ES9018 opinions. Can it beat the TDA1541? - diyAudio
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Old 26th May 2011, 10:47 AM   #1
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Default ES9018 opinions. Can it beat the TDA1541?

This is the project that i have my eyes on.
vicol audio : smps
The price will be big for my pokets but i'm willing to make an effort.
How is the chip compared to other classical chips?
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Old 26th May 2011, 11:36 AM   #2
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hard to tell if you do not compare the two head to head on the same equipment etc....and it is all a matter of taste....
I keep going back to good old TDA 1541 although newer designs are out there and are supposed to sound better, different it will be but which is better is a matter of taste and the amount of success the developer had with implementing the DAC in total
(a TDA 1541 can sound awful or it may sing)
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Old 26th May 2011, 12:02 PM   #3
Luke is offline Luke  New Zealand
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I agree, can be awful and very good. Thing is it, it doesnt have the energy of some chips, its a bit polite if that makes sense. Have you looked at twisted pear sabre dacs?
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Old 26th May 2011, 02:25 PM   #4
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I saw something about twisted pear today. haven't had time yet do to read about it. But will do.
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Old 26th May 2011, 02:32 PM   #5
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I think that TDA1541 qualities are overrated. It's fame is mostly due to the fact that is cheap to find old CD players with it and it is packed in a big DIP capsule that DIY begginers can tinker/work easyer with...
I have a player with TDA1541 and several other players with modern DAC's. All of them have modded analog stages (better opamps) and... TDA1541 is my least favorite. Tried even the "NOS" mod... sounded horrid.
That is my conclusion, your milage might vary.
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Old 26th May 2011, 04:18 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoNic_real_one View Post
I think that TDA1541 qualities are overrated. It's fame is mostly due to the fact that is cheap to find old CD players with it and it is packed in a big DIP capsule that DIY begginers can tinker/work easyer with...
I have a player with TDA1541 and several other players with modern DAC's. All of them have modded analog stages (better opamps) and... TDA1541 is my least favorite. Tried even the "NOS" mod... sounded horrid.
That is my conclusion, your milage might vary.
Think that part of what you are hearing is already clear....
Compare a well implemented TDA 1541 S2 with any flavour high endish newer DAC and you'll hear its sonic merits, and disadvantages....

TDA 1541 is not at its best into an OPAMP (yuck, have to go brush my teeth).
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Old 26th May 2011, 08:09 PM   #7
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That is just a matter of... personal beliefs at some point.
All the measurements are worse - noise, dynamics, TDH+N, jitter from the usual 7220... No OpAmps on 1541? Yuck, then no decent filters on the output... S2? Didn't have the opportunity, but the differences in specs are marginal at the best. I think is more of a placebo effect due to the amount of money spend.
Remember, we are talking about va ES9018 here! 133dB DNR, 120dB THD, very jitter tolerant...

Last edited by SoNic_real_one; 26th May 2011 at 08:13 PM.
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Old 26th May 2011, 08:27 PM   #8
jazz is offline jazz  Netherlands
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Hi,

Maybe a better question would be if you could listen to them. i mean there are bound to be a few diy'ers in the neighbourhood you could visit and i guess most would be rather welcoming and willing to 'show' off their creations.

Listening would be best i think cause based purely on specs the ess products will win but the tda1541 must be popular for a reason. I like it and have two different versions of it, others don't like it. Yet i'd like to hear the ess products very much while i don't care for the pcm63 and such. guess that's just my taste.

One specific point in favor for the ess is that it seems easier to go balanced.

regards,
Joris
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Old 26th May 2011, 08:41 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoNic_real_one View Post
That is just a matter of... personal beliefs at some point.
All the measurements are worse - noise, dynamics, TDH+N, jitter from the usual 7220... No OpAmps on 1541? Yuck, then no decent filters on the output... S2? Didn't have the opportunity, but the differences in specs are marginal at the best. I think is more of a placebo effect due to the amount of money spend.
Remember, we are talking about va ES9018 here! 133dB DNR, 120dB THD, very jitter tolerant...
Yeah you're right THd tells a lot about Sound Quality.. no offense....
I'll not begin to argue about opamps or somewhat silly filtering at that stage as the OP asked about the merits about ESS vs TDA

ESS is 1 bit oversampling, TDA 1541 is not and therefore are two completely different species

The ESS chip will be probably (?) be more expensive than good old TDA 1541, would that make any sonic benefit you claim it has based on mere specs to be linked to its higher price too?

Listening to the two side by side is the only thing that'll tell which you prefer, and you should ensure to select good implementations of both at that.
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Old 26th May 2011, 09:01 PM   #10
EUVL is offline EUVL  Europe
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Just to add to the confusion :

ES9022 vs TDA1541
QA-550 SD card 16/44.1 WAV transport

ES9022 vs ES9008
Anybody using the new ESS Vout DAC (ES9022)?


Very low cost, very easy to DIY.
Just get datasheet from supplier, buy the chip and a SOIC->DIP adapter PCB, and you are half way there.
I can only encourage you to experiment yourselves.


Patrick
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