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Looking for a Recommendation for an Old MultiBit DAC that can be Purchased Today
Looking for a Recommendation for an Old MultiBit DAC that can be Purchased Today
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Old 7th February 2019, 03:41 PM   #1
spaceman5 is offline spaceman5  Israel
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Default Looking for a Recommendation for an Old MultiBit DAC that can be Purchased Today

Hi I tried asking about this in the PC-Based forum, but received no reply there, so I will try here, maybe I will have more luck. A few months ago, when I was trying several different DACs, abraxalito recommended me to listen to a TDA1387 based DAC. That recommendation was great, this was the one that I chose to stay with, from all the ones that I purchased. I enjoy it a lot, and after seeing how an old, MultiBit DAC is different than what we have today, I would like to listen to more like this. I have no need for high resolution DACs, so the older ones are great for me. My question is, which ones (from the older ones) are recommended? And how can I buy them, today in 2019? Have I missed the train, or there is a way to get other old ones that sound good? Thank you all

Last edited by spaceman5; 7th February 2019 at 04:18 PM.
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Old 7th February 2019, 04:12 PM   #2
weissi is offline weissi  Austria
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Well, there are a lot of old R2R DACs still selling, for example there are full kits using the AD1865. Chip only, you'll find PCM56/PCM58/PCM1702/PCM1704, AD1860.
I can recommend getting either Ians I2S to PCM board or Jlsounds I2SoverUSB interface, both providing the necessary data stream formats required to operate these kind of converters.
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Old 7th February 2019, 04:20 PM   #3
spaceman5 is offline spaceman5  Israel
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Thank you very much weissi

Can you please tell me which of these DAC Chips sound better?
(to help me avoid not having to buy all of them and try them all)
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Old 7th February 2019, 08:31 PM   #4
batteryman is offline batteryman  United Kingdom
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Looking for a Recommendation for an Old MultiBit DAC that can be Purchased Today
There is no answer to that question because everyone has their own preference.
I prefer the TDA1541 to the AD1862 or AD1865 but only just.

The I/V conversion used makes more difference as does whether you use non oversampling or not. I prefer NOS, passive I/V and transformer with two 1541A dacs operating in balanced simultaneous configuration.

Last edited by batteryman; 7th February 2019 at 08:35 PM.
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Old 7th February 2019, 08:38 PM   #5
spaceman5 is offline spaceman5  Israel
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Thank you batteryman

Indeed I read good things about TDA1541A,
it seems that the TDA1541A chip has 4 versions:
- TDA1541A
- TDA1541A R1
- TDA1541A S1
- TDA1541A S2

and the last 2 (S1, S2) are the best out of them.
Is that correct in your opinion too?

If yes, do you know where I can buy a TDA1541A DAC today?
I prefer something already built, if possible..
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Old 8th February 2019, 01:06 AM   #6
abraxalito is offline abraxalito  United Kingdom
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This TDA1541A DAC is designed by Pedja Rogic who used to be very active on DIYA : Online store – Audial
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Old 8th February 2019, 02:31 AM   #7
hollowman is offline hollowman  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spaceman5 View Post
I tried asking about this in the PC-Based forum, but received no reply there,
so I will try here, maybe I will have more luck.
There is a PC-based sub-forum here on DIYA as well. Mostly deals with soundcards, methinks.
Anyway, no multibit is worth the hassle ... even if you like DIY projects.

Go with a modern delta-sigma (AKM, TI, etc). They really have exceeded the performance of any multibit ASIC.

As far as discrete multibits ... go ahead if you're super bored with plenty o' time to kill.
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Old 8th February 2019, 03:05 AM   #8
abraxalito is offline abraxalito  United Kingdom
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Here is a Taobao store with a modular DAC which looks to give many choices of multibit DAC chip. I'm not hereby endorsing the design or the SQ but it looks interesting and its relatively affordable : Arbiter PCM63 I2S 192Khz24Bit???Can communicate in Englis-???

Then if you've no objection to having valves inside, there's the Lite DAC-72 which uses PCM1702, a very well regarded multibit chip (Taobao) : LITE ?? DAC-72 ??? PCM1702 ??*2? ?????-???
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Last edited by abraxalito; 8th February 2019 at 03:08 AM.
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Old 8th February 2019, 07:58 AM   #9
spaceman5 is offline spaceman5  Israel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abraxalito View Post
This TDA1541A DAC is designed by Pedja Rogic who used to be very active on DIYA : Online store – Audial
A 1900€ DAC? Quite expensive.. Compare that to the 25$ TDA1387 that I liked so much

Anyway that's not a price that I would pay for a DAC..

Quote:
Originally Posted by abraxalito View Post
Here is a Taobao store with a modular DAC which looks to give many choices of multibit DAC chip. I'm not hereby endorsing the design or the SQ but it looks interesting and its relatively affordable : Arbiter PCM63 I2S 192Khz24Bit???Can communicate in Englis-???

Then if you've no objection to having valves inside, there's the Lite DAC-72 which uses PCM1702, a very well regarded multibit chip (Taobao) : LITE ?? DAC-72 ??? PCM1702 ??*2? ?????-???
They look nice, but is there maybe a USB Powered DAC product with the above mentioned chips?

Something small and similar to the TDA1387: a simple box that has USB input, and 2xRCA output.. Without the mess of supplying wall power..

Click the image to open in full size.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hollowman View Post
Anyway, no multibit is worth the hassle ... even if you like DIY projects.

Go with a modern delta-sigma (AKM, TI, etc). They really have exceeded the performance of any multibit ASIC.

As far as discrete multibits ... go ahead if you're super bored with plenty o' time to kill.
abraxalito, what do you think about this?

Regardingh myself, I should mention that I have no need for hi bitrate or anything like that, what I do need is the sound to be melodic and nice to listen too. Different DACs simply give a different sound, Some are more enjoying and others are less..

I tested almost 10 different DACs till I found the TDA1387 that I liked. Most of them were Delta-Sigma.. And most of them I did not like..
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Old 8th February 2019, 08:07 AM   #10
abraxalito is offline abraxalito  United Kingdom
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spaceman5 View Post
A 1900 DAC?
Quite expensive..
Compare that to the 25$ TDA1387 that I liked so much

Anyway that's not a price that I would pay for a DAC..
You didn't specify a price range so I included it anyway. Commercial DACs based on TDA1541A are niche items since the chip's been out of production for so long hence they're going to be boutique-priced.

Quote:
Something small and similar to the TDA1387:
a simple box that has USB input, and 2xRCA output..
Without the mess of supplying wall power..
I'm experimenting on making one based on my PhiDAC board. Won't be as small as that one but should sound better - partly because it has passive filtering and active I/V, partly because its regenerating the USB bus voltage rather than using it directly If you're interested, drop me a PM.

Quote:
abraxalito, what do you think about this?
I don't take it at all seriously
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