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AK4490 USB Dac with dsd support.
AK4490 USB Dac with dsd support.
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Old 25th May 2015, 07:26 AM   #41
pdb is offline pdb  Denmark
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Originally Posted by sonnya View Post
...we bypass as much as possible in the DSD mode. (It is not possible to bypass Volume control in PCM in the AK4490)
Does this mean that PCM playback suffers or is lacking compared to DSD playback? In an earlier post you also showed THD - but only with a DSD signal. For many though, it will still mostly be PCM material playing through the dac I think - also in the years to come. BTW will it be possible to attenuate the PCM signal in the digital domain when playing 16 or 24 bit (out of 32 bit)?

Last edited by pdb; 25th May 2015 at 07:31 AM.
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Old 25th May 2015, 10:05 AM   #42
stajo is offline stajo  Sweden
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Here is a wiki I found that explains it a bit. DSD - JRiverWiki
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Old 25th May 2015, 10:11 AM   #43
sonnya is offline sonnya  Denmark
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In reality, yes PCM lacks in performance compared to the DSD.

PCM Data path goes through Digital attenuator, Interpolator, Delta sigma modulator and Switched capacitor filter.

DSD normal path goes through Digital attenuator, Delta sigma modulator and Switched capacitor filter.

DSD volume bypass path goes only through Switched capacitor filter.

I am working on a firmware where the mixer is enabled. This way when you change a setting in windows software (example: Jriver), MAC OS/X (Volume up and down you can set with the keyboard) and also Volumio it will set the value in the digital attenuator.

Besides of that i will shortly release a Shield where the USB interface controls an MAS6116 in balanced configuration. This shield will have single ended output as well as balanced output. I am working on it today.
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Old 25th May 2015, 10:28 AM   #44
sonnya is offline sonnya  Denmark
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Originally Posted by pdb View Post
Does this mean that PCM playback suffers or is lacking compared to DSD playback? In an earlier post you also showed THD - but only with a DSD signal. For many though, it will still mostly be PCM material playing through the dac I think - also in the years to come. BTW will it be possible to attenuate the PCM signal in the digital domain when playing 16 or 24 bit (out of 32 bit)?
You will see the same distortion for PCM as well.

But take a look at my post below.
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Old 25th May 2015, 03:58 PM   #45
pdb is offline pdb  Denmark
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Originally Posted by sonnya View Post
In reality, yes PCM lacks in performance compared to the DSD...
But that is generally speaking, right? What I wondered was if your choices / implementations made your DAC worse at playing PCM than similar / comparable DACs in the market?
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Old 25th May 2015, 04:07 PM   #46
sonnya is offline sonnya  Denmark
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It does not perform worse at all. Gain is set to 0dB meaning the digital attenuator is transparant. I have put a lot of Work into use of good isolation of the voltageregulators that ultra low noise and ultra high psrr


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Old 25th May 2015, 04:08 PM   #47
pdb is offline pdb  Denmark
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Originally Posted by stajo View Post
Here is a wiki I found that explains it a bit. DSD - JRiverWiki
Thanks, stajo.
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Old 25th May 2015, 05:02 PM   #48
pdb is offline pdb  Denmark
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Originally Posted by sonnya View Post
It does not perform worse at all. Gain is set to 0dB meaning the digital attenuator is transparant. I have put a lot of Work into use of good isolation of the voltageregulators that ultra low noise and ultra high psrr.
Thanks a lot for taking the time to explain this. I just got the impression - wrongly I can see - that your DAC was aimed more at DSD than PCM playback. Sorry for all my questions - but I really struggle with the inner workings of dacs and (digital) audio
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Old 25th May 2015, 06:23 PM   #49
rogerchou is offline rogerchou  Canada
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Besides of that i will shortly release a Shield where the USB interface controls an MAS6116 in balanced configuration. This shield will have single ended output as well as balanced output. I am working on it today.
I like the idea of balanced configuration. As I know DIYINHK is still setting AK4490 kit as un-balanced configuration.
The new shield will replace the SE one? Actually, I don't care you raise the price if cost is an issue. But, I wish your DAC board is fully matched with your preamp project.
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Old 25th May 2015, 06:39 PM   #50
sonnya is offline sonnya  Denmark
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Originally Posted by rogerchou View Post
I like the idea of balanced configuration. As I know DIYINHK is still setting AK4490 kit as un-balanced configuration.
The new shield will replace the SE one? Actually, I don't care you raise the price if cost is an issue. But, I wish your DAC board is fully matched with your preamp project.
I have no problem with you or other saying that they want the Balanced configuration instead. No matter what, if you choose to add an preamp later, the board will be fully matched.

In single ended configuration the preamp's balanced input will take the inverted signal from the GND terminal on the output stage to compensate for differences in the GND path, but signal to noise ratio will be higher with an balanced output stage of course.

Let me now how many of you want an:

1) Variable balanced output (+ singled ended) instead with MAS6116 in the path controlled by the mixer settings from the USB host.
2) Fixed balanced output (+ single ended)
3) single ended only.

I will quickly calculate the difference. The early bird will receive the Single ended output stage as well, as balanced will be a bit delayed (8 working days)
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Last edited by sonnya; 25th May 2015 at 06:41 PM.
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