Go Back   Hardware Canucks > HARDWARE > Audio

    
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1 (permalink)  
Old May 5, 2008, 02:09 PM
Shadowmeph's Avatar
Hall Of Fame
F@H
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 3,456

My System Specs

Default Moding soundcards

I read the review on the ASUS Xonar DX 7.1 PCI-E and was impressed enough to buy one now I am wondering what Mods I can do to this card also a how to mod this card would be helpful, I just want to do this because it can be done also to see if I can do this and if it works well I win all the way around if not well at least I tried lol
Reply With Quote
  #2 (permalink)  
Old May 5, 2008, 02:45 PM
enaberif's Avatar
Hall Of Fame
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Calgahree, AB
Posts: 10,679
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadowmeph View Post
I read the review on the ASUS Xonar DX 7.1 PCI-E and was impressed enough to buy one now I am wondering what Mods I can do to this card also a how to mod this card would be helpful, I just want to do this because it can be done also to see if I can do this and if it works well I win all the way around if not well at least I tried lol
Better off to buy a Xplosion or Prelude as mods are easier.
Reply With Quote
  #3 (permalink)  
Old May 5, 2008, 04:50 PM
SugarJ's Avatar
Moderator
F@H
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Langley, BC
Posts: 6,141

My System Specs

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by enaberif View Post
Better off to buy a Xplosion or Prelude as mods are easier.
@enaberif: That's not what he asked. He's already bought the card.

@shadowmeph: I suggest you chat to turtletrax, I think he's got experience modding sound cards. He may be able to point you in the right direction.
Reply With Quote
  #4 (permalink)  
Old May 6, 2008, 01:13 PM
Shadowmeph's Avatar
Hall Of Fame
F@H
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 3,456

My System Specs

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by SugarJ View Post
@enaberif: That's not what he asked. He's already bought the card.

@shadowmeph: I suggest you chat to turtletrax, I think he's got experience modding sound cards. He may be able to point you in the right direction.
Thanks for the info
Reply With Quote
  #5 (permalink)  
Old May 6, 2008, 06:03 PM
biff's Avatar
Hall Of Fame
F@H
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Courtice, Ont.
Posts: 1,235
Default

I'm no expert in audio cards but what kind of mods were you hoping for? AFAIK the bottle neck in sound quality for digital sources is the DACs which I don't think there is anything you can do about it. I guess poor construction techniques could have ill effect too like bad grounding practices and shielding but again, nothing you can do about it.

I'd love to hear what can be done though since it would be nice to be able to get a cheaper card and mod it to something better, certainly something I'd be interested in.
__________________
Q6600 @ 3.83GHz w/ D-Tek Fusion
Asus P5Q-PRO
2x 2GB PC8000 Mushkin Redlines @ 1020MHz w/5-5-5-12 timings
EVGA GTX 280 (SC?)
OCZ Gamer Xtreme 600W PSU
Cooler Master Cosmos on water
Reply With Quote
  #6 (permalink)  
Old May 9, 2008, 08:56 AM
Robscix's Avatar
Allstar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 762
Default

The DAC's on the Xonar DX aren't bad quality at all. The weak point of this particular card...is the opamps. You could use a better models. Surface mount opamps aren't easy to replace. There are many more advanced mods for soundcards but this is the place to start, the output opamps. I can suggest a few but the one that would give you great gains for the price would be the LM4562's.

Last edited by Robscix; May 9, 2008 at 11:55 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #7 (permalink)  
Old May 9, 2008, 09:16 PM
CanadaRox's Avatar
Allstar
F@H
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Scarborough (Toronto)
Posts: 614
Default

I'm not an expert on this or anything, but from the bit that I've seen, people will usually replace the opamps first, and then change the caps to ones that give a cleaner (more stable) voltage. Your best bet for learning how to do this would probably be at an audiophile/computer forum.
__________________
Project: Black and White
i7 920 D0 | 3 x 2GB DDR3 | EVGA X58 SLI LE
XFX 4890 | Corsair HX750 | Corsair Obsidian
Reply With Quote
  #8 (permalink)  
Old May 9, 2008, 10:28 PM
biff's Avatar
Hall Of Fame
F@H
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Courtice, Ont.
Posts: 1,235
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robscix View Post
The DAC's on the Xonar DX aren't bad quality at all. The weak point of this particular card...is the opamps. You could use a better models. Surface mount opamps aren't easy to replace. There are many more advanced mods for soundcards but this is the place to start, the output opamps. I can suggest a few but the one that would give you great gains for the price would be the LM4562's.
It's been a few years since I've poked my head in an audio electronics text so my info is certainly outdated. Also I realize it may look like I'm being a smart-ass but I'm really not trying to be, I'd appreciate being corrected where I'm wrong. Oh, and I have the memory of a goldfish so consider that too.

As I recall the human hearing threshold for distortion was 0.1% for even order harmonics and 0.03% for odd order harmonics. Now back then a few of the prefered opamps were the TL081, NE5532, LM833, and an OPA27 or 37, IIRC to name a few (and I think they were long in the tooth back then). All of those were 0.002% distortion or less and cost about a buck or so. I would have thought there'd be better for less $$$ these days. I quickly checked the datasheets for the LM4562 and yeah modern opamps are WAY better. However even those opamps are only $4 and change, are soundcard manufacturers cheaping out that badly?

I can kinda see about the caps. Polypropylene and ploycarbonate caps were the best but they were much more expensive and bigger than their ceramic counterparts.

I guess a dollar here and there adds up when trying to maximize profit on a product.
__________________
Q6600 @ 3.83GHz w/ D-Tek Fusion
Asus P5Q-PRO
2x 2GB PC8000 Mushkin Redlines @ 1020MHz w/5-5-5-12 timings
EVGA GTX 280 (SC?)
OCZ Gamer Xtreme 600W PSU
Cooler Master Cosmos on water
Reply With Quote
  #9 (permalink)  
Old May 9, 2008, 10:37 PM
vinister's Avatar
MVP
F@H
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Vancouver
Posts: 297
Default

water-cool it ;)
__________________
Mobo: DFI 790X-M2R
Proc: AMD PHENOM X3 720
Ram: OCZ Platinum 2X 2GB @ 1066
VIDEO: 3 x Visiontek HD3870
Reply With Quote
  #10 (permalink)  
Old May 9, 2008, 10:49 PM
biff's Avatar
Hall Of Fame
F@H
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Courtice, Ont.
Posts: 1,235
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by CanadaRox View Post
Ithen change the caps to ones that give a cleaner (more stable) voltage.
just to let you know.... the caps that would be replaced are in the signal path so "a more stable voltage" doesn't really apply as audio is AC. Stable voltage refers to DC and PSRR's have been well below hearing thresholds for decades for opamps specialized for audio use, even 70db is worst case.
__________________
Q6600 @ 3.83GHz w/ D-Tek Fusion
Asus P5Q-PRO
2x 2GB PC8000 Mushkin Redlines @ 1020MHz w/5-5-5-12 timings
EVGA GTX 280 (SC?)
OCZ Gamer Xtreme 600W PSU
Cooler Master Cosmos on water
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes