Pics of Monica II DAC

Built one of the 130.00 wonder dacs about a month ago. It is trick, 1545 dac, 8414, blackgates, OS-CON's, NOS, and reclocking.


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Back End

Since it reclocks I did not bother with a nice data connector. Used a 75 ohm Canare RCA.
Power comes from a pair of 12 volt, 2.3 aH, SLA batteries. One for the dac and the other for the digital circuitry. These were 5.00 each on clearance at Walmart.
The board has 7805 regulators. Not the most elegant way to regulate, but it seems to be fine


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In action

Usual source is a modified SA-8260. Here the Monica II and Samsung HD-841 are used together to compare a normal disc player with discrete output stage to the straight off the dac NOS reclocker. So far, 50 hours maybe, the Marantz is still winning.
The Monica II does some things really well. But its frequency response is still a little ragged. May be those BG NX coupling caps breaking in.

Very nice implementation

Great looking DAC and system. Nice enclosure. Have you compared the overall design and parts quality of the Monica II versus the dAck!, given that they both use the 1545? Also, about how much time did assembly take, and how would you rate the complexity of the build? Thanks for sharing your photos of this fine DAC. Cheers ~ Mike
Time Spent

The Monica II board comes assembled and tested. It took about an hour to drill the box, and maybe an hour to wire up. It even arrived with the RCA input and digital input jacks installed.
Had to move a power supply wire and add a ground lead. It came wired for a single supply. But it is designed to be powered by dual supplies. There is an inductor that ties the grounds of the two sections.
The Monica most likely is easier to build. I do not know how the dACK is delivered. The cost is also a little different, 130.00 delivered for the assembled and tested board.
My original plans for a NOS dac was going to run 500.00. I just wanted to try it to see if I liked the results. This ran less than 200.00 including the two SLA batteries to power it.
The sound is still getting there. I have maybe 50 hours on it. Seems like it should be sounding as good as it going to by now.

Hi George:
Thanks for starting this thread. I am considering building a Monica ll as well. Have you seen any change/improvement since your last post in this thread? Have you heard any other dac's you can compare this to? Can anyone here compare this dac to an Ack or a Scott Nixon dackit/chibi/tubedac+?

Thanks again,