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DAC 2496 (AK4393) DAC KIT With CS8416+AK4393+5532
DAC 2496 (AK4393) DAC KIT With CS8416+AK4393+5532
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Old 15th September 2012, 09:55 AM   #2091
Little_Eddy is offline Little_Eddy
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Default CS4398 Option

I see that there seems to be some CS4398 options available: CS8416 + CS4398 DAC Board Kit Support USB Coaxial Assembled | eBay

How might this compare to the AK4396?

The boards look very similar so presume most if not all of the considered upgrades on this thread remain valid.

Or would I be better off buying the oder AK4396?
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Old 15th September 2012, 12:34 PM   #2092
ch33ta is offline ch33ta  Croatia
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There is a separate thread for this DAC here:
DAC: CS4398 with CS8416+CM102s
Not very active, however these two DAC boards are almost identical...

IMHO;
CS4398 sounds excellent with a pair of good output transformers... But PSU, output stage and SPDIF source will have the biggest effect on the sound - so you can't go wrong with either dac chip...

However, I found out that CS4398 is the best when driving low impedance headphones with transformers on the output (no headamp) - it gives the highest voltage output and the best sound, AK4396 gives a little distorted sound at higher volume levels and WM8741 crackles with this setup - of course DAC chips aren't made to be connected this way, but I like the sound of it

So far I've built two DAC's based on CS4398, both with transformers on the outout (UTC-A20 and Tamura TDP-1W) and the third one is on the way;
An externally hosted image should be here but it no longer works. Please upload images instead of linking to them to prevent this.

- this one will have ultra low noise PSU, shunt pre-regulators and Tamura TFP-3W on the output
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Old 19th September 2012, 04:11 PM   #2093
Jean is offline Jean  United States
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Ordered a kit from along1986090 on eBay to get me started
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Old 19th September 2012, 05:51 PM   #2094
Sergelisses is offline Sergelisses  France
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ch33ta View Post
There is a separate thread for this DAC here:
DAC: CS4398 with CS8416+CM102s
Not very active, however these two DAC boards are almost identical...

IMHO;
CS4398 sounds excellent with a pair of good output transformers... But PSU, output stage and SPDIF source will have the biggest effect on the sound - so you can't go wrong with either dac chip...

However, I found out that CS4398 is the best when driving low impedance headphones with transformers on the output (no headamp) - it gives the highest voltage output and the best sound, AK4396 gives a little distorted sound at higher volume levels and WM8741 crackles with this setup - of course DAC chips aren't made to be connected this way, but I like the sound of it

So far I've built two DAC's based on CS4398, both with transformers on the outout (UTC-A20 and Tamura TDP-1W) and the third one is on the way;
An externally hosted image should be here but it no longer works. Please upload images instead of linking to them to prevent this.

- this one will have ultra low noise PSU, shunt pre-regulators and Tamura TFP-3W on the output
Hello

Where to find the Tamura TFP-3W transformers ?

Thanks
Serge
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Old 19th September 2012, 05:57 PM   #2095
bcmbob is offline bcmbob  United States
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It's probably too late and don't know if that is what you bought, but along1986090 also sells the bare board with the key SMD parts installed. I ordered one and it worked out great. Can save a few bucks if a mod is the goal.
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Old 19th September 2012, 06:02 PM   #2096
ch33ta is offline ch33ta  Croatia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sergelisses View Post
Hello

Where to find the Tamura TFP-3W transformers ?

Thanks
Serge
Unfortunately almost nowhere...
Keep an eye on ebay, once in a while you can get some "egzotic" transformers for little money... - UTC, Tamura, Lundahl, Peerless, Jensen... Just check the datasheet first...
Also, there is a lot of info on transformers in this thread;
Experience with this DIY DAC ?
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Old 19th September 2012, 10:20 PM   #2097
haik is offline haik
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Tamura transformers on e-bay. Not cheap:

2 X TAMURA TFP-3W 200 OR 600 OHM CT : 600 OHM CT 30Hz TO 20KHz AUDIO TRANSFORMER | eBay

The auction has ended, but maybe you can ask the seller, he might have more.
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Old 20th September 2012, 09:20 AM   #2098
Solve is offline Solve  Sweden
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Monacor LTR-110 works very well also.
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Old 23rd September 2012, 04:20 PM   #2099
tagheuer is offline tagheuer  Canada
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So, I was intrigue with this DAC and decided to give it a try.

I bought one fully populated board and one bare board with SMD chips only.

Since I don't have any source with spdif output, therefore I need to get a USB to SPDIF converter.

Spent a couple of hours last night to assemble a quick and dirty one and got it working the first time (thanks to countless hours spent on this thread)

The USB input is connected to my laptop, running JRiver.

So far the sound is not too bad, considering the cost.

Now I will start the journey by changing parts one by one as defined in this thread and hopefully learn the sound differences on each change made. Hopefully my old and rusty ears still can still pick them up.

The plan for bare board with SMD chips is to build one like sterlingmck and experiment with different output buffers and converters.

Thanks guys for introducing me to another exciting thing to try in life.
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Old 23rd September 2012, 05:01 PM   #2100
bcmbob is offline bcmbob  United States
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If you have a standard CD or DVD player, they usually have a RCA (normally orange) that outputs spdif. A simple stereo pot between the DAK and the amp works well for volume. In the U.S. I've seen new players for as little as $30 and even less at secondhand stores.
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