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ROBSCIX
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Default 03-28-2008, 19:18 | posts: 16,236 | Location: Guru3D Audio Lab

Sometimes they might it depends but usually NO. you can enable your onboard and use that for your microphone. Just set the Windows audio control panel to record from the onboard and playback to the Prelude 7.1. Very simple....
   
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Radical_53
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Default 03-28-2008, 19:23 | posts: 3,598 | Location: Germany

I guess I'll give it a try then. At least a better solution then using my 200$ headphone amp just to power the microphone (that was another idea, well...).
   
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Satan
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Default 03-28-2008, 23:57 | posts: 6,685 | Location: Baltimore, MD, USA

So would my X-Meridian (and moreso my ears) find any way to benefit from this spare Santa Cruz?
   
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NAJMI ADNAN
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Default 03-29-2008, 11:52 | posts: 2,176 | Location: Malaysia

I've mod my Audiotrak Prodigy HD2 with a 100nF metallized polypropylene caps on output coupling capacitor, using solid polymer capacitor on the opamp supply capacitor and using 3x LME49720 opamp. But because my speaker sound is too forward, actually it makes the sounds worse, as everything is 'in my face' experience

I found a new mods on X-Fi Prelude. Try to run the card without any opamp at all! I heard that it sounds better that way
   
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ROBSCIX
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Default 03-29-2008, 15:26 | posts: 16,236 | Location: Guru3D Audio Lab

Quote:
Originally Posted by Satan View Post
So would my X-Meridian (and moreso my ears) find any way to benefit from this spare Santa Cruz?

Not really. The XM is far beyond the Santa Cruz. You could use it for inputs or perhaps to drive another set of speakers in another room.
   
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GenClaymore
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Default 03-30-2008, 03:22 | posts: 5,894 | Location: Southfield,MI

Heh I was getting ready to order some Free samples opamps from national til they changed it where you need a coprate email to get free shipping. I was gonna order some LM4562 i think it was i forgot. The ones that was already |- | =/ .
   
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Default 03-30-2008, 16:09 | posts: 4

Do the usual software volume controls continue to operate normally when the opamp stages are bypassed?


michael
   
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Default 03-30-2008, 22:23 | posts: 123 | Location: Germany

Yes.
   
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xanvil
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Default 03-30-2008, 23:19 | posts: 4

Nice! I might try the b-Enspirer mod.

Thanks.


michael
   
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ROBSCIX
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Default 03-31-2008, 17:46 | posts: 16,236 | Location: Guru3D Audio Lab

Trouble is when you remove the opamps you remove th final amplification and signal conditioning stage so you remove all the gain the opamps supplies and possibly introduce phase issue into your sound. -think about running your speakers wired backwards, that is out of phase. I would also think it would knock your SNR ratio out making the signal to noise ratio much less, meaning you get MUCH more noise for the small amount of signal. To each their own but in my opinion definitely NOT a good idea. Your removing the "preamp" stage from the card so your next stage has to do more work amplifying the smaller signal, again more noise because of the smaller signal and again knocks the SNR out for that poweramp also..

Last edited by ROBSCIX; 03-31-2008 at 17:50.
   
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Tom F
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Default 03-31-2008, 18:11 | posts: 2,820 | Location: Gloucesterestershire

That is a good point, but I suppose it also depends on how much gain is used on the opamps...like if they are being used in a unity gain config. or something then they are probably more or less fulfilling a bufferring role.

I've only got an Audigy 2 and an Live 5.1 and those are both using surface mount components, so it restrict my opions somewhat...

Still, a discrete Class A/DoZ output stage in place of the opamp would be cool - even though it would probably be noisier and have more distortion lol
   
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Default 03-31-2008, 19:26 | posts: 123 | Location: Germany

Measured noise with RMAA is still below -80dB. Acutally the Prelude gave me some noise with an opamp installed. Now I can turn up my amplifier to max without hearing any noise.
   
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xanvil
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Default 03-31-2008, 22:05 | posts: 4

DoctorO,

Have you run the full sweep of RMAA tests with your modded Prelude? If there is insignificant degradation in its measured performance, then that would certainly be an incentive to try the mods out although refining the opamp choice might remove the primary question I have had about the bGears board. "Through the board" caps make their replacement something that a person could reasonably expect to accomplish without a disaster so that board seems to offer several avenues for improvement.

Installing new opamps on the b-Enspirer would be a challenge, but if a full replacement of the surface mount caps like NapalmV5 did can be pulled off, opamp replacement might possibly be something that I could do. It is unfortunate that the Prelude does not allow for an easy replacement of the Center/Sub opamp as well as the Mains'.

With the Enspirer you aren't risking as much.


michael
   
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DoctorO
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Default 04-01-2008, 00:27 | posts: 123 | Location: Germany

I leave out the last three tests (too much fluctuations to be comparable). Measurements in crosstalk, dynamic range, and noise level became a few db worse, but nothing to worry about imo.
   
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Tom F
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Default 04-01-2008, 00:30 | posts: 2,820 | Location: Gloucesterestershire

I'd be inclined to avoid a capacitor swap...I doubt it will make much difference if proper components were used in the first place.
   
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ROBSCIX
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Default 04-01-2008, 16:14 | posts: 16,236 | Location: Guru3D Audio Lab

Caps can make alot of difference depending on which ones you change. The caps used on the Prelude are decent quality but there are much higher quality caps out there with a lower ESR ratings etc that are designed specifically for audio applications. Especially coupling caps. Power filtering caps etc. Changing them can make a very noticeable difference in sound quality. When you consider the low quality caps used on other soundcards they can make a large difference.

Last edited by ROBSCIX; 04-01-2008 at 16:18.
   
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Tom F
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Default 04-01-2008, 20:48 | posts: 2,820 | Location: Gloucesterestershire

Hmm, but decoupling should make much difference to the sound at all I would've thought, especially if you're just driving an input on an amp?

Power coupling caps are usually just filterring DC - so as long as it's not wildly out of spec and not doing its jod of removing any ripple, it just has to be 'big enough'

It's like having 40000uF of decoupling on a headphone amp - it won't sound any different to 4000uF because you're not throwing so much current around that the voltage across the cap drops - and also, considerring most caps are such huge tollerances anyway - like -10/+50% is often what most electrolytics are rated at. Again, this is why I don't see how a lower ESR rated cap would have an impact. Low ESR caps are deffinetly worth having if you're building a 100W Class A amp which has 1.5A standing current accross the output, but most of the components on the board will be drawing a single figure number of mA, if that...

Please correct me if I'm wrong...I can see why it would make a difference if it was in the signal path, but you're not going to have a huge electrolytic in the signal path in the first place.

Last edited by Tom F; 04-01-2008 at 20:50.
   
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ROBSCIX
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Default 04-01-2008, 21:03 | posts: 16,236 | Location: Guru3D Audio Lab

Better components are always better. Some have more impact on the sound then others of course. Power caps will help but sometimes they can have little audible difference. Caps in their simplest sense are filters. So if you absolutely NEED to have them in the circuit better quality filters are better then cheap ones. Coupling caps are very important and a very big subject just on it's own..You can usually remove them from a soundcard unless you have a significant DC issue as most amps will have decoupling caps on the inputs. These can also be changed or improved for better sound quality. I am shopping around fr a set of coupling caps for one of my amps.
Capacitors in audio are a very large topic and I read quite a few documents on the subject.
People have varying opinions on couplings..power filtering etc.etc.

Last edited by ROBSCIX; 04-01-2008 at 21:05.
   
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Tom F
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Default 04-01-2008, 21:18 | posts: 2,820 | Location: Gloucesterestershire

I've just been doing some reading on the subject myself, it's an interesting topic. As usual, Rod Elliot has come to the rescue

http://sound.westhost.com/articles/capacitors.htm

It's a very interesting read, and unlike a lot of articles on audio, he actually includes measured results.

Of course, if one is building something from scratch, you're going to choose appropriate components rather than ones that are being used out of spec, but as I said before, any self respecting company would never use bits beyond their rated spec in a product meant for consumer use.

For my personal use, I would never consider swapping capacitor, but to each his own I suppose

The articles does a much better job of summing up what I was saying:

Quote:
DC is DC - it has no sound, and it contributes nothing to sound unless it is noisy or unstable. Supplies may be completely free of noise, or might be relatively noisy (especially where digital circuitry shares the same supply). Provided all noise (including voltage instability) is of low enough level that the opamp's (or power amp's) PSRR (power supply rejection ratio) prevents the noise from intruding on the signal, supply noise is immaterial.
Quote:
Suffice to say that there is a great deal of real engineering needed in these cases, but none is appropriate for normal audio applications. Such engineering (at the extreme levels) simply doesn't affect what we hear. Standard capacitors are perfectly acceptable for audio, and will rarely (if ever) compromise sound quality unless used beyond their ratings, or a completely inappropriate type is selected for the application (such as a high tempco ceramic in a filter circuit).
   
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ROBSCIX
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Default 04-01-2008, 21:46 | posts: 16,236 | Location: Guru3D Audio Lab

Well everybody has their opinions on the subject. The trouble is most companies will use a part that just fits within tolerances and usually the cheapest ones.
Audio capacitors are a very big market they can change the sound considerably if used in the right positions. If you think they are not needed for anything, don't use them. Audio is subjective.

Last edited by ROBSCIX; 04-01-2008 at 21:49.
   
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Tom F
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Default 04-01-2008, 21:55 | posts: 2,820 | Location: Gloucesterestershire

Yep, I agree with you. As it's such a subjective...subject, there isn't really a right or wrong answer.

I suppose it just depends how far you are willing to go - you can always go one better with components...

If you do find components which make an audible difference though, I'd love to hear which parts you find to be best.
   
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NapalmV5
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Default 04-02-2008, 02:52 | posts: 183

ive downloaded rightmark so heres my first audio mark ever.. lol

what in the world does that mean, first time ive seen these kinda benches

good/bad ?

i did the generate wav then analyse wav and thats the results

ive ran the playback test but at the end nothing shows up

can u guys tell me how to properly bench @ rmaa.. thanks.. scuze my noobness

Last edited by NapalmV5; 04-02-2008 at 05:18.
   
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NapalmV5
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Default 04-02-2008, 08:34 | posts: 183

^ never mind

this will have to do
   
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NapalmV5
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Default 04-02-2008, 22:19 | posts: 183

OscilloMeter

modded MX300


modded claro+


modded prelude


modded xmeridian

Last edited by NapalmV5; 04-06-2008 at 12:55.
   
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Radical_53
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Default 04-06-2008, 13:35 | posts: 3,598 | Location: Germany

I'm searching for a new opamp again and I was curious if there is an audible difference between the "b" and "s" grades.
I had a pair of OPA627 "AU" so far and could get a pair of OPA637 "BP" rather easily. The OPA 637 "SM" seems to be rather hard to find and extremely pricy. Is it worth the expense?
   
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