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Old 27th August 2005, 05:26 PM   #1
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Join Date: Apr 2002
Lightbulb Your favourite DAC project (post here) ?

Can people list their top favourite DAC project (that they have personal experience with) along with rationale as to why they think that particular project is the top-notch (for them).

A rough template:

1) Name of project / DAC (along with version number, if there are several)

2) URL if exists (for more information)

3) Pros and cons (price, sound, easiness of building, pickiness with sources, amount of learning required, etc.)

4) Why it's the best for you (your rationale). Can be sound, can be cost, can be measurements, easiness of obtaining parts or something else. It's what *you* decide. Others don't have to agree, but do give some idea of your personal reasons.

And, PLEASE no fights. If you don't disagree with somebody's personal choice, post your own personal DAC favourite.

My reason for asking this?

There are a ton of of DAC projects out there.

Beginners would probably get a lot of info out of a thread that discussed the pros and cons of several projects and people's opinions of them.
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Old 28th August 2005, 03:26 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: British Isles
PCM2902 USB DAC/ADC

http://hepso.dna.fi/misc/pcm2902/PCM2902_usb_dac.html

Pros:
Cheap and parts easy to come by
Reasonably easy to build with not too many parts
Great sound quality (certainly compared to any commercial soundcard)
Upgradeable - has an S/PDIF output which can be passed to a secondary DAC if needed
Works well with a gainclone

Cons:
SSOP PCM2902 chip can be a little tricky to solder though unless you are fairly experienced
I had a few problems getting the device to be recognised by my system though it might be motherboard specific as I had no problems using it in other PC's.

---

I seriously wanted to upgrade my sound output from my computer having recently built a gainclone (which I *love*) and the existing, noisy, resampling SBLIVE! was no good.

I came across Markku Pöysti's design for this DAC, got some free BB PCM2902 samples from Texas and the rest of the components from Farnell. I etched my own board, soldered it all together and have been very happy.

Attached is a pic of my DAC sitting atop my Gainclone - no box for it yet though
Attached Images
File Type: jpg pcm2902_dac1.jpg (98.4 KB, 2417 views)
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Old 28th August 2005, 04:00 PM   #3
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Location: Eindhoven
Default Re: Your favourite DAC project (post here) ?

Quote:
Originally posted by halcyon


1) Name of project / DAC (along with version number, if there are several)

2) URL if exists (for more information)

3) Pros and cons (price, sound, easiness of building, pickiness with sources, amount of learning required, etc.)

4) Why it's the best for you (your rationale). Can be sound, can be cost, can be measurements, easiness of obtaining parts or something else. It's what *you* decide. Others don't have to agree, but do give some idea of your personal reasons.


Good initiative !

1)
Our DAC page

2)
http://www.tentlabs.com/Products/DIYDAC/DIYDAC.html

3) Pros
Comes with all required schematics, parts list and extensive building manual. Exhaustive background on the design, so much can be learned yet without building. Hard to get parts made availabe at TentLabs. Room for tweaking and component optimalisation.

3) Cons
Not the cheapest one around (700 euro). Requires some experience in soldering (SMD) allthough hundreds are built around the world, all work as required. 3 PCB design, cannot be fit into smal cabinet.

4)
Tradditional design using best chipset of 10 years ago. Very high attenuation to jitter suppression, applied techniques have not been found in other (commercial) designs. Highly insensitive for drive quality.

High attention to PCB layout and signal quality. Tradditional tube output stage and rectifier.

Soundwise it is hard to beat at this price. It offers a high level of detail and transparency.


best
__________________
Guido Tent
www.Tentlabs.com
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Old 28th August 2005, 05:23 PM   #4
dddac is offline dddac  Germany
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Location: Wiesbaden
Default Re: Your favourite DAC project (post here) ?

Quote:
Originally posted by halcyon
Can people list their top favourite DAC project (that they have personal experience with) along with rationale as to why they think that particular project is the top-notch (for them).

A rough template:

1) Name of project / DAC (along with version number, if there are several)

2) URL if exists (for more information)

3) Pros and cons (price, sound, easiness of building, pickiness with sources, amount of learning required, etc.)

4) Why it's the best for you (your rationale). Can be sound, can be cost, can be measurements, easiness of obtaining parts or something else. It's what *you* decide. Others don't have to agree, but do give some idea of your personal reasons.

And, PLEASE no fights. If you don't disagree with somebody's personal choice, post your own personal DAC favourite.

My reason for asking this?

There are a ton of of DAC projects out there.

Beginners would probably get a lot of info out of a thread that discussed the pros and cons of several projects and people's opinions of them.
1) DDDAC1543

2) www.dddac.de

3) Pro and Con

PRO Highest possible value for money. Beats many other DACs and high priced CD players from the box. Works with parallel DAC chips to overcome some what rough sound if only one chip is used. Asynchrone reclocking with a jitter free TENT Clock for spatial soundstage. Output is passive I/V with high drive capability and direct almost 2 VRMS output without using opamps or tubes. Relatively easy to build, also for beginners (so far everyone 100% get the thing to work...) A starterkit is available for 112 Euro including all parts, except the power supply or battery, cooling and chassis. WEB Site with full description and circuits. Sound is very direct, very pin point and dynamic

CON No state of the art PCB and high end components. For optimium results, need to do some DIY tweaking (but that was actually the idea behind it . Sound is for some people not high-end detailed enough. With tweaking on capacitors and using more dacs in parallel this can be pushed in the right direction. The DAC tower gets pretty hot and the kit is not including cooling for the tower, so it needs some creativity to keep the tower cool. I have seen quite some impressive solutions by the way

4) as said, for those not able and willing to built a largly complicated DAC or lack the budget, should try this design....

doede
www.dddac.de
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Old 28th August 2005, 10:24 PM   #5
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Location: Cleveland ohio
I concur with Doede. The DDDAC is hard to beat for great sound and simplicity to build. As for cooling the chips, just aim a little muffin fan at the chip tower. Fan can run at 6 volts to be quiet.

The Tent Clock adds to the whole thing.

I built mine using 4 separate battery supplies.

Base drive is wonderful...lots of air and deep soundstage. Details galore.

My other DAC is a Norm Tracy X-DAC signature...Its a great DAC as well, But Its the Doede DDDAC that I keep in my system...It has a warmth and presence that I like.
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Old 29th August 2005, 05:49 PM   #6
Nisbeth is offline Nisbeth  Denmark
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Default Fedde Bouwman's NONOZ-III

1) NONOZ-III

2) http://jwg.student.utwente.nl/fedde/nonoz3.html or via http://www.fedde.tk/

3)
Pros: Low cost, good sound, easy to build.
Cons: No PCB-layout (had to do my own), CS8412/8414 difficult to source.

4) I absolutely love this little DAC. Performance is very good (especially for the price) and it's easy to build and so cheap that you can basically fit it anywhere. The board only requires a single supply of 11VDC or more, so stealing the supply voltage for it inside existing equipment shouldn't be a problem in most cases

Pics of my prototype. The PCB is my design and measures app. 63x45 mm

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

/U.
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Old 30th August 2005, 04:50 AM   #7
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Location: Hawaii
This is the only DAC I ever built. I like the way it works.

Chime DAC

Click the image to open in full size.

jh
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Old 30th August 2005, 03:07 PM   #8
buddha is offline buddha  United Kingdom
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This is a great thread (for me). Has anyone compared any of the designs above against each other / against commercial units? Anyone care to post impressions what kind of differences to expect?
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Old 30th August 2005, 07:16 PM   #9
t. is offline t.  United Kingdom
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1) Pedja's TDA1541 dac

2)http://users.verat.net/~pedjarogic/a...1a_dac_rev.htm

3) Pro's Excellent sound, the optional Reclocker, nice pcb and well laid out

Con's, you need to supply your own components but this is something I would have prefered anyway

I've built a few different TDA1543 and TDA1541 type dacs and this is my favourite so far
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Old 31st August 2005, 02:06 AM   #10
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Location: Sydney
Pedja Rogic DAC 1541A.

1. Pros

Natural sound of very high quality. I was able to notice many hours spent on design to get absolute best. Well done Pedja! It serves me as a reference sounding DAC while modifying other digital equipment. Object of desire for many high enders who have ridiculously expensive DAC's. It gives as natural and as unprocessed sound as possible (from a DAC) in it's original form - without reclocker. With reclocker, it is very pleasing but looses just a smallest bit of naturalness. Analog section is ingenious in its implementation. Power supply regulation the best possible.


2. Cons

Parts are obsolete and it would be a good idea to re-design, and implement the widely available receiver and DAC chips.

I played with ground topology a bit and would change couple of things - but that's me!

The reclocker section could be implemented on the same (main) DAC PCB, and have (jumper?) options for a "direct through", or "with the reclocker".




Extreme_Boky
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