Author Topic: New dac build  (Read 4862 times)

Offline ozcal

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New dac build
« on: February 07, 2012, 08:50:37 PM »
I will never be able to afford a Killer dac and if I am honest , if I was thinking of spending up big I would probably be looking at trying to get a high res dac (sabre) to sound musical.
My current modified Satch dac is sounding very good but I want to try something different and hopefully better.
Thorsten Loesch feels that this dac board is about the best of the currently available kits : http://shop2.hifidiy.net/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=8_12&products_id=50
I plan to only use the dac board and not the valve stage. For the valve stage I plan to use : http://glass-ware.stores.yahoo.net/aik9pinsterk.html and this psu : http://glass-ware.stores.yahoo.net/jashrekit.html
Any thoughts / tips will be gratefully recieved.
Gordon
Listening with my ears :)

Offline data

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Re: New dac build
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2012, 09:18:03 PM »
Aren't there any mods you can do the Satch to take it to the next level?

Might work out cheaper and better, but I'm not familiar with either enough to say for sure.

Offline ozcal

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Re: New dac build
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2012, 09:41:21 PM »
Aren't there any mods you can do the Satch to take it to the next level?

Might work out cheaper and better, but I'm not familiar with either enough to say for sure.
Done heaps of mods to the Satch but yep still plenty more I could do Ian.
I could just add the new output stage and psu to the Satch dac board but the dac board I linked to already has most of Throstens recommended  upgrades built in.
Sooooooooooo many choices :)
Listening with my ears :)

Offline ozmillsy

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Re: New dac build
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2012, 10:07:45 PM »
Gordon,  I'm not sure I'd go for a Sabre.   It's a very complex chip.  

It's kinda like standing at the bottom of Everest, and wondering whether you can make it to the top? Most mere mortals know they can't, so dont attempt it.  Well maybe that is being a bit dramatic.

But the Sabre is a programmable chip,  and you need to make the right settings for your given application.  The stock settings might be ok to get up and running, but to get the best out of it, you'll need to understand the options and program it accordingly.

Here's some info on the options.....

http://hifiduino.wordpress.com/2011/01/17/sabre-dac-datasheet-the-missing-parts/



It's all about the music,, not the equipment.

Offline data

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Re: New dac build
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2012, 10:12:01 PM »
Aren't there any mods you can do the Satch to take it to the next level?

Might work out cheaper and better, but I'm not familiar with either enough to say for sure.
Done heaps of mods to the Satch but yep still plenty more I could do Ian.
I could just add the new output stage and psu to the Satch dac board but the dac board I linked to already has most of Throstens recommended  upgrades built in.
Sooooooooooo many choices :)

and why I kind of like the switch to vinyl.

So many options in the DAC world, makes my head spin :)

Offline ozmillsy

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Re: New dac build
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2012, 10:18:25 PM »
and why I kind of like the switch to vinyl.

So many options in the DAC world, makes my head spin :)

But there are just as many options with vinyl, if not more.   Endless (very costly) options......
It's all about the music,, not the equipment.

Offline data

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Re: New dac build
« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2012, 10:54:28 PM »
I haven't seen them.

I should also keep from seeing them  :(

Offline ozcal

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Re: New dac build
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2012, 09:27:07 PM »
Gordon,  I'm not sure I'd go for a Sabre.   It's a very complex chip.  

It's kinda like standing at the bottom of Everest, and wondering whether you can make it to the top? Most mere mortals know they can't, so dont attempt it.  Well maybe that is being a bit dramatic.

But the Sabre is a programmable chip,  and you need to make the right settings for your given application.  The stock settings might be ok to get up and running, but to get the best out of it, you'll need to understand the options and program it accordingly.

Here's some info on the options.....

http://hifiduino.wordpress.com/2011/01/17/sabre-dac-datasheet-the-missing-parts/




Thanks Oz , I have begun reading through the Twisted pair manuals and yes it is all a bit mind boggling. I am hoping that if I decide to go down that route I can ellecit some help from the designer of my pre ie Statman :)
Listening with my ears :)

Offline ozcal

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Re: New dac build
« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2012, 09:30:52 PM »
and why I kind of like the switch to vinyl.

So many options in the DAC world, makes my head spin :)

But there are just as many options with vinyl, if not more.   Endless (very costly) options......
He he , yup! , thats why I decided to play safe and got the Sondek with a Grace arm. Far from state of the art these days but a synergistic combo.
I had a PD300 for a number of years and found it worked well with a lot of arms : Linn , rega ,Sme and Syrinx, oh! and Alphason.
Listening with my ears :)

Offline data

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Re: New dac build
« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2012, 09:58:53 PM »
I had to pick one way to go, either TT or DAC, as to do just one stretches me, and to try and do both was just too much.

Offline ozmillsy

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Re: New dac build
« Reply #10 on: February 08, 2012, 10:33:30 PM »
Thanks Oz , I have begun reading through the Twisted pair manuals and yes it is all a bit mind boggling. I am hoping that if I decide to go down that route I can ellecit some help from the designer of my pre ie Statman :)
I have alot of respect for Mick as a builder of tube based electronics.   But some of the comments he has posted on SNA in regards to digital leave me wondering if this is an area he is still coming to grips with?

Ask him how he goes about programming the chip.  If you wanted to make a simple change, such as altering the delta sigma bit depth (which i read is configurable), how do you actually do it?   ie: how do you hook it up, what programming language do you need to learn, etc.
It's all about the music,, not the equipment.

Offline zenelectro

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Re: New dac build
« Reply #11 on: February 09, 2012, 01:32:45 PM »
Thanks Oz , I have begun reading through the Twisted pair manuals and yes it is all a bit mind boggling. I am hoping that if I decide to go down that route I can ellecit some help from the designer of my pre ie Statman :)

Haha - TP manual - try reading the Sabre data sheet!  ;D   

This chip requires micro controller to 'boot it up' and set all the values.

TP have been frigging around with Sabre for years, selling I don't know how many kits. The first were average - I've got one.
The best way to describe the chip is it's like a F1 race car. Just about every thing will head it to 'analytical' and 'accurate' territory.

Quote

I have alot of respect for Mick as a builder of tube based electronics.   But some of the comments he has posted on SNA in regards to digital leave me wondering if this is an area he is still coming to grips with?


Mick works with an American based EE, and has built / listened to many DACs, so I would give him some benefit of doubt.   

Quote

Ask him how he goes about programming the chip.  If you wanted to make a simple change, such as altering the delta sigma bit depth (which i read is configurable), how do you actually do it?   ie: how do you hook it up, what programming language do you need to learn, etc.


Bit depth is one thing, DPLL settings, configurable dig filters etc are another. All doable.

The other issue is that these modern DACs are balanced OP. I believe a balanced tube stage is best way to go.




Offline ozmillsy

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Re: New dac build
« Reply #12 on: February 09, 2012, 04:05:40 PM »
Mick works with an American based EE, and has built / listened to many DACs, so I would give him some benefit of doubt.    

Experience building dacs, doesnt mean the in's/out's of handling digital data is well understood.    Not that I know, so who am I to comment?   ;)     Still, there have been some comments on SNA that left me wondering.....
It's all about the music,, not the equipment.

Offline ozcal

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Re: New dac build
« Reply #13 on: February 09, 2012, 04:48:00 PM »
Thanks Oz , I have begun reading through the Twisted pair manuals and yes it is all a bit mind boggling. I am hoping that if I decide to go down that route I can ellecit some help from the designer of my pre ie Statman :)

Haha - TP manual - try reading the Sabre data sheet!  ;D   

This chip requires micro controller to 'boot it up' and set all the values.

TP have been frigging around with Sabre for years, selling I don't know how many kits. The first were average - I've got one.
The best way to describe the chip is it's like a F1 race car. Just about every thing will head it to 'analytical' and 'accurate' territory.

Quote

I have alot of respect for Mick as a builder of tube based electronics.   But some of the comments he has posted on SNA in regards to digital leave me wondering if this is an area he is still coming to grips with?


Mick works with an American based EE, and has built / listened to many DACs, so I would give him some benefit of doubt.   

Quote

Ask him how he goes about programming the chip.  If you wanted to make a simple change, such as altering the delta sigma bit depth (which i read is configurable), how do you actually do it?   ie: how do you hook it up, what programming language do you need to learn, etc.


Bit depth is one thing, DPLL settings, configurable dig filters etc are another. All doable.

The other issue is that these modern DACs are balanced OP. I believe a balanced tube stage is best way to go.




Apparently this http://glass-ware.stores.yahoo.net/unbalacer.html works well with the Buff 3
Listening with my ears :)

Offline zenelectro

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Re: New dac build
« Reply #14 on: February 09, 2012, 09:38:59 PM »
Mick works with an American based EE, and has built / listened to many DACs, so I would give him some benefit of doubt.    

Experience building dacs, doesnt mean the in's/out's of handling digital data is well understood.    Not that I know, so who am I to comment?   ;)     Still, there have been some comments on SNA that left me wondering.....

Yeah - maybe I'm giving too much credit.

He didn't seem to have much of a clue as to what I was talking about on the SNA thread - who knows?