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Old 21st August 2013, 05:56 AM   #331
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McDark View Post
It should work, but capacity is relatively low. You could use powered hub (one which comes with power supply) as a starting point as well, this way DAC will use HUB power. Most hubs without suppluy included do have power input so you can check their input range and power them from battery. This way you could not get ground isolation (which is probably not needed with phone) but at least power will be clean.

Hifimediy also have their USB isolator AFAIR.
Thanks so much for the reply. Guess I need to be more specific in my needs. I want a portable device, I know there are powered hubs, but they are not portable. I thought to add a battery to my unpowered hub via USB cable but was told by someone else that would not work. Glad to hear they may be wrong, as the USB batteries I looked at had 4X the capacity as the 9v550ma. The Hifimediy isolator is powered by the phone battery, so it defeats my purpose. The unpowered hub I have plus the battery together are somewhat large for my portability, The DAC draws 2-300ma tops. How about I parallel 2x550ma9v=1100ma9v? Still a lot smaller with the isolator board than the hub battery combo. Thanks for your input
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Old 21st August 2013, 08:21 AM   #332
McDark is offline McDark  Russian Federation
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Quote:
Originally Posted by satwilson View Post
I thought to add a battery to my unpowered hub via USB cable but was told by someone else that would not work. Glad to hear they may be wrong
They probably are right. I meant there are hubs with power input socket but without bundled supply.

But of course you could open the hub and cut the internal power connection so you could use USB battery to power the DAC (and hub if you'd like so - depends on there you cut the power track). We are on the DIY forum, aren't we?
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Old 21st August 2013, 06:34 PM   #333
museguy is offline museguy  United States
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Has anyone set up the HiFimeDIY Sabre Optical as an outboard DAC with an external power supply and case?

Thanks!
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Old 22nd August 2013, 07:06 AM   #334
museguy is offline museguy  United States
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Originally Posted by museguy View Post
Has anyone set up the HiFimeDIY Sabre Optical as an outboard DAC with an external power supply and case?

Thanks!
I answered my own question, found an interesting thread "Hifimediy ESS9023 Sabre DAC build", pete_mac built a Hifimediy Sabre DAC in an external case.
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Old 28th August 2013, 02:25 AM   #335
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Originally Posted by museguy View Post
I answered my own question, found an interesting thread "Hifimediy ESS9023 Sabre DAC build", pete_mac built a Hifimediy Sabre DAC in an external case.
I did indeed. Apart from my terrible cutting/Dremeling, it turned out OK.

I undertook some tweaks as per Thorsten Loesch's tinkering with this DAC.

A 200kohm resistor is installed in the vacant 'gain max' position (R28 on the top side of the PCB) in accordance with the ES9023 datasheet (which specifies 220kohm or less).This reduces the voltage to the chip and prevents clipping of the output. Hifimediy advise that they are probably going to fit this resistor from now on.


A small SMD resistor (marked as R10 on the underside of the PCB) is removed between the clock output from the CS8416 chip and the ES9023 DAC chip, breaking the link between the two. A small length of Cat5 cable is soldered into place between the output from the 24.576mhz XO and the MCLK input for the ES9023.


Thorsten L said that the DAC measured better after these tweaks, and my ears are inclined to believe him. The sound is cleaner, more detailed, and more relaxed. However, it was clearly outgunned in a DAC comparison that I undertook with a mate, so I moved the DAC on to greener pastures.

I can't comment on the techncial merits of the tweaks... I'm no DIY guru!

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Old 28th August 2013, 05:39 AM   #336
McDark is offline McDark  Russian Federation
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Thanks for sharing!
Quote:
Originally Posted by petemac110 View Post
The sound is cleaner, more detailed, and more relaxed. However, it was clearly outgunned in a DAC comparison that I undertook with a mate, so I moved the DAC on to greener pastures.
This is most intriguing part, could you please shed a little more light? I was perfectly sure Sabre could be clearly outperformed only by all-digital (best DAC is no DAC) scheme. Could be something new (or is it just bigger brother?)
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Old 28th August 2013, 10:20 AM   #337
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You can't judge the performance of a DAC upon the DAC chip alone. The power supply, digital receiver/USB receiver chip etc all play a massive role on the end result.

We compared the hifimediy to a Beresford Bushmaster (fairly similar sound), Resonessence Concero, audio-gd DAC3SE with digital board upgrade, Aurialic Vega, and Metrum Hex.

In the opinion of those present, the little hifimediy was subjectively outclassed by all of the other DACs which it was compared to. It was harsh, brittle and lacking in resolution and separation of musical elements compared to the other DACs. In isolation, I suppose you could say that the DAC sounds OK, but when you start comparing it to others, it's shortcomings become only too apparent.

Of course, we are talking about a $50-100 investment for either the USB or mains powered version, so it's hard to compare it against thousand dollar DACs. The Bushmasters is a few hundred dollars and the closest to the price of the hifimediys.

I've heard better implementations of the ES9023, where more attention was paid to the power supply, input and output circuitry. The Concero mentioned above uses the ES9023 and is in a different league to the hifimediy.

Last edited by petemac110; 28th August 2013 at 10:25 AM.
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Old 28th August 2013, 10:46 AM   #338
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Thanks for that post. It confirms what I'm hearing with the 23+ - "harsh, brittle". I've gone over to lead acid battery supplies. Is there anything easy I can now do to mod this and remove the harshness? Or is it a case of using a different PCB for the ES9023, a different board? In which case, what's the current recommendation? Or is the ES9018 the way to go here?
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Old 28th August 2013, 11:48 AM   #339
McDark is offline McDark  Russian Federation
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Quote:
Originally Posted by petemac110 View Post
You can't judge the performance of a DAC upon the DAC chip alone. The power supply, digital receiver/USB receiver chip etc all play a massive role on the end result.
Yep, thats true, thanks. Main advantage of ES9023 remains that it does not require I/V or other output stage, so it's all about power and digital domain where is much less place for magic and subjective opinions than with active analog stages. Proper engineering using sustained practices and simple measuring helps a lot here. I agree hifimediy untis are entry-level but they set quite a benchmark.

Guess it's time to play with power on mine as I just built a pair of Alpair 7.3-based speakers
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Old 28th August 2013, 01:05 PM   #340
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Good luck with your Alpair speakers, Yuri. I'm using Alpair 10.1

Andy
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