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Old 13th January 2009, 06:01 PM   #1
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Jul 2008
Default dac + t-amp in one box

Now that I've got a t-amp going (bought an assembled 2020 board off ebay, so not much to do), I'm wondering: How difficult would it be to put an USB DAC board and the t-amp board into the same enclosure? (The t-amp is currently naked.) Basically, I'd like to have something like the KingRex T20U or the Nuforce Icon (which I'm using currently). I can do without analog inputs, since this will strictly be for the desktop pc.

Some more specific questions:

1. If possible, I'd like to use a single power supply for both modules; i.e., the two will share the same DC input. (I'm currently using the KingRex PSU.) How would the wiring work, if it's possible?

2. I guess the previous question would depend on the DAC module. Does anyone have a favorite to recommend for this application?

3. Are there anything I should pay attention to when putting the two modules in the same enclosure, in terms of isolation, etc.?
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Old 13th January 2009, 06:17 PM   #2
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Cheshire
I did this with a CD based system. It also does USM too:

Click the image to open in full size.

DIYPARADISE CD63 based "music centre"
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Old 13th January 2009, 06:22 PM   #3
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Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
All 3 questions are basically answered by the same answer.

You either have to have 2 completely seperate supplies or have signal transformers seperating the two. Any form of double ground sharing will result in noise in the t-amp. It does not matter which type of t-amp it is or which kind of dac it is.
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Old 13th January 2009, 08:39 PM   #4
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Cheshire
Before building the above, I did a trial of the DAC (Diyparadise Monica) and the T-Amp (Diyparadise Charlize), and ran them both sucessfully at the same time off a single 12v SMPS.
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Old 13th January 2009, 09:21 PM   #5
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Wow, that was impressive!

I'm close to complete novice at electronics, so I'm trying to make it as simple as possible. What you've said there is exactly what I'd like to do (run both of the same smps, well, or the kingrex psu). If you don't mind some spoon-feeding, could you explain the details on how that's done? Do I need the voltage regulator, etc.? How do I ground the two modules separately?

I see lots of people trying out the alien dac, but I'm trying to stay away from usb-powered dacs.
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Old 13th January 2009, 10:29 PM   #6
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Cheshire
I just ran the two modules in parallel with a shared ground. It worked fine.

I have since learnt on the DIYPARADISE forum that the T-amp (Monica) needs its own supply???

All I can say is that it was OK for me. Compared well with my Musical Fidelity A5 gear.

I added the super regulators afterwards in an effort to make the DAC supplies cleaner - probably overkill.

I also added a second smps, so that I could get a regualted 18v and 12v supply.

I too was a complete novice and I was partially worried about grounding issues. Maybe I was lucky somehow?
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Old 14th January 2009, 12:44 AM   #7
EdT is offline EdT  Canada
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Dec 2006
Originally posted by dublin78
[B]Click the image to open in full size.
Wow ... your workmanship is as anal as mine ! ...LoL

The problem I have with everything I buy is that I have to retouch all the soldering joints and redo all the wiring before I have any faith in the product !
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