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Old 27th April 2013, 04:52 AM   #2491
ttan98 is offline ttan98  Australia
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Melb
Hi,

I just bought a unit with AK4396 fully built and tested by the vendor from Ebay, direct from China,costs me not more than $80, incl enclosure, cheap.

I am listening to it right now, sounds very good even before upgrading to better components and also compared it against the Wolfson WM8740, I think the AK has an edge over the the Wolfson chipset. BTW I am using it in conjunction with CM6631 USB to SPDIF converter.

Anyone can chime in here, the price of DIY ES91018 is coming down, there are a few(2) now on sale at the Ebay stores, they are much cheaper than any commercial ES9018 available, has anyone compare it against the AK4396 ? if so can you give me your impression, esp., is it worth upgrading to EX9018 or upgrade just to try it out? Any comments?
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Old 27th April 2013, 12:20 PM   #2492
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Thanks to all for the help. So I should request that he solder the LM117s, do most people here order the case as well?
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Old 27th April 2013, 12:22 PM   #2493
erin is offline erin  Australia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ttan98 View Post
Hi,

I just bought a unit with AK4396 fully built and tested by the vendor from Ebay, direct from China,costs me not more than $80, incl enclosure, cheap.

I am listening to it right now, sounds very good even before upgrading to better components and also compared it against the Wolfson WM8740, I think the AK has an edge over the the Wolfson chipset. BTW I am using it in conjunction with CM6631 USB to SPDIF converter.
In all honesty the standard kit is nothing really special. If you like it now, after a few mods you will be very impressed

Quote:
Originally Posted by ttan98 View Post
Anyone can chime in here, the price of DIY ES91018 is coming down, there are a few(2) now on sale at the Ebay stores, they are much cheaper than any commercial ES9018 available, has anyone compare it against the AK4396 ? if so can you give me your impression, esp., is it worth upgrading to EX9018 or upgrade just to try it out? Any comments?
The ES9018 is an impressive chip, but it is very very fussy with implementation. There are other threads on DIYaudio that discuss the ES9018 ebay boards. From what I have read, people seem to like it. I highly doubt the ebay boards are as good as the expensive commercial designs. I also read that people do a fair bit of stuffing around with those boards to get some good sound out of them.

On the other hand, the AK4396 board is as good if not better than commercial designs when attention is payed to the associated components.

On paper the ES9018 is the superior chip. No doubt about it. Whether you prefer the ES9018 on that board is another issue. The only way to tell is to buy it and see?
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Last edited by erin; 27th April 2013 at 12:24 PM.
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Old 27th April 2013, 02:47 PM   #2494
bcmbob is offline bcmbob  United States
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Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Bay City, Michigan
As with all audio, a flavor or sound signature can be associated with a given piece of equipment. My personal experience leads me to the impression the modded AK4396 is a bit brighter and more dynamic without adding distortion. The Wolfson gets the nod for smoothness that can enhance the overall warmth. IMHO, neither is "best" - both are amazingly good for the investment. I'm a "big band"/brass guy so the AK is used the most -again, specific to my system - may be different with other associated equipment.

Looking forward to the upcoming Subbu V3 DAC which is based on the ESS Sabre-32 chip for a final comparison.
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Last edited by bcmbob; 27th April 2013 at 02:55 PM.
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Old 27th April 2013, 02:50 PM   #2495
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fidel View Post
Ciao Comrades, I have read every word, and am waiting for a wee box from China.
I think I may have found a substitute for those hard to find (at least for me)
Evox-Rifa SMR 100nF 50V caps

fidel
i have four spare evox rifa's that i ordered when i built my DAC. i live in the UK, you could paypal some money and i'll send you them. i bought extra because of the high delivery costs and thought someone might want them (to save you the extra delivery).

mail me if you're interested. i don't want much for them, say 5 including post, or make me an offer (i've pm'd you too)

EDIT: in fact, i have a few bits spare. L1, L2, C3, C27 (from mouser according BOM) and the evox rifa's, C6, C8, C9, C21 from Distrelec. also, the TO220 heat sink, R25,27,31,33. you can have them all for 6 or 7 including post

Last edited by reg66; 27th April 2013 at 02:58 PM.
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Old 28th April 2013, 06:14 AM   #2496
auxie22 is offline auxie22  Australia
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Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Australia
I have a question regarding a USB "Module" that I could integrate into this design, I am aware that I can pull the signal straight off the chip but I would like to avoid having to solder from a surface mounted component (don't have the equipment for smd soldering). could I use the teralink X2 and change over the clock, or is there an easier/cheaper option?

Regards,

Jules

Last edited by auxie22; 28th April 2013 at 06:41 AM.
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Old 28th April 2013, 04:51 PM   #2497
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Join Date: Apr 2013
Does anyone have this and the DAC9? I was wondering how they compared.
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Old 30th April 2013, 06:17 AM   #2498
auxie22 is offline auxie22  Australia
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Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Australia
Hey guys,
I am going to be using a PC as the source the HA info U2 usb to spdif converter.into the AK4396 and into an O2 headphone amp I will let you guys know how it goes. Should be pretty good, trying to get the best sound I can for a cheap price, I have mostly been involved with motor control and power supply design. this is my first try at an audio kit (strange it has taken this long as I am a sound engineer as well).
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Old 2nd May 2013, 03:06 AM   #2499
ttan98 is offline ttan98  Australia
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Melb
Hi,

I am not sure this has been answer before, can someone confirm whether this can be done,
Can I modify this board with AK4396 chipset such that it can accept I2S signals rather using the SPDIF input? Any advantage, I thought from reading elsewhere it is to reduce reduce jitter, any true to this claim?

If it can be done I sure someone must have done it by now, any impression?

Thanks.
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Old 2nd May 2013, 07:14 AM   #2500
bismuth is offline bismuth  France
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by ttan98 View Post
Hi,

I am not sure this has been answer before, can someone confirm whether this can be done,
Can I modify this board with AK4396 chipset such that it can accept I2S signals rather using the SPDIF input? Any advantage, I thought from reading elsewhere it is to reduce reduce jitter, any true to this claim?

If it can be done I sure someone must have done it by now, any impression?

Thanks.
Yes, this is possible, I run mine like that.
See post DAC 2496 (AK4393) DAC KIT With CS8416+AK4393+5532
I do not have the equipment for comparing jitter measure, but it sounds good to my ears ;-)
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