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Author Topic: Parts for doing a poorly mod on UA5  (Read 6147 times)

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Offline mmadd29

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Parts for doing a poorly mod on UA5
« on: September 15, 2009, 09:22:08 AM »
I looking to round up the parts for doing a poorly mod on my UA5.

When I look for the AD8620 op amps, there is no just AD8620, there are few different types, like AD8620ARZ and AD8620BRZ, other sites have up to five different ones.  It's the same thing with the AD712 amps. 

Which ones do I want?

I will also be posting about if someone would be willing to do this for me after I get the parts, since I don't trust my solidering skills to screw with IC chips.

If anyone wants to take this on, let me know how much $$
Superlux CM-H8K > UA5 > iriver h120 > Wave Labs > EAC

Offline mmadd29

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Re: Parts for doing a poorly mod on UA5
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2009, 12:41:13 PM »
If you don't have experience soldering and especially desoldering surface mount parts, you mess around with junk parts until you have a handle on it.  Old computer cards are great for learning desoldering.

Cables no problem, but a circuit board forget it.  I'm not taking chances with my UA5.

I assume it doesn't made a difference which chip I get...
Superlux CM-H8K > UA5 > iriver h120 > Wave Labs > EAC

Offline illconditioned

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Re: Parts for doing a poorly mod on UA5
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2009, 12:41:57 PM »
I looking to round up the parts for doing a poorly mod on my UA5.

When I look for the AD8620 op amps, there is no just AD8620, there are few different types, like AD8620ARZ and AD8620BRZ, other sites have up to five different ones.  It's the same thing with the AD712 amps. 

Which ones do I want?

I will also be posting about if someone would be willing to do this for me after I get the parts, since I don't trust my solidering skills to screw with IC chips.

If anyone wants to take this on, let me know how much $$
I no longer recommend those chips.  The 8620 are pretty expensive, and the 712's were used only because I could get two of each of the 8620 sampled from AD :).  If I had the money I would buy four of the AD8620, but those are quite expensive.

Why don't you try: LM4562 (soic8 size).  For all of the chips there.  I haven't tried these in the UA5, but I've used them in the Fostex FR-2LE and they work great.  They are something like $5 each.

Oh yeah, messing with surface mount is not for everybody.  Practice your soldering before trying it.

Enjoy...
  Richard

« Last Edit: September 15, 2009, 12:43:59 PM by illconditioned »
Please DO NOT mail me with tech questions.  I will try to answer in the forums when I get a chance.  Thanks.

Sample recordings at: http://www.soundmann.com.

Offline illconditioned

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Re: Parts for doing a poorly mod on UA5
« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2009, 12:46:59 PM »
What chips are you replacing in the UA5?
Ideally any opamp there could be replaced.  They are something like 4580, which are not that great, especially at lower voltages.  I think I replaced four chips, one chip (two opamps) used for each mic pre, and then one chip (two opamps) used for each channel driving the adc.

I believe there are two more chips there, used for headphone amps and for the RCA inputs on the back.  Go ahead and replace those too.

  Richard
Please DO NOT mail me with tech questions.  I will try to answer in the forums when I get a chance.  Thanks.

Sample recordings at: http://www.soundmann.com.

Offline mmadd29

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Re: Parts for doing a poorly mod on UA5
« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2009, 01:05:25 PM »

I no longer recommend those chips.  The 8620 are pretty expensive, and the 712's were used only because I could get two of each of the 8620 sampled from AD :).  If I had the money I would buy four of the AD8620, but those are quite expensive.

Why don't you try: LM4562 (soic8 size).  For all of the chips there.  I haven't tried these in the UA5, but I've used them in the Fostex FR-2LE and they work great.  They are something like $5 each.


Are the 8620's better chips than the 4562's?  I know the 8620's are about $15 each, but if they are better, than it may be worth the price.
Superlux CM-H8K > UA5 > iriver h120 > Wave Labs > EAC

kirk97132

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Re: Parts for doing a poorly mod on UA5
« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2009, 03:10:56 PM »
I looking to round up the parts for doing a poorly mod on my UA5.

When I look for the AD8620 op amps, there is no just AD8620, there are few different types, like AD8620ARZ and AD8620BRZ, other sites have up to five different ones.  It's the same thing with the AD712 amps. 

Which ones do I want?

I will also be posting about if someone would be willing to do this for me after I get the parts, since I don't trust my solidering skills to screw with IC chips.

If anyone wants to take this on, let me know how much $$

Why not have Busman Audio just do?  I'm sure he would sue what ever parts you wanted and probably does some stuff that you wouldn't.  Just a thought.

Offline illconditioned

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Re: Parts for doing a poorly mod on UA5
« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2009, 03:14:38 PM »
I looking to round up the parts for doing a poorly mod on my UA5.

When I look for the AD8620 op amps, there is no just AD8620, there are few different types, like AD8620ARZ and AD8620BRZ, other sites have up to five different ones.  It's the same thing with the AD712 amps. 

Which ones do I want?

I will also be posting about if someone would be willing to do this for me after I get the parts, since I don't trust my solidering skills to screw with IC chips.

If anyone wants to take this on, let me know how much $$

Why not have Busman Audio just do?  I'm sure he would sue what ever parts you wanted and probably does some stuff that you wouldn't.  Just a thought.
I have a (minor) bias against the mods folks, just because they are secretive about the parts they use.  I don't mind paying for parts and work, but I would really like to know what is done.  Yeah, specifying the parts and having Busman do it would be fine.

  Richard
Please DO NOT mail me with tech questions.  I will try to answer in the forums when I get a chance.  Thanks.

Sample recordings at: http://www.soundmann.com.

Offline mmadd29

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Re: Parts for doing a poorly mod on UA5
« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2009, 12:34:40 PM »
I looking to round up the parts for doing a poorly mod on my UA5.

When I look for the AD8620 op amps, there is no just AD8620, there are few different types, like AD8620ARZ and AD8620BRZ, other sites have up to five different ones.  It's the same thing with the AD712 amps. 

Which ones do I want?

I will also be posting about if someone would be willing to do this for me after I get the parts, since I don't trust my solidering skills to screw with IC chips.

If anyone wants to take this on, let me know how much $$

Why not have Busman Audio just do?  I'm sure he would sue what ever parts you wanted and probably does some stuff that you wouldn't.  Just a thought.
I have a (minor) bias against the mods folks, just because they are secretive about the parts they use.  I don't mind paying for parts and work, but I would really like to know what is done.  Yeah, specifying the parts and having Busman do it would be fine.

  Richard


Never really thought about Busman, that would be the easier option.
Superlux CM-H8K > UA5 > iriver h120 > Wave Labs > EAC

Offline mmadd29

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Re: Parts for doing a poorly mod on UA5
« Reply #8 on: September 17, 2009, 10:56:30 AM »
I looking to round up the parts for doing a poorly mod on my UA5.

When I look for the AD8620 op amps, there is no just AD8620, there are few different types, like AD8620ARZ and AD8620BRZ, other sites have up to five different ones.  It's the same thing with the AD712 amps. 

Which ones do I want?

I will also be posting about if someone would be willing to do this for me after I get the parts, since I don't trust my solidering skills to screw with IC chips.

If anyone wants to take this on, let me know how much $$

Why not have Busman Audio just do?  I'm sure he would sue what ever parts you wanted and probably does some stuff that you wouldn't.  Just a thought.
I have a (minor) bias against the mods folks, just because they are secretive about the parts they use.  I don't mind paying for parts and work, but I would really like to know what is done.  Yeah, specifying the parts and having Busman do it would be fine.

  Richard


Never really thought about Busman, that would be the easier option.

After looking at the Busman site I think $160 is more than I want to put into it since I can get the parts for the poorly mod for about $50.  Since I have a ton of PC cards laying around  I have some practice material. 

I think it's time to invest in a better soldering iron, anyone have any tips?
Superlux CM-H8K > UA5 > iriver h120 > Wave Labs > EAC

Offline mmadd29

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Re: Parts for doing a poorly mod on UA5
« Reply #9 on: September 17, 2009, 12:32:04 PM »
Weller WES51 is nice and not too expensive; I don't need better than that to do SOIC work/rework, but I wouldn't go with lesser either.  There are equivalent models in other brands.  Basically you're looking for a temp-controlled tip around the $120 range.

You can desolder SOICs with braid, but be careful not to lift traces.  You might cut the pins before you desolder; get a good pair of angle clippers ($20-$30).  Then clean off the cut pins with fresh solder, and desolder with braid.  The UA5 is probably RoHS compliant; that means lead-free solder and a high tip temperature to desolder, like 650F.

LOL....if I'm paying $120 for an iron I should just send it to Busman.  Then there is no chance I screw the thing up..
Superlux CM-H8K > UA5 > iriver h120 > Wave Labs > EAC

Offline illconditioned

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Re: Parts for doing a poorly mod on UA5
« Reply #10 on: September 17, 2009, 01:56:01 PM »
Weller WES51 is nice and not too expensive; I don't need better than that to do SOIC work/rework, but I wouldn't go with lesser either.  There are equivalent models in other brands.  Basically you're looking for a temp-controlled tip around the $120 range.

You can desolder SOICs with braid, but be careful not to lift traces.  You might cut the pins before you desolder; get a good pair of angle clippers ($20-$30).  Then clean off the cut pins with fresh solder, and desolder with braid.  The UA5 is probably RoHS compliant; that means lead-free solder and a high tip temperature to desolder, like 650F.

LOL....if I'm paying $120 for an iron I should just send it to Busman.  Then there is no chance I screw the thing up..
I should also comment that you might just be better off selling the UA5 and buying another unit. I gave up modding the UA5 because I found the ADC stage was *broken*.  I measured distortion up to 1% near 0dB (anything between -10 and 0dB had high distortion).

What are your mics?  Current recorder?  I think something like Tascam DR07 is pretty cheap and works for battery mics.  Something like Fostex FR-2LE for regular XLR mics.  Both will sound better than a stock UA5 and *may* sound nearly as good as a modded one.  I think many of the all-in-one are pretty good now.  I would only go for a "component" setup if I had a great pre (like Grace V2, Sound Devices MP2) or a great ADC (Apogee MME, Grace V3).  Otherwise save yourself the hassle and get an all-in-one.

Oh, hold on, I see your setup.  Superlux mics.  OK, I would upgrade the mics before I upgraded the UA5.  The mics are what is holding you back right now IMO.

  Richard

« Last Edit: September 17, 2009, 01:57:54 PM by illconditioned »
Please DO NOT mail me with tech questions.  I will try to answer in the forums when I get a chance.  Thanks.

Sample recordings at: http://www.soundmann.com.

Offline Todd R

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Re: Parts for doing a poorly mod on UA5
« Reply #11 on: September 17, 2009, 02:08:43 PM »

I should also comment that you might just be better off selling the UA5 and buying another unit.


Ditto on that thought.  I'll be my usual broken record self and fluff the new Naiant littlebox preamp.  These are about $200 new and are a very nice preamp.  What can you sell a digi-mod UA5 for, $100-150?  And you want to put $50+ towards modding it?  Spend the money instead on the littlebox and sell the UA5.  The littlebox is a very nice analog front end.  Use that setup for awhile and then trade in the iriver for a used Edirol R-09 or the like eventually and move into 24 bit recording.

Not to say the FR2le isn't a good option, but that'll probably be more money up front.
Mics: Microtech Gefell m20/m21 (nbob/pfa actives), Line Audio CM3, Church CA-11 cards
Preamp:  none <sniff>
Recorders:  Sound Devices MixPre-6, Sony PCM-M10, Zoom H4nPro

Offline illconditioned

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Re: Parts for doing a poorly mod on UA5
« Reply #12 on: September 17, 2009, 02:17:47 PM »

I should also comment that you might just be better off selling the UA5 and buying another unit.


Ditto on that thought.  I'll be my usual broken record self and fluff the new Naiant littlebox preamp.  These are about $200 new and are a very nice preamp.  What can you sell a digi-mod UA5 for, $100-150?  And you want to put $50+ towards modding it?  Spend the money instead on the littlebox and sell the UA5.  The littlebox is a very nice analog front end.  Use that setup for awhile and then trade in the iriver for a used Edirol R-09 or the like eventually and move into 24 bit recording.

Not to say the FR2le isn't a good option, but that'll probably be more money up front.
If you can get the FR-2LE for $400 upfront (ebay or yardsale here), that is worth it.  The retail price on this thing is too high!  That said, the most flexiible setup is Littlebox + flash recorder, since you can use it for both stealth and open recording.

  Richard
Please DO NOT mail me with tech questions.  I will try to answer in the forums when I get a chance.  Thanks.

Sample recordings at: http://www.soundmann.com.

kirk97132

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Re: Parts for doing a poorly mod on UA5
« Reply #13 on: September 17, 2009, 02:24:12 PM »

I should also comment that you might just be better off selling the UA5 and buying another unit. I gave up modding the UA5 because I found the ADC stage was *broken*.  I measured distortion up to 1% near 0dB (anything between -10 and 0dB had high distortion).

  Richard



I was wondering if this was measured on a stock unit or modded and if modded who's mod?  The other two advantages to the UA-5 are the matrix on the fly and  three outputs, opti, coax and analog


updated to add the Little Box is now sold out.
« Last Edit: September 17, 2009, 02:30:50 PM by kirkd »

Offline mmadd29

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Re: Parts for doing a poorly mod on UA5
« Reply #14 on: September 17, 2009, 02:59:42 PM »

I should also comment that you might just be better off selling the UA5 and buying another unit.


Ditto on that thought.  I'll be my usual broken record self and fluff the new Naiant littlebox preamp.  These are about $200 new and are a very nice preamp.  What can you sell a digi-mod UA5 for, $100-150?  And you want to put $50+ towards modding it?  Spend the money instead on the littlebox and sell the UA5.  The littlebox is a very nice analog front end.  Use that setup for awhile and then trade in the iriver for a used Edirol R-09 or the like eventually and move into 24 bit recording.

Not to say the FR2le isn't a good option, but that'll probably be more money up front.

Your right about the money, it doesn't really add up and would be better on other equipment......

Actually I have two irivers...the thing I like about the iriver is it is just a bit bucket, and transfering files are a breeze.  Not sure what a R-09 would bring to the table.

Now I love my Superlux mics, and they do a great job.  I have been think of buying another pair of mics in the $300 - $400 range.....

The Naiant sounds great on the price range, I'm going to have to look up the specs as i would want digi out, and phantom power.



Superlux CM-H8K > UA5 > iriver h120 > Wave Labs > EAC

Offline illconditioned

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Re: Parts for doing a poorly mod on UA5
« Reply #15 on: September 17, 2009, 03:46:53 PM »

I should also comment that you might just be better off selling the UA5 and buying another unit. I gave up modding the UA5 because I found the ADC stage was *broken*.  I measured distortion up to 1% near 0dB (anything between -10 and 0dB had high distortion).





I was wondering if this was measured on a stock unit or modded and if modded who's mod?  The other two advantages to the UA-5 are the matrix on the fly and  three outputs, opti, coax and analog


updated to add the Little Box is now sold out.
I measured that distortion on both a modded and an unmodded unit.  I believe there is (some) design flaw in the UA5.  This was back when I was big into modding.  I figured, wow, I can make a really great unit by swapping some chips.  After measuring that distortion I sold off the two units I had, and moved on.  Lessons learned: check any gear before relying on it.  Computers especially, lots of problems you would never guess.  The other lesson is don't always assume upgrading will help.  If I were you I would stick with the stock UA5.  Upgrade the mics next.  Maybe borrow a pair of mics if anyone will lend them to you.  Then, get an all-in-one or pre + analaog flash recorder.

  Richard
Please DO NOT mail me with tech questions.  I will try to answer in the forums when I get a chance.  Thanks.

Sample recordings at: http://www.soundmann.com.

Offline Todd R

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Re: Parts for doing a poorly mod on UA5
« Reply #16 on: September 17, 2009, 04:34:38 PM »
The first littlebox production run has sold out, but there will be more available in mid-Oct.

The LB is a preamp only though, no digi out -- though it does have phantom power.  So you'd need to run the iriver analog in, not digital in, which can be done.  The R09 might be better on analog inputs than the iriver, plus it is 24bit, which are some of it's advantages.  Still, I'd bet littlebox (analog) > iriver would sound better than UA5(digital) > iriver based on what I've heard from the LB, and what I've heard from the UA5.  Obviously, at this point you get into the realm of opinions.  FWIW, I've done and posted a comp of the LB to a Lunatec V3, as has Chuck, and Chuck also ran the Naiant pre analog into an iriver, so it might be worth digging up those comps.
Mics: Microtech Gefell m20/m21 (nbob/pfa actives), Line Audio CM3, Church CA-11 cards
Preamp:  none <sniff>
Recorders:  Sound Devices MixPre-6, Sony PCM-M10, Zoom H4nPro

 

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