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DIY input stages  kits for TDA1541 understanding for non specialists
DIY input stages  kits for TDA1541 understanding for non specialists
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Old 24th June 2014, 03:49 PM   #1
Eldam is offline Eldam  France
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: France
Default DIY input stages kits for TDA1541 understanding for non specialists


I would like to list the already made multiple daughter boards solutions to feed the I2S of the TDA 1541 for the enthusiast with low technical background as I. In fact both mode : Simultanous mode (L/R in same time) and the pure I2S.

Jitter (phase problem to be short= problem of timing tempo with the two chanels data, and the blocks data between itselves in a same chanel) of the I2S with all the best outputstages can be heard, even if the low fhz of the TDA1541 give to this chip a higher immunity against the jitter as Abraxalito fellow says. John fellow (ECDESIGNS) in him awsome thread testimonied the TDA1541 has an intreseq jitter of 150 ps because its internal architecture. We have to approach this... theoricaly.

Of course you can use a CD driver kit with I2S output like the famous CDM pro from Philips. But more and more we have data librairies on computer or small little embeded NAS. Small cheap computers like Qubiq (less than 100 dollars) seems to be the futurs also for local networks ! So here the output is a physical link : USB (from a laptop, a little computer near your DAC, a Squeezebox Touch) or a>Cat5e cable for RJ45 with a local network : like the SqueezeBox Duet, a computer, a RasberryPI, a Qubiq. One of the problem is the multiplication of links here and connections with several impedance, ground problems : it's a noise generator also.Let remenber all those flux are in fact "analogic" : it's DC electricity ! But more complicated than a phono cellul a shigh frequencies and question of timing and multiplexed flux are involved. Sorry here to be long, it's for non specialists...

You need to output the datas a soundcard with an spidf (single RCA connector : bad choice as it is 50 ohms instead the 75 ohms of the spidf protocol). Or with an USB plug to link an external USB to I2S device like the famous Amareno. Or at least a device whic receive from your local network the music by wifi (AIR from Apple, Squeezebox, some WIFI DNLA devices for mass market...).

Another solution is the SD card kit ECDESIGNS (John) uses. Less expensive but less versatile also (very good solution for the travelers SD cards are light). A part of him work about I2S jitter passive atenuation stay valid between any daughter boards and the dac chip itself also.

There are a lot of posibilities with SPIDF to I2S and USB to I2S. USB to I2S seems to win for sound quality.

For many Iancanada's complete kit line is the reference: SOTA development and quality and printing and factory maid, but can be too expensive for some of us. Notice you must find an USB to I2S device also as it is "just" a solution to resolve the speed issues (jitter) as the noise issues (remenber all this active devices before your DAC with gnd problems, multiple impedance;;; beurk !).

If you don't use the USB to output your datas, IanCanada maid also a SOTA Spidf daughter board to be use with its FiFO (to be short the FIFO is a solution to buffer the clocks datas and the sounds data itselves to re synchronise them with a high precision clock(s) and with a noise separation from the sources - e.g. the isolator kit )

Of course a simple SPIDF to I2S or a USB to I2S is enough for your TDA1541 chip. I will list some ready made devices with the help I hope of goodwilled fellows -to rectify my errors of understanding and list their own devices. Its important because compatibilities between devices ; e.g. some have a bitclock (BLCK) at 128 fs instead the official 64 fs.

The main difficult things to understand for me are: the clocks frequencies with multiple devices and the best choices to use for the TDA1541 in relation to ours data librairies.

NOS, oversampling or not, mix of both. If so : on the fly or maid off line before and recorded in the Datastore. Pure NOS at 44 khz seems a little hard for ears, many like better a closed 48 khz. Some have HDCD reccording, Some prefer oversampling like IanCanada with him kits and play NOS at the end and allow in the same time the silmutanous mode for multibits DAC like the TDA1541 with the I2S to PCM kit. Overs choose to oversample their librairy with a software and reccord it in their librairy. To be discussed also...

The spirit of this thread is to write for fellows like me whom have a low technical background to make easier the choice of the devices in relation to their money and understanding and improve their final understanding and final decision capability.

It's totaly open for both theorical discussion and technical about the devices but at the end do help to choose pragmatic solutions (kits). Price is a part of the discussion not to benchmark the best solutions but to allow a large choice for all enthusiasts in the same spirit some fellows allow with the born of the "Distinctive TDA1541" core board with their positiv(ist?) collaborative work (look at "Any good TDA 1541 kits" thread).

to be continued... thank you for your help, sorry to be so long, please share

Last edited by Eldam; 25th June 2014 at 01:32 AM.
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Old 24th June 2014, 07:26 PM   #2
lcsaszar is offline lcsaszar  Hungary
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Budapest, Hungary
Could you summarize your question in one sentence?
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Old 24th June 2014, 07:55 PM   #3
Eldam is offline Eldam  France
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: France
No I can't as I lake both of technical backgroung and good english !

But I spent one hour to make the question short as it's a difficult t(ask) for me : it's the Title of the the thread !

There are several questions and the goal is to concentrate it in a standalone thread... for non specialists. Not to do the opposite : many shorts questions in many threads: It's not about learning the morse ! And I'am for a more longer and precise intro with illustrations than a too open short question ! to be short is the knowledge of the whom who know (i like the w letter !)

But I will continue of course as others can do also with a list of device and the questions will be I surmise more beamed !

Last edited by Eldam; 24th June 2014 at 07:57 PM.
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Old 24th June 2014, 10:44 PM   #4
av-trouvaille is offline av-trouvaille  Netherlands
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Near Rotterdam
Hopefully the following question is within the scope of this nice initiative.
The first post mentions, among others, 'Ian's complete kit is the reference'. In the diyaudio tradition, I have already read quite some related basics, and grasp the technical idea. However, reading through Ian's thread it is quite hard for an analog diy-er to decode all the digital abbreviations. My aim is to have an USB to I2S connection between a computer and a TDA1541a DAC at the highest possible resolution. Could someone please explain in straight forward language what exactly is needed of Ian's modules to accomplish this, and what are the functions of each module involved?
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Old 24th June 2014, 11:26 PM   #5
Eldam is offline Eldam  France
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: France
Please fellows, correct me if I'm wrong as it's a thread for beginners about numeric questions !

AV-trouvaille, all those questions are difficult because there are a lot of choice not only with kits but also with set up around the DAC and its speed : NOS or Oversampled (= DS - what is the D here ?)

Do you check the first page of Ian's thread with the selection guide ?

Another thing is : if you don't choose him SPIDF input device you must choose between the many USB to I2S devices of the market. One objectiv of the thread is to understand how to choose them in relation to your own TDA1541 DAC and the frequencie it uses.

As a beginning : TDA1541 is I2S compatible and the FIFO can feed him alone, but you have also other choices :my very simple understanding is :

You can:

- put the I2S to PCM kit in front of the FIFO : you go out with 4 flux which are better than the 3 of the I2S. The multiplexed data flux of the I2S is separated in Left and Right (two words of 32 bits). In one word : better Sound Quality. TDA1541 has two L and r input but you Layout must be compatible as two others pins of the DAC must be connected together to allow this choice of two flux instead an alone multiplexed one. More details in the I2S to PCM thread of IanCanada.

- use the I2S to PCM alone without the others Ian's kits : it need an external clock which act as a master clock (MCLK). Can come from a device before or better from the clock near the DAC chip if this one allow one more link than the DAC chip alone !

At least the I2S protocol allow different speed of MCLK devices to work together. But saw some have different BCLK fs : 32; 64 or 128

One question is :

If the DAC see the BCLK of the input device e.g. an USB to I2S which has its chip programed with a BCLK at 128 fs (instead the canonical 64 fs) : is it compatible with the TDA 1541 ? Does it affect the sound ?

Last edited by Eldam; 24th June 2014 at 11:29 PM.
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Old 25th June 2014, 03:23 PM   #6
Eldam is offline Eldam  France
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: France

Another question ; how about those for a TDA1541A :

Isolated XMOS DSD DXD 384kHz high-quality USB to I2S/DSD PCB with ultralow noise regulator - DIYINHK

or less expensive also 'but no Xo output and no isolator) : XMOS DSD DXD 384kHz high-quality USB to I2S/DSD PCB - DIYINHK

Another side of this thread is how to feed the "first device to I2S" : here an interresting testimonie from Soundcheck fellow : http://soundcheck-audio.blogspot.fr/...re-island.html . thanks to him for the Cubietruck board input (far better than a rasberrypi) : http://cubieboard.org : it's a serious candidate to replace the squeezebox !

Anybody to explain to av-trouvaille fellow in one sentence each module of Ian's Kits line ?
(Why one or two clocks boards ? why isolator and where... it's a factory and I can't understand myself anything ?!)

thank you for your help

Last edited by Eldam; 25th June 2014 at 03:35 PM.
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Old 25th June 2014, 04:30 PM   #7
AndrewT is online now AndrewT  Scotland
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Scottish Borders
Originally Posted by oshifis View Post
Could you summarize your question in one sentence?
I found a question, but I don't know how to answer it?
regards Andrew T.
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Old 25th June 2014, 05:31 PM   #8
Eldam is offline Eldam  France
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: France
Thank you Andrew for your great help you don t find a question in the intro as there were not:, maybe try the questions after....sorry to not have your knowledge: everybody is free not to read if too long but maybe some could appreciate this help.
A longer intro can help to do shorter answer which is positiv....Voila for your short question...hope it helps....
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Old 25th June 2014, 07:14 PM   #9
badrisuper is offline badrisuper  India
diyAudio Member
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Chennai / India
Hi Eldam,
I am interested in to run AYA Board in simultaneous mode. So what should be required if planning to use both cd transport as well as USB devices or computer?

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Old 25th June 2014, 07:34 PM   #10
Eldam is offline Eldam  France
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: France
Hi Badri,
Nice to see you here afterr the great adventure of the Subbu. As you understand this is a thread for non specialists like us: I hope we can be helped by the whom with more understanding.

Only the AYA2 2014 revision has the possibility to be feed in the silmutanous mode. Do you ask about this one ?

One of the positiv(...) result of the "Any good TDA1541 kit" thread was to have the possibility with a switch to allow the silmutanous board : both on the AYA2 revision by Pedja Rodjic (board is going to be print) and the RyanJ Distinctive-TDA1541 core board (board is also going to be print). Those two boards were the results of this positiv(ist) thread. As it's open, specialists of Epestimology are welcome : world class scientists as modest diyers. In German "ist" is the the third personn of the "to be" verb ! Is it a word-game : positiv-ist ? (Hé I like the blabla !)

I follow Ceglar fellow advise and went on the "I2S to PCM" board by IanCanada : 65 US dollars IIRC. Need to be feed by an external Master clock. In your case (AYA2 2014 revision limited edition) need the one on the US to I2S board before. I gave a link above : the most expensive kit of DIYHINK allow to feed the "I2S to PCM" board with uf.l wire (one is provided in the Ian's kit : the shorter the better). Notice you must add uf.l connectors on the Ian board (optional?????: maybe for noise reasons as there is a connector before ?) as the AYA2 2014 revision provide Uf.l connectors (P. Rodjic input on the Audial site - demand of Cheung aka fellow CFT).

Maybe there are others possibilities I don't know, it's an open thread everybody is welcome, my knowledge is very low. For the CD driver please check the compatibility maybe in the Ian's thread : check before if your cd driver kit output in standard I2S, then ask. In the I2S protocol, my understanding is the MCLK can be different, the lessier dictate the speed and of course the possibility of the dac chip ! For me one mystery is the speed of BCLK. The kit above is 128 fs : i don't know if it's compatible with the TDA1541 ? You can programe it : but you need to spend more to buy the device to do it ! Please read this one : USB AUDIO | H i F i D U I N O .

Last edited by Eldam; 25th June 2014 at 07:42 PM.
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