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Old 19th March 2013, 03:45 PM   #121
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Hi Tome, no measured or even heard humm from the 230 V wiring crossing the output section of the DAC ? Unshielded L + R wiring and 230 V wiring is a big no no in general. You could use 4 extra standoffs and mount an iron sheet connected to PE between the DAC PCB and the wiring.

Advice: I would turn the DAC PCB 180 degrees to the right and also turn the output cover 180 degrees. That way 230 V wiring is centimeters away from the outputs. Then swap the SPDIF and 230 V inputs. So SPDIF (then required) shielded coax wiring will be going over the DAC PCB "n the air". That way you will have a technically better performing and measuring device. Very likely also better sounding because of that. Nice looking work though. You see that the designs were meant for wide cases and not narrow and deep cases, sorry for that. In narrow and deep cases probably the power switch is best placed at the backside of the case. Unconvenient but electrically better.

C13 is a nice extra that does not cost a lot.
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Last edited by jean-paul; 19th March 2013 at 04:04 PM.
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Old 19th March 2013, 04:04 PM   #122
GaryB is offline GaryB  United States
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Sorry for my late reply but I wasn't active on Diy forum last month.
Yes i built one and here is pics for my near finished DAC. I use Hammond aluminium case and I'm very happy with results.
Tome,
It looks like you missed the discussion about the correct polarity of C32. It should be opposite of what you've done, as shown in the attached picture. I borrowed the picture from the DAC build thread and don't recall who made the excellent diagram, but all credit for the picture goes to him.
---Gary
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File Type: jpg DAC PCB HR 50 C32.jpg (111.6 KB, 286 views)
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Old 19th March 2013, 04:08 PM   #123
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Sharp eyes Gary ! Gary is absolutely right. I dont see the error as I am used to using bipolar BG N series.
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Old 19th March 2013, 04:38 PM   #124
GaryB is offline GaryB  United States
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Sharp eyes Gary !
JP,
Thanks. By the way, I took your advice and rewired my DAC to shorten the AC wiring length and get it further away from the DC output. It looks nicer but to be honest I can't tell any difference in the sound. With trepidation, I've attached a few more pictures. You'll frown at the exposed 120v terminals, but I only run this with the cover on, so I'm willing to run that risk.

---Gary
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File Type: jpg front.jpg (70.4 KB, 233 views)
File Type: jpg rear.jpg (166.0 KB, 222 views)
File Type: jpg top_view.jpg (428.0 KB, 243 views)
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Old 19th March 2013, 04:59 PM   #125
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It looks a lot better. More organised and safer within the given situation. I think if A-B comparison would be possible you would have heard the results.
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Old 19th March 2013, 05:10 PM   #126
syklab is offline syklab  Hong Kong
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JP,
Thanks. By the way, I took your advice and rewired my DAC to shorten the AC wiring length and get it further away from the DC output. It looks nicer but to be honest I can't tell any difference in the sound. With trepidation, I've attached a few more pictures. You'll frown at the exposed 120v terminals, but I only run this with the cover on, so I'm willing to run that risk.

---Gary
Hi,
What is that you have between the dac ouytput port and the RCA?
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Old 19th March 2013, 05:15 PM   #127
GaryB is offline GaryB  United States
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Hi,
What is that you have between the dac ouytput port and the RCA?
A JG Filter/buffer. See this thread for more details Joachim Gerhard Filter Buffer for ES9022
---Gary
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Old 19th March 2013, 05:52 PM   #128
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Gary how does it sound from an objective point of view ? Was the work worth all the effort ? And how does it compare to commercial DACs or other DACs you may have ?

Shielding still is recommended with regard to the 50 MHz XO etc. You can experiment with shielding of just the DAC board. A metal case within the plastic case so to speak. Conductive shielding spray painting the inside of the plastic casing also is a solution but then exposed wiring might cause unexpected surprises

I am impressed you were willing to listen to advice and improved the build of your DAC. Kudos.
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Old 19th March 2013, 07:25 PM   #129
GaryB is offline GaryB  United States
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Originally Posted by jean-paul View Post
Gary how does it sound from an objective point of view ? Was the work worth all the effort ? And how does it compare to commercial DACs or other DACs you may have ?

Shielding still is recommended with regard to the 50 MHz XO etc.
JP - thanks for the continued feedback and interest. This is actually the 2nd DAC I built with the Subbu v2.6 board. The first one was built in a die cast aluminum box and used a handwired JG buffer and different power supplies. The one in the die cast box sounds better with the top off, which made think that putting the 2nd one in a non-metallic box might be an improvement. See Gary's build

Until today, the first one in the metal box sounded slightly better than the 2nd one, but there are lots of differences between the builds, so it's not a clean experiment. The first uses a 5v supply consisting of an LM317 followed by an FET cap multiplier with the voltage set by a current source driving a resistor. The 2nd uses the 5v supply you designed. The first JG buffer +- 15v supply used LM317 regulators with tracking preregulators vs. the LT1963's used in the 2nd build. And there were differences in the JG buffer - hardwired in the 1st build vs. the EUVL buffer board in the 2nd. So it's hard to attribute the changes between the two to just shielding vs. no shielding. I noticed that the EUVL buffer board used 10 ohm resistors at the +- V inputs to slightly isolate left and right channels. I just shorted those out today, so I'm re-comparing the two builds to see how that changes things. First impressions seem to show it's better with the 10 ohm resistors shorted and that seems to tilt things in favor of the 2nd build with your power supply and the EUVL buffer.

In terms of comparisons to other DACs - here is what I've compared it to. All comparisons are in SPDIF mode.

1) ES9018 DAC (Buffalo III) with outputs run in current mode by putting low value resistors across output and then converting differential output to SE with Sowter 1:18 transformers followed by a cascoded jfet buffer. This is now my reference DAC and sounds better than the Subbu dac with JG filter/buffer but at much great cost.

2) Mytek DSD 192. In SPDIF mode, the Mytek is only OK and I like both the Buffalo III and the Subbu DAC better.

I've got some other older DIY DACs around but haven't had a chance for detailed comparisons.

---Gary

Last edited by GaryB; 19th March 2013 at 07:28 PM.
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Old 19th March 2013, 09:37 PM   #130
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JP - thanks for the continued feedback and interest. This is actually the 2nd DAC I built with the Subbu v2.6 board. The first one was built in a die cast aluminum box and used a handwired JG buffer and different power supplies. The one in the die cast box sounds better with the top off, which made think that putting the 2nd one in a non-metallic box might be an improvement. See Gary's build
I try to keep up with your DACs but it seems I was mixing things up. Glad to see you use 75 Ohm BNC connectors for SPDIF.

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First impressions seem to show it's better with the 10 ohm resistors shorted and that seems to tilt things in favor of the 2nd build with your power supply and the EUVL buffer.
Good to know that the PSU lives up to the expectations. Talking about drawing conclusions based on false preconceptions BTW shielding is not a case of listening. It must be shielded as it contains a 50 MHz XO. You can listen to different caps and such but electronics with high frequency components just must be shielded. Maybe some of the reading members can put it with better words ?!


Quote:
Originally Posted by GaryB View Post
1) ES9018 DAC (Buffalo III) with outputs run in current mode by putting low value resistors across output and then converting differential output to SE with Sowter 1:18 transformers followed by a cascoded jfet buffer. This is now my reference DAC and sounds better than the Subbu dac with JG filter/buffer but at much great cost.

---Gary
ES9018 is not a fair comparison (which does not prevent from comparing of course) but still... the Subbu DAC probably costs less than one of the Sowthers... How much better is the ES9018 ? Simply significantly better or slightly better like let's say 5 % ? And how do prices compare so what did the ES9018 DAC cost to build if I may ask ?

I know most of us are always trying to find better sounding equipment but sometimes it can be refreshing to look at the price/performance ratio. I think the Subbu DAC gives a lot for what it costs. I can live with it and have no wish for better DACs that cost 10 times as much and sound just a tad better for instance. This gives me a remarkable sense of being satisfied and it gives the freedom to build amps again. My personal opinion is that it is a device that can be enjoyed with no real drawbacks. Way better than most of the stuff I tried in the past.
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