diyAudio - abraxalito
Go Back   Home > Forums > Blogs
Home Forums Rules Articles diyAudio Store Gallery Wiki Blogs Register Donations FAQ Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Please consider donating to help us continue to serve you.

Ads on/off / Custom Title / More PMs / More album space / Advanced printing & mass image saving
Old

Ozone beta-build listening

Posted 8th January 2014 at 05:18 AM by abraxalito
Updated 8th January 2014 at 06:15 AM by abraxalito

I've had the beta build Ozone (no input stage yet, fed from my QA550 via the I2S transcoder to down-convert to 32fs) playing out 24/7 for a few days now.

Overall I'm very happy with how it sounds, just a minor gripe about sibilance on some operatic vocals which I'd like to understand better. On the upside the jump-factor (read dynamics) and soundstage stability (holographic on the right disks) are about the best yet. I'm using a couple of Decca double CDs for this - 'La Traviata' and "La Boheme'. They're about the most transparent sounding and demanding disks I have. Demanding in the sense that they have lots of emotional drama which should positively engage my attention if the DAC's really up to snuff. I never much enjoyed opera until I got into building my own NOS DACs, but now I really enjoy my dramatic fixes and these two recordings are really top of the pile. They're about 50 years old but so far I've not found anything newer which touches them (not that I've looked...
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	P1010081.JPG
Views:	254
Size:	261.7 KB
ID:	1208   Click image for larger version

Name:	AD605-internal.png
Views:	287
Size:	47.8 KB
ID:	1209  
abraxalito's Avatar
diyAudio Member
Views 773 Comments 6 abraxalito is offline
Old

Ultimate SQ DAC

Posted 27th December 2013 at 06:08 AM by abraxalito
Updated 30th December 2013 at 12:52 AM by abraxalito

Inspired by this thread http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/digit...-new-post.html
I've been giving a little thought for how to move beyond the 'Ozone' to a DAC able to handle more than 16bit inputs and up to 96kHz input rate. The target being 20bits and 120dB SNR (non-A weighted). The OP in that thread preferred a more marketable 'ultimate' DAC (with 192k and potentially 384k capability, along with DSD) - aims which to my way of seeing clearly conflict with a DAC having any pretentions to ultimacy.

The simplest solution - building on the digital part I already have - would be to add more TDA1545As in parallel and with a Cortex M4 direct the data to the respective chips. What's unclear though is how low the noise will go when the extra chips are added. From the DS, an A-weighted SNR is quoted of 101dB (typ) with 2mA, however this is a static noise (code = 0) and hence may well not translate to the noise achieved with bits toggling....
abraxalito's Avatar
diyAudio Member
Views 1009 Comments 2 abraxalito is offline
Old

The coolest Taobao SD card player yet - now further improved

Posted 10th December 2013 at 03:50 AM by abraxalito
Updated 21st September 2015 at 03:23 AM by abraxalito

This one rocks - it plays FLAC, WAV and mp3s. The DAC is WM8740 (not so hot) but the designer has taken the power supply very seriously. Just check out all those caps and TDK noise filter on the PCB on the right Power comes from a lithium battery behind, so its portable but there's no case - there are acrylic front and rear panels screwed on to the PCB spacers. Two 3.5mm jacks provide headphone and line out.

Its using STM32F407 to do the decoding which is a first for ARM in this sphere and the design is configured that there's an I2S link between the two PCBs. So in theory anyone could design a better sounding DAC and replace that bottom PCB whilst keeping the UI. Which I may just do.... Price is 568rmb (just under $100).

Update - I was a little curious about the PSU so I've pulled out all of those SMT 220uF caps to get a closer look. The block filter's a Murata (not TDK) BNX024 which looks like a wrong choice of part primarily because its rated for 15A. Hence...
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	P6050075.JPG
Views:	549
Size:	66.8 KB
ID:	1176   Click image for larger version

Name:	P6050076.JPG
Views:	554
Size:	79.9 KB
ID:	1177   Click image for larger version

Name:	P1010080.JPG
Views:	428
Size:	79.2 KB
ID:	1193   Click image for larger version

Name:	zshanmini.jpg
Views:	44
Size:	130.4 KB
ID:	1717   Click image for larger version

Name:	flacplayer-item_pic.jpg
Views:	77
Size:	395.1 KB
ID:	1718  

abraxalito's Avatar
diyAudio Member
Views 1512 Comments 17 abraxalito is offline
Old

Next generation active speaker electronics

Posted 3rd December 2013 at 04:12 AM by abraxalito
Updated 18th December 2013 at 01:59 PM by abraxalito

I'd like to be sure that my amp and the passive XOs in my speakers aren't significantly the bottleneck in the sound I'm getting from my DAC prototypes. To get a second reference point I'm starting to build a passive line-level crossover. Here's a pic of it taking shape - its using AD605s because I have plenty to hand and they're cheap and capable of being subjectively transparent with the right power arrangements. The pot core inductors are implementing LR4 XOs in balanced. Using the AD605s with their low input resistance and noise allows manageable inductor sizes for the XO - the largest being 9mH for a 3.5kHz crossover frequency.

Ah - I forgot to mention how I propose to do the transformation from normal (2V) line levels to the 70ohm impedance/20mV paradigm at the AD605 inputs. I shall be winding a pair of ferrite-cored step down transformers with centre-tapped secondaries Lots of turns to look forward to with 0.1mm or perhaps finer wire as I'd like to get at least 5H...
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	P5290073.JPG
Views:	258
Size:	79.4 KB
ID:	1173   Click image for larger version

Name:	P6050074.JPG
Views:	159
Size:	79.2 KB
ID:	1175   Click image for larger version

Name:	PLXXO-3.png
Views:	225
Size:	579.1 KB
ID:	1187  
abraxalito's Avatar
diyAudio Member
Views 660 Comments 0 abraxalito is offline
Old

Analog stage for Ozone DAC

Posted 28th November 2013 at 10:55 PM by abraxalito
Updated 12th December 2013 at 06:53 AM by abraxalito

A few weeks ago I built an almost completely passive analog output stage for my DAC/filter front-end and found it sounded noticeably quieter than my active ones which have been using AD605 and AD8129. The only active component in the experimental stage was a single emitter follower buffer run in classA - voltage amplification was achieved by a much higher than usual I/V resistor and passive filter specially designed for the higher impedance.

The comparison left me rather puzzled as to what was clouding the active stages. It turns out it was inadequate power supply decoupling - the fix is an abundance of ceramic capacitors soldered across the top of the chip.

On the AD605, the feedback resistor in low gain mode is a relatively low 820ohms which presents something of a challenge. Also I'm using an inverting stage following with a similar value input resistor. While the low combined values don"t present any significant challenge to the output stage itself (which...
abraxalito's Avatar
diyAudio Member
Views 806 Comments 6 abraxalito is offline
Old

TI marches steadily down the road to oblivion

Posted 23rd October 2013 at 12:20 AM by abraxalito

But hey, its stock is 30% up on the year!

http://www.testosteronepit.com/home/...verpriced.html

Wolf is a little bit too polite in his analysis of TI's woes - #1 is crappy strategic thinking.
abraxalito's Avatar
diyAudio Member
Views 546 Comments 0 abraxalito is offline
Old

Prototype stereo balanced passive filter for Ozone

Posted 14th October 2013 at 06:57 AM by abraxalito
Updated 27th November 2013 at 01:42 AM by abraxalito

Here's my first stab at an affordable yet screened passive filter using off-the-shelf inductors. Its a 17th order quasi-Chebyshev using 8 equal valued series L and 9 shunt caps achieving slightly better than 50dB rejection at 24.1kHz.

Update - this might be the first and last filter I build with these Coilcraft inductors. (If anyone's interested, the part no. is LPS6235-335). Reason being - on trying to order more, the price got hiked more than 100%. Originally these were attractive because on Taobao there was a source selling well below the manufacturer's list, but that seems to have dried up. At the list price in USD, there are other alternatives potentially better value. However none with the same inductance (3.3mH). The key feature is the Q - the Coilcrafts have a Q around 40 at 20kHz - this is very hard to beat in such a small package. As a reference, my pot-core hand-wound inductors have a Q about 160 but they're huge in comparison, so these tiny inductors are actually...
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	stereo_TL-filt.png
Views:	411
Size:	532.5 KB
ID:	1155   Click image for larger version

Name:	P4270069.JPG
Views:	295
Size:	77.9 KB
ID:	1157   Click image for larger version

Name:	third-gen-filt.JPG
Views:	407
Size:	79.5 KB
ID:	1169   Click image for larger version

Name:	P5220072.JPG
Views:	207
Size:	76.4 KB
ID:	1172  
abraxalito's Avatar
diyAudio Member
Views 1261 Comments 17 abraxalito is offline
Old

Introducing the Ozone DAC platform

Posted 9th October 2013 at 11:51 AM by abraxalito

The time has come to talk about the overall aim of my DAC developments - a modular DAC platform for DIYers and audio systems integrators. By this word 'platform' I mean this isn't going to be presented as a single end-to-end design that you can order up from a friendly reseller. Nor is this an 'open source' design, although it is open to anyone to use or adapt with no restrictions. Rather this is a DIYer's DAC architecture a series of interconnected modules that are subsystems from which an audiophile grade DAC can be assembled.

When I say 'audiophile grade' what I mean is this is a design optimized for aural satisfaction, not for the numbers. To be even more specific, its been optimized to give the highest perceived dynamics (within the limitations of the chosen DAC chip) rather than the lowest THD+N and flattest FR. If you're looking for ODAC-type measurements, feel free to move along now That's not to say measurements have been ignored, rather they're very much in the...
abraxalito's Avatar
diyAudio Member
Views 1197 Comments 8 abraxalito is offline
Old

TL431 output filter for TDA1543 current source elimination

Posted 6th September 2013 at 04:45 AM by abraxalito
Updated 6th September 2013 at 05:10 AM by abraxalito

Here's what I've ended up with in my SDcard DAC for eliminating the pull-up current sources within the TDA1543 - a heavily filtered 3.75V reference. For a single TDA1543 just connect the L and R 870R resistors to the output of this filter instead of the normal connection to 0V. Then the input's fed with the TL431 - I'm using 3k and 1k5 output voltage setting resistors. The first resistor and inductor on the left are my attempt to simulate the output impedance of the 431.

The electrolytics are Sancon 16V types with 0.1R ESR - the 440uF being made of two in parallel. The inductors need to have the right ESR (about 0,1ohm also) for which I had to wind my own 68uH - the ready made ones I have are too lossy Varying these parameters might result in a lumpy frequency response.

Attenuation is -70dB by 20kHz but almost flat to 1.6kHz and output impedance remains low down to DC.

Eliminating the current sources means that pin7 of TDA1543 now goes unconnected....
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	TL431-output-filter.png
Views:	831
Size:	7.4 KB
ID:	1122  
abraxalito's Avatar
diyAudio Member
Views 1287 Comments 3 abraxalito is offline
Old

Tweaking the TDA1543 SDcard player

Posted 6th September 2013 at 12:05 AM by abraxalito

This board is really a fun one to tweak mainly because its so simple and relatively self-contained, so results of mods can be verified very quickly.

In stock form, the sound is fairly typical 1543, nothing unpleasant but an almost total lack of soundstage depth. On recordings with a high ratio of ambient to direct sounds (Nimbus) the acoustic cues are muddied. The flatness of presentation is one of the reasons I was so slow to accept 1543's other virtues during the course of development of my DACs. Soundstage depth is a biggie for me. There's also a lack of 'finesse' on the HF - lack of 'poise' or 'delicacy'.

I started by fixing up the grounding to enforce a star earth on the analog outputs and power supply. Then went on to filter the DAC's supply regulator (7805) with series ferrite beads and additional lytics and ceramics. It later transpired that the beads were being shorted by a parallel track on the other side of the board. I installed filtering prior to...
abraxalito's Avatar
diyAudio Member
Views 758 Comments 5 abraxalito is offline
Hide this!Advertise here!

New To Site? Need Help?

All times are GMT. The time now is 04:49 PM.


vBulletin Optimisation provided by vB Optimise (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2016 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Copyright 1999-2016 diyAudio

Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.3.2
Wiki