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Where can I buy a USB Sabre DAC?
Where can I buy a USB Sabre DAC?
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Old 18th September 2018, 07:47 PM   #21
spaceman5 is offline spaceman5  Israel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DPH View Post
For someone starting out, I'd suggest the es9023.
Great, I will start with the 9023,
and after that move to the 9018K2M with the modification.


Quote:
Originally Posted by DPH View Post
the es9023 is *probably* going to give you a better chance of a decently working end part.
The es9018k2m boards badly load the DAC with a buffer (rather than a transimpedance stage), and gives you an inferior end result.
With a transimpedance stage (like the one I linked with data from vicnic), the es9018k2m will certainly outperform the es9023.
Is the modification summed up just by removing the 2 capacitors, and adding opamps like abraxalito mentioned?
Or more than that?

Last edited by spaceman5; 18th September 2018 at 07:49 PM.
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Old 18th September 2018, 08:03 PM   #22
DPH is offline DPH  United States
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The modification suggested requires a little bit of familiarity with the parts.

Mod on the linked sa9023+es9018k2m board (like the one I have here) is to remove the soic opamp (AD823?), tap its input pins and feed those 4 inputs (+/- on both left and right channels) to a separate differential transimpedance stage (typically 3 opamps needed for a SE output, but vicnic does it with just a pair and doubling up a difference on a single opamp).

I'd have to look at any other filters on the board to tell whether there's any caps you'd need to remove.
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Old 18th September 2018, 08:16 PM   #23
spaceman5 is offline spaceman5  Israel
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Oh..

My soldering skills are more like for thru-hole components, not SMD ones.

Maybe there's a more ready-made board for the ES9018K2M, for people who don't solder (and desolder) SMD components?
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Old 18th September 2018, 08:28 PM   #24
DPH is offline DPH  United States
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This is probably your best bet then: ES9018K2M XMOS DSD DXD 384kHz USB DAC with Bit-perfect volume control and SPDIF input - DIYINHK

Pretty nice bit of kit.
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Old 18th September 2018, 09:28 PM   #25
phofman is offline phofman  Czech Republic
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Nothing against the kit, but presenting a regular USB control of DAC's built-in digital volume feature (every dirt-cheap USB soundcard has one) as the audiophile holy grail of "bitperfect volume control" makes the device manufacturer/marketer a bit untrustworthy in my eyes.
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Old 18th September 2018, 09:32 PM   #26
spaceman5 is offline spaceman5  Israel
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To be honest I will not buy a kit either..
I prefer a built board, hopefully well optimized..
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Old 18th September 2018, 10:03 PM   #27
jmansion is offline jmansion  United Kingdom
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phofman View Post
Nothing against the kit, but presenting a regular USB control of DAC's built-in digital volume feature (every dirt-cheap USB soundcard has one) as the audiophile holy grail of "bitperfect volume control" makes the device manufacturer/marketer a bit untrustworthy in my eyes.
Surely that will depend on whether the DAC has either:
- a voltage controlled amplifier output buffer, or
- expands the bit width to at least 24 bits and then does the scaling

As far as I can tell, its an issue with 16 bit scaling, but neither here nor there if you can scale with at least 24 bits of sample depth and if you can do 64 bit math and resolve to 32 bit samples then the theoretical benefits of analogue scaling are rather hard to justify, even before considering linearity of means to do it.
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Old 18th September 2018, 10:33 PM   #28
PJN is offline PJN  United States
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i'll risk chiming in here. I have a 9023 based (Subbu DAC) that I think sounds great, And I bought a cheapy 9023 usb DAC/dongle for my sons laptop and was impressed by how well it sounded for the money (~49 bucks), not as nice as the Subbu but light years better than the lap top DAC. It would be a safe starting point.

PJN
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Old 18th September 2018, 11:16 PM   #29
Markw4 is online now Markw4  United States
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It is not the dac chip that makes the dac so much as it is the particular implementation.

Just thought someone responding to this thread probably ought to point that out.
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Old 19th September 2018, 05:29 AM   #30
phofman is offline phofman  Czech Republic
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmansion View Post
Surely that will depend on whether the DAC has either:
- a voltage controlled amplifier output buffer, or
- expands the bit width to at least 24 bits and then does the scaling
The DAC discussed here has enough documentation available to answer these questions - digital volume control in the DSP section, 32bit processing.

I am not saying the digital volume control is wrong/suboptimal, just do not like the misleading/incorrect marketing. Sorry for offtopic, over.
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