Hacking Schiit

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

  1. Azimuth

    Azimuth FKA rtaylor76, Friend

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    Ok...changed out some op amps....

    Swapped the DC offset to the OPA1656 first just to see what would happen with the stock op amps and the overall sound. It seemed to have a bit more livelyness, maybe a touch more dynamics, but that could be placebo. Not a huge effect though. The DC offset I imagine is likely really low and must not need must adjustment. Although it did seem to have a bit more transients, but that could be just me.

    Swapped the main two op amps for the OPA1656, and yes, much better improvement. I was worried at first because the low end seemed to drop. But then I forgot about multibit warmup. So after a few minutes and few songs, all was right again. And holy crap, it is like this thing found another gear. Dynamics are huge now. Grayness is gone, everything is crisp and clean. Low end is there and not muddy or congested at all. Matter of fact, no congestion at all. I will say the low mids are slightly recessed and the high transients really come through and jump out, so I can see why with an ESS chip might not be a good match.

    Overall, it reminds me of the direct Gumblefreya outs. Maybe not AS clean, still just a hair of grain in the mids, but very similar and familiar sound.

    Tedious damn work and I would not recommend without Chipquick. But it is certainly worth the upgrade. Highly recommended!
     
  2. Azimuth

    Azimuth FKA rtaylor76, Friend

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    Swapped the DC offset to the OPA2156 from the OPA1656 and this is a much better improvement.

    So to keep up...current config:
    • I/V & Buffer - OPA1656's
    • DC offset - OPA2156
    With all three OPA1656s's, I have been listening to all day and it does not sound bad, just not as engaging as I originally thought. Initially I had the Modi MB hooked up to my Ragnarok, but I decided today to switch to the Vali 2+ and my Dynalo as those are more suited for what this will be hooked up to. And things just sounded kind of mushy and dry. Things were missing some body and some depth. It almost sounded like congestion and something holding it back.

    The OPA2156 arrived today from @ergopower and I had a little time this evening, so I popped it in, cleaned up the board, fired it up, ran through my playlist from today, and man, I like this a lot! Instruments sound like real instruments and vocals are nice and clean, clear, and the transients are quick, and all the congestion is gone. It is still not as warm as the original. This is definitely more neutral sounding, yet still retains that 3D multibit goodness. @Hands I don't know what you have tried for the DC offset, but you should definitely try it.

    A couple of words about SOIC - I still have yet to perfect the technique of de-soldering without destroying the op amp itself. I am getting better...only lost two legs instead of 4, but still, I always seem to pull off a few legs. So just be prepared to lose the op amp you are removing. Also, be careful of heat. A couple of my pads lifted off the board. Not for the faint of heart or inpatient.
     
  3. Scott Kramer

    Scott Kramer Friend

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    Did my DC servo also, peer pressure ;) Gut reaction: increased soundstage. This config works.
    • I/V & Buffer - OPA2156's
    • DC offset - OPA2156
    I think we triggered a re-stock, was oos yesterday:
    Screen Shot 2021-11-28 at 10.37.29 PM.jpg
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2021
  4. purr1n

    purr1n On vacation

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    FWIW, got word from another member that the current Modi MB do have the OPA2156. (No guarantees of course because parts subs are normal). I figure it's because 8210 is ancient and probably harder to find, well at least when the boards were stuffed. Or maybe some folks at Schiit have been reading this thread. Could also be coincidence cause the 2156 does have the right specs.
     
  5. Azimuth

    Azimuth FKA rtaylor76, Friend

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    8120? You mean the T0812? Yes, it is ancient.
     
  6. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

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    Assuming you're using Chip Quik to remove SMD components (which you should be if you're not):

    - Apply healthy amount of gel/paste to all pins.
    - Solder on two healthy globs of their provided solder, one glob per side. For example, a single glob should cover all 4 pins of a SOIC8 part's side. It will probably be messy.
    - Their solder has a low melting point, so it remains in a liquid state for a fairly long period of time compared to normal solder.
    - You might have to heat up each glob a few times until the part breaks loose. You also need to heat up each glob enough to permeate the existing solder.
    - Once the part breaks loose, you can remove it with some tweezers.
    - Remove excess solder from the part with wick. The Chip Quick solder should wick up very easily.
    - Rubbing alcohol to clean off the gel/paste.

    To avoid damage to pads and traces, be careful with heat, time spent with direct contact on the pads, traces, and board, pressure or scraping, and so on. But, yeah, the more you mess with it, even if carefully, the more likely you are to damage something. Just how it goes.
     
  7. Cspirou

    Cspirou They call me Sparky

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    I wouldn't even consider desoldering without chip quik if I only had an iron.

    Hot air reflow makes the process pretty painless for me.
     
  8. Azimuth

    Azimuth FKA rtaylor76, Friend

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    Thank you. And thank you as well @Cspirou. The 2156's and ChipQuick SMD-1 is in my cart at Digikey, but likely will have to wait until after the holidays.

    And @Cspirou, I have a very small soldering iron tip and it worked rather poorly. Mostly getting under an trying to lift one leg at a time. Like I said, most chips wound up with one or two legs missing because they were being build.

    And then yes, a pad or two look slightly lifted, but luckily they are still on the board. A wick would also help as the leftover solder on the pads leaves them raised and thus difficult to place the new SOIC on the pads to solder.

    Any suggestions for something other than Q-tips to clean up the leftover flux. Q-tips leave cotton fibers everywhere as it catches on the other parts.
     
  9. Cspirou

    Cspirou They call me Sparky

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  10. Beefy

    Beefy Almost "Made"

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    I use SO MUCH isopropyl alcohol when I DIY. Big squirty bottle of iso and a very soft toothbrush to clean the flux, then canned air to get rid of excess iso. Lather, rinse, repeat, until you are high as a kite from the iso and canned air. Those PCB's gotta be shiny, and that ChipQuik flux is so gross.
     
  11. Hands

    Hands Overzealous Auto Flusher - Measurbator

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    While I do use q-tips and cloth or paper towels for cleanup, like @Beefy, I will regularly use a toothbrush as well.
     
  12. Beefy

    Beefy Almost "Made"

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    Yeah, if you can 'chip away' at the flux with a tootbrush, it takes a lot less iso. For through hole, I'll just pick away at it with my nails a little bit as well, makes a big difference to how quickly you can get it clean.
     
  13. Armaegis

    Armaegis Friend

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    I never use enough alcohol, and then I get that ugly skim layer of diluted flux residue all over the board... :(
     
  14. Josh Schor

    Josh Schor Friend

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    Can anyone help with where the fuse is on the Schitt LIM, wanted to try a different fuse. Took top off and its a metal box, took bottom off and its the board? Im a noob with this stuff so any help much appreciated
    best
     
  15. Beefy

    Beefy Almost "Made"

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    I shouldn't enable such tomofoolery, but......

    [​IMG]

    I'd wager if this is under a metal box under the top lid, it is not intended to be changed except when absolutely necessary.
     
  16. Josh Schor

    Josh Schor Friend

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    thanks, looks way to complicated to get to
     
  17. purr1n

    purr1n On vacation

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  18. Josh Schor

    Josh Schor Friend

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    Thanks Marv
     
  19. Cspirou

    Cspirou They call me Sparky

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    Would anyone know if the current version of Schiit DACs have implemented light pipes yet? I always remembered aligning the LEDs to be the most tedious part.
     
  20. batriq

    batriq Probably has made you smarter

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