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Old 30th May 2011, 11:26 PM   #111
erin is offline erin  Australia
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Nigel, the capacitors were very hot when I first installed them. They do not get as hot now. It must have been something to do with the caps running in. Otherwise I have no idea. It's been running every day quite happily. I see no problems with it.
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Old 2nd June 2011, 04:00 PM   #112
YohY is offline YohY  United Kingdom
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Default AKM 4396 fully built dac board

Guys -
A very interesting read.
I have had in my posession (these past six weeks) one AKM4396 equip'd dac board purchased from China via Ebay. The pcb came populated, all I did was connect 12-0-12v and 0-15v power / elec spdif / and line out R+L.

Initially, I used it as was - other than burn it in over some 4 days or so. Stock NE5532 installed on ouput stage.
I was completely staggered by the sound quality of this dac ! (I use Stax electroststic headspkrs).
I then substituted AD797's for the output...an now have the BB opa627 installed.
These changes brought a smoother sound overall to the proceedings.
I've experienced incremental improvements when dealing with power supplies / clocks / paper in oil mundorf's for output cap coupling - but NEVER have I heard such detail retrieval as this before.
Not too long back, I took it to a mate's house an compared it to his TDA1541 twin S2 built dac (which to date has held it's own against many contenders).
The AKM 4396 showed it could retrieve more detail.

I love acoustic guitar, and played one particular cd (on the stax 'phones) which, although recorded extremely well I never really connected with the composition.
Well FMS....on playing this disk I could now (seemingly, as good as) 'See' the strings being played...an how the guitarist changed pressure on playing the fret board. Also, it just make me appreciate even more the production work that goes into making these recordings.
This dac, without a doubt, is a steal at 40 !

I have just seen a kit pcb with said dac incorporated, so I'll prob get that an furnish it with teddy Regs /Hynes design regs an do the cap mods as advised in this thread.

Thanks to all for their input so far & happy listening !
-Andy-
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Old 2nd June 2011, 04:11 PM   #113
YohY is offline YohY  United Kingdom
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TV Man View Post
I see a version of this DAC with AK4396 instead of AK4393 is listed on ebay. Has anyone tried the AK4396 version yet?
See my previous post...
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Old 2nd June 2011, 07:39 PM   #114
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It seems some people awakening within AK4396 here
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Old 2nd June 2011, 07:57 PM   #115
YohY is offline YohY  United Kingdom
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Default AKM 4396 Versus "?"

Has anyone here made a comparison between their homebrew AKM chipset and any of the following..?

Audio gd 7.1 Ref
Young Dac
Calyx dac
Wyred 4 sound dac (1 or 2)
Antelope dac

Would be interested to know what your findings were and to get an understanding where the 4396 stands relative to current commercial designs

Thanks.
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Old 2nd June 2011, 11:18 PM   #116
erin is offline erin  Australia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YohY View Post
Has anyone here made a comparison between their homebrew AKM chipset and any of the following..?

Wyred 4 sound dac (1 or 2)


Would be interested to know what your findings were and to get an understanding where the 4396 stands relative to current commercial designs

Thanks.
You should check out post #80 DAC 2496 (AK4393) DAC KIT With CS8416+AK4393+5532 of this thread where I did a brief AB against the Wyred4sound DAC1.

Lets not have any misunderstandings though. IMO, the ES9018 is a way better chip as far as detail retrieval, dynamics, bass depth and punch. When you can get a ES9018 DAC kit for $37 someone let me know.

Last edited by erin; 2nd June 2011 at 11:39 PM.
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Old 2nd June 2011, 11:35 PM   #117
erin is offline erin  Australia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YohY View Post
Not too long back, I took it to a mate's house an compared it to his TDA1541 twin S2 built dac (which to date has held it's own against many contenders).
The AKM 4396 showed it could retrieve more detail.

YohY, any chance you can let us know which TDA1541 board was used in this comparison? Is it the raindrop_hui board from ebay?
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Old 3rd June 2011, 03:05 PM   #118
YohY is offline YohY  United Kingdom
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Originally Posted by erin View Post
YohY, any chance you can let us know which TDA1541 board was used in this comparison? Is it the raindrop_hui board from ebay?
Erin -

I'm sure it's not that pcb as found on ebay. He had it in a group buy on the DIYaudio forum as I recall. He's not taken it to tube'd output as of yet an is running it with the OPA627 chip. He does have a number of separate pwr supplies running the board tho, even to the extent of using dedicated supply to the 627 opamp.

Yeah, I did read your piece on the W4S dac comparison (forgot about that).
I've now got the Audio gd 7.1 ref & Calyx dac to compare with now, so I'll be drawing my own conclusions on that. I have heard that the 'Antelope dac' is very good but is in a higher price bracket.
Audio gd & calyx dac are both priced at -1500.
I'll need a lot of persuasion to prise that amount outta my hands after hearing what the AKM4396 can do...
Cheers,
-Andy-
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Old 4th June 2011, 04:08 PM   #119
erin is offline erin  Australia
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Default AK4393 vs AK4396 preliminary listening comparison

My friends AK4396 board finally arrived so I had a listen to it tonight.
It is a pre-assembled board running stock capacitors as supplied by the ebay seller. Its sounds very good, perhaps I could say excellent considering its price. Stock standard it would be giving some "expensive brand name CD players" a run for their money.

Compared to my modded AK4393 board, the AK4396 board was not as good, it was not as smooth or refined sounding. I'm not going to give a detailed "review" because it was immediately pretty obvious after swapping DACs and playing the same song that the AK4393 board was better overall.

This is clearly not an apples for apples comparison. So no need for anyone to jump the gun. He will be upgrading the caps over the next week or so. After this we can do another comparison under more fair circumstances.

All the mods I have previously suggested are very good and yield very substantial improvements over the stock board.

Last edited by erin; 4th June 2011 at 04:16 PM.
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Old 4th June 2011, 04:56 PM   #120
YohY is offline YohY  United Kingdom
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erin View Post
Stock standard it would be giving some "expensive brand name CD players" a run for their money.
.
My thoughts precisely !

..and all this without the components being burned-in & the standard NE5532 o/p chip in situ ?


I have to admit tho Erin, that I've not heard the AKM4393-based dac so you are in a better position to comment on their differences than I..
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