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Old 25th March 2012, 03:33 PM   #1
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Default Ugrading regulators make a difference

I'm thinking about replacing stock(317/337) regulators in an EE DAC with some Belleson Superpower.

The cost is not a factor but the whole operation is a bit tedious for my level of DIY expertise.

What level of improvement can I expect to justify this?

Thanks
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Old 25th March 2012, 04:18 PM   #2
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Minimal, 317/337 are very good. Better upgrade the filtering capacitors and the decoupling ones close to the cip terminals.

Last edited by SoNic_real_one; 25th March 2012 at 04:22 PM.
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Old 25th March 2012, 05:55 PM   #3
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he could upgrade the 317/337 circuit by using an external reference
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Old 25th March 2012, 07:05 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McCrackers View Post
I'm thinking about replacing stock(317/337) regulators in an EE DAC with some Belleson Superpower.

The cost is not a factor but the whole operation is a bit tedious for my level of DIY expertise.

What level of improvement can I expect to justify this?

Thanks
This is hard to predict. It will depend on many factors, such as, is the present regulator implementation well designed? The 317/337 regulator outputs will exhibit some amount of instability if the output capacitors have too low an ESR. Also, these regulars aren't the last word in low self-noise - a parameter which is particularly important in DAC clock recovery and jitter suppression circuits.

Essentially, I agree with Sonic, that the first thing to do is to replace the capacitors located after the regulators for better sounding ones. Which are the better sounding ones? Well, you will find most of the preferred choices by searching on this very website. This is not necessarily a simple and safe step to take. As I mentioned, if you select capacitors with too low an ESR, then you could possibly provoke the sort of instability I'd mentioned above. You will take some risks, mucking about a circuit board without full knowledge of exactly what you might be doing.

You also are about to discover the pain and joy of DIY audio. The pain comes from the tedious evaluation of seemingly endless part options and evaluation by listening. the joy comes from discovering that not only do passive parts of varying constructions sound different, but you can improve the sound of your system with little added money, although with much added time.

After upgrading those capacitors, you could further experiment with upgrading to the Burson regulators you mentioned. If you changes to the Burson's first, your DAC would still have the stock capacitors in place, so upgrading the capacitors will benefit you no matter what you do with the regulators.
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Last edited by Ken Newton; 25th March 2012 at 07:14 PM.
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Old 25th March 2012, 08:51 PM   #5
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Thanks for your replies.

The caps following the regs are Nichicon FG.
If I decide to pull the board I could change them but to what? Everyone seems to have a different opinion when it comes to lytics from Panasonic to Elna to Nichicon...
In any case I can pick up a pair of new Bellesons from a fellow DIYer at a very reasonable price.

@ Ken Newton
Believe me I've already felt the pain of DIY+inexperience+impatience+Murphy's Law a while back. Fortunately it was on a cheap Chinese DAC board.
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Old 25th March 2012, 09:23 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McCrackers View Post
Thanks for your replies.

The caps following the regs are Nichicon FG.
If I decide to pull the board I could change them but to what? Everyone seems to have a different opinion when it comes to lytics from Panasonic to Elna to Nichicon...
In any case I can pick up a pair of new Bellesons from a fellow DIYer at a very reasonable price.

@ Ken Newton
Believe me I've already felt the pain of DIY+inexperience+impatience+Murphy's Law a while back. Fortunately it was on a cheap Chinese DAC board.
Nichicon Muse series are generally regarded as decent. The only e-lytics I feel certain to be superior are the Black Gate brand. In the end, however, you might spend many hours randomly substituting parts only to attain a marginal improvement in sound. The limitation may instead be circuit design related. Sometimes, it's best not to attempt making a silk purse from a sow's ear (I'm not pointing at any particular brand or model). Sometimes, you just have to acquire something better, something that can provide an immediate and significant increase in your listening enjoyment now, not hundreds of hours from now. Something which you have heard with your own ears in your own system, before purchase if possible.
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Last edited by Ken Newton; 25th March 2012 at 09:28 PM.
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Old 26th March 2012, 01:23 AM   #7
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Try the LT1963a/LT3015 -- use the caps recommended by Linear Tech -- and don't go overboard -- too much "C" reduces transient response.
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