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Old 13th May 2011, 12:55 PM   #1
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Default Buffalo III - flexibility without compromise.

Yesterday I let the cat out of the bag that after a year or so of careful design and testing I have in front of me Buffalo III. The fourth iteration of the Buffalo DAC, and while it is every bit a Buffalo, it brings with is a set of features that make it especially suited to the DIY enthusiast.
  • All 8 digital inputs and outputs are exposed in a neat modular way that makes adding input options very practical.
  • Any input format that the ES9018 supports is supported with jumpers on board to make for easy to join channels for 6 bit stereo or mono mode or keep them separate them for multichannel etc.
  • An on board port expander to make interface and configuration very practical for both on-board and off-board control.
  • An on board controller that supports volume control (same as Volumite) and SPDIF source selection (MUX) out of the box.
  • 16 switches for configuration or control. Some of these can be assigned to panel rotary switches for things like input selection.
  • It is designed to integrate with existing TPA output stages such as Legato 3.1 and IVY III.
  • It is designed so that each power supply is both local and modular with a layout that fits the Trident perfectly for an awesome combination.
  • It utilizes the same excellent custom ordered Crystek clock we have been using for Buffalo II.
  • The on-board controller even has its own local regulator.

Brian and I are in the midst of getting this unit into production. Now is the time you can influence the design of things like the on-board firmware. The hardware design is done and tested (and awesome) with a couple prototypes running now. I have been listening to this DAC for a few months, and it is a worthy successor to the Buffalo II.

Brian and I will be providing more design details soon, but we wanted to share the good news and get some feedback regarding the finalization of the on-board firmware.

Cheers!
Russ
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Last edited by Russ White; 13th May 2011 at 01:23 PM.
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Old 13th May 2011, 01:11 PM   #2
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Strange my post and another one dissapeared? Does it sound better than B II?

:edit by moderator: I deleted posts that are not related to the BIII discussion directly. The questions in the posts would have been better directed by email.

Sincerely

Last edited by Russ White; 13th May 2011 at 01:14 PM.
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Old 13th May 2011, 01:15 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bambadoo View Post
Does it sound better than B II?

Sincerely
Does green look better than red?

They are very very similar. The only major (audio wise) difference being (if you use tridents on both) that the BII is always stereo or mono.
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Last edited by Russ White; 13th May 2011 at 01:33 PM.
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Old 13th May 2011, 01:18 PM   #4
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On thing to keep in mind folks, is that while I have one of these, it is not available for sale yet.
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Old 13th May 2011, 01:18 PM   #5
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Thanks for keeping us busy, Russ.
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Old 13th May 2011, 01:20 PM   #6
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seems more flexible
hardly any reason to throw out BII
IMO
best
Leif
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Old 13th May 2011, 01:21 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leifchristensen View Post
seems more flexible
hardly any reason to throw out BII
IMO
best
Leif
I completely agree. BII is a wonderful DAC, and if you will only ever use stereo or mono and don't need the on-board MUX then you won't find any reason not to use it.
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Old 13th May 2011, 01:41 PM   #8
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Is the Custom Ordered Crystek clock somthing special in comparison with the ones we can buy from Digi-key?
:Edit: accidently hit edit instead of quote:/edit:

Last edited by Russ White; 13th May 2011 at 01:48 PM.
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Old 13th May 2011, 01:41 PM   #9
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does the onboard MUX, as you call it, also also offer switching between s/pdif and I2S?
best
Leif
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Old 13th May 2011, 01:46 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leifchristensen View Post
does the onboard MUX, as you call it, also also offer switching between s/pdif and I2S?
best
Leif
That is something which you would have to implement externally, just as you would with BII. But it is certainly possible with either DAC. The ESS9018 only directly supportes MUXing SPDIF.
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Last edited by Russ White; 13th May 2011 at 01:49 PM.
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