HagUSB or AW-D3 for USB audio?
Mar 13, 2006 at 5:52 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 27

creyc

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I'm trying to build a quality USB audio DAC for as little as possible since I'm trying to save for some new DT 990's. So far the hardest part has been finding a PCB for the PCM2706 I want to use, since it will be used on a mac too, no drivers.

The HagUSB board can be had for $40 plus around $30 of parts. For around the same price ($60) I can get the AW-D3 complete kit, which appears to have quite a few nice additions on it, especially for the price.

Are there any other more affordable and comparable solutions out there? I don't mind soldering SMD, the problem is getting just a board custom built for $51+. Ultimately this will drive a headphone amp for use as an external sound card on my laptop. The digital outputs and S/PDIF will be unused.
 
Mar 13, 2006 at 6:53 PM Post #2 of 27

guzzler

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The Hagtech products are all of extremely high quality, and will supported. However, I would say try the AW-D3, it looks like good value for money and I haven't seen one built around here so it would be nice to get some impression of what its sound is like
 
Mar 13, 2006 at 7:17 PM Post #3 of 27

Clutz

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Quote:

Originally Posted by creyc
I'm trying to build a quality USB audio DAC for as little as possible since I'm trying to save for some new DT 990's. So far the hardest part has been finding a PCB for the PCM2706 I want to use, since it will be used on a mac too, no drivers.

The HagUSB board can be had for $40 plus around $30 of parts. For around the same price ($60) I can get the AW-D3 complete kit, which appears to have quite a few nice additions on it, especially for the price.

Are there any other more affordable and comparable solutions out there? I don't mind soldering SMD, the problem is getting just a board custom built for $51+. Ultimately this will drive a headphone amp for use as an external sound card on my laptop. The digital outputs and S/PDIF will be unused.



Where can you order the AW-D3?
 
Mar 13, 2006 at 7:40 PM Post #4 of 27

creyc

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Ordering Information here. I talked to him and the kits are in stock and available for purchase.
smily_headphones1.gif
 
Mar 13, 2006 at 8:26 PM Post #5 of 27

rickcr42

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Quote:

The Hagtech products are all of extremely high quality, and will supported.


not a thing that should be too easily dismissed.

Jim Hagerman is no "hobbyist" DIYer who sees a chance to make a profit by selling kits or products to other DIYers but an actual EE who not only holds his own patents but is widely published in the field of techical electronics.

What you get with one of his boards or products is and honest product that is both well thought out and fully engineered and that has the full backing of an actual company (instead of just a web site/email addy)

That means you don't have to go looking for the guy for weeks on end to get a simple question answered about the productsv or wonder where your shipment is and when you ask fail to get a tracking number.Been there and done that !

Piece of mind and totally "finished" products are worth a couple of extra bucks to many,me included.

May sound otherwise but I am not knocking the other product because I do not know it or the "who" behind the product.
I'm just saying it does a person well to check the background and history of who is offering what and that should hold as much weight as bottom line cost.

Especially so when the price is close enough to not be painful
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a dac is not a dac is not a dac is not etc and some actually are better than others once you get past the self hype
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Mar 13, 2006 at 8:53 PM Post #6 of 27

Teerawit

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Um...the HagUSB is just a USB-->S/PDIF converter, not a fully-blown DAC, isn't it?
 
Mar 13, 2006 at 9:24 PM Post #8 of 27

creyc

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Correct, rickcr42. But to the extreme end of that thinking one would simply buy an M-Audio Transit and call it a day, correct? No need to even worry about anything at all, save wether or not you have enough USB ports for it.

My point is, this is a hobby, at least to me. Above audio quality, above ease of use, above simplicity or money; it's interesting and i know a lot more about audio because of it. Heck for pure simplicity I would just continue using the Griffin iMic, which actually sounds decent and a heck of a lot better than my onboard sound card.

The things I like about the HagUSB are small size, reputability, and support. Since this is for portable use and I'll still need to build a headphone amp with it, size and cost are important to me. The AW-D3 just seems freakin cool though.
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Mar 13, 2006 at 9:27 PM Post #9 of 27

rickcr42

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PCM29XX series USB devices have a built in DAc section that can be used "stand alone" as an all-i-one device or with a better external DAC (including Hagermans own) through the interfece.

Kinda cool in that you can slap a battery pack on it,run with it for portable duty then once home plug it in to the monster DAC through the I2S buss (if the DAC accepts that) and party on.......

Fairly versatile chips and why there are currenly so many version of USB devices showing up this last year
 
Mar 13, 2006 at 10:55 PM Post #11 of 27

rickcr42

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was thinking of this puppy :

Quote:



Hmmmmm.PCM2704 in both............

No shot at I2S from that baby.Either spdif or analog but then again,I2S is a real b*tch with some DAC chips and way above the capabilities of most DIY hobbyisits if a better performing DAC is the goal and not just to do it.


must be some valid reasons for the choice because trust me,offering a USB DAC was no afterthought because
 
Mar 13, 2006 at 11:06 PM Post #12 of 27

creyc

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Nice, but quite a bit beyond my price range and not too portable either!
smily_headphones1.gif
 
Mar 13, 2006 at 11:14 PM Post #13 of 27

rickcr42

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Quote:

Nice, but quite a bit beyond my price range and not too portable either!


got THAT right
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In the strictest sense anything can be called "portable" as long as it runs off a battery supply (inverter
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) but that puppy is hardly pocket sized
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Have you been following the USB DAC threads here in the dIY forum ?

it is my understanding that when they work out the final design it is headed to a group buy and if I am not mistaken there have been "beta tests" along the way so some versions of already out there in the world
 
Mar 13, 2006 at 11:21 PM Post #14 of 27

creyc

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Right, I've followed a few, or am currently following some actually. I got here too late for Guzzler's and have been waiting to see if Rev 2 DAC will be offering to sell PCB's. I suppose I'm just getting impatient, hehe. In all fairness this laptop output is REALLY bad though! That and I've been dying to work on another project.

I suppose I can wait a bit longer to see if that DAC project becomes something I can use plus the PINT should be out by then!
smily_headphones1.gif
Thats looking like a prime candidate for my project. Hmm, pint+hagusb would go well too....so many choices.
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Mar 13, 2006 at 11:42 PM Post #15 of 27

rickcr42

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Quote:

Right, I've followed a few, or am currently following some actually. I got here too late for Guzzler's and have been waiting to see if Rev 2 DAC will be offering to sell PCB's. I suppose I'm just getting impatient, hehe. In all fairness this laptop output is REALLY bad though! That and I've been dying to work on another project.


Quick side story
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The very first USB DAC/Headphone amp i ever came across was the Wheatfield audio versin back in 2001.I listened to it hooked up to a laptop at a home entertainment show and though it was just the coolest thing ever invented since the wheel and wrote about my thoughts online then set about waiting patently for the release so I could BUY ONE
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When there was no "new product annoucement" coming from either Pete Millett or his product distributor Headroom I decided to do some research on my own going by the clues on the flier I grabbed at Pete's display table.

took my butt over to TI-Burr Brown,searched the parts,downloaded the data sheets and in a couple of weeks had an operational device and all copied one-to-one from the evaluation board files
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Yeah.I know impatience man.The product was never to be even though there it was working in public and not only did I listen to it but I also have the actual product ad sheet from the show still !

In fact knowing there is a semi-connection between Headroom and PM I have a sneaky suspician the current USB inputs offered as an option on the Headroom amps are in fact Pete's baby and just the most recent versions of what to me were the very first audiophile grade USB audio devices.

At least I knew of none at that time that were serious efforts
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