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Best Inexpensive DIY DAC ?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

Hi All,

  I am interested in building an inexpensive desktop Amp / Dac for my Denon D2000 (25 Ohms) and Fostex T50rp (50 Ohms) headphones.  Looking at a Panda Amp ($99) and a Hifimediy ES9023 ($68) combined in the same case.  Currently I use a portable iBasso D7, which I love.  So far the DACS I have found:

 

Twisted Pear Opus ($175 out of stock)

HiFimeDIY Sabre ($68)

 

All other recommendations?

 

Thank you!  


Edited by musedesign - 8/21/13 at 10:43am
post #2 of 17

Well if you want something really cheap you can try one of the Beezar ones. the Skeleton DAC or the GrubDAC

post #3 of 17

There are many DAC kits from China such as this $16.70 inc. shipping:- http://www.ebay.com/itm/CS4398-CM102-CS8416IC-DAC-kit-192K-24BIT-SPI-I2S-Amplifier-Board-/400436766666?pt=US_Home_Audio_Amplifiers_Preamps&hash=item5d3be427ca, Probably needs small 15-0-15V and 0-9V transformers to make it work. Many of these get good reviews on DiyAudio. I have one with AK4393, spdif only, no USB like this:- http://www.ebay.com/itm/DAC-2496-AK4393-DAC-KIT-With-CS8416-AK4393-5532-/221197997558?pt=US_Home_Audio_Amplifiers_Preamps&hash=item33806d95f6, I consider it perfectly satisfactory.

 

post #4 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zashoomin View Post

Well if you want something really cheap you can try one of the Beezar ones. the Skeleton DAC or the GrubDAC

 

Zashoomin,  Thank you for the suggestions!  Looked at the Beezar website, both look interesting.
Have you listened to either?  
Thanks !
post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wakibaki View Post

There are many DAC kits from China such as this $16.70 inc. shipping:- http://www.ebay.com/itm/CS4398-CM102-CS8416IC-DAC-kit-192K-24BIT-SPI-I2S-Amplifier-Board-/400436766666?pt=US_Home_Audio_Amplifiers_Preamps&hash=item5d3be427ca, Probably needs small 15-0-15V and 0-9V transformers to make it work. Many of these get good reviews on DiyAudio. I have one with AK4393, spdif only, no USB like this:- http://www.ebay.com/itm/DAC-2496-AK4393-DAC-KIT-With-CS8416-AK4393-5532-/221197997558?pt=US_Home_Audio_Amplifiers_Preamps&hash=item33806d95f6, I consider it perfectly satisfactory.

 

 

Dear wakibaki,

  Thank you for the suggestion.  Found the DAC 2496 (AK4393) DAC KIT with CS8416+AK4393+5532 thread on DiyAudio (all 258 pages), quite the following.  Have lots of reading to do.

 

Also found a fun thread Giant-killer Budget ebay Wonder DAC, made me laugh


Edited by musedesign - 8/23/13 at 2:40pm
post #6 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by musedesign View Post

 

I have acctually not heard either one but I have heard their pupdac and also the minimax and both are pretty amazing so I would assume the same for the grub and skeleton. Either way they will be better than the sound card attached to the motherboard in your computer. 

post #7 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by musedesign View Post

 

That price for the GrubDAC is the CableDAC version, which includes the case and RCA plugs, wiring, heat shrink, etc.

 

The basic GrubDAC with a mini-USB connector sans case is $35, not $55.

post #8 of 17

I just posted these links in the other DIY DAC thread. Check out the AMB designs.

 

http://www.amb.org/audio/gamma2/

http://www.amb.org/audio/gamma1/

post #9 of 17

I want to try make a DIY DAC out of a mints tin I have, but it is tiny. Would guess (as I currently don't have it) that it is around 5cm x 3cm. Would this be possible, as I found designs for DACs of similar sizes?

post #10 of 17

 

Maybe a GrubDAC or SkeletonDAC.

Both available here.

post #11 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisCaubin View Post
 

I want to try make a DIY DAC out of a mints tin I have, but it is tiny. Would guess (as I currently don't have it) that it is around 5cm x 3cm. Would this be possible, as I found designs for DACs of similar sizes?

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Avro_Arrow View Post
 

 

Maybe a GrubDAC or SkeletonDAC.

 

Both available here.

Yep. ;)  Both DACs mentioned are 2" x 1", equating to 5.08cm x 2.64cm.

post #12 of 17

I built one of those eBay 2496 DAC kits and it sounded alright, spent another $20 on a 4562 opamp and a few decent caps/resistors, then made a few other mods from that huge thread and it transformed it into something that is actually pretty decent.  I may not measure the best, but it certainly dont sound bad.  Granted by the time you do that, add a transformer, add a case etc you will have spent the guts of $100 where you are into many options that will be far better.  i.e. just buy an ODAC or Modi or something else, but where would the fun in that be...

 

I'm pretty sure that Opus DAC will be on another level from everything else listed so far.  I do have an itch to build a Twisted Pear Buffalo III, just cant get it out of my mind..

post #13 of 17

Just realised my tin is 3,5cm x 2,5cm, and only 0,6cm high. Seems it is way too small. But, I read about this DAC (ES9023+WM8805+PCM2707 TINY DAC) is it still available and if so what does it sound like?

post #14 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisCaubin View Post
 

Just realised my tin is 3,5cm x 2,5cm, and only 0,6cm high. Seems it is way too small. But, I read about this DAC (ES9023+WM8805+PCM2707 TINY DAC) is it still available and if so what does it sound like?

The first post where it was announced on the other forum says 4.5 cm x 3.5 cm, so it won't fit.

post #15 of 17

Great thread. Keep the recommendations coming for us DIY noobs.

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