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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    There are lots of great opamps that can be a better match for your personal tastes or gear. Do some reading and get some recommendations and start checking out units.
     
  2. taraba55

    taraba55 New Member

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    ST+ H6 board , matching audio GD with other components


    Hi, it’s my first post despite reading this forum more than a year. Based on review at Gury3.D I bough Xonar D2X year ago and have been happy with it. After reading the review by Robscix I decide to go step further and I got ST+H6 board .Despite some driver problem , my initial impression is very positive.
    (In many cases using an analog connection from the soundcard to the receiver will sound better as the DAC in the card is better then the DAC in the receiver). Well that is my intention, to get maximum what I can from my gear. I have Denon AVR 5700 which was Denon's flagship receiver 10 years ago. ( 7x140W, but no Prologic II) . Since I have no knowledge whatsoever about electronics, my head is before explosion from all the thread which I read in the last few months.I am listening mainly Jazz/classical /piano/vocals. All my CD is ripped to flac and very often I preferred prologic II instead of 2ch stereo so that is the reason why I want to get maximum from ST+H6 combo.
    Xonar Essence ST i/v = 2 x Earth, Buffer = 1 x Sun2 (LME49710HA ?)
    H6 daughter Board all i/V LME49720NA, Buffer Center/Sub = Sun2
    My desire is to get “tube like “sound so is above combination a good one

    Another steps which I understood will improve SQ.
    1.Replace xo - already ordered Vanguard 0.3ps TCHO
    2) Replace feedback caps – with which one and how many for ST+H6
    3) boost the -12v to -15V and fit a 7912 regulator – o.k.
    4) Upgrade decoupling caps –( SilmicII ? ), how many
    5) Give the card a good linear supply - lm317 – it will be the last step.

    Any suggestion is most welcome.Thanks:)


    Windows 7 > JR Media Center 15 > Xonar ST + H6 > 6 oehlbach interconnect >Denon AVR 5700 > B&W CDM 7NT front , B&W HTM7 center , B&W CDM 1NT rear, 2x B&W ASW 300 subwoofer
     
  3. ROBSCIX

    ROBSCIX Ancient Guru

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    The use of the Audio-GD discrete opamps will produce a very analog "tube" type of sound. The earths make excellent I/V and the Sun V2 makes a great buffer. This setup may be exactly what you're looking for. I have recommended it to others with the STX and ST and they all offer positive feedback.
    As for your other mods, be careful you are getting into some serious circuit modifications. Would be interested in seeing the procedure as you go along.
    I can try and help with more questions if you have them.
    BTW, I know a few that just removed the coupling caps and noticed an improvement in sound quality.
    I have also heard great feedback on replacing the main XO on the card and have been meaning to get around to changing the XO on the ST Deluxe 7.1 I use for reference and testing.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2010
  4. taraba55

    taraba55 New Member

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    Thanks for your prompt reply. I am still waiting for conformation of my order from audio gd company for 2 earth and 2 sun module( I should order dual opa , correct?).Since I have no knowledge about electronics and soldering and someone else will do it for me my intention is to go step by step , first to replace Vanguard 0.3ps TCHO, fit a 7912 regulator , insert audio gd opamp and LME49720NA (6) . Up to this step I I can’t go much wrong I assume regarding damaging the board. Later I will try to replace other parts. One probably stupid question, Opa sun on H board , is it going to get proper power supply?
    It will take some time to get all the parts , but I will report back my expirince with my set up. Thanks
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 15, 2010

  5. ROBSCIX

    ROBSCIX Ancient Guru

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    It might be better to have an experienced Tech do the work.
    Talk to me when you get everything....I might be interested in doing the work for you.
     
  6. taraba55

    taraba55 New Member

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    You are very kind. Taking into account your deep knowledge on the subject and extensive practical skills I am definitely interested for your suggestion. I don’t know how long will take parts to arrive. I still have no answer from audio gd company after two emails, so the op amp are still not ordered. With your permission can I sent you the private mail regarding few logistical problems. Thanks
     
  7. ROBSCIX

    ROBSCIX Ancient Guru

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    We can discuss it sure...send me a PM.
     
  8. bombardier

    bombardier Master Guru

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    Where can I find a TO-99 to SOIC8 adapter?
     
  9. ROBSCIX

    ROBSCIX Ancient Guru

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    TO-99 to SOIC8? I have never heard of that one...
    I have heard and use TO-99 to DIP8. YOu might need to to some DIY'ing for surface mount items. T note, I am working on something right now that might be part of the solution for you.
     
  10. bombardier

    bombardier Master Guru

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    Was afraid of that answer...
    I have never used TO-99 to DIP8. Do 4 of these fit next to each other on X-FI Xtreme Gamer FPS? If yes, I can use two adaptors: DIP8 to SOIC8 and TO-99 to DIP8. :)
     

  11. ROBSCIX

    ROBSCIX Ancient Guru

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    Yes, if your card has SOIC8 opamps, you will need to do something else.
    The adapters method your asking bout is anything but optimal and would just make a big mess of the circuit.
    As I mentioned I have been working on this issue myself and I may have something for you in the next little while. I am working on a modification that would allow you to replace every opamp on your card.
    The procedure/method just need a bit more tweaking and should be ready for use.
    Do you have experience with precision soldering?
    You can drop me an email if you want to discuss the method.
     
  12. MikeMK

    MikeMK Ancient Guru

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    Well, ive got my first few sets of op amps to check out. I've got my hands on the following:

    OPA2134PA
    OPA2111KP
    LME49720

    Think I have a few hours of listening ahead of me :)

    Any thoughts from you guys about any of the above? I'll be running them on my AKG K702's.
     
  13. ROBSCIX

    ROBSCIX Ancient Guru

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    Should be fun...Make sure you listen to each for awhile...give yourself a chance to adjust to the new signature.
    If you're using the onboard headphones amplifer you can only change out the I/V opamps -The two that are side by side...
    the buffer opamp does not operate when using the onboard amplifer.
     
  14. ROBSCIX

    ROBSCIX Ancient Guru

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    For those following the thread, I am working on a way to add opamp sockets to card that have the opamps soldered in. I am close to being done and when I am finished I will post pictures of the circuits.
     
  15. MikeMK

    MikeMK Ancient Guru

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    Yep, I bought them in pairs as I tend to listen to music through my K702 headphones on my PC at least 80% of the time these days. I did hook up my old kenwood KA3080-R amp/Mission M33i speakers actually. The amp is coming on for 15years old so prob not that great by todays standards so no suprises it didnt sound too brilliant.

    I have started thinking of investing some cash into some new seperates actually...

    anyways, ive been using the OPA2134PA today, and definately have more bass than the stock and are warmer - much better for dance/electronic music than the stock imo. However, i dont think they are quite as bright in the treble and maybe loose a little detail which is particularly noticable in classical music (baroque in particular). Im gonna leave them in a few days to really get used to them before I switch to the next ones.
     

  16. ross

    ross Master Guru

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    I wanted to share my recent experience after adding the famous LM4562 opamp to my X-Fi Xtreme Music. I highly recommend this to anyone that owns a cheap X-Fi Xtreme Music. (Thanks for this card recommendation Rob, it fits my needs perfect).

    I successfully removed the original stock JRC NJM4556 opamp and replaced it with the famous LM4562. I'm a complete noob at soldering believe it or not, I obtained almost all of my parts for this from Radioshack. The only things not obtained from the shack for this mod would be the LM4562 opamps and the X-acto knife I used to cut the original stock opamp off the PCB. I got LM4562 samples from National Semiconductor after getting the wrong LM4562 opamp from an eBay seller (don't get opamps off eBay BTW, don't make dumb mistakes like me).

    I spent over a month carefully reading through the "Incredible X-Fi mod" guide, and practiced removing and soldering SMD's on dead motherboards. I didn't even own a soldering iron when I considered attempting this mod.

    As a result of my noob soldering skills I accidentally scolded some of my X-Fi's Jamicon capacitors with my iron while performing the mod :3eyes: After performing the mod, I put the card in my rig having great doubts, fired on my system, booted into the OS and I was jumping like crazy when I heard the Windows login sound occur :flip2: I've been told I only broke through the pvc jacket on the cap, and there is likely no harm. I have intentions on replacing some of the caps on this card anyways. I'm currently practicing removing caps from dead boards.

    I am amazed that I didn't ruin my card. I couldn't be any happier about the turnout. There truly is more dynamic range and some of my music is like hearing it for the first time again. It's like getting a new toy, putting it away and forgetting about it, and coming back to it in a few years and its even better. My music is warmer, bass is deeper and more intense. Highs and lows are simply louder. I picked up a set of Klipsch Promedia 2.1, and I'm enjoying them very much. I'm a cheap ass, I know :coffee:

    :boozer:

    [​IMG]

    All clean and ready to be tinned for that LM4562 goodness.

    [​IMG]

    LM4562 soldered down and chillin', but fuuuuuuuuuuu what about that cap there captain ? My card is still working great, sounds even better, lol :D

    [​IMG]

    Not bad for my first solder job ? Please let me know.

    [​IMG]

    LM4562 straight from National Semiconductor, thank you for these samples :rock:

    [​IMG]

    Jammin' from foobar2000 mon

    [​IMG]

    This is the poor man's tool kit for the X-Fi LM4562 opamp mod. You can have your own for ~$20
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2010
  17. ROBSCIX

    ROBSCIX Ancient Guru

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    Great stuff! We all had to learn the same way. I think you did great for your first SMD solder. Your caps are fine...you just melted a bit of the plastic casing.

    Enjoy your sound!

    BTW, do you just use stereo or full surround? If you use full surround then I guess you have more work to do. To get you thinking, the center/sub opamp could be split into to single channel units. You can have one type for the center and another for the subwoofer output.
     
  18. ross

    ross Master Guru

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    I'm currently using stereo. I have an 1/8" Stereo Y-Adapter hooked into the main line out and I've got a Klipsch Promedia 2.1 + Creative MKII headset plugged into the female ends of the Y. I'm very pleased with the sound I'm getting.

    I'm really wanting to have surround sound. Do I have the option of adding speakers to my Kilpsch 2.1 setup or should I just purchase a different set ? I've seen the option of quadraphonic (4.1) when configuring speakers. Is this something to avoid? I have until the 30th of this month to return my Klipsch set.

    I may go ahead and replace all the opamps on this card with the LM4562. I've heard the DAC on this card is actually better than the DAC on the Z-5500, so it's better to hook it up via analog. I Wish I had the Z-5500 set. I don't have a receiver or high quality bookshelf speakers, here's to wishing that too :blunt:
     
  19. ROBSCIX

    ROBSCIX Ancient Guru

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    You could add in another set for rears but...you cannot have true 5.1 using that current set you have.
     
  20. ross

    ross Master Guru

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    Rob, I am real tempted to buy the Logitech Z-5500 set. I might take this Klipsch Promedia 2.1 set back to BestBuy and get the Z-5500 from an online retailer. My BestBuy doesn't carry the Z-5500 set for some reason. Is there any other setup for around $300 that is better than the Z-5500 ?

    It's either Z-5500, or keep my Klipsch 2.1's and get a new GPU. I might keep my Klipsch set, use the $150+ I save to get new speakers for my '94 Honda Civic, and also get a new GPU. I think this will satisfy my never ending quest for a better experience. Decisions, decisions.... :approval:
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2010

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