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Cheap chi-fi DAC buy (<30 USD)
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Old 10th January 2019, 02:07 AM   #81
eljoantonyn is offline eljoantonyn  India
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phase View Post
Thatís what I have done, and it does work like mark said, but not without a lot of trials and tuning to get what you want.
My first dac didnít last long, had a low voltage, single rail supply. The second one, a much better design, I made changes until the board had been compromised, a replacement board retrofitted has been in use for 5 years or so daily. They were from along/minishow also.
So, whatís the final dac you have settled on ?
Can you post a link ?
Quote:
Originally Posted by abraxalito View Post
If you're completely serious about wanting the brightest possible sound I reckon. Otherwise the OPA2134 will be contributing some 'warmth'.
Hmm, I'll keep that in my mind. Thanks for the heads up.
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Old 10th January 2019, 02:24 AM   #82
phase is offline phase  United States
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Well not the dac chip itself, as they are single supply, just the output stage is typically dual supply.

Not sure how the d10 sounds since Iíve never heard one, but when I tried a 2134 way back, it reminded me of the Dolby filters from around 1980; lack of treble, no treble noise either, how brilliant!

I read that review of op amp testing that included some noise testing, never mentioned the actual sound however, and the one op amp that I would have tried measured the worst!
The reviewer never divulged what the I/V op amps were, but they were soldered in regardless.


Is probably one of those devices best left alone however, would be an exercise in spending money to try and modify, unless you had some extra parts around.

The one I purchased isnít sold anymore, was a modified clone of an Arcam from over ten years ago that had used a WM8741. It sounds better than my newer, and better rated chips because it has been sorted out fairly well, was a great design to begin with, had been modified by the seller(filter component values), and again by myself(better passive components, power supplies).
Thereís also a difference between strong dynamic representation and ďbrightĒ, which usually a term used when things have gone too far or are distorting. The best place to get whatever sound the way you want it is in the dac/preamp for sure.

Another one I have here, and have been working on is this one;

Assembled XMOS U8 + AK4495SEQ + AD827 DAC USB Decoder Board | eBay

It hasnít delivered quite the performance of the older one, but itís getting closer. Iíve replaced many components, sounds good.

Also am using a similar preamp as this in the same case with its own transformer;

HIFI FET Preamp Board Preamplifier 3 Way signal input Class A Ref Marantz HDAM | eBay
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Old 10th January 2019, 10:20 AM   #83
eljoantonyn is offline eljoantonyn  India
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Join Date: Jan 2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by phase View Post
Well not the dac chip itself, as they are single supply, just the output stage is typically dual supply.

Not sure how the d10 sounds since Iíve never heard one, but when I tried a 2134 way back, it reminded me of the Dolby filters from around 1980; lack of treble, no treble noise either, how brilliant!

I read that review of op amp testing that included some noise testing, never mentioned the actual sound however, and the one op amp that I would have tried measured the worst!
The reviewer never divulged what the I/V op amps were, but they were soldered in regardless.


Is probably one of those devices best left alone however, would be an exercise in spending money to try and modify, unless you had some extra parts around.
Well, thats as damning as it could ever be lol
Whats interesting is the frequency response plot. Its Flat

I still have it in my ebay.com cart (79USD) but now...I'll think about it.
But yeah, it has a digital out though. So, I can use a lower cost DAC without a USB input and use its digital out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by phase View Post
The one I purchased isnít sold anymore, was a modified clone of an Arcam from over ten years ago that had used a WM8741. It sounds better than my newer, and better rated chips because it has been sorted out fairly well, was a great design to begin with, had been modified by the seller(filter component values), and again by myself(better passive components, power supplies).
Thereís also a difference between strong dynamic representation and ďbrightĒ, which usually a term used when things have gone too far or are distorting. The best place to get whatever sound the way you want it is in the dac/preamp for sure.

Another one I have here, and have been working on is this one;

Assembled XMOS U8 + AK4495SEQ + AD827 DAC USB Decoder Board | eBay

It hasnít delivered quite the performance of the older one, but itís getting closer. Iíve replaced many components, sounds good.

Also am using a similar preamp as this in the same case with its own transformer;

HIFI FET Preamp Board Preamplifier 3 Way signal input Class A Ref Marantz HDAM | eBay
So, how many components have you changed and how difficult was it ?
I'm asking coz I'm not good in soldering small components.

By the way, the fans and fan controller I ordered for my PC is getting delayed (AliExpress ). So, I can take more time finding a DAC. Also, I can increase my budget further to may be 100 USD. But as the item value increases, the chance of the customs charging tax increases.
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Old 10th January 2019, 11:09 AM   #84
dandreye is offline dandreye
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Location: UK
eljoantonyn:

> Also, I can increase my budget further to may be 100 USD.

Is D30 any good maybe?

> But as the item value increases, the chance of the customs charging tax increases.

Don't worry: AliExpress sellers do their job properly here w/o any prompting from buyer side: it'll have customs value of ~USD12-15 )))
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Old 10th January 2019, 12:03 PM   #85
phase is offline phase  United States
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My path has been slightly different, I did do a lot of soldering for work back 25 years ago, so I was more ready to dive in and start to learn more about the audio aspect of the hobby.

I might get something like that d30 to use as a reference, and to just enjoy really, then poke around on lower priced stuff or used gear to get accustomed to working on pcbs, and the safety awareness around power etc. The one op amp is replaceable on the topping, so you should be able to find a different sound to a degree that suits you I would imagine.
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Old 11th January 2019, 05:13 AM   #86
eljoantonyn is offline eljoantonyn  India
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phase View Post
My path has been slightly different, I did do a lot of soldering for work back 25 years ago, so I was more ready to dive in and start to learn more about the audio aspect of the hobby.

I might get something like that d30 to use as a reference, and to just enjoy really, then poke around on lower priced stuff or used gear to get accustomed to working on pcbs, and the safety awareness around power etc. The one op amp is replaceable on the topping, so you should be able to find a different sound to a degree that suits you I would imagine.
D30 is going to be above my budget
Then there is Schiit Modi 3 with a 5 db dip over the 10khz region, also above my budget.

So, apart from the Topping D10, there are no decent budget DACs according to my googling skills
Quote:
Originally Posted by dandreye View Post
eljoantonyn:

> Also, I can increase my budget further to may be 100 USD.

Is D30 any good maybe?

> But as the item value increases, the chance of the customs charging tax increases.

Don't worry: AliExpress sellers do their job properly here w/o any prompting from buyer side: it'll have customs value of ~USD12-15 )))
D30 is out of my budget as I'm sure the customs would check its India price.
They too are using google
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Old 11th January 2019, 05:15 AM   #87
eljoantonyn is offline eljoantonyn  India
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Join Date: Jan 2014
By the way, any reliable seller recommendations on eBay for DAC?

On researching, minishow (Mshow), along were good enough. I have also heard of weiliang. Then there is Douk Audio or Nobsound.

Any information and your experiences on them would be greatly appreciated !

I have found a review for that Xmos U8+DSD1796 Douk Audio (Nobsound) DAC .
Douk Audio DSD AIO DAC/Headamp Quick Impressions and Measurements | Super Best Audio Friends

The reviewer says its a decent implementation but has a "warm" sound. So, not for me but many others would just love it.
Please read the review !

Just an FYI, Topping D10 is now available at Massdrop for 65 USD
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Old 11th January 2019, 11:38 AM   #88
dandreye is offline dandreye
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...I just wish they were as customs friendly as chinese sellers at Ebay/AliExpress are )
Customs Fees – Massdrop Help Center
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Old 11th January 2019, 12:46 PM   #89
eljoantonyn is offline eljoantonyn  India
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dandreye View Post
...I just wish they were as customs friendly as chinese sellers at Ebay/AliExpress are )
Customs Fees – Massdrop Help Center
It is said that massdrop sends the parcels through DHL which has a "thing" with our customs department. Many parcels handled by DHL have been fined in addition to the regular customs duty ! Some speculate that DHL does not "cooperate" (if you know what I mean) well with the customs department and that is the reason !
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Old 13th January 2019, 05:12 PM   #90
phi112358 is offline phi112358
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I bought several USB powered DACs. Facepalm. Then i realised what asynchronous means. They have separate USB to I2s converters. Realised I should have bought something like an amanero USB. I saw one on aliexpress, clone, for about 22 dollars. I got a leaf amanero copy with better caps. Amanero is a bit old and expensive too. If I had it all to do again I would have never bought those all in one units. I would have bought the amanero clone. Then the ess9038 DAC on eBay. I would have looked at that board and immediately replaced the lm317 regulator. Then used a linear PSU with a decent transformer inside, or combed through a junkyard of old laptop chargers to find one that supplied 9-12v.

Believe it or not your OS affects sound. AV Linux uses a realtime kernel. On win, I found improvement using foobar to upsample to DSD. Tried AVlinux, same machine, and its standard PCM, usual audio player sounds better than foobar on win. Even after optimizing the win OS for audio, well past the usual steps, having killed half the processes and heavily edited the registry.. Those steps are the shortcut... Follow them and you are a lucky person to have this advice without the errors it took me to get there. AKM DACs aren't so musical IMHO. ESS sabres are very great for the money. Of you're looking on eBay there are two units under 20 dollars... Get the more expensive of the two. Its bigger. And get the amanero clone. The regulator on the ESS board is easy to solder. You're going to need one LM317T from st microelectronics. Find one and email seller to verify that it is in fact ST micro, not a clone. People will sell clones advertising them as real st microelectronics lm317t. So write the seller to check. Look on the board, find the lm317t, replace it. Were not talking surface mount soldering. There are actually holes in the board and its far enough away from the small caps etc to be very easy to do. Just fill the holes with solder and set component in. Here's the secret. Heat the component after placing it into the holes. From a metallurgist. Million dollar secret that was. It always bonds when you do it. For such a small job, using tin/lead solder is probably okay, its easy to use. Amanero unit is OK on USB power...

Good luck friend Omg, almost forgot. You're going to need to replace that little ne5532 (generic) with a TI ne5532 chip. They're a few bucks each. Once again verify its an actual TI chip before paying. Write seller. Someone else might know a better compatible unit. I pulled mine from my DAC scrapyard. Now that chip has 8 connections but it plugs into the board, no soldering needed. Because soldering 8 pin chips surface mount or drop in is not as easy as soldering a regulator into holes on the board.

Quote:
Originally Posted by eljoantonyn View Post
It is said that massdrop sends the parcels through DHL which has a "thing" with our customs department. Many parcels handled by DHL have been fined in addition to the regular customs duty ! Some speculate that DHL does not "cooperate" (if you know what I mean) well with the customs department and that is the reason !
You say "our". I am in Thailand. Same same. Sama sama. So if you're in another country we can begin to speculate that there is a pattern in their ways that extends many countries.

Quote:
Originally Posted by eljoantonyn View Post
By the way, any reliable seller recommendations on eBay for DAC?

On researching, minishow (Mshow), along were good enough. I have also heard of weiliang. Then there is Douk Audio or Nobsound.

Any information and your experiences on them would be greatly appreciated !
Everything I bought from them broke within a year, or had serious firmware problems.
It was utter crap. Utter shyte.

ESS sabre upgraded unit for 12$ plus an amanero clone. Bam! Done!

Replace regulator and ne5532 like a ninja.

Be happy with yourself in 5 years when your unit still works

BTW... Topping gear looks to be well designed. Far higher quality than the minishow gear.

Topping, I would say go for it if you want an all in one unit you're not going to upgrade, IFF it gets subjective stamps of approval from trusted listeners. Good PCB design techniques from what I can see. If its affordable...
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