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Asus Essence One Headphone Amp/DAC (CeBIT 2011) - Page 140

post #2086 of 3068

Hi ASUSXONAR,

Cheap ribbon cable vs UP-OCC with Teflon insulated is no contest.

 

What is the insulation of those cheap ribbon cable? I doubt it would be better than the Teflon on the UP-OCC. Not mentioning the plastic connectors which will degrade the sound. Direct point-to-point soldering most of the time will be better.

 

Worsen the SNR? I doubt such will be measurable, unless your insulation is outrageously bad or you are running several miles of length of wire.

 

I don't really want to argue, but for 'idiotphile' like me (YMMV), I put the top priority to remove this ribbon cable (also along with cheapo Green Alps). I don't want to remove the Green Alps as I only have 2 gangs DACT. I need to justify the impact to purchase 4 gangs DACT which the cost almost the same with a brand new E1.

 

The impact? I have used Green Alps on several cheap preamp project and after changing them with DACT or similar stepped attenuator, the different is night and day. This is no brainer answer.

 

Other plan is to re-wire from the 'ribbon cable' to take 2 channel only as I only use the unbalance out, directly to the 2 gangs attenuator (DACT) and let the other 2 channel for the balance use the original Green Alps. I havent traced in detail but have gotten some of the tracing result on hand, but I think that is very possible to be implemented.

 

Low inductance doesn't mean good sound (this is 'idiotphile' practice - off course people with degree in Engineering will ROFL reading this). But it's a matter or personal taste and preference, right?

 

I use mostly Ceramic if your intention is for high frequency decoupling. They are also very cheap and widely available.

 

See my other DAC project with Sprague Multi Layer Ceramic below. They are one of the best for the purpose (YMMV).

 

Kudos to ASUS for such great DAC, and with this mod, I believe it can compete into a higher level (at least now I can enjoy more than before). Sorry if this mod is not for everyone.

 

Again YMMV, thanks for sharing.

 


Edited by xneakers - 5/13/13 at 8:00pm
post #2087 of 3068

My point is these ribbon cables don't need to be expensive or have teflon to sound good. The spacing and cross coupling of the cables can be a bigger factor than the outer insulation. As you said tweaking isn't always logical, but if one is making arguments that something should be replaced just because it can be or appears cheap..hmmm

post #2088 of 3068

Hi ASUSXONAR,

Those UP-OCC costs around USD 2 per foot and you don't need a mile to replace those 'original ribbon'.

 

The spacing is not an issue. As if in PCB design, you don't have to wire signal and ground side by side to avoid what you said as SNR. The proper layout and size itself matter. Anyway the cable placement itself very near to the chassis, not floating around crossing high current area. 

 

Please search for a Pierre Johanet if you want to know about insulation and those impact in sound. Still debatable, but we are doing some experiment locally and there are some interesting finding.

 

I'm not an expert, but I have heard and compared probably most of the capacitors that I've could get around. So I'm not replacing them because they look cheap (but I test and listen them before judging which to put where).

 

If I replace because it looks cheap, then the first thing I should do is to change the black chassis to a gold plated chassis. Should that make the sound better? :)

 

I didn't have any intention to say ASUS uses cheap parts (sorry if you feel so). Nichicon KT used on the original definitely 'expensive' for manufacturing point of view. And ASUS did a great job to use that instead of no-brand of cheap XXXXXX brand which you can find in most consumer electronic. So ASUS did a good job. Four thumbs up.

 

But we are here to share something that could improve - with or without limit. The option will depend on the  customer. If he/she is a regular customer, then he/she will be ok with the stock condition which is quite good at the price range. But if you are a hardcore user, then upgrading the parts could extend the performance to a higher level. And I have to say, E1 has a lot of potential inside that we can dig down deeper.

 

PS: I worked for ASUS few years ago. I met a lot of great people with strong technical background both in Taiwan HQ in Beitou and also the Shanghai factory in Wai Gao Qiao FTZ in Shanghai. I knEw some colleague in the NA area in after sales department, though I hardly remembered their name (sorry fellas) as we usually met only few times in a year during Service GSM. I knew the core and spirit of the company which was excellent (with all the LSS approach etc). Not mentioning Jonney and Jonathan (rarely saw Jerry) who sometime came by to encourage us with some speech during the meeting (really excellent leaders). Very good and enjoyable company to work with. I admired Xonar line up and quite happy when ASUS decided to jump into multimedia industry. So what's wrong with my mod here? Did I disturb you or your company? I'm a happy E1 user and want to bring this E1 into higher level. What's wrong with that?

 

One last question, you are commenting here representing ASUS or your personal comment? From my point of view (and surely also from company perspective), if you are commenting from your own view, I would prefer you to use alternate personal name. But if you are representing ASUS and not happy with my activities, just tell me. I would be more than happy to delete all my post here. I got nothing from posting here anyway. Just seeing some people trying to upgrade their E1 and I think I can share my experiments.

 

Thanks.


Edited by xneakers - 5/14/13 at 1:30am
post #2089 of 3068
Quote:
Originally Posted by xneakers View Post

Hi ASUSXONAR,

Those UP-OCC costs around per foot and you don't need a mile to replace those 'original ribbon'.

 

The spacing is not an issue. As if in PCB design, you don't have to wire signal and ground side by side to avoid what you said as SNR. The proper layout and size itself matter. Anyway the cable placement itself very near to the chassis, not floating around crossing high current area. 

 

Please search for a Pierre Johanet if you want to know about insulation and those impact in sound. Still debatable, but we are doing some experiment locally and there are some interesting finding.

 

I'm not an expert, but I have heard and compared probably most of the capacitors that I've could get around. So I'm not replacing them because they look cheap (but I test and listen them before judging which to put where).

 

If I replace because it looks cheap, then the first thing I should do is to change the black chassis to a gold plated chassis. Should that make the sound better? :)

 

I didn't have any intention to say ASUS uses cheap parts (sorry if you feel so). Nichicon KT used on the original definitely 'expensive' for manufacturing point of view. And ASUS did a great job to use that instead of no-brand of cheap XXXXXX brand which you can find in most consumer electronic. So ASUS did a good job. Four thumbs up.

 

But we are here to share something that could improve - with or without limit. The option will depend on the  customer. If he/she is a regular customer, then he/she will be ok with the stock condition which is quite good at the price range. But if you are a hardcore user, then upgrading the parts could extend the performance to a higher level. And I have to say, E1 has a lot of potential inside that we can dig down deeper.

 

PS: I worked for ASUS few years ago. I met a lot of great people with strong technical background both in Taiwan HQ in Beitou and also the Shanghai factory in Wai Gao Qiao FTZ di Shanghai. I knEw some colleague in the NA area in after sales department, though I hardly remembered their name (sorry fellas) as we usually met only few times in a year during Service GSM. I knew the core and spirit of the company which was excellent (with all the LSS approach etc). Not mentioning Jonney and Jonathan (rarely saw Jerry) who sometime came by to encourage us with some speech during the meeting (really excellent leaders). Very good and enjoyable company to work with. I admired Xonar line up and quite happy when ASUS decided to jump into multimedia industry. So what's wrong with my mod here? Did I disturb you or your company? I'm a happy E1 user and want to bring this E1 into higher level. What's wrong with that?

 

One last question, you are commenting here representing ASUS or your personal comment? From my point of view (and surely also from company perspective), if you are commenting from your own view, I would prefer you to use alternate personal name. But if you are representing ASUS and not happy with my activities, just tell me. I would be more than happy to delete all my post here. I got nothing from posting here anyway. Just seeing some people trying to upgrade their E1 and I think I can share my experiments.

 

Thanks.

Please keep posting here, as we enjoyed reading your posts and contributions and appreciate all the hard work that went into .

post #2090 of 3068
Quote:
Originally Posted by turokrocks View Post

Please keep posting here, as we enjoyed reading your posts and contributions and appreciate all the hard work that went into .

+1

post #2091 of 3068
Quote:
Originally Posted by xneakers View Post

Cheap ribbon cable vs UP-OCC with Teflon insulated is no contest.

 

I agree with the statement, but it could be a great overkill depending on what type of electric information runs through.

For analog signal or power supply it should be ok, but for digital signalling not.

Do you know what signals run through E1 ribbon connector ?

Best regards.

Damir

post #2092 of 3068

Hi Damir,

The function of the ribbon cable is to jumper the signal from the output of the low pass filter to the green Alps then back again to the final stage of the opamp. As E1 has balanced output, we need 4 gangs volume control here. My tracing result on below picture will explain more.

 

G means Ground, I means Input, and O for output.

 

So, yes they carry analog signal.

 

For $2-3 a foot, I don't see any reason why I shouldn't upgrade it. I will use no more than 6 feet of wire. Off course you can twist them if you are afraid with such crosstalk/noise/SNR/etc. Or if you are really paranoid, you can line up the wires in horizontal side by side to mimic the original ribbon wire. Not a painful job compared with the result.

 

I think other approach is to put the volume control on the nearby the ribbon cable connector and put a long shaft to the front panel. But there are million ways to Rome, right?

 

Again YMMV and you can find your own way to improve the performance.

 

Thanks.

 

1000

post #2093 of 3068
Quote:
Originally Posted by xneakers View Post

Hi Damir,

The function of the ribbon cable is to jumper the signal from the output of the low pass filter to the green Alps then back again to the final stage of the opamp. As E1 has balanced output, we need 4 gangs volume control here. My tracing result on below picture will explain more.

.........

Thanks for explanation. Really there is a place for the highest quality cables, even coaxial (if there is enough space).

I'll look closer into my E1, it would be easy mod.

Damir

post #2094 of 3068
Quote:

Originally Posted by xneakers View Post

 

the green Alps

 

Just for the record, the pots are made by Taiwan Alpha wink.gif

post #2095 of 3068
Quote:
Originally Posted by xneakers View Post

Hi ASUSXONAR,

Those UP-OCC costs around USD 2 per foot and you don't need a mile to replace those 'original ribbon'.

 

The spacing is not an issue. As if in PCB design, you don't have to wire signal and ground side by side to avoid what you said as SNR. The proper layout and size itself matter. Anyway the cable placement itself very near to the chassis, not floating around crossing high current area. 

 

Please search for a Pierre Johanet if you want to know about insulation and those impact in sound. Still debatable, but we are doing some experiment locally and there are some interesting finding.

 

I'm not an expert, but I have heard and compared probably most of the capacitors that I've could get around. So I'm not replacing them because they look cheap (but I test and listen them before judging which to put where).

 

If I replace because it looks cheap, then the first thing I should do is to change the black chassis to a gold plated chassis. Should that make the sound better? :)

 

I didn't have any intention to say ASUS uses cheap parts (sorry if you feel so). Nichicon KT used on the original definitely 'expensive' for manufacturing point of view. And ASUS did a great job to use that instead of no-brand of cheap XXXXXX brand which you can find in most consumer electronic. So ASUS did a good job. Four thumbs up.

 

But we are here to share something that could improve - with or without limit. The option will depend on the  customer. If he/she is a regular customer, then he/she will be ok with the stock condition which is quite good at the price range. But if you are a hardcore user, then upgrading the parts could extend the performance to a higher level. And I have to say, E1 has a lot of potential inside that we can dig down deeper.

 

PS: I worked for ASUS few years ago. I met a lot of great people with strong technical background both in Taiwan HQ in Beitou and also the Shanghai factory in Wai Gao Qiao FTZ in Shanghai. I knEw some colleague in the NA area in after sales department, though I hardly remembered their name (sorry fellas) as we usually met only few times in a year during Service GSM. I knew the core and spirit of the company which was excellent (with all the LSS approach etc). Not mentioning Jonney and Jonathan (rarely saw Jerry) who sometime came by to encourage us with some speech during the meeting (really excellent leaders). Very good and enjoyable company to work with. I admired Xonar line up and quite happy when ASUS decided to jump into multimedia industry. So what's wrong with my mod here? Did I disturb you or your company? I'm a happy E1 user and want to bring this E1 into higher level. What's wrong with that?

 

One last question, you are commenting here representing ASUS or your personal comment? From my point of view (and surely also from company perspective), if you are commenting from your own view, I would prefer you to use alternate personal name. But if you are representing ASUS and not happy with my activities, just tell me. I would be more than happy to delete all my post here. I got nothing from posting here anyway. Just seeing some people trying to upgrade their E1 and I think I can share my experiments.

 

Thanks.

You do have a lot to get off your chest :)

 

I am representing ASUS yes. Would prefer people know all the details before they start stripping their units down and voiding their warranty. :)

 

You are free to post whatever you wish. But as it's hard for you to quantify some of these effects, I would urge some caution for those that are reading. That's all.

 

Post away.

post #2096 of 3068
Quote:
Originally Posted by ASUSXONAR View Post

You do have a lot to get off your chest :)

 

I am representing ASUS yes. Would prefer people know all the details before they start stripping their units down and voiding their warranty. :)

 

You are free to post whatever you wish. But as it's hard for you to quantify some of these effects, I would urge some caution for those that are reading. That's all.

 

Post away.


Honest opinion; people should know that desoldering components off multilayer pcb is not a trivial job without appropriate tools and skills.

Best regards.

Damir

post #2097 of 3068
I will make it simple if it's too hard for you for saying this (and you dont have to waste time convincing people to follow your simple mod - though I'm quite sure it will void the warranty anyway, even for small soldering).

FOLLOW MY MOD AND YOU WILL VOID YOUR WARRANTY.

clear enough? Though I believe it should have been written clearly in the warranty card, at least for ASUS in my country when I translated those warranty card few years back.

Thanks.
Edited by xneakers - 5/14/13 at 9:21am
post #2098 of 3068

Soldering directly to an aftermarket op-amp won't because the unit remains intact - no modifications to the PCB or surrounding components are allowed from a warranty perspective. The reason I mentioned this in the first place is there has already been one user that tried de-soldering caps and managed to screw it up. Of course that's not your fault or mine, but I do prefer to remind people most of this stuff is not trivial. On top of that, some of these mods don't really "help" in the right sense per se.

 

Sure that's clear enough. Don't feel I am taking it out on you. There's no need to be aggressive. :)


Edited by ASUSXONAR - 5/14/13 at 10:36am
post #2099 of 3068
You were not mentioning that on the first place wink.gif

If you clearly stated: BE CAREFUL GUYS, DOING THIS WILL VOID YOUR WARRANTY.

That would be the most elegant way to explain and inform as ASUS rep.

But instead of doing that, you were suggesting/challenging with another way of modding, which I believe for most user, it means you (with ASUS badge), suggesting to mod the card with specific brand of stacked capacitor to improve the sound.

I can also say, how about if customer doesnt know which pin should be bypassed with your recommended method? This is as 'stupid' as customer who doesnt know that following my mod will void their warranty, right?

If they plug to wrong pin, blow the opamp. How do you answer that when he comes to your 'Royal Club' service center showing a print of your suggestion in this forum? Customer can easily says, 'I follow ASUS suggestion and now my warranty is void?'

A big NO NO as you are ASUS rep should not recommend any method or specific brand of capacitor, unless it comes from you as personal, but wait, you are wearing ASUS badge here!

I'm not being aggresive, but seeing you always find way to justify yourself that all of your comments based on the good intention to prevent customer voiding their warranty, then I think I should show where did you do wrong and why you should not do that. So you can improve yourself.

This is for your own good, as ASUS rep smily_headphones1.gif

PS: Still remember I sent you PM few weeks ago asking for some tech stuff and you said that you are marketing and didnt really get into tech stuff and refer me to ASUS support. Now within a week suddenly you know a lot about technical stuff, SNR, cable crossing, and even know that my mod wont much help. Now I should say 'hmmm...' smily_headphones1.gif

PS2: Tell us how do you plan to solder your recommended stacked capacitor to your aftermarket opamp and to make sure it wont void your warranty? Dont you ever think it can melt you opamp socket? Still under warranty?

Sorry for (eventually) being (a bit) aggresive, but I think you are just trying to run away and hiding behind the idea to prevent customer voiding the warranty. Because I dont really think you understand the whole story...

Thanks.
Edited by xneakers - 5/14/13 at 11:36am
post #2100 of 3068

I understand fine Xneakers and I am not running anywhere. :)

 

Yes maybe we need a disclaimer for that too. Plastic will melt if the iron touches it so it is better to solder to an op-amp when it is not in the socket :)

 

I won't recommend any mods without oscilloscope pics again - I think its probably the best way to recommend things like this. You are quite correct. 


Edited by ASUSXONAR - 5/14/13 at 12:00pm
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