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Hotrodding the X-Fi: A Layman's Guide (No 56k) - Page 58

post #856 of 2194
Quote:
Originally Posted by djbigbear View Post
ahhhhh
more enlightment...

aaah, so that's for front panel... so i just cancel 1 elna cerafine.

i will be using these components:
1 x elna cerafine 1000uf 35v
12 x Nichicon Gold 22uF 50v
2 x AD8599
2 x LM4562
1 x AD8066

and i don't think any of those caps ar nonpolar but it should be fine right?
and i suppose elna cerafine cost waaaay less than black gate....

for modifying, i'd better pay an engineer to do the work... i'm not much of a precision worker... i got very chubby fingers... lol
You don't have to buy caps rated for 35V or 50V, 16V will do fine or 25V. Isn't a 22uF 50V cap much bigger than 22uF 16V or 25V?
post #857 of 2194
Quote:
Originally Posted by Seba View Post
You don't have to buy caps rated for 35V or 50V, 16V will do fine or 25V. Isn't a 22uF 50V cap much bigger than 22uF 16V or 25V?
The size difference is not neccesarily very big but capacitors tend to perform best when staying somewhat near the ballpark range of their rated voltage. XFi uses 16v caps so that's plenty and 6.3v should still enough as the card gets 5v max as far as has been measured. Knowing that and that lower voltage caps tend to be a bit cheaper and smaller, 16v or 25v (or even 6.3v, at your own discretion) is definately preferable over 50v caps, if there's a choice anyway. If 50v/35v is your only choice then thats fine too.

bigbear: the precision needed is only relative, the opamps probably look intimidatingly small but those are the easy parts to modify Removing the power capacitor is a bit tricky but not much of a precision job.
The trickiest part of your mod is that you plan to replace all of the coupling caps by bigger ones, that proved to be a bit of a puzzle of sorts and for best results needs some planning/trying before doing the final solders and cutting their legs of (btw those coupling caps are not hard to remove, just add a little fresh tin to the already tinned backsides, stir it a bit so it blends with the old tin, then use copper wick to suck it up. This way works much better then without adding a bit of your own tin, same with the power cap)

Doing it yourself would be more rewarding but then the risk is also yours ofcourse, and since you plan to do the full set of mods I can imagine your concern.

And yeah nonpolar caps is something only Blackgate makes as far as I know, i think some other brands make bipolar ones though.. But Elna cerafine and Nichicons are excellent. The nonpolar blackgates are a bit of a class on their own but for that you pay a lot extra (just compare the nonpolars to the regular blackgates in my pricelist :S The caps you mentioned are excellent aswell.
post #858 of 2194
@seba
the nichicon 22uF 50V is the same caps my friend uses(2nd and 3rd pic)
so i think it will fit just fine

@phalanger
thx for your advice, but i really don't have the guts to do it myself and beside i don't have the proper tools.

by next monday, the modification will be done, just wish me luck ok bro
really looking forward to enjoy my modded x-fi
post #859 of 2194
I ended up sending a modded x-fi to someone, but i believe the shipping may have pushed up on the legs to the cap and loosened the solder/leg connection so the cap legs aren't completely secure to the pcb of the sound card. The person pointed out that he could push on the legs to the cap and they kind of moved in and out rather than being secure.

The person that bought the card noticed a lot of rebooting during start up, sometimes right from the beginning, and sometimes a few min into windows.

Would the cap legs not being secure to the pcb cause those problems? and if the cap were to be resoldered back into place, are chances likely that the card will come out alright without problems?

I asked the person to try to get a hold of a soldering gun and heat up the solder that is there to redo the connection, or maybe get a friend or someone with a soldering gun to help out, so I am just waiting for them to reply now to see if they were able to get the cap legs resoldered.

Card was sturdy and perfect before I shipped it out, checked all outputs for sound also since 4 opamps were replaced, even shorted the coupling caps, and it also has the FK series blackgate 1000uf 16v cap rather than the standard series. I personally used it for 2 weeks and it was awesome, i really enjoyed it. I even bought another one for myself again after shipping that one out.

just thought i would see what you guys thought about the situation and if you had any pointers.

I am hoping the person has access to a soldering gun or at least has a friend that can help. I am really surprised that the cap legs became unsecured.
post #860 of 2194
Just had to do the opamp upgrade too even though I only have some pretty simple Boston Acoustics speakers hooked up to the analog output of my X-Fi

The "helping hands" was awesome while soldering the opamp. Also I'm in Sweden and there was no problem getting samples from National, shipped from Singapore, only took 3 days and cost about 20 dollars.

Very noticeable upgrade in detail with the new opamp, loving it

post #861 of 2194
Quote:
Originally Posted by zbomb56 View Post
I ended up sending a modded x-fi to someone, but i believe the shipping may have pushed up on the legs to the cap and loosened the solder/leg connection so the cap legs aren't completely secure to the pcb of the sound card. The person pointed out that he could push on the legs to the cap and they kind of moved in and out rather than being secure.

The person that bought the card noticed a lot of rebooting during start up, sometimes right from the beginning, and sometimes a few min into windows.

Would the cap legs not being secure to the pcb cause those problems? and if the cap were to be resoldered back into place, are chances likely that the card will come out alright without problems?
Bummer. Yeah unsecured cap legs is enough to destabilize any system, especially if its a power capacitor. Sounds like it wasnt soldered on as properly as you thought and/or not packaged properly. Probably have him send it back unless he can fix it himself in a satisfactory way.
post #862 of 2194
Thread Starter 
my Hakko 936 can solder the legs with ease. with a cheap 15W, it will take some skill. unregulated irons will get hotter than regulated irons.
post #863 of 2194
did someone compared the ad8066 and ad8599 i bass area?
i have seen people saying that ad8066 has better was response,but i was looking on the spec. of ad8599 and i found that it has "80 nV p-p input noise, 0.1 Hz to 10 Hz" this is something extraordinary when it is in an active low pass crossover for subwoofers=extraordinarily nano volts.
every time when i hear it i am even more impressed.
post #864 of 2194
Quote:
Originally Posted by kirimaru View Post
did someone compared the ad8066 and ad8599 i bass area?
i have seen people saying that ad8066 has better was response,but i was looking on the spec. of ad8599 and i found that it has "80 nV p-p input noise, 0.1 Hz to 10 Hz" this is something extraordinary when it is in an active low pass crossover for subwoofers=extraordinarily nano volts.
every time when i hear it i am even more impressed.
I have both opamps but havent compared them for subwoofer performance (would be tricky to compare i think), the ad8599 is indeed a very impressive opamp all around, but numbers don't say all too much. the 8066 is FET-based which may explain its perceived strong bass response. But i also think that 8599 would do great for subwoofer aswell.
post #865 of 2194
Quote:
Originally Posted by phalanger View Post
Bummer. Yeah unsecured cap legs is enough to destabilize any system, especially if its a power capacitor. Sounds like it wasnt soldered on as properly as you thought and/or not packaged properly. Probably have him send it back unless he can fix it himself in a satisfactory way.
so the guy got back to me, and seems he has it fixed for the moment, he might need to add a bit of solder, but everything is still working great. He is happy with it but he isn't using that great of speakers (x-530) which to me didn't sound as good as my 2.1 altec ATP3's that I have.

I have another card on its way to mod for myself, and I think there is another guy that wants one sent to him as well.

I might just order several extra caps so i can mod about 5 cards worth and I don't have to worry about reaching the minimum $25 order that most places have when ordering.
post #866 of 2194

Stuck at the beggining

Hiy bros. I have just registered to ask you for one BIG invocation.
Im from Czech republic and I couldnt find a way how to ship those parts (in reasonable price).

either Blackgate 2200uF 16V or Blackgate 1000uF nonpolar
3xLM4562
AD8066
AD8599
ERS paper!
Maybe 4x to 12x Blackgate 22uF regular

I wanted free samples of 1xAD8066,2xAD8599, but I gotta this from AD: "We're sorry but online sample orders can only be accepted from valid email addresses with domain urls that originate from a company..." Unfortunately I dont have any.
The same for free samples at National semiconductor (I dont have any company).
I have got very low budget (about 50$), so that might be a problem.

And Im asking you, if you would be so kind and send me those (ofc Ill pay it)? In the worst case one LM4562 and Blackgate 2200uF 16V (and 4xBlackgate 22uF regular) would be enough... Maybe it could be cheaper (coz only my friends gotta right tools), if some1 would mod my X-Fi, I would send it.

Just help me to bring my ARS-225 and Genius 5000 alive! Anyway I found head-fi.org very interesting.
Sorry for quite OT.
post #867 of 2194
You can still get opamps from AD without having a company, you just will be charged for them then and they wont be samples (but you can order by any amount). If your budget is 50$ then you probably will have to settle for cheaper caps then blackgates, let alone nonpolars. Getting it all together for 50$ will require some searching but I wouldn't expect total strangers to do all that work for you and send it as a ready-made kit without making profit on it.
post #868 of 2194
I bought a second x-fi xtreme music from e-bay (a new victim after the death of my previous one!). I did the mod. This time I used a very thin screwdriver and I pushed the legs of the old opamp one by one to cut them.

I can honestly say that the card now produces a very enjoyable sound. The harsh highs have gone. The bass is more extended and the soundstage is.. wider! All these sound cliché but that's the true... I use a 1000μuf nonpolar blackgate without any problems. My headphones are a pair of sennheiser 650 with a Stefan AudioArt equinox cable. Comparing the sound to the stello dac DA100 (with a stello amplifier HP100), to be honest, I prefer by far the sound of the stello. I just can't compare it to the one of the mod. The instruments feel "real" and the vocals are like having their own personality. I can’t express an opinion about the benchmark dac1, as I haven't heard it but from what I have read, it's sound is more precise rather than enjoyable. Maybe cotdt (like me) is a music lover and not a music analyst, and he prefers the mod rather than the benchmark dac.

Just for fun I used a regular cmoy on the output of the card, and yes... all the soundstage destroyed!!! The sound, was thin and "electric". It's far better to use the soundcard unamped, rather than using a cheap amp like cmoy. And think that my headphones are 300 ohms (not very easily driven), which means that headphones with lower impedance will probably have a better synergy with the unamped soundcard (not sure though).

Thanks cotdt for your idea I owe you a beer
post #869 of 2194
What package are the tiny resisters to the left of the main op-amp? I accidentally knocked one off on a card yesterday and then dropped it... and the damn thing is so tiny I couldn't find it in the carpet. I believe it's a 35ohm value
post #870 of 2194
I am interested in these mods for my X-Fi, but I don't have any way to get them done due to lack of workspace and lack of time. Is anyone modding these cards as a service? I have bulit in sound on the motherboard, so I could be without the card for a couple of weeks.
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