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Old 11th October 2007, 06:17 PM   #1
hags is offline hags  United States
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Default DIY DAC recommendations/opinions

I would like to build an outboard DAC, I'm curious to see how good a dedicated outboard DAC can sound and if for nothing else the experience.
Although I have built/designed preamps, amps, phono stages, power conditioners, a/c cords, modified tuners, etc..... I am severely digitally challenged.
I'm not sure I can improve on what I have so I'm looking for some input here.

I have a Ultech UCD-100, not a very common player, it's a single chassis cd player with dual 20 bit Burr Brown PCM1702 DACs. Pacific Microsonics PMD-100 HDCD decoder/filter. IC outputs, (OPA2134s) and Wima 3.3uf output caps.
There is an RCA digital out.

I'm looking for a kit or well documented project to start with preferably with a discrete analog output.

Any recommendations, opinions or comments would be welcomed and appreciated.
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Old 11th October 2007, 08:13 PM   #2
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Try Audio Sector or Scott Nixon. I built the Audio Sector w/ help from Peter Daniel. I had problems w/ SMD soldering. It's a NOS DAC and it sounds nice. I can only compare it to Audio Alchemy 1.0. The AS is much better to say the least.

I just saw a kit from AD Labs (Rockna) and several people here say it's nice too. There are tons of kits to choose from today.

Russ White has the Opus. I believe his outfit is Twisted Pear.

Vince
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Old 11th October 2007, 09:06 PM   #3
hags is offline hags  United States
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I'm not sure where I stand in regards to the quality I already have in the Burr Brown DACs and the PMD-100 filter. When I bought the CD player they were highly touted. I would want to start with something that is sonically better than what I have in the Ultech.
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Old 11th October 2007, 09:52 PM   #4
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Default K&K Audio

Kevin Carter has a DAC (RAKK DAC) complete pc board and analog output kit that beats anything I have encountered. It is very easy to build and Kevin provides excellent help if you get stuck. A mk II DAC is now out and is reportedly even better. It uses TI/Burr-Brown SRC4192, PCM1794 DAC and Cirrus Logic CS8416.

(No connection with K&K, just a happy customer)

Francois
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Old 12th October 2007, 07:15 AM   #5
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I'm loving my DDDAC1543 from Doede in germany

I use it with USB connection, but doede does a version for spidif, or you could take an i2s signal to it also.

Its a nos dac, using multiple 1543 chips to very good effect. Whats nice is that you can keep upping the quality with the addition of extra modules.

Soundwise its very engaging, has beautifull detail.

To build it's reasonably easy.

The twisted pear kits (my experiance is with the kookaburra preamp) are very simple to assemble. There seems to be quite a bit of positive feedback on the opus dac.
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Old 12th October 2007, 08:23 AM   #6
00940 is offline 00940  Belgium
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Have you considered just improving the power supply and the analog section of your cdp ? Its digital filter is very good and the DACs way better than those TDA1543. At least, you'll be sure to move up...
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Old 12th October 2007, 10:01 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by 00940
Have you considered just improving the power supply and the analog section of your cdp ? Its digital filter is very good and the DACs way better than those TDA1543. At least, you'll be sure to move up...



Probably the best suggestion so far. Maybe a clock as well.

Hags has a pretty nice cdp.
Why would a dac using inferior chips, dubious ASRCs and problematic spdif be any better?
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Old 12th October 2007, 10:27 AM   #8
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Hi Hags,

I've been using Monica 2 Non OS DAC from DIYParadise and just tweaked it abit by adding 1 additional TDA1545A. Been familiar with its original form since December 2006 and never regretted my decision of purchasing it...

Highly recommended!!
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Old 12th October 2007, 12:39 PM   #9
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I have one of Peter Daniel's TDA1543 NOS DACs and it is exceptional. But like alot of DIYers I yearn for more. I'm currently building Pedja Rogic's TDA1541 DAC in the hope of reaching the 'next level'. Certainly a well designed and as a result a well received DAC.

Regards,
Dan
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