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Open-source USB interface: Audio Widget
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Old 27th December 2011, 06:54 AM   #661
borges is offline borges  Norway
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Default Update your firmware - Board programming batch files

Hi guys,

I recommend updating your AB-1.1 firmware. There have been some reports about distortion being improved by new firmware.

Have a look at Add_to_flip345_bin.zip in the SDR Widget Downloads section. It is a collection of batch files to add to Atmel's flip in order to test and program the AB-1.1

The files should be easily editable for other hardware and other OSes.

It uses the latest 32-bit code from Alex. (I pulled the code from git and compiled my self. No diff.)


BÝrge
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Old 27th December 2011, 07:07 AM   #662
Turbon is offline Turbon  Sweden
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UnixMan View Post
no, not necessarily.


oh... than you came to my own favourite "player":

Code:
 AUDIODEV=hw:1,0 play *.flac
The command "play" is just a different name for "sox". Install sox and all of its plugins and you're done.

(setting the "AUDIODEV" env. variable is only needed if you want to output to a device different from the default one).
Thought there might be a pure method. So, it's time to create a player menu script :-)

I might as well report on my findings that after listening for a few hours last evening/night through uac2 there wasn't a single audible glitch playing with a fat player on a fat linux dist. But still - I wan't to be in control so a script will be fine. I have a strong feeling that the widgetcontrol is quite sensitive on what versions of the different python packages one is using - with the ones I loaded last evening it connects about every time. A bug is when you are using the widget and do a reset at the same time from widgetcontrol it realy should give an error saying that the widget is in use instead of going ahead - the audible result was not pleasant.

Thanks a lot UnixMan!

Last edited by Turbon; 27th December 2011 at 07:22 AM.
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Old 27th December 2011, 08:44 AM   #663
starn02 is offline starn02  Italy
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After analyzing the situation of DAC usage and implementation in the AB 1.1 I came to the following conclusions
- that for the ES9023, for sample rates above 96k the master clock is limited (because it should be, according to the datasheets, at least 256 x Fs), so probably we won't get the best audio quality
- that the "experiments" done by some users on the charge pump capacitor are wrong ... if the value has to be 1 micro (according to the datasheet), then using more capacity should make the charge pump work badly (not charging the capacitor enough to generate the desired negative supply).
Probably the best thing to do would be to replace the 1u cap from a SMD to a good traditional "through hole" one. I think the same also for the resistor on Vref, "audiophile" wisdom says that such SMD components are not musically satisfying ....

From one test that I performed with an oscilloscope with FFT I see that the "noise" on the supply lines is mainly due to FM radio stations (here in Italy from 98
to 108 Mhz). The board has a well done metal case, isn't there a connection of such case to ground?
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Old 27th December 2011, 08:45 AM   #664
borges is offline borges  Norway
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The case in the current design is floating.

BÝrge
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Old 27th December 2011, 09:11 AM   #665
Turbon is offline Turbon  Sweden
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Quote:
Originally Posted by starn02 View Post
After analyzing the situation of DAC usage and implementation in the AB 1.1 I came to the following conclusions
- that for the ES9023, for sample rates above 96k the master clock is limited (because it should be, according to the datasheets, at least 256 x Fs), so probably we won't get the best audio quality
- that the "experiments" done by some users on the charge pump capacitor are wrong ... if the value has to be 1 micro (according to the datasheet), then using more capacity should make the charge pump work badly (not charging the capacitor enough to generate the desired negative supply).
Probably the best thing to do would be to replace the 1u cap from a SMD to a good traditional "through hole" one. I think the same also for the resistor on Vref, "audiophile" wisdom says that such SMD components are not musically satisfying ....

From one test that I performed with an oscilloscope with FFT I see that the "noise" on the supply lines is mainly due to FM radio stations (here in Italy from 98
to 108 Mhz). The board has a well done metal case, isn't there a connection of such case to ground?
So a faster clock and a better charge pump capacitor. Any favorites on these?
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Old 27th December 2011, 09:19 AM   #666
borges is offline borges  Norway
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The clock frequencies have been selected to work with the ES9023 in synchronous mode. In async mode (i.e. MCLK != n*word clock), n must be > 192. We're using high-quality XOs from Golledge. Before the DAC budget (at least) doubles, I suggest keeping the XOs as-is.

For 192 and 176.4 n=128
For 96 and 88.2 n=256
For 44.1 and 48 n=512

This is all within spec of the DAC.


As for charge pump cap, be my guest! I've put in the specified 1ĶF in a 1206 package. In parallel with that is the (almost) largest NP0/C0G I could find in 1206, 4.7nF that is.

Feel free to remove the 4.7nF and/or install what may be better capacitors. But before you do, let's device a way to test the result. Scoping / spectrum analyzing all supply pins for AC content may be a place to start.

BÝrge
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Old 27th December 2011, 11:54 AM   #667
qusp is offline qusp  Australia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alexlee188 View Post
It is interesting to note that the "ESS Sabre Reference DAC (8-channel)" thread guys are talking about:

"Synchronous MCLKing scheme for ES9018"

recently :-)

Alex
many have been playing with it for ages, only recently however has it become popular

Quote:
Originally Posted by borges View Post
The clock frequencies have been selected to work with the ES9023 in synchronous mode. In async mode (i.e. MCLK != n*word clock), n must be > 192. We're using high-quality XOs from Golledge. Before the DAC budget (at least) doubles, I suggest keeping the XOs as-is.

For 192 and 176.4 n=128
For 96 and 88.2 n=256
For 44.1 and 48 n=512

This is all within spec of the DAC.


As for charge pump cap, be my guest! I've put in the specified 1ĶF in a 1206 package. In parallel with that is the (almost) largest NP0/C0G I could find in 1206, 4.7nF that is.


BÝrge

hmm, where are you sourcing your components to have such a terrible range available? the largest i can get in 1206 SMD is 470nf, with 100nf common and liberally sprinkled over every board in my dacs


Quote:
Originally Posted by starn02
Probably the best thing to do would be to replace the 1u cap from a SMD to a good traditional "through hole" one. I think the same also for the resistor on Vref, "audiophile" wisdom says that such SMD components are not musically satisfying ....
I assume this is sarcasm? 1u can be found in pps film in smd, very nice and as for the vref resistor, anyone wanting to go crazy there could use the ASMP series surface mount naked Zfoils for <10 dollars (they are cheaper than the leaded versions for the same resistor), it doesnt get any better than that subjectively AND objectively. zfoils are one of those parts that tick both boxes, where it doesnt have to perform worse than SMD to be 'audiophile approved'. SMD easily outperforms PTH unless you need high power handling
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Old 27th December 2011, 12:02 PM   #668
borges is offline borges  Norway
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Quote:
Originally Posted by qusp View Post
hmm, where are you sourcing your components to have such a terrible range available? the largest i can get in 1206 SMD is 470nf, with 100nf common and liberally sprinkled over every board in my dacs
Thanks for that kick in the shin! I've usually bought these from www.elfa.se. But finding a way better selection at DigiKey is a walk in the park I see now.

BÝrge
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Old 27th December 2011, 12:45 PM   #669
Turbon is offline Turbon  Sweden
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Elfa is a pain in the butt. For the enthusiast it's way cheaper to use digikey, mouser or whatever.

Brgds
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Old 27th December 2011, 01:14 PM   #670
qusp is offline qusp  Australia
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no problem =) as for elfa, i thought as much due to your location, they have a quite nice range of electromechanical stuff there like pushbuttons/momentaries, very good range of wima and rifa caps, specialist hitech milspec dsub connectors etc; but there are some really large gaps in their catalogue. the stuff they do stock they tend to have the entire range which is nice.

I can highly recommend the murata and kemet for 100nf 1206 c0g at digikey, but kemet for 0.47uf if you need that big. the murata 100nf/25v (GRM31C5C1E104JA01L) are only 62c each, 32 dollars for 100 and are very high quality.

as for your bulk polymer caps, if you want to save a bit of money the nichicon L8 series (220uf part # RL81C221MDN1KX) solid polymer are on par performance-wise (available in an SMD can as well) for MUCH less money at $0.91. but if you want to kick it up another notch the panasonic special polymer (SP Cap) are available down to 3mOhm impedance (only for 2v though) but with a range at 5-12mOhms in a more friendly 6.3 or 8v rating (180uf/6.3v 7343 size smd or 100uf/6.3v 7343 size smd) afaik these are the highest performance polymer caps on the market and they are still cheaper than your sanyos at elfa.

the nichicons are a steal IMO and i only tend to use the SP caps if i really need the best available; in a more compact low profile size. they havent reached 'audiophile status' like the sanyo oscons have, but if performance/price matters they match them for the former while being better in the latter.

you will easily pay for your shipping with the savings, tax might hit you though? well if turbon is recommending it it must still be worth it even with import duty?
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