Beginner wondering how hard it is to put together a GrubDAC and MiniMAX
Aug 3, 2010 at 8:02 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 10

iLol

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Alright, so I'm looking towards entry level DACs and amps for my computer setup so I won't be doing my HD555's injustice by plugging it into onboard sound. The GrubDAC and MiniMAX both sound like a great place to start, $50 for the DAC and $220 for the amp. Thing is, I've never done any SMD soldering at all, I've done a little bit of soldering (only cables though, no PCBs), but I haven't done that much electronic DIY outside of doing an arcade stick mod and doing the cables for a car head unit. But, I do have soldering equipment in my drawer just waiting to be used, so I thought, why not?
 
So, my question is, how hard are the current kits on Beezar to assemble? Do they ship to Australia? Are the AMB kits even harder to put together? Oh, and how come I see 3.5mm jacks on these amps? Wouldn't most headphones that require amping be 6.3mm? Is there even a difference if you use 3.5mm compared to 6.3mm?
 
Aug 3, 2010 at 8:18 AM Post #2 of 10

fordgtlover

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Yes. Beezar will ship to Australia. If you haven't done much soldering, you will probably struggle with the SMD parts, but you could do some practice.
 
Tangent has some excellent soldering videos at:
http://tangentsoft.net/elec/movies/
 
No difference between a 3.5 & 6.3mm except size. The AMB Mini³ is designed as a portable amp, which will presumably be used by people with ipods and earbuds and such. Desktop amps will come with a 6.3mm.
 
Aug 3, 2010 at 9:22 AM Post #4 of 10

Lil' Knight

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The MiniMax is meant to be a desktop amp. It's a pretty straightforward build, as long as you load the components on the PCB correctly.
 
It's possible to add a 3.5mm jack on the MiniMax but you have to drill the panel yourself.
 
Aug 3, 2010 at 10:49 AM Post #5 of 10

limpidglitch

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Aug 4, 2010 at 12:56 PM Post #8 of 10

Ikarios

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If you've never done SMD before and you plan on making a Grub as your first SMD project, I would probably recommend you get double the necessary pieces, as it's fairly easy to destroy something if you have little soldering experience (like me). The way I'm doing it is I'm building three AlienDACs (from PCBs I got maybe four years ago, lol) as practice for my Grub, so I know exactly what to do. It's definitely working, I'm getting a lot better at SMD just from working on these Aliens. The PCM2706 will be the hardest thing to solder, though - definitely find some nice soldering equipment and watch a lot of videos, it helps a lot.
 
 
Oct 2, 2010 at 7:08 AM Post #9 of 10

StVeronus

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So have you figured out a way to combine the two? How hard would mounting the DAC board over the PCB and running the USB input near the RCA Inputs and then adding a switch in to select the source?  I don't have any EE skills to redesign the current PCB, so it will be just hacking the two together.  Would there be a better way to switch inputs between the DACs RCA out and the stock RCA Inputs?  I know I could just make a stock grubDAC and plug it into the Input RCAs externally, but what fun is that if most of my source input will be a laptop/desktop PC?

Thanks,
St Veronus
 
Oct 2, 2010 at 8:00 AM Post #10 of 10

tomb

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Quote:
So have you figured out a way to combine the two? How hard would mounting the DAC board over the PCB and running the USB input near the RCA Inputs and then adding a switch in to select the source?  I don't have any EE skills to redesign the current PCB, so it will be just hacking the two together.  Would there be a better way to switch inputs between the DACs RCA out and the stock RCA Inputs?  I know I could just make a stock grubDAC and plug it into the Input RCAs externally, but what fun is that if most of my source input will be a laptop/desktop PC?

Thanks,
St Veronus


You're talking about a MOSFET-MAX, which is made with the new MAX V1.2 PCB - relays and connectors are onboard the PCB to mount a BantamDAC or GrubDAC right on the board.  Check out this thread: http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/233941/new-millett-hybrid-maxed-amp/6210#post_6830281  funch put the GrubDAC in his - here's a couple of pics of his:
100_2146.jpg

100_2148.jpg

 
 
Also pics of mine here:
1000x500px-LL-9e9b4f76_MOSFET-MAX.jpg

The switch on the front switches between the onboard BantamDAC and a GrubCableDAC connected through the RCA inputs.
Here are pics of the prototypes:

MAXv1.2a-3-sm.jpg


MAXv1.2a-4-sm.jpg

 

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