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Need Help!! ES9038Pro DAC + Amanero w/ No Sound Output.. :(
Need Help!! ES9038Pro DAC + Amanero w/ No Sound Output.. :(
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Old 21st December 2017, 05:18 PM   #1
ZoSoNCSU is offline ZoSoNCSU  United States
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Default ES9038Pro + Amanero Setup: Plays DSD, but not FLAC

Hello All!

I am having issues getting sound to come out of my ES9038Pro DAC + v.2016 Amanero w/ 3x "Golden" TCXO . I can change sources for the DAC and see the OLED screen change accordingly I also have the blue power light found on the Amanero lit up. I can launch Foobar2000 and I see my OLED screen change accordingly, such as 384 kHz after setting it up in Sound (and it changes if I lower the sample rate). Still, the only sound I can hear is a small "pop” when I start/stop a track. I have tried multiple bit rates and sampling rates, with no luck. I have also tried nearly every way Foobar can output sound: ASIO, DS, KS & WASAPI all with no luck so far.


I checked my voltage across the op-amp Vcc legs, read right around the expected ~30V. The twin 6V transformer is reading slightly high at the DAC power input terminals but I keep it below 7V with the help of the 2000W variac. Any idea why a 6V secondary reading upwards of 7.5V? I am wondering if it is even seeing the load (the DAC) because those voltages are very close to what I saw with no load what so ever during my initial tests with the transformers.

Click the image to open in full size.

Now on the computer side, I installed the Windows 10 Amanero drivers from Amanero Technologies I assume that all went fine since I can see the device and adjust the settings as shown below.

Below is the description of the DAC from the seller's ad to possibly shed some more light on what I am doing here.

Quote:
DAC BOARD compatible with Amanero usb IIS usb or XMOS XU208 DSD I2S usb module

It is assembled board with fully tested.
with hifi quality components: ELNA caps,WIMA 104, 3 pcs golden plated RCA jacks,TCXO 0.1PPM + OLED display module + remote control

ES9038pro IC is very very good, The best DAC chip so far, very good feedbecks from customers!

defaule include NE5532*2 + NE5534*2 Op-amp
you can upgrade the op amps here:
AD797 and MUSES8920

>>Sample rate:
1. Coaxial Supports up to 32bit 192khz
2. Optical supports up to 192khz
3. USB support up to 32bit 384k ( option,need buy usb card)

>> Output: RCA analog + XLR balanced output

>>Input :
1. Support : Optical and Coaxial input
2. Support : USB Input ; (option: you need to buy our usb module,
Amanero usb IIS usb or XMOS U8 DSD I2S usb)


>>Input voltage : AC 15V --0--15V ; 0--7V; 0---7V ( M ax = 7V )
Click the image to open in full size.

There is one other sound I hear besides the quick pop when starting stopping a song while the DAC + Amanero is on. If I kill the power at the variac (using a variac to ensure safe voltages) I will hear the speakers sort of sizzle/hiss for 1-2 seconds in a quick fade out kind of sound and then it stops. I have heard this on a few different setups over the years, so I am not concerned about this, just wanted to mention it.

This is the exact DAC if you wanted to see more on it: NEW hifi TOP ES9038 ES9038PRO DAC decoder assembled board + TCXO 0.1PPM + remote control + option USB XMOS XU208 or Amanero -in Amplifier from Consumer Electronics on Aliexpress.com | Alibaba Group

I look forward to hearing from the community. Thanks for reading and please help!!
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Last edited by ZoSoNCSU; 22nd December 2017 at 07:29 PM. Reason: DSD files began playing back correctly
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Old 21st December 2017, 09:57 PM   #2
ZoSoNCSU is offline ZoSoNCSU  United States
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I just updated the SACD plugin for foobar2000 and now I am playing DSD64 natively!!!!

I haven't been able to get it to play FLAC though and now I have SOOOO many options to pick from!! Anyone have any idea why I can play DSD files but not FLAC?
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Old 22nd December 2017, 07:31 PM   #3
ZoSoNCSU is offline ZoSoNCSU  United States
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Does nobody even have a guess?!? Come on guys/gals!

Is this not the best section to post this sort of a question?
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Old 22nd December 2017, 10:30 PM   #4
mlee is offline mlee  Canada
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So DSD works but PCM doesn't? Are we to assume the ES9038pro is in automatic mode? Is the ES running in slave or master mode? If master mode what is the oscillator speed? Is it running in Voltage or current mode?
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Last edited by mlee; 22nd December 2017 at 10:36 PM.
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Old 23rd December 2017, 04:36 AM   #5
ZoSoNCSU is offline ZoSoNCSU  United States
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Now I have both PCM and DSD working. It was just a matter of the right settings. Posted below are the settings I am now using and getting everything to work, including sampling PCM into DSD! One error in the picture, 44.1kHz should have DSD selected in the last column.

Click the image to open in full size.


Now I am making decisions on mounting.

I may have to sit my Amanero board on top of the sealed/potted green transformer. It's way too big to go in the slot for the usual USB card.

Click the image to open in full size.

Full Size: https://www1.picturepush.com/photo/a...-Enclosure.jpg

Read more on my mounting techniques in my article here: Procedure For Mounting Transformers (One of Many Ways) for ES9038Pro DAC + Amanero – Hallman Labs
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Last edited by ZoSoNCSU; 23rd December 2017 at 04:50 AM.
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Old 23rd December 2017, 01:48 PM   #6
Wungun is offline Wungun  Canada
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I bought a similar unit (the 9028, still in delivery), and the 9VAC transformer they recommended...
And it outputs to 11.7VDC!
As best as I can tell, the board needs 5V and 3.3V for the processor and oscillator....
I don't have a variarc but I really need to drop my secondaries before hooking this up!
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Old 27th December 2017, 08:07 PM   #7
ZoSoNCSU is offline ZoSoNCSU  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wungun View Post
I bought a similar unit (the 9028, still in delivery), and the 9VAC transformer they recommended...
And it outputs to 11.7VDC!
As best as I can tell, the board needs 5V and 3.3V for the processor and oscillator....
I don't have a variarc but I really need to drop my secondaries before hooking this up!
Your voltages will always be high until you have the load attached. Also you can use light bulbs instead of a variac, google "Lightbulb Variac".

I'd recommend getting some dummy load resistors that use similiar wattage to the DAC so your voltages read are more accurate.

You can reach me at my site if you need any in depth help (www.HallmanLabs.com)! I got mine working fully except for a little bit of distortion between tracks.
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Old 27th December 2017, 09:19 PM   #8
Wungun is offline Wungun  Canada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZoSoNCSU View Post
Your voltages will always be high until you have the load attached. Also you can use light bulbs instead of a variac, google "Lightbulb Variac".

I'd recommend getting some dummy load resistors that use similiar wattage to the DAC so your voltages read are more accurate.

You can reach me at my site if you need any in depth help (www.HallmanLabs.com)! I got mine working fully except for a little bit of distortion between tracks.
Oh, you mean the V output of the transformer will read high without a load? I think I have a load resistor I can hook up to test...
I was also thinking a CL-80 thermistor on the primary side to slow down any surges and take out a bit of voltage...
I do the same on my Dynaco amps.
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Old 28th December 2017, 05:44 PM   #9
ZoSoNCSU is offline ZoSoNCSU  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wungun View Post
Oh, you mean the V output of the transformer will read high without a load? I think I have a load resistor I can hook up to test...
I was also thinking a CL-80 thermistor on the primary side to slow down any surges and take out a bit of voltage...
I do the same on my Dynaco amps.

Yeah, I have seen and used Thermistors in that fashion also. It's pretty common on transformers over 150VA.

Good luck and let us know how it goes!
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Old 28th December 2017, 06:12 PM   #10
Wungun is offline Wungun  Canada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZoSoNCSU View Post
Yeah, I have seen and used Thermistors in that fashion also. It's pretty common on transformers over 150VA.

Good luck and let us know how it goes!
And I think with the low current draw on the processor side of the DAC, the thermistor will stay at a lower temp/higher resistance, keeping the voltage manageable.
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