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Extreme Buffalo II build

Melon Head

Banned
2006-11-10 10:14 am
I am seriously considering purchasing a buffalo II dac, but if I do, I don't want to leave out anything.
First off I should say I am intending on using the I2S connection.

Basically I am looking at to two buffalo dac's and two legato boards.
What is the maximum number of placid regulators that can be used with these boards.
I read somewhere in one of the manuals that you can use between 1 and 3 regulators per dac board. Any further info about that would be appreciated.

I will probably be putting the raw supply in a separate case and the shunt regulators in the second case with the dac's and legato boards.

What would you guys purchase and how would you connect it all together to make the most extreme buffalo with stock parts.
At this point in time I am not interested in doing mods unless they have been recommended by Russ.
Later when I am familiar with the stock sound I will consider modding.

Any help or advice would be appreciated.
 
The Trident regulators can be ordered starting today. They've not yet been shipped. I just ordered 2 sets for my dual mono DAC, so I'll propably be one of the first doing dual mono with a full regulator set.

My current list is:
2x BII DAC board
2x Placid
2x IVY 3
2x Placid BP
1x Mux unit
1x Toslink
1x Volumite
2x Ballsie (one for left & right)
2x R Core transformer 9V 30VA (one for left & right)
2x R Core transformer 15V 30VA
On it's way is
2x Trident combo set for BII

One could add a third Placid & 9V R-Core to fully separate the I/O modules like the Mux & Toslink from either channel, but this really is already pretty over the top as it is. The performance is really very good though: it simply amazes listeners a DAC can make such a difference.
 

jcx

Member
2003-02-17 7:38 pm
..
split bobbin windings give more leakage so need more air space or shielding but reduce coupling of line noise vs toroids with layered windings

split bobbin xfmr can have 5-10x less pri-sec parasitic coupling capacitance

I would use EI core split bobbin "international" double insulated line xfmr
 
The only other thing I would ask about, is what are the benefits of using r-cored transformers over toroidal?
Compared to EI/Torroid:
- Lower profile and smaller size (IMO mainly when compared to EI, Torroid is often smaller due to the higher core utilisation).
- Lower stray EM field from the round cross-sectional area and the balanced windings on either side.
- Lower core losses from no cuts the in core and minimized distance between the core and the windings. (again mainly compared to the EI)
- Lower temperature rise and noise from the round cross-sectional area and tappered slitting.

For me, the cost of getting them along the rest of the kit from the US was higher than getting shielded R-Cores shipped from France. Of course a nice shielded & potted torroid is also a good idea, but compared to those the shielded R-Core is much cheaper.
 
The Trident regulators can be ordered starting today. They've not yet been shipped. I just ordered 2 sets for my dual mono DAC, so I'll propably be one of the first doing dual mono with a full regulator set.

My current list is:
2x BII DAC board
2x Placid
2x IVY 3
2x Placid BP
1x Mux unit
1x Toslink
1x Volumite
2x Ballsie (one for left & right)
2x R Core transformer 9V 30VA (one for left & right)
2x R Core transformer 15V 30VA
On it's way is
2x Trident combo set for BII

One could add a third Placid & 9V R-Core to fully separate the I/O modules like the Mux & Toslink from either channel, but this really is already pretty over the top as it is. The performance is really very good though: it simply amazes listeners a DAC can make such a difference.

Hi Leon,
How you are going to put all this together for extreme outcome.
I would like to try the same to build it or buy a redy to use product.
Christ
 
A few pictures are here: Buffalo II setup - work in progress - Project Gallery - Twisted Pear Audio Support
Building it isn't very hard, but it does take quite some time.

Buying a ready to use product at this level is going to be difficult. The amount of dual mono ES9018 implementations is growing, but most brands will not give you fully separate digital and analog power supplies and full left/right separation. Let alone build everything shunt powered.
 
My current list would be:
2x BII DAC board
1x Placid
1x LCDPS
2x IVY 3
2x Placid BP
1x Mux unit
1x Toslink
1x Volumite
3x R Core transformer 9V 30VA (one for left, one for right BII & one for modules)
2x R Core transformer 15V 30VA
2x Trident combo set for BII

The ballsies don't see any use anymore, I'm always using the DAC to a balanced amp. So I would leave them out this time.
The Trident set raises the power usage, using a single LCDPS with one half for left and one half for right is a better idea than using 2 Placids. I would feed each half with separate transformers. Since the power usage on the LCDPS is already high, adding a Placid for the Mux/Toslink and perhaps other modules is a good idea.
To my knowledge there's no one building them. Besides that, building it yourself is without a doubt the most rewarding.
 
I've thought about the PH regulators, but the Trident is purpose-built and cheaper (PH is 30 pounds vs. 25$), so I went that way. The Trident regulators are great, if you add those there's little that can be done on the DAC. Think about it: it already has a purpose-built AVCC (shunt) module, and you just added shunt regulated supplies for the other voltages. There's nothing major left on the board except the chip and a clock module, and that's hard to improve upon. So I'd say any improvements should be either further downstream, in the output stage or well upstream, in the transport.