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AuzenTech Sound Card Mod's
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AnalogRocks
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PostLink    Posted: Fri Jan 25, 2008 11:43 pm    Post subject: AuzenTech Sound Card Mod's Reply with quote


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I have the AuzenTech X Meridian sound card and I was plaing on upgrading the op-amps. Are there other mods to do too?

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fireanimal



Joined: 17 Jul 2007
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Location: Stayner, ON


PostLink    Posted: Fri Jan 25, 2008 11:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I installed LM4562's and removed the DC Blocking Caps, I will get some pics if you want. Sounds great. The Xmeridian is a sweet ass card, to bad they stopped production to replace it with that sh*tty Creative chipset.....Are you any good at soldering/de-soldering?? If can fix ya up!

The only problem with it is the high RMS voltage win windows is set at full volume, it goes will make any amp/pre-amp going into clipping...I know from experience, the voltage is alright for PC speaker systems because of their low sensitivity, but it destroyed three tweeters and crossovers on my brand new Ascends.....Do Not run the Windows volume any higher than 55, which will give approx. 2 vrms output on the xmeridian.
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Joust



Joined: 05 May 2006
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PostLink    Posted: Sat Jan 26, 2008 12:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

are the X-plosions worth it?
i was trying to get my "built in" sound card to output and failed. i could get 2ch stereo using spdif OR... center/subwoofer/rears, but no fronts.

I'm going to completely reload the machine and see if i can make it work.
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AnalogRocks
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PostLink    Posted: Sat Jan 26, 2008 12:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

fireanimal wrote:
I installed LM4562's and removed the DC Blocking Caps, I will get some pics if you want. Sounds great. The Xmeridian is a sweet ass card, to bad they stopped production to replace it with that sh*tty Creative chipset.....Are you any good at soldering/de-soldering?? If can fix ya up!

The only problem with it is the high RMS voltage win windows is set at full volume, it goes will make any amp/pre-amp going into clipping...I know from experience, the voltage is alright for PC speaker systems because of their low sensitivity, but it destroyed three tweeters and crossovers on my brand new Ascends.....Do Not run the Windows volume any higher than 55, which will give approx. 2 vrms output on the xmeridian.


Thanks for the tip! I just bought the 5.1 analog cables and I was going to run that into my pre amp next week Shocked

You really think the new sound card sucks? I was going to put one in my next PC.

I'm not too handy with a soldering iron on stuff this small. All my soldering looks like a '70's pin ball game cabinet. Then again I should stop using the Weller from 1986. I do have a small 15 watt pencile iron but my hand's not to steady.

Post the pic's though I'd love to see what you did.

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Joust



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PostLink    Posted: Sat Jan 26, 2008 12:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a deal for you analog.... Wink
You find me a card cheap and I'll mod yours for you.
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AnalogRocks
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PostLink    Posted: Sat Jan 26, 2008 1:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Joust wrote:
I have a deal for you analog.... Wink
You find me a card cheap and I'll mod yours for you.


I can find you 52 cards, made by bicycle and two jokers PLUS an instruction card. That's an extra added value of 55 cards!

I'm doubting you'll find an X Meridian cheap. I lucked out and got one of the last 3 around here left in dealer stock.

Think I paid $205 or so...

Why not put out a WTB on the Buy and Sell?

I'll keep my eyes peeled.

On a side note.....

I'm hoping that the new ATi card works properly. I have a MP 1.4 I want to add to it.

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Joust



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PostLink    Posted: Sat Jan 26, 2008 1:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

X-plosions are $100 or so.
are they any good?
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Zebu Fellenz



Joined: 21 Dec 2006
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PostLink    Posted: Sat Jan 26, 2008 1:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry for the Noob question, but how much of an improvement do you see with a sound card like the X-Meredian vs. a cheaper card like the X-Mistique?

Asking because my new HTPC came with an X-Mistique and compared to my old Audigy 2 ZS it sounds really, really good.

Thanks,

Erik
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fireanimal



Joined: 17 Jul 2007
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PostLink    Posted: Sat Jan 26, 2008 1:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I will get some pics for you tomorrow, you just have to remove the DC blocking caps and jumper the pads. They are surface mount not too bad to do, I shake like a leaf and still no probs Thumbs Up

The worst part of the new card is it is Creative chumpset, and they only made one opamp replaceable, to get propar front channel imaging the audio chain needs to be identical. There is no point on replacing the L & R, without doing the center. I think Auzentech must have paid to many royalties to Creative, and couldn't afford the extra DIP sockets.

What kind of analog cables did you get? I had blue jeans make a custom set for me in 7.1, they turned out nice, and a great price to boot.
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fireanimal



Joined: 17 Jul 2007
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Location: Stayner, ON


PostLink    Posted: Sat Jan 26, 2008 1:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I guess it really depends on your audio compenets. If you are using HTIB, not much really, and if you are using digital SPDIF than none. To take advantage of these cards, you must use analog connections, plus that allows you to pass full Lossless audio to the preamp, if your preamp has 7.1 or 5.1 analog inputs. Then there must also be a way for you to apply delay and channel trim offsets as well as bass managment. So software drivers allow this, but is best to get a preamp that does it, for example Outlaw 990, which is what I use.

Zebu Fellenz wrote:
Sorry for the Noob question, but how much of an improvement do you see with a sound card like the X-Meredian vs. a cheaper card like the X-Mistique?

Asking because my new HTPC came with an X-Mistique and compared to my old Audigy 2 ZS it sounds really, really good.

Thanks,

Erik
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Joust



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PostLink    Posted: Sat Jan 26, 2008 1:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

fireanimal wrote:
I will get some pics for you tomorrow, you just have to remove the DC blocking caps and jumper the pads. They are surface mount not too bad to do, I shake like a leaf and still no probs Thumbs Up

The worst part of the new card is it is Creative chumpset, and they only made one opamp replaceable, to get propar front channel imaging the audio chain needs to be identical. There is no point on replacing the L & R, without doing the center. I think Auzentech must have paid to many royalties to Creative, and couldn't afford the extra DIP sockets.

What kind of analog cables did you get? I had blue jeans make a custom set for me in 7.1, they turned out nice, and a great price to boot.


you remove DC blocking caps and short them out?
they must be in the signal path then. Does that leave any voltage potential on the output? cause that would be bad.
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fireanimal



Joined: 17 Jul 2007
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Location: Stayner, ON


PostLink    Posted: Sat Jan 26, 2008 2:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, I forget the measurment that is allowed, maybe around 2mv VDC. They overprotected the card, with caps on the outputs. I belive you only need one per channel, but they had three, which in turn reduces the sound quality but saves lawsuits on there end. But all percaution must be taking to insure that there is not excessive DC voltage on the outputs, as it will instantley destroy speakers.

you don't short them, just jumper the pads to make connection to the output, I belive that they are in series.
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fireanimal



Joined: 17 Jul 2007
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PostLink    Posted: Sat Jan 26, 2008 3:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here is a link

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?p=9538227&&#post9538227
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Joust



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PostLink    Posted: Sat Jan 26, 2008 3:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

so does the Xplosion suck?
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AnalogRocks
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PostLink    Posted: Sat Jan 26, 2008 4:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

fireanimal wrote:
I will get some pics for you tomorrow, you just have to remove the DC blocking caps and jumper the pads. They are surface mount not too bad to do, I shake like a leaf and still no probs Thumbs Up

The worst part of the new card is it is Creative chumpset, and they only made one opamp replaceable, to get propar front channel imaging the audio chain needs to be identical. There is no point on replacing the L & R, without doing the center. I think Auzentech must have paid to many royalties to Creative, and couldn't afford the extra DIP sockets.

What kind of analog cables did you get? I had blue jeans make a custom set for me in 7.1, they turned out nice, and a great price to boot.


The ONLY one's I could find locally for cheap. I just wana test this to see if I can get the 5.1 out from the HD-DVD and Bluray disk's. If so I'll go buy some better cables. I've seen RCA branded gold plated around here ummm $70 for 3 foot LOL!!

I need to see the custom cable man in Markham. I lost the link to his site. I actually got it off of a banner on this site once when I wasn't signed in.

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AnalogRocks
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PostLink    Posted: Sat Jan 26, 2008 4:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Joust wrote:
X-plosions are $100 or so.
are they any good?


Yep they are. They have the replacable op-amps. I remember reading on A*S about someone swapping in Bur-Brown and making the sound amazing.

I 'think' this was the card I originaly bought before the X-Meridian. I'd have to look. It's in my spare PC.

EDIT: Yes it was. I remember why I changed, the X-Meridian has FP connections. THough as I recall, and as always, I haven't gotten them working yet.

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fireanimal



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PostLink    Posted: Sun Jan 27, 2008 4:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here are the pics of my modded card. If you do the cap bypass, be very careful it is hard to remove the SMD Capacitors withouth lifting the trace...as you can see I had to repair a couple Laughing


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AnalogRocks
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PostLink    Posted: Sun Jan 27, 2008 8:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just looked at the actual size of those cap's you removed. No way can I do it. I'm not steady enough. Too bad. I'll try the chip swap though that I can handle.

Had another thought. Could you swap in larger filter capacitors? Would it improve the sound?

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Joust



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PostLink    Posted: Sun Jan 27, 2008 2:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll do it for you analog.
the parts I'm changing for Moome are 3 thousandths of an inch by 6 thousandths of an inch.

thats 0.003inches. that you are looking at there is 0.250inches.
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fireanimal



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PostLink    Posted: Sun Jan 27, 2008 4:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are mods as well for replacing the filter caps, but the opamps will make the largest difference. All in all I don't think the cap removal was worth the time. Same with swapping the other caps out. Someone I seen replaced them with Blackgate caps, in a super E config. I think he paid more for the Blackgate's, then what the X-meridian is even worth.

LM4562 is a great opamp, but it has been replaced with a LME series, but I can't remember the number. Best place to get them is digikey.ca.
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