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Old 19th July 2016, 01:12 AM   #21
soekris is offline soekris  Denmark
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bear View Post
Ok, thanks Søren. Good info.
Why the change in the buffers??
Old buffers going EOL, although TI now seems to have back tracked some....


Quote:
As I said at the top I am more interested in what the sound "is".

Time, time, time is not on my side.
So, committing to a build has to be a seriously considered and a pretty certain and clear path.

I'd prefer to buy someone else's if only to see what it is/was, at least to get started.
have yet to see one for sale!
gave a PM to someone who has a post up now, but they seem to have not checked back in, it's been a week or more.
The key is to make some sort of determination, which is the aim of this thread anyhow.

There seems to be an awful lot of raspberry/arduino control work, input boards, muting boards (not needed any longer???), power supply mods. No desire at this point to need to become proficient with the uproc boards! Too steep of a learning curve just to make a DAC do things...

Here's an example - from another forum's post regarding his build and you can see the comments and their significance (yes I gather the shift register PS issue is more or less solved now).


"- Shift reg power bypasses (added rather ocd level of capacitance for one per each shift reg + some additional ceramics). This should be sort of fixed on the newer boards, still more further bypasses usually help (confirmed in some posts by fellow DIYA modders). This one gave most impact on dynamics and 'clean slam', background feels darker - 10 to 15% better
- 1x Salas Ref-D powers clean side of USB-I2S Better imaging and better defined transients - 2% better
- (1x Salas Ref-D powers onboard osc)* Better imaging and better defined transients - 1% better
- Salas BiB does bipolar main dc rails at 7 V or something Smoother, cleaner, more 'refined' - 5 to 10% better
- Removed main psu side from the board (not needed now) Not much difference in sound
- Removed output buffers, can't say if it made a difference, but I'm not using those
- Latest Filters by Spzzzkt Stock filter should not be used at all, it's lo fi. "

Sure wish those folks who have built them up would show up and say what they found and what they think...
This is DIY, so people like to experiment :-) but that statement is probably for early board, firmware and filters, don't base your decisions on old and obsolete info....

As I have stated before, all those modifications are not that needed, especially not on newest boards with newest firmware and filters, the basic board is GREAT.

You just need to add trafo or basic DC supply, a volume potmeter, connectors and input circuit, that being USB board or SPDIF input, toslink is easiest.
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Old 19th July 2016, 02:29 AM   #22
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thanks, hoping some builders/users will appear...
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Old 19th July 2016, 11:16 PM   #23
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I enjoy a highly modified v.1 .01% board but must admit I do not know anyone interested in audio so I do not have any experience with other DACs. I took two years off from digital before going with the SOEKRIS so no memory of my previous DAC, which was a Theta, the big one with all of the latest mods before everything changed at Theta and not for the best. It died and the new owners said they could not fix it so I listened to records for two years.

Sorry to get off subject, but I have an opinion on what is good about a discrete resistor DAC. I think most people would agree there is a difference in the sound of resistors. I have to believe there could be nothing worse than a silicon resistor. No one would pick them if they were an option.

Within a DAC chip you have no choice and there is no question the PCM63 is a fine device but I cannot help but think that a great advantage of the SOEKRIS is the use of much better resistors. No they probably do not have the precision that those with a DAC chip may have - I have no idea how well that was actually done. But with a tubed amplifier analogy (even though I use SS for amplification) which can apply to lots of things in audio - the equipment that doesn't measure the best can many times sound the best.

Though the PCM63 can very well measure better I think it could be limited in its sound quality by its design constraints.

For those wanting to get the most out of it I would recommend going with the new OEM version and using your own power supplies, one 3.3 volts for the "front end" and a +-5 volts for the "resistor stack. If you wanted to obsess use two +-5 volts supplies, one for each channel of the resistor stack. I would think this is easily done but not impossible to implement if not. Probably gilding but I bet most of the DACs you would compare it with have separate supplies for each channel. Couldn't hurt and one less thing to think about!

I would bet the sound quality would make you very happy and for very little money for the quality received.
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Old 20th July 2016, 03:03 PM   #24
derekr is offline derekr  Barbados
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I agree with Rick re going with the 1121 OEM board - especially with the 01 board now available.

I have a dual-mono 1021 rev4 build - DC in, separate rails for the required isolated 3V3 in, RPI, uC for volume etc, USB board and (sorry to add to your potential expense) IMHO the balanced version does indeed have an edge over the single-ended in the areas of detail, bass resolution and quieter background.

NB - YMMV, IMO, yadda, yadda - all the reasons folk on this forum shy away from sound quality pronouncements. It's MY opinion of SQ that matters to me - not trying to gain 'forum cred' - one of the reasons I like DIY and these forums, I can build, listen, compare, tweak, listen again....fundamental reason for why I enjoy DIY. End of sermon!

In terms of system context, the Soekris runs balanced out via Max Townshend's Fractal F1 cabling (thanks Max) to a pair of Danish Class D amps. Source is either the built-in RPI3 or an Auralic Aries via the USB in.

In terms of opinion - the Soekris is comparable-to-better than my Metrum Hex (in addition to the above it seems to 'finish' the notes better). I have recently briefly heard an Exogal Comet with the upgrade power supply and prefer the Soekris.

Finally, having tried a number of chip-based builds I think your best bet is to buy the most expensive DAM 1121 you can afford and build it. As stated several times above it's really not that hard to get a basic build going. If you don't have the time/inclination to build keep looking for one for sale. As the board's creator said - it's great! Great value for money, great feature set and great sound.
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Old 20th July 2016, 03:16 PM   #25
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Why the 1121 vs the 1021??
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Old 20th July 2016, 03:23 PM   #26
TNT is offline TNT  Sweden
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1121 do re-clocking after the FPGA.

//
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Old 20th July 2016, 03:28 PM   #27
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which is or is not clearly audible in anyone's opinion?

any other differences??

EDIT/ADD:

I also see that the 1121 is set up for "multichannel use" meaning master/slave sync.
I see a group of "biquad" filters available, but not much on their use or application.
Would be nice to know if these are configurable for filter type (bessel/butterworth, etc)
what the ripple in the bandpass looks like, and what the other usual parameters that one gets
concerned about with filters.

I guess the competing idea is the "Mini-DSP" as far as the filter functions - or even a Behringer box.

One major feature that would be of considerable importance would be the ability to dial in fixed
delay to one or more of the slaved 1121 modules. Not sure how that could be accomplished.

Yes, I do want to get a whole lot of something for not all that much!

_-_-bear
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Last edited by bear; 20th July 2016 at 03:44 PM.
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Old 20th July 2016, 08:43 PM   #28
jpak is offline jpak  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bear View Post
Ok.

Let me try to express this properly.

It's a bit complicated and multi-faceted.

At this point I'm casting about for a new DAC.

I've been using a PCM63 based dac with a x-coupled Jfet/Mosfet buffer for years - it sounds very good. I listen via a very clean signal path, only a passive discrete"L" attenuator between it and the amp(s). Speakers can be Quad 57, Acoustat III (modified), wide range horns (~250Hz --->~14kHz) with high bass driver + BEAR Labs Quadripole subs (using Crown MacroTech 2400). Amps usually are my Symphony No.1 amp or BEAR Labs SE Mosfet amps (with the Quads mostly). Friends bring tube gear over, so I have that reference point. Easy to hear what "guest" amps, or other gear is doing... very. A rather relaxed and natural sound, not "hot", not "bright".

So, I'm looking at the Soekris 1102 thread, back when it started. Thinking, hmmm, interesting. Forgot about it. Until a few days ago. Then I realized that I had missed everything, and that there were now assembled boards for it. Also had come across the Schiit stuff, and some others that seem innovative.

I also see that Soekris is making a DAC product complete as well, same basic topology, all-in-one with a discrete output buffer (surprising).

I'm wanting to get a handle on both the sound and if it is worth the effort to DIY.

Frankly reading quite a lot of the thread(s) it seems like the Soekris DIY build is not simple and is complicated by things like thumps, outboard uproc controllers, displays, upgraded power supplies, etc, etc. That makes it a BIG project costing maybe 2-3x the board itself. That puts the hardware cost in range of some commercial DACs, before considering the time it might take to build it up.

Then, I'm thinking maybe I can slam the 1201 into a box with bare bones supply run it "naked" and see... but what will that sound like compared to the fully decked out builds?? How much difference? Any?

And sonics, what's the diff between V1,2 and now V4??
Does V4 not need the muting circuit??

But then too, I have no way that I know of to get an audition with the commercial DACs either. Or the Soekris for that matter!

The other thing that I think I noticed is that the absolute values of the specs and the look of the FFTs are not utterly spectacular at all?? Seems to me that I recall seeing an order of magnitude lower THD values from previous generation chip DACs?? Am I imagining this?

So, I am hoping for a discussion regarding all of these factors. Especially, IF you're running a Soekris DAC, I'd really appreciate hearing your sonic impressions - hopefully in the context of your system, listening preferences/experiences, and possibly comparisons with other units.

Anyone have a built up unit they might wish to sell or ship for an audition?
(I'm in upstate NY, just in case you are not that far away (NYC <---> Boston)

Looking forward to hearing more...


_-_-
Frankly I would skip the Schiit multbit. Lots of hype and clever marketing surrounding those products. I have a Yggdrasil that I plan to sell; it doesn't sound anything like the better PCM1704 DACs I owned from Assemblage, the Schiit is harsher sounding but at least it has decent soundstage.
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Old 20th July 2016, 08:49 PM   #29
Eldam is offline Eldam  France
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Hi Bear, what is your dac reference at home ?
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Old 20th July 2016, 10:32 PM   #30
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Bear,

took a look at your web page and the SYMPHONY amplifier. All I can say is that is a magnificent piece of work! More power than I would ever need but nonetheless that is inspired and PAINSTAKING work. Would not want to build something like that - could not build something like that!

I remember your ads long ago for the SE MOSFET amps - was it in SOUND PRACTICES or POSTIVE FEEDBACK? Cannot remember. I do remember being tempted to try one, though.

Would be interesting to follow your SOEKRIS build if you decide to get one.
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