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Old 29th January 2012, 10:45 AM   #11
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Oh good....it's not just me then
Never seen a better one so well prepared and ready.

...and to abraxalito...what would you suggest to replace the dreadful toroid - a screened and potted type ?
That answer could be a good tip for me too - hope your still reading this
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Old 29th January 2012, 11:54 AM   #12
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Screening on a transformer is a mixed blessing so I reckon it might not be worth the money. Depends if you have a nice clean earth, in which case its a good idea. Trouble is - these days most people's earths (I imagine they're just like mine) are polluted with the plethora of SMPSUs they have around the place. Potting is optional - if it were me, I'd not put my money there.

No what I was thinking was a transformer that gives better isolation from mains-borne crud, by dint of lower interwinding capacitance. So R-core or traditional E-I core would work fine. Add on a wide-band mains filter to improve matters further
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Old 29th January 2012, 12:25 PM   #13
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several music lovers tell me, that under certainly conditions the vintage DAC IC TDA1541 outperform each currently available modern DAC ic.
Unfortunately nobody can exact verify this claim.
OTOH, there are companies, that uses the TDA1541 in their currently CD player devices - go to
The AMR CD 77...A Multi-Bit TDA 1541 comparison - The Art of Sound Forum and the attached jpg file
Attached Images
File Type: jpg AMR CD77 digital engine PCB with TDA1541A.jpg (142.8 KB, 589 views)
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Old 29th January 2012, 12:53 PM   #14
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Most of them are not using the dreadfull SAA7220, but either some kind of DSP or plain NOS. That's one the key aspects of using an older DAC - what filter have in front of it. NOS in my experience sounds like c**p because is always followed by no filtering.

OT: Don't forget, some is just pure marketing, apealing to a crowd of older, nostalgic buyers, but with lots of disposable income. Usually, in the '90's they where salivating in front the same TDA1541, but in shops, could not afford it. Now is a mental fixation to that past. With hearing at 50% of what they had, at retiring age, now they give "reviews" of superexpensive toys.

Everthing was better "back then" and nothing "new" is good. Isn't that plainly because "back then" they where younger, in a better shape and further away from their lifes end? Deep in their mind they bame the "new" technology for that. They hole that time stops if they dwell in those old technologies (tubes is the best example).

Last edited by SoNic_real_one; 29th January 2012 at 01:10 PM.
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Old 29th January 2012, 06:45 PM   #15
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Default 1541 vs. ???

Well the TDA-1541 was/is used in the Yamamoto YDA-01 DAC , the Naim CDX player, etc. No one has suggested that these sound anything but excellent. If it sounded good it still sounds good, as long as the chip and all of the supporting circuiyrt is in good condition. Your reference may have shifted.

In a lot of cases newer DAC chips allow for various sampling frequencies and word length. I have 4 Burr-Brown PCM63 DACs sitting in a drawer..and nobody has ever suggested that those are crap. And those are capable of upto 24-bit length words. It's just that newer chips may support USB outputs, etc. And just because a chip is newer does not mean it is better. For example, several of the BB/TI PCM17XX chips have been identified as the bottleneck for performance in several newer digital products.

And don't forget about the infamous Sony "greystations" used as a cd player....

Unless you have experienced a good implementation of any of the "old" or obsolete chips, it's pretty hard to make a general , open ended statement.
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Last edited by Nanook; 29th January 2012 at 06:47 PM.
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Old 29th January 2012, 07:22 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nanook View Post
In a lot of cases newer DAC chips allow for various sampling frequencies and word length. I have 4 Burr-Brown PCM63 DACs sitting in a drawer..and nobody has ever suggested that those are crap. And those are capable of upto 24-bit length words. It's just that newer chips may support USB outputs, etc. And just because a chip is newer does not mean it is better. For example, several of the BB/TI PCM17XX chips have been identified as the bottleneck for performance in several newer digital products.
You can feed 32bit words to the TDA (most implementations do..) but the dac will only convert 16bit, as for the PCM63 it will only convert 20bits.

When it comes to sample rate it's mostly the reciever / digital filters that impose limits. There is no trouble in making the TDA (or for that matter a PCM63) accept 192Khz data as long as it is properly formatted and preferably dithered down to the right resolution.
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Old 6th February 2012, 12:14 AM   #17
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Talking DAC's

Hi guys, I realize this is an older thread. To my ears and those who have heard my TDA1541A DAC.... I think for pure 16 Bit 44.1 KHZ playback it's pretty hard to beat a well implemented TDA1541A DAC. I really enjoy mine. I use the digital part of an Analogmetric DAC with some tweaks. Gone is the SAA7220, I'm using a NPC filter and glue logic. The DAC has a DEM clock mod. The I/V is an OPA603, 7th order GIC Bessel filter, output buffer is OPA627. And yes the reclocking on that board is a little simple and seems to work fine with a Hagclock. The thing is hard to beat especially in the delicate treble playback, it just sounds right. I have a 192 Khz SRC to CS4398 DAC with Lundahl transformers, its very lush in the mids with super bass. I like it very much... just don't hear that awesome treble that I get with the 1541A. It will do some higher sample rates so I'm happy to keep it around. I think it's possible that a CS4397 could be better than the 98... Eventually I plan to see what can be done with it. I have a cheap Chinese 4397 DAC to mess with that I think may sound closer to the 1541A with proper implementation. I guess what I'm saying is it's old (1541A). It was a well designed DAC that for the most part was poorly implemented by most manufactures. There are gains to be had doing DEM mods. If pressed and could only have one DAC I'd keep the 1541 DAC. I even gave that project a name. 1541DACASARUS REX.... OK That's a silly name.... I'm working on a second version using a different output stage topology. Interesting to see how that one turns out. Dave
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Old 6th February 2012, 11:35 AM   #18
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Not only by the reproduction side the sonic diversity and character is to observe between the individual DACs and I/U topologies, both at vintage and currently available ones.

The same diversity there is present by the production side of the compact disc (recording, mastering, at whole a long way), both between different time periods and different technologies (e. g. like only one masterclock generator for all or the use of different masterclocks upon just one example to name).

Consequently, there will always be so, that at certain CDs one and sometimes another DAC and/or circuit topology is preferably

Thus all user's need various DACs and DAC topologies, If the CD collection is very large. The Selecting between various transfer functions of the low pass character by the digital filter is definitely not enough here.

Until now I was of the opinion, that only one DAC and IU/IV conversion (e. g. PCM1704 and the Pass I/U) together with the selecting between eight times - and non (zero) oversampling was enough.

After various listening tests I think rather more and more, that the selecting between various DAC-ICs is also important. I have heard in the meantime in very good sound quality the types MN6471M (Technics Mash, used by NAD and Acurus), CS4328 (Cirrus Logic, used in Linn Karik) TDA1541 (Micromega "SOLO", first edition so as various models from Naim Audio) AD1856 (Monrio CD Player) after tweaking resp. modification of various things, mostly refitting of LC master clocks.

It is always to observe, that certain CDs in ideal harmony with certain DACs particularly well.
Thus a well-planned/well-designed DAC-Unit must also have the possibility to select between Multibit (both oversampling and NOS), "bitstream continuous calibration" and ΔΣ / ΣΔ mode.

Always impressive, is this DAC topology about
http://www.tnt-audio.com/clinica/convertus3_e.html
and the Shigaraki DAC "4715" from Sakura Systems/47lab about
http://www.sakurasystems.com/products/shigadac.html
and
Shigaraki Drive and DAC images
Not to beat by certain old classic recordings.

The commonly made ​​statement, that only one modern DAC is still necessary, I do not take seriously in cases, where a lot of old CDs are present to be played from the 80s and 90s.

Last edited by tiefbassuebertr; 6th February 2012 at 11:43 AM.
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Old 6th February 2012, 01:11 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nanook View Post
Well the TDA-1541 was/is used in the Yamamoto YDA-01 DAC , the Naim CDX player, etc. No one has suggested that these sound anything but excellent.... And just because a chip is newer does not mean it is better. For example, several of the BB/TI PCM17XX chips have been identified as the bottleneck for performance in several newer digital products.
The YDA-01 utilizes the PCM1794A, and to my knowledge always has. See the following link to Yamamoto's own website. Featuring no-feedback single output circuit with a single transistor

Given that, I'm curious to know in which digital products you believe the PCM179x chips have been identified as the performance bottleneck?
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Last edited by Ken Newton; 6th February 2012 at 01:20 PM.
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Old 6th February 2012, 02:13 PM   #20
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PCM179x might have some issues (compared with the "old" PCM1704) , but is definitely not a bottleneck... It's a benchmark that "others" try to pass

In my limited experience, TDA1541 is good, but not even close of above cips SQ.
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