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srinath 8th January 2013 07:11 PM

Replacing the DAC chip
Has anyone replaced the dac chip with a hand made circuit or something like say tubes or something along with the circuit for it. I know all about the opamp swap for tube based circuit ... but the dac chip itself has been left as is in that case.

Izuall 9th January 2013 10:04 AM

That would not work..DACs are fed digital signal and convert it to analog..tubes are mainly analog for discrete DACs..i dont know if there are any designs that beat the current high performance ICs.

marce 9th January 2013 12:17 PM

Why one has to ask, it would not work and to model a DAC chip using discretes etc would be huge.

qusp 9th January 2013 01:26 PM

he suggested tubes.... I suppose it would be theoretically possible, but it would be terrible.

imagine the size of a dac made with tubes and resistors!!

srinath 9th January 2013 04:02 PM

Well thanks for all the responses. I see a people's put dac projects that they run after the CD player - like from the RCA outputs, and isn't that after the signal is turned to analog and the opamps have done their job etc etc ...

Also is it possible to replace the dac in a cd player, with a better one .. .say a tda1541a ...

I am asking this from a practical view point.
I have a rotel CD player with a tda 1541a, but it has a tray that was broken, and I glued back together. I am trying to see if say my sony or my kenwood that I have a dozen 6 cd cartridges for, I could put the dac in that one and have a 1541 in a better chassis.

Anyway thanks for indulgin me, I am learning ... sometimes a bit slow, but the pursuit is always on ...


Julf 9th January 2013 05:14 PM


Originally Posted by qusp (
imagine the size of a dac made with tubes and resistors!!

qusp 9th January 2013 05:46 PM

lol 3phase powered Dac

josha 9th January 2013 06:02 PM

Hi Srinath,

The DAC's people use after the CDP are connected to the digital or SPDIF output of the player, not the RCA's. If you have a CDP with a broken /tray transport then the easiest thing to do is to replace that. If you fancy a bit of DIY then you need to be looking at an SPDIF decoder - this will take the digital/spdif output from another player and convert it into a signal that your TDA1541a will accept.

You will need to intercept the signal that your existing CDP was feeding to the TDA1541a and 'replace' it with the signal generated by the SPDIF decoder.

You're essentially turning your broken CDP into a DAC.

This not a trivial undertaking though! My advice would be to replace the broken tray/transport and do plenty or reading on the subject while enjoying your player!

To get you started.....

Digital-to-analog converter - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

and a bit more in-depth....

A Fundamental Introduction to the Compact Disc Player

Hope this helps.......

BTW - I for one would love a wall of tubes like that but my wife.......

srinath 9th January 2013 06:22 PM

I cant easily find a tray to replace that one ... none of them seem to be about the same ... but I can use it as is, its glued but seems to be holding ... and if it fails, I guess I can glue it again.
Worse yet, I looked in my collection for a dead cd player cos I wanted to cannibalise the transformer, and guess what ... they all decided to work.


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