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jul059 2nd May 2012 03:32 PM

eBay DAC kit

I am planning on building an integreted DAC/phono/preamp and I have already a good idea concerning the phono and the preamp (basically ESP design). For the DAC, I have no clue. reclocking? asynchronous? USB? CS4397? WM8740 in mono or in stereo? PCM1798? etc. I just don't know what's good and what's not. I want to achieve a very good sound quality. Ideally, I could feed the DAC music by USB.

What's your opinion on this eBat DAC? cheap eBay DAC

One of my main concern is jitter, which I dont exactly know how to reduce or eliminate.

Thank you,

jul059 6th May 2012 05:53 PM

Surely, someone can enlighten me on these matters?

JesseG 6th May 2012 06:33 PM

Well, the question is kind of like asking which is the 'best' speaker - it is just to large to answer.

DACs, like anything else in audio, are many and varied. If you have some specific requirements, then you search for something that will meet the need. If you just want something that will perform basic functions, you pick something and 'have a go'.

The problem of jitter has largely been rendered obsolete - almost all current DACs have adopted jitter elimination techniques invented a few years ago by the 'high-end' designers.

I had a quick look at the unit you linked to above and my opinion is that it would be a fair enough place to start. Like many DAC boards coming from Asia, it will probably work quite well - not SoTA, but adequate. Who knows, it might be very good indeed.

If I was building an integrated pre, I would make sure that there was enough space inside for a DAC board larger that the one I chose to start with. That way, if I decided to try something else (more expensive = better?) then I would have space enough to fit different boards.

Just my take on your project.

BTW: I use a NOS Dac A-H from China that, with my transport, works better than anything else I have tried. China does not = bad, and expensive does not always = better.

s3tup 6th May 2012 08:17 PM

Usually, current output DACs are better, so your choice is limited to AD1955 or PCM1798.
If you need halfway-descent solution for USB input, go for Tenor IC. It's better than PCMs and far better than CMEDIAs.
WM8804/5 are good for SPDIF input.

All other things as layout, decoupling and DAC output filtering - you'll need to fix them yourself. DACs from China are DIY kits - they done the basics, you'll do the finishing/fixing improper design. It's a fun way as you get something working at first, and "fix it" into something pleasant _you_ did.

Praudio 6th May 2012 08:28 PM


Originally Posted by jul059 (
Surely, someone can enlighten me on these matters?

My personnal choice go for : PCM1794, WM 8741, AK 4396

Power supply is important! For myself I never use small torroidal; I prefer R core, D core(hammond
229D serie, or at least split bobbin( E core with two winding side by side.

If you are from Montreal aera send me a PM

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