ESS Sabre Reference DAC (8-channel) - Page 2 - diyAudio
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Old 13th February 2008, 04:59 AM   #11
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Default Found the thread

HI All,


I had no idea that people would be talking about this part on these sites. But it looks like its happening. So here is the scoop. The part is 29$ or something (honestly, that markiting are and I dont get too involved in that) but now that the DAC is officially announced, I was hoping we could give out some boards and get some feedback on them,, Perhaps even some pointers from the experts (you guys) since its obvious there is a ton of experience out there. So basically im saying I will give boards to people that are interested in reviewing the part and want to give me any feedback (posative and/or negative). I dont think Ill be able to send out 50 eval boards, but certainly a few should be no problem. Ross L from this site has the eval board and has pointed out that the sound can be much improved by chaing the el-chepo Xtal on the board, to a low jitter clock. He has said the difference is night and day, this is the kind of feedback I really appreciate. Well if anyone is interested in a eval board, please send me a personal message.
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Old 13th February 2008, 05:03 AM   #12
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Default DAC Website

I am going to get the DAC page of our website changed. Looks like everyone is having trouble to get any info or contact info for the DAC. I will get the website updated and hopefully sort out this mess.
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Old 13th February 2008, 05:46 AM   #13
Ipanema is offline Ipanema  Malaysia
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Hi dusfor99,

Your email function is not turn on.

Thanks.
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Old 13th February 2008, 09:16 AM   #14
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Same here - I cannot send you email/PMs Dustin!!

I will have to wait until retail or a group buy is under way. I would love a chip now but I am getting married next month and so wedding/honeymoon plans will prevent me tinkering (with the DAC) and providing feedback in a timely manner. But if I can buy one-to-ten at earliest convenience that would be OK for me.

Thanks.
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Old 13th February 2008, 10:15 AM   #15
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I would love to try ES9008 dac. I have AK4396, AK4397, CS 4398 and PCM1794 modular dac to compare with.

Best regards
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Old 13th February 2008, 11:00 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by borisov57
I would love to try ES9008 dac. I have AK4396, AK4397, CS 4398 and PCM1794 modular dac to compare with.

Best regards
Which do you like best so far? What commercial CD players you like with these DACs?

I used to own a Chord DAC64 which was amazing on detail, resolution and tonality, but (with Chord amps too) it was too thin on depth and soundstaging. Yet when changing the amps for a Musical Fidelity KW500 the whole thing sounded jaw-dropping. Cables were Nordost Valhalla and speakers were Wilson Benesch ACT.

The best integrated CD player I ever heard was /is the Linn CD12 which is now supposedly bettered by the Linn Klimax DS wireless mediastreaming DAC. I am quite fond of Naim timing and its raw/live feel, as well as stuff from Accustic Arts, but not much else. In the cheaper stakes, I like late 90s Cyrus, Arcam and Meridian components. Meridian portrays the most bandwith, but Cyrus has the better drive and dynamics (particularly bass) to my ears. Arcam is simply a very good, more affordable all-rounder. Meridian use Crystal DACs, Cyrus use TI/BB and Arcam use Wolfson. I've heard good things about Analog Devices AD1955 but I've never heard a player with an AD DAC. Chord and recording studios have a bit of an affinity with AKM. I also heard a Burmester CD player and I don't know what that had inside, but it was the CD006 going into a Hovland pre-power combo on Eben Acoustic speakers in a Nordost Valhalla demo - that was very very good.

My listening to Musical Fidelity's top-end equipment has given me a slight leaning to tubed outputs in things, and so the Lampizator now intrigues me for using in place of a discrete output stage using op-amps and lots of components. Unfortunately, MF do not like making integrated amps with balanced designs. However, a DAC with on-board volume control into a power amp with balanced inputs could be absolutely stunning.

So the reason for my inquiry into this Sabre DAC is: I am looking at testing the PCM1794 in dual mono into a Lampizator styled tube circuit. If this Sabre Audio DAC is available, I will try and design something to compare the DACs into a tube I/V output stage. Based on my experience with high end components, I cannot imagine anything sounding better. However, I haven't made any complete DIY DAC components and was wondering what you like about each of the DAC chips?

Thanks,
InfiniteGain
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Old 13th February 2008, 12:09 PM   #17
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Hi,

All DACs sounds good. But if I must choose only one, it would be PCM1794 with resistor I/V. This is the one, that I listen to the most. Very close was AD1955 ( I blowed one channel ). AD is maybe a bit more transparent and with bit faster bass, but less quantity. Similar to AD is AK4396. It is very detailed. But I prefer PCM and AD, they seems more lively and dynamic. CS4398 is darker than AK4396, maybe more musical. AK4397 is strange, it is very good, it is the only DAC that played more than an hour on speakers and my wife did not turn down the volume.
All dac measures about the same, best SNR has PCM1794 with active I/V and lowest THD AD1955, but I am at limit of my measuring analog to digital converter.
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Old 13th February 2008, 12:30 PM   #18
rossl is offline rossl  United States
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The title of this thread may be a little misleading...

The Sabre is an 8 channel DAC,,, but it doesn't have to be an 8 channel DAC.

The part will configure for stereo and can have 4 channels summed for the left and 4 for the right.

Each channel is differential with a dual DAC. So, there are 16 DAC output pins in total.

I posted these links in another thread, they probably should be included in this thread.

http://blog.stereophile.com/ces2008/011008ess/

http://www.esstech.com/techsupp/sabrewp.pdf


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Old 13th February 2008, 03:44 PM   #19
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If we could get a group buy together for these I would easily be interested in 3-4 chips. Of course that would require actually being able to contact the distributor.
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Old 13th February 2008, 04:20 PM   #20
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Yes, it's a bit of a marketing disaster to have umpteen press articles stating how great it is, some in technical audio engineering circles and some in audiophile circles (like Stereophile) and then have nobody able to contact the company, or evaluate one as an engineer, or a consumer.

Whoever planned the marketing on this clearly was under-prepared and needs a slap upside the head!
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