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imperfectcircle 18th April 2006 05:42 PM

Newbie needs USB DAC kit, please help!
I am prettynew to the world of DIY hifi. I have done a few easy mods such as upgrading an opamp or capacitor...etc and have built the Bottlehead Foreplay with some help from my dad.

So i just built myself a nice new high-end computer and i would like to use it as part of my audio system. So i need a nice usb dac and i am thinking about building a kit as sort of a fatherson project with my dad who is recently retired and needs a new hobby., he is bored being home all day.

I need to find a nice usb DAC kit that wont be to difficult to build. i have seen a few differant ones onnline from Scott Nixon and DIY paradise as well as the DDDAC. The Scott Nixon and DIY PAradise Monica seem very simple to build, but Im not so sure how god the sound quality will be compared to something like the DDDAC. I am pretty open to ideas, but I have a few needs, first it must be under $500, have a usb input, be easy to build and must sound good.

So any reccomendations??? Please feel free to email me personally at

MGH 18th April 2006 07:56 PM

Hi Frank,

Like you I been researching many DIY DACs for the past month, and I have narrowed it down to DDDAC1543 or the Twin 1541a DAC. To me the DDDAC sounds more appealing because the it has a simpler circuit (although stacking all those chips will take some soldering skill), quiet battery power, easy USB acess, and ability to add as many DAC towers as you want (within reason). The Twin DAC gives you the ability to hear both opamp and tube buffer output, which are nice options. But reading the posts, it seems like some have had problems getting the right parts and getting it to work. Nice to hear from a neighbor - I'm in Boston. May be we can build the DDDAC together :-). Good luck.

ezkcdude 18th April 2006 08:57 PM

The simplest one I've seen is the Alien DAC. I can't seem to find the url right now, but I have it bookmarked at home, and will update this thread tonight, if nobody else does before that.

There's also a couple of very long threads at Head-Fi (on the DIY forum) about building a USB DAC. You should probably head on over there and check them out:


v-bro 7th October 2006 10:53 PM

interesting thread anyway....

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