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Old 17th December 2013, 04:03 PM   #11
hollowman is offline hollowman  United States
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Default TDA1545A still any "good"?

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Originally Posted by abraxalito View Post
Yes, that was my second build of the device whose schematic is shown (albeit with one correction). Still working fine.
Just curious ... all else held equal (which is almost impossible to do)...how would you rate (compare) the TDA1545A/TDA1387 to other DACs (new or classic)?

I've got a bunch of TDA1545A's lying around ... thought they were jellybean DACs ... but they tend to pop up on several serious-DIY posts/blogs (Peufeu, diyparadise, etc) ... so they can't be all bad and maybe worth a project or two. Also, IIRC, it was the last serious R2R ladder DAC Philips produced -- ~1997 -- before everyone went Delta-sigma.

I'm hugely behind the DIY times ... for all I know, the latest ESS or WM DACs -- or even TI's cheap new stuff -- could simply be orders-of-mag. better than these classic DIP-DACs many DIY geezers cling to (too stubborn+old to try anything new -- or they can't see/solder smaller than DIP). But I'm equally behind the times as I haven't been ... uh ... keepin' up by readin' the 'papers -- need stronger bi-focals
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Last edited by hollowman; 17th December 2013 at 04:08 PM.
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Old 17th December 2013, 04:23 PM   #12
abraxalito is offline abraxalito  United Kingdom
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In my estimation, none of the new stuff (high oversampling, D-S based) holds a candle to the TDA1387 and TDA1545A. Given that they were designed as 'economy' parts, they're almost magic chips. Neither are R2R ladder, they're segmented current source = better dynamically than R2R types due to lower glitch energy. Actually the TDA1545 (non-A) is an older design - I got some samples I think around 1991, this part was I2S.

The only 16bit part which is better than these babies would be the TDA1541A - superior because its bipolar and hence inherently lower glitch than CMOS parts. But hardly suitable for what I plan to do, which is design and build a portable DAC.
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Old 17th December 2013, 05:54 PM   #13
hollowman is offline hollowman  United States
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Default TDA1545A DACs

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Originally Posted by abraxalito View Post
But hardly suitable for what I plan to do, which is design and build a portable DAC.
Late 2006, I built a TDA1545A (DIP) portable, partly based on the Monica design. Wasn't all that happy with it ... but then, early 2007, Rudolf B's very-good (discrete) I/V -- designed mostly for the Monica -- was posted both here and on diyparadise. And that was a MAJOR upgrade. Alas, the the whole thing needs 15-24v to work (24v is best). And the whole unit draws ample current ... so one needs a really good battery solution for portable use.

All that said, one could just go off the TDA1545A datasheet, use decent low-power opamps (AD8397) and other SOIC-sized components, plus a few Li-Po cell-phone batts and DC-DC converter with good after-filtering.

---

About the sonics of certain classic multibit R2R DACs ... the sound is BIG, with large soundstage, lots of dynamics and deep, tight bass. Seems that Delta-sigmas moved away from this into more wimpy sound to emulate over-rated analog/vinyl.
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Old 18th December 2013, 12:10 AM   #14
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I'd say that the D-S DACs of today more emulate cassette tape than vinyl.

I had a look at the I/V stage and now I can understand why it needs such a high voltage. You could use one of these (under $1) to get enough volts - 特价模块/USB转端子模块/5V转12V升压器/VIN2V-6V/输出可选5-18V-淘宝网

I've had fine results with just a single transistor common-base stage to do I/V though.
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Old 18th December 2013, 07:10 AM   #15
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Default RMAF 11: Noise Shaping Sigma Delta Based Dacs, Martin Mallison, CTO, ESS

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Originally Posted by abraxalito View Post
I'd say that the D-S DACs of today more emulate cassette tape than vinyl.
It's funny ... some of the last cassette tape decks -- as well as those rare ones that could R/P greater than 1 7/8 ips, Dual made one IIRC -- were not bad. Dolby HX Pro, etc helped a little.

But back to D-S vs. R2R (heck, we can even throw in MASH and Bitstream 1-bit jobs while we're at it)... what sonic characteristics are you referring to?
Indeed, ESS and others are aware of the most criticisms of D-S DACs, and use these criticisms when developing new models...
RMAF 11: Noise Shaping Sigma Delta Based Dacs, Martin Mallison, CTO, ESS Technology - YouTube
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Old 18th December 2013, 01:30 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by hollowman View Post
But back to D-S vs. R2R (heck, we can even throw in MASH and Bitstream 1-bit jobs while we're at it)... what sonic characteristics are you referring to?
Noise modulation, greyness of tonal colours, missing dynamic contrast.

Quote:
Indeed, ESS and others are aware of the most criticisms of D-S DACs, and use these criticisms when developing new models...
RMAF 11: Noise Shaping Sigma Delta Based Dacs, Martin Mallison, CTO, ESS Technology - YouTube
Its an excellent presentation, one I've commended to others on numerous occasions. However for all the fixes they've incorporated into their 'Hyperstream' modulator, the noise modulation's still very much there.
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Old 18th December 2013, 04:11 PM   #17
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Default *Implementation* is the key

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Originally Posted by abraxalito View Post
Noise modulation, greyness of tonal colours, missing dynamic contrast.
Given some of the advantages of classic R2R designs -- as noted in certain DIY communities, but also some modern portable gear (HiFiMan) and a few high-enders (Zanden), it's curious why Philips, Analog, TI/BB, et. al., no longer pursue R2R (or, at least, manuf. their classic chips). Certainly, the old tool and dies exist.
Maybe the manuf. costs (vs. REAL demand) is too high.
D-S was orig. developed to reduce manuf. costs, and $$ is always the bottom line.
Still, with modern advances in IC manufacturing, SOP-sized R2R chips is not THAT hard (or cost prohibitive).

The most common (and reasonable) excuse -- one that even a lot of DIYers admit to -- is that DAC type (D-S, R2R, etc.) is small potatoes compared to IMPLEMENTATION (clean PSU, better LPFs, I/V and other output-stage elements). PCB layout, passive-component quality and tolerances are important "implementation" factors, too.

I noted earlier that the orig. TDA1545A-based Monica (w/o Rudolf I/V) sounded pretty unspectacular. In fact, at that time, I had a Toshiba mod CD/DVD player in the works-- it used one of those all-in-one Zoran multimedia chips (with D-S DAC of course) ... but the Zoran was unique in that it outputted current (!!), and Toshiba used its resources to come up with a fairly impressive (but cost effective) I/V and high-order output stage, which made certain Toshiba models popular in DIY circles. Anyway, back to Monica .... that $30 (new Wal-Mart price!) Toshiba with a $2 opamp mod blew away almost every CDP and D/A I had at the time.

And I still have that infamous single-bit Optimus CD-3400 from 1994 ... euphonic and colored as it is, somehow Mistumi's IMPLEMENTATION stinks of vinyl and vacuum tubes.
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Old 18th December 2013, 04:25 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hollowman View Post
Given some of the advantages of classic R2R designs -- as noted in certain DIY communities, but also some modern portable gear (HiFiMan) and a few high-enders (Zanden), it's curious why Philips, Analog, TI/BB, et. al., no longer pursue R2R (or, at least, manuf. their classic chips). Certainly, the old tool and dies exist.
First up, you're not talking here about R2Rs - Hifiman used TDA1543 and Zanden TDA1541A - neither are R2Rs. Philips (now NXP) no longer seem to be designing audio DACs. It appears they all found they could get better measurements for lower cost with S-D designs; chips that could be built on digital processes. R2Rs were always expensive due to the need for laser trimming.

Until we get standardized measurements which more accurately reflect perceived SQ I can't see multibit DACs making a renaissance. The vast majority of designs are done based on DS numbers, not listening evaluations.
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Old 18th December 2013, 10:07 PM   #19
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Default Segmented current sources vs. Delta-sigma vs. Ladder/R2r

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Originally Posted by abraxalito View Post
First up, you're not talking here about R2Rs - Hifiman used TDA1543 and Zanden TDA1541A - neither are R2Rs.
I usually use R2R as "generic" name for classic multibit ladder architectures.
But R2R seems only to be specifically mentioned in datasheets for DACs like PCM1704, etc.
Also, MSB Tech, Mother-of-Tone, HyperPhysics seem to limit discussion of DACs arch. to
R2R/ladder, D-S, and "summing amplifier".

In an earlier DIY topical discussion, you also refereed to another type (arch.), segmented current sources (with or w/o DEM), putatively used in TDA1541
Is this what TDA1543 and TDA1545 use, too?

Also, is there a White Paper on Philips use of segmented current sources? It does not seem to be mentioned all that often in datasheets, etc.
Think this one from AD is applicable.

Or select TDA1541/43/45 arch. (if possible) from the Types shown on wiki DAC page:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital...rter#DAC_types
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Last edited by hollowman; 18th December 2013 at 10:15 PM.
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Old 18th December 2013, 10:28 PM   #20
hollowman is offline hollowman  United States
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Further thoughts...

I think the CD (optical disc) medium -- and its inherent, rather messy/flawed way of reading/interpolating/error-correction (all in real time) -- are important drawbacks that compromise sonic performance. (To say nothing of ergonomics or utility or limited usability, such as playback lists)
Since D-S are so popular (for manuf. reasons, as prev. noted), they are incorporated into flash-memory devices and PC soundcards, that have the advantage of cache memory and buffering ... giving D-S the IMPRESSION of sounding superior.
I have heard classic multibit DACs with modern devices (e.g., QLS hifi wav player --> (using I2S) ---> TDA1545A-based D/A (with Rudolf I/V). And that's ... quite a different story ... maybe, it's the transport, stupid!
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Last edited by hollowman; 18th December 2013 at 10:37 PM.
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