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FiiO X3 mod - AD8397 to AD8620 - Page 6

post #76 of 217
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tomb View Post

I really don't understand this thread, unless the FiiO implementation of the AD8397 is suspect.

 

You don't need to suspect of OPA2134 on a cmoy to swap in a OPA2227, don't you? wink.gif

post #77 of 217
Quote:
Originally Posted by ClieOS View Post

 

You don't need to suspect of OPA2134 on a cmoy to swap in a OPA2227, don't you? wink.gif

Apples and oranges.  The point is, the AD8397 is a superior opamp in every way.  More - it's quite tricky to design a circuit and PCB layout to get the AD8397 to run stable.

 

I was simply pointing out that it just seemed the focus of the thread is - no offense - gutting the amp.

post #78 of 217
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tomb View Post

Apples and oranges.  The point is, the AD8397 is a superior opamp in every way.  More - it's quite tricky to design a circuit and PCB layout to get the AD8397 to run stable.

 

I was simply pointing out that it just seemed the focus of the thread is - no offense - gutting the amp.

 

Not offended. As I have pointed out in this thread before, technically AD8397 is a better chip. But I also pointed out why I have done this mod - willingly to go for a (technically) lesser chip for a sound I wanted. I did some RMAA measurement on both, and AD8397 wins (or at least par) on most accounts. However, last week we had a small local meet where we have two X3, one stock and one mod'ed (mine), and we asked people to listen to both without telling them which is which (so it is kind of a semi-blind test). Everyone on the meet who listened to both prefer mine, including a girls who isn't really an audiophiles herself but only went to the meet with her audiophiles boyfriend and being asked by her boyfriend to try out both X3.

 

The point is, though AD8397 is technically better on spec - however, in the range of headphones I'll use portably (not demanding IEM mostly), AD8620 sounds better. So the mod makes sense for me based on what I need for a DAP. If I really need to use more demanding headphone that AD8620 can't handle, I'll go with an TOTL portable amp instead, which will outperform the stock AD8397 amp section just as well.

post #79 of 217
Quote:
Originally Posted by ClieOS View Post

 

Not offended. As I have pointed out in this thread before, technically AD8397 is a better chip. But I also pointed out why I have done this mod - willingly to go for a (technically) lesser chip for a sound I wanted. I did some RMAA measurement on both, and AD8397 wins (or at least par) on most accounts. However, last week we had a small local meet where we have two X3, one stock and one mod'ed (mine), and we asked people to listen to both without telling them which is which (so it is kind of a semi-blind test). Everyone on the meet who listened to both prefer mine, including a girls who isn't really an audiophiles herself but only went to the meet with her audiophiles boyfriend and being asked by her boyfriend to try out both X3.

 

The point is, though AD8397 is technically better on spec - however, in the range of headphones I'll use portably (not demanding IEM mostly), AD8620 sounds better. So the mod makes sense for me based on what I need for a DAP. If I really need to use more demanding headphone that AD8620 can't handle, I'll go with an TOTL portable amp instead, which will outperform the stock AD8397 amp section just as well.

Between the modified Fiio X3 (with AD8620) vs Colorfly C3, which one has better detail, clarity, sound stage, separation and real bass?


Edited by boombobby289 - 8/16/13 at 8:53am
post #80 of 217
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by boombobby289 View Post

Between the modified Fiio X3 (with AD8620) vs Colorfly C3, which one has better detail, clarity, sound stage, separation and real bass?

 

Detail: X3 > C3, main on mid to low frequency with better texture.

Clarity: on par

SoundStage: almost on par, but C3 is a hair wider.

Separation: C3 > X3, mainly because C3 has a slightly bigger soundstage but again, they are close.

Bass: X3 > C3, more solid in body.

 

The main difference between the two is that C3 is wide and clean, but lacks some of the lower end detail and texture. The mod'ed X3 has better lower end detail and texture and overall a more balance tonal distribution, but lesser in soundstage (though not bad per se).

post #81 of 217

Maybe a stupid question, but I'll ask it anyways. Does swapping opamps have any benefits other than sound? If you swap for a lower power opamp wouldn't you get an extended battery life and lower heat generation.

Cheers

post #82 of 217
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Trev View Post

Maybe a stupid question, but I'll ask it anyways. Does swapping opamps have any benefits other than sound? If you swap for a lower power opamp wouldn't you get an extended battery life and lower heat generation.

Cheers

 

Quoting from 1st post: "Another side benefit of the mod will be a likely extended battery life, since both opamps draw less power than AD8397"

 

Curious:  How did you get this far into the thread without reading the 1st post?

post #83 of 217

It was a long time since I read the 1st post.....guess I forgot.

post #84 of 217

I have seen some facebook pages that's modding x3's OPamp and DAC. As seen here (they also can mod it to be balanced)

 

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.520435121356816.1073741858.489487097784952&type=3

 

Any thoughts what will happen if you also change the WM8740 to WM8741? Better SQ?

 

And "maybe" someone can compare the modded x3 (ad8620) to those android players with external DAC(HifimeDIY or ODAC) + c5 SQ?

post #85 of 217
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by traililanam View Post

I have seen some facebook pages that's modding x3's OPamp and DAC. As seen here (they also can mod it to be balanced)

 

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.520435121356816.1073741858.489487097784952&type=3

 

Any thoughts what will happen if you also change the WM8740 to WM8741? Better SQ?

 

And "maybe" someone can compare the modded x3 (ad8620) to those android players with external DAC(HifimeDIY or ODAC) + c5 SQ?

 

Good thing those are HKD instead of USD they are quoting, or else the price are way over the top.

 

Mod to balanced is actually fairly easy once you read WM8740's datasheet. The DAC itself is inherently balanced so you just need to bypass the I/V stage.

 

I don't know whether WM8741 is actually that good a sound over WM8740, but I know it will further reduce the battery life by quite an significant amount as I remember WM8741 requires 3~4 times more power.

post #86 of 217

After I replace AD8620. Test with GRADO 325is, GRADO 225, SONY XBA4- there is some distortion!!!!!

UMMMM.......

I take AD8397 back. for good result.

post #87 of 217
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunny25 View Post
 

After I replace AD8620. Test with GRADO 325is, GRADO 225, SONY XBA4- there is some distortion!!!!!

UMMMM.......

I take AD8397 back. for good result.

 

Most likely sometime is wrong (faulty opamp or a weak solder join, perhaps?). I don't hear any distortion on my SR-325is and XBA-4.

 

However, I do want to reiterate that AD8620 does clip when the volume is too high, but I have yet to find an IEM or headphone in my collection that actually causes clipping.

post #88 of 217

Does the X3 have buffers? Some other rail-to-rail opamps that I know of might be usable.

OPA1612 (doens't even need buffers) or AD8066 (stock opamp for iBasso D4).

post #89 of 217
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by s0lar View Post
 

Does the X3 have buffers? Some other rail-to-rail opamps that I know of might be usable.

OPA1612 (doens't even need buffers) or AD8066 (stock opamp for iBasso D4).

 

No. AD8397 already has buffer internally.

post #90 of 217
Quote:
Originally Posted by ClieOS View Post
 

 

No. AD8397 already has buffer internally.

 

Thanks. Then LMH6643, LT1678, OPA1612 might be suitable.

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