Last Modified: September 25, 2000
Installing the Rapture 24-bit DACCard in the Counterpoint DA-10.
- Installing the Rapture DACCard is an easy four-step process. I have made every effort in this document to make sure that you won't run into any nasty surprises, but before beginning, I recommend that you check my website to be certain that you have the latest version of this manual. See www.altavistaaudio.com/RaptureInstall.html and check the date in the upper right corner to see if I have posted a revised version online.
Disclaimer: No soldering skills are required unless you are going to connect up the Premium DACCard's Direct Outs (an optional step). However, the receiver assembly and the DACCard are fragile, and if you possess more thumbs than fingers, I strongly urge you to get the work done by someone who you can trust to do a good job. A television repairman, or the technician at at hi-fi shop, or even someone who works on computers or guitar amplifiers will usually provide good workmanship and has the troubleshooting skills necessary if things go awry. I cannot offer much support if you run into trouble except to ask you to send the DA-10 and all the parts to me. If you damage the DA-10 through a mishap, it will not be covered under warranty.
If you'd prefer, I will be happy to install this upgrade in my shop for $100 plus shipping.
There are four steps to installing a Rapture DACCard:
Removing the old 44.1kHz Receiver IC
Installing the new 96kHz Receiver IC
Removing the old 16-bit DACCard
Installing the new Rapture 24-bit DACCard
(Optional) Connecting the Premium Card's Direct Outputs
Removing the Old Receiver IC. Start by disconnecting all interconnects and the power cord from the DA-10 and remove the top cover.
- If your DA-10 does NOT have a JACCard, follow this procedure:
DA-10's that do not have JACCards have the receiver and filter integrated circuits (IC's) located on the motherboard. Locate the CS8412 receiver on the DA-10's motherboard. It is large 28-pin integrated circuit (IC) located in the front-left corner of the board. The socket for this part is labeled "U9". NOTE: If you have a JACCard, there will be a circuit board in this location instead. Refer to the "JACCard" section of the procedure, below.
You need to remove this IC from its socket. Use a small screwriver, as shown, and gently insert it under the IC and ease it out of the socket. It's a good idea to alternate between both ends of the chip, easing the IC up little-by-little until it comes free. Take care that you are not trying to remove the socket! It's only the IC that we want to remove.
Carefully remove the IC and set it aside. It will not be used again.
The IC has been removed and the motherboard is ready for the new receiver. See "Installing the New Receiver", below.
If your DA-10 DOES have a JACCard, follow this procedure:
This DA-10 has a JACCard installed on the motherboard on the front-left corner. (JACCard-equipped DA-10 courtesy David Kakenmaster, Definitive Technologies.)
Remove the single "Fixing Screw". Remove the plastic insulating washer, too. These parts will no longer be used.
Unplug the two ribbon cables that are connected to the two connectors on the front edge of the JACCard. These are labeled "Connect to JP2" and "Connect to Front Board CONN2". Pull them straight up and they will come easily off the connector pins.
The two ribbon cables have been unplugged from the JACCard.
The JACCard can now be removed. Grasp it by the edges, as shown, and pull it straight upwards. It will take a bit of force, and maybe a bit of wiggling: there are 56 connector pins holding it in place, but do not try twist it. It should pull right off the motherboard.
The JACCard has been removed, leaving behind an empty receiver socket and an empty filter socket. The JACCard will no longer be used.
The short ribbon cable plugged into socket JP2 needs to be unplugged from the motherboard. It is unplugged simply by pulling upward.
The ribbon cable has now been unplugged and set aside. It will no longer be used.
The long ribbon cable that connects behind the "INVERT / OPERATE / MUTE" lamps on the front panel will now be connected to the motherboard at socket JP2. Plug it in as shown with the brown wire to the left, the black wire to the right. The motherboard is now ready for the new receiver. See "Installing the New Receiver", below.
Installing the New Receiver
The new receiver, a Crystal Semiconductor CS8414, is an upgraded version of the DA-10's CS8412. Along with 24-bit/96kHz capability, it offers superior audio performance. However, since it is a smaller part than the original, we supply it on an adaptor board so it will fit into the DA-10.
Before installing the new receiver, change the AUDIOPORT switch so that positions 2 and 3 are set to "ON". Positions 1 and 4 remain in the "OFF" position. (Note: if you are NOT installing the Rapture 24-bit daccard at this time, do not change the audioport switch: it is already correctly set for your Daccard.)
The new receiver is ready for installation. Orient it as shown: with the word "ARIES" toward the rear of the DA-10. This assembly has 28 pins, and is designed to plug into the old receiver's socket, but use care: the pins are delicate and easily bent. NOTE: motherboards that had JACCards will not have a chip in the U10 socket -- that's normal. This IC is not necessary for proper operation of the Rapture DACCard.
Set the new receiver atop the socket and check to make sure that all 28 pins are aligned with the socket before attempting to seat it.
Once it is aligned, press firmly on the center of the IC and seat it all the way down into the socket. The receiver is installed.
Installing the New Rapture 24-bit DACCard
The new Rapture DACCard is fabricated on a double-sided circuit board, and uses surface-mount components for ultrafast operation. This card can handle sample rates of up to 192kHz. Lamps on the card indicate the sample rate of the incoming music audio.
Located in the center of your DA-10's motherboard is the old DACCard. Pictured is the AD20 DACCard. Counterpoint made several models. This part will be removed.
Grasp the DACCard as shown and pull it upward to remove it. This card is mounted very tightly, so you may need to go around it, working each edge up a little at a time.
The old DACCard has been removed. You can set it aside, it will not be used again.
Install the new DACCard. Be certain that it is oriented properly: with the "A" logo at the front of the unit.
Align the connectors and press firmly down on the DACCard until it seats into place. You can press down on the edges of the board, or above the six connectors, but do not press on any of the other components on the DACCard.
Last step! The two MODE switches on the motherboard's analog section need to be set to the "V" position, as this is a Voltage-output type DACCard. The Rapture upgrade has been installed and is ready for use.
The Premium version of the Rapture DACCard has more than super-quality parts -- it also provides Direct Outs: the capability to bypass the motherboard's analog circuitry. Two twisted pairs of Cardas wire can be connected directly to the DA-10's output jacks.
Disclaimer: Soldering skills are required to connect the Direct Outs. Soldering is a job that requires skill and experience, and good tools. If you are inexperienced with electronics assembly techniques, or do not possess the proper tools, you can make a real mess of it. You will need a good-quality 30 to 40 watt temperature-controlled soldering iron and rosin-core solder. Weller soldering guns, propane torches are not suitable for electronic assembly.
Unsolder the motherboard wires from the output jacks. The DACCard Direct-Out wires are soldered to the output jacks. The Red wire is the output signal "hot," the Black is ground. As is customary in all Counterpoint gear, the upper, "A", jack is the Left channel.
The old wires, connected to the motherboard, can remain unconnected, but be certain they do not short against anything. I'd recommend taking a 4-inch (10cm) piece of electrical tape, space the bare ends of the four unused output wires evenly across one-half of the tape and fold the remainder of the tape over them create an insulated tape strip to cover the wire ends.
A SAFETY NOTE:
One final, important issue: The original design for the Rapture included protection diodes to prevent damage when the RCA cables to the preamp were plugged into the new jacks that the card comes with. As you know, the RCA connector has a problem where the hot connects before the ground. This is rarely a problem in a stereo system, but when two chassis - such as a preamp chassis and the DA-10 -- are not connected together, there can be as much as a hundred volts difference between the chassis unless both chassis are three-wire grounded to the Mains.
If they are not three-wire grounded, then this normal leakage voltage, which bleeds away the instant they are connected with interconnects, can easily damage the expensive output integrated circuits in the Rapture. For that reason, I had originally designed the card with the protection diodes, a standard technique to prevent damage.
However, it was determined in listening tests that the protection diodes made for poorer sound quality, so they are not installed on any Rapture cards.
So to protect the cards, it is essential that you do not connect interconnects to the new Rapture jacks without first earthing the two chassis together. Use a bit of wire with one end connected to a screw or other bit of unpainted or unanodized metal, such as the surround of any RCA jack on the preamp chassis, and connect the other end to any of the surrounds of any input connector on the DA-10.
This electrical connection will force the two chassis to the same voltage, at which time you can use your interconnects to bring the output of of the Rapture card to the input of your preamp. Once the connections have been made, the bit of wire can be removed.
Any time you plan to attach or detach an interconnect from the Rapture in the DA-10, first install the grounding wire.