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Chameleon DAC listening and modifications - Page 23

post #331 of 1144

BOTTOM

Had a look at my bottom, or rather the DC-30W's bottom. Was looking somewhere to put some .1uf bypass caps, and being nosey.

Anybody know what those components, I arrowed are? Hey you PSU wizards were are you when I need you?

Anyway, here is the chance youve been waiting for to look at your bottoms, (DC-30W owners only).
LL
post #332 of 1144
I must have popped an eye soldering the DIR chip, I can't read the numbers on them....could be FETs (transistor) or voltage regs.....
post #333 of 1144
C550b
PH 99
post #334 of 1144
I'm unable to find the specs....could be an older regulator or something.....
post #335 of 1144

zoom

Ugh! Internet dropout.

Yes they look like trannies.

marcelnl, do you think it would be worthwhile decoupling the main caps with .1 film or something like that, looks like they are bypassed already in 2 places with .1uf smd? Do those as yet unidentified objects prevent decoupling?
LL
post #336 of 1144
they seem to be low noise NPN transistors,

Those would not preclude bypassing, especially not if already done by SMD. I'd loose the SMD and replace those with decent stuff(MKS MKV or such).
post #337 of 1144
Quote:
Originally Posted by marcelnl View Post
they seem to be low noise NPN transistors,

Those would not preclude bypassing, especially not if already done by SMD. I'd loose the SMD and replace those with decent stuff(MKS MKV or such).
Thats what I wanted to hear.
post #338 of 1144

Bye Bye 74HC04!

I succesfully fulfilled the 74HC04 mod tonight. The Chameleon works great but I can't test if the USB input works. Michael confirmed the USB input worked fine there.

You can perform this mod at your OWN RISK!
Make sure you don't set the temperature of your soldering iron too high. I set it to 275 degrees celcius.

How difficult is this mod? Well, this one is easy compared to the DIR9001 mod of the Valab. I could even do this mod without using a magnifying glass. If you've fulfilled the DIR9001 mod succesfully, this one is certainly doable as long as you work precise. :-)

So here's the deal:

STEP 1: Read this post first

STEP 2: Remove the 74HC04. Just cut every leg of the chip carefully with a sharp knive, one at a time. Once you've cutted them all the chip will come loose. After that, heat every solderpad shortly (watch your pcb traces!) to remove all cutted legs from the 74HC04.

STEP 3: Either remove the 3 SMD resistors (right from the 74HC04 in the picture down here) or bypass them with a piece of small solid wire



STEP 4: Look at this picture first:



(1) Remove the two 100K & 100R resistors. I used some 0,5mm solid Mundorf silver/gold wire to reconnect the solderpads again.
(2) Solder two 47R resistors between legs 3&4 and 10&11. I used 0805 size SMD resistors which just fit in between the legs.

That's it!

EDIT: How does it sound?
The Chameleon has now been on for 45 minutes and I noticed the bass got tighter and the highs less grainy which results in more transparency and better seperation of individual instruments. The effect of this mod is less noticable when the ASRC board is inserted but I can still hear the difference.

EDIT 2: It's 4 hours after the mod and have been listening carefully. This mod is a 'keeper' for sure. It is all just more accurate: Less speaker, more music! As X-Files fan I say: The Truth is (now) in here in stead of out there. :-)

Who dares to follow me?
p.s. Although there's no way back once cutted, the 74HC04 is really cheap so if you wanna go back, no problem as long as you keep your pcb traces alive.
post #339 of 1144
how does it sound ! ??

that it works is nice but does it sound better ?
post #340 of 1144
rhodes54, you crazy guy, wow!!!

update, good news then terrific. Many thanks for sticking your neck out and going for it first, I DON'T have your nerve.
post #341 of 1144
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wood View Post
rhodes54, you crazy guy, wow!!!

update, good news then terrific. Many thanks for sticking your neck out and going for it first, I DON'T have your nerve.
LOL, This one is easy compared to the DIR9001 mod of the Valab. I could even do this mod without using a magnifying glass. If you've fulfilled the DIR9001 mod succesfully, this one is easy. :-)
post #342 of 1144
Quote:
Originally Posted by mr.onion View Post
hifi2001, since you have my stock chameleon dac do you care to talk about how far you've gone in terms of sound quality with the mods you've done on yours, and give your analysis of big change mods vs smaller ones? and wonder if you've had a chance to solder in the 16 coupling caps yet. Thanks.
I had mr.onion's stock Chameleon with me for couple of days and did numerous A/B comparison and can summarize by saying the stock DAC is no slouch compared to my partially modded Chameleon. I believe numerous other people have reported similar observations also. The big difference a modded Chameleon will bring is that analogue sound we are all trying to get. I would guess all the mods discussed so far will impact about 15-20% of Chameleon's overall sound improvement.
post #343 of 1144
Thread Starter 

all better now

I had an issue where the output was a bit thin and hollow.
I checked with the headphones and there was a pretty good channel imbalance. HAHA!

My SSOM connections were poor. I moved the resistor and 1M off the board, moved my connections to another set of DACs, and moved the stock resistors to the caps and central ground.

Voila. All good. Had the kid do an a/b switch flip for a few and now the sound is back to a solid midrange impact with more smooth detail over the VALAB.

I thought I was going crazy. But that says something ... even the Chameleon sounded good for a week with a bad output connection. Only when the VALAB went in for a direct a/b did the Chameleon look piss poor.

Now the sound is very much like the 8x just with more detail.

It's good to laugh at yourself.
post #344 of 1144
Thread Starter 

been playing games

After getting my output sorted out on the Chameleon I got Claire, my 17 yr old, to play along with an a/b game and to give me a reality check.

I got my Chameleon hooked back up with the upsampling card playing in from the Toslink and the VALAB playing in from the coax/Lundahl.

The kids say she likes both. Neither one is better. But they are different. She says the 8x is good if you just want to relax and listen. The 12x is good if you want "to engage" and "really hear the sound of the horn", etc. She said voices are better on the 8x but you can hear the room echo on the 12x.

And I agree with the kid. I am keeping both hooked up.

(Poorer recorded or poorer sounding CDs sound better on the 8x too, btw.)

She also says you can use both to show off your stereo with. Great kid.
post #345 of 1144
Quote:
Originally Posted by PatOMalley View Post
She also says you can use both to show off your stereo with. Great kid.
I bet your kid will one day also keep your DAC too. Smart Kid
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