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Old 13th December 2006, 07:23 PM   #1
elg2001 is offline elg2001  United States
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Default New to DACs; After Some Research, is Texas Instruments PCM1794 the best DAC?

Hi,
I'm an old timer when it comes to audio and DIY (that's why I'm here). However, as far as DACs go, I don't know the best units. I've been doing some hunting around for the best DAC chip (including reading many threads on these forums), and it seems that the highest performing 24bit DAC is the Texas Instruments PCM1794 DAC. Is this an accurate statement?
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Old 14th December 2006, 04:49 PM   #2
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Recently I had a DAC vendor over to my home with several HiFi enthusiasts. This DAC had interchangeable daughter cards for TDA-1543A, CS4398, and PCM1798. The 98 is very similar to the 92/94 chip from TI.

By far the best chip was the TI 1798. Why anyone would ever bother with a TDA-1543 is a mystery. It's a low end chip and it sounded like it as compared to the CS4398 and the PCM1798.

The TDA1543A was thin, lacked detail, and had a non existent sound stage.

CS4398 was an excellent chip, it's just the 1798 was a little bit better in every dimension, especially noteworthy was the improvement in the 1798's bass response.

BTW, we also compared the DAC's to my current ADCOM GDA750 DAC with a pair of BB1702's, non-over sampling, non-delta sigma, 20 bit chip.

Personally I liked the 1798 overall by a small margin, the 1702 and the 4398 were a toss-up. One was slightly better than the other in small ways with different strengths.

The 1543A was a clear hands down looser when compared to these other chips. I know a lot of DIYer's like them because they are cheap and easy to DIY, and are better than what they are listening to now if the DIY build quality is high.

Picking the TI/BB 179x chips is a good choice. There maybe other trade-offs other people would prefer, but overall the TI has a great product. It demonstrated strength across the board in our camparison. It's more expensive than the others, but a great chip.

Good luck,

-David
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Old 14th December 2006, 05:51 PM   #3
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Default Re: New to DACs; After Some Research, is Texas Instruments PCM1794 the best DAC?

Quote:
Originally posted by elg2001
and it seems that the highest performing 24bit DAC is the Texas Instruments PCM1794 DAC. Is this an accurate statement?
I came to the same conclusion, when I built my DAC. It also is very easy to configure/setup, especially if used with an ASRC, such as AD1896 (which is how I'm using it). PCM1794 has about double the output current, which I would think is the main advantage over PCM1798.
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Old 14th December 2006, 06:14 PM   #4
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Default Re: Re: New to DACs; After Some Research, is Texas Instruments PCM1794 the best DAC?

Quote:
Originally posted by ezkcdude


PCM1794 has about double the output current, which I would think is the main advantage over PCM1798.

The extra current is needed for some passive I/V designs and for Transformer based I/V designs.

Personally, I'm looking at building a 179x design with a choice of a Pass Labs I/V design or a transformer for experimentation in the near future.

-David
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Old 15th December 2006, 06:12 AM   #5
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Check out the AKM dacs too. Like AK4395 etc.

www.akm.com

I have a dac project going on right now, it's based on AK4114 receiver and AK4395 dac. The AK4114 may change to AK4115, dunno yet.
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Old 15th December 2006, 10:11 AM   #6
lucpes is offline lucpes  Europe
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Quote:
Originally posted by macgyver
Check out the AKM dacs too. Like AK4395 etc.

www.akm.com

I have a dac project going on right now, it's based on AK4114 receiver and AK4395 dac. The AK4114 may change to AK4115, dunno yet.
Where did you find AKM chips in low quanitities? I tried locating sellers but to no avail so far.
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Old 15th December 2006, 02:04 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by lucpes


Where did you find AKM chips in low quanitities? I tried locating sellers but to no avail so far.
I asked some samples from local supplier and they send me some.

check:
http://www.asahi-kasei.co.jp/akm/en/...a/euro_sr.html
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Old 15th December 2006, 03:48 PM   #8
elg2001 is offline elg2001  United States
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does anyone have performance measurements (in the form of graphs) that you can send me?
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Old 15th December 2006, 04:04 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by elg2001
does anyone have performance measurements (in the form of graphs) that you can send me?
Which dac? Here is the AK4395 graphs:

http://www.akm.com/AppsNotes/AK4395f...iles/frame.htm
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Old 15th December 2006, 07:11 PM   #10
elg2001 is offline elg2001  United States
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actually, i would prefer measurements done by an independent, unbiased 3rd party if possible. i'd like to see those for the top DACs of as many manufacturers as possible.

thanks!
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