Go Back   Home > Forums > Source & Line > Digital Source

Digital Source Digital Players and Recorders: CD , SACD , Tape, Memory Card, etc.

Please consider donating to help us continue to serve you.

Ads on/off / Custom Title / More PMs / More album space / Advanced printing & mass image saving
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 15th August 2011, 07:01 AM   #1
50AE is offline 50AE  Bulgaria
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Sofia, Bulgaria
Default Creative X-fi sound cards modding.

Hi dear forum members,

I'm particularly interested in sound card modding. I have an X-fi Music which has a changed op-amp, shielding paper, shorted coupling caps and waiting for its new caps - elna silmic II for decoupling power filter and panasonic FCs for the filters of the voltage regulators.
When the coupling caps after the DAC are shorted, the voltage is about 10mV DC, I don't think if it will bother anything, I have an input coupling cap in my amp.

I would like to know if some is heavily modding his sound card and if he could share any ideas. I was thinking about making a tube opamp and somehow mounting it on the sound card. Or replacing the voltage regulators which better ones (can you recommend?).
  Reply With Quote
Old 15th August 2011, 07:28 AM   #2
diyAudio Member
 
picowallspeaker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
A tube op-amp ...!!!!
You mean a tube output stage ...it can be fairly easy but you'll have to work with high voltages , thus needing a clean PSU .
I hope that the newer and better caps would allow to a 'cleaner soundstage' to be reached ; do the regulators work on the + and (-) 12 V supplied by the computer ? How much voltage do they drop ?

You must be very skillful , I wouldn't touch anything inside a soundcard !
  Reply With Quote
Old 19th August 2011, 01:40 PM   #3
50AE is offline 50AE  Bulgaria
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Sofia, Bulgaria
I'll drop the idea for vacuum tubes for now.
Yes, the regulators work with the +12V line supplied from the computer. I will tell you later about the voltage drop.
There is a problem though.. I don't know if it's me, but it seems the sound started to loose its warmth, I suspect the opamp (LM4562). I read other people have complained about it. It sounds harsh on the highs.
I'm thinking about an opamp replacement and currently reading.

Last edited by 50AE; 19th August 2011 at 01:42 PM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 19th August 2011, 02:23 PM   #4
50AE is offline 50AE  Bulgaria
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Sofia, Bulgaria
Maybe I have not to speak so fast, because I haven't changed the caps yet. I'm waiting for them to be delivered.

Comparing the NE5532 to the LM4562

LM 4562 gives deeper, fuller bass, the instruments are more sharp and clear and there's more space between them. I'm mostly a rock/metal listener and I listen to 24bit/96/192 audio most of the time. Sometimes I play CDs.

The bass guitar appears much more than before
Acoustic guitars sound better
Little change in electric guitars sounds.
Hi hats are much more detailed and sharp
Keyboards are also more apparent.
Voice is less harsh than with the NE5532
  Reply With Quote
Old 19th August 2011, 02:56 PM   #5
Thomo is offline Thomo  United Kingdom
diyAudio Member
 
Thomo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
I've fitted clock upgrades to a few x-fi based soundcards and it makes a nice improvement every time.

If you then supply the clock with a low-noise voltage regulator things get better still. Instrument texture becomes more realistic and the sound gets a lot smoother.

These mods are also worth doing if you use the spdif output to an external dac.

Lee
__________________
/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/
  Reply With Quote
Old 19th August 2011, 04:11 PM   #6
50AE is offline 50AE  Bulgaria
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Sofia, Bulgaria
You maybe mean changing the crystal? Can you reccommend a good one for substitution?
  Reply With Quote
Old 24th August 2011, 01:36 AM   #7
50AE is offline 50AE  Bulgaria
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Sofia, Bulgaria
Ok, I put my Elna Silmic II I received today. Sounded nice in the beginning, after 6 hours hours of burning in it sounds much better. Instruments are so warm and gentle now . I can hear them with more spacing. I love the acoustic guitars!
I also put a bypass MKP cap, not sure if it improves stuff, but I think the sound is a little better with it.

Here's a photo of the card:

http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/812/picture371.png/

Last edited by 50AE; 24th August 2011 at 01:39 AM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 24th August 2011, 02:12 AM   #8
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
I'm using an SB0790 which I believe uses the same 8 channel DAC. (CS4382) I took out all the 4558 opamps and replaced them with 5532s and am running 2 channels in parallel at the output. I'd run 4x4 but I haven't figured out how to get the driver to run all 8 channels "stereo". (linux system using ca0106 driver). Ideally I'd do that with each opamp getting one channel of signal to minimize crosstalk. I don't know how the DAC is laid out in silicon though, and whether that would allow better separation from it as well. With this and a few added bypass caps the sound is okay. Hardly world class, but cheap. I'd be interested in hearing some details about adding a clock (overriding internal osc?), but really high buck mods to these cards is not very reasonable. Probably make more sense to get the titanium HD, or some other generally higher performance card to start..
  Reply With Quote

Reply


Hide this!Advertise here!
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Modding a pair of electrovoice EV1B W horns For Hi Fi fatbattery Multi-Way 13 10th April 2011 07:32 AM
Creative Zen X-Fi strange bandpass pdp11 Digital Source 0 29th April 2010 04:05 PM
Sound Cards Sh1mmy Everything Else 19 28th May 2008 02:09 PM
Tuned Creative X-Fi card oryaaaaa Digital Source 7 8th March 2007 08:19 AM
Creative soudbasher X-FI ???? To or not to .. X-over ?? JinMTVT Digital Source 5 1st November 2005 05:52 PM


New To Site? Need Help?

All times are GMT. The time now is 05:57 AM.


vBulletin Optimisation provided by vB Optimise (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2014 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Copyright 1999-2014 diyAudio

Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.3.2