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Old 11th November 2012, 10:17 AM   #1
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Default DAC ES9018 Evaluation Board / No Output

Dear all,

For my DIY DAC project I purchased an ES9018 2CH evaluation board from an ESS distributor. However, I can not seem to get any output from it. Next to it, I am not quite sure why the Sabre GUI is telling it is an ES9006 chip, while the labelling on the chip itself says ES9018S. Your help is very much appreciated!

- For testing purposes I connected a CD player on the SPDIF IN and added the jumper on SPDIF_EN as described in the manual. The settings in the Sabre GUI are depicted below.
- The jumper setting on the board is also depicted.
- When playing audio the LOCKED led is active.
- I checked all cables individually and all work when connected to other sources and outputs.

Am I missing the obvious?

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Old 11th November 2012, 10:42 AM   #2
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Are you sure there is no connected the automute?
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Old 11th November 2012, 10:48 AM   #3
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When hitting the play button the automute LED is not active. When pausing the audio the automute LED becomes active. So this tells me automute is not active while playing audio.
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Old 11th November 2012, 01:17 PM   #4
Bunpei is offline Bunpei  Japan
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In Japan, more than two years ago, a local distributor at that time gave us a CD-R that contained the newest version of GUI software for register settings.
I'm afraid that the software you are using seems obsolete.
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Old 11th November 2012, 01:28 PM   #5
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The distributor supplied a CD-R with the board, but the CD only contains the PCB schematics/BOM/Operation Manual. I downloaded the Sabre8 GUI from the ESS website:
ESS Support Downloads. It is the Sabre8 GUI v2.0.2.1. So there is actually a newer version?
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Old 11th November 2012, 02:29 PM   #6
Bunpei is offline Bunpei  Japan
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I think the software you downloaded from the web site is completely obsolete.
Why don't you contact to your distributor to obtain a correct one?

When you reset the DAC chip alone, its hardware default setting will bring a normal output for S/PDIF input. ( The output volume might be less loud in this case. )
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Old 11th November 2012, 04:16 PM   #7
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I tried to reset the DAC chip by pressing the "Reset" button (and also turned off the power for > 10sec), but still no luck. I mailed the distributor with my problem and also asked for the latest GUI software.
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Old 15th January 2013, 09:13 PM   #8
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I finally got the evaluation board working! In a desperate last attempt (and strenghtend by the fact that ESS did test the PCB/board in the meantime) to get audio out of the evaluation board I modified the power supply to 240V (before it was on 220V). And against all odds the EV board is now working correctly. I did measure the PSU when it was on 220V, but I can only assume that for some reason the output circuit just did not had enough "juice" (the ES9018 chip itself was working from the beginning).

Thank you for all the suggestions.
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