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Old 24th December 2009, 06:08 PM   #1
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Default DAC approaches for high-res

Excuse the newbie type question ... I'm looking at DAC options to use with most likely two (simultaneous/switchable?) sources, a Shigaclone for CDs and a Squeezebox Touch (perhaps even something that can ultimately be put in the same box with decent PSUs as the touch) mainly for higher-res formats.

As far as sound goes I'm firmly in the NOS camp having had an extremely good experiences with a DIY AudioQuest DAC made by a member of this forum, and I also have a soft spot for tubes (I'm running a tubed CD player at the moment by EAR Yoshino which this kit will ultimately replace).

Unless the project is really easy I'm probably going to call on some help to put it together - I'm one of those guys in awe of people who know how to put kit together, and really enthusiastic about the whole business, but with two hands full of thumbs and a dangerously lacking knowldge of things electrical (being a simple musician who didn't pay attention in science class).

So what would the suggestions be? I'm having good results ingesting LPs at 96kbit, so high-res without downsampling is a must.
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Old 27th December 2009, 09:22 AM   #2
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For NOS 24/96 there is only one option. A dac based on the PCM1704.
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Old 27th December 2009, 07:48 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply. Is this the chipset used by the Altmann Attraction DAC?

This seems pretty cool but pricewise probably out of reach.

Is there a consensus about the ideal kit using this chip?
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Old 27th December 2009, 08:49 PM   #4
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The Attraction is yet another in a long line of dacs that use the long out of production Philips TDA1543, a 16 bit economy, Philips' own description, device. Its popularity might not be unrelated to the notion that a monkey with the DT's could put a '1543 dac together blindfolded. The PCM1704 is a more recent 24 bit device and being a single channel device asks a little more of the end user. The only ready of the shelf NOS variant I am aware of is the Tentlabs CD player output stage. It may be available as a separate item but probably won't be cheap.

A word or two from Mr Altmann on the Attraction

Tentlabs CD Player
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Old 27th December 2009, 09:04 PM   #5
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As far as having switchable SPDIF sources go, one of your best bets is the S/PDIF 4:1 Receiver/MUX Module from Twisted Pear - that'll give you up to 4 inputs and an I2S output, saving you from needing another SPDIF reciever further up the chain.
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Old 28th December 2009, 09:56 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rfbrw View Post
The Attraction is yet another in a long line of dacs that use the long out of production Philips TDA1543, a 16 bit economy, Philips' own description, device. Its popularity might not be unrelated to the notion that a monkey with the DT's could put a '1543 dac together blindfolded. The PCM1704 is a more recent 24 bit device and being a single channel device asks a little more of the end user. The only ready of the shelf NOS variant I am aware of is the Tentlabs CD player output stage. It may be available as a separate item but probably won't be cheap.

A word or two from Mr Altmann on the Attraction

Tentlabs CD Player
thanks very much for this .. fascinating. Where do all the gushy reviews come from then?! What this means, I guess, is that 96k is NOT handled at native resolution, but somehow converted?

Actually I have a soft spot for these old TDA1541/1543 DACs, I had a Sugden Masterclass once which was superb, and later an Audiosector peter daniel design that someone here put together, which was very very good.

Any good tube output implementations around of the chipset mentioned?
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Old 29th December 2009, 01:32 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by montesquieu61 View Post
thanks very much for this .. fascinating. Where do all the gushy reviews come from then?! What this means, I guess, is that 96k is NOT handled at native resolution, but somehow converted?

Actually I have a soft spot for these old TDA1541/1543 DACs, I had a Sugden Masterclass once which was superb, and later an Audiosector peter daniel design that someone here put together, which was very very good.

Any good tube output implementations around of the chipset mentioned?
Anything over 16 bits gets chopped off and as to the gushing reviews, I haven't the foggiest. Tentlabs aside, there is talk of a NOS PCM1704 dac with valve output in the Bottlehead forum. Beyond that, it is a case of roll your own.
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Old 15th January 2010, 10:55 AM   #8
Charles is offline Charles  Germany
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Quote:
Originally Posted by montesquieu61 View Post
thanks very much for this .. fascinating. Where do all the gushy reviews come from then?! What this means, I guess, is that 96k is NOT handled at native resolution, but somehow converted?

Actually I have a soft spot for these old TDA1541/1543 DACs, I had a Sugden Masterclass once which was superb, and later an Audiosector peter daniel design that someone here put together, which was very very good.

Any good tube output implementations around of the chipset mentioned?
Hi there,

the Attraction DAC is in fact the world's first DA converter, that plays back 192kHz without oversampling.

To my knowledge it is - after all these years - still one of very few, if not the only DAC, that can accomplish this.

Charles

ALTMANN MICRO MACHINES
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Old 15th January 2010, 11:33 AM   #9
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There are tube DACs using the PCM1704 chip that come out of China.
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Old 15th January 2010, 12:07 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by data View Post
There are tube DACs using the PCM1704 chip that come out of China.
Sure, but are they NOS?
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