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|25th June 2013, 03:11 PM||#1|
Join Date: Jun 2009
Radio Shack Digital to Analog Converter
I wanted to post some thoughts I had of my experience with the Radio Shack digital audio converter. I didn't find very much from googling, so I thought I'd put some (subjective) information out there for anyone else that might be interested or have some thoughts.
I play a ton of Xbox 360 and PS3 and was disappointed with the analog output from these systems (the 360 being worse than the PS3) into my cmoy headphone amp. So I decided to give the Radio Shack digital to analog converter a try--running optical PCM to the converter and using the RCA outs to drive my cmoy.
The first thing I did when I opened the box was toss the switching power supply in my parts bin and forget about it. I knew it needed a linear supply to sound good--so I hooked up a 6v power supply using an LM317 and a massive 6800uF cap paired with a 100nF on the input. The power supply is dead quiet when hooked up to the converter (mine is the Tangent design and has gain of 11--so low noise is imperative).
Next I cracked the case--the main 'Digital Audio Interface Receiver' chip is the Cirrus Logic 8416-CZZ. I don't know much about this chip, but it seems pretty much up to the task upon some subjective listening tests.
Once everything was wired up, I was VERY pleased with the result. Since the optical cable is plastic/glass it isolates the source from the DAC, which I found to be the culprit of much of the noise. One note to make is that the output level isn't as high a voltage as standard line level. I don't have a sensitive enough AC meter to measure a 1khz signal at -0 db but I'd guess it is in the 200mV range rather than around 1.25 volts. This works well for my headphone amp (at gain 11...ouch), but may be unable to drive some line level devices without a buffer stage with a bit of gain.
Overall the sound output when playing games is very pleasing to me. I'd be crushing my ears before I heard any of the noise floor from the DAC, and even then, it is just white noise--no buzzing or squealing.
Thanks for reading!
Last edited by roosar; 25th June 2013 at 03:15 PM.
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