I recently had a chance to test HB-45A’ reproduction chip built by Caius on the KLOV and Arcade-Projects forums. He also posts regularly on JammaCade.net, check out his repairs and custom chip post! His works are excellent.
Since he didn't have a working Raiden DX to test this custom on, I offered to test it for him, in hopes that I can have working audio for many more years to come. These Seibu boards are notorious for Audio failures due to these custom IC's failing.
First I de-soldered the old IC, using my new Hakko FR-300. Wonderful tool, made this step of the process go very quickly. I had to de-solder 20 pins which took about 5 mins using the FR-300, which would have normally taken me over an hour with my old soldapullt sucker! It's a hellava lot cleaner and less prone to burning pads/traces!
I then installed a new machined socket for the Custom to plug into.
Finally, Caius' HB-45A reproduction was inserted into the socket, and I proceeded to do some testing.
I haven't been able to hear any differences in quality between the old and new chips. Comparing the music at the beginning and end sound identical. The effects also sound the same. There might be a slight variance if you were to analyze the signals, but that would be the same deal even if you compared to different boards with the original Audio IC's.
Big thanks goes out to Caius and his work on this. It's a beautiful replacement and I hope that the audio will keep working for many, many years to come!