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Hifimediy Sabre Dac, will it be an Upgrade?

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 

Hey Guys

 

I own a Dell Studio 1555, with IDT HD Audio on board, which, needless to say, sounds so crappy, i had to remove the original drivers from IDT and use it on Default Windows drivers. I currently lost my Sansa Fuze, and with not much cash in my wallet, am forced to look away from the Fiio X3. I had a Raspberry Pi with me, so i though, hell why not put a DAC together with a Pi, coz most of the stuff i would need, like an LCD, buttons, a battery, an Amplifier, i have. All i need is a DAC.

 

So i decided to get a Hifimediy Sabre DAC. Are there better options available? Preferably around the same budget of around 60 USD.

Also, is it going to help the Audio on my Laptop? is it in any way going to be an upgrade of sorts?

 

The DAC i am talking about is located at http://www.ebay.com/itm/Hifimediy-Sabre-USB-DAC-ES9023-Tenor-TE7022-96khz-24bit-96-24-usb-to-optical-/140972647579?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item20d29fe49b

 

Regards

post #2 of 23

Yes it will be an upgrade to the average laptop internal sound-card.

 

 

It may sound identical to the SanDisk Clip+ though, depending on your amplifier, speakers and audio interest.

 

You may consider looking into some CS4398 DAC's, which is a nicer sounding DAC than the ES9023.  ES9023 is only riding on the coattails of ES9018.

post #3 of 23
Thread Starter 

Its not speakers i have, its for my RE272s and Ultimate Ears TF10 Pro. The amp i have is a Mini^3 and i am coming from a Sansa Fuze which is equal to Sansa Clip+.

 

CS4398 DACs here i come....i hope i find something within the budget.

post #4 of 23
Thread Starter 

Hey Theta Alpha 1,

 

i checked a few DACs on ebay, and i stumbled upon this....

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/WEI-DAC1-PCM2706-I2S-CS4398-USB-DIY-KIT-/171018440417?pt=US_Home_Audio_Amplifiers_Preamps&hash=item27d17e4ee1

 

Would it be wrong for me to think that this DAC can probably outperform a Hifimediy Sabre Dac ES9023??

 

Please help me in choosing the best from the options i have.

Regards

post #5 of 23

The model you linked uses PCM270x, which is fine, but CM6631 is the best sounding USB chip there is, search ebay CM6631 CS4398

post #6 of 23
Thread Starter 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/WLX-24BIT192K-PD04-CM6631-CS4398-OPA2132-DAC-headphone-main-board-/281077319771?pt=US_Amplifier_Parts_Components&hash=item417183885b

 

This should be it right? Can i ask why a USB chip would affect sound quality or signature??

 

EDIT: is there any way to get Line Level Output straight from the DAC?

 

Regards

post #7 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by psgarcha92 View Post

http://www.ebay.com/itm/WLX-24BIT192K-PD04-CM6631-CS4398-OPA2132-DAC-headphone-main-board-/281077319771?pt=US_Amplifier_Parts_Components&hash=item417183885b

 

This should be it right? Can i ask why a USB chip would affect sound quality or signature??

 

EDIT: is there any way to get Line Level Output straight from the DAC?

 

Regards

 

 

That's the one!  I have that one along with the Hifimediy you linked.

 

 

It seems he wants extra for the case, so you can find cheaper, perhaps this one

 

www.ebay.com/itm/Mini-CM6631A-CS4398-24Bit-192Khz-Nonsyschronous-USB-DA-Coaxial-Out-No-Reserve-/251281198093

 

 

You will get line-level output from the red/white RCA line-out, so you'll need a cable for that.

 

 

You raise a good question how USB chips can sound different, it should be in areas such as the software driver processing and the jitter performance.  It's the conversion of code to a digital audio signal, an external hard-drive is code to code, no conversion.

 

This article sheds some light on the phenomenon.

 

http://www.whatsbestforum.com/showthread.php?5588-Digital-Audio-Jitter-explained-in-simple-terms

 

 

All you need to know as a listener is the CM6631/A sounds secure as iron, and the CS4398 like pure oxygen.

post #8 of 23
Thread Starter 

Theta Alpha 1,

Now that you have revealed that you own both of them, can i please have some impressions? I have used a Sansa Fuze = Clip+ so if u can describe the SQ around these, it will really be helpful. I should tell you, this is the first time i am going in for a DAC. I come from a place where i feel all DACs are the same, its the implementation that matters most. To me, right now, the major concern is, would these DACs sound good enough and make me not regret saving some money and going for the ODAC a while later? 

 

My primary motive is putting together a Raspberry Pi+DAC+AMP setup. I own a pair of RE272s and Ultimate Ears Triple Fi 10 pro. Can you also please mention your setup in the reply. 

I know all this is to much to ask for, but am just looking for reviews to these DACs before taking the plunge. my location being India, i dont get to go for Audio gear a lot.

 

Regards

post #9 of 23

Okay, I'll do some three-way listening checks of my Clip+, Hifimediy and the Breeze CM6631 / CS4398 for your information and list the equipment used, I haven't listened to them in a while now since I like my ES9018.

 

The small size of the Hifimediy would look nice with the Raspberry Pi, but since the price of the CS4398 is the same and it includes a headphone-out, and sounds better, I suppose it's the better choice.

post #10 of 23
Thread Starter 

Thanks a lot, i would be looking forward to hearing your impressions Theta Alpha 1.

 

I feel the same way about Hifimediy DAC, but you know, transportable brick-size-setups are no problems for Head fiers ;)

 

Can i ask, if u have any recollection of in what areas does the CS4398 shine over the Hifimediy DAC?

 

SQ is everything. I am detail oriented while listening to music, whatever is happening, i should be able to hear in my sound tracks. Would the DACs in the context hold upto my expectations?

See how you have gotten me all excited about this project again :)

 

Regards

post #11 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Theta Alpha 1 View Post

Okay, I'll do some three-way listening checks of my Clip+, Hifimediy and the Breeze CM6631 / CS4398 for your information and list the equipment used, I haven't listened to them in a while now since I like my ES9018.

 

The small size of the Hifimediy would look nice with the Raspberry Pi, but since the price of the CS4398 is the same and it includes a headphone-out, and sounds better, I suppose it's the better choice.

Also interested your comparison of Hifimediy and Breeze.

post #12 of 23

I would really like to know this too since there is VERY little feedback on the Breeze CM6631/CS4398...I have a pair of self powered speakers (Swan m200 mkiii) and a subwoofer that I would like to feed simultaneously with both the RCA outs (speakers) and 3.5mm (via 3.5mm to rca cable to sub).

 

Hopefully, theta alpha one would chime in again :-)

post #13 of 23
Any updates ?
post #14 of 23

I believe the "breeze" dac you linked is actually a diy design by weiliang, he is a chinese diy guy who posts on diyaudio forum.  Breeze I think is actually a metal enclosure manufacturer in china that a lot of different companies use, so you'll see it written on their products even though breeze is not the company that makes the design.  I have owned both the cm6331a/cs4398 dac and the hifimediy sabre 9023 dac and the hifimediy was MUCH better.  The weiliang designed cm6331a/cs4398 was just terrible sound quality

post #15 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by uncola View Post
 

I believe the "breeze" dac you linked is actually a diy design by weiliang, he is a chinese diy guy who posts on diyaudio forum.  Breeze I think is actually a metal enclosure manufacturer in china that a lot of different companies use, so you'll see it written on their products even though breeze is not the company that makes the design.  I have owned both the cm6331a/cs4398 dac and the hifimediy sabre 9023 dac and the hifimediy was MUCH better.  The weiliang designed cm6331a/cs4398 was just terrible sound quality

Great info, thanks!

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