Sorry to hear about your Dacapo problems - they seem to be dropping like fly’s ATM - in 90% of cases the Capacitors are leaking.
I'm currently based in HK / China about to release the next generation Dacapo & a smaller DAC unit – the Mephisto.
While the Dacapo is still a very good DAC, the new Mephisto is far superior - and will retail for about GBP389.
However if you still wish your Dacapo repaired then I can take a look - you will have to send to HK (I recommend only sending the PCB's so the casework cannot be damaged during shipping - and also befit from cheaper shipping costs) - or wait till I'm back in Europe for the summer break.
However I really recommend the Mephisto - that offers:-
USB to 96 KHz / 24Bits
SPDIF to 192 KHz via Optical, Coax or AES.
Balanced and Singled- Ended outputs
27 regulated supplies
Discrete Class A outputs
HQ Discrete Class A Headphone output
Very Low Phase Noise Master clock
Organic Low ESR capacitors
Remote Control & LCD display
4 layer PCB
Pls. don’t feel that I’m trying to promote the Mephisto, I would probably make more money repairing your Dacapo then we would by selling a Mephisto – however the Mephisto is extremely good. The unit retails at such a budget price as it’s sold via direct Internet sales and benefits by being manufactured in China where component cost can be an order of magnitude cheaper then can be found in US or Europe.
Well me beloved 22-bit DaCapo died this morning. I can only assume it was a vicitm of the leaky capacitors reported on this forum. It was sitting there in standby when it went - tripping the mains breaker at the same time. The power transformers look fried to me - I can't see any other damange on the circuit board. Has this happened to anyone else?
Anyway - it looks like it won't be worth repairing - :-(
I have had this DaCapo for 14 years and I have loved using it. I haven't heard a CD replay system to touch it. I am really sad right now - almost inconsolable!
If anyone needs it for spares I would be interested in donating it - I'd like to know that it would live on in some way, I simply can't bring myself to bin it!
So - the big question. When will John's new "Mephisto" be ready to ship? I don't want to waste money on anything that sounds worse than the DaCapo so I am therefore very interested in what John has been saying regarding the "MkII"
Never worked on ( or seen a DaCapo ) but working in the TV repair trade have come across countless damaged PCB's caused by everything from spillage to leaky caps.
You have to clean the board, any slight residue and it will eat into components and PCB tracks. If it has got under components they all have to be replaced. It may be to far gone anyway to be viable.
Don't be afraid to wash the PCB with a soft brush and warm water/detergent. Foam cleaner is good. Work it in well with brush and rinse properly. Place in warm < 60 deg C oven for a couple of hours.
I have made some progress:- now discovered that the digital side LM317T transistor with "8.2V on tag" label is running hot and showing an ~5V output that is being dragged down. The other LM317T transistor is running cold (despite large heat sink) and shows no significant output.
Without any insight into the circuit via schematic ~ my understanding is that the working LM317T is supplying the DAC, filter and shielded circuits and the non-working LM317T is supplying the input cards and circuits. So next step is to replace the heat sink LM317T and hope everything starts working again ~ if it doesn't then I'm not sure what to do next.
Seasons greetings and many thanks for your replies which I'm afraid I missed at the time :-(
Since my last post ~ I have replaced the LM317 (with the heatsink) ~ however the DaCapo did not spring back to life. The unit is now with a work colleague who is more proficient than me but also busy ~ as soon as I am back at work after New Year I shall check with the input cards removed as you suggest.
FYI ~ the damage from the leaking electrolyte was on the audio side ~ and there was some damage to the audio leads.
Many thanks once again for your help and just to say that you have my respect and admiration for your wonderful creation which has given me such pleasure over the years. (So much so that I bought two ~ I lost my first one in 1994 due to divorce ~ the second helped revive my spirits after the trauma ~ now I'm struggling without it.)
Turn out that mine was beyond economical repair. In the end it was too hard to get it up and running again.
Contacted someone from the old Pink Triangle but he claimed he has lost all the schematics. Technology has moved on since then and I have to accept that it is no longer viable to fix the old Da Capo DAC. I auditioned some new DACs recently that sounded nice with balance input/outputs.
Hi John. I've sent you an email but thought I'd try this forum thingy. I was looking at picking up a DaCapo, but with my ham fisted soldering the capacitor repair may not be a good idea. Where are these new Dac's of yours? (A Frenchie has pinched the name Mephisto, BTW). Takes me nostalgically back to the days of Pink - awesome design ideas that never make it to production. Does the "Pop" still fry eggs? (And what happened to the 22 bit filter - you don't seem to include it on your list of favourites, and I'm assuming I'm not confusing it with the 24-22 bit which I have never seen, because the 22 was contemporary with the 1307 - and yours and my favourite at the time). (The "old Pink Triangle" would be AK presumably - and any claim of his to have lost something is entirely credible)