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Old 13th April 2014, 05:15 AM   #1
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Default ebay SPDIF dac "CS8416 + CS4398" only $25 - worth a try?

I'm shopping around for four stereo DACs of the inexpensive variety, e.g. FiiO D03k, etc. After poking around Ebay for awhile I came across a couple of these built DAC boards for $20-$25. These have a single SPDIF coax input and analog stereo output. Description indicates CS8416 (receiver) and CS4398 DAC. Looking at the pic of the board, there is no transformer on the SPDIF input. For $20 I am not expecting the world, but was wondering if anyone had taken the plunge with this board or could give some comments on the expected performance.

I need coax SPDIF to analog conversion 24bits at 48kHz minimum. This will be put in a case with other stuff, so pcb is fine. Suggestions for alternates welcome.

Link: CS8416 CS4398 24bit 192K Coaxial DAC Decoder Board Assembled | eBay


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Old 13th April 2014, 02:56 PM   #2
Eldam is online now Eldam  France
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Maybe good enough for your kitchen and if you don't spend time in it !

from my seat :

smd but not compact ?
I can not see the crystal XO
no polymer cap or not visible ?
CS8416 in software mode (not external clock) : i believe thi schip has far more jitter than let say: Wolfson 88004/5.
it seems there is an oap buffer, but wich one ?
DC blocker output capacitor seems very poor and not bipolarised.

the one of hifimediy is 3 time expensive but maybe you have more in SQ for dolar to dolar : Hifimediy CS4398 DAC "direct out", TCXO oscillator


- TCXO oscillator
- DSP for spidf input (but mayber noiser than CS8416... I don't know)
- sanyo polymer cap
- direct output (no buffer) with Mundorf cap at DC blocker
- Panasonic FM for DC supply

In fact maybe this one is more economic at the end

Just 2 cents, but IMHO your link is for me a perfect exemple of crap kit, you have even the shipping cost with it, for 25 dollars
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Old 13th April 2014, 07:10 PM   #3
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Any other thoughts on this board?

Suggestions for an alternative low-cost DAC having reasonable performance?
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Old 13th April 2014, 09:49 PM   #4
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How about this SPDIF--> R/L analog DAC kit?

I have seen it sold in many places, including here at NewEgg:
Newegg.com - CS4398 CM102 CS8416IC DAC Kit 192K 24bit SPI I2S Amplifier Board

This is an LJM designed board I believe. I would need to build it, but it is doable for me.

Thoughts?
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Old 15th April 2014, 12:25 PM   #5
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On the picture @newegg I see AK4393 DAC chip, only SPDIF input. I had one in picture - with AK, it performs... well it has some sound coming out However my attempts to attach Tenor board to it to use with USB were unsuccesful - a lot of dropouts and errors. SPDIF from CD player works fine.

Last edited by tornislv; 15th April 2014 at 12:36 PM.
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Old 15th April 2014, 10:02 PM   #6
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Update: I decided to buy the DAC board in the opening post to see what shows up. I will test it out and give my impressions when I finally receive it.
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Old 16th April 2014, 09:39 AM   #7
Eldam is online now Eldam  France
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Bad Chineese DAC are good to learn and test personal tweaks...(I did on a AD1865 DAC Kit) and for 25 bucks it's like to go to cinema... you will have a good time to test better value caps, change the buffer OAP and output caps... But of course special needs or joy of tweaking I'm not sure this is a great deal because if your are on DIYA this is because you are demanding with listening.. You will tell us if you are pleased wit it unmodified. Maybe it can be a surprise for the bucks ?

Do you think the DAC chip is fed by the internal X0 from the CS8016 spidf receiver ? ... I can not see any crystal on the captched pictures ?

I saw there are good 4 layers PCB kit with ES9018 tested at Hifiduino if you have more specific needs. This one is maid by the official chineese distributor of ES. Very good construction and PCB quality... but it stays a PCB maid for diyers (not SOTA layout).

Last edited by Eldam; 16th April 2014 at 09:42 AM.
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