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Sound Card Mods: Film/Electrolytic/Etc. Capacitors:

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Diamond Monster Sound MX300 recapped OPA4132



T-cap 3x 470uf BG N - HT Omega Claro+ AD8620



Z-cap 2x 1500uf BG NX - Prelude OPA637



No Caps

Total Recap - AD797

1x 2200uf BG NX/3x 220uf BG NX/9x 1500uf BG NX/30x 47uf BG NX - AD8620



Prodigy HiFi - 2x 4700uf BG

anyone have any info on the J7 & JP2 jumpers ?

7x nichicon 100uf @ 220uf bg nx


what are the best film caps out there that would beat the blackgates and results i got above? please specify..

phillips Q LL/panasonic fm caps were recommended

what are the best caps for power/filter/coupling/voltage regulators/dacs/codec/crystal ?
post #2 of 20
Attachment 3555

>_> just kidding
LL
post #3 of 20
Thread Starter 
yes! so thats the siemens cap ive been reading about but had no idea what..

whatta beauty.. that will just fit snugly on the xmeridian lol
post #4 of 20
Look out for something with the lowest series resistance (ESR) as possible.
A resistance is a lossy component with a noise proportional to Boltzmann's constant. You can say that any resistor consists of a voltage source and the resistance. You want to find a resistor with the lowest voltage source output, also with respect to temperature.

Well Blackgate only sells on their name. In their book, specs shouldn't be mentioned or documented since they don't need to. They have unscientific documents made by themselves which one has to ask for in order to see.

I'm especting Sanyo OS-CONS to be a good match since they are specifically sold as low-esr. You'll find them in computer hardware too, if it was a little expensive especially. Otherwise i think SMD caps have very low esr too.

For the crystal you will need to measure the crystal square waveform. The only thing that matters here is a perfect square waveform. You will need to finetune it by experimenting with different capacitor values - i'm expecting 20 pF or so. Capacitor grade and brand is of no meaning hear. Look for standard ceramic disc types.
For ICs, find the data sheet and find the recommended component values. If a specific type is noted, it has an impact, but often it does not matter what you choose. This is digital electronics, not coupling analog electronics.
post #5 of 20
Glad you decided to post here Napalm
post #6 of 20

Massive mods...

Quote:
Originally Posted by NapalmV5 View Post
this is the latest test mod im @ right now on my xmeridian


what are the best film caps out there that would beat the blackgates and results i got above? please specify..

phillips Q LL/panasonic fm caps were recommended

what are the best caps for power/filter/coupling/voltage regulators/dacs/codec/crystal ?
Can you tell me what are the opamp that you've soldered?
post #7 of 20
Thread Starter 

*first post updated*

Quote:
Originally Posted by Daroid View Post
Look out for something with the lowest series resistance (ESR) as possible.
A resistance is a lossy component with a noise proportional to Boltzmann's constant. You can say that any resistor consists of a voltage source and the resistance. You want to find a resistor with the lowest voltage source output, also with respect to temperature.

Well Blackgate only sells on their name. In their book, specs shouldn't be mentioned or documented since they don't need to. They have unscientific documents made by themselves which one has to ask for in order to see.

I'm especting Sanyo OS-CONS to be a good match since they are specifically sold as low-esr. You'll find them in computer hardware too, if it was a little expensive especially. Otherwise i think SMD caps have very low esr too.

For the crystal you will need to measure the crystal square waveform. The only thing that matters here is a perfect square waveform. You will need to finetune it by experimenting with different capacitor values - i'm expecting 20 pF or so. Capacitor grade and brand is of no meaning hear. Look for standard ceramic disc types.
For ICs, find the data sheet and find the recommended component values. If a specific type is noted, it has an impact, but often it does not matter what you choose. This is digital electronics, not coupling analog electronics.
thanks Daroid.. appreciated
most of the caps on the prodigy are sanyo os-cons
so, lowest ESR possible - important

Quote:
Originally Posted by LordofDoom View Post
Glad you decided to post here Napalm
lol nobody wants to talk about caps anywhere else.. ill try here..

Quote:
Originally Posted by finaxe View Post
Can you tell me what are the opamp that you've soldered?
ive soldered ad797 opa637 opa2107 lt1115 lt1028 lt1226
post #8 of 20
Thread Starter 
im just having a lot of fun with this mx300

2x 2200uf bg nx/26x 47uf bg nx all paralleled



so what do the paralleled caps do?

the 10year old mx300 beats the crap outta any modern sound card without a sweat

dont have to believe me

tally: 100$ mx300 + 120$ caps + 10$ opa4132 = 230$ total tax/s&h not included

next mod for mx300: adapt 2 x AD8620 opamps
post #9 of 20
Thread Starter 
opa2107 in/opa637 out - bg fk caps
post #10 of 20
practically any good quality film cap will beat those BlackGate electrolytic caps for output. I saw a lot of HUGE electrolytic caps on output, why? Unless you're driving headphone directly, you need no more than 4.7uF (for 10K impedance amps), and I would personally say 1.0uF is great since computers are likely to be used with 50K impedance amps.
post #11 of 20
Thread Starter 
headphone/speakers directly driven

would you recommend auricap.. cardas.. multicap rtx?
post #12 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by NapalmV5 View Post
headphone/speakers directly driven

would you recommend auricap.. cardas.. multicap rtx?
generally, film and foil caps sound better than metalized caps, and teflons sound better than polyproylene sounds better than poylester.

some people swear by polystyrenes-- others find them sterile.

size can be a factor, so make sure you check the physical sizes before you buy any specific caps.

personally, i'd stay away from the multicaps, which have a kind of blurred sound.

i like the mundorf silver/oils, the soniccap platinums, and auri teflons. these are pretty large and expensive.

check out Sonic Craft High-End DIY Audio Parts, and email them. jeff has forgotten more about capacitors than most people know. he designs caps, and has a knack for picking caps that provide the voicing you are looking for.

if you have specific values that yu need, i may have some spares of various things lying around. let me knw.

best,

mark
post #13 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by NapalmV5 View Post
headphone/speakers directly driven

would you recommend auricap.. cardas.. multicap rtx?
i forgot to mention some things. size will big a major factor with film caps-- not just because they are bigger, but most of the audiophile caps have a lead sticking out of each end, whereas the lytics are mostly radial. given the rf environement inside a computer, the long leads will likely pick up lots of noise. you may just want to pick specific power supply locations and do small film bypasses. black gate recommends against bypassing their capss--for whatever that's worth.

for the signal path caps if there are any, anything bigger than 2uf will be huge, and the card will take up 3 slots if you can even fit it in.


i have heard, but not confirmed for myself, that os-cons are great for digital ps work-- so i would not change them out.


also-- cardas caps are very good, but panasoic fms are lytics, but very good ones!
post #14 of 20
I would check this out: Humble Homemade Hifi

I like ClarityCap and Solens...the Solens are cheap and they sound darn good for their price.
post #15 of 20
BTW, how do the older Diamond sound cards with solid caps stack up against modern cards?
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