Hercules muse pocket USB mod

I needed a external USB soundcard mainly for recording purposes and found the Creative ones too big and the only one that looked nice and was available was the "Hercules muse pocket USB".
I only wanted recording capabilities but nothing more simple was available.
I got the box and found it pretty big and the big knob didn´t make a good impression, it was shaky.
Now, why do I need the volume control knob anyway ?
- I do not need it as it might change the volume accidentally and I have volume control in any software.
- The mute button might be nice, but isn´t needed as well.
- The whole device gets too big and heavy

What I did:
- Remove the aluminium top cover, knob and angle sensor device:

The parts above aren´t really needed if you replace the top cover with something lighter and don´t need the ability to mute and control the output volume.
The weigh 175g in total, the remains (and important parts of the device) weigh only 186g. So it´s almost half the weight saved.
Also the height reduces from 57mm to 26mm, which means it fits much better in a laptop case.

Now here is how it looks afterwards:

I used a polycarbonate disc that fits exactly in the opening of the device and rests perfectly on top of the audio sockets.
The cover then was additionaly covered with a black self-adheisive foil. Without you could see through to the electronics parts.
The functionality is the same. Only you cannot control volume or mute.

The desoldering of the angle encoder is pretty tough, as several legs are soldered to solid ground and therefore need a lot of heat to come loose. Be careful there.
There is a application that hooks itself to autorun called "Gamesurround Muse Pocket CPL" which I do not use anymore.
First, it uses up memory and CPU time and second do I not need the ability anymore to control volume with the control knob.
The software was used to control volume. You could only mute with pressing the knob without having the control software.
Controling volume wasn´t possible if the software wasn´t
Also the setup of surround speakers didn´t quite work for me yet.
But recording, mike and headphone work perfect.