Pcm63p-y ???

Has anybody ever HEARD the sound of the Burr Brown PCM63P-Y in real life?

According to the mythology, this "Y" selection grade should have been the absolut-best of all PCM63’s; however, there is Zero information about this particular PCM63P in the "Y" Version on the Internet.

Every possible info about this mystery would be mostly appreciated. There should be somebody who at least heard it once, somewhere, sometime ?
Picture is Attached (PCM63P-Y)

Attached is a picture of a PCM63P-Y. This is all what I found until now.


  • pcm63p-y_516597.jpg
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To Hugo (Netlist):

Contacting TI is a good idea, thank you! They might not be able to tell me too much about the sound quality, I’m afraid, but I will give it a try.

Meanwhile, I read several complains here around (in different threads) about not finding good quality PCM63P (and/or PCM 63P-K). I somehow agree, as at least my own 2x PCM63P are not producing the same sound in R and L channels. Switching between them brings different sound-stage impression (!).

There are of course new possibilities with PCM1704U-K (instead of PCM63). However, I was (and still am) wondering, how come the PCM63P-Y remains completely out of any awareness.

To Bernhard:

It will be interesting to compare once the K2 version with the Y.

Hope that someone will open my (our) eyes soon!


diyAudio Moderator Emeritus
2003-01-18 9:50 am
irgendjemand said:
They might not be able to tell me too much about the sound quality, I’m afraid, but I will give it a try.

Looking at the datasheet, they list the P, P-1, P-J, P-K, P-K-2 and P-Y.
The only difference between the P, J and K versions is the dynamic range and THD.
It is very well possible that the K2 and Y are selected for even better specs in both areas.

I went several times through all TI / BB info before asking the board about this PCM63P-Y Version. The THD and the Dynamic Range makes big difference indeed: Since I exchanged to the known “K” Version, I feel that music is coming from “all around”, the sound is more subtle and there is less “Loudspeaker” feeling. So I do expect from a “Y” selection even more fine Dynamic and less noise, which are going very much together. This is exactly my point.

There are 291 threads (1000+ inquiries) here on “diyAudio” dealing with PCM63P, and some more which are dealing with PCM63P-K and PCM63P-K2.

BUT - noting on PCM63P-Y… It might have been much too expensive for a try; I feel much the same now.

There should be somebody who at least heard it once, somewhere, sometime … I remain optimistic.

Many thanks, also in advance!
Just bought a pair of PCM63P-Y...

I have just bought a NOS (new old stock) pair of PCM63P-Y, for 135 US Dollar. As my DAC (AVM DAC 1.2) can not go “higher” then 20 Bit, it might be a good investment. I hope so!

I hope to get the PCMs soon; will compare them then with the “K” and “K2” versions and will also report here my impressions.
PCM63P-Y is amazing!!

Hi everybody,

I promised here once a report about the “PCM63P-Y” once I will get them, so here it is:

The really great thing about them is the sound presentation: This “Y” selection grade sounds very full, round, presenting a lot of "body" into the sound. It is like one hear a Class-A orchestra against a Class-B one: The main difference is that each of the instrumentalists of the Class-A orchestra is not just controlling his instrument better, he also produces the better sound quality from his own instrument. Same with this “Y”: Everything simply sounds richer, there is more resonant, it sounds correct and absolute realistic.

Other PCM63 that I know can't do this in the same way: Even the “K” selection (which is much better then the normal “P” or “J”) sounds only as the small brother in compression.

The pleasure has its price: about 130.- US $ for a pair is not exactly a cheap-buy. I got them from Juang (Jakarta, Indonesia). How this guy get this great chips – I have no idea, but he get them! If I understand him right, the “PCM63P-Y” (made by BB Japan) are being used in the studios, mainly in the digital control panels/desks.

Last but not least interesting: I compared them to Monarchy Audio’s PCM1704U-K adaptors (which is an adaptor-replacement for the PCM63P-K) as well. The PCM1704U-K Adaptor sounds "weaker" then this “Y” magic. In compression, the 1704 sounds more refined then the PCM63-K, but in compression to the “Y” it sounds somehow “intellectual”; one miss the right “feeling”, the stage has less space and all in all it is somehow a sophisticated shadow of this “vibrating” and compelling “Y”.

I tried all the above chips with having the DF1704 as a filter, configured to 20 bit output. I did not try the PCM1704 in 24 bit configuration. Indeed, after hearing this “Y”, I can’t even imagine that the PCM1704 can gain so much of advantages he needs to get - through 24bit configuration, at least not while still performing the common 16 bit CDs and without Upsampling.

I hope this helps.
Hi IY,

Seems you already reveal the "mystery"... well done!! ;)

I also shock when first try to this chip, the sound is very "full" and the dynamic is just there! Never heard before like this from PCM63P... sounds is like from different chip. thanks for the confirmation.

goodluck with your projects and your orchestra :D

just to add to your previous post, the price is for pair ;)

all the best,
That's right!

Hi Juang,

yes, it is absolute amazing! I have no idea how you got them, but I enjoy listening to my CDs much more then before. :)

The Chip is so amazing, that I will have to check some of my… OPAs again (!). I have 4 Burson Discrate OpAmps in the I/V and 8 OPA627BP in the PreAmp, which sounds even greater now. I can however “feel” – believe it or not – that I have to get rid asap from the one last pair of OPA604AP which is “stuck” on the boards of my Power-Amp! I will have to take apart the monster, s______t.

You now what? May be this “PCM63P-Y” is the answer to the old question about having a good Digital sound…. I think that many people who like the NOS TDA 1541/3 Silver Crown, Gold Crown (etc.) will be well surprised now... Hope they will not become aggresive about this post...

Anyhow – never I bought something better for this money. Bingo!

Take care and… all the best!

Yours IY.


2008-01-17 8:55 pm
Re: PCM63P-Y is amazing!!

irgendjemand said:
It is like one hear a Class-A orchestra against a Class-B one

Hi IY,

Glad to hear that you have a great DAC is singing now. Like a Class-A orchestra. Wow... :bigeyes:

I just wonder how come a great conductor like you willing to hear to a good Digital Sound. For me, it must be a big mystery since you have all experiences with live performers in your orchestra appearances. No doubt, I bet you must have a good 'sensors' and taste! :up:

Big mystery for me, and I am willing to follow you to hear what exactly the PCM63P-Y can do to reform a digital sound recordings to be a live performers-like in my humble system. Hopefully I may bring 'a Class-A orchestra' to my house. Expected too much, heh.. ;)

But I will do what I could afford for. I have bought a kit of Balanced DAC based on 4xPCM63 from Spencer, also a member of this forum. It will use SM5842APT with enhanced stage based on NP D1, he called it D1V3. I also have ordered four PCM63P-Y from A'af and will fit them to the kit, but should be waiting for the chips. While A'af has been looking for the chips, I will try to finish and tune the kit with Spencer's helps. Hopefully A'af will get the chips very soon.

Perhaps my next system nothing compared to your systems, even my taste nothing compared to yours, but it will be a great day when I could hear something like your reviews about how that chips running in my DAC. Can't wait for that moment.

Thank you for sharing your reviews and hope you always get success in your orchestra and recordings. You are a great conductor! :worship:

Will NOT be easy...


First of all, to my opinion you are doing 100% the right thing. Go for Spencer’s D1V3 and use the “PCM63P-Y”. Four picks of “Y”? Wow! I am using only two…. Of course, getting the right sound at home will not be over just by this, but this must be a good & big step in the right direction.

I wrote “it is LIKE one hears a Class A orchestra against a Class B one” (and you quote this right) and I surely did not wrote – “one HEAR a Class A orchestra”. This would be going somehow too far... But even this is not completely impossible, and I will try to explain.

Yes, it is an ongoing long story, to get the “right” sound at home… Let me surprise you at first – my “goal” was (and is) – NOT to buy a WADIA, KRELL, LEVINSON what so ever, which the normal listener can’t afford to buy! This would have been an easy “way out” from the responsibility that a recording artist must have to his listeners, and I mean this a word per word. I think that we all have to find a way that will allow music lovers to hear music at home in a best possible quality, for some logic amount of money. People should be able to hear what is on the CDs; they are paying for it, aren’t they? So they should be able to hear it right.

Easy to say and hard to do; but let me tell you at first, that all my CDs and radio recordinge have been monitored at home on a stereo which its basic price was truly not high: I decided not to get rid of my “Parasound” Power-Amp HCA 1200 MK II (for example), but instead – to modify it heavily. Many good parts remained in use, big Metal-Heating-Units (Sorry, I don’t have this terminology in English at this moment) have been attached – all transistors works now in Class A and A/B, an Ortofon Silver-5000 (signal Cable, XLR) is connected directly to the board… no extra connector… etc. etc. By the way, after the modification (I haven’t done it myself) it looks like the Parasound HCA 3500 which at the time was not yet produced.

Similar thing about the DAC: Is 16 bit an “old” or “wrong” technology? No, it is not. It is just hard to retrieve the music through using it – but it is surely possible.

May be it is my experience in recording studios for classical music (mainly in Germany but also BBC, Holland, etc) that shows me the way – you are conducting a composition and then you listen immediately after it in the monitored room (Master-Tape/Hard disc what so ever the medium is) to how it sounds. It can be a shock (negative) or a pleasant surprise (positive). I can’t write here more then this, otherwise we will never be done.

Thank you for the compliments – I understand that you know my “Decca” and the other recordings. Well, as for the “great conductor like you willing to hear to a good Digital Sound” – let’s put it like this: The Digital medium is the actual domain, and besides being romantic (Tubes ? LPs ?) - I am trying to be logic as well. It has to be Digital, so let’s do it right!

Last but not least: Your CD Transport should get very fast diodes (is this the word for it in English? I hope so) as part of the pick-up unit, beside good Quarts, strong and clean power supply, etc. You will need plating-rhodium power cables, and as you know, the Digital Cable can make a big difference (I have somewhere at home an Aurel Symphonic Digital Cable that I am NOT using and I also don’t recommending you to use!), so it is not only the "PCM63P-Y"... Moreover, the “Y” will show you greatly where are the other weakness of your system. Be ready for a tough time!!!! As more realistic the sound becomes, the more danger you have to fall down completely, just because having one small mistake somewhere in the chain. Don’t give up and

Good Luck!!!!


2008-01-17 8:55 pm
Thank you for you supports!

Hi IY,

Yes, you are absolutely right. It will not be easy to get the right sound
at home. I agree with you. Thanks for enlighten me. :)

There are some constraints and considerations to do that and you should have more knowledge and skills to make it happen. You should have a right technology as well and the most important is you should have good ears. IMHO.

Frankly, I don’t know much about your orchestras and recordings, just
googling at the moment and there are more than ten thousand articles shows your name, then I knows you must be a great conductor and one of the most important figure at The Grazer Symphonisches Orchester. Salute to your achievements! :up:

Thank you for your suggestions about the chain of the systems. PCM63 DAC is only one of the chain. It will be a good start as guidance to build my systems. I agree with you about having very fast diodes in the CD transport, although some of diyer report that they hate to use ultra fast diodes in there. They said that the sound will getting "dry", if I understand them right. I will try to using them by myself. I also agree to using good clock, even though I need to consider what the suitable clock for my CDPRO transport. Asynchronous or synchronous reclocker? May I ask what's you preferred?

I heard from a friend of mine that rhodium plated power cables will shift
the sound character to getting transparent but dry. I don't have any idea about his eplanation but may I ask your opinion about the different you heard by using the rhodium plated compared to regular copper power cable? I will use 7N pure Copper (Neotech UPOCC) as my power cables.

I know it will be a tough time to get the right sound and I should take
that chance, at least to do it as right as I could afford for. Thank you
for your supports and... have a nice weekend. :)

- ims -
Digital Sound and Reality

Hi ims,

Interesting that in both cases (talking about the fast diodes and rhodium plated cables) people mentioned to you that the sound will become "dry"! This can imply for example that many people are looking for a much less transparent sound that I am looking for.

On the other hand, the "PCM63P-Y" is the richest sounding Chip that I know, while still delivering excellent clean sound. So what is the case we are dealing with? Let’s see:

I can tell for sure that all my devices (CD Transport, DAC/Pre, Power-Amp, Loudspeakers) are built around the same philosophy of “no colouring” devices, fast reacting /"on the spot" sound, as if you could “touch” or “move” the sound with your hand. The instruments are appearing realistic. For checking the HiFI, I sometime play through the system a music excerpt with an "attack" which is sounding very loud, after which comes a moment of recorded-silence (or pianissimo). I am listening to the echo. It must feel real. This is of course only one aspect, but it can give you some idea.

Do you want to know if your HiFi can deliver this extreme sounds levels different? Use for this a simple trick: Borrow a German shepherd to your listening room and make him Bark (be friendly to him however). Listen to this fantastic effect – and listen also to the room; you might discover that your HiFi is much too nice, much less clear then you think, much too civilized, not having any real power… (If it is to hard to find one, don’t go over board and just clap your hands…).

You will try now to solve the problem, and the next sound check might show you that your HiFi is now strong but shouting… not good, of course, so you will have to see how to overcome this. I am using a strong Power-Amp, which after its modification deliver some 240-260 RMS into 4 Ohm per Channel. It should have a high enough damping factor (what is enough?) so it can deliver a Timpani attach or Grand-Cassa (the Bass Drum) with all its “might”. So as you see, I am not talking here about “reproduction” of music by listening to its shadow; rather I am talking about true energies which have to “fly” in the room.

A wonderful friend built for me several years ago a 2-Way Loudspeakers & Active Subwoofer, all built in a real maple wood cabinets, while each wooden “wall” is about 4 cm thick. The idea was to have no extra resonance, if only possible. We were also wishing to use the simplest membranes, made of cardboard and to have minimum parts in the build-out (no build-in) electronics. It took him 3-4 years to be happy with the results… a long process as you see.

These are surely not the best loudspeakers you can build or buy for money, but even the newest WADIA is far from showing them their limit (A friend wanted to try them 2 month ago). So again, the “principia” is No Limits, if only possible.

Technically speaking, there are only limitations... I can give you a simple example: There is only 1 Pick from the 3 YM3623b Input Receivers which I have, that will deliver the sound – stage correctly, without being too dry so it will not “kill” the atmosphere and you will get the feeling of the concert-hall.

There are so many things that influence the sound – everything actually. Therefore, we should try at least to use the most reliable components available. Rhodium, fast diodes, all belong to the sound-concept I have.

Let me finish with an anecdote: While monitoring at home a studio recording several years ago, I thought that the Violins in a certain place are sounding not exactly natural as I remembered it. Well, the sound engineer told me, he did not touch the Mixing Board during the recording. We had no explanation for this so I suggested recreating the session (it is all saved on the Hard Discs units, includes the control-slides position in any second of the recording). We met again in the studio (about half a year after the recording was done) and let the PC rerun the session: We found out that the engineers forgot to shut down an extra support-microphone which was open for approximately 10 seconds before on a solo-violin passage and remained open for several more seconds. We corrected this by re running this session on the multi-track while shutting-down the extra mic. in “real time”.

I am telling you all this to encourage you to listen to good digital sound. At that time I was monitoring the Master-Tape at home with PCM63P-J, not even with the “Y”… Well, digital technique is something I can live with quite well.

Have a nice weekend too!


Disabled Account
2005-05-21 4:24 am
Re: Thank you for you supports!

ims said:

Thank you for your suggestions about the chain of the systems. PCM63 DAC is only one of the chain. It will be a good start as guidance to build my systems. I agree with you about having very fast diodes in the CD transport, although some of diyer report that they hate to use ultra fast diodes in there. They said that the sound will getting "dry", if I understand them right. I will try to using them by myself. I also agree to using good clock, even though I need to consider what the suitable clock for my CDPRO transport. Asynchronous or synchronous reclocker? May I ask what's you preferred?


I think you'll find you are better to implement reclocking in the D1V3 rather than at the transport. Reclocking at the dac has the benefit of reducing jitter from upstream sources - transport, spdif receiver, etc.

I've got most of the parts to build a version of the D1 reclocker for my D1V3, but still waiting for the vcxo to arrive from tentlabs. The vcxo used in the original is unobtainable so some minor changes are need to use the tentlabs vcxo - I hope they are minor at least ;)

If everything works out with this I'll look at making a SMD board that fits in the space Spencer left for a TCXO.



2008-01-17 8:55 pm
Hi spzzzzkt,

Yes, I agree with you about reclocking the D1V3 in the DAC side.

Actually I’ve also consider to use Tentlabs XO to complement the D1V3 but after Spencer told me that his kit can play nice even without that XO then I postponed it. Now after searchs for the best reclocking, I also consider to use KC7, maybe it will be cheaper than Tent’s. ;)

Do you have any consideration before decided to use Tent’s instead of another reclocking scheme? Soundwise?

Thank you for your sharing. :)



2008-01-17 8:55 pm
"Y" grade will arrive soon!

Hi IY,

I've been told by A'af that the "Y" grade will be arrive soon. Hope he won't forget me. ;) I know he has a long list for the buyer candidates.

I will share also in this thread soon after tuning the D1V3 kit, if you don't mind. I hope it will not hijack this thread. But if you say "NO" then I will cancel it. :cool:

Cheers, :)
You are very wellcome!

Hi ims,

If I am not wrong, Spencer’s D1V3 is indeed the most challenging “modern” pcm63-project available. Therefore, your coming report might well give many members here the direction to go.

Once you are successful with it, one should indeed consider the “linkage” of (at least) the following actual threads:

NP D1 DAC clone with enhancement


Pass D1V3 DAC - build thread


PCM63 DAC mods


Eventually also this thread.
I believe you should free to post wherever it make sense for you, this thread includes.

I am very much looking forward to your report about testing the “Y” in this demanding configuration! It might well become a major edition to this hunting project. Moreover, the use of “Y” in a balanced mode has never been reported, at least not on this board.

Please note: My earlier remarks concerning the using of the PCM63P-Y have been always referred to the “common” use of the PCM63, according to BB original schema & implementation suggestions (like with YM 3623b/DF 1700, etc).

Spencer’s D1V3 however plays in a new category!! :) :) :) :)

Good luck, have a lot of success & please keep posting!

Yours, IY :)

p.s. To get the maximum results from the PCMs (before any tweaking...) may be you should even consider selecting/dividing them into 2 perfect matching (sounding) pairs. :smash: :smash:


Disabled Account
2005-05-21 4:24 am
Credit where credit is due... the basic design of the D1V3 comes from the Pass Labs D1 service manual - with some enhancements and some omissions.

The original D1 was a truly outstanding DAC when it was released in the late 1990's if the rave reviews are anything to go by:

With parentage of this calibre it should not be surprising that D1V3 performs to such a high level :)

Spencer has certainly done a fine job in putting these boards together and I have the utmost respect for his efforts in making an implementation of the D1 design available to DIYers. But without the outstanding design skills of Nelson Pass and Wayne Colburn at Pass Labs the D1V3 would not exist.

In regards to the XO the clock implementation on the D1V3 doesn't work correctly according to Spencer's thread, the recovered clock and the output of the XO don't sync and there is an audible click on the output every few seconds.

The VCXO avoids this issue by tracking the recovered clock and maintain tight sync while also providing a low jitter clock to the digital filter.