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Chameleon DAC listening and modifications - Page 33

post #481 of 1144
Quote:
Originally Posted by Newk Yuler View Post

Wood... What has your modded Musiland done for your Chameleon? What's the difference without it on Chameleon?
At the risk of sliding of topic;

The Musiland separates the instruments, gives them their own space, without it the soundscape is murky, unidentifiable sounds lurking in the background.

Its like cleaning your glasses/windows, more illusion of realty and can hear clearly the different soundstage sizes, and character of different recordings. Texture on strings doesnt sound like hash anymore.

Works well with the Chameleon, really shows what it can do, otherwise garbage in garbage out.

I thought the offramp is not a async reclocker in the sense of controlling what the computer outputs. Isn't it a buffer with high quality clocks to resync the input. In which case, in theory, the Hiface and Musiland would be superior, as they request corrupt data to be resent. I say in theory, because in practice no doubt the offramp uses top gear components and is well implemented. Shame we can't compare.
post #482 of 1144
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wood View Post
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.

Can I ask you what you were meaning here?
post #483 of 1144
the musiland has a pulse for the bnc and a pulse for the spidf output, the same type as on the Chameleon. So no need for the 75r on the pulse on the Chameleon. Pat and I discussed it here http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f7/cha...ml#post6392922
post #484 of 1144

Measuring power supplies

Quote:
Originally Posted by sinrouge88 View Post
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.
It is OK to measure the voltages the way you are so long as the DAC section is hooked up. This gives the regulators a path to bleed off current and voltage. If you measure it without the DAC connected your readings will suck.
I measure 0.00 volts ripple from both rails. What you are reading is not too bad but a decent size cap at the load will probably get rid of the small amount of ripple that you do have. If you do my FRM with a decent size cap you will gain a lot in sound and will probably measure no ripple as well. I would use a 10uF cap or better here and a film cap is best. You can put the same on the digital side if you want to and if room permits.
I find no advantage to staying at 8 volts to the chips. As per a previous post 7.5 volts or even 7.0 volts is better. The max rating for those chips is 8.0 volts.
Don't worry about the 100mV drop. You cannot apply voltage across a complete circuit and not get a voltage drop over any part of it with resistance. The connectors, wire and circuit card traces have resistance. You are measuring a 1.2% drop. If you have not noticed it yet most of the posters are pretty obsessive here and most other forums. If you are just starting out it is a very bad cycle to fall into without some decent electrical background. Keep your mods simple! Inexperience in soldering (especially on the digital side of things) has led to more problems than anything I have seen in all my years messing with this stuff and at my old job. This Chameleon DAC sounds so good out of the box that you can get sound that is incredible with just a mod or two. If you read the whole forum and the other Valab threads start counting how many folks encounter problems only AFTER they start messing with their units. I would recommend the following easy to do mods as they can be done by almost anyone with the smallest chance of screwing things up.
1. Changing output caps. Try not to use caps that require bypassing to sound good. The Wima's are exceptional as they are. Some decent money has to be spent (IMO) to get better sound.
2. Film Reservoir Mod. Excellent bang for the buck if you use the Wima's that you may have already replaced.
3. Replace the I/V resistors! Very cheap and easy to do. Caddock's or the Texas Instruments are excellent. Huge improvement.
4. Nuke the filter cap. Zero cost and most beneficial. Just lift one leg if you want to hear the difference. After that you can just cut it out.
5. Add to or replace the 10uF caps at each DAC chip. Film caps or Blackgates are best.
If you delve into more complex mods without doing these first you are going about things backwards. After these mods it is more about much smaller differences for much more risk.

Your 0.1 Vishay caps will probably be OK on the digital side as the current draw is low and more consistent but it will not be sufficient as a FRM. It may reduce ripple but it will not accomplish what it mod is designed to do.
post #485 of 1144

This post goes directly to my point

Quote:
Originally Posted by driguy View Post
It is OK to measure the voltages the way you are so long as the DAC section is hooked up. This gives the regulators a path to bleed off current and voltage. If you measure it without the DAC connected your readings will suck.
I measure 0.00 volts ripple from both rails. What you are reading is not too bad but a decent size cap at the load will probably get rid of the small amount of ripple that you do have. If you do my FRM with a decent size cap you will gain a lot in sound and will probably measure no ripple as well. I would use a 10uF cap or better here and a film cap is best. You can put the same on the digital side if you want to and if room permits.
I find no advantage to staying at 8 volts to the chips. As per a previous post 7.5 volts or even 7.0 volts is better. The max rating for those chips is 8.0 volts.
Don't worry about the 100mV drop. You cannot apply voltage across a complete circuit and not get a voltage drop over any part of it with resistance. The connectors, wire and circuit card traces have resistance. You are measuring a 1.2% drop. If you have not noticed it yet most of the posters are pretty obsessive here and most other forums. If you are just starting out it is a very bad cycle to fall into without some decent electrical background. Keep your mods simple! Inexperience in soldering (especially on the digital side of things) has led to more problems than anything I have seen in all my years messing with this stuff and at my old job. This Chameleon DAC sounds so good out of the box that you can get sound that is incredible with just a mod or two. If you read the whole forum and the other Valab threads start counting how many folks encounter problems only AFTER they start messing with their units. I would recommend the following easy to do mods as they can be done by almost anyone with the smallest chance of screwing things up.
1. Changing output caps. Try not to use caps that require bypassing to sound good. The Wima's are exceptional as they are. Some decent money has to be spent (IMO) to get better sound.
2. Film Reservoir Mod. Excellent bang for the buck if you use the Wima's that you may have already replaced.
3. Replace the I/V resistors! Very cheap and easy to do. Caddock's or the Texas Instruments are excellent. Huge improvement.
4. Nuke the filter cap. Zero cost and most beneficial. Just lift one leg if you want to hear the difference. After that you can just cut it out.
5. Add to or replace the 10uF caps at each DAC chip. Film caps or Blackgates are best.
If you delve into more complex mods without doing these first you are going about things backwards. After these mods it is more about much smaller differences for much more risk.

Your 0.1 Vishay caps will probably be OK on the digital side as the current draw is low and more consistent but it will not be sufficient as a FRM. It may reduce ripple but it will not accomplish what it mod is designed to do.
This post from today over on the other Valab thread is a prime example of what I am writing about:

I got my replacement TDA1543 and put that back in. Still had HUGE amounts of distortion as before though....

After some VERY close looking about I found that the center leg of my LM334 current source was broken. Was very hard to see.

Ordered another one up so hopefully that will sort me out!

It is amazing. I am generally a very careful (OK anal) guy. I have so far managed to rip the legs off one of my TDA1543 DAC's, broke a leg of off my LM334 AND blew the fuse (piece of wire laying on the table).

AND I was REALLY TRYING to be careful!

Appreciate the help from everyone.
post #486 of 1144
anyone got recommendations for good quality Grounded BNC Chassis mount plugs? I looked around abit, but the standard goto audiophile brands came up blank. Only found PCB mount versions. I did find some cheap Neutrik but they where just nickel, seems like there would be some better quality options.
post #487 of 1144
Something like these perhaps?
Digi-Key - ACX1035-ND (Manufacturer - 112235)
That one is for RG179 mini coax. They have a bunch of others depending upon how you want it to terminate. I prefer the outside nut ones (mount from inside) because its easier to take things apart without having to desolder.
post #488 of 1144
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wood View Post
At the risk of sliding of topic;
Re: all: I'm not trying to hammer the topic when I mention these devices. Steve Nugent said it first concerning the Valab: The DAC needs a true low jitter source to sound its best. The affects you describe of your modded Musiland sound exactly like the characteristics of a source with reduced jitter.

When you good gentlemen eventually reach the point that you feel you can't mod the Chameleon further, remember that you can still improve on it by feeding it with a source that has less jitter than anything the Chameleon's parts can create or correct. Based on Steve N's comparisons, that next very significant improvement could/would be a Hiface (or better hardware).

If Micheal eventually makes a board for Chameleon with async USB or something adaptive on the level of the USB circuit in the Tranquility DAC, that would solve the low jitter issue inside the Chameleon.

Wood, the Off Ramp isn't an async reclocker yet, but it's coming. Steve has designed a world class reclocking circuit that takes adaptive USB, buffers it, and runs it through one of several progressively better clock options. His products use one of 3 levels of precision clocks, the better two of which are made by Audiocom. When he implements M2Tech async into the products they will combine the established benefits with async USB. It will undoubtedly be some of the finest computer audiophile interface hardware available on the planet. (It already is and it's about to get a lot better.)

I'm going to shut the hell up about all this now. I just want you guys to keep the 'truly low jitter source' element in mind and place the important information in the thread for others to reference down the road.
post #489 of 1144
Quote:
I'm going to shut the hell up about all this now. I just want you guys to keep the 'truly low jitter source' element in mind and place the important information in the thread for others to reference down the road.
Don't worry, Bill Allen already hammered this into our heads multiple times on the first Valab thread. He's got you covered. Unfortunately everything made by Empirical has a huge price tag. It's hard to put that kind of money down until your on the last mile. There are things in my current setup I could upgrade with that kind of money that would give me more performance. Like better headphones or a better amp.

I don't feel very confident in the M2Tech's software support at this point. It's very slow moving. But it's on my list of things to keep an eye on. I think these async usb devices will be a dime a dozen in a year or two.
post #490 of 1144
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wood View Post
the musiland has a pulse for the bnc and a pulse for the spidf output, the same type as on the Chameleon. So no need for the 75r on the pulse on the Chameleon. Pat and I discussed it here http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f7/cha...ml#post6392922
I see, thanks. So you just simply mean remove it and that's it, right?
And you're talking about the Musiland 01 usd, aren't you?
BTW, any bettere about the us 02 used as a transport, compared to the usd 01..?
post #491 of 1144
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kooka View Post
I see, thanks. So you just simply mean remove it and that's it, right?
And you're talking about the Musiland 01 usd, aren't you?
BTW, any bettere about the us 02 used as a transport, compared to the usd 01..?

If you have a tranny at your source then yes.

The 02 has an independant power supply, rather then rely on usb power from the computer, but it also has a superflous dac and other circuitry that might obviate that advantage, by creating noise. I think the 01 with oscon sepc (not sp!!!) bypassed with .1 film sounds great, and its cheaper.
post #492 of 1144
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wood View Post
If you have a tranny at your source then yes.

The 02 has an independant power supply, rather then rely on usb power from the computer, but it also has a superflous dac and other circuitry that might obviate that advantage, by creating noise. I think the 01 with oscon sepc (not sp!!!) bypassed with .1 film sounds great, and its cheaper.
That's great to know, thanks (I thought the 02 was better, vit separate psu, avoiding the usb supplying...).
Last thing: since I have to oreder the sepc Os-cons, do you remember the values to use, and how many, in case..?

Edit: ok, I've seen it's 5 pieces, but canìt see the value from pictures, how many uF, please?
post #493 of 1144
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kooka View Post
That's great to know, thanks (I thought the 02 was better, vit separate psu, avoiding the usb supplying...).
Last thing: since I have to oreder the sepc Os-cons, do you remember the values to use, and how many, in case..?

Edit: ok, I've seen it's 5 pieces, but canìt see the value from pictures, how many uF, please?
cant remember for sure but i think the 5 rubbish caps were 100uf 16v. I tried silmic, any old caps and blackgate, but the best by a huge margin are 560uf sepc and .1uf bypass. For the bypass I am using wima but will change to VISHAY-RODERSTEIN MKP-1837 Film Capacitor 0.01 when they arrive from partsx. Dont use anything but large sepc on digital around clocks and always bypass them with small film.
post #494 of 1144
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wood View Post
cant remember for sure but i think the 5 rubbish caps were 100uf 16v. I tried silmic, any old caps and blackgate, but the best by a huge margin are 560uf sepc and .1uf bypass. For the bypass I am using wima but will change to VISHAY-RODERSTEIN MKP-1837 Film Capacitor 0.01 when they arrive from partsx. Dont use anything but large sepc on digital around clocks and always bypass them with small film.
Got it
post #495 of 1144
Hey wood, what do you think of just bypassing the stock Tantalum on the digital board with those Vishay Roderstein 1837's? This would be cheap and really easy.

I got some new op-amps in today for my Amp, the AD797's and AD825. I can't stop listening to music now lol, grinning ear to ear. Those 797's are ridiculous, so much better then what was in here before. Nothing to do with the chameleon just had to share.
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