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Old 2nd March 2012, 04:50 PM   #1
diyAudio Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Smile Suggestions for a simple DAC?

Hello everyone!

Since I mostly use my PC as a source, I would like to step-up from the soundcard to a higher quality digital-to-analog conversion solution - a DAC.

Could any of you please recommend me a beginner's DAC project? One that wouldn't be too complicated and would support up to 16-bit/44.1kHz input. A USB receiver input is preferable.

Thank you! David.
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Old 2nd March 2012, 10:20 PM   #2
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Location: Lyon
Hi David

Plenty of choice around there...
GrubDac : GrubDAC Overview
SkeletonDAC : SkeletonDAC Overview
Work in progress in the built of both, waiting for Mouser delivery, hope it will be soon
They can be called USB Cable DAC, have a look, you'll undestand why.
First DAC is based on PCM2706, second PCM2704/5.
You can order a full kit for a bunch of $.
The SkeletonDAC will fullfil your USB need, GrubDAC add SPDIF Option...
Previously I've committed Alien and Bantam, based on now expensive PCM2702 (discontinued from Ti). Skeleton is the latest generation.
You have to deal with SMD soldering, training is usefull.
You'll get 16bits/44.1KHz as expected with both of those kits.
Cheers
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Old 3rd March 2012, 01:07 AM   #3
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HRT Music Streamer II or II+. Disgustingly good for the price, plug & play usb connect. Very well chosen PCM1794 dac chip used.
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Old 3rd March 2012, 08:54 AM   #4
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Thanks guys, but the schematics of these aren't very good (or maybe I just can't figure them out, DACs are quite new to me).

How about something that doesn't require SMD parts?
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Old 3rd March 2012, 09:27 AM   #5
marce is offline marce  United Kingdom
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Location: Blackburn, Lancs
There are a few older DACS still available in non SMD, but not many.
SMD isn't to hard to work with, plenty of guides on here, and for digital it is the best. With SMD you can minimise any loops and get the best possible decoupling with small MLCC decoupling capacitors next to power pins.
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Old 3rd March 2012, 09:35 AM   #6
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Okay then, SMD it is! But I can't understand these schematics well, I can't figure out where the inputs and outputs are located. And I can't even find a bill of materials!

Could someone post a schematic that's a bit easier to read, optimized for beginners?

Thanks!

Last edited by Dmeister; 3rd March 2012 at 09:54 AM. Reason: Forgot something
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Old 3rd March 2012, 10:07 AM   #7
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Okay, I found a relatively simple project, with a schematic I can understand.

PCM2704 USB DAC

But I can't find the bill of materials/component values anywhere! Someone please help!
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Old 3rd March 2012, 11:44 AM   #8
marce is offline marce  United Kingdom
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Location: Blackburn, Lancs
Have a look at a couple of chip manufacturers who do DACs, there are quite often reference designs with layout BOM etc, it easier to copy one of then initialy, as it guides you through the circuit.
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