Hacking Schiit

Discussion in 'Modifications and Tweaks' started by Marvey, Jul 22, 2021.

  1. nlitworld

    nlitworld Acquaintance

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    Just curious if anyone has gone to modifying a BF2? I haven't cracked into my BF2/64 yet, but I'm curious if there's some parts of the output stage signal path that could be upgraded? I am quite enjoying the upgrade from a Modi MB to that, but now I can't help myself on tearing things apart for new fun projects.
     
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  2. gixxerwimp

    gixxerwimp Professional tricycle rider

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    Not trying to be snarky, but the BF2/64 cards were an upgrade that not all of us liked. If it ain't broke, don't fix it ;)

    Should probably put my cards up for sale. I was hoping for a SW upgrade that would make the tonality of the /64 cards more palatable, but that's probably the same as me waiting for @Zampotech to finish his Hard Rock Adapters for the ZDT Jr. I gave up waiting after several years.
     
  3. nlitworld

    nlitworld Acquaintance

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    I never had the previous BF2. Could you explain the difference in sound? I was more speaking in general of upgrading the quality of some internal parts like capacitors, resistors and RCA jacks. But now I'm curious of the sound ba ve via the new boards.
     
  4. gixxerwimp

    gixxerwimp Professional tricycle rider

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    Search for my posts in this thread and you'll see my opinion. Others have different opinions, some positive, some negative.
     
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  5. YEEEEGZ

    YEEEEGZ Almost "Made"

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    Just stopping by to report back as promised.

    I received the opamps from the Ebay gouger today and went ahead and threw them into my Modi Multibit.

    [​IMG]
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    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I discovered a scene of molten ant corpses on the bottom of the chassis, a lot of their guts had melted to the board itself. It took me longer to clean the massacre up than it did replacing the opamps... Because of the mass carcass removal, it is much too difficult for me to A/B the swap. I will not be able to determine if removing the bodies had a positive or negative impact sonically.

    But I will say that it sounded great before, and it sounds great now.

    10/10 would do it again.
     
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    Last edited: May 28, 2023
  6. nlitworld

    nlitworld Acquaintance

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    I finally heard the bifrostbite on the 2/64 that everyone seems to be talking about. Billie Eilish album When We All Fall Asleep showed it off. It was worse when first turning on the dac, but it's still there after a few days running, even in NOS mode (although much better). Now I'm looking at Frankensteining the board with some Burson opamps, caps and rca plugs. Worst case scenario, I'm out $300 for a new board and repurpose the parts elsewhere. What I do know is there are 4x OPA1656 and 2x L49724 on the board. Trying to figure out where everything is directed to and their configuration in the system is still a little mystery. If anyone had a suggestion on which opamps or if all need a swap, I'm all ears. I realize spending good money modifying onto an inexpensive board is a fools errand, but I like to learn, practice and tinker around and if I can do so with less expensive components then all the better.

    [​IMG]

    A kinda better look at the BF2/64 output card. Lighting sucks so sorry for the shit photo. U18 and U19 near the xlr are the L49724 and U14-U17 in the middle of the board are the OPA1656.
     
  7. Azimuth

    Azimuth FKA rtaylor76, Friend

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    The OPA1656’s are the unbalanced output and the L49724 is the balanced output op amps.
     
  8. nlitworld

    nlitworld Acquaintance

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    4x Opamps and adapters ordered for the unbalanced connection. I only use balanced for headphones but 90% of listening is speakers through unbalanced connection. I already have some KLE rca sockets around so I'll test that change first while waiting for shipping.

    Things could get interesting trying to fit it all back inside the case with those skyscraper opamps...o_O

    I'll post progress even if it goes up in smoke.

    Thank you guys for giving me the courage (stupid bravery) to take this on. Should be a fun project.
     
  9. nlitworld

    nlitworld Acquaintance

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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    So far, just swapping rca plugs for the KLE Copper Harmony plugs was a big improvement. Smoother but with big increase in clarity. Honestly that was such an easy swap I have sworn to myself to never use standard pcb mount rca again.

    I'm hoping the opamps and adapters show up by next weekend to tinker in the garage some more. Should be good fun :cool:
     
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  10. nlitworld

    nlitworld Acquaintance

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    So I finally got around to an opamp swap on my bifrost 2/64 tonight. Spacing will get... "interesting" but should work out I think. These opamps are huge for this tiny little board.
    [​IMG]

    1 down, 3 more to go.

    I got curious how it sounded with the one opamp changed so I plugged it in this morning. To my surprise, it plays music and even cold right out of the gate it sounds really freakin good. If I didn't already have the materials for swapping the other 3 opamps on here, I'd be happy leaving it as it is. The harsh bite and lingering etched sound is gone. It's still crisp, but it is much smoother already. Bells, triangles, cymbals, etc all have the bright ringing overtones that they should but without the hair on your neck standing up. There is also MUCH bigger/fuller sound overall. I'll be excited to finish the next 3 and hear how it sounds.
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2023
  11. ColtMrFire

    ColtMrFire Writes better fan fics than you

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    @nlitworld none of those pics are showing btw.
     
  12. nlitworld

    nlitworld Acquaintance

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    So weird. They're showing just fine on my phone. Maybe SBAF just doesn't like images hosted from other audio sites... lol.
     
  13. Azimuth

    Azimuth FKA rtaylor76, Friend

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    The image thing only works if it can resolve to a .jpg file. This a .php with an ?id after it and does not work.

    Here is is uploaded.
    nlitworld-bf2.jpg

    Whoah man! SOIC to DIP with extension to Burson!? Just for DC removal?
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2023
  14. nlitworld

    nlitworld Acquaintance

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    @Azimuth
    Thanks for the info about the .jpg. I'll remember that for next time. Anyways, I went full tilt with Burson just because why not, and also I wanted some practice/challenge to see if I could work through soldering tiny things. I figured worst case I can buy a new 2/64 output board if I screw up beyond repair.
     
  15. Ksorota

    Ksorota Friend

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    I had been thinking about putting together a dual-mono small Schiit amp set up ever since Jason mentioned it years ago with the Magni 3. When the Piety was released, I finally had a reason to give it a go, and did so with the help of some custom XLR-RCA cables I put together, and an adapter to go from dual 1/4 jacks to 4-pin XLR made up by @Azimuth .

    dual Vali.jpeg
    This is what we came up with for cables (notice its set up with a set of Vali's now)

    The dual amp set up kept me engaged and having fun while listening because it was a unique experiment that worked and also because it opened up the sound with a wider stage and more clear details.

    The experiment first used a Lokius for SE to BAL conversion, then I moved to a 2541 for a balanced source with digital attenuation, finally ending up with a Freya N for a pre-amp to have more control. The experiment went on, and I then shelved it after a few months and hadnt done much with it since. With the encouragement of @CEE TEE and with the idea of doing some CAP rolling in the Piety I started to get a thought to bring it to the next level...which brings us to today.

    The current set up I have going is temporary, but provides a "safe" way to quickly swap out capacitors, while also keeping with the theme of "hacking Schiit" I have a few sets of capacitors in to try out including Silmic IIs, Muse, KG, and CDE that I am going to put through some paces after some burn in and a few weeks of listening each. At this point I have been running the Elna's for a few weeks and have swapped in the Muse caps to put some hours on them...

    Here is the set up currently...
    IMG_7248.JPG


    IMG_7251.JPG
    I had the chassis lying around, and an alps RK27 so wired both boards up to the balanced pot, and then through in a couple of breadboards for quick/easy cap swapping.

    The wiring is a mix of temp. pin connectors and solder connections and not ideal, but a good way to see how things change. I am going to eventually remove the 1/4 jacks and wire straight to the board to the xlr output, once i have a better chassis to use as the base and more permanently decide on the type of capacitors to use long term.

    Open to suggestions on changes that can be made to enhance the already great sound of this set up.

    The main reason I am posting this mid phase part of the experiment is that I am looking for a better looking case to put it in once completed, and looking for power supply ideas. I know the Sbooster can provide meaningful benefits to the Piety, but I do not want to purchase two of those at around 800$ for a bit of a fun project.

    Can anyone can point me to a DIY power supply setup that is reasonable in price and size to fit into a single box, or even two boxes. The use of the stock wall warts is not ideal, but working for now, power supply upgrades is a big consideration for the near future though.

    Dual mono, fun game to play with small schiit!
     
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  16. EagleWings

    EagleWings Friend

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    For the linear power supply, you could look into AMB's sigma options. And for the filtering caps, you could also add the Jupiter Cosmos and Sprague Atoms to your list or, you could consider bypassing the electrolytics with film caps such as Panasonic polypropylenes. And for the wiring, you can consider Neotech OCC Copper. As for the chassis, I can recommend the Landfall systems. His prices for both the chassis as well as milling the plates are quite reasonable.
     
  17. Cspirou

    Cspirou They call me Sparky

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    That’s crazy and I want to read how it compares to Jotunheim
     
  18. nlitworld

    nlitworld Acquaintance

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    @Ksorota If you are removing the 1/4 jacks for more direct signal path, make sure to remove wiring through the cheap rca inputs as well and you'll likely have another increase in performance. Even still, that looks like one heck of a fun time to modify some cheap kit for maximum sound quality. It'd be pretty simple to do the same for a Vali+ for a dual mono tube amp.
     
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  19. purr1n

    purr1n Desire for betterer is endless.

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    The downside here is more gain. Less ideal with sensitive headphones.
     
  20. Azimuth

    Azimuth FKA rtaylor76, Friend

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    I would just use a 16V toroidal. Those will give you two 16V outputs. Just make sure it is at least a 32VA, since the 16V wall wart is rated for 1A, you will need an amp per side.

    It also would not hurt to use a fused power outlet with a 1 amp fuse. Those also have power switches so you don't have to worry about wiring up a switch.

    This is also what I was thinking. Go from the new box RCA jacks, straight to the volume control, remove the volume control box out of the way on the amp, and place the output of the new volume where the board volume outputs. This bypasses a set of RCA jacks, AND the board volume pot.

    @Ksorota It looks like you are using the volume pot to replace the volume, but you can wire straight from the input, straight to the volume, and then remove the input on the new volume pot you have.
     

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