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Old 26th June 2014, 11:43 AM   #1
beanbag is offline beanbag  United States
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Default Any good cheap SPDIF DACs?

Hello folks,

I have a minidsp nanodigi with multiple spdif coax outputs for doing active crossovers. I already have Fiio D3 DACs, but I wanted to give something else a try to see if it is "better". Ideally, I would have wanted an ODAC, but that is USB only. There are a few other DACs also with the ESS chip in them ,but I really doubt that they have been put together with as much care as the ODAC. For example, Hifimediy has an spdif input one, but it also has a volume control and multi input selection, which I don't need. Schiit has one, but I would need to buy yet another coax to optical spdif adapter (also, it doesn't have the ESS chip, but whatever). Some other ones are i2s only.
Any suggestions for one under $100?

Or maybe some other solution?
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Old 26th June 2014, 03:35 PM   #2
Eldam is online now Eldam  France
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The excelent Subbu V3 with own powersupply match your needs at near 100 USD by way (don't know how much ways is your speaker), maybe one or two still in the stock of JP or Subbu fellows, ask them, try second hand. Maybe also a low cost multichanel ES9018 DAC : there is a thread here.

But at least it is advised for better result to change chinch/rca plugs for real 75 ohms BNC both on your NanoDigi and of course on the DAC you will choose. A simple good TV cable of 75 ohms cost nothing and will give you much more better result (in bass) than your better audiophile numeric cable.
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Old 27th June 2014, 01:51 AM   #3
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Try something with a TDA1543 like this - Muse Mini HiFi DIR9001 4X TDA1543 Parallel Connection Philip IC DAC Black | eBay

There are cheaper variants than this one on eBay but they tend to use sucky white PCB which makes modding them a real PITA. I'd recommend tidying up the grounding on this one and adding caps to lower the PSU impedance. Unmodded its OK but a bit sibilant.
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Old 27th June 2014, 04:38 PM   #4
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Here is a great inexpensive DAC that does up to 96kHz/24bit - the Little Bear DAC (I own a couple of these):
Aliexpress.com : Buy HiFi digital to analog coaxtal Decoder DIR9001 CS4398 96KHZ 24bit DAC converter from Reliable converter computer suppliers on LITTLE-BEAR AUDIO

In the past the same seller had some listed on Ebay as well.

This is definitely better than the FiiO D3 DAC. I have four of these that I plan to use with the nanoDIGI.
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Old 28th June 2014, 01:24 PM   #5
Eldam is online now Eldam  France
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abraxalito View Post
Try something with a TDA1543 like this - Muse Mini HiFi DIR9001 4X TDA1543 Parallel Connection Philip IC DAC Black | eBay

There are cheaper variants than this one on eBay but they tend to use sucky white PCB which makes modding them a real PITA. I'd recommend tidying up the grounding on this one and adding caps to lower the PSU impedance. Unmodded its OK but a bit sibilant.
I would like to find the horizontal rcas plug of the Muse for my own DACs
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Old 28th June 2014, 03:52 PM   #6
beanbag is offline beanbag  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlieLaub View Post
Here is a great inexpensive DAC that does up to 96kHz/24bit - the Little Bear DAC (I own a couple of these):
Aliexpress.com : Buy HiFi digital to analog coaxtal Decoder DIR9001 CS4398 96KHZ 24bit DAC converter from Reliable converter computer suppliers on LITTLE-BEAR AUDIO

In the past the same seller had some listed on Ebay as well.

This is definitely better than the FiiO D3 DAC. I have four of these that I plan to use with the nanoDIGI.
Which version of the Fiio D3 are you referring to? There were a couple different revisions.

The DAC you mention is interesting, but are there any versions that are inside a sealed box?
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Old 30th June 2014, 11:05 AM   #7
Eldam is online now Eldam  France
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Charlie,

Did you mod this pcb to your tastes ? How much time doest it take for the shipping with Ali sellers ?

@t beanbag : i saw on the Ali link on the left : a version with box !

try also to choose a kit withthe Wolfson 88005 receiver with hardware mode (with an external crystal near it) : in the simplier receiver chip it is said to be the less jittery.
I assume the BurBrown DAC will give you softer presentation than the Philips. But the Philips could be more lively and dynamic in a subjective listening feeling...The ES dac chip will give you clean and accurate tone and is easy to tune as it needs no output filter !
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Old 17th July 2014, 05:41 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eldam View Post
Charlie,

Did you mod this pcb to your tastes ? How much time doest it take for the shipping with Ali sellers ?

@t beanbag : i saw on the Ali link on the left : a version with box !

try also to choose a kit withthe Wolfson 88005 receiver with hardware mode (with an external crystal near it) : in the simplier receiver chip it is said to be the less jittery.
I assume the BurBrown DAC will give you softer presentation than the Philips. But the Philips could be more lively and dynamic in a subjective listening feeling...The ES dac chip will give you clean and accurate tone and is easy to tune as it needs no output filter !
I didn't mod the DAC. I just tested is just as I received it. Performance and sound was great. At the time the Aliexpress seller was also selling on Ebay so that was how I ordered. The shipping to my location (CA, USA) from China was 1 week only. The seller is very nice, too. If you prefer Ebay, you can try to contact the seller thru AliExpress and ask him to list some on Ebay for you.
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Old 20th July 2014, 09:40 AM   #9
beanbag is offline beanbag  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlieLaub View Post
Here is a great inexpensive DAC that does up to 96kHz/24bit - the Little Bear DAC (I own a couple of these):
Aliexpress.com : Buy HiFi digital to analog coaxtal Decoder DIR9001 CS4398 96KHZ 24bit DAC converter from Reliable converter computer suppliers on LITTLE-BEAR AUDIO

In the past the same seller had some listed on Ebay as well.

This is definitely better than the FiiO D3 DAC. I have four of these that I plan to use with the nanoDIGI.
Thanks for the suggestion. I ordered one to try out. Too bad it doesn't come in a metal box like most normal electrical products.

Last edited by beanbag; 20th July 2014 at 09:46 AM.
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