DAC 2496 (AK4393) DAC KIT With CS8416+AK4393+5532 - Page 213 - diyAudio
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Old 30th September 2012, 10:33 PM   #2121
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Yeah, you're right ... PCB is not perfect (no SMD components, etc.), but if planted at least as I have - according to the datasheets, it has to give better results - original parts is not ideal...

I'm going to my external source with capacitive Multipliers for the main power supply.
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Old 1st October 2012, 07:01 AM   #2122
ch33ta is offline ch33ta  Croatia
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With the right modifications you can get a waaaay better DAC, even out of these "made in China" boards.
And some of them aren't that bad, of course you could do better, but not everyone can make a better two-layer board at home.

IMHO, you should forget those BOM's, changing the components with better/more expensive ones will not get you far...

The first thing to replace should be that crappy onboard regulators/preregulators, and separating analog and digital PSU's...

The second thing is the output stage, forget the opamps, go for transformers, tube stage, or even a passive output stage will sound better...

This is my newest modification in the testing phase;
Click the image to open in full size.

Everything from the board is removed except CS8416 & CS4398 - just have to remember to connect the input select pins on CS8416 and reset circuit...
Shunt preregulators with TL431, bypassed with a BD140 for more current/lower impedance, probably overkill but it works great...
The 4 smaller regulators are LT1763, if you look at noise figures it's miles away from those crappy AMS1117 that you get with the board...
On the output are Tamura TFP-3W transformers...

When I find some time I'll post all the PCB's, schematics and a short tutorial on the modifications...
It's really not that expensive, and the sound is incomparably better to the stock one...
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Old 1st October 2012, 07:06 AM   #2123
atupi is offline atupi  Romania
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Ch33ta, what kind of conversion USB>SPDIF you are using ? (the red pcb)

Wour work looks very clean and easy to follow.

Last edited by atupi; 1st October 2012 at 07:12 AM.
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Old 1st October 2012, 07:18 AM   #2124
ch33ta is offline ch33ta  Croatia
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Musiland Monitor 01USD, USB power trace is cut, and it's powered by a separate 5V regulator...

Great little device, fairly cheap, easy for modifications, stable drivers, and uses bulk mode transfer - useful for those experimenting with USB isolators, wireless USB hubs etc.


EDIT;
@ atupi
I'll post a short tutorial in a day or two - it is really simple to make and it's worth every penny.
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Last edited by ch33ta; 1st October 2012 at 07:21 AM.
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Old 1st October 2012, 09:40 AM   #2125
bcmbob is offline bcmbob  United States
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Ch33ta, that cirtainly is a spphistocated and impressive build. Assuming you started with a complete Mini2496, could you give some subjective comparative descriptions of the sound produced by the new rig?
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Old 1st October 2012, 10:59 AM   #2126
ch33ta is offline ch33ta  Croatia
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It isn't really that sophisticated, at least from my point of view...
I've built this one from a "blank" board - SMD parts only - PCB+SMD CM102S+CS8416+CS4398+5532 board 24bit/96K sc | eBay - however I did have this DAC a while ago in it's "stock" form, so I did have a chance to listen to both...
As I said before, the difference is almost incomparable... The stock one had really small stage, almost no depth, everything sounded bunched up, compared to the one above...
Instruments now have so much better separation, definition and are unbelievably realistic. Transformers really unveil everything, every single detail...
In a few songs I listened there is rain in the background, with the stock DAC that was more like a "shshshshshshsh" than a rain, now you can hear it so clearly it's unbelievable - this is one of the first things you notice - background instruments, backup vocals, noises etc.
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Old 1st October 2012, 11:58 AM   #2127
bcmbob is offline bcmbob  United States
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Thanks, that's very encouraging. I bought that same board after frying the initial kit. Everything transferred perfectly. Then did Dario's BOM.

Please keep us informed through your testing phase. There are so many approaches it will be helpful to be able to follow a single implementation all the way through.

Where did you source the transformers?
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Old 1st October 2012, 12:20 PM   #2128
ch33ta is offline ch33ta  Croatia
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Well, that's already tested and shipped
This was built for a friend, he's currently enjoying his new DAC...

However I will put together a small tutorial as soon as I find some time...
Transformers were bought on Ebay, I've been watching them for months, it's amazing nobody picked them up...
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Old 1st October 2012, 12:43 PM   #2129
bcmbob is offline bcmbob  United States
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OK. But then that begs the question Are you using a similar Mini2496 based system for yourself?
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Old 1st October 2012, 05:23 PM   #2130
ch33ta is offline ch33ta  Croatia
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I'm currently using this;
24bit/192kHz DAC CS8416+CS4398+CS8421+Transformer Up-sampling,USB, DIY | eBay - there is an enormous thread on this DAC kit here...
No upsampling board and UTC A-20 on the output, Musiland Monitor 01USD - basically same sh*t different package...

Just as a reference, the Mini2496 with new power supply also sounds better than my current DAC...

But for myself I'm planning to build a DAC from scratch, including PCB, and probably with only SMD components... But unfortunately you need money for something like that, which I ain't got
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