-DIY solution is to wait a few years for I2S to become more standard, but sadly it might not ever happen.
post #85 of 2181
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).

Is it necessary to short the caps or can I leave them be and just change the filtering cap and the op amp and still get great sound? I already have a problem with a kick at boot up and I don't want it getting any louder.


got the parts on order and I should have them within a week. Ack, haven't soldered in almost 10 years.
post #86 of 2181
you can leave them alone and see how you like it w/ just the op-amp change. If you are really concerned you could get some better caps and swap them out.

or even if you just use a solder bridge to sort them you can try it easily shorted and unshorted. To unshort again just clean up the solder bridge
post #87 of 2181
Quote:
Originally Posted by soloz2 View Post
you can leave them alone and see how you like it w/ just the op-amp change. If you are really concerned you could get some better caps and swap them out.

or even if you just use a solder bridge to sort them you can try it easily shorted and unshorted. To unshort again just clean up the solder bridge
Good Idea about the solder bridge. I'm glad I thought of it.
post #88 of 2181
you mention replacing the shorted caps, i take it that caps of any grade will degrade the audio, so if you have DC isolated stuff your fine to short it, and will sound best shorted?

If i want to replace them, are blackgates of the same type as the power filter fine, just with a lower rating? i cant take my card out right now to look :P
post #89 of 2181
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gilly View Post
you mention replacing the shorted caps, i take it that caps of any grade will degrade the audio, so if you have DC isolated stuff your fine to short it, and will sound best shorted?

If i want to replace them, are blackgates of the same type as the power filter fine, just with a lower rating? i cant take my card out right now to look :P
blackgates are not high enough quality as output filter caps. i recommend ~3uF teflon capacitors, or at the very least film capacitors like mundorf supreme. the best for sound quality is to not have the capacitor at all.
post #90 of 2181
How hard would it be to swap out the DAC chips on the X-Fi Xtreme Music?
How good are the DACs and OpAmps on the Elite Pro by comparison?
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)