Opamps and Modding thread.

Discussion in 'Soundcards, Speakers HiFI & File formats' started by ROBSCIX, Mar 7, 2008.

  1. ROBSCIX

    ROBSCIX Ancient Guru

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    Hey guys, I am starting this thread because OPAMPS and card modding is really big right now and post about it just get lost in others threads. We can just keep all the questions and answers here for easy locating.
    I know many of you are starting to change out there opamps after Auzentech launched their high end opamp line. Others are changing their capacitors with better quality models..etc.

    Currently I am using OPA637's in my Prelude 7.1 and I considering modding the card quite a bit. Including but not limited to:
    New power capacitors (filters)
    Changing out or bypassing the coupling capacitors with higher grade models.
    and a few others that are secret.

    So....what up with you guys?
     
  2. roguesn1per

    roguesn1per Ancient Guru

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    i would love to do that...

    but i just dont have the Proper Soldering Iron and my hand isnt steady enough :(
     
  3. ROBSCIX

    ROBSCIX Ancient Guru

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    Have another do it... Modding is a great way to improve the sound quality of your card without actually buying another card.
     
  4. DoctorO

    DoctorO Member Guru

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    Since I currently don’t use a case an my RMAA measurements were pretty bad I built myself a shielding for the Prelude and then for even more devices. For me the difference is noticeable (since I started with really bad conditions). I don’t know if it will be perceiveable for users with a case but I’m pretty sure differences will be measureable.

    Since it is pretty cheap an easy you could try it for yourself. Just get some paperboard with the right dimensions, wrap aluminum foil around it and then insulate it with tape. The effect will be bigger if you ground the aluminum (connect it to your case).

    I’ll upload the RMAA results with graphs before shieldings (1), with only the Prelude shielded (2) and cables, amplifier and PSU shielded as well (3) pretty soon.
    Edit2: RMAA results: http://www.mediafire.com/?ys2z1xi2m94


    Shielding is worthless if you use digital out, of course.
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2008

  5. ROBSCIX

    ROBSCIX Ancient Guru

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    You built a Faraday Cage. Very nice. Would definatley help with keeping out EMI/RFI....great job.
     
  6. DoctorO

    DoctorO Member Guru

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    Thanks. I also built it because I wanted to find out how good a Faraday Cage really works. Turned out to be really good, way less noise and crosstalk, espacially in the 40-1000hz range.

    Maybe I’ll add even more shieldings at the power cables but I’m running out of cables to ground the shieldings...
     
  7. ROBSCIX

    ROBSCIX Ancient Guru

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    There are lots of different ways to improve soundcards if people want to take the time and energy to perform the modifications.
     
  8. NapalmV5

    NapalmV5 Member Guru

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    5 ***** to boot

    now lets see those mods everyone :)
     
  9. GenClaymore

    GenClaymore Ancient Guru

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    What would be some good all around opamps,like gaming music and etc. Because I thinking of getting some opamps my self when I get the cash. Also does it just go in with ease, or is there some force needed?
     
  10. DoctorO

    DoctorO Member Guru

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    Depends on how your opamps pins are bent. It’s easy if they are bent the right way. Actually, it is harder to get the LM4562 out the first time.
     

  11. ROBSCIX

    ROBSCIX Ancient Guru

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    When you get them new opamps have their pins like /-\ and you need to have them like |-| to fit into the socket. What I do is put the one side of pins down on the table and use my finger to gently roll the opamp back and forth to bend in the pins slightly..then flip over and repeat until the pins are exactly how they should be. It is a bit harder to get out the opamp then install one.
    I use a small steak knife with a thin blade tip, pry up slightly on the one end -then the other...be careful NOT to bend the pins. Line up the new one and push down with moderate pressure...simple. Just make sure you line up pin1.
    Hope that explains it. I have changed many,many opamps and other chips and most likely will be changing my opamp today!!
     
  12. DoctorO

    DoctorO Member Guru

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    I bend the pins the same way ROBSCIX does. To get an opamp out of the Prelude, I use this tool:
    [​IMG]
    Btw, has anyone compared AD797 and OPA6x7 in the Prelude? I’m going to buy one pair of them pretty soon and could need a bit help deciding...
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2008
  13. GenClaymore

    GenClaymore Ancient Guru

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    thanks, I'll problly be safer if I get them from auzentech even if there more. that way i dont mess up and break the pins. Since from the look of it. their already |-| .
     
  14. ROBSCIX

    ROBSCIX Ancient Guru

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    NapalmV5 has been using the AD797s in his XM and he said they are great. Personally I haven't tried them yet.
    @GenClaymore, yeah the Auzen Opamps snap right in without any need to bend anything.
    If your a bit uneasy around this type of stuff, then your probably better off doing what you said.
     
  15. DoctorO

    DoctorO Member Guru

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    797 it is then. Hope it will be here by the end of next week
     

  16. ROBSCIX

    ROBSCIX Ancient Guru

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    @Dr.O, Let us know how you find the AD797's
     
  17. Radical_53

    Radical_53 Ancient Guru

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    I saw a couple of threads on X-Fi modding, which made sense as the Creative cards didn't have too high quality components.
    But is there as much to be gained with a Prelude? Wasn't it supposed to be packed with much higher grade components from the start?
     
  18. NapalmV5

    NapalmV5 Member Guru

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    HT OMEGA CLARO+ AD8620BR blackgated
    [​IMG]

    the difference the blackgate made on the claro is so little that it was hard to pick up on anything not worth the mod.. needs smtg else

    i sheet u not guys the blackgate mod on the xmeridian is tremendous improvement..

    im not dreaming
    im not earucinating
    im not making it up

    the ad8620 on the xm + blackgate takes off like crazy
     
  19. NapalmV5

    NapalmV5 Member Guru

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    how about a tent XO on the prelude? :D

    http://www.tentlabs.com
     
  20. Deckard79

    Deckard79 Member Guru

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    I'd love to mod my Cambridge Azur 540A with better opamps.... a bit scared to attempt it though!
     

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