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Old October 24, 2007, 11:37 PM
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Thumbs up X-Fi modding.

Hello folks.

With all the hype surrounding the new Prelude I thought I should point out how close you can take your stock X-Fi to the analogue performance of the Prelude. It does require some advanced soldering, but is not impossible by any means.

Here is a weath of information on the mods that can be done.

Hotrodding the X-Fi: A Layman's Guide (No 56k) - Head-Fi: Covering Headphones, Earphones and Portable Audio

If you need any advice on this mod please feel free to PM me. It is one of the more fun mods that I have done, and can be done on the cheap if done corretly

I have done just about all of the mods, but found the power cap replacement, cap shorts and opamp replacements are the biggest bag for the buck

Laters guys.

Turtle
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Old October 25, 2007, 04:18 PM
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Sure, you can mod almost any card to help increase sound quality further. The Prelude can be modded also to improve it's sound quality. You can mod a $50 X-fi only so far as your limited by the quality of the DAC's. That being said you can definitely increase the sound quality over stock by a noticeable amount. Happy soldering.
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Old October 25, 2007, 06:34 PM
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Impressive... too bad I have no soldering skills at all, otherwise, I'd be tempted to buy an X-Fi just to try my hand at this.
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Old October 25, 2007, 07:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mars View Post
Impressive... too bad I have no soldering skills at all, otherwise, I'd be tempted to buy an X-Fi just to try my hand at this.
Do what I did, get some cheap soldering equipment and practice on dead hardware. I started my journey many years ago on a MSI motherboard (insert MSI joke here). I began to practice with Xbox modding in mind. Once I figured I could pull the Xbox mod off, I gave it a shot and it went off perfectly.

I then began harder and harder projects and found several great soldering guides floating around the net and now I feel there are few soldering endevours that I would be afraid to try. What I do reccomend is to get a really good soldering iron once you are geting more advanced. The iron has a good deal to do with how intricate you can get.

Laters!
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Old October 27, 2007, 10:55 AM
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Soldering is a great skill to have. The type of skills you would need to solder surafce mount components would need to be learned and paracticed heavily prior to trying them on something important. You can mod any soundcard..they are all basically built in the same way. When you mod your just improving the components used in the design or changing the design of the card slightly. Be careful, it will get to be a addiction. I know a guy that added a second PCI card to his X-Meridian that holds a $250 clock module for his XM. That is a bit extreme but when you start modding....you never know where your gonna end up. SOme guys just like having a custom card modded by them aswell. Good luck in your modding.
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Old October 27, 2007, 03:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Robscix View Post
Soldering is a great skill to have. The type of skills you would need to solder surafce mount components would need to be learned and paracticed heavily prior to trying them on something important. You can mod any soundcard..they are all basically built in the same way. When you mod your just improving the components used in the design or changing the design of the card slightly. Be careful, it will get to be a addiction. I know a guy that added a second PCI card to his X-Meridian that holds a $250 clock module for his XM. That is a bit extreme but when you start modding....you never know where your gonna end up. Some guys just like having a custom card modded by them aswell. Good luck in your modding.
LoL, that is awesome. I don't think I will go that far, but I do like having the skills (and courage) to try things that peak my interest. I have never been beaten by a mod, but I also really do my research and weigh the cost/benifit ratio.

Thanks Robscix :)
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Old October 30, 2007, 09:55 AM
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To further elaborate on the clock topic. You don't need to go to that extent -adding a separate discrete clock PCB. You can just remove the existing clock crystal (little silver metal can) and replace it with a better precision unit. With digital audio there is a issue of Jitter. It is basically a variation in the precise digital timing signal. It affects audio in that these timing signals are used for timing the digital to analog converter.
Here is a page about replacing the clocking crystal-> Article
This is a great diagram that easily shows what jitter is. When a signal with jitter is applied to a converter it decreases the quality of the converted signal.


Last edited by Robscix; October 30, 2007 at 10:07 AM.
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Old October 30, 2007, 10:15 AM
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Originally Posted by turtletrax View Post
I then began harder and harder projects and found several great soldering guides floating around the net and now I feel there are few soldering endevours that I would be afraid to try.
Do you still have that list on links are care to share?
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Old October 30, 2007, 11:19 AM
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Do you still have that list on links are care to share?
I will have to burn around the next to find the others but this one I remembered.

Guide: The Art of Soldering - XtremeSystems Forums

It shows a brief overveiw of all the techniques used for different hardware. A good guide and awesome for when you need to know the best way to go about getting OUT of trouble as well.

Will be back with the others
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