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Which budget USB DAC under 200USD
Which budget USB DAC under 200USD
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Old 5th October 2017, 08:57 PM   #21
vdi_nenna is offline vdi_nenna  United States
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Haven't heard it but the SMSL Sanskrit 6th anniversary looks like a nice DAC.
Amazon.com: SMSL Sanskrit 6th 32bit/192kHz USB/Optical/Coaxial to Analog Audio Decoder (Black): Electronics

SMSL M8a as well. It's $250. Has DSD capability, if that interests you.
Amazon.com: SMSL M8A 2nd XMOS ES9028Q2M 32Bit/768KHz DSD512 USB DAC Optical Coaxial Decoder: Home Audio & Theater
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Old 5th October 2017, 10:25 PM   #22
wushuliu is offline wushuliu  United States
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Still Sabaj DA3...
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Old 5th October 2017, 10:26 PM   #23
wushuliu is offline wushuliu  United States
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And watch that budget get shot real quick once modding starts on dacs like tda1543...
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Old 5th October 2017, 11:22 PM   #24
454Casull is online now 454Casull  Canada
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ODAC rev B.
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Old 5th October 2017, 11:40 PM   #25
abraxalito is offline abraxalito  United Kingdom
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Insanoff View Post
What do you think folks? abraxalito do you think, L1543DAC could be a good starting point? Or maybe 8xTDA1543?
Another option comes to mind - one of the biggest weaknesses of most cheap USB DACs is the lack of isolation from the computer. You can fix this by getting a USB-Toslink converter then feeding the optical link into a separate DAC. Here's a DAC with Toslink input which I've bought a few of (and modded extensively), the Lite DAC-AH : 【北京安润】丽特LITE DAC-AH发烧音频HIFI解码器-淘宝网全球站
Its yet another 8*TDA1543 design
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Old 5th October 2017, 11:54 PM   #26
abraxalito is offline abraxalito  United Kingdom
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matt_garman View Post
That looks to be the same designer/maker as our tda1387x8. I need another DAC like I need a hole in my head, but... having trouble not getting one just for kicks. Abraxalito, what is your guess about how that tda1543x16 might compare to the tda1387x8? From the pics, looks like passive IV, but maybe with 16 DAC chips it doesn't matter. Makes me think of the TeraDak Chameleon, which (at least at one time) enjoyed some popularity and decent reviews.
We're both suffering from the same bug which compels us to acquire DACs just for the hell of it I've been corresponding with Alexandre who I think is one of the true experts on TDA1543 and he mentions he thinks there's a problem on one channel of this chip, perhaps a bug in the silicon? The 1543 has the advantage of more output current so with 16 devices you'll have something like 35mA to play with, enough to drive some headphones directly without any amp. Current mode is supposed to sound awesome but I've not figured out the best way to do it yet....

As to whether passive I/V matters - yes, I've found it doesn't give the best bass, no matter how many chips are paralleled. Nowadays I'm only using active - my latest DAC project is up on Hackaday : Audiophile-sounding DAC for almost no money | Hackaday.io
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Old 6th October 2017, 01:05 AM   #27
phase is online now phase  United States
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This one is working well with some modifications, is under $200 so far.

Ebay USB DAC board
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Old 6th October 2017, 10:13 AM   #28
Alexandre is offline Alexandre
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Thanks for the generosity Richard!

The thing with the left channel of the tda1543 is noise, probably crosstalk from the digital inputs. Why is it noisier than the right channel? Layout I suppose.

I first noticed the left channel noise when I removed the preamp from my system, driving the amplifier directly from the TDA1543 (passive I/V) and using digital attenuation. In this config you are really listening to the low level of the chip, and the sound is quite good with a selected chip, but the noise on the left channel bothered me at night when ambient noise is low.

There is also a good deal of variability between chips and datecodes. Some are more musical to my ears but I havenīt yet measured the differences. I have tried two paralleled tda1543 on more than one ocasion, scaling the resistors accordingly, but went back to a single selected chip per channel. Iīm not giving up yet, though; will try two paralleled chips again, with slight differences from my previous attempt. Maybe two selected chips in parallel, even though I donīt like to solder my favorite chips

I believe clock jitter makes a difference and I have always used my own clocking scheme, which Iīm afraid is not very applicable to others (I use an ancient RME soundcard, toslink I/O, xilinx cpld and a reclocker board with master clock before the dac board).

One more thing about the 1543: the sample out is delayed by one bitclock on the right channel iirc (could be the other way around). Anyway, one bitclock shift.
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Old 6th October 2017, 11:53 AM   #29
Extreme_Boky is offline Extreme_Boky
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You can have it now at a run-out-model price of around $300 (A$399) or even cheaper in Europe - the Roland SuperUA. Unbelievable bargain. Exceptional sound.
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Old 6th October 2017, 12:35 PM   #30
bigino is offline bigino  Italy
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I can vouch for the musicality of this one (only after some warming though, let's say half an hour on)

HiFi AK4118+AK4490+XMOS decoder Coaxial Optical USB DAC 192K 24BIT

I have tested it with lead acid batetries and it gains a lot more.

For AC power I would buy this (will eventually do) from the same firm

15W Ultra-Low Noise Linear Power Supply HIFI DC Regulated PSU 5V-24V Selection | eBay

I tested it with audiophile linux and deadbeef, sounds extremely well with that RT kernel, specially compiled for audio, coupled with a minimal fluxbox interface (almost all computing power is dedicated to audio, with audio getting absolute priority by scheduler, practically the system is transparent, cannot vouch for the hardware part but at least software is tightly tuned)

Also with a stock arch linux distro and deadbeef it works very well.

Audiophile linux is not well develeoped though, it easily gets problematic.

Arch is already very good, not bloated.

All my music is classical, with vocals tested with Christina Pluhar recordings (arpeggiata), very demanding for a system
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