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X-FI Titanium HD modifications

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

I need som information. These electrolytics on the Creative X-FI HD card, how to they compare to higher quality caps which are found on the Xonar ST? And secondly, if for example Nichion Muse or Nichion FG would be an upgrade, which caps do I need to swap here to improve the analog out? My experience with the card, compared to Audiotrak HD2, is very "bright", "harsh" and lack of bass. I presume opamp swap will change alot, but will a cap mod also help? Can anyone help - which needs swapping to improve stereo output?? (if the difference is not neglible as these might be HQ caps)

 

PS_%20XFI%20Titanium%20HD%203.jpg

post #2 of 14

Nichicon FG caps are through-hole components (they have wires coming out from the bottom), those caps there are surface-mount.  I recommend Sanyo OScon for digital power to the DAC chip (I would need to be looking at that soundcard in person to figure that out).  They come in though-hole form or surface mount, you want the surface-mount.  For analogue power and output, you could try Nichicon surface-mount caps, but I do not know how good they are.

post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 

oh... surface mount. That means I wont be able to mod it myself.

 

These electrolytics that Creative are using here, are they high or low quality? Are they as bad as Jamicon which they used before on other products?

post #4 of 14

Most likely surface-mount Jamicons or something, lol.

They like to go cheap on circuit components but throw in a good DAC chip for decent sound.

post #5 of 14

I have tried few things on Titanium HD, and i think an external DAC is a better investment, if only the front speakers required. I haven't done experiments with Solid-polymer capacitors.

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/589078/almis-x-fi-mod-hotrodding-sound-blaster-x-fi-models

post #6 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by krisno View Post

I need som information. These electrolytics on the Creative X-FI HD card, how to they compare to higher quality caps which are found on the Xonar ST? And secondly, if for example Nichion Muse or Nichion FG would be an upgrade, which caps do I need to swap here to improve the analog out? My experience with the card, compared to Audiotrak HD2, is very "bright", "harsh" and lack of bass. I presume opamp swap will change alot, but will a cap mod also help? Can anyone help - which needs swapping to improve stereo output?? (if the difference is not neglible as these might be HQ caps)

 

 

You can mod the caps but I doubt you would get the response you are looking for at a reasonable price and easy mod.  Judging by what you say is off, try some Burr Browns, they lean more to the bass area and less towards the high so they may give you the right mix you are after.  Try, OPA2134,OPA2227,OPA2228... 
 

 

post #7 of 14

The caps directly behind the RCA jacs are likely coupling caps & they are too small. Only 10uf. The coupling caps between the I/V amps & the buffers (220uf) are large enough not to matter in terms of bass response though you could get better clarity without them. removing & putting wire in the place of the 10uf caps will likely improve bass dramatically & doing the same to the 220uf coupling caps will bring you better clarity without losing bass.You will need 2 soldering irons to safely remove them & some fairly thin wire to make it easier to solder wir jumpers in as thick wire trnsfers too much heat & may loosen one end while soldering the other end due to excessive heat transfer.


Edited by germanium - 2/9/12 at 8:59pm
post #8 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by germanium View Post

The caps directly behind the RCA jacs are likely coupling caps & they are too small. Only 10uf. The coupling caps between the I/V amps & the buffers (220uf) are large enough not to matter in terms of bass response though you could get better clarity without them. removing & putting wire in the place of the 10uf caps will likely improve bass dramatically & doing the same to the 220uf coupling caps will bring you better clarity without losing bass.You will need 2 soldering irons to safely remove them & some fairly thin wire to make it easier to solder wir jumpers in as thick wire trnsfers too much heat & may loosen one end while soldering the other end due to excessive heat transfer.

I made a mistake here the 10uf caps in that location are power supply caps to the I/V & buffer amps I just got this card & confirmed thier function My most beautifull sounding Essense STX went tit's up. Nothing to do with the analog section just the computer stopped recognizing it & Fry's didn't have an exact replacement but had the X-Fi Titanium HD which I have modded similar to the Essense STX card. Similar results but mods much more difficult than on the STX card. Sound is very very good, A bit more mid forward than the STX but everything is still present, Bass is strong & treble is very there but not quite as good it seems as the modded STX. Still may do some other mods yet. So far I removed all the coupling caps & put wire in thier place from the I/V section to the buffers. Buffers already ditect coupled. D.C. offset 4 millivolts max so that is good. I also bypassed the I/V & buffer power supply caps with 4-12uf metalized film caps. If I had to do the coupling cap mod again on this card I would just use my kiner wire to go around the caps as removing the caps is just about impossible without taking the solder lands with them. Fortunately I got  fairly good at making the connections without the solder pads & the card works & sounds very good.


Edited by germanium - 7/2/12 at 10:53pm
post #9 of 14

I managed to get the sound of my modded Asus STX out of the X-Fi titanium HD. Same mods as the Asus but was more difficult & couldn't place things how I wanted but they worked well anyway.

post #10 of 14

While I did get the tone of this card to match the STX cards tone presentation of depth is still not quite equal but still very good. I have one piece of music that on the STX you could not tell where the speakers were at all but on this card even with the mods I can tell the location of the speakers from time to time. Not all the time but more often than with the STX card. With the STX the speakers totally disappeared as sound source. With this card it mostly does but not for the whole album.


Edited by germanium - 4/15/13 at 9:19pm
post #11 of 14

Still using this modded X-Fi titanium HD card. Sounds very very good with my M-Audio BX5's & with my new modded Koss UR55 headphones. The Koss were a real steal of a deal even at their MSRP as once modded which are very simple to do these are really giant killers sound wise especially on this soundcard. Only fly in the ointment is slightly emphasized bass but not nearly as bad as some more highly regarded phones. Bass is not boomy Stock they are somewhat muffled sounding even on my soundcard but modded OOOO-LLAA-LLAA. Impressively well balanced for such a cheap phone especially on my soundcard.

 

After modding the headphones the true energy of most power instruments easily comes through & cymbal are clear with the correct sparkle & body. Many headphones have a problem with this instrument but not these. Electric guitars have the proper piercing quality in the upper ranges & massive body & harmonic detail in the lower ranges. Piano is very well presented with great body, harmonic detail & sparkle in the upper ranges. All the properties are somewhat reduced on my portable sources but not lost.


Edited by germanium - 4/15/13 at 9:15pm
post #12 of 14

"Bright"? "Harsh"? "Lack of bass"?

 

Are we even talking about the X-Fi Titanium HD here? My impressions don't fall in line with any of that; if anything, its bass is a bit more punchy than the Auzentech-built X-Fi cards I used prior, and this is before I factor in EQ or bass boost! The frequency response seems pretty balanced overall, and any harshness I've experienced generally comes from the headphones, like the SR-202 or HE-400.

 

And whatever you do, don't just replace the JRC 2114Ds with LME49860NAs or their similarly-named variants and leave the stock LME49710NAs in place. Not unless you like harshly-exaggerated treble, ridiculously boosted bass, and a horribly recessed midrange.

post #13 of 14

NAMELESSPFG- quite agree I have the same audio card in my 1 YR old PC and your right nobody could call it harsh etc.-very smooth but  detailed into an old ARCAM/A+R

            30W amp into Sony APM22es speakers. Cant complain about the quality of sound especially through a PC. 

post #14 of 14

While I wouldn't necessarily call the card harsh, it wasn't very sweet sounding at the top. With the mods I've done it is both sweet & very highly detailed on top, more so than stock. I did not like the sound of the stock card though in some ways it was more detailed than the stock STX. Power supply mods really sweetened the highend & gave it more detail & body.

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