Which DAC to use for new project? - diyAudio
Go Back   Home > Forums > Source & Line > Digital Line Level

Digital Line Level DACs, Digital Crossovers, Equalizers, etc.

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
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 6th November 2011, 02:09 AM   #1
diyAudio Member
 
krfkeith's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Default Which DAC to use for new project?

Hello,
I'm trying to get started in DIY, and I'm looking for reccomendations on a DAC IC to use for it. The myriad of chips available makes it quite hard to choose any which one with any amount of confidence.

Anyhow, I had been looking at the Sabre32 ES9012/8, but I'd rather avoid anything which involves the signing of restrictive NDAs, mostly because I would like release the schematics of my DAC as open hardware. Essentially, I am asking if any DAC chips exist which would be of approximately the same quality of the ES9018, with more open documentation? ESS claims to have patented their so-called "HyperStream" DAC, supposedly offerring unmatched low distortion and dynamic range. I am naturally weary of such bold claims, especially when accompanied by an obligatory trademarked named. Are these boasts warranted? Are there any other DACs that offer the same degree of jitter reduction? I am not concerned with the built in DSP functions, as I plan on coupling the DAC with a dedicated DSP anyway. I am not sure if 32-bit is truly necessary, as I not even sure that any vaguely commonly available music is avaible in 32-bit.

Thanks,
-Kevin
  Reply With Quote
Old 6th November 2011, 02:29 AM   #2
diyAudio Member
 
alant4321's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Canada
Quote:
Originally Posted by krfkeith View Post
Hello,
I am not sure if 32-bit is truly necessary, as I not even sure that any vaguely commonly available music is avaible in 32-bit.
Although 24Bit/96KHz is regarded is the highest optimum sampling rate for human being, there is no formal research to support it. Since sampling rate includes two parameters of Bit rate (e.g. 16/24/32 Bit) and Frequency sampling (e.g. 44.1/48/88.2/96/176.4/192 KHz) The sensitivity of bit rate and frequency sampling to human being is just a "question mark".
=>Will bit rate (Bit) be more sensitive than frequency sampling (KHz) to human being?
=>Will 32Bit/96KHz be better than 24Bit/96KHz or 24Bit/192KHz?
Presently, the highest resolution of music is 24Bit/192KHz in the market, but not limited to future development. For this reason, your question “I am not sure if 32-bit is truly necessary, as I not even sure that any vaguely commonly available music is available in 32-bit.” is hard to answer without formal supporting research. Thus, it is now subject to your preference.
__________________
"To work smarter, but not to work harder." by alant4321
http://www.teco-audio.com
  Reply With Quote
Old 6th November 2011, 02:46 AM   #3
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
I would love to believe that ESS have a DAC with jitter rejection so good that jitter can no longer be considered to be an issue. I don't mean an issue for me, I mean an issue for everybody who obsesses about jitter.

But...

...I don't trust anybody who produces a DAC and calls it 32-bit, because I don't believe that any piece of electronics has 190-odd dB of dynamic range.

Thermal noise power (the noise floor at room temperature) in a 20kHz bandwidth is -174 + (10*log(20,000)) = -130dBm. 190 dB above this is 60dBm, or a million milliwatts, 1000 watts.

You pays your money and you takes your choice.
  Reply With Quote
Old 6th November 2011, 03:03 AM   #4
diyAudio Member
 
alant4321's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Canada
In quantitative approach, it is unlimited to look for higher resolution in term of sampling frequency (i.e. it is technical feasible to design higher Bit/KHz) which is classified as “engineering”. In qualitative approach, it is limited to the audibility of human being which is classified as “Art”. Due to the constraint of budgeting in managerial level, the destination may be set to the end point at the same or slightly higher to the audibility of human being, but not the technical difficulty to attain higher specification.
__________________
"To work smarter, but not to work harder." by alant4321
http://www.teco-audio.com
  Reply With Quote
Old 6th November 2011, 10:11 AM   #5
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
I'm afraid that if you want the best you won't avoid the ESS DAC chips atm.
Good news is they've lifted their NDA, as far as I know. You can confirm with a distributor.
  Reply With Quote
Old 6th November 2011, 11:59 AM   #6
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Virginia
DIY alternatives that are tried, tested and sound "perfect" to human ears are also avail:
PCM1794A
WM8741
AD1955
CS4398
The proper designation for "32 bit DAC" is "ACCEPTS 32 bit formated PCM". They don't have 32 bit performance. Heck, ANY DAC on market barely get close to 22-23 bit true audio performance.
WM accepts 32 bit. TI has also seven 32bit DAC's (like PCM1975) but the specs for those chips are below their present flagship 24 bit DAC.
They have moved to 32 bit more for bragging rights and, IMO, probably for ease of integration in some future low-end Bluray systems (because don't need an external DSP to process an eventual 32bit to 24bit).

Last edited by SoNic_real_one; 6th November 2011 at 12:06 PM.
  Reply With Quote
Old 6th November 2011, 04:57 PM   #7
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoNic_real_one View Post
Heck, ANY DAC on market barely get close to 22-23 bit true audio performance.
Still, some get way closer than others.
  Reply With Quote
Old 6th November 2011, 08:30 PM   #8
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Virginia
Haha, yes, I should have said any decent DAC
Some only get close to 15-16 bit performance, even if the "eat" 24 bit formats.
  Reply With Quote
Old 7th November 2011, 03:50 PM   #9
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Eastern Pennsylvania
Quote:
Originally Posted by alant4321 View Post
Although 24Bit/96KHz is regarded is the highest optimum sampling rate for human being, there is no formal research to support it. Since sampling rate includes two parameters of Bit rate (e.g. 16/24/32 Bit) and Frequency sampling (e.g. 44.1/48/88.2/96/176.4/192 KHz) The sensitivity of bit rate and frequency sampling to human being is just a "question mark".
=>Will bit rate (Bit) be more sensitive than frequency sampling (KHz) to human being?
=>Will 32Bit/96KHz be better than 24Bit/96KHz or 24Bit/192KHz?
Presently, the highest resolution of music is 24Bit/192KHz in the market, but not limited to future development. For this reason, your question “I am not sure if 32-bit is truly necessary, as I not even sure that any vaguely commonly available music is available in 32-bit.” is hard to answer without formal supporting research. Thus, it is now subject to your preference.
I'm not certain if it is still posted on their website, but Meridian has researched this question and published the results in a whitepaper a number of years ago. If I correctly recall, they determined that 21-bits of resolution at a 60ksps rate was the maximum required to achieve absolute fidelity with respect to the human auditory system.
__________________
Ken
  Reply With Quote
Old 8th November 2011, 02:43 AM   #10
diyAudio Member
 
alant4321's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Canada
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Newton View Post
I'm not certain if it is still posted on their website, but Meridian has researched this question and published the results in a whitepaper a number of years ago. If I correctly recall, they determined that 21-bits of resolution at a 60ksps rate was the maximum required to achieve absolute fidelity with respect to the human auditory system.
Thank you for information. It is welcome to anyone referring more supporting documents. In order to this research, you need “source + equipment + audience”. My questions are:
1) How did Meridian get 21-bit source?
2) Where is this research paper located for public reference or the ref. no. and date of Journal?
__________________
"To work smarter, but not to work harder." by alant4321
http://www.teco-audio.com
  Reply With Quote

Reply


Hide this!Advertise here!
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Looking for a DAC project ZenCow Digital Source 1 17th May 2008 10:32 PM
New DAC Project Dejak Digital Source 1 5th November 2006 01:51 AM
DAC Project bostonflyer Digital Source 9 6th March 2006 05:21 AM


New To Site? Need Help?

All times are GMT. The time now is 05:58 AM.


vBulletin Optimisation provided by vB Optimise (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2014 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Copyright ©1999-2014 diyAudio

Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.3.2