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hihopes 9th November 2004 07:48 PM

Aragon D2A upgrade path?
I have an ARragon D2A Dac, which has been upgraded to D2A2 with factory-supplied upgrade kit. Looking "under the hood" I see it has 2 Burr Brown PCM58 DAC chips and a Yamaha YM3623B. There are 14 other chips too, but I have no clue what they all do. I will list them if needed (All start with P and end with G, eg P8930G)
Is there a plug-in replacement for the PCM58 which would actually bring about a real improvement in this unit, or would I be fiddling about with swings and roundabouts if I tried to change them?

Jim Leach 11th February 2010 05:23 PM

Same question...
Ancient post, but I too have an old (not up-graded as far as I know) D2A and was curious if there are any 'known good' upgrade plans for this unit.

If not, I may look into another converter in the future...

hihopes 11th February 2010 08:15 PM

Hi Jim, I did a lot to my D2A, in spite of the arrogant reply I got from the techies at Aragon ("no, it is already optimum"). I got quite a lot more out of it, but in the end I got a Zero DAC and put my efforts into that instead. 16bit can't compete with 24bit, at least in this case. The Zero is OK standard, but only just. Once you start tweaking, it is a real giant killer. My Aragon is gathering dust and I have stripped out the dedicated regulators and fancy capacitors I worked so hard at inserting. Hope this helps.

Jim Leach 12th February 2010 11:52 AM

Hello and thanks for the response.

So, I know this may be stretching your memory quite a bit, but do you have any recommendations on the D2A upgrades, or do you think I am better off with a 'stock' Zero?

I ask because I have very limited funds, and if I sold the D2A and got a Zero, I would have no ca$h for upgrading the Zero.

Maybe there is another path- another converter with as-low-as D2A upgrade cost, but ready to go out of the box? This stuff is cheaper every day, and it seems that a lot of guys are making these up themselves too.

So, back to square one it seems!

Jim Leach 12th February 2010 12:02 PM

OK Looking at the 'zero' and I see a bit of price disparity monist them.

Some of the less expensive ones delete the USB input; however I think that might be useful for iPod playback.

Are there any specific models to look for or avoid from this line?

Thanks again!

Bill Fuss 12th February 2010 12:39 PM

If you are capable of installing a circuit board in a case and some simple wiring you should be looking at the Chinese upsampling CS4398 dac boards on Ebay. They are true giant killers at around $100 plus whatever case you put it in. I had a D2A a couple yrs ago,among others. The Ebay dac is a huge improvement.

The thread (Experience with this DIY DAC) pertains to it and it's iterations.

I added output transformers, it is totally tweakable.

Best, Bill

Jim Leach 12th February 2010 01:17 PM

Thanks Bill!

I can make a case easily enough (made one for the Preamp I never got working that is pretty nice) and certainly am capable of point-to-point wiring from my days making custom guitars.

Should I search "upsampling CS4398" on eBay then?

Back to the case, I've been thinking about it. Since I work in Thermal spray, I can easily do copper spray onto steel or aluminum case panels... Anyway just my ADD acting up again...:rolleyes:

Thanks again! I'm going to take a look now for that DAC kit. (and read through the thread assuming I can find it).

Jim Leach 12th February 2010 01:27 PM

I found a few versions.

I think this is the best deal, since it has the nicer R core transformer, and seems to have a lot of 'tweaks' done already.

Any opinions?

Item number:120475209524

Bill Fuss 12th February 2010 02:00 PM

Yep, that's it. The trafo is new, I bought mine w/o trafo for $90+20shipping so that's 40 bucks for the trafo. Still, that's hard to beat. Swapping opamps could be fun, but I feed the chip output directly to output trafos. It's all covered in the thread that is in the digital line forum, where this thread should be.

Best, Bill

Jim Leach 12th February 2010 02:36 PM

Thanks, Bill.

I didn't start the thread, just stumbled across it while doing a search...

It sounds like I need to order one of these bad-boys, get it working and then look into tweaks.

I started reading that (lengthy) thread, but have a long way to go with it!;)

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