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Cheap chi-fi DAC buy (<30 USD)
Cheap chi-fi DAC buy (<30 USD)
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Old 2nd January 2019, 12:44 PM   #1
eljoantonyn is offline eljoantonyn  India
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Default Cheap chi-fi DAC buy (<30 USD)

Hi !

I want to replace the Xonar DX soundcard with a low cost USB or SPDIF or Optical (off the onboard soundcard of my motherboard) due to space constraints caused by a modded graphics card. The source would be Amazon Music and my FLAC collection (Foobar player). Output of the DAC would be fed either to my Headphone (a crappy headphone which I wanna replace !) or the Yamaha AS500 integrated amp fed to a German (?) 3 way speaker.

So, any recommendation would be deeply appreciated.

Also looking for an open (or semi-closed) headphone or earphone. Same budget, 30 USD (lower the better).
Purpose ? gaming !

Thanks for reading and yeah, Happy New Year folks !
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Old 2nd January 2019, 01:38 PM   #2
Yatsushiro is offline Yatsushiro  France
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Chi-Fi? Seriously?

You can start the new year better than that...
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Old 2nd January 2019, 01:41 PM   #3
eljoantonyn is offline eljoantonyn  India
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Well, don't have the dough lol
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Old 2nd January 2019, 01:48 PM   #4
Yatsushiro is offline Yatsushiro  France
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I was not referring to your budget; I don't think the term 'chi-fi' acceptable, as it is slightly derogatory.
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Old 2nd January 2019, 02:11 PM   #5
abraxalito is offline abraxalito  United Kingdom
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As you're stumped for cash, have a look at my very cheap DAC 'PhiDAC' : lingDAC - cost effective RBCD multibit DAC design. I'll be sharing the gerbers in the next few days once I've made some basic measurements.

Its I2S input so you'll need a converter - cheap to go USB-I2S with this : PCB2706 USB?I2S?? ????Amanero ??????-???
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Old 2nd January 2019, 02:19 PM   #6
eljoantonyn is offline eljoantonyn  India
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yatsushiro View Post
I was not referring to your budget; I don't think the term 'chi-fi' acceptable, as it is slightly derogatory.
Ok, understood,

Quote:
Originally Posted by abraxalito View Post
As you're stumped for cash, have a look at my very cheap DAC 'PhiDAC' : lingDAC - cost effective RBCD multibit DAC design. I'll be sharing the gerbers in the next few days once I've made some basic measurements.

Its I2S input so you'll need a converter - cheap to go USB-I2S with this : PCB2706 USB?I2S?? ????Amanero ??????-???
So, you have a group buy in mind ?

I just don't have the soldering skills (lost it). So, can I buy a fully built board from you ?
Also need a headphone out.
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Old 2nd January 2019, 02:27 PM   #7
abraxalito is offline abraxalito  United Kingdom
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No, I'm not thinking of doing a group buy myself but I'm open to supporting anyone who'd like to organize one. A fully built board from me would probably not come within your budget as I'm not yet set up for mass production - I'm hand-building at present and that gets a bit expensive in time (even though the parts are very cheap). A headphone output isn't a problem, I already have a PCB for that, so long as you're not needing to drive low-sensitivity cans.
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Old 2nd January 2019, 02:55 PM   #8
CharlieLaub is offline CharlieLaub  United States
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The cheapest USB DACs I can recommend will use the SA9023 USB RX chip and an ESS 9023 DAC.

For example, two that I own and have measured:
Hifimediy ES9023 USB DAC - it's small, cheap ($35), and good. You can also order it from HiFiMeDIY.com
SA9023+ES9023 USB decoder 24bit/96KHz USB DAC WLX - there is a pic of the PCB, and you can sometimes find that bare for a little less. Performance is great for $30!
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Old 2nd January 2019, 03:21 PM   #9
eljoantonyn is offline eljoantonyn  India
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abraxalito View Post
No, I'm not thinking of doing a group buy myself but I'm open to supporting anyone who'd like to organize one. A fully built board from me would probably not come within your budget as I'm not yet set up for mass production - I'm hand-building at present and that gets a bit expensive in time (even though the parts are very cheap). A headphone output isn't a problem, I already have a PCB for that, so long as you're not needing to drive low-sensitivity cans.
No, I don't have any high impedance headphones.

So, for a board with headphone out, can you put out a ballpark number (price), fully built ?
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Old 2nd January 2019, 03:32 PM   #10
abraxalito is offline abraxalito  United Kingdom
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I'd guess you'd end up needing a PSU board too as the PhiDAC needs 9V, the headamp 7V and you're running from USB (5V). I'd give a ballpark for 3 PCBs (DAC, headphone buffer, PSU) at $110. Quite a bit beyond your budget I'd hazard.

On second thoughts I can probably mod the PhiDAC to drive headphones direct, so long as they're above 50ohm impedance. Are yours? I'd want to try it out first though before confirming you could dispense with the buffer board.
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Last edited by abraxalito; 2nd January 2019 at 03:35 PM.
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