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Old 12th April 2011, 10:12 AM   #341
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rsdio View Post
The only event that will push price down is more production quantity. Making one custom electronic device is incredibly expensive. You have to make at least 100 to get the first discounts, but usually it's not enough to reach a 'fair' retail price until you make 1000. I doubt that there are even 100 people willing to build their own DAC. I could be wrong about the number of people interested, but I'm not wrong about the costs. Making 100 different products doesn't save any money - you have to have 100 people agree on the same platform and then you get discounted prices.

Quality might be pushed up by competition, especially with a forum like diyAudio to discuss what is learned by each new attempt.
Your talking about " incredibly expensive" why do you think so ?
It is extremely time consuming but if you do not pay for the time (say you do this for a hobby not for a living) then I'm not seeing these extreme costs.
Most electronics is for sale for a low price.
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Old 12th April 2011, 10:18 AM   #342
Raj1 is offline Raj1  United Kingdom
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Quote:
Originally Posted by egberttheone View Post
Your talking about " incredibly expensive" why do you think so ?
It is extremely time consuming but if you do not pay for the time (say you do this for a hobby not for a living) then I'm not seeing these extreme costs.
Most electronics is for sale for a low price.
Hmm I don't know of many designers that give all of their work away for free, sure some do but not all. Time is money to most people. You can break most things down to component value and find the elemental cost is not reflective of the global product.
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Old 12th April 2011, 11:56 AM   #343
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Hi,

Can I ask the group usually how long do one have to be on the waiting list before the interface is available? I left my name on for a week or so but have not received any reply......

Thanks
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Old 12th April 2011, 02:19 PM   #344
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raj1 View Post
Hmm I don't know of many designers that give all of their work away for free, sure some do but not all. Time is money to most people. You can break most things down to component value and find the elemental cost is not reflective of the global product.
Ofcourse! But then it is not extremely expensive to do/make. The price you pay for it is profit, not the value of the electronics.
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Old 12th April 2011, 02:31 PM   #345
Raj1 is offline Raj1  United Kingdom
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Quote:
Originally Posted by egberttheone View Post
The price you pay for it is profit, not the value of the electronics.
Who doesn't know that?

You could say the same about anything in the marketplace. There are various levels of "DIY" and unless you have the ability to design something from the ground up you have to pay someone else to do the job for you - that's how the world works.
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Old 12th April 2011, 05:52 PM   #346
SunRa is offline SunRa  Romania
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Update! AK4396 not only plays 352.8 files, it also plays 384 Khz sampling rates!

I've upsampled a 192k file to 384K and I get a hiss free playback.

No the interesting thing is that upsampling a 352.8k DXD file (the ones with hiss) to 384k lowers the hiss by roughly a half.

I've researched a bit regarding the DXD files and their recording is quite different than the standard in that they are having a much more shallower anti-alias filter than the downsampled files. That is needed for DSD conversion.

So I believe I am actually hearing some kind of passband noise, or better said it's effects. Now I don't know why this isn't happening when playing these files with the ESS DAC, but there could be three reasons: a) the ess chip does resampling and this affects this noise, b) the digital filters in the ess are working differently, c) a result of the interaction of the first two features.
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Old 12th April 2011, 05:52 PM   #347
rsdio is offline rsdio  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by egberttheone View Post
Your talking about " incredibly expensive" why do you think so ?
Why do I think it's "incredibly expensive?" ... because I actually know how much it costs to make electronics like this! I do this sort of work professionally, and I have seen the numbers on every aspect of manufacturing.

Have you ever designed a piece of electronics? Have you ever manufactured more than one of the same circuit?

I have, and I can say that every single element of manufacturing costs more when you make fewer units. The only cost which is not discounted in quantity is manual labor, such as hand-assembly. But that's not much of a consolation since manual labor is already the most expensive aspect. In this case, I don't think there is much manual labor, so the costs are very dependent upon quantity.

Step One: Order circuit boards. Typically, you cannot order anything professionally without spending $300 to $400 minimum. That means if you need one PCB, it costs $400. You can get that down to $50 with a prototyping outfit, but quality suffers. Sure, DIY folks can order a PCB for as little as $2 per square inch, or even make their own PCB by hand for almost $0, but I can assure you that the quality is not worthy of a product at those prices. exaDevices is surely paying professional rates for PCB manufacturing.

Step Two: Parts ordering. As I mentioned earlier, some chips are not even available in quantities under 1000, and if they are then the cost is higher for small quantities. Even buying 100 of a chip is not enough to get the same discounts that brand name electronics manufacturers have access to. The exact same circuit board can cost several times extra depending upon how many you make.

Step Three: Assembly is handled by robots called a pick-and-place machine, but setup time is expensive. Tape reels with thousands of components must be manually loaded into each individual slot, and the computer files must be manually adjusted to create a functioning board - this never works right the first time, and the failures cost money, too, so the assembly shop charges a setup fee. It costs a great deal of money to buy 1000 capacitors when you only need 1 per board, and only have 100 units to make. Assembly shops might share a reel of 1000 capacitors among several customers if the values are common, but interesting electronics always have at least one chip that is unique to your product and not on any other customer's boards. So, the cost of buying 1000 of these chips is immense, and must be absorbed into the unit cost. Also, the assembly shop charges for the setup time and the process they go through to tweak the pick-and-place until it can pop out a functioning circuit. All of the above is way more expensive when you start the whole process only to stop short of 100 or 1000 units. Nobody sells 10000 DIY kits.

Step Four: Finishing touches. Here is where you might expect a discount, but don't count on it. Custom enclosures have the same overhead as everything above. The exaU2I might not have an enclosure, but that doesn't mean it can be much cheaper. Besides, there's still the process of boxing the product and shipping it out to customers. Admittedly, that's not a major component of the price, but don't expect to save hundreds.

The only hope to get prices down is to manufacture more units at one time, because doing 100 here and 100 there doesn't save any money. Mr. exa would have to take advance order payments from 1000 people to get the prices down significantly.

Quote:
It is extremely time consuming but if you do not pay for the time (say you do this for a hobby not for a living) then I'm not seeing these extreme costs.
Mr. exa is not getting any money for his time. My comments have nothing to do with getting paid for design time. I am talking purely about manufacturing costs of professional PCB and parts assembly.

Quote:
Most electronics is for sale for a low price.
I'll ignore the bad grammar and assume this is a joke. Do you understand the difference between mass-produced consumer electronics versus very small production runs? Most electronics that you see for cheap prices are manufactured in amounts of hundreds of thousands of units, if not millions. The price overhead for each unit is tiny when divided by one million. As I said, exaDevices is probably lucky if 100 people buy this thing, so unit costs are much higher.
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Old 12th April 2011, 09:23 PM   #348
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SunRa View Post
Update! AK4396 not only plays 352.8 files, it also plays 384 Khz sampling rates!

I've upsampled a 192k file to 384K and I get a hiss free playback.

No the interesting thing is that upsampling a 352.8k DXD file (the ones with hiss) to 384k lowers the hiss by roughly a half.

I've researched a bit regarding the DXD files and their recording is quite different than the standard in that they are having a much more shallower anti-alias filter than the downsampled files. That is needed for DSD conversion.

So I believe I am actually hearing some kind of passband noise, or better said it's effects. Now I don't know why this isn't happening when playing these files with the ESS DAC, but there could be three reasons: a) the ess chip does resampling and this affects this noise, b) the digital filters in the ess are working differently, c) a result of the interaction of the first two features.
I start to believe that your DAC are performing some kind of downsampling like clocking in only every second sample or something like that

With a ESS DAC there are first a upsampling circuit with a digital filter before the jitter removal resampler etc...
The ESS DAC can disable the upsampling circuit and digital filter for use with other external upsampling filters..

I can play the DXD files with and without the upsampling filter..
The ONLY difference are the "negative" sonic effect of the upsampling filter.

I have upsampled DXD 352.8k/24bit files to 384k/32bit files without dither (truncate) for test purposes.
These files plays equally good - and without any noises or hiss...

As you tries to use your DAC at unsupported samplerates I would have asked the developers of the chip for an explanation to why/how the DAC chip "plays" 352.8k and 384k files, and what issues this may cause - like hiss etc..
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Old 13th April 2011, 05:36 AM   #349
SunRa is offline SunRa  Romania
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Quote:
With a ESS DAC there are first a upsampling circuit with a digital filter before the jitter removal resampler etc...
The ESS DAC can disable the upsampling circuit and digital filter for use with other external upsampling filters..

I can play the DXD files with and without the upsampling filter..
The ONLY difference are the "negative" sonic effect of the upsampling filter.
This apparently refutes my little theory on why you can play the DXD files.

Quote:
I start to believe that your DAC are performing some kind of downsampling like clocking in only every second sample or something like that
Well this might be true, although I don't see how's that possible. Furthermore none of our explanations do something regarding the fact that I can play 384 and 352.8 files without hiss if these files are upsampled and why the DXD files (about which we now know that have a different noise content than other files) are affecting the hardware like this.

From my point of view, this whole thing is definitely linked to the specific content being played and not only the hardware.

Quote:
As you tries to use your DAC at unsupported samplerates I would have asked the developers of the chip for an explanation to why/how the DAC chip "plays" 352.8k and 384k files, and what issues this may cause - like hiss etc..
Yes, I should contact their technical support. Maybe they would help with some valuable input.

By the way, anyone here tried to use the exa device with a non-upsampling DAC (Ad1955, PCM1794, wolfson parts, Cirrus-Logic)?
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Old 14th April 2011, 05:53 AM   #350
_henry_ is offline _henry_  Australia
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hi,

can we implement digital xo on 8ch for mutliamp speakers? just like we can do in APOGEE ENSEMBLE.

if using exa21 + ess9018 chip

cheers
henry

Last edited by _henry_; 14th April 2011 at 05:55 AM. Reason: add detail
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