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Arcam Delta Black Box1 mods
Arcam Delta Black Box1 mods
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Old 18th September 2011, 04:57 PM   #51
darkmatter is offline darkmatter  United Kingdom
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Location: East Anglia, UK
Originally Posted by goody75 View Post
This is my first project so please forgive my ignorance.

I am modifying an Arcam Delta Black Box 1 (TDA1541A). I have replaced most of the electrolytics with Silmic II's, upgraded diodes to schottky's, and have an OPA2132 opamp in at the moment.

I am happy with the improvement in sound but I want more. I ordered some WIMA MKP's to replace the TDA1541A decoupling caps. At some point, I want to do the NOS modification. I also have a couple of questions...

1) Most, if not all of the IC's have 2 parallel decoupling caps, one of which is much smaller than the other. For example, on the -6V supply for the TDA1541, there are 100uF & 10nF caps (#312&#311 respectively). If I put in a very good 100uF cap, would it be a good idea to remove the 10nF cap? Also, for this application, is a 100uF Silmic II a good choice or would a film or ceramic cap be a better choice?

2) There is a hum that is bothering me. It's not too pronounced and not as bad as it was before the mods but I would like to get rid of it. I have a good power cord and my other devices do not have this issue so I am confident that the issue is within the Black Box. Does anyone have a suggestion to help reduce/remove the hum?
I am considering the same type of project to either a One or a Two
How did you get on with the upgrades?
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Old 17th November 2011, 08:44 PM   #52
ixigen is offline ixigen  United Kingdom
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Join Date: Jul 2006
I recently tested my modded BB1 with a Benchmark DAC1. The BB1 won. The benchmark may seem to reveal more details but almost all of those details are on the BB1 too, just not so in front of you.

My current mods:
1) remove the small input board
2) disable the digital muting circuit which is connecting the data input to ground if I remember right, just before the TDA1541A
3) remove the Arcam custom chip and the PC74HCT, great improvement by getting rid of these chips because they generate a lot of RF noise as one member noted on the first posts of this thread
4) change all the capacitors with some good ones, I replaced them all with BG when they were still available, on my second BB I want to use Panasonic ECAM, I don't like the FC/FM for audio.
5) add a board which outputs I2S and connect it directly to the TDA1541A but make sure that you connect the DATA, CLOCK and WS before the three small resistors which are between the SAA and the TDA. You will also have to cut the traces on the PCB to the SAA and I also recommend to cut the power supply to the SAA

I'm using a board from teradak (Valab store on ebay). You can search USB to I2S or SPDIF to I2S on ebay.
I guarantee that almost any DIY digital receiver board that you can find with a modern chip will be much much better than the original receiver in the BB1.

6) replace the regulators with discrete versions from Burson Audio

What I would do next is to mod two BB1's, getting balanced output from each of them, I mean one BB1 for the left channel, and one BB1 for the righ channel.
Using two USB transports and ASIO drivers I can output the left channel in phase and out of phase to one receiver and the right channel to the other.

Would this be possible or am I nuts? I hope both!

Last edited by ixigen; 17th November 2011 at 08:52 PM.
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