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Old 8th June 2012, 06:04 AM   #11
qusp is offline qusp  Australia
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my opinion is that dacs need a well thought out grounding, with segmented ground plane to separate the analogue and digital parts of the build. well thought out local decoupling to the copper pour and correct i2s termination, cannot be replaced with wires and leaded caps/resistors. sure you can slice the crap out of the PCB, wrap things in copper foil, run separate buses back to star etc, but I dont think this is sufficient to make up for a bad layout/design

is it fun? sure, can you get decent sound? sure, will you end up spending as much as if you bought a reasonable dac to begin with? most likely. these threads that claim turning water into wine are a bit funny IMO. it all depends on your motivation
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Old 8th June 2012, 06:16 AM   #12
dhbiker is offline dhbiker  Slovenia
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well i'm looking for something thats not in the lines of what you just wrote.. i want a decent base to start modifying.. not something that sells for 200$ and you pay extra 300$ for mods that actually don't do massive differences in sound...

thats why i posted this thread...
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Old 8th June 2012, 06:41 AM   #13
Luke is offline Luke  New Zealand
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Quote:
Originally Posted by qusp View Post
my opinion is that dacs need a well thought out grounding, with segmented ground plane to separate the analogue and digital parts of the build. well thought out local decoupling to the copper pour and correct i2s termination, cannot be replaced with wires and leaded caps/resistors. sure you can slice the crap out of the PCB, wrap things in copper foil, run separate buses back to star etc, but I dont think this is sufficient to make up for a bad layout/design

is it fun? sure, can you get decent sound? sure, will you end up spending as much as if you bought a reasonable dac to begin with? most likely. these threads that claim turning water into wine are a bit funny IMO. it all depends on your motivation
Yes I agree, check out the cd67 thread, take an old cd player, throw a $1000 at it and have an $800 player Been there done that but it sure was fun.
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Old 8th June 2012, 07:03 AM   #14
dhbiker is offline dhbiker  Slovenia
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what about this : TerraDak V2.6D DAC ?
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Old 8th June 2012, 07:55 AM   #15
qusp is offline qusp  Australia
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haha nah, while that dac has been popular for modders over the years (looks the same layout and parts as when I bought one 4 years ago), it is again a pretty crappy design IMO it NEEDS mods to sound even half way decent. its the basis of many water into wine efforts, ive seen people throw thousands at that thing, one even used duelund CAST copper foil caps, ridiculous. even with big money spent I found it was too warm and wooly sounding

try this, due out shortly. use that and focus your efforts on building a nice power supply and perhaps a discrete output buffer. the PCB layout is very good, USB and i2s clocking/termination are done well and its built from the start to be modded. cheaper than your price too, you could buy or build a couple shunt regs or some nice batteries to go with it and still come out less than you are wanting to spend. it has a clocking scheme that is asyncronous wrt the input clock, but the usb and dac share the same clock synchronously. its fully hires capable too. only has usb input though


you could also look at the ODAC, but thats not very modder friendly and nether is the designer =)

Last edited by qusp; 8th June 2012 at 08:02 AM.
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Old 8th June 2012, 08:02 AM   #16
dhbiker is offline dhbiker  Slovenia
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i was looking at this one before.. but wasnt really sure if it works with linux since it only has usb input

and i've seen a couple of sweet mods with this thing
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Old 8th June 2012, 08:06 AM   #17
qusp is offline qusp  Australia
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yeah it'll work with linux, the guys have been working on the driver from what I understand. the new one uses an AKM dac which is superior to that particular lower range ESS dac and should make for quite a nice little unit for not much money
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Old 8th June 2012, 08:14 AM   #18
dhbiker is offline dhbiker  Slovenia
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so if i understand right you actually buy some kind of template for modding goodness ? nice i like that

and btw i'm willing to spend much more but i kinda said somewhere around 220-250$ for a base thingie (being student = very shallow pockets)
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Old 8th June 2012, 08:53 AM   #19
qusp is offline qusp  Australia
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yep, thats the idea!

to get much more I believe you either need to buy blank PCB's and build the whole thing, or jump up to the next bracket and spend 1000+ for a ESS or Spencer's (Fetaudio dac) his site appears to be down, odd.

dont underestimate what you can spend on power supply and output stage, this way just means you arent buying a heap of stuff you will just replace, taking up room and there is a good chunk of space left in the dac case and PCB for mods, with positions for various different part types SMD, PTH etc. I dont think you would get more for your money spending $250 vs this and yeah once you buy/build a nice PSU and output buffer you'll probably be up around the 350-450 mark. the extra $100-150 (taking you up to a total of 230-280) will get you started and you can run on USB power until you sort that out. I believe well done USB audio pwns spdif these days, so why bother with it? its nice to have for legacy support, but thats about it.

Last edited by qusp; 8th June 2012 at 08:55 AM.
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Old 8th June 2012, 09:06 AM   #20
Luke is offline Luke  New Zealand
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Qusp,

how do you think a dac like the AB usb 1.2 would compare to a buffallo?
Would the usb-i2s modulerate as good as others on this forum in your opinion?
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