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Would this capacitor mod to a head unit improve anything?
Would this capacitor mod to a head unit improve anything?
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Old 8th November 2017, 09:45 AM   #1
VenusFly is offline VenusFly  Australia
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Default Would this capacitor mod to a head unit improve anything?

I've done this to my Pioneer MVH-X195UI head unit and haven't yet tested it if it sounds different or better. Was wondering what peoples opinions are on this. I've removed the capacitor which feeds the DAC aka the main IC and replaced it with a Panasonic FC 3900uF 35v capacitor, I've also added two 47uF 16v Tantalum capacitors across both capacitors. I used a 1mm drill bit to remove all of the solder from the through holes, it worked a treat and perfectly fit the large capacitor leads of the larger FC capacitor.

The original capacitor was a Rubycon 1000uF 16v YK.

I won't be using the amplifier outputs rather I will be using the RCA outputs so I'm not concerned about the 5% THD of the amplifier.

Would love to hear of your opinions on this.
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Last edited by VenusFly; 8th November 2017 at 09:54 AM.
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Old 8th November 2017, 10:35 AM   #2
JonSnell Electronic is offline JonSnell Electronic  United Kingdom
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I doubt it. It is digital and ripple makes no difference within 10% or so.
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Old 8th November 2017, 11:08 AM   #3
VenusFly is offline VenusFly  Australia
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Thanks for that.

The sound quality is quite good from this head unit, I'm saying that with the full knowledge that I didn't do any previous testing before the mod. So my commentary about this mod is irrelevant. However it does sound quite good, I've got the equalization set to FLAT and any special enhancements (Such as S.RTRV) turned off.

I also only have my pc to compare audio to and it sounds tons better. Sounds very natural with a fully intact 3D stereo image with beautiful sounding vocals. Its quite nice. Theres no difference in vocals between my pc's dac and this one, but the 3D stereo image has appeared out of nowhere.

In saying that it does sound a tad muffled.

I'm listening to Nelly Furtado , Yelle and Dead Can Dance cd rips. I'm using MP3s at VBR 200kbps that I've ripped myself using EAC from CD.

It should work very well in my SQ car audio build.
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Last edited by VenusFly; 8th November 2017 at 11:30 AM.
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Old 9th November 2017, 11:19 PM   #4
phase is offline phase  United States
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I did something similar, just tacked a similar part onto the incoming supply, never liked the FC, but look good in the data sheet though.
What made more difference was to run a dedicated supply from the battery, with a ferrite/inductor out at the battery Also to tend to the smaller supply capacitor for the analog supply close to the chip.
If you can add sockets for the output op amps, you can change those and add decoupling close to them as well. I used some Burson modules which sound way better than the njr2114 parts.

Also, if you can use wav files, the treble will be smoother I have noticed anyways.
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Old 10th November 2017, 01:04 AM   #5
nigelwright7557 is offline nigelwright7557  United Kingdom
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I would be careful drilling out pcb holes as you can remove the via.
Fine if it is single sided though.
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Old 10th November 2017, 01:53 AM   #6
anatech is offline anatech  Canada
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Would this capacitor mod to a head unit improve anything?
Hi Nigel,
He has. In one shot there are traces on top. No solder on the top side that I can see, so that capacitor could possibly not be connected.

Hi VenusFly,
Installing components that are much larger than the original part is never a good idea. At least the product wasn't an expensive one in case a terrible mistake happened.

-Chris
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Old 18th November 2017, 09:03 AM   #7
VenusFly is offline VenusFly  Australia
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Thanks for looking after me gents but if you look at pics 5 on the top of the board there is a trace going to a diode and to the choke and pic 6 is of after I did the solder job but pic 5 is before I soldered it. The radio works fine with no issues.

I've also looked at the schematic for a higher end 395BT model and the cap goes to the reg and choke too and nothing else.

Quote:
I used a 1mm drill bit to remove all of the solder from the through holes
Also the holes were the same size as the older capacitor suprisingly. The 1mm drill bit that I used was mainly just to make the holes clear for the leads to go through as I don't have a great solder sucker, it gave very little resistance and I ran the drill at an extremely slow speed so I was eating into lead not copper, what came out on the drill was lead too not copper or pcb. So no over-sizing was made. But even if that were the case I doubt that it would've made any difference because as you see in the 6th picture in the far left of the image thats where the large cap connects its earth to, so one side is connected to the large earth trace which is enormous and on the top theres traces going to the diode and choke.

Considering there are plenty of vias everywhere else I doubt they put a via on a 3rd trace layer in the middle of the board on the positive lead of the cap I could be wrong though?
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Last edited by VenusFly; 18th November 2017 at 09:21 AM.
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Old 18th November 2017, 09:32 AM   #8
VenusFly is offline VenusFly  Australia
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Spose I could pull it back out of the car and test various points for capacitance and see if the 3300uF cap shows up but I'll need to know where to test and this pcb is a minefield. Without a schematic its difficult to say the least.
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Last edited by VenusFly; 18th November 2017 at 09:36 AM.
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Old 20th November 2017, 01:51 AM   #9
phase is offline phase  United States
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I should have mentioned that I also used potting to maintain shock and vibration protection on any components that were added. The larger parts really aren’t a problem once this is done, and there was lots of room in my head unit. RTV would work for this if you only apply it to finished surfaces, ie. the sleeve of a capacitor, or the case of the radio. I used jumpers to sockets for the new op amps.

The analog supply on the main processor was the only thing changed besides the op amps, op amps local decoupling, decoupling on the amplifier chip, and adding a larger cap to the existing large main one.
My other option was to have a crappy sounding stereo, and that actually was worth the risk of destroying a $40 oem Head unit.

I found the limited schematic by searching for the main processor part numbers, and got lucky, have noticed it has been taken down now however.

Last edited by phase; 20th November 2017 at 02:01 AM.
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Old 20th November 2017, 02:28 AM   #10
anatech is offline anatech  Canada
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Would this capacitor mod to a head unit improve anything?
Hi VenusFly,
Quote:
Without a schematic its difficult to say the least.
Which is exactly why you shouldn't have touched it to begin with. One of my rules is, if you make a change, be certain you can back out again. Not knowing for sure if your capacitor is in circuit or not is a scary thing to contemplate. I know it is a cheap radio to start with, but you should treat all things you work on the same way.

I'm a little sticky on best practices because I work on equipment for other people professionally. But the rules I work with seem to apply equally well to what you are doing on your own. Get information first, then act carefully. Either that, or just buy a better radio to begin with. Chances are everything has been improved and it will work better in every way. Overall you'd be happier, and then you can create franken-radio to use on a workbench or garage.

-Chris
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