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Old 7th September 2012, 04:10 PM   #11
sDieter is offline sDieter  Germany
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the best DAC via TOSLINK Opt
24-Bit-Audio-D/A-Wandler ADA 24 | ELV-Elektronik

this have very nice Resolution ....

Dieter
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Old 7th September 2012, 04:20 PM   #12
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When I'm doing a DAC design I might find that I got the PCB layout wrong sound-wise on the first iteration - then I'll cut and strap the PCB to get the sound decent. The board is then re-spun with the mods baked in. Or I might change the resistor values of gain in an opamp, or fiddle with decoupling caps. I'm not saying that the cheaper brands necessarily do this - they might just go with the first spin.

In the case of the Asus DAC, if you know the PCB's the same I'd not bother with the branded one - get the bare PCB.

I'm a DAC designer myself so I haven't bought any branded kit for a long, long time - it pretty much all strikes me as vastly overpriced. I learned my trade by modding el-cheapo stuff I bought on Taobao. I guess eventually I'll get a design on Taobao or eBay
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Old 7th September 2012, 04:32 PM   #13
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That's very interesting, I'd be keen to find the best DAC I could in PCB form and install it into a nice case myself, thus getting great sound, a nice case and all for probably 100.

From what I'm learning the HiFi industry tries to remain mystical in order to charge crazy prices for things that cost very little. I'm guessing this also passes into Amps as well.....???
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Old 7th September 2012, 04:36 PM   #14
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You bet - but even bigger margins are to be found in speakers. Then the BS factor in cables completely beggars belief, along with their margins...
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Old 7th September 2012, 04:40 PM   #15
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So just how hard is it to build a quality sounding amp based on stock parts that are easily available? And a DAC?
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Old 7th September 2012, 04:54 PM   #16
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Well it depends on your skill level. Its not enough just to be an EE - I designed amps in an earlier job but that wasn't taught in uni, I had to teach myself. So with training and experience in listening, of course its easy but even guys with masses of the right theory behind them like Doug Self fall down apparently at getting an amp to sound good even though it might measure almost perfectly.

DACs are perhaps an order of magnitude harder to get sounding good than amps. But then I'm something of a perfectionist
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Old 7th September 2012, 05:08 PM   #17
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So what sort of DAC could you build me?

Any suggestions for a quality amp that's made by a small company, individual where I'd get superior quality but not have to pay crazy money.

I was looking at the audio note kits but again I can't see why they are quite so expensive...circuit boards, power supplies etc are not expensive.
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Old 7th September 2012, 05:19 PM   #18
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Well to me the only kinds of DACs worth building are multibit ones - none of the new-fangled S-D type designs for me, thank you very much If I built you a DAC you'd not be looking at a cheap price because it would have mostly labour content even though the parts would be pennies. If you wanted a reliable one then a PCB design (as opposed to hand-wired) would be in order, but then you'd be able to set up your own audio company selling them.

For the amp I'd look at AKSA as you can interact with the designer on this forum. I think Hugh's not particularly expensive when compared with the famous brands and he gets good listening reports. Yes I agree Audio Note tends to be expensive, though I think their DAC kit gets glowing listening reviews. Guess they're relatively high priced because few people know how to design good-sounding DACs.
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Old 7th September 2012, 05:41 PM   #19
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I've got an idea...you design an amazing DAC that sounds amazing and can be produced relatively cheaply...I'll design a case and then we setup an online business and sell them....make it look beautiful, sound beautiful and market it in a beautiful way but with the cost not being more than 200......

As for the amp I'll check out your recommendation.
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Old 7th September 2012, 05:47 PM   #20
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I'm already working on the amazing sounding DAC, the aim is to make it very cheap for the SQ. What timescales are you thinking of? I'm not interested in the selling and manufacturing side, only in design and marketing. I don't doubt that being made in China the 200UKP price point can be achieved provided the feature set is kept modest and the case isn't crystal glass
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