Looking for a starter DAC kit recommendation

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Hi all,

I'm looking for an entry level DAC kit and have been having fun browsing these threads:



...as well as some of the links within them. Lots of these are however outdated and lead to 404s.

I'm hoping for a couple of recommendations for an absolute beginner, as well as possibly some sites worth investigating for purchasing. I'm in the UK for what it's worth, but have had a poke around on the classics of eBay and AliExpress. The only thing i've looked at so far is:

Lusya ES9023 DAC audio decoding I2S or SPDIF output Bluetooth digital audio board WAV/APE/FLAC lossless 5 12V AC/DC T1080 on AliExpress

So far my audio DIY experience is limited to building a Bottlehead Crack last year, which I really enjoyed. I'm reasonably handy with a soldering iron, but have very little experience of electronics beyond detailed kits.

I currently have an M2Tech Young DAC, and have owned offerings from Schiit, Starting Point, Rega and HRT in the past.

Does anyone have any suggestions as to something suitable? I see a lot of NOS/TDA1543 recommendations, but my only experience of these was my Starting Point DAC which I really wasn't a fan of.
forgett the tda1543 for some reasons.

dac chip is not the only thing to focus on. Design of the layout, parts and powersupplies, inputs stage have each an equal role.

Best bank for the bucks vs the dacs you already have is the last Kit from Audial with Aya4 usb inputt around 150 iirc. You need a tda1541A and add a little monney for the parts. It can climb very high with musicality.

For a small monney, there is also some RaspBerry hats with this Philips tda1387 chip that outperforms tda 1543 and 1545A chips. Audiophonics resseler seems to have a good one from Ernsternst member and others testimonials. But not sure this last can compete with what you already have. However, very good and a good start to jump in the pcm defintly good sound.
Thanks, lots to think about there.

I should've mentioned I've also used a Raspberry Pi along with a wolfson audio card, but more as a cheap convenient streaming option than anything else.

Just to check, is it this that you are talking about:

AYA 4: This year’s AYA release, featuring 192/384 kHz async USB – Audial

If so, what other bits would I need to go with the system other than the TDA chip? Also, is it a completely DIY kit (e.g. bare boards and parts), and does it come with instructions or just a circuit diagram?
There is a diy kit at 150 with usb stage already soldered because smd. You have to go in the blog section and not on the off shelves commercial ones. The 150 kit... best monney spent ever imho. The best is to email to Audial if there are boards left... always keep some for late wake uper. Read the blog construction thread as there is deep experience with parts there...

Edit, yeah, comes with complete assembling guide, parts BOM, shematics and layout draws and further advices on the constructing thread from Aya2 to Aya4
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