Sunday, August 15, 2010

Altec Lansing MX5021 Modification

I'm new to this. Please do at your own risk and I won't give any responsibility.
For how to solder, please Google it.

Altec Lansing MX5021 is the best PC speaker that Altec Lansing ever made yet it is one of the best 2.1 PC Audio Systems in the world. You guys thought MX5021 might sound fantastic, but the truth is that its sound is far from being Hi-Fi. To all modifications I made had brought the sound quality to a whole new level, I must tell you that not everyone can hear the differences in Audio Quality. Audio is very Subjective for personal so modify it in your own way to suit your taste.

Most critical modifications are done to the main PCB inside the MX5021 subwoofer. I had changed poor quality China made electrolytic capacitors (Samxon) with better quality ones. Only changing the capacitors will not be enough, changing op-amps to high quality audio grade ones is neccesary, the Stock ST4558 op-amps are very old, has narrow sound stage and high noise level.
Make sure you change the capacitors with a same value ones, unless you know what you are doing. For op-amps, make sure it is a dual op-amp and please get those are compatible with supplied voltage and current of your MX5021 PCB.

In audiophile field, cheap electrolytic capacitors and cheap carbon resistors are extremely bad choice in a audio signal path cause of the poor tolerances ~10-30% and ~5-10% respectively. Metalized polypropylene, polyester, tinfoil capacitors and metal film resistors are highly recommended for signal path.

I also changed the thin subwoofer cable to a thicker ones.

For details, please navigate to the links below.
Altec Lansing MX5021 Modification (Part 1) Satelites and Amplifier Re-cap

Altec Lansing MX5021 Modification (Part 2) Swap Op-amp and Second Stage Re-cap

Altec Lansing MX5021 Modification (Part 3) Upgrade Coupling Capacitor
Huge Improvement

Altec Lansing MX5021 Modification (Part 4) Mundorf ZN & MKP
Audiophiler Coupling and Crossover, not really worth it.

Altec Lansing MX5021 Dead and precautions.

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