After around 20 hours testing of my previous Asus Xonar U1 Mods, I think I need to add some more mods here.

I have some plans here:

  • Old Blu-Tack tricks
  • PSU capacitors bypassing

Since 20 hours is not enough to listen complete characters of my previous mod, so we can eliminate the 2nd option. Let’s go with the first option, the Blu-Tack tricks. I’ve done this Blu-Tack mod before, please check it.

We have few candidates for Blu-Tack mods as below:

  • The 12 MHz Crystal
  • The main Audio Processing Unit (C-Media Nitrogen D2 chip)
  • The small ICs (regulator, etc)

To make it short, I have done experiments on it.

Putting Blu-Tack on the 12 MHz Crystal or main APU produces non satisfactory result. The vocal will be little bit laid back and a little bit metallic sound. Then I start to look for the small IC.

The IC on the bottom side is the I2C serial interface (exactly below the APU). Let’s put small amount of Blu-Tack on it.

Then on the top side, we can find one more IC. It should be a dual low voltage op-amp. This is very important section. But since this is a low voltage op-amp, I don’t think we have much option to replace it. So let’s put small amount of Blu-Tack again here 😉

Now, let’s listen the music. I fire up some Ingram Washington, Patricia Barber, and Chen Lily.

The result? The vocal is even sweeter, natural (a little bit front at Chen Lily, little bit laid back at Ingram), and focussed. Instruments separation at Patricia Barber is even better. Will keep listen the improvement along with the capacitors break-in period.

Overall, this Blu-Tack trick – as long as you know where to put it – will produce significant improvement at very low cost.