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Old 16th December 2012, 04:32 PM   #1
Eldam is offline Eldam  France
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Default Needing help about chineese clone DAC

Hi,

I need please little help about Chineese DACs' IC and the best DAC I/V way ?

I read many threads here, in particular about AD1865/62, TDA1541/43, PCM56/63 DACS because chips without internal aop seem to sing best.

I have a Raindrop'hui AD1865 from China (because of the low price and low skill hability ) with a discrete aop design with BC560 and BC550. DAC dection is I think a copy from Andrea Ciufolli DAC-END and the work of some DIYers, idem for the DAC I/V stage.

Could I have to source a genuine AD1865 N-J to improve the sound because there is a possibilitie that the AD 1865 N-K from the board is not ?

WHat about the caps, are they fake in some chineese IC ? For example the plastic body of nipon KZ-muze have not the same look on tje IC that ones I buy from a serious local dealer ?

AD1865, TDA1541 in China are they NOS or rebuild with low quality or without the originals specs or totaly sourced in the same locals factory ?

For DAC I/V conversion, I can't understand in the forum if discrete is superior to the best OPA, or if tubes is a best way ? (not for the scopes but for the ears)

Sorry for these simple questions, i'm a newbie with just poor skill (just little knowledge with powersupply and testing aops in a poor "lego" way). Thnaks in advance if anybody have a sure opinion about Raindrop'hui products and chips).

Eldam
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Old 17th December 2012, 02:42 AM   #2
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I have some experience with raindrop_hui's DAC boards - not the AD1865 one though. I doubt very much you have a fake chip - problems with the sound quality I've found with these boards are due to layout errors. In particular grounding. The most recent one I bought was 4 * TDA1543 and it mixed up digital and analog grounds with shared impedances which muddled the sound. After quite a few cuts and straps on the grounds it sounded rather good.

My advice - get the layout right first before playing about with different I/V stages.
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Old 17th December 2012, 03:44 AM   #3
Eldam is offline Eldam  France
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Hi Abraxalito,

Thank you for you reply.

I didn't think about layout mistakes... It's worse that I thought but I'm not surpised : it's difficult to follow the shematic given by Hui and the pcb is black ! I bought it after reading lampizator but the sound is not bad... but not very good too. I feed it with a squeezbox duet, I bypas the SPDIF buffer an the little transformer to connect on the legs 9 & 10 according Lampizator advices : it's better but not really better than a simple standalone Philips CD player with just few changes. Maybe I have to change for genuine but very expensive Quangh hos' DAC End PCB !

But the problems for newbie like me is cms soldering without spend a lot of money in tools and parts for an aproximative result. Easier to work with low temperature and almost already pcb's.
I'll try first to work on the pcb I'have, thank to you again for you reply.
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Old 17th December 2012, 05:15 PM   #4
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You might just possibly be interested in a thread I'm running elsewhere - I'm building a NOS DAC based on the DAC-AH as a starting point. You can buy that for about $140 on eBay then modify it by following my instructions. Or you can buy just the board for around $100 and add your own case and trafo. Its going to use passive I/V with a very steep passive filter before the output stage - this I think will give it a valve-like sound, although its not built yet so this is just conjecture. Anyway the thread is here: Digital that sounds like analog
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Old 17th December 2012, 06:43 PM   #5
Eldam is offline Eldam  France
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Thank you, I've to read it, it seems that is I'm looking for: just few tweaks or minimal work to doesn't break chips with high heat (400).

I just finish the thread about the ultimate NOS DAC with TDA 1541 (and TDA1543): very interesting...for the part I understand, but for high level DIYers (knowledge & skill).

I assume "Good Sound of tubes" is clear sound without harchness and a big soundstage & some liquid without too much smooth but material... maybe I try one day tubes like 6n16 (miniatures) but afraid of high voltage !

I like too sometimes transistors schems because some of them have are smooth, kindly fat sound, not too transparent and good bass like one inegrated amp of thr 80's I have : Pioneer SA 5300 (4x toshiba PNP c1061, Elna caps bypassing speakers out)
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Old 18th December 2012, 03:19 AM   #6
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Yes I've come to that conclusion about the sound of tubes too, despite not having any of my own to listen to Like you afraid of high voltage! Transistors are getting me such sound too, after a lot of effort in controlling noise. Without adequate HF noise control, transistors grey out the sound and diminish the soundstage depth. I surmise that valves are much more linear at higher freqs and this results in less noise modulation in the audio band.
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Old 18th December 2012, 07:49 PM   #7
Eldam is offline Eldam  France
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"I surmise that valves are much more linear at higher freqs and this results in less noise modulation in the audio band"

Hi,

These things are not clear for me because I am not an engineer. I remember some old readings in the french review: L'Audiophile (Jean Hiraga), about the thermal distorsion and its control with silicon junction transistor or something like that. The man (Hephaistos) who wrote about it was the father of Lavardin IT amplifier whoch have a specific sound signature, not bad but not a revolution to.

But for listen hifi for 20 years (tube, vynil, transistor, CD) it's still difficult to make a hierarchy between technologies and mix of them in a audio 's chain reproduction. Like the old and now finish discussion about low or high db efficienty in speakers...

Regarless the price, it seems difficult to me to understand if discret design is better (and for what?) than aop, or tubes for low level signals after curent DAC like AD1865. But maybe an idiot question ? discret like transistor like SK30, SC170 are better here because of higher current use like tube, but aop's like BB627 AD797 seems to have lower distorsion...

Humm, I stop now, have to read big more thread to understand (not to design of course). I begin with your thread.

I think integration in the room with choices or design of filters (ISO curve,... ) is a part of solution : but need micro to check the listening room.
Understand you work in embeded electronic : we are all waiting for such solution in ours cars. I read some things about dithering than make the things more difficult to understand for the choice of a NOS 16 bits DAC in relation to 20, 24 or 32 bits (these last are not really more better if I read well the posts) : does it make sense to have in 21e century a truncate signal with a 16 NOS DAC. I doesn't understand yet, have to read more again.

I've to really stop know to not polute DIYA with my general considerations.

Thank you Abraxalito for you replies, maybe I will come back with more acurate questions.
cheers
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Old 19th December 2012, 01:54 AM   #8
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Interesting point about going to more than 16bits - I rather ask the other question : does it really make sense to record 24bits when at least 4 and most probably up to 8 of those bits are noise? I see some value in a DAC with a better than 16bit noise floor, but not very much given the noise modulation on many of today's recordings.
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Old 20th December 2012, 12:53 AM   #9
jgazal is offline jgazal  Brazil
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Which ADC is actually recording at 24 bits per cycle?
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Old 20th December 2012, 06:52 AM   #10
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None that I know of - which is why 24bit audio formats make no sense to me
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