Opus DAC
Jul 23, 2008 at 5:50 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 8

DemonicLemming

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Question on that.....have an email in to Twisted Pear about it but no response yet. Do they sell working out of the box Opus DACs that don't require any electronics work on the part of the end user? Or do they pretty much just source DIY stuff?

Reason I ask is that I'm going to be buying a tube amp in the relative near future (2-3 months) and as I listen to all my music off my computer, I need some sort of DAC to convert from USB to unbalanced RCA, and it seems like the Opus is one of the better ones out there. I don't really want my first trip into soldering and electronics to be on something I can't toss in the trash if I screw up too badly, so I was sort of hoping that either Twisted Pear sold fully functional units, or maybe another company or some DIY'ers on here built them.
 
Jul 23, 2008 at 6:15 AM Post #2 of 8

srserl

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They sell only for DIY. Their DAC modules (except the power supplies) have all the difficult stuff soldered on so they are able to test that they are functional. Only the terminal blocks, usb connectors and some larger capacitors need to be soldered. The hardest part (and it IS hard) is machining the holes and wiring the case. I would not recommend it as an intro to DIY because there is little documentation (though you just need to ask to get an answer) and it is assumed that you can mostly figure it out by looking at the labels on the parts and the pcb. I would recommend at least a couple of other better documented DIY projects before attempting an Opus.
The USB module by itself is an easier project, but since it was meant to be a part of the Opus DAC, it is not documented how to make it into a portable USB DAC all by itself. To do so, you do NOT solder the terminal blocks on the board. You must solder the output capacitors on the board so they are lying down (so they don't stick up so high). You must solder the USB connector on the board. You must solder the jumper block to the board and set the jumper for S/PDIF. You must solder wires from the board to the output jack(s) (rca or mini). It will fit in a hammond 1455C1202 with room to spare, or the case may be cut shorter for a smaller package. You must cut and drill holes in the case for the USB jack and the output jack(s).
Note that the USB module does not output the same quality as the Opus module itself; in the Opus, the usb module is only used as a digital receiver to pass the digital signal to the Opus DAC module. It would cost about $100 to build this as a portable DAC. There may be better DACs available used for about the same money.

Scott
 
Jul 23, 2008 at 6:21 AM Post #3 of 8

DemonicLemming

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Quote:

Originally Posted by srserl /img/forum/go_quote.gif
They sell only for DIY. Their DAC modules (except the power supplies) have all the difficult stuff soldered on so they are able to test that they are functional. Only the terminal blocks, usb connectors and some larger capacitors need to be soldered. The hardest part (and it IS hard) is machining the holes and wiring the case. I would not recommend it as an intro to DIY because there is little documentation (though you just need to ask to get an answer) and it is assumed that you can mostly figure it out by looking at the labels on the parts and the pcb. I would recommend at least a couple of other better documented DIY projects before attempting an Opus.
The USB module by itself is an easier project, but since it was meant to be a part of the Opus DAC, it is not documented how to make it into a portable USB DAC all by itself. To do so, you do NOT solder the terminal blocks on the board. You must solder the output capacitors on the board so they are lying down (so they don't stick up so high). You must solder the USB connector on the board. You must solder the jumper block to the board and set the jumper for S/PDIF. You must solder wires from the board to the output jack(s) (rca or mini). It will fit in a hammond 1455C1202 with room to spare, or the case may be cut shorter for a smaller package. You must cut and drill holes in the case for the USB jack and the output jack(s).
Note that the USB module does not output the same quality as the Opus module itself; in the Opus, the usb module is only used as a digital receiver to pass the digital signal to the Opus DAC module. It would cost about $100 to build this as a portable DAC. There may be better DACs available used for about the same money.

Scott



Most of the electronic stuff went right over my head (my uncle is the electrical engineer, I'm just mechanical and structural), but what I got out of that is that they don't see finished units, and they're hard to DIY to a finished product, heh.

The KECES 151 (think that's it) was recommended, but then another member said that the KECES wasn't even in the same league as the Opus. Portability really isn't a concern, as it'd only be used with my home rig (I have a Travagan White combo deal for work and traveling with), but what would be some other choices for a home DAC under, say, $250 or so that would pair up well with a tube amp like a DV336?
 
Jul 23, 2008 at 11:16 AM Post #5 of 8

1UP

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I'm sure there are some DIYers on here who'd be able to wire and box it for you.

I certainly hope to find a builder from here after I move to the US and order an Opus for myself.
 
Jul 24, 2008 at 5:54 PM Post #6 of 8

rds

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If you are willing to pay a reasonable price you can find a good builder here for sure.
But I think most people fail to realize that the module kit is only part of the cost. I will be building a Buffalo soon. The kit is $300. Then add transformers, a usb module, a case, case components and it's already well over $500 just in parts.
 
Jul 25, 2008 at 6:41 AM Post #7 of 8

dgbiker1

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Quote:

Originally Posted by DemonicLemming /img/forum/go_quote.gif
The KECES 151 (think that's it) was recommended, but then another member said that the KECES wasn't even in the same league as the Opus. Portability really isn't a concern, as it'd only be used with my home rig (I have a Travagan White combo deal for work and traveling with), but what would be some other choices for a home DAC under, say, $250 or so that would pair up well with a tube amp like a DV336?


I wouldn't expect to get an Opus for anywhere near $250- the kit prices are a bit misleading since you need some extra modules. At the minimum you need the opus kit for $185, then add a tranny for $24. For unbalanced you'll probably want an output stage (ballsie or ivy)- that adds another $110 for the kit and $24 for another tranny. That's already ~$350 for a basic setup and not including casework, wiring, connectors, etc (another ~$50 minimum).
The price goes up QUICK
smily_headphones1.gif
 
Jul 25, 2008 at 10:12 AM Post #8 of 8

DemonicLemming

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Well, looks like I'm either back to the KECES, or something else in that price range, heh.

Didn't quite realize there were so many other parts that had to be sourced to build one of these.
 

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