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Germanium's Sound blaster ZXR mod thread - Page 5

post #61 of 215
Thread Starter 

I made one mistake. There is a third capacitor near the DAC that needs bypassing. Do not remove any of the others just get another cap & bypass it like the others

 

 

It is the one purple boxed capacitor that is by itself that is on the back side of the EMI shield copper strip. It will yield only a minor improvement but an improvement none the less.

post #62 of 215

I am a newb when it comes to audio electronics. I have done voltage mods and worked on car electronics but never audio equipment. Could you educate me on a few things for this mod.

 

1. Do the mods have to be done all at the same time. Can I just do the shorted caps in the red and blue boxes and will this show some improvement?

 

2. If you are shorting the caps in the red and blue areas aren't you essentially disabling them. What is there purpose if the audio sounds better without them?

 

3. In order, which mods make the greatest to least change in audio difference.

 

4. What does each mod actually help the card do? 

 

5. Why are you suggesting film capacitors rather than the electrolytic ones? Could I use electrolytic ones, I am limited on space and aren't electrolytic caps smaller?

post #63 of 215

Look inside of a high end guitar amp and you'll get you answer on the caps, for the rest of your questions it was mostly covered in the OP.

post #64 of 215
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ModJPB View Post
 

I am a newb when it comes to audio electronics. I have done voltage mods and worked on car electronics but never audio equipment. Could you educate me on a few things for this mod.

 

1. Do the mods have to be done all at the same time. Can I just do the shorted caps in the red and blue boxes and will this show some improvement?

 

2. If you are shorting the caps in the red and blue areas aren't you essentially disabling them. What is there purpose if the audio sounds better without them?

 

3. In order, which mods make the greatest to least change in audio difference.

 

4. What does each mod actually help the card do? 

 

5. Why are you suggesting film capacitors rather than the electrolytic ones? Could I use electrolytic ones, I am limited on space and aren't electrolytic caps smaller?

1. Yes you will get some improvement but you won't get the smoother more extended treble or the warmth in the mids.

 

2. Yes you are disabling them, they are not necessary nor are they called for by the DAC manufacturer

 

3. You won't get the full benefit of the film caps bypasses without shorting the coupling caps. Shorting must be done before attaching film caps.

 

4. All of the mods improve the DAC's ability to pass the signal to the next stage. The film caps provide an improved signal return path resulting in radically higher resolution both from the DAC & from the I/V converters & buffers. All caps bypasses should be done to get the combined warmth & detail that this card is capable of.

 

5. Because electrolytic capacitors are a very low grade capacitor which only real advantage is the ability to store lots of energy in a small space, The losses in the signal can be quite large with them especially noticeable if used in the negative feedback loop going to ground controlling the gain of a high gain amplifier which is how I found out how bad sounding the really are.

post #65 of 215

I swapped the I\V section with MUSE02 and OPA627BP in the buffers......Awesome sounding card,but stock omps really suck!

post #66 of 215
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by raymond555 View Post



I swapped the I\V section with MUSE02 and OPA627BP in the buffers......Awesome sounding card,but stock omps really suck!

Note that I am still using stock opamps. They work extremely well with my modifications. Give the stock opamps an improved power supply & direct connection & they really shine. Everyone that has heard my system with the modified card has been slack jawed by how fine it sounds. They say that it is like being in the studio with the band.
post #67 of 215

I have another question after doing some research. The caps that you are bypassing in the red and blue boxes, are these the output coupling capacitors? If yes, then how will the card prevent from sending an amp or speakers a constant DC signal?  If no, then what the heck did Creative Labs put these caps here for? I mean if it sounds better without them then why did they spend money putting them in? Sorry, I am not doubting you, I am trying to figure out what Creative Labs purpose was behind their design.

post #68 of 215
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ModJPB View Post

I have another question after doing some research. The caps that you are bypassing in the red and blue boxes, are these the output coupling capacitors? If yes, then how will the card prevent from sending an amp or speakers a constant DC signal?  If no, then what the heck did Creative Labs put these caps here for? I mean if it sounds better without them then why did they spend money putting them in? Sorry, I am not doubting you, I am trying to figure out what Creative Labs purpose was behind their design.

These are not output coupling caps but interstage coupling caps. To my knowledge creative rarely uses output stage coupling cap only interstage coupling caps. The is no blocking of D.C. from being output from any of Creative's cards. The only concern really is that when short the interstage coupling caps is that if you get a bad short one of caps you will get about 2.5 volts of D.C. offset at the output. This can be hazardous to downline equipment. The DAC manufacturer does not recommend any coupling caps at all. Properly shorted you get almost zero D.C. offset as less than 5millivolts. This is perfectly safe.
Edited by germanium - 4/30/14 at 5:30pm
post #69 of 215
Thread Starter 

This is a fixed picture of the back of the card showing the new cap location.


There is now 3 caps near the DAC that need bypassing shown in purple. all get 12uf metal film caps.


Edited by germanium - 5/4/14 at 10:02pm
post #70 of 215

I'm just waiting on ERSE to get my caps back in stock...

 

http://www.erseaudio.com/Products/PulseX250v/MPX25-03-12-00


Edited by NCSUZoSo - 5/25/14 at 12:36pm
post #71 of 215

I'm going to have 3 extra of the caps above that I'll sell for $4 each including shipping (inside the US).  The going price is $4.57 + SH and you have to spend at least $20 on ERSE.

 

These are some of the best Metallized Polypropylene Film Capacitors you can buy that aren't NOS.


Edited by NCSUZoSo - 5/25/14 at 2:06pm
post #72 of 215

today is D-Day for the capacitor fix that was posted, plus I'm going to desolder one that I never told what happened to it.  I actually broke the lead off of one of my capacitors when I had no extras so what I did was actually solder the lead back to the capacitor after scraping down some plastic to show the broken lead inside.  It worked, but I'm going to replace it today.

 

Pics to come later.

 

Here are my two Mylar ERSE PulseX caps (have 3 extras of these for sale):

 

post #73 of 215

Here ya go:

 

 

Change the pic of my modding in the OP to this picture.

post #74 of 215

I'm surprised more people aren't at least curious of this mod, but I guess soldering to a card that expensive scares some people.

post #75 of 215
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by NCSUZoSo View Post
 

I'm surprised more people aren't at least curious of this mod, but I guess soldering to a card that expensive scares some people.

 

 

I know that there are some here that do considerably harder modifications to cards that are very nearly as expensive. To those people it may appear that this is too simple to yield the claimed result. To others that have limited or no experience with soldering the risk is real to them that they could mess it up in a bad way. It appears that I may have oversold it not because it doesn't meet my claims but that they sounds too good to be true.  There is also the factor that because of the extra room needed for the caps on the back side of the board that many computers just don't have the necessary room for these capacitors.

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