Head-Fi.org › Forums › Misc.-Category Forums › DIY (Do-It-Yourself) Discussions › What is the best DIY DAC available today?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

What is the best DIY DAC available today?

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 
I want to build a DAC and want it to be substantially better in quality than commerical DACs in the same price range. Any available?
post #2 of 35
best dac as in no price limit ?

Among the interesting offers, I'd check this one. Secondary PLL to reduce jitter, input transformer, PCM63K, 4-layers board, tube output stage. Tons of good thing.

http://members.chello.nl/%7em.heijli...tml/dactop.htm

Another interesting website to check : http://www.kandkaudio.com/digitalaudio.html
post #3 of 35
http://audionotekits.espyderweb.net/dac.htm

That's gotten some great reviews, and as you can see there are a ton of tweaks and mods you can do to it. I've been interested in it lately too...
post #4 of 35
You might also look at the Audio Note kit: http://audionotekits.espyderweb.net/dac.htm
post #5 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by dsavitsk
You might also look at the Audio Note kit: http://audionotekits.espyderweb.net/dac.htm
By a hair!
post #6 of 35
Btw, what Audionote calls "1X oversampling" is just non-oversampling. Marketing....
post #7 of 35
Thread Starter 
Audio Note Dac 1.1 looks pretty good, any place to order the PCB?

Also what's that dorky looking input connector on the back, is that USB?

Actually on second thought, it is not really what I am looking for. I am looking for something that's smaller in size, (size of PPA), that I can carry it from home to work.
post #8 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by JahJahBinks
Audio Note Dac 1.1 looks pretty good, any place to order the PCB?

Also what's that dorky looking input connector on the back, is that USB?
www.audionotekits.com at the bottom, it even comes with the case!

What dorky looking input? All I see is a spidf coaxial and AES/EBU connector.
post #9 of 35
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hungrych
www.audionotekits.com at the bottom, it even comes with the case!

What dorky looking input? All I see is a spidf coaxial and AES/EBU connector.
You mean it doesn't support USB? How am I gonna get the sound out from my computer?

Sorry I didn't think DIY DAC can be as complicated as that, I was thinking somewhere along the line of where PPA is on the food chain among amplifiers.
And yes, my source is my computer, I would need a USB, preferably a DAC that doesn't need additional driver because I don't have admin right on my computer at work, so no driver can be installed. Of course if that doesn't work, I am always happy to use it at home.
post #10 of 35
You could try to get one of the board AOS had produced to be used together with the PPA. They were said to sound good. Perhaps someone has one sitting somewhere unused. If not, perhaps would he be willing to give you the gerbers files to have a pcb done.

http://aoselectronics.com/ally.html
post #11 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by 00940
You could try to get one of the board AOS had produced to be used together with the PPA. They were said to sound good. Perhaps someone has one sitting somewhere unused. If not, perhaps would he be willing to give you the gerbers files to have a pcb done.

http://aoselectronics.com/ally.html
Where is AOS The Ally seems really good to me. I think DaKiller's USB dac looks awesome.. but it's quite involved from the sounds of things.

Alf's DAC is coming along nicely too.
post #12 of 35
Personally, I think non os is inferior to a properly designed dac. I built myself a tda1543 and was not that impressed, if your definition of musical is rolled off highs, less detail and looser bass then by all means go for it.

USB dacs are not going to give you top of the line performance if they don't use the PCM2706 only to convert USB to I2S and use that to feed a high end dac IC. Almost every single USB dac uses the PCM2706 as the dac itself and it is basically a cheap sigma delta part.

From a technical standpoint, the best way to go is a multibit R2R or one of the hybrid designs with discrete IV or passive IV (no opamp!) conversion. This means no sigma delta parts with voltage outputs. These limits reduce you to the choice of a few dac chips: BB PCM1704 (probably the best according to many), BB PCM1702 (similar to 1704), BB PCM1794, AD1862, AD1865, BB PCM63.

The dac must also have some sort of high quality clock and absolutely not feed the DAC with the clock coming out of the digital filter. Reclocking or separate external PLLs are a big plus.

The only designs that don't violate all these "rules" are the dac by Guido Tent that was linked to by 00940, and this one http://www.hagtech.com/hagdac.html
which uses the top of the line PCM1704 and very clever use of inductors to carefully control risetimes on every line. The RAKK dac that 00940 linked to also looks well designed. SMD parts are good.
post #13 of 35
I didn't know you guys still have so many DIY DAC candidates other than my list. Got collect them into my library.
post #14 of 35
Thread Starter 
Yeah, I was reading an article on whether it's cost justified to build a USB DAC vs. buying one.

Well......LOL.

So none USB DAC is really worth an investment?
post #15 of 35
I built the original Guzzler/00940 USB DAC when the kit was something like $35. I thought that was well worth it. Probably not the "BEST DIY DAC" available, but, eh.

-Jason
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Misc.-Category Forums › DIY (Do-It-Yourself) Discussions › What is the best DIY DAC available today?