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Chameleon DAC listening and modifications - Page 32

post #466 of 1144
You mean physically right? I'm not as concerned about that, as i've still got quite abit of room left, as the Dyanamicaps are rather small in comparison to some other boutique caps. That is why i've considered the Sonicap platinum's but they are quite expensive at 30$ each (for .1 uf)

hmm, the .1 uf are quite large indeed. I purchased some .022 off ebay. Probably take a month to get them heh
post #467 of 1144
Thread Starter 

physically

too big physically but I don't like the sound of the .1uF.
Intrudes too much into the midrange. Just wanted a little more air and .01uF does that. Over and out.
post #468 of 1144
yeah, that makes sense, but you are only bypassing a 1 uf cap right? Mine are 3 uf, so maybe it will be a similiar effect with a 0.022 cap.

I notice if you stack these units with the DC30W on top, it tends to stay pretty cool. Seems to be cooler then the DC30w on bottom.
post #469 of 1144

packed

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeW View Post
exactly which russian teflon (FT-1, FT-3? etc) and where did you get it from? I'd like to try these out as i've heard great things about them. It's hard to imagine you where able to fit yet more things in that chasis wood.
Ha Ha yes indeed its very busy in there. The russian 0.01uf are just small enough to tuck between the Jupiters. I would go with Pat here about bypassing, you have nice caps there Mike, might not even need bypassing, but if you go to 0.1uf, even though the main ones are 3.3uf you might end up with a strange mixed up sq in the midrange. 0.01uf will be enough, its subtle stuff at play here.

For now I'm just going to let things settle down, TX will be next.
post #470 of 1144
Finally got a pic of my DC30. When I disconnected it, it had been on steady for a week...case was not hot to the touch, just very warm. Yellow wire came attached.

post #471 of 1144
I was listening to USB vs SPDIF today. My digital input board was messed up for awhile, and I was forced to listen to spdif for awhile. During that time I made a few mods to this interface, input cap and direct ground connection to pulse transformer, and film cap on the pulse tranformer. During the comparison today, to my surprise I think the SPDIF interface is sounding a bit better then usb. I do need to let the digital board burn in more though it's only got about 40 hrs on it. Before the spdif mods usb was a clear winner. Maybe not now..
post #472 of 1144

New received unit

Gents,
First, Thanks for valuable information from your mods. I learned a lot from you guys. So please be easy on my first post with novice questions.
I just received my unit few days ago (unit dated Feb-2010) and I like to share with you some pictures:







It looks like the PS is a little different with the one posted from Chris. And the yellow wire is connected to the board. The PS is quite warm after running 2 - 3 hours. should I lower the voltage?
On the digital board, there is a green cap which I cannot read the value, guess this is a 0.1 uf?
I am thinking to stabilize the DC between the the PS and the DAC board as follows:
- Install 2 x 0.1 uF Vishay MKP1837 at the output 5v and 7.x v on the PS.
- Install 2 x 0.1 uF Vishay MKP1837 at the DC inputs of the DAC board.
- Bypass the reservoir (FRM mod.) with 0.1 uF Vishay MKP1837.
Can you guys tell me is this good enough to maintain a clean and stable DC on the DAC board?
To remove the 2 x 10 uF Wima, do I have to remove the board and de-solder from the other side of the board?
It is difficult to find Sanyo Oscon SP, what are the good equivalent caps to replace 100 uF on the digital boardand where I can get them?
I also noticed that on the reclocker board, there was a layout for 24 bits support (close to the bottom left corner). Do you know anything on this?
Thanks,
Hanh
post #473 of 1144
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeW View Post
I was listening to USB vs SPDIF today. My digital input board was messed up for awhile, and I was forced to listen to spdif for awhile. During that time I made a few mods to this interface, input cap and direct ground connection to pulse transformer, and film cap on the pulse tranformer. During the comparison today, to my surprise I think the SPDIF interface is sounding a bit better then usb. I do need to let the digital board burn in more though it's only got about 40 hrs on it. Before the spdif mods usb was a clear winner. Maybe not now..
This is related but directed at Bill Allen. He has an Empirical Audio Pace Car but I imagine it's likely that it's set up in a way that it can't be used with the Valab or Chameleon. If I'm wrong, please chime in. If I understand correctly, one way the Pace Car can be set up is to work with the source device instead of the DAC. It would be interesting to see testimonial of what an Off Ramp or Pace Car would do with Chameleon and its improved input circuits over the Valab.

Anyone used a Hiface on the Chameleon?
post #474 of 1144
Hi Chris, Hi sinrouge88, happy moding, the funs already starting, its interesting that you both have different experiances with heat from the yellow wire version of the DC-30, I wonder if its related to your local AC voltage supplies, would you tell us what they are, perhaps then we could at least eliminate that as a factor?


Newk Yuler, I understand that Empircal audio will be using the Hiface software on a new product.... Should be interesting.

I did not go for the Hiface because it was not a mod friendly unit, being to compact. I went with the Musiland, and Blackgated it, that with the latest software update seems to have nailed it for me. Can't listen to normal usb or coax input now. But the Musliand unit does not work with Apple products, unlike the Hiface.

sinrouge88, as far as I know nobody has used low value film to bypass the input voltages, the lowest I went was 2.2uf on the 7.5v (FRM). Seems like a good idea, let us know your impressions if you do it! Its best to slide the board out so you can get to the bottom of those output caps, it comes out easy (if you remember to unscrew the bolts that hold the dacs to the chasis, something I always forget to do duh!). You will find oscon sp on ebay, I tried them, found them to fat sounding, in the end used 560uf 6.3v oscon sepc, and bypassed them with .1 wima.
post #475 of 1144
I think Steve @ empirical audio is actually using the hiface hardware and making his own software. Not 100% sure. Your experience with the musiland is interesting. How much did the mods effect it? And how much of an improvement is it over usb and a cheap spdif source like a dvd player or pc's soundcard spdif output
post #476 of 1144
There is a big difference, without it the sound is grainy and rough (digital?). With it the sound is clean but not sterile. This is after modding it and with the very latest driver.

I find it works best once you change the 5 caps and replace wiring to the rca and bnc output with silver. Incidently it uses two of the same pulse transformers as found in the Chameleon, so I was able to remove the 75r of the pulse on the Chameleon.

I tried other stuff like using a different power supply by bypassing the usb power input, but found that changing the caps is enough.

I got it because it was a cheap way to find out what this async talk is about. Once recapped up and using the 8.02 software, its quite impressive, no going back now.

Update... (Musiland) Mike just swapped out the bg fk 47uf, for sepc 560uf, with .1uf bypass. Much richer/transparent, just a little dry, but not bad for brand new caps!! Will be great in 2 weeks.
post #477 of 1144
has anyone considered just putting the DC30W upside down when doing the yellow wire mod? The transistors are coupled to the bottom and this is where most of the heat comes from. You could even flip the front panel to make it look right, you'd have to rewire the led and switch though. I re-attached the yellow wire and im running some test now with the temp probe on my multimeter. So far have had it going ~30 minutes and it's measuring 124F inside the chasis with the lid closed. Once the temp has stabilized I will measure the bottom of the chasis. And re-run the test with the blue wire.

Update: Yellow Wire:

1 hour : inside chasis temp: 132F
bottom of outer chasis : 128F (almost burning hot)

edit: It looks like that litle green cap is in fact a Vishay 1837. Mine says 1837 on it, and it looks like one. Probably should leave it be unless you've got a sure fire upgrade, it's a pretty good cap. I did not know what the 1837 looked like as i've never used them before, I was about to rip it out and put a wima in it's place before I thought i'd better double check what it is first.
post #478 of 1144
Like that lateral thinking, nice one...

My Vishay-Rodestien MKP-1837 are on the way. The cheapy wimas I used for, proof of concept, bypass, are actualy ok once they settle in. 0.01 for the TDA, and bypass the sanyo sepc, and 0.1 for digital input board.
post #479 of 1144
Wood, Thanks for your inputs.
I am in 110v area (Montreal). The PS is connected to the AC conditioner (HTS-3500 Monster reference power). I think it does give a good AC source.
Took some measurements and here they are:
- @ the DC output from PS: 8.01VDC and 5.08VDC.
- @ the DC input connector of the DAC: 7.93VDC and 5.02VDC. The V ripple at both DC input connectors varies from 0 to 2 mv. I think the PS does a good job (V ripple is within 0.04%)!!!
- @ the reservoir (FRM): 7.9 VDC and the V ripple is from 0 to 2 mv.
There is a drop of 100mVDC from the DC input connectors to the FRM place??? what causes it?
These measurement are done without load i.e: nothing connected to the DAC outputs. With the load connected, there might be some variations there. Did you happens to measure the voltages with load? and how do they behave?
I will try with 0.1 uF vishay caps at these places and report back later.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wood View Post
Hi Chris, Hi sinrouge88, happy moding, the funs already starting, its interesting that you both have different experiances with heat from the yellow wire version of the DC-30, I wonder if its related to your local AC voltage supplies, would you tell us what they are, perhaps then we could at least eliminate that as a factor?

Newk Yuler, I understand that Empircal audio will be using the Hiface software on a new product.... Should be interesting.

I did not go for the Hiface because it was not a mod friendly unit, being to compact. I went with the Musiland, and Blackgated it, that with the latest software update seems to have nailed it for me. Can't listen to normal usb or coax input now. But the Musliand unit does not work with Apple products, unlike the Hiface.

sinrouge88, as far as I know nobody has used low value film to bypass the input voltages, the lowest I went was 2.2uf on the 7.5v (FRM). Seems like a good idea, let us know your impressions if you do it! Its best to slide the board out so you can get to the bottom of those output caps, it comes out easy (if you remember to unscrew the bolts that hold the dacs to the chasis, something I always forget to do duh!). You will find oscon sp on ebay, I tried them, found them to fat sounding, in the end used 560uf 6.3v oscon sepc, and bypassed them with .1 wima.
post #480 of 1144
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeW View Post
I think Steve @ empirical audio is actually using the hiface hardware and making his own software. Not 100% sure.
Steve designs and builds his hardware but he use to do a lot of modification to someone else's circuits. He's licensing the M2Tech async code and tailoring it to his newest hardware which includes revisions to his entire product line. I'll mention again that Steve has given huge props to the Hiface in comparison to his own much more expensive products. Given the clear improvements an Off Ramp made to my modded Valab, I imagine it's very possible the Hiface could make a noticeable improvement in Chameleon's sound quality typical of reduced jitter (better focus and imaging, wider sound field, etc.)

Wood... What has your modded Musiland done for your Chameleon? What's the difference without it on Chameleon?
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