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Old 11th August 2012, 08:39 PM   #1
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Default DIY DAC....is this any good

I want to build a DAC, but most of the schematics I've found on the internet are fairly old and use hard to find chips. I noticed this on ebay:


High end DAC TDA1543 DIR9001 kit DIY WH-1 | eBay

Wanted to see if anyone has had any experience with it, or if not, are TDA1543 and DIR9001 good chips?
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Old 11th August 2012, 09:10 PM   #2
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The TDA1543 has both it's admirers and detractors. I believe the 1543 is utilized in the 11,500 British pound Vertex aq Aletheia DAC. Can't say I'm aware of too many folks who prefer the DIR9001 though. Looks like it would only cost you about 20 pounds to find out whether or not this ebay DAC any good to listen to.
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Old 12th August 2012, 01:10 PM   #3
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I have one of those - it was my first introduction to NOS. Unlike many other similar ones the PCB layout on this one is good. I've modded mine now and got rid of the 1543 - its an excellent starting point for learning the ins and outs of DACs.
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Old 12th August 2012, 01:20 PM   #4
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What did you change the 1543 for, and was it a direct replacement or did you have to swap pins etc.
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Old 12th August 2012, 01:24 PM   #5
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I swapped it for a stack of TDA1387s which are SMT, so no not a direct replacement at all - a lot of rather fiddly soldering. The pinout though is basically the same. This was the end of a long line of mods - before that I experimented with an active stage in place of the passive I/V.

I found the best sound with the 1543 was to be had by removing the two green rectangular caps btw.
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Old 12th August 2012, 01:35 PM   #6
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Just had a quick look at the pinout of the 1387, looks the same, could it not be simply soldered onto a 'brown dog' type adaptor? You say 'a stack', do you literally mean stacking a few in parallel?
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Old 12th August 2012, 01:42 PM   #7
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I've never used a 'brown dog' but yeah I think that could be used. I piled up 8 chips one on top of the other and ran the top 4 (paralleled) with inverted data, the bottom 4 with normal data. This gave a 4mA peak current output as each DAC is 1mA. I then built a subtracting and EQ stage using AD830 - overall this sounded really good. The pinnacle of simple NOS designs for me.
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Old 12th August 2012, 01:44 PM   #8
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Nice work. I just found this......

TNT-Convertus: a minimalist DAC

Do you think that this would sound a lot better than the eBay item I am looking at. This seems to use multiple TDA1543 also.
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Old 12th August 2012, 01:48 PM   #9
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Check out the website of Doede Douma.
He's a german guy who experimented a lot with 'stacked' TDA1543 chips.
You can also buy components or pcb's

edit
srr, forgot to add the website
http://www.dddac.de/

He made stacks of 8 TDA1543 chips with cooling.. but they run on a higher voltage..

Last edited by BertDB; 12th August 2012 at 01:55 PM.
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Old 12th August 2012, 01:50 PM   #10
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I'd hesitate to say it'd be a 'lot' better, but probably better. Not as good though as going over to a better performing DAC chip to start with (TDA1387).

I have a Muse 4 * 1543 which I modded the hell out of too, this also ended up with 1387s. 1543 is really nice as a beginner's chip but eventually I grew out of it. Building circuits that work well with CMOS DACs (like 1387) needs more expertise, I doubt I'd have figured all that out without starting on 1543.
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