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Audioengine A5+ Speaker Upgrades - Page 3

post #31 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by cssarrow View Post

Understood.

 

The guy from the thread is emailing me and assisting me with this mod.

He says to use two capacitors and connect the positive legs together, thus making it a bi-polar capacitor with two negatives.

Just like you, he says the Bipolar will reduce distortion that is induced by the capacitors.

 

Here is a mini map-out of what i will be doing

 

 

Either + with +, or - with - should work.  (for making bipolar capacitor from two polar capacitors)

 

By shunting the ceramic/polymers, wouldn't that lower the overall capacitance? Should i have to make it up when using the Elna Silmics?

That is the part in which i do not understand.

 

I will order some Silmic II's today. Is there any other possible mods that you can think of to improve the signal path?

 

Tim

 

Looks good, looks like you have got it all down. 

 

When you shunt the ceramic/polymers, the capacitance is replaced by inductance of a wire (which is tiny, tiny), and the AC coupling becomes DC coupling, and you get rid of that pesky capacitor.

 

When you replace the capacitors at the input with home-made bipolars (of 2 silmics back to back), you need a capacitance that is MORE OR EQUAL to the existing value.  So on diyaudio, the value was 22uf x 2, which means the total capacitance is:

 

Total Effectice Capacitance = 1/( 1/C1+1/C2+1/C3.......), so for only 2 capacitors in series and each one is 22uf, the effective capacitance is 1/(1/22+1/22) = 11uf, which is just perfect.  You can get Silmic II in 25V varieties at 22uf for really cheap from digikey (and stock up on some while you are at it).

 

Try these mods first, and let us know what you think.  I think you'll notice a difference now that the coupling is just 1 set of high quality caps, all DC inside the multi-stage amplification.

post #32 of 123

As for benefits to shunting vs. replacing them with wires - NO DIFFERENCE.  Perhaps a difference if you are dealing with super high frequencies like in the Ghz range, but not in this case, absolutely not.  It is simpler to just shunt with a wire, and it is gentler to the PCB as a result as well.

post #33 of 123
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Handy Ray View Post

 

Looks good, looks like you have got it all down. 

 

When you shunt the ceramic/polymers, the capacitance is replaced by inductance of a wire (which is tiny, tiny), and the AC coupling becomes DC coupling, and you get rid of that pesky capacitor.

 

When you replace the capacitors at the input with home-made bipolars (of 2 silmics back to back), you need a capacitance that is MORE OR EQUAL to the existing value.  So on diyaudio, the value was 22uf x 2, which means the total capacitance is:

 

Total Effectice Capacitance = 1/( 1/C1+1/C2+1/C3.......), so for only 2 capacitors in series and each one is 22uf, the effective capacitance is 1/(1/22+1/22) = 11uf, which is just perfect.  You can get Silmic II in 25V varieties at 22uf for really cheap from digikey (and stock up on some while you are at it).

 

Try these mods first, and let us know what you think.  I think you'll notice a difference now that the coupling is just 1 set of high quality caps, all DC inside the multi-stage amplification.

Great, that was what i wanted to hear.

 

11uF over by 1uF is perfect. I'll get them from Mouser along with some other capacitors for my powered subwoofer pcb.

 

I will let you/everyone else know how they sound once everything is completed.

 

In estimation, i believe these are the mods that would make the largest differences in sound.

#1 being the mod that improves the sound the most

  1. Ceramic/Polyester Capacitor Bypass & Coupling Replaced with Elna Silmic II.
  2. Crossover Capacitor & Resistor Upgrade
  3. Amplifier PCB Capacitor Upgrade (ChengX/Yihcon to Nichicon KZ/KG & Panasonic FR)
  4. Dampening Speaker Housing
  5. Wire Change (OFC to SPOFC) (Fully soldered joints, no more crimp connectors)
  6. Power Cord & Film Capacitor Upgrade

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Handy Ray View Post

As for benefits to shunting vs. replacing them with wires - NO DIFFERENCE.  Perhaps a difference if you are dealing with super high frequencies like in the Ghz range, but not in this case, absolutely not.  It is simpler to just shunt with a wire, and it is gentler to the PCB as a result as well.

Thank you so much!

This will save me so much time.

I am going to use some 28AWG SPOFC Wire to shunt them.

 

I believe after all of these upgrades/mods, that there won't be any mod's left for me to do. frown.gif

 

Timothy


Edited by cssarrow - 1/31/13 at 12:14am
post #34 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Handy Ray View Post

As for benefits to shunting vs. replacing them with wires - NO DIFFERENCE.  Perhaps a difference if you are dealing with super high frequencies like in the Ghz range, but not in this case, absolutely not.  It is simpler to just shunt with a wire, and it is gentler to the PCB as a result as well.

 

Forgive my naivety, but how exactly does one shunt with a wire?? Or, for that matter, shunt at all?? I'm not familiar with this but I'd really like to try these mods. Thanks.

post #35 of 123
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scallywag View Post

Forgive my naivety, but how exactly does one shunt with a wire?? Or, for that matter, shunt at all?? I'm not familiar with this but I'd really like to try these mods. Thanks.

Shunt as in bypass.
A capacitor has two ends that it is then used to soldered onto the pcb.

The reason for bypassing the capacitor is to get rid of it/go pass it, in this case, getting rid of the crappy ceramic and polymer capacitors, in the signal path which polutes your sound.

Removing the ceramics and polymers and replacing them with better coupling capacitors will heavily improve the sound.
post #36 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by cssarrow View Post


Shunt as in bypass.
A capacitor has two ends that it is then used to soldered onto the pcb.

The reason for bypassing the capacitor is to get rid of it/go pass it, in this case, getting rid of the crappy ceramic and polymer capacitors, in the signal path which polutes your sound.

Removing the ceramics and polymers and replacing them with better coupling capacitors will heavily improve the sound.

So you would literally solder a wire in place of the cap in order to bypass it?

post #37 of 123
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scallywag View Post

So you would literally solder a wire in place of the cap in order to bypass it?

Yes.
Solder one end of the wire to one end of the ceramic/polymer capacitor and the other end of the wire to the other side of the capacitor (or the solder spot that the capacitor is on).

When you put a wire in parallel with a capacitor, it effectively removes that capacitor from the circuit. Thus the signal goes through the wire instead, fully ignoring the capacitor, which improves the sound because now it's no longer running through the ceramic/polymer capacitors.

You only bypass the two polymers on the left side, and 6 ceramics in the middle with a wire.

For the bottom right polymer capacitors, only replace those if you're using pre-out on the A5+for something like a subwoofer.
For the right side polymer capacitors, replace those as they're in the signal path, with 4 Elna Silmic II 22uF 25V.
This way the signal is no longer coupled by the ceramic/polymers, but with the Elna Silmic II which is very very high quality and would sound nice. Especially after 100 hours of usage they'll sound their best.

Note: You have to solder to remove those right/bottom right side polymer capacitors, so that you can solder the new caps on the soldering spots the caps once were on.

Tim
Edited by cssarrow - 1/29/13 at 7:13pm
post #38 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by cssarrow View Post


Yes.
Solder one end of the wire to one end of the ceramic/polymer capacitor and the other end of the wire to the other side of the capacitor (or the solder spot that the capacitor is on).

When you put a wire in parallel with a capacitor, it effectively removes that capacitor from the circuit. Thus the signal goes through the wire instead, fully ignoring the capacitor, which improves the sound because now it's no longer running through the ceramic/polymer capacitors.

You only bypass the two polymers on the left side, and 6 ceramics in the middle with a wire.

For the bottom right polymer capacitors, only replace those if you're using pre-out on the A5+for something like a subwoofer.
For the right side polymer capacitors, replace those as they're in the signal path, with 4 Elna Silmic II 22uF 25V.
This way the signal is no longer coupled by the ceramic/polymers, but with the Elna Silmic II which is very very high quality and would sound nice. Especially after 100 hours of usage they'll sound their best.

Note: You have to solder to remove those right/bottom right side polymer capacitors, so that you can solder the new caps on the soldering spots the caps once were on.

Tim

 

I see. Thanks, this is very helpful. If you don't mind posting a photo example of a shunt in your mod, when you get there of course, I would be most grateful. 

post #39 of 123
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scallywag View Post

 

I see. Thanks, this is very helpful. If you don't mind posting a photo example of a shunt in your mod, when you get there of course, I would be most grateful. 

Yeah, no worries about that. I'm already done with bypassing it, so I'll upload a picture soon.

 

I post pictures to the degree that anyone can understand just by looking.

I know that terrible feeling of trying to understand circuitry, so my only wish is to make it easy for you to understand.

 

This way, you can get the best sound from your product. (A5/A5+)

 

Tim

post #40 of 123
Thread Starter 

To Scallywag:

 

I updated Section 4 for you.

Please check page 1 for pictures/steps.

 

Timothy

post #41 of 123

Looking great!  Very clean de-solder!
 

post #42 of 123

Oh and for the Silmic replacements, I trimmed the legs of the Silmics as short as possible and soldered them onto the pads then used some hot glue to hold them in place.  Try to keep the legs short.
 

post #43 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by cssarrow View Post

To Scallywag:

 

I updated Section 4 for you.

Please check page 1 for pictures/steps.

 

Timothy

 

Great! So in the photos, under each new gob of solder where a ceramic cap was, there is now a small bit of wire connecting the solder spots, correct??  I want to be completely sure of what I'm doing before I try this. I'm quite comfortable using the soldering iron. Again, I've just never tried this particular kind of mod. Thanks again, this is so helpful!  

post #44 of 123
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scallywag View Post

 

Great! So in the photos, under each new gob of solder where a ceramic cap was, there is now a small bit of wire connecting the solder spots, correct??  I want to be completely sure of what I'm doing before I try this. I'm quite comfortable using the soldering iron. Again, I've just never tried this particular kind of mod. Thanks again, this is so helpful!  

After removing the six ceramic's at the center along with the two polymer's on the top left side.

Use a tweezer to place the 3-4mm tinned bare wire onto where the original capacitors were

 

Using a tweezer, hold down the wire and began soldering the ends.

Simply wet the tip of your soldering iron with solder, and touch it to each end, hold for 1-2 seconds.

Wait until fully solid, before removing the tweezer.

 

It's pretty simple.

The next part we're going to be adding in the higher grade electrolytic capacitors (Elna Silmic II), so it's going to be a little harder than this.

I'll make the step by step process even more simpler once my capacitors come in. o2smile.gif

 

 


Quote:
Originally Posted by Handy Ray View Post

Oh and for the Silmic replacements, I trimmed the legs of the Silmics as short as possible and soldered them onto the pads then used some hot glue to hold them in place.  Try to keep the legs short.
 

I'll do that too.

Sometimes when using large Wima Film capacitors, i tend to bend the legs like this " \_ " so it makes room for them. 

 

Like this for example:

 

I bet you do the same wink.gif.

 

Will see if i can get it to sit nicely with short legs, if not, i can just run a wire out.

 

Tim


Edited by cssarrow - 1/30/13 at 10:54am
post #45 of 123
Quote:
Originally Posted by cssarrow View Post

After removing the six ceramic's at the center along with the two polymer's on the top left side.

Use a tweezer to place the 3-4mm tinned bare wire onto where the original capacitors were

 

Using a tweezer, hold down the wire and began soldering the ends.

Simply wet the tip of your soldering iron with solder, and touch it to each end, hold for 1-2 seconds.

Wait until fully solid, before removing the tweezer.

 

It's pretty simple.

The next part we're going to be adding in the higher grade electrolytic capacitors (Elna Silmic II), so it's going to be a little harder than this.

I'll make the step by step process even more simpler once my capacitors come in. o2smile.gif

 

 


 

I'll do that too.

Sometimes when using large Wima Film capacitors, i tend to bend the legs like this " \_ " so it makes room for them. 

 

Like this for example:

 

I bet you do the same wink.gif.

 

Will see if i can get it to sit nicely with short legs, if not, i can just run a wire out.

 

Tim

 

I rested my Silmics flat against the board (on top of some surface mount parts, if I remember correctly) and glued it down like that.

 

For the other caps that are through-hole, I noticed there is about 1 cm of room behind the board, so if you have too much crowding, or just want to make it easier, you can mount them on the reverse side.  I did that with a few things to free up some room on the top side.  Functionally identical.

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