DIGI 003 DA Section Modifications
« on: March 29, 2018, 06:37:48 AM »
Hello, I have a DIGI003 and I'd like to upgrade at best the DA section.

I use this interface with a RME ADI8 DS converters and I'd like to use the 16 outputs for analog mixing.

I know that Black Lion Audio make a great work on these interfaces, but they don't do the mods only in the DA section and the complete work is a lot expensive considering the shipment cost and duty (I am in Europe)

So I want to try by myself.

There is someone who made similar mods that can give me some advice?

Thank you in advance


Fablab

Re: DIGI 003 DA Section Modifications
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2018, 10:36:11 AM »
Time ago, somewhere I read they replace the output opamps (NE5532 if I remember correctly) with Burr Brown ones (but I don't remember the model), some capacitors and something else in the digital stage, but considering that the stock DA section of the DIGI003 is not too bad, I think you can obtain good results only with the above mods on the analog stage.


Re: DIGI 003 DA Section Modifications
« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2018, 12:20:31 AM »
Is it possible someone knows which Burr Brown opamp to use for upgrade  ?  :)
« Last Edit: March 30, 2018, 05:09:35 AM by Liutmod »

Gearsix

Re: DIGI 003 DA Section Modifications
« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2018, 06:46:31 AM »
I have a DIGI003 at the moment unused an I am interested to know about the replacement opamps and capacitors, too  :)

Re: DIGI 003 DA Section Modifications
« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2018, 08:31:05 AM »
Is it possible that here no one has modified a DIGI003?

Happy Easter to all!
« Last Edit: April 01, 2018, 08:37:14 AM by Liutmod »

Gearsix

Re: DIGI 003 DA Section Modifications
« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2018, 01:09:08 PM »
Someone can post the digi003 schematic?

Whoops

Re: DIGI 003 DA Section Modifications
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2020, 08:51:14 PM »
I know that Black Lion Audio make a great work on these interfaces,

I'm on this subject at the moment,
as far as I can see BLA doesn't post any specs to quantify the improvement or if there's really any improvement.
I can't even find any before and after sound samples so someone could compare and make their opinions of the sound diference of the mods, I find it strange since the mods are quite expensive, sometimes even more expensive than the unit that's been modded.

So I don't know why you say "Black Lion Audio make a great work on these" up until now I can only see BLA marketing without any specs or results to prove what they state and some people that paid a good amount for them to mod their units (and want to justify their money spent) saying it's the world difference.


gyraf

Re: DIGI 003 DA Section Modifications
« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2020, 04:39:53 AM »
..agreed, please don't expect too much from this sort of opamp rolling - if there were significant improvements to be had at simple part swaps, I really think that it would have been done from OEM already...

/Jakob E.
..note to self: don't let Harman run your company..

Whoops

Re: DIGI 003 DA Section Modifications
« Reply #8 on: March 09, 2020, 09:24:11 AM »
Hi Jakob,
Thanks for the reply

It's not only Opamp swaps they do, they also replace caps, and supposedly improve  the clock or replace it.
And use "Proprietary Decoupling" , whatever that is.
But they don't show any info or proof/support data for their improvments.

Not even something that an Enginneer, like me,  would prefer like some before and after recordings.

Why is their proprietary decoupling, and proprietary clock is better than anything out there in the world?

The full 003R mod costs $2500, quite a lot for an inexpensive interface (even when new), so there's no proof their claims are not plainly bullsh*t.


Here are the mods description from the BLA website:

We are offering the following modifications for the 003r:
Tweak Head Mod
Analog
– New, high performance op-amps on EVERY analog input and output (mic preamps, line inputs, headphone outputs, main/monitor outputs, and line outputs)
– New, linear power supply for analog stage rails (stock Digi supply still used for digital stages)
– Improving the performance of the analog stage circuits makes a drastic difference for summing your mixes!
Digital
– Basic, proprietary decoupling on all A/D and D/A converters
– Our approach to converter decoupling reduces noise generated during the conversion process, leaving you with crisp, clear audio!
– New, low jitter “Tweak Head” internal word clock
Signature Mod (includes Tweak Head Mod)
Analog
– New, high-grade signal path capacitors on EVERY analog input and output (mic preamps, line inputs, headphone output, main/monitor outputs, and line outputs)
Digital
– Premium, proprietary decoupling on all A/D and D/A converters
– New, very low jitter “Signature” internal word clock
XB Mod (includes Signature Mod)
Analog
– New, high-grade op-amp decoupling capacitors on EVERY analog input and output (mic preamps, line inputs, headphone output, main/monitor outputs, and line outputs)
– Proprietary decoupling on analog stage power rails
Digital
– Ferrite power filtration on all A/D and D/A converters
– Proprietary decoupling on digital stage power rails
– New, ultra low jitter “XB” internal word clock
Hear your 003r like never before!

Rocinante

Re: DIGI 003 DA Section Modifications
« Reply #9 on: March 09, 2020, 11:31:56 AM »
A colleague of mine had BLA mod his 003 that he used for remote recording and swore it was a night and day difference. He is a pretty successful engineer and I trust his ears. I bought a MOTU HD192 that had the BLA mod done and it seemed more clear than the stock unit I was replacing it with but I was not able to do an A/B comparison. So maybe it was wishful thinking? There must be a Gearslutz thread on this. Weather that is reliable... who knows.
If there's a harder way to do this, I haven't found it yet.


Whoops

Re: DIGI 003 DA Section Modifications
« Reply #10 on: March 09, 2020, 09:18:57 PM »
There must be a Gearslutz thread on this. Weather that is reliable... who knows.

There's lot of gearslutz threads on BLA mods, but most are about people that believe their marketing without ever having listen to before and after mods.

Still didn't find a thread with any data improvements on what the mods really achieve and no sound samples.

$2500 is a lot of money for mods that have no backup behind it

Re: DIGI 003 DA Section Modifications
« Reply #11 on: March 10, 2020, 05:28:49 AM »
In the end I replaced the NE5532 with OPA2134 in the DA outputs and I changed all the electrolytic capacitors on the board

Now everything is less noisy and sounds a little better.

Certainly more recent sound cards have better converters but with Pro Tools the DIGI003 is very stable.

At least that's my experience

Whoops

Re: DIGI 003 DA Section Modifications
« Reply #12 on: March 10, 2020, 11:09:52 AM »
Now everything is less noisy and sounds a little better.

What was the improvement in the noise floor? How many dB's?

Why does it sound better?

Khron

Re: DIGI 003 DA Section Modifications
« Reply #13 on: March 10, 2020, 11:31:03 AM »
Please get your rationality and quantitative questions out of here, this is no place for objective measurements and other such blasphemies! ::)

[end of sarcasm ;D ]

What was the improvement in the noise floor? How many dB's?

Why does it sound better?
Khron's Cave - Electronics - Audio - Teardowns - Mods - Repairs - Projects - Music - Rants - Shenanigans

Re: DIGI 003 DA Section Modifications
« Reply #14 on: March 10, 2020, 02:23:20 PM »
I have no way to measure the db

I think it sounds better ... because the OPA2134  is a better opamp  than NE5534  ;D

Khron

Re: DIGI 003 DA Section Modifications
« Reply #15 on: March 10, 2020, 02:34:58 PM »
"Better"..? ::)
Khron's Cave - Electronics - Audio - Teardowns - Mods - Repairs - Projects - Music - Rants - Shenanigans

Whoops

Re: DIGI 003 DA Section Modifications
« Reply #16 on: March 10, 2020, 04:34:20 PM »
I have no way to measure the db

I think it sounds better ... because the OPA2134  is a better opamp  than NE5534  ;D

It would sound even better with the "very low jitter “Signature” internal word clock
XB Mod "

The Signature XB is the thing.
I'm pretty sure BLA guys get a huge laugh when then decide the names for the mods.

radardoug

Re: DIGI 003 DA Section Modifications
« Reply #17 on: March 10, 2020, 11:28:35 PM »
When you are trying to extract money from rubes, then the exact choice of buzzwords is very important. Hehe!

RuudNL

Re: DIGI 003 DA Section Modifications
« Reply #18 on: March 11, 2020, 02:22:37 PM »
It probably sounds better, because you know that you have changed something...
(There is a lot of psychology involved in these modifications!)
There is a solution for every problem!

http://www.vansteenisaudio.nl

john12ax7

Re: DIGI 003 DA Section Modifications
« Reply #19 on: March 11, 2020, 04:55:40 PM »
Better sounding is kind of subjective.  But it's also not unreasonable for there to be an audible difference between OPA2134 and NE5532, as well as different types of capacitors.