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Old 10th June 2012, 10:18 PM   #1
nowhere is offline nowhere  Israel
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Default True (in digital sense) 24 bit assembled USB DAC ?

Hello,

I am looking at various 24 bits assembled USB DACs - on eBay and Chinese sites like aliexpress, dhgate, etc.

Looking at the items closer I realized that though the DAC chips indeed support 24 bits (with whatever limitations), true 24 bit playback is often possible only through SPDIF input.

This is because USB to I2S converters are quite often 16 bit.

First of all, I'm glad I've discovered it. I need 24 bits not because my ears support that wide dynamic range, but because I need to do some pretty deep digital correction which needs the extra dynamic range.

Secondly, I did find some USB DACs that apparently are truly (in digital sense) 24 bit ones, e.g. the ones with TE7022L chip on them.

I've also found that there are separate USB -> I2S converters, so maybe I should rather be looking for two separate boards ?

And I would like the whole thing to cost up to $75 including S&H.

Any recommendations ? Personal experiences ? For example, regarding how feasible in reality are 24 bits on TE7022L ?

Alternatives to TE7022L in the above price range ?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 11th June 2012, 05:27 AM   #2
qusp is offline qusp  Australia
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And I would like the whole thing to cost up to $75 including S&H.
not going to happen, you are asking too much even for diy for that money, trying to meet such a price will result in a purchase with many compromises.
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Old 11th June 2012, 07:33 AM   #3
ch33ta is offline ch33ta  Croatia
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For a budget of 75$ this is the only thing that fits your demands;
Musiland Monitor 01 US USB sound card USB2.0 ASIO 24bit/192KHz | eBay
I don't think you'll find anything better for that money...
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Old 11th June 2012, 09:44 AM   #4
nowhere is offline nowhere  Israel
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Originally Posted by qusp View Post
not going to happen, you are asking too much even for diy for that money, trying to meet such a price will result in a purchase with many compromises.
I forgot to mention that power supplies (transformers) are not included into $75.
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Old 11th June 2012, 09:49 AM   #5
nowhere is offline nowhere  Israel
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Originally Posted by ch33ta View Post
For a budget of 75$ this is the only thing that fits your demands;
Musiland Monitor 01 US USB sound card USB2.0 ASIO 24bit/192KHz | eBay
I don't think you'll find anything better for that money...
Well, I also need Linux compatibility Thanks for the link anyway.
...
The $75 limit is in order to avoid customs duties.

I.e. two separate pieces - one for, say $30 and the other for $50 would be OK.
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Old 11th June 2012, 10:05 AM   #6
Luke is offline Luke  New Zealand
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Originally Posted by nowhere View Post

I've also found that there are separate USB -> I2S converters, so maybe I should rather be looking for two separate boards ?

And I would like the whole thing to cost up to $75 including S&H.

Any recommendations ? Personal experiences ? For example, regarding how feasible in reality are 24 bits on TE7022L ?

Alternatives to TE7022L in the above price range ?

Thanks in advance.
If you go for two boards, your not going to meet your budget.

TE7022 WM8761 24Bit 96Khz USB 2.0 DAC Decoder W/ Coaxial Out,The Best USB DAC-in Amplifier from Consumer Electronics on Aliexpress.com

LJM Assembled USB to (coaxial ) SPDIF I2S processor TE7022 chip support 24bit/96K sampling-in Amplifier from Consumer Electronics on Aliexpress.com

one of these leaves you with 40 dollars for a dac. BTW, I have not tried these or know the quality. Good luck.
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Old 11th June 2012, 03:28 PM   #7
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Rise to 100$ and get yoursefl SMSL AD1955 with TE7022. Tweak it to death and enjoy.
The 1955 is one of the best deltasigmas out there, and TE7022 is one of the best USBs out there too (there is nothing better in sub-60$ department for USB input).
Make sure you order the TE7022 version.

Don't afraid if it sounds bad in stock condition - there maybe some flaws in design. Fixing them won't take much time nor experience (at least some of them), and you'll learn something plus get quite good device.
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Last edited by s3tup; 11th June 2012 at 03:32 PM.
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Old 11th June 2012, 04:35 PM   #8
kevinkr is offline kevinkr  United States
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I have an SMSL SD-1955 dac that uses the Tenor TE7022L usb IC, and have had all sorts of problems getting it to work correctly/consistently in 24 bit mode, without drivers it seems mostly to want to run in 16 bit mode. SMSL does not provide any driver support for its products to best of my ability to find such on Google. I did find that the Terralink Asio driver (win 7) will work with this device, and if you change to 24 bit mode in the driver and then restart play it will usually work in 24 bit mode. (The other TE7022L drivers I've found are all specific to the manufacturer that makes them. Source of all of this code is Galaxy Far East Corp,, the maker of the TE7022L) The windows 7 driver itself is quite buggy, and the 7022L is not asynchronous, but isochronous which means there is a significant amount of jitter present in the output. The device may function better in the Linux world, but have not so far tried it. I think you would need to run Alsa and probably force it to default to 96K 24 bit operation. There is some discussion of using this device at higher bit rates/sample depths in Linux in another thread here.

The overall performance of these entry level dacs is probably not going to be stellar.. The SD-1955 is not terribly bad for what I paid for it, but it's pretty mediocre sounding compared to my homebrew PCM1794A/WM8804 based dac driven by a Stello U3.

My suspicion is that you could do far worse than this little SMSL $100 dac, but could also do a lot better if you could build your own or buy a kit around here. The sound at best I would describe as uninvolving and rather lacking in dynamics. I have installed upgraded op-amps (OP2134) which helped. Possibly a better supply would help too, beyond that some fairly significant tweaking would be needed - there is potential, perhaps rehoused in a bigger box to get some room for a really competent analog output stage.

I just had a thought: Check out the TPA (Twisted Pear Audio) stuff here: http://www.twistedpearaudio.com/landing.aspx
Take a look specifically at the OPUS and COD dac pcb kits. Consider one of the XMOS based USB to I2S projects here - purchased piecemeal you might possibly stay under the customs limits. XMOS based solutions are asynchronous, and depending on implementation and coding may support 192K..
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Old 11th June 2012, 05:27 PM   #9
nowhere is offline nowhere  Israel
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Originally Posted by s3tup View Post
Rise to 100$ and get yoursefl SMSL AD1955 with TE7022. Tweak it to death and enjoy.
...
It's not about it. I am doing a "big" project regarding headphones auralization and virtualization, and the project is in pretty advanced stage.

Even with a shitty built-in DAC on my desktop motherboard it sounds gorgeous, and, surprisingly, it sounds even better using my laptop built-in DAC - but it has an AD192X (IIRC) chip.

It sounds even better with M-Audio revolution 7.1 which is installed into my desktop and at the moment is used for acoustic measurements.

So, this whole thing is not about tweaking it to death. It's about passing the 24 bits to DAC. I want to have an external USB fed/driven (I mean signal, not power) solution, so it will work for both my desktop and laptop.

I.e. it's the case when I want to spend some money, to connect the pieces together and to use it - I think out of the box it'll sound better than my laptop DAC.
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Old 11th June 2012, 06:02 PM   #10
nowhere is offline nowhere  Israel
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Originally Posted by kevinkr View Post
...depending on implementation and coding may support 192K..
Why would one need 192KHz if source material is 44.1KHz ?

By the way, I am not interested in "bit-perfectness" - I consider it to be a religion with no practical bearing.

I mean, not only why one would need 192KHz if source material is 44.1KHz, but also why would one need 88.2KHz or 176.4KHz if source material is 44.1KHz ?
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