I picked up a Gina 24/96 card with the breakout box. Sounds great but it's always nice to tweak a little. I was wondering if the breakout box with the headphone out is in effect a headphone amp. That would help me consider maybe picking up a cmoy if they're not, although they seem to be driving my Superlux 668b 's pretty well.
I came across this somewhere online and forgive me I forget where. This guy did several mods to the sound card. I get well enough the gist of doing an op amp swap, but how do you short out the electroltic output capicitors!!! And how do you bypass the input coupling capicators with polypropylene????!!! Where would they be located??? I've attached a pic and a description of his modifications below.
Thanks for any guidance.
Although I don't have any experience with the AP192, I do have an Echo Gina24 and Mia. While the Gina sounds decent in stock form, I found a significant improvement by replacing the NJM2068 op amps with LM4562s and shorting the electrolytic output coupling capacitors. The input coupling capacitors were bypassed with polypropylene. This had the effect of opening up the sound, increasing transparency, and making it easier to discern fine transients and more clearly hear details within the mix. The overall clarity of the A/D improved quite noticeably after the mods (I recorded samples for comparison).
I've also been doing some D/A listening comparisons between the Gina and a modded RME DIGI96/8 PST. The Gina uses AK4393, while the DIGI96 uses AD1852 for D/A conversion, while both units now have LM4562s installed in the analog output section. I'm not sure how much of the sonic difference comes from the respective analog and digital circuits, or the clock for that matter. I've also done a bit of playing around using different master clocks.
FWIW, the Lynx cards used the OP275 last I checked, which is not an op amp I particularly enjoy.... although their cards are generally well-regarded for their sound/performance.
In the end, you'll have to find out what is "good enough" in your personal quest for perfect sound.....