The X-Meridian 7.1 Thread - Page 22 - AVS Forum
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post #631 of 2138 Old 03-30-2007, 01:52 PM
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Originally Posted by dbossa View Post

For $10 you'll have to take my wife too

If she is understanding about spending $200 on some minicables she can't be all bad. I would have kicked you out of the house.
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post #632 of 2138 Old 03-30-2007, 03:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Has anybody done the capacitor mod to the X-Meridian yet?
If so what improvments do you notice?
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post #633 of 2138 Old 03-30-2007, 05:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBSCIX View Post

Has anybody done the capacitor mod to the X-Meridian yet?
If so what improvments do you notice?

If you're referring to the DC coupling mod, I did it. Actually I had someone do it for me. It does improve the sound a touch. If you can do it yourself I would definitely suggest doing it. However, if you have to pay someone to do it (like I did) then I wouldn't bother as the increase in quality isn't worth spending too much money on. It's that power supply mod that I'm curious about as it sounds like something I could probably do myself.
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post #634 of 2138 Old 03-30-2007, 05:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbossa View Post

If you're referring to the DC coupling mod, I did it. Actually I had someone do it for me. It does improve the sound a touch. If you can do it yourself I would definitely suggest doing it. However, if you have to pay someone to do it (like I did) then I wouldn't bother as the increase in quality isn't worth spending too much money on. It's that power supply mod that I'm curious about as it sounds like something I could probably do myself.

I think you are referring to AC coupling. DC coupling allows both AC and DC through. AC coupling only lets AC through -- which is OK. You don't want to pass DC, that can damage other electronics further down the chain, like your speaker drivers. The mod removes the AC coupling capacitor, thus allowing DC to pass. This is only OK if AC coupling exists further down the chain.

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post #635 of 2138 Old 03-30-2007, 06:04 PM
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@dbossa

Robscix was referring to the power supply capacitor mod I believe.

-> http://www.head-fi.org/forums/showthread.php?t=229350
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post #636 of 2138 Old 03-31-2007, 06:20 AM
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Update: I replaced the power supply filter cap with the blackgate (man that thing is big); Here are my findings:


Actually, I'll keep it short. Not much. There might be certain situations where this cap will provide more of a reserve or possibly its emitting less EMF (who knows). This mod is not going to be one of those that you go "wow" from doing. I don't suggest it for the do-it-yourselfers. It's just not worth the result. The DC coupling mod IS worth it. I am having a very hard time detecting any difference with the new cap in, although I haven't done a lot of listening. These are my first impressions.

It WILL take an extra slot. The capacitor is nearly an inch long.

On another note, I added some EMF paper on the backside of the card. It slightly reduced some faint fan noise I was getting from the PC. I think this is a worthwhile mod on any card. It has a no risk factor and it's relatively cheap. It's never a bad thing to put this on the card.

If I had to guess as to a minor difference these mods made sonically. I would say that there is a touch more smoothness to the sound. Less grain and a touch less siblants. The detail is still there. Keep in mind, I cannot say this for sure. The degree change (if any) would be very small. I could easily detect changes from just about everything else I did to this card.

Overall.. it didn't hurt the sound..just didnt help much.
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post #637 of 2138 Old 03-31-2007, 06:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RichB View Post

I just posted my X-Meridian with LM4562's installed for sale here at AVS.

FYI,

Rich

NEVER show your face in this thread again.. traitor!

j/k
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post #638 of 2138 Old 03-31-2007, 07:02 AM
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I never did get around to trying those other OpAms...

Seriously, I still prefer the XM to the X-FI for music, I justed needed that SVM feature. I entered a ticket at Auzentech and got no response...so I moved on.

I will be trying the new Asus card too and I would try shorting some CAPs on the X-FI it I could figure out which farking ones to do

[OT]
Speaking of Farking.. I just watched the season ender for Battlestar. That is one unbelievable show!! Just incredible... Now we wait for 2008
[/OT]

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post #639 of 2138 Old 03-31-2007, 07:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RichB View Post


[OT]
Speaking of Farking.. I just watched the season ender for Battlestar. That is one unbelievable show!! Just incredible... Now we wait for 2008
[/OT]

- Rich

"there must be some kind of way out of here..said the joker to the thief"

(those that don't watch BS will wonder why I quoted that)

Yeah, I liked the mood of the last episode this season. It built up a good bit of tension. Well written and directed show.
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post #640 of 2138 Old 03-31-2007, 07:24 AM - Thread Starter
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When the changing the capcitor-mod was mentioned to me it was for giving more power to the card as a few people though the card was "starved" of power and changing out the Cap would help with better bass and smoother response less grainy. I am gonna leave my card alone for ahwile. I am unsure which mod I want to do yet...
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post #641 of 2138 Old 03-31-2007, 07:27 AM
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Probably a good idea Robscix. Many have mentioned that Blackgates have a long break-in period (if you believe that sort of thing). I'm going to see if the character changes over the next few days.
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post #642 of 2138 Old 03-31-2007, 07:52 AM
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I can't believe I'm going to say this, but has anyone used these Monster (YUCK!) cables for connecting their XM to their amps?:

http://www.monstercable.com/productDisplay.asp?pin=1731

It appears to be the only thing I can purchase for a reasonable price in Canada. If someone can suggest anything else... PLEASE DO!
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post #643 of 2138 Old 03-31-2007, 07:57 AM - Thread Starter
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Aagin, look how thick the 3.5mm plug is on those cables. I am not sure they would fit side by side on the XM like you need them to. There are ways around it I just wanted to point that out to you though.
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post #644 of 2138 Old 03-31-2007, 08:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBSCIX View Post

Aagin, look how thick the 3.5mm plug is on those cables. I am not sure they would fit side by side on the XM like you need them to. There are ways around it I just wanted to point that out to you though.

Yes, but at least these are rubber so they can be shaved down if needed. The other ones had a metallic base so I would have been SOL.

I sent the UPS guy packing yesterday... but I still might be stuck having to cover the brokerage fees...
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post #645 of 2138 Old 03-31-2007, 08:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbossa View Post

I can't believe I'm going to say this, but has anyone used these Monster (YUCK!) cables for connecting their XM to their amps?:

http://www.monstercable.com/productDisplay.asp?pin=1731

It appears to be the only thing I can purchase for a reasonable price in Canada. If someone can suggest anything else... PLEASE DO!

I just ordered these:

http://www.monstercable.com/productDisplay.asp?pin=136

Monster has other choices too:

http://www.monstercable.com/productDisplay.asp?pin=146

I tried making my own from some XLR cables but it was a PITA. Monster makes good cables, granted there are better choices out there but for this application, I haven't seen too many choices
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post #646 of 2138 Old 03-31-2007, 09:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AVOpus View Post

Probably a good idea Robscix. Many have mentioned that Blackgates have a long break-in period (if you believe that sort of thing). I'm going to see if the character changes over the next few days.

Which capacitor locations are you replacing and which capacitors need to be jumped? Since the PCB has no silkscreen with reference designators would it be possible for someone to redline this picture of my XM and post it back up? I am sure it would be helpful for this thread.

Thanks

Fran
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post #647 of 2138 Old 03-31-2007, 10:57 AM - Thread Starter
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@dbossa, why would you have to pay those fees considering you never took possesion of the package you don't have tp ya them anything AFAIK.
@FMZIP, I will look for the pic from another guys who did it, But as I remember it's the caps on the four corners of the opamp chips. A few guys have done this mod so they should be able to help you...wait until you know 100% for sure which ones to bypass.
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post #648 of 2138 Old 03-31-2007, 11:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fmzip View Post

Which capacitor locations are you replacing and which capacitors need to be jumped? Since the PCB has no silkscreen with reference designators would it be possible for someone to redline this picture of my XM and post it back up? I am sure it would be helpful for this thread.

Thanks

Fran

It's an easy answer. Its the biggest cap on the board (upper leftish). Look for the one that has 16v and the number 470 above that. That is a 16v 470uf capacitor which I replaced with a 16v 2200uf capacitor. BTW - the power filter capacitor replacement was actually pretty easy. I just popped the other one off by moving it a bit side to side. Cleaned up the solder. Resoldered the new one. This was MUCH easier than the capacitor bypass mod I did earlier.
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post #649 of 2138 Old 03-31-2007, 11:14 AM
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I've been reading many blurbs about how long Blackgates take to break in. Apparently they are "notorious" for this. Anyone have any thoughts on this. I might have been too early with my review of the cap mod. I will probably wait a couple of days and re-review it. I consider myself fairly immune to the psychoacoustic phenomenon that makes you think it sounds better. I typically listen always expecting no improvement and only IF it proves it's better to I take notice. Still.. I would like some opinions on the matter.
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post #650 of 2138 Old 03-31-2007, 11:50 AM - Thread Starter
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I have heard that as well, that Blackgates take awhile to break in. I am not that familiar with them to comment on the subject of burn-in or break-in, although I have heard it does occur with this certain brand. Can you post a pic of you card now AVOpus?
Also can you mark on that big XM pic, which caps are the ones to be bypassed and which one is the cap to be replaced? You have done the mods so you know exactly which ones need to be modded. This way we have a diagram to refer to when asked.
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post #651 of 2138 Old 03-31-2007, 12:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBSCIX View Post

@dbossa, why would you have to pay those fees considering you never took possesion of the package you don't have tp ya them anything AFAIK.
@FMZIP, I will look for the pic from another guys who did it, But as I remember it's the caps on the four corners of the opamp chips. A few guys have done this mod so they should be able to help you...wait until you know 100% for sure which ones to bypass.

The UPS guys already did the work so they have to get paid from somebody. Ram Electronics already billed my credit card. So, if they are stuck with the bill from UPS they'll probably make me pay for it and credit the rest. I'll have to wait and see when I speak to them on Monday.
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post #652 of 2138 Old 03-31-2007, 12:13 PM
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Guys, if you look at the power capacitor mod in this link:

http://www.head-fi.org/forums/showthread.php?t=229350

You'll see that they gave the pins enough length to allow the cap to be bent on a 90 degree angle. This way it doesn't increase the overall width of your card and should fit in one PCI slot... no?
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post #653 of 2138 Old 03-31-2007, 12:49 PM
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[quote=<><]...I just had a couple of questions and i thought i'd ask you instead of posting in the thread, as it might be a little off topic:

First off, i thought that SPDIF was only used for optical connection (TOSLINK) and I didn't know that even with analog you could click on SPDIF and output a certain bitrate from the pulldown...so my question is:

Connecting the card with analog to my receiver, what setting on the card would be preferred when doing the following (as in would spidf be checked or not? and if so, what bitrate if any).

1. When watching regular DVDs or HD-DVD/Blu-Ray:
- What would the software (powerdvd etc) be set at? SPDIF or 6speaker?
- What about the driver settings? Spdif checked or no? If so what rate and 6 speaker?

Quote:
Originally Posted by <><</strong> View Post

hey rich, thanks for shipping out the card, i just had a couple of questions and i thought i'd ask you instead of posting in the thread, as it might be a little off topic:

First off, i thought that SPDIF was only used for optical connection (TOSLINK) and I didn't know that even with analog you could click on SPDIF and output a certain bitrate from the pulldown...so my question is:

Connecting the card with analog to my receiver, what setting on the card would be preferred when doing the following (as in would spidf be checked or not? and if so, what bitrate if any).

1. When watching regular DVDs or HD-DVD/Blu-Ray:
- What would the software (powerdvd etc) be set at? SPDIF or 6speaker?
- What about the driver settings? Spdif checked or no? If so what rate and 6 speaker?

For regular DVDs, it depends on which is better for DD or DTS decoding so the answer is you have to try it.

For BD/HD DVD DD+, DTS-HD, True-HD, LPCM the analog outputs are best since SPDIF will downsample the sound.

Quote:



2. When listening to music (CD's/MP3's):
- What should the software be set at (SPDIF or 6speaker)
- Same as above, what about driver settings?


I would appreciate if you could answer these, if not i'll post in the forum.

Most suggest 44.1 to match the CD source. Again, you have to try SPDIF to see which you like better the DA of the card or the receiver.

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post #654 of 2138 Old 03-31-2007, 12:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AVOpus View Post

It's an easy answer. Its the biggest cap on the board (upper leftish). Look for the one that has 16v and the number 470 above that. That is a 16v 470uf capacitor which I replaced with a 16v 2200uf capacitor. BTW - the power filter capacitor replacement was actually pretty easy. I just popped the other one off by moving it a bit side to side. Cleaned up the solder. Resoldered the new one. This was MUCH easier than the capacitor bypass mod I did earlier.

Thanks,

Do you happen to know wwhich caps are bypassed? Do you also have the complete Nichicon part number for the filter cap?

I am fortunate enought o work for a company that assembles PCB's so I will give it to a skilled person to do the mods for me...
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post #655 of 2138 Old 03-31-2007, 01:11 PM
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Here is a poor picture of the cap in my card.

http://gallery.avsforum.com/showfull.php?photo=24861

I will try to dig up some better ones.
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post #656 of 2138 Old 03-31-2007, 04:21 PM - Thread Starter
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I figured you would have laid it on it's side to keep the size down. This is how I will do it.
Have you noticed any type of burn in effect yet?
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post #657 of 2138 Old 03-31-2007, 05:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBSCIX View Post

I figured you would have laid it on it's side to keep the size down. This is how I will do it.
Have you noticed any type of burn in effect yet?

My pins are long enough to bend it some. I also have a spare. It's very easy to change.
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post #658 of 2138 Old 03-31-2007, 05:54 PM
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Wow...quite the bit of discussion since my question

It looks like both the RAM Electronics and the Dayton cables are metal connectors and won't fit for 5.1. Has anyone found something other than the Monsters that will fit with out using a mini-extender?

I'm ordering the op-amps this week. I've had to put off installing the card for a little while. I'm going to try to document the upgrade...first a few hours critically listening to my mobo sound, then an X-Fi, then the X-M, then the X-M with op-amps upgraded.
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post #659 of 2138 Old 03-31-2007, 06:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Naylia View Post

I'm going to try to document the upgrade...first a few hours critically listening to my mobo sound, then an X-Fi, then the X-M, then the X-M with op-amps upgraded.

You basically mapped up a linear increase in sound quality with your testing.

Poor ---> Decent --- > Good --> Great.

I just can't recommend a stock X-Fi for critical music listening. As they describe in this thread: http://www.head-fi.org/forums/showthread.php?t=229350 sounds muddy and lacking in detail.
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post #660 of 2138 Old 03-31-2007, 06:54 PM
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A buddy has the X-Fi and a very serious hi-end 2-channel tube setup, so we were going to do a head to head just for kicks. If all goes well he'll be buying an X-M afterwards. The cost shouldn't be a problem though considering he just dropped 8K on a preamp
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