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Modding the RME HDSP 9632

post #1 of 106
Thread Starter 
Yes time again for more great high-end soundcard modding fun!

Today we have the RME Hammerfall DSP 9632 thanks to Alex (ayt999), and the goal is to turn this into the ultimate computer source I've heard so far. It already is looking good as it sounds better stock vs. stock as comapred to the current king the E-MU 1212M. However my modded E-Mu beats it y a good margin, easily noticeable on most any song by me.

I am going to do this card much like I did the EMU. Replacing the bleh stock opamps with the high-speed LT1364 biased into class A, decoupled with polypropylene caps AND Blackgate NX-HiQ caps, the last of which is not on my EMU, but will be soon

Also all the electroylic caps on the board will be removes and replaced with Blackgate FK and N series caps, along with polypropylene caps in parallel, for the extra speed to smooth out power in response to current demand fluxuations (thanks for this great idea goes to Mr. Ray Samuels).

My only concern at this point is that the power filtering doesn't look like much, especially compared to the EMU.

Alex will be along soon with some pics of the card for dissection.

Hopefully I will start modding this week on it, with pictures of my progress, and updates on the sound to follow.

This is now the 5th different model of soundcard that I have gone into and modded (M-Audio Revo, RME PAD, EMU 1212M, and Chaintech AV710 being the others).
post #2 of 106
and here I am!!

link to many pictures

I think this is the best out of them, but they all could be better so not too sure:


I should have taken better pictures of the detailed electronics, but the card is nowhere near me so cannot do much about that. maybe the higher resolution ones I have of the ones in the above link are better so if anyone is interested, I can e-mail them to you or host them on my ftp or something.

I just noticed, no pictures of the back... but it is basically barren so I figure there isn't much of a need for those.
post #3 of 106
would any of the add-on modules be of use?

http://www.rme-audio.com/english/hds....htm#TECHNICAL
post #4 of 106
One request, can we have the RMAA result before the modding?
post #5 of 106
Thread Starter 
The add-ons would only really be good for studio stuff, or if you want more than 2 channel analog output.

Does anyone know what the boxes on the middle left side of the card that say "501Y" are? I haven't found anything on google, and I know the analog output signal goes through them by testing with the DMM.
post #6 of 106
I have been wondering about those black things too... they must be doing something but with the limited knowledge I have about electronic circuits, they are there for cosmetic purposes for all I know.

we could contact RME if all else fails.

what I would like to know if there are any mods that can be done to the clock functions or the power regulation. I haven't heard much about this, other than it seems to be inferior to the E-MU one.
post #7 of 106
Just as a matter of interest, do you rate the improvement by comparisons between 2 PC's with an unmodified and modified card?
post #8 of 106
Heh, this should be fun to watch!
post #9 of 106
Wow good to hear it sounds better than the Emu out of the box. I had to choose between the Emu 1212 and the HDSP9632, and went for the latter due to Linux compatibility and the headphone out. I think the HDSP9632 sounds absolutely stunning, and the headphone amp is easily enough to drive my HD600s too. Nothing like having your impressions validated though
post #10 of 106
the HDSP9632 also has analog output ? What type ?
post #11 of 106
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daroid
the HDSP9632 also has analog output ? What type ?
It has RCA outputs on the standard breakout cable, or XLR balanced on an add-on cable. You must have been thinking of the 9652 which is digital only.
post #12 of 106
I think the 501Y might be analog switches.

Wonder if the word clock module would help it over it's onboard clock.
post #13 of 106
so the previously discussed price will be for parts that are needed no matter what?

I'll send the money over via paypal right now so you can order those items soon.

get the best parts that will improve the sound.

EDIT: funds (and a few extra) sent via paypal.
EDIT #2: btw, Head-Fi is making me so poor. I don't want to go back to my bank account and look at the very low balance.
post #14 of 106
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ayt999
so the previously discussed price will be for parts that are needed no matter what?

I'll send the money over via paypal right now so you can order those items soon.

get the best parts that will improve the sound.

EDIT: funds (and a few extra) sent via paypal.
EDIT #2: btw, Head-Fi is making me so poor. I don't want to go back to my bank account and look at the very low balance.
Thanks I will order tomorrow.

They aren't needed "no matter what" I mean they are the ones I thought would be the best way to get the most out of this card, with my current knowledge, if that makes sense.

BTW I looked at the word clock module and the clock section looks identical to what is on the main card so I don't think there would be any benefit there.
post #15 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by Iron_Dreamer
They aren't needed "no matter what" I mean they are the ones I thought would be the best way to get the most out of this card, with my current knowledge, if that makes sense.
I was just saying that the parts such as the caps and the opamps seem to be what we are going to be using despite any design changes we may come up with in the future... so thus the wording. I wasn't implying that they are the best and end all things for our purposes. (although they well may be)

as for that 501Y thing, I assume it is a line filter of some sorts. I came up with a few hits on google, but don't know which model it is nor what can be used as an upgrade for it so I was hoping someone with more knowledge about stuff like this can tell me more about it.
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