TB60XG, enhanced Yamaha DB60XG based MIDI module

Discussion about old sound cards, MIDI devices and sound related accessories.

TB60XG, enhanced Yamaha DB60XG based MIDI module

Postby Tiido » 2019-2-19 @ 23:14

TB60XG.jpg


Enhancements include modern DAC and ADC with much lower noise floor, SPDIF output and unlike original DB60XG with 16bit output this module has 18bit output like DB50XG. SPDIF output can be either 16 or 18bit, depending on what side the small resistor network is put to. The analog section is also redone, giving option to follow same EQ curve as original module or flat output (SPDIF only has flat output), also gain is also set just high enough that it will not clip inputs of any existing sound card, unlike DB60XG which pushes 8Vpp out that clips any existing card.

I have also put the components on the side that faces the host card so it would fit better between other cards, original DB60XG module tends to have its components touch the neighboring card which can result in disaster :
http://www.tmeeco.eu/HARDWARE/TB60XGfits.jpg
http://www.tmeeco.eu/HARDWARE/TB60XGback.jpg

There's 4x PCBs left of the revision with 18bit output and 8x of the earlier version that lacks 16bit output. I won't sell any full cards, I only offer service to put your donor module (XR385 or XR712)onto the enhanced board with all the new parts needed. Prime candidates are modules that have mysteriously gone silent, the terrible ADC+DAC chip on them tends to fail for some reason. Both my modules went silent due to the chip dying one day.
DB50XG is not a suitable donor because its program ROM enables DAC output mode that cannot be easily adapted to what modern parts use. I will not be burning the program ROM of DB60XG to use instead due to illegality of that and due to program ROM differences, external modules aren't usable either even if most other parts are same.

I'll provide some recordings later, I am half busy with preparing to move. I have finally found a place to move to but it requires lot of cleanups and some renovations first before I can settle in there.

Transplating service is 50€ for new 18bit version and 40 for old 16bit one, plus shipping cost. The move might delay things though.
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Re: TB60XG, enhanced Yamaha DB60XG based MIDI module

Postby hard1k » 2019-2-19 @ 23:41

Just wanted to tell you once again that all your projects are absolutely awesome, sir. Thanks for your designs!
Please have a look at my wishlist (hosted at Amibay)
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Re: TB60XG, enhanced Yamaha DB60XG based MIDI module

Postby Marmes » 2019-2-20 @ 00:33

This looks awesome! I do have a XR385 that looks nasty, this would benefit things a lot! How can i do it for an 18bit version? You make the service correct?
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Re: TB60XG, enhanced Yamaha DB60XG based MIDI module

Postby Tiido » 2019-2-20 @ 07:11

You send me your module, I cannibalize it from the important parts, clean the parts all up, do assembly on a new PCB along with additional parts and I send things back. Couple photos I took when I built some during the night :
http://www.tmeeco.eu/HARDWARE/TB60XGassembly0.jpg
http://www.tmeeco.eu/HARDWARE/TB60XGassembly1.jpg

hard1k wrote:Just wanted to tell you once again that all your projects are absolutely awesome, sir. Thanks for your designs!

And thänk you for your support ~
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Re: TB60XG, enhanced Yamaha DB60XG based MIDI module

Postby PARUS » 2019-2-20 @ 08:28

I order one! But I don't know which one. I.e. what's the difference on 18-bit. Can we hear this difference? Can we easy mix 18-bit signal with other 16-bit digital signals? What's the practical profit on 18-bit signal?

I just don't know do I need 18-bit version or not. Can you advise me? Thank you very much!
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Re: TB60XG, enhanced Yamaha DB60XG based MIDI module

Postby Tiido » 2019-2-20 @ 09:48

The difference isn't really gonna be audible, except possibly at quiet tracks which can appear less noisy since 18bits will increase dynamic range and improves SNR by 12db (4x). Native output of the sound chip is 18bit so why not have that, it is lossless compared to 16bit conversion which chops off lower 2 bits, no interpolation or dithering etc. is done on the hardware. But in the end the difference is probably inaudible unless you use high performance equipment with sufficiently low noisefloor and sensitive speakers or headphones (and my computer room equipment isn't good enough for that lol).
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Re: TB60XG, enhanced Yamaha DB60XG based MIDI module

Postby PARUS » 2019-2-20 @ 16:47

OK! It would be much more interesting to get the 18-bit one. But only if it really has (as I know and if I'm not mistake) a 16-bit digital output simultaneously.
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Re: TB60XG, enhanced Yamaha DB60XG based MIDI module

Postby PARUS » 2019-2-20 @ 17:10

I want ask please where is analog input? I don't see it on PCB. Or I don't know where to look. And as I understood on newer PCB revision we must choose 16 or 18 bit out once and solder it once. Right? :(
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Re: TB60XG, enhanced Yamaha DB60XG based MIDI module

Postby Tiido » 2019-2-20 @ 17:15

Digital output can be selected between 16 and 18bit by moving a resistor array between the "16" and "18" spots in the middle of the board. By default I make it 18 bit but I can put it to 16bit if requested.

DAC output is always 18bit, I didn't see the need to make it changeable for the DAC.

Analog input is only via WaveBlaster header like original DB60XG. ADC can also be disabled so that there wouldn't be increase in noise etc. when something enables it while there's no analog input. Most sound cards do not have WaveBlaster header with input pins connected.

Old version has both outputs 16bit only with no way to make it 18bit.
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Re: TB60XG, enhanced Yamaha DB60XG based MIDI module

Postby PARUS » 2019-2-20 @ 20:10

Sorrow... I saw that connection to 12 and 16 pins on the photos but I believed you made double. OK, can you before installing WB connector pull out 12 and 16 pins and then solder two wires on these contacts on inverse side?
What do you mean "move resistor"? Should I desolder it and then solder in another position everytime? I'm not able, I can't :) I may connect TB60XG digital output to EWS64 input, to Audigy input. But I don't know yet do they "understand" 18-bit signal or not. So there is no prompt way to switch 16/18, isn't it?
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Re: TB60XG, enhanced Yamaha DB60XG based MIDI module

Postby Tiido » 2019-2-20 @ 21:19

Pins 12 and 16 go to the ADC directly through a simple RC filter. It is possible to pull the pins before soldering the connector and I can add the wires also.

SPDIF stream is always 24 bits, all devices capable of receiving SPDIF signal can understand any bit depth from 1 to 24, only question is if they actually use all the bits received. 16bit only device such as the EWS64 will only use top 16bits and discards lower 8 bits with 2 of actually useful bits, Audigy is going to use all 24 and will receive 18bits with useful info and remaining 6 as zero.

If you have to switch between 18 and 16bit SPDIF output then yes, moving the resistor is the only way to achieve that. I cannot have a jumper block there as it just won't physically fit (6 jumper positions total).

Image
The "220" part has to be moved from right to left to get 16bit SPDIF.
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Re: TB60XG, enhanced Yamaha DB60XG based MIDI module

Postby PARUS » 2019-2-21 @ 11:53

Tiido wrote:it just won't physically fit (6 jumper positions total).

Why? It may be one 6-row jumper.
Image Image
Image
Image
But it's too late.

OK, I think I need exactly 18-bit version because I already have regular XR385 with 16-bit output modded with jwt27 method. Let it be another one 18-bit.

Thank you!
Last edited by PARUS on 2019-3-29 @ 20:00, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: TB60XG, enhanced Yamaha DB60XG based MIDI module

Postby Tiido » 2019-2-21 @ 19:26

I know such things exist but they are just physically too large to fit anywhere, there's no realestate left on a board for a big thing like that and it also gets in the way of host sound card circuitryp There is maximum of 5mm height on the circuitry.
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Re: TB60XG, enhanced Yamaha DB60XG based MIDI module

Postby Marmes » 2019-2-22 @ 03:53

Just sent you a PM, for details.
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Re: TB60XG, enhanced Yamaha DB60XG based MIDI module

Postby PARUS » 2019-4-01 @ 07:54

Tiido, I want you to do some modify when you're going to build my copy of device.

1) pull out 12, 16 pins from waveblaster header
2) cut all 4 "bridges" to AGND on 2+3 pins of LINE OUT connector, also cut 1 "bridge" between them
3) do the same (previous point 2) on the back side
4) connect 12, 16 pins on waveblaster header to 2, 3 pins on line out connector on the back side via two short low resistance wires (all 4 pins on line out whatever must still present)
5) give me advise please where on PCB is better to take AGND for LINE OUT and LINE IN (ADC) signals. Maybe pull out one more another pin (for example 17 pin) from waveblaster header and solder there one heavy wire?

It's all. Thank you!
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Re: TB60XG, enhanced Yamaha DB60XG based MIDI module

Postby Tiido » 2019-4-01 @ 08:32

So you pretty much want Line Out to be turned into a Line In. As far as the grounding goes, I would leave it as is, there's really good connection to AGND on the connector (there's a reason it is right beside WB header with lot of reinforcement). I can however solder a wire from the Line In GND to where ADC input buffer is though it wouldn't make much difference. In all cases the input will be subject to ground loops between the devices since it wasn't designed to be a ground cancelling input like the CD input on my Yamaha card and many other sound cards.
I also suggest having wires on component side since this card is designed to fit between two ISA cards and extra wires will reduce the clearance a little bit.
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Re: TB60XG, enhanced Yamaha DB60XG based MIDI module

Postby keropi » 2019-4-01 @ 09:23

interested as well sent a pm :)
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Re: TB60XG, enhanced Yamaha DB60XG based MIDI module

Postby PARUS » 2019-4-01 @ 10:38

Tiido wrote:So you pretty much want Line Out to be turned into a Line In.

No.
It's better to draw:
Image
See? I want to turn LINE OUT into the INPUT+OUTPUT combined connector. But it needs five contacts. Let "AGND" be taken from WB-header.
And before it is necessary to isolate second and third pins from the "AGND".

Tiido wrote:I also suggest having wires on component side since this card is designed to fit between two ISA cards and extra wires will reduce the clearance a little bit.

No.
26-pin WB and 4-pin LINE disturb to place wires on front side. And I'm not going to plug TB60XG between ISA slots. It will be placed on EWS64XL 5'25 extension. Please solder them on the back side of the PCB. But if you can do it on front side without damaging/deformation/modification 26-pin and 4-pin connectors it would be nice of course!

LINE IN placed in the WB-header is absolutely inappropriate. It's very hard to utilize it on practice. If people get linear input in WB-header composition they (99% of them) will not use it. Without additional custom soldering the LINE IN is not available.

Now I hope I said all correct. English is not my first language :)
Thank you!
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Re: TB60XG, enhanced Yamaha DB60XG based MIDI module

Postby PARUS » 2019-4-01 @ 11:15

And of course at first - cut all contacts-bridges to ground
Image
on both PCB sides.
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Re: TB60XG, enhanced Yamaha DB60XG based MIDI module

Postby Tiido » 2019-4-01 @ 14:56

Aaaah, now I see, I missed the "connect line-in of WB to the middle pins of line-out connector". This is no problem to do ~
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