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Beginner: DAC+EQ/DSP setup to start tinkering with?
Beginner: DAC+EQ/DSP setup to start tinkering with?
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Old 14th May 2016, 10:39 AM   #1
Lemmz is offline Lemmz  Germany
diyAudio Member
Join Date: May 2016
Question Beginner: DAC+EQ/DSP setup to start tinkering with?

Hi @ll,

i was already settled on buying a Berhinger DEQ2496, but then i found this forum

My current setup looks like this: Raspberry Pi 2 (hdmi) -> (hdmi) TV (hdmi) -> (hdmi) Denon 3312 (pre-out cinch) -> (xlr) 2x KH 120 a

I'm looking to replace the Denon as it's bulky and annoying to use; since i only use one digital source, i think i could use a DAC straight to the active speakers, but i also like to toy with EQs to adjust the sound to the circumstances, i.e. quiet nighttime hifi, party bass, soccer live broadcast, ... The Denon doesn't let me do any of this, so it needs to be replaced -> DEQ2496. According to the internets the analog output stage isn't exactly good, so tinkering would be needed. Also there is only remoting via MIDI availiable, so arduino + rtpMidi, and then whats left of it is basically a DSP with sealed software and an enclosure.

And then i found this forum and started reading. Now i'm hooked, i want to create my own custom building-block like base system to start fiddling.

So i need a DSP that i can feed SPDIF (ideally) to, or i2s straight from the RasPi. Ideally a rotary encoder can be hooked up to the DSP to control some parameters by hand, or an arduino for remote control via ethernet.
I have a miniDSP 2x4 from an older car audio project left over, but that would need a digital input board. Also the software is sealed, for remoting i'd have to reverse-engineer the usb-protocol and it also has a common ground for all connections (including usb) which feels wrong to me.
I found the freeDSP here on the forum, and the Elektor ADAU1701 board, but i'm leaning towards the freeDSP (FOSS-Evangelist here ).

Now comes the hard part, i'm at home with everything that accepts code, but analog stuff is black magic to me.
The DAC. I'd love to have 2, maybe 3 balanced outputs. From what i understand there are some pretty good things over at diyinhk.com, but which one is a semi-fool-proof but still good sounding choice for a novice like me? I've read that the ESS* seem to be top notch, but picky and hard to handle. Is that true? What would be a reasonable choice (price/complexity-wise) to start adventuring from?

And i'd also need a power supply, the DSP shouldn't be too picky, but how about DACs? I guess a "good enough" variant should fit my bill, to leave some space for later upgrades^^ Is there a tinkering-friendly kit availiable where i might replace the regulators easily if need be?

All in all it shouldn't cost more than 400/500$.
I've got a smd rework station, some multimeters, a PC-based oscilloscope, Bus Pirate, several uCs, miniDSP 2x4 and quite a few other bits and pieces

Please help, i'm lost

PS: sorry for the long text
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