Best 120$ tube DAC and beyond
Oct 7, 2016 at 7:27 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 1

zaccio

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Hello, I would like to share my find for a very good but very affordable tube DAC.
I was completely satisfied with my LITE DAC60 modified and improved http://www.head-fi.org/t/740362/lite-dac60-pcm1704-r2r-tubed-dac-mod-project
One day the right channel of the DAC60 stopped working. After checking everything I was unable to find the cause so I swapped the LITE with my desktop V-DAC but I was really upset by the gap compare the DAC60.
 
I've find on ebay the TUBE DAC DIY KIT - Lampucera1.0 + Lampizator CS8416 + CS4397 http://www.ebay.fr/itm/24bit-192KHz-TUBE-DAC-DIY-KIT-Lampucera1-0-Lampizator-CS8416-CS4397-/252566811028?hash=item3ace27b194:m:mooZGtbyrzH5ugCDHGlR4nA and after some upgrades on the DAC board and tube stage the result was very nice. Compare to the DAC60 the sound was more "fun" little bit more dynamic with a large image but the DAC60 was more élégant, subtil, more beautiful tone voice and more liquid,organic more 3D.
The Lampucera was an upgrade compare to the V-DAC but the CS4397 can't compete to the PCM1704. In search of a new DAC board I remembered the DDDAC tda1543 that I had long time ago with a nice souvenir.
 
I was looking for the LITE DAC-AH http://www.lampizator.eu/lampizator/REFERENCES/AH%20DAC/AHDAC.html to change in tube DAC and I was intrigued by this and ordered one https://www.aliexpress.com/item/USB-DAC-decoder-fiber-coaxial-decoder-board--eight-and-ten-and-enthusiast-card-OTG/32695680450.html
 
This DAC board is very interesting with the I2s input in addition to the coax and optical in. The quality of the finish is very poor (weldings) and the feel is really cheap like the photos on her site 
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The sound of the stock DAC is very nice with typical TDA1543 sound. Full, with solid bass (not the most tight but full of energy) trebles are not the most detailed and sophisticated but never bright and tiring.
With the tube output the sound is very very nice. Better image, more deph, more organic sound and fluidity. 
Finally I get the sound that I was not frustrated compare de LITE DAC60. The DAC60 is still more sophisticated and rafined especially the high but the 10xTDA1543t+tube give more presence and physical sound (PRAT) and also more dynamic specially on electronic/rock. 
There is a pot on the DAC board and you have to tune (voltage?) to get a "clean" sound otherwise is sound like a bad tuned fm radio...
I had modified Mhdt Havana, EE Minimax Plus DAC, Cambridge Audio D/A 3 (4x TDA1541A S1). So for 43$ the DAC board plus 70$ for the tube output you get a really impressive result
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the lampucera kit with the 6n23p taken from the LITE DAC60

Digi+pro V-DAC Lampucera no name tda1543




 

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