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Old 9th December 2003, 10:24 PM   #1
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Default One more TDA1541A DAC

I just finished off a new DAC using a TDA1541A-S2, CS8414 receiver, Guido Tent's XO clock, and Pedja's AD844 IV stage.

I'll be honest and say that it sounds quite good. Excellent tone and soundstage. Some of my recordings are sounding amazingly realistic. Much less digital. (Sorry.. I'm not so good with the "audiophile" speak.. it's just good sounding)

The XO clock works wonders. I can tell the difference it makes by taking out the 74HC binary divider and putting it back in. Very great resolution is added with the XO clock.

The AD844 IV stage is great too. No more bothering with tubes. I can just put the whole dac in a smaller enclosure. I had built a tube dac before but I just moved the tube section out and am now using it as a separate linestage.

I was hesitant about using opamps but the AD844 is excellent and easy to implement.

No fancy passive parts.. other than Oscons for the digital supplies which are shunt regulated by TL431s.
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Old 9th December 2003, 10:25 PM   #2
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Here's a closer look at the DAC board.

You can see one of the AD844s on the right.

Big 10uF solen MKPs as output.

Tent clock on the bottom. I'm using the suggested powersupply from the XO documentation for the clock.

That's a 74HC4040 divider which I'll switch to VHC later.
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Old 10th December 2003, 03:18 AM   #3
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looks freaking cool...how much was it??
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Old 10th December 2003, 03:53 AM   #4
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good question.. the most expensive part was the TDA1541A S2.. it cost $90USD. The Tent clock was about $25 USD. I guess overall, it cost about $150USD to make? Not too bad.
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Old 10th December 2003, 04:24 AM   #5
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another question...why are there 2 input jacks with only 1 cable connected?? wrong drilling or??
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Old 10th December 2003, 04:35 AM   #6
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those two jacks on the left are digital in. BNC and RCA jacks. I mainly use BNC so the RCA is free.

That empty hole on the right between the two output RCA jacks IS a drilling mistake!

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Old 10th December 2003, 07:53 AM   #7
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ohhh...so I see....hehe...what about heat problems?? do u have any of em?? What kinda voltages are u running ur DAc at?? considered a tube buffereed DAC before??
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Old 10th December 2003, 11:15 AM   #8
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what are the blue rectangles with a screw on it? variable resistors?
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Old 10th December 2003, 03:09 PM   #9
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yupz...multi-turn types...you can get em from Farnell and RS...just to name a few places...
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Old 10th December 2003, 03:42 PM   #10
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the blue rectanges are bournes multiturn pots. I got them locally.

Most of the heat comes from the 1W resistors that are in series with the TL431. They dissipate about .8W and i measured it with a temp gun at 50degrees C.

The TDA1541 gets slightly warm.

The power supply outputs +/- 16VDC and its regulated down to +5, +5 for the CS8414 , +5, -5,-15 for the TDA1541, +/-15 for the AD844, +5 for the clock.

I built a tube buffered DAC before but I had some hum problems and I couldnt get enough gain out of it. It was based on Thorsten's Adagio dac. I find that with the tube stage external and with the AD844, and clock, it sounds MUCH better than the DAC and tube stage alone.

The sound is very rich and clean without wooliness. The tube linestage gives it very wide imaging.
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