Chameleon DAC listening and modifications
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Popit

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Hi , I'm a DIY beginner and I have a question. I order Elna Silmic II RFS 16V 47uF caps to use at each DAC chip. On your thread you said "Add to or replace the 10uF caps...". Is it important to remove the existant 10uF caps or I can just Add to my new Elna Silmic II RFS 16V 47uF ?
Thanks.
Eric T.
 
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post-9160007
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Hugo Meekes

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Dear  rhodes54,
 
I am trying to get a WM8805 in hardware mode providing 16 bit I2S to drive a TDA1541.
Looking at the MOD you posted long ago (2009) I was surprised by the pin 5 of the WM8805 connected directly to GND and the pin 8 to half the VDD (3.3 V I assume), while these pins become outputs after a reset.
My question is whether you could provide me with the schematic of the Chameleon DAC (which works in hardware mode).
 
Thanks in advance.
 
Hugo
 
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post-10491740
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vardothiel

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I heard a lot about NOS DACs on this forum. My first venture was a Mini Muse which I modified and loved the sound. So I thought I would go the next step and get the Teradak Chameleon. It has the Phillips TDA1543 x 16 chips.
I got it and listened intently. The sound had better detail and separation, but it lacked some fullness that I was used to in my Mini Muse and even in my stock transport (Yamaha CD-S700).
I toyed with the idea of just selling the unit. Reading this thread gave me some excellent ways to modify this unit. It mostly involved caps around each chip. The Chameleon is made the way it is just for modders. I used Elna Silmic II 47uf16v caps and some Vishay/Roederstein MKP1837 .1uf for bypass just as suggested here. The work was not easy given the tiny area on the circuit board I had to work with. Removing the tiny stock caps is a job in itself. This newer version has no holes in the board to put a wire through, just have to solder directly to the top of the board. I posted some pictures. It may not be pretty but gets the job done.
The sound has opened up magnificently. I am hearing stuff in songs I really have not heard before. Bottom line is that I wound not recommend getting a Chameleon unless you intend to modify it. It is not fully broken in yet and I expect the sound to get even better.




Here is a picture of the layout before I messed with it.



My next mod may involve replacing the large white output caps. Any suggestions appreciated.
 
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post-10496565
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Sapientiam

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I've got a very worthwhile improvement from even a single TDA1543 from adding more caps to the supply rails. I'd suggest going overboard with caps - as many as you can fit in. My latest DAC (ground up build, not modified) has around 1 farad of capacitance - from over 300 3,300uF caps. Although this is using TDA1387s the improvements from reducing the supply impedance with caps are fairly consistent between DAC chips.
 
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WolterB

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Hello Rhodes 54,

 
You posted for some time ago your volume control upgrade with the TX2575 resistors.
I just now made an upgrade in my IV converter of the Tentlabs CD player. Replaced 2 Allen Bradley resistors for the TX2575 ones.
WOW what an unbelievable improvement. The sound is absolutely clear now. Not smearing anymore. So much more open and halo's around instruments and voices are gone.
 
I also have a Volume control from Tentlabs. Controlling the volume to the N-core  NC400 modules. Without pre-amp.
 
My question is, can you send me your ordering list of the TX2575 resistors that you ordered at Texas Components, so that I use the correct values? I know I can see read it on the resistors itself, but I can see that you used in some places 2 or 3 TX2575 together, is this to increase the Watt value?
 
Wolter
 
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WolterB

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Hello Rhodes 54,
 
You posted for some time ago your volume control upgrade with the TX2575 resistors.
I just now made an upgrade in my IV converter of the Tentlabs CD player. Replaced 2 Allen Bradley resistors for the TX2575 ones.
WOW what an unbelievable improvement. The sound is absolutely clear now. Not smearing anymore. So much more open and halo's around instruments and voices are gone.
 
I also have a Volume control from Tentlabs. Controlling the volume to the N-core  NC400 modules. Without pre-amp.
 
My question is, can you send me your ordering list of the TX2575 resistors that you ordered at Texas Components, so that I use the correct values? I know I can see read it on the resistors itself, but I can see that you used in some places 2 or 3 TX2575 together, is this to increase the Watt value?
 
Wolter
 
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post-10876450
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ahendler

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I am a new guy here. Just received my Chamelion and am using it with an Audio Note CDT II transport. Sounds really great. Qustion for USB Using Windows 8 and JRiver 18 as a source. I assume I need drivers. On the Teredak websight under downloads there are 3 drivers listed. Do you know what I need?
Alan
 
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post-10884653
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ahendler

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Got a reply from Michael about drivers. Even though they do not have Windows 8 he  feels I do not need drivers. Went back and tried it again with Jriver and change Asio to direct and it works up to 24/96. Still breaking it in.
Alan
 
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MoatsArt

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Has anyone compared the stock Chameleon to the Metrum Hex?  What about Chameleon with up to $400 modding vs the Hex?
 
Thanks
 
Nathan
 
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ahendler

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I have a stock Chamelion and a Metrum Hex. The Chamelion is very analog sounding. Very easy to listen to
The Hex is simply the best Dac I have ever heard. It is thrilling to listen to. Great micro and macro dynamics, Very extended top and bottom and great natural resolution. When I play material I recorded I feel like I am back in the control room. The Hex is in my main system while the Chamelion is in my desktop system. Yes the Hex is a lot more money but worth every penny. Remember these are both NOS dacs which I really prefer. I enjoyed listening to the Chamelion when it was my primary dac but I always felt there was more to be had. The Hex delivers
Alan
 
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MoatsArt

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Good news, then, that if you spend the coin you get the reward.  What about the Metrum Octave?
 
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post-11414836
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beyerdude

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  Good news, then, that if you spend the coin you get the reward.  What about the Metrum Octave?

I own both the octave mkII and the hex and are both sitting next to me here - they have a similar sound emphasis but the HEX is simply the most stunning/transparent/astonishing dac I have ever heard. You know the cliche where someone says they rediscover their music collection because everything just sounds so good? - I am an ex vinyl junkie and I would say that the HEX has that 'x' factor that vinyl always seemed to have - a living/breathing sound - resolving yet liquid and completely relaxing to listen to - its had about 30 hours burn in but I can't imagine how good it will sound after a longer burn in. All through USB on a laptop as a source....
 
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post-11420780
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FrankCooter

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Another ex-vinyl junkie HEX owner here.
 
Totally 2nd the above comments on the Hex.
 
Unless the "Iggy" blows it away in a head-to-head competition, I've finished my DAC search.
 
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