iBasso DX50 MODS
post-11644662
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CoiL

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Ok. Anyway, I hope You like how it sounds after changing them :wink: Don`t forget babs ! He is the one to thank for all this! :wink:
 
Btw, I did little write-up on caps in original thread and I`m not sure when (if at all) I`ll manage to do to more in-depth "review", so, I`ll post this here too:
 
  ...but i feel the music instrument sound not very clear, ex: the guitar strumming is not sound real. Will try mod my DX50 next week, hope this work.. wish me luck!
Yeah, stock caps lack guitar(bass)/drums/percussion punch/kick/tightness. This is the weakest point of DX50, even with SU 1.3.3. Capacitor change will improve those things greatly imho. Good luck with modding! Be patient and calm when opening DX50 and think every move through carefully so You don`t brake anything. Once You get PCB out, it`s easy to desolder old caps (use desoldering wick) and solder new ones.
 
If help needed, ask from iBasso DX50 MODS thread: http://www.head-fi.org/t/720776/ibasso-dx50-mods/180
 
Edit:
  Just my 2 cent before trying out any Hardware changes, as they are completely irreversible:) 
I don`t agree... capacitors are easily reversible mod imo :wink: Though, guarantee sticker on one screw will brake and You`ll lose it if You want to remove whole PCB. But if You are skilled, it can be done without removing PCB :wink: 
I still recommend to remove whole PCB.
Also I do want to note that the LO seems to have better quality than the HO, as even through a cheap amp like the Topping NX1 the sounds from LO seems to be clearer while HO sounds muffled and lost some detail in comparison.
That`s because LO has Nichicon FW caps by stock, which are good :wink: Stock HO caps are Jovial TK UTSJ "audio caps" - they are the cause of that muffled/hazed/less detailed sound. Despite they are hyped in Japan by some audio companies, IMHO, they are pretty crappy sounding. I can`t understand why iBasso didn`t go with Nichicon FW for HO also - they are almost same good sounding as Panasonic FC that I highly recommend in case of DX50.
 
I tested all those following caps on my DX50 HO (with quick-change breadboard, all had at least 50h "burn-in" before comparing):
 
* Nichicon FG 100uF 10V
* Nichicon FW 220uF 10V 
* Nichicon KW 220uF 10V 
* Panasonic FM 220uF 10V
* Panasonic FC 220uF 10V 
* Panasonic FR 220uF 10V
* VISHAY BC 220uF 10V
* Panasonic AM 330uF 10V
* Nichicon KA 220uF 10V
* Nichicon SW 220uF 6.3V
 
Some pics I took (some are in camera) for short follow-up review I haven`t had time to write yet:


 
This is by memory atm but here is the list from best to worst (my subjective opinion):
1. Panasonic FC
2. Vishay BC 038RSU
3. Nichicon FG  
4. Nichicon FW
5. Panasonic AM
6. Nichicon KA
7. Nichicon KW
8. Jovial TK UTSJ
9. Panasonic FR
10. Nichicon SW
11. Panasonic FM
 
First 3 are almost same good and one should decide by his own taste/gear synergy. Recommend to try out all those three!
Nichicon FW is also solid choice. But I think You can`t go wrong with FC. 
Nichicon KA and Panasonic AM were quite same sounding to me (didn`t bother to find differences since others sounded better). Despite FR, FM and SW had better detail/clarity than Jovial, I thought they lacked in dynamics/musicality(mids?) and soundstage wasn`t also so good.
 
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post-11653554
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Mayth

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Hey guys, I need your help !
 
Today I received the new capacitors and we installed them with my father. It was rather hard and long (a lot of little pieces that were hard to remove/replace)....
 
I could listen to the "new" music for about 10 minutes and then my SD card kind of got stuck somehow... We noticed that the 2 buttons on the left side (Power and Lock button) are screwed... See the picture below, bottom left
 

 
 
Do you know the ref so I can buy them and set new ones ? 
 
 
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post-11654608
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babs

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Power button:

Panasonic : #EVQ-P7C01P
 
Lock button:

C&K : #SK-12C0405-SG 1.5 RT
 
I found then on Digi-Key
http://www.digikey.ca/product-detail/en/0/CKN10374CT-ND
http://www.digikey.ca/product-detail/en/0/P16765CT-ND
 
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post-11655014
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Mayth

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Thank you so much babs !!
I'll give my feedback soon :)
 
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post-11655220
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CoiL

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  Hey guys, I need your help !
 
It was rather hard and long (a lot of little pieces that were hard to remove/replace)....
We noticed that the 2 buttons on the left side (Power and Lock button) are screwed...
And that`s why I warned You about opening DX50 fully. Those buttons on sides are very easy to break if PCB not opened in right position/angle.
But glad that Babs shared info about replacement parts and hopefully You`ll get it fixed fast :wink:
 
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post-11655234
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Mayth

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Hey CoiL,
 
Yes we dit carefully open fully DX50 but we used a screwdriver to lever off the PCB from the case. In fact, it wasn't that easy to remove the PCB, fortunately my dad is a handyman and we managed to desolder / solder Panasonic FC caps quite easily.
 
The harder part was to open / close the case actually lol, those screw sockets really suck.
 
Excuse me if I don't use the right words...
 
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post-11655447
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CoiL

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...we used a screwdriver to lever off the PCB from the case.
No-one should do it like this!
My own experience also shows that usually things go bad when tools like screwdriver is being used with PCB removal.
I used only fingers... PCB just needs to be pulled/moved in right position.
 
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B3H3M0T

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report from me don't dare to mod the dual op-amp or the bass will be very small but the sacrifice was the background became very clear and more improvement on instrument especially on mid and high sector
 
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polyrhythm

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Thanks to Babs for your guides and to Coil for the capacitor recomendation.
 
Successful upgrade of capcitors to Panasonic and a nice subtle improvement, there is indeed a removing of a slight veil. Something beyond what firmwares can acheive.
 
I took out the whole PCB as this is really the proper way to go to desolder the capacitors in my opinion.
 
Regarding removal of PCB as others have found, this takes patience to avoid damaging anything. Also, something that is indespensible for these sort of things (as well as for the soldering) is a good quality headband magnifier!
 
 
Enough said.
 
Cheers
 
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post-11660456
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babs

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So guys, a new Capacitor test Update
I am curious to try the "famous" Panasonic FC and another new type of cap
 
In my first capacitor tests (check post #6), I try:
- Jovial 220uF 10V (original capacitors)
- Nichicon FW 220uF 10V (#UFW1A221MED1TD)
- Nichicon F95 'MUSE' 220uF 6.3V (#F950J227MBAAM1Q2) tantalum SMT capacitor
- ELNA RFS Silmic II 47uF 6.3V (#RFS-6V470MF3#5)
= Kemet T520 220uF 10V (#T520D227M010ATE018) low ESR polymer SMT capacitor
- AVX Oxicap 220uF 6.3V (#NOSD227M006R0100) Niobium oxide capacitor (I choose it)
 
At this time, My Conclusion were:
- I reject all capacitors except the AVX and the Nichicon FG, clearly the bests
- the Nichicon FG is more easy to listen, natural, relaxing; the AVX is more dynamic and involving
- But the AVX seem somewhat colored to me with a little recessed treble
Meanwhile, I finally choose the AVX, and use it for nearly one year now
 
Now I decide to compare four capacitors:
- Jovial 220uF 10V (old original capacitors)
- Panasonic FC 220uF 10V (#EEU-FC1A221S)  (the COIL caps!)
- AVX Oxicap 220uF 6.3V (#NOSD227M006R0100) Niobium oxide capacitor (My actual caps)
- Panasonic POSCAP 220uF 6.3V (#6TPF220M5L) a promising one
 
The Panasonic POSCAP are new ultra low ESR Polymer capacitors, the 220uF I will try have 0.005 Ohms of ESR !!!
 
For these tests, I made a small PCB benchtest, to be able to switch directly from one type of cap to another
 

 
There is a jumper to select each capacitor and bias resistors to keep the all the capacitors with proper voltage bias
From left to right: Jovial, Panasonic FC, POSCAP and AVX Oxicap
 
These tests run for nearly 2 weeks, all caps have more than 48h of break-in (lot more)
The possibility of switching between caps nearly instantly have convinced me of the obvious sounding difference between these caps: switching back and forth; I really not hear the same sound
 
Notes:
- these tests have been made with a highly modded DX50; OP AMPs, coupling  and decoupling caps have been changed (see previous posts), I don't know if the results can be the same with a unmodded DX50
- I test with my Sennheiser HD650 (custom cable) for the majority of the test, I use also my IE800 in the end
- Results are highly subjectives; surely lot of psycho-acoustic here!, and the results in you personal setup will depend of you taste, your kind of music and your rig
- the improvement of modding the DX50 will heavily depend of your equipment, if you have so-so headphone, buy better headphone before any mods tentative
- Firmware: 1.3.3, Flac only, IIR off
 
Tracks:
- Various HD track sampler
- Jazz at the pawnshop (for the soundstage)
- Massive attack; Mezzanine (for the bass!)
- Atom for peace; Amok
- Yes; Fragile; Mood For a Day (for the guitar!) 
- etc...
 
 
Results:
 
a) Jovial 220uF 10V (old original capacitors)
- Surprise!, with a modded DX50, the original caps seem not so bad as in my first caps test, the sound is smooth, with details, and good bass, but in the comparison of the other caps, there is clearly a lack of dynamic. Soundstage is more restricted and lack of openness
 
b) Panasonic FC 220uF 10V (#EEU-FC1A221S)  (the COIL caps!)
- in comparison with the Jovial, the sound is opening, the soundstage widen, we hear clearly the voice of singers with realism and insight, bass is slightly more punched and solid, better instrument separation
Very good caps!, maybe a lack of dynamic and sub-bass on some tracks (techno for example)
 
c) AVX Oxicap 220uF 6.3V (#NOSD227M006R0100) Niobium oxide capacitor (My actual caps)
- The king of Dynamic!!, bass and drums really kick hard! excellent soundstage, instrument separation is superb
As I said previously; dynamic and involving
But, as I also said earlier, on some voice track, can be colored and the treble seem recessed, dark sound
In comparison, the AVX caps seem the exact mirror of the FC caps; FC are open and smooth, AVX are direct, bassy and intense
 
d) Panasonic POSCAP 220uF 6.3V (#6TPF220M5L)
- A mid-term between the FC and the AVX; less bass, and sligthly less dynamic than the AVX, but no coloration and good treble quantity (less dark)
On techno track, I can regret the power of the AVX, but on pure voice track, there is really an improvement vs the AVX
Instrument separation is excellent, soundstage seem wider than the FC and equal to the AVX
For me this is a winner! I'll keep it!
 
But Its only my personal choice, the FC and the POSCAP are two very good capacitors, there is just personal taste
Conclusion:
- Panasonic FC: balanced sound, smooth and open
- AVX Oxicap: ultra-dynamic, punchy and involving
- POSCAP: Dynamic, solid bass and excellent soundstage
 
And the POSCAP are very small, i can put two of these on a single cap position:

 
post-11660692
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cholero

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You could even make 4 poscap tantalum to fit inside the player. Then the low-end rolloff will be gone :)
 
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CoiL

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Wow babs, this is some bad-ass testing! You made me curious about those POSCAP`s now.
And I`m glad I`m not hearing "wrong" things. Your tests are much more "scientific & hi-tech" than my simple breadboard-fast-switch listening tests but You also rate FC caps on top - thanks for confirmation :wink:
 
In DX50 FW thread I was talking about oxicaps - I was talking about HO amps decoupling caps which I still wish to change for those (Yes I know room can be problem but I think I can fit them :wink: ): http://www2.mouser.com/ProductDetail/AVX/NOJD107M010RWB/?qs=%2fha2pyFadugxym376v1PCTxYMG83g6bUcOX5cpt8tb5fh%2fu5IBzi%2fA%3d%3d
You are still running 3x47uF 10V oxicaps there?
 
Also thinking about changing HO output amplifiers or DAC differential amp but I need Your advice - which way should I go with my gear (12-36 Ohm IEM`s and Fidelio X1) and FC caps (atm probably going to leave them in place, I like them)? Is changing only HO output amps enough SQ improvement or is differential a "must have"? Or should I go for both mods?
 
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sanakimpro

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  Wow babs, this is some bad-ass testing! You made me curious about those POSCAP`s now.
And I`m glad I`m not hearing "wrong" things. Your tests are much more "scientific & hi-tech" than my simple breadboard-fast-switch listening tests but You also rate FC caps on top - thanks for confirmation :wink:
 
In DX50 FW thread I was talking about oxicaps - I was talking about HO amps decoupling caps which I still wish to change for those (Yes I know room can be problem but I think I can fit them :wink: ): http://www2.mouser.com/ProductDetail/AVX/NOJD107M010RWB/?qs=%2fha2pyFadugxym376v1PCTxYMG83g6bUcOX5cpt8tb5fh%2fu5IBzi%2fA%3d%3d
You are still running 3x47uF 10V oxicaps there?
 
Also thinking about changing HO output amplifiers or DAC differential amp but I need Your advice - which way should I go with my gear (12-36 Ohm IEM`s and Fidelio X1) and FC caps (atm probably going to leave them in place, I like them)? Is changing only HO output amps enough SQ improvement or is differential a "must have"? Or should I go for both mods?
Hey guys, since you are changing and trying out so many different types of capacitors, etc, is it okay to just solder the joint with a piece of wire and attach them to a breadboard?
 
Then swapping caps is as easy as.. well plucking them out and sticking new ones in? 
 
Have you tried that before and does it affect SQ?
 
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CoiL

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LOL, read the thread, that`s what babs did in beginning and I also. There are pics also in this thread. I recommend You to start reading this thread from beginning :wink:

 
Last testbed (see his last caps review post) by babs is more difficult but more "precise" judging caps SQ.
 
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sanakimpro

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  LOL, read the thread, that`s what babs did in beginning and I also. There are pics also in this thread. I recommend You to start reading this thread from beginning :wink:

 
Last testbed (see his last caps review post) by babs is more difficult but more "precise" judging caps SQ.
Ah! :) Great! :) Will read it from page 1 soon. Keep it up, babs! Thanks so much.
 
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