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Chinese ES9018K2M I2S DAC
Chinese ES9018K2M I2S DAC
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Old 21st January 2017, 10:21 PM   #11
TazBox is offline TazBox
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I think the dac is the right one 9018k2m ...or close. I was able to access the i2c lines by soldering 2 wires on the 4k7 resistors on the right side of the chip.
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Old 22nd January 2017, 03:50 AM   #12
sangram is offline sangram  India
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The distortion is solved by reducing volume to 95%. The top 3 positions of the ESS volume control increase the volume beyond 0dB, which result in clipping on almost all material. Obviously the 'designer' doesn't really have a clue.
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Old 24th January 2017, 02:20 AM   #13
DRONE7 is offline DRONE7  New Zealand
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@ sangram & TazBox.... re i2c lines and volume...... can you expand on that ? anything we can try ?

@TazBox.. I was under the impression that the 'headphone' output was simply an alternative line out option...?
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Old 24th January 2017, 04:30 AM   #14
luxury54 is offline luxury54  Romania
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sangram View Post
The distortion is solved by reducing volume to 95%. The top 3 positions of the ESS volume control increase the volume beyond 0dB, which result in clipping on almost all material. Obviously the 'designer' doesn't really have a clue.
same question, any advice on how we could reduce volume? thanks
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Old 24th January 2017, 04:39 AM   #15
sangram is offline sangram  India
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I have no knowledge of the command bus and since the datasheet is closed to the public, very few people do. In both this case and for my Audioquest Dragonfly, the playback software has to be used to reduce it.

The DF has the advantage of an analog domain hardware volume control, which is about four words too many for the 'designer' of this board. Hence it is restricted to software mode only in my case.

What was needed was for the firmware to be programmed internally to cap the maximum volume at -1dB, and/or an external I2C pad to be provided. A SPDIF input would also be nice (almost all motherboards have a SPDIF output header, which would work well with the TTL compatible SPDIF input on the ESS chips). But if wishes were horses, pigs would fly.

Taz may be able to provide some more input and a remedy.
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Old 25th January 2017, 05:40 AM   #16
DRONE7 is offline DRONE7  New Zealand
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Thanks @sangram.... used software to reduce output on your advice..
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Old 23rd March 2017, 07:18 AM   #17
linjunan is offline linjunan  Taiwan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TazBox View Post
Hi,

I also bought this DAC but I recommend avoiding it. It's a cheap chinese knock off with serious design flaws:

- there is no input regulator (at least a LM317). The two transistors are a joke. The noise from the power supply goes directly in the op amp.
- there is no bipolar power supply.
- the voltage for the digital part of the DAC is 5V which is too much for the DAC. Most likely it's a buggy / faulty ES9018K2M batch. Replacing the 5V LDO with a real TLV1117 (3.3V version from TI) makes things even worse for the digital side. The I2S input signal is very sensitive to wire capacitance and the playback stops from time to time.
- the small "Nichicon" capacitors (most likely fake ones) used for headphones and line out coupling are rated at only 6.3V ... this is too low if you use the DAC with 12V input.
- the DAC is used in voltage output mode instead of current output mode (that provides the best performance for this DAC). The op amp implements a differential multiple feedback low pass filter with a gain of 1.3.
- the crystal oscillator goes very hot.
- the sound is very loud in a 33 ohm headphones but also very distorted especially for low frequencies.

Instead of buying this crappy board you'd better save the money for something better.

I really wait to see a decent ES9018K2M implementation ... but it's not the case for this DAC.
Is that one?
Click the image to open in full size.

I see there are one bjt near the power input connect, do you mean it does not have any power regulator design?

Otherwise,

There is their new product used ES9028Q2M:
Click the image to open in full size.


Another shop's design usde ES9018K2M:
Click the image to open in full size.

I like the last one design. This products has a kit:
Click the image to open in full size.

I have order one kit and waiting.....
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Old 23rd March 2017, 07:43 AM   #18
sangram is offline sangram  India
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Join Date: Sep 2002
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I actually also ended up ordering two of the older 9018 units for some low-tech grunt work. I did hear the one my friend had and it sounded perfectly acceptable for menial tasks.

Even with software castration and a basic power supply, it sounded almost as good as my first-generation Buffalo DAC. It had a lower noise floor than the Buff, and the price is really low.

That 9028 board is interesting, looks like someone decided to man up and add the missing stuff. Which should be good news, but it's vaporware at the moment since no international store is selling it. There also are no pictures anywhere else.
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Old 23rd March 2017, 04:35 PM   #19
BryceJ is offline BryceJ  Canada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sangram View Post
That 9028 board is interesting, looks like someone decided to man up and add the missing stuff. Which should be good news, but it's vaporware at the moment since no international store is selling it. There also are no pictures anywhere else.
There are a couple on e-bay:

Assembled ES9028 I2S input decoders ES9028Q2M mill board DAC | eBay

Assembly ES9028Q2M ES9028 I2S DSD Input DAC Decoders Board With Soft Control CPU

No mention of any software to control the features though.
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Old 24th March 2017, 01:43 AM   #20
linjunan is offline linjunan  Taiwan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sangram View Post
I actually also ended up ordering two of the older 9018 units for some low-tech grunt work. I did hear the one my friend had and it sounded perfectly acceptable for menial tasks.

Even with software castration and a basic power supply, it sounded almost as good as my first-generation Buffalo DAC. It had a lower noise floor than the Buff, and the price is really low.

That 9028 board is interesting, looks like someone decided to man up and add the missing stuff. Which should be good news, but it's vaporware at the moment since no international store is selling it. There also are no pictures anywhere else.
Could you please talk more. I am very interesting in raspberry pi audio solution.

Thanks,
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