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Help with buffer stage for Soekris DAM1941 DAC
Help with buffer stage for Soekris DAM1941 DAC
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Old 16th June 2020, 08:39 PM   #11
Pegasus123 is offline Pegasus123  United States
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Originally Posted by TNT View Post
So did I. I preferred the non-buffered output. Which one did you like the best?

//
I preferred the DAM1021 buffered. It wasn't a drastic difference but I noticed what sounded like a more balanced frequency response. The input impedance of the Luxman is 47 kOhms so maybe it has to do with matching.
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Old 16th June 2020, 08:48 PM   #12
TNT is offline TNT  Sweden
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MC-trafos are used because this situation requires 60 dB gain. The DAM dac is capable of playing into anything really.

But you haven't told us what is to be connected. Preamp? What impedance?

What you might achive is to add some coloration. Thats could be OK if thats your taste or your system needs a little bit of distorsion to sound it's best. Then a tube buffer could do the work. Trafo as well - adds a little different "taste"..

Good luck!

//
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Old 16th June 2020, 09:23 PM   #13
Pegasus123 is offline Pegasus123  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TNT View Post
MC-trafos are used because this situation requires 60 dB gain. The DAM dac is capable of playing into anything really.

But you haven't told us what is to be connected. Preamp? What impedance?

What you might achive is to add some coloration. Thats could be OK if thats your taste or your system needs a little bit of distorsion to sound it's best. Then a tube buffer could do the work. Trafo as well - adds a little different "taste"..

Good luck!

//
Thanks. The Luxman SQ-N100 is a SS/Tube hybrid. It has a solid state preamp and the tube section is a PP Mullard UL EL84 with a 47k input impedance. Despite the tubes being probably over ten years old it sounds quite nice even with my Sennheiser HD650's. And the output is coming directly off the output transformers to headphones with what I think is a resistor to drop the wattage.

The McIntosh MC2155 sounded a tad more detailed with headphones and was barely noticeable. The McIntosh MX118 sounded the most clinical but I assume the most accurate of the three with headphones. Also, I did try a balanced XLR to headphone jack cable out of the Soekris DAM1021 which is possible due to the digital DAC volume control. Sounded the same as through the MX118 so I guess McIntosh does engineer good stuff.

I believe I am looking for perhaps a slightly colored sound but not an effects box. I think Markw4 has the best advice and I will just reach out to bisesik for guidance on what will work best for me. I want to try the transformers and compare to tubes.

Final question. Just how low does a preamp or DAC output impedance need to be for cables to not matter? My understanding is the lower the better and I find it odd that some prefer unbuffered

Last edited by Pegasus123; 16th June 2020 at 09:27 PM.
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Old 17th June 2020, 09:48 PM   #14
hop.sing is offline hop.sing  Europe
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Into 47k input impedance the 650 ohm output should be as transparent as possible with a short cable. If you like the buffered output of the dam better it might be a side effect of that output being louder. That seems to sound better without meticulous level matching, which is difficult without proper measurement devices. I did a comparison once with matched levels and found the unbuffered output into a 10k load sounding slightly better, but really only very slightly, but certainly not worse.
I would not use a transformer, because driven from that relatively high impedance it can only be 1:1 or step down. Since the low output of the dam needs some boost, if anything, a transformer seems to be without purpose, except breaking a ground loop.
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Old 18th June 2020, 04:45 AM   #15
Pegasus123 is offline Pegasus123  United States
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Thanks hop.sing. That bit of info is useful. The one thing I do notice with the DAM1021 is that output is very low even at 80% max output. So low that the Luxman SQ-N100 is at half volume in a small room with 98db horn speakers. When hooked up to the McIntosh MX118 & MC2155 the volume knob on the preamp was at 70% average.

Funny story I once hit the tuner button the the MX118 without re-adjusting the volume and the MC2155 power-guard was flashing continuously. The difference in output between the DAC and tuner section was that great. I had to run out of the room and re-enter with hearing protection and power-guard did save the amp and speakers.

So your post is quite helpful. I assume the output of the DAM1941 will be low as well and I don't want a transformer to reduce it further.
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Old 20th June 2020, 12:20 AM   #16
hop.sing is offline hop.sing  Europe
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Originally Posted by Pegasus123 View Post
Funny story I once hit the tuner button the the MX118 without re-adjusting the volume and the MC2155 power-guard was flashing continuously. The difference in output between the DAC and tuner section was that great. I had to run out of the room and re-enter with hearing protection and power-guard did save the amp and speakers.

So your post is quite helpful. I assume the output of the DAM1941 will be low as well and I don't want a transformer to reduce it further.
Run the dam with 0dB output reduction (or 3 dB lower if you care about intersample clipping) and the difference won't be that extreme anymore

Last edited by hop.sing; 20th June 2020 at 12:22 AM.
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Old 20th June 2020, 12:39 AM   #17
vdi_nenna is offline vdi_nenna  United States
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Help with buffer stage for Soekris DAM1941 DAC
I ran the DAM1021 with the B1 v1 connected off the resistor array. Was impressed with the combination. The B1 was used as a buffer only, the BA3-Pre provided gain.
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