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Cambridge CD3 - DIY Dac
Cambridge CD3 - DIY Dac
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Old 29th May 2013, 08:45 PM   #1
Dyolf is offline Dyolf  Norway
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Default Cambridge CD3 - DIY Dac

I have this nice non-working cdp, and would like to convert it to a dac with usb and s/pdif inputs. I have read most of the threads regarding the TDA1541 chip, but I have not found a schematic that shows how this is done. I am a novice in this department, so please bear with me. I am thinking in the lines of 2 or 3 inputs, a switch to choose between these, and the necessary boards off eBay
Any suggestions?
Thanks in advance
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Old 30th May 2013, 06:30 PM   #2
poynton is offline poynton  United Kingdom
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PLEASE do not wreck this cd player !!!!

Sell it to me instead!!


If it ain't broke, break it !! Then fix it again. It's called DIY !
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Old 30th May 2013, 09:14 PM   #3
Dyolf is offline Dyolf  Norway
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Originally Posted by poynton View Post
PLEASE do not wreck this cd player !!!!

Sell it to me instead!!


Hi Andy
Its already "broken" All the bits are there, but the previous owner took it apart to see if he could fix the laser and the lousy display, without any luck. I bought it several years ago, because i could not find the Dac3 I wanted. I always intended to use the dac section as a standalone dac.
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Old 3rd June 2013, 08:37 AM   #4
Angelm is offline Angelm  Bulgaria
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Location: Sofia
Hello Steen,
I have power and DAC board from Cambridge CD3. I use it like a DAC with I2S input. My setup is USB\I2S converter from computer and feed Cambridge DAC directly with I2S signal, avoiding digital filter with TDA7220. In this case Cambidge DAC accepts only 88.2 and 96 kHz signal. If you going to buy s/pdif to I2S board, be sure that it has option to change output to this values. I use exa2ui and XMOC board from this theme:
and in my setup it sounds better. I changed rectifier diodes with Schottky and output filter from 6.8 nF to 2.2 and sound become more clean and dynamic.
This DAC has a great sound and it worth to be restored.


Last edited by Angelm; 3rd June 2013 at 08:47 AM.
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Old 6th June 2013, 08:57 PM   #5
Dyolf is offline Dyolf  Norway
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Hi Angel.
I found this on that infamous site:

XMOS 384kHz high-quality USB to I2S PCB with ultralow noise 6.5uV regulator


1) Newest XMOS chip and uses 48MHz oscillator to asynchronous reclock usb audio data to I2S line, old XMOS uses only 13Mhz oscillator, over 4x better jitter rejection theoretically.

2) 6.5uVrms Ultralow noise linear power regulator (use of decade old LM317/1117 regulator is kidding for audiophile)

3) Solid ground plane (a must for high speed digital circuit)

4) No Via in active circuit (via inductance always create jitter problem)

5) FOX ultra low ppm oscillator and Murata capacitor sourced from Digikey USA (guarantee no fake product from China)

6) Gold plate USB connector (Molex, FCI, or other depends on stock)

7) Compact size 50mm x 30mm

8) PCB is USB powered(default). Diyer expert can remove FB1 and use 5V external power connect to CN1(warning: over-voltage or reverse-voltage can damage the xmos chip immediately, any modification void item warranty)

9) Extreme diyer can cut and install series resistor in the pre-allocated 0805 footprint space in the I2S line to match their DAC line impedance

No drivers needed for MAC OS version 10.6.4 and above
No drivers installation required for Linux with UAC2 compliant kernel
ASIO/KS/WASAPI/Direct Sound drivers for Windows XP to 8 (32 and 64 bit)
Fully featured Thesycon driver package (without 30 min. periodic beeps)

Windows 7/8/Vista/XP Driver is available to download from our website

*USB2.0 is a must for 384kHz operation
*Use a fresh install of windows and a dedicated USB port always avoid problem and run stable
*The length of I2S connection to your DAC chip should be as short as possible for best result and below 10cm is recommended

Please check your DAC should support the following I2S signal specification to decode each sampling rateATA LRCK BCLK MCLK
16/24bit 44.1kHz 2.8224Mhz 22.5792Mhz
16/24bit 48kHz 3.072Mhz 24.576Mhz
16/24bit 88.2kHz 5.6448Mhz 22.5792Mhz
16/24bit 96kHz 6.144Mhz 24.576Mhz
16/24bit 176.4kHz 11.2896Mhz 22.5792Mhz
16/24bit 192kHz 12.288Mhz 24.576Mhz
16/24bit 352.8kHz 22.5792Mhz 22.5792Mhz
16/24bit 384kHz 24.576Mhz 24.576Mhz
XMOS 384kHz high-quality USB to I2S PCB with ultralow noise 6.5uV regulator

In addition I would like to have a s/pdif input, but have not found a suitable board for this. I suppose there have to be some sort of switching between inputs also. First priority is to obtain the parts I need, then I may need some further advice as how to assemble the stuff.

Last edited by Dyolf; 6th June 2013 at 09:17 PM.
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Old 10th June 2013, 08:07 PM   #6
tiefbassuebertr is offline tiefbassuebertr  Germany
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Location: D-55629 Schwarzerden
is it this model?
Cambridge Audio CD3 CD player TDA1541A
then you must find out the associated Philips model, where the same display and the same loader/transport is in use (maybe CD350 ??)
check out also this thread:
Help! CONRAD JOHNSON DF1 CDplayer-preamp

Last edited by tiefbassuebertr; 10th June 2013 at 08:11 PM.
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