R2R DA M1 Ultracap powered build

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  1. bballas
    chip,stages,analog,digital,left,right disturbing each other.
    super reg,ldo,choke,trafo don't improve this problem.
  2. abartels

    Yes, I know.

    Sorry, not to be picky, but:

    Not sure if you are "the kind of guy" who is into measurements only, or more the "listen with your ears" guy, I hope the latter, but since you promote 9038 Pro I'm affraid you prefer very low noise and distortion figures above real world characteristics.
    Listen to R2R with high(er) THD+N figures, or to top of the bill tube amps with lots of THD, and compare them with DS dacs or top of the bill solid state amps, I'm very confident that you would choose the R2R / Tube gear in a BLIND comparison.

    Just my 2 cents...

    Back on topic:

    An infinite PSRR (mostly) is more important than lowest impedance. influence of all stages is ZERO with ultracaps.

    I would say, just build one simple ultracap psu, if reading the thread you can see how it is build, on what kind of design it is based, in a nutshell:

    1- Using a simple laptop adapter
    2- Using a DC-DC converter (CV/CC type) and set desired voltage and current
    3- Make a simple relay design which switches between full and empty ultracaps (be sure to choose the best relays for this design, maybe paladium contacts are the best, thanks to @b0bb his insights)
    4- Use a timer to switch to full ultracaps before the discharging ultracaps reach the lower voltage threshold.

    Thats all.

    Then, just listen to it, and compare it to the best superreg you have. Be sure to let the ultracaps psu "burn-in" twice as long as you should burn-in normal buffer caps (1 set op caps is used half the time, so takes double the time to burn-in)

    Have fun :)
  3. abartels
    New find, and only about 200Km from my home..........


    The modules, DAC One and DAC Two aren't seperate available, but there's a evaluationboard available which inludes 2x DAC One modules.
    I did send them an email today for pricing, very curious what they will cost!



    The Dac Two is a modern high precision dac and is fully pin compatible with our DAC One module. Based on our "forward correction technology" the DAC Two is probably the best R2R ladder dac module ever made.
    Due to this technology a real 24 bits performance is realized and probably the most easy way to build up a converter system which can meet the best systems today in terms of sound quality.

    The Dac Two is build up around two fast and very accurate R2R ladder networks. To match these ladder networks to real audio formats, fast FPGA logic is added and makes the dac compatible with RJ24 and I2S standards.
    The Dac Two is physically split up in two sections . The digital section is running on 5 Volt DC while the analog section is running on max. symmetrical +/- 12 Volts.
    Both positive or negative reference voltages can be used and gives a fully symmetrical voltage swing. The Dac Two can handle real 24 bit formats and brings linearity down to -144dB.



    The EVA mother board is designed for evaluation of our dac modules. The board is self supporting and can be used for coaxial S/PDIF signals up to 192 kHz sampling rate.
    By removing three jumpers the board can be used in conjunction with one of our DAI interface boards which gives you fully control but also can be used with other digital sources .
    Digital formats like RJ16,RJ24 and I2S can be used depends on jumper settings on the board. On demand special versions can be made. Please ask our development dept. for more information.
    As standard the EVA will be delivered including the Dac One modules.

    Maybe this is a very good contender for building a very good R2R DAC powered by ultracaps? :)

    It needs 5VDC and +/-12VDC but consumes only 2.5W in total, so probably a good contender for feeding with Ultracaps.


    Metrum Acoustics uses them, see:

    Modules probably are too expensive for our DIY projects :frowning2:

    Cheers :)
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2017
  4. coinmaster
    I'm a "listen with my ears" guy but in terms of design I can't design blindly, I need to have some kind of design parameters because there is no way to know what method will produce the best sound.

    When I design I go for the lowest distortion possible throughout my design, then I add in distortion after. There are a near infinite ways to add distortion so I think it's better to design with the intention of lowest possible distortion as a first measure, then tweak in distortion afterword.
    I always aim for both euphony and realism at the same time but that is hard to achieve when you have untamed distortion throughout the system.
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2017
  5. bballas
    Mike Wtb :
    "listening to the MSB Select II, after also living with the Trinity dac previously, it seems that using a dac which is able to eliminate any analog output stage (the dac produces sufficient voltage itself) allows for a more direct connection to the music. which is what I'm hearing and more closely approaches the analog character (the Select II more so than the Trinity dac)."

    I know what you talk about Mike. Without output stage+Without transformers+without regulators=more analog character
  6. bballas
    marvel_s_avengers_age_of_ultron_theatrical_poster_by_j_k_k_s-d8ktnbc.jpg :beerchug:
  7. bballas
    Noisy Pc removed.
    Allo sparky usbridge/ucap1-short A B usb adapter(silver)- uptone iso regen/ucap2 -short usb A B adapter(silver) - singxer F1 /ucap3 -i2s - Dam1 R2r 8pcs balanced/12 rail ucap powered(Detonator Dac) without
    any unnecessary stages,ldos,inputs,outputs,dsp,upsampler,downsampler......
    Simple the BEST!!!!!!!!!!
  8. abartels
    Good to hear this sounds good, bad to hear Kali doesn't work with DAC in Master-mode,,, this info wasn't available at there site in the beginning,,,,,,,,,,,,

    I almost received all the components needed to start my 8x DA-M1 project, just waiting for 16P-DIP sockets for mounting all the Omron relays.

    Tomorrow I will start project. It probably will take 1 to 2 weeks to accomplish (I have summer vacation now)

    I will use:

    8x DA-M1 R2R modules
    1x Ian's FIFO 2 reclocker
    1x Ian's DualXO 2 board with NDK NZ2520SD clocks (can exchange in the future)
    1x Ian's Isolatorboard between FIFO 2 and DualXO 2 board
    1x Ian's RPI-Isolator board
    1x RPI 2 or 3 (will test which one sounds best) with latest audiophile PicorePlayer version
    2x Dibao DB1736 output transformers (improved version of Lundahl LL1527)
    2x Valab Rhodium plated Tellurium Copper RCA's
    ** Will use SE for the moment, my Pre-amp is SE only.

    8-UltraCap psu's 3.3V with a total of 64 ultracaps
    4-Ultracap psu's 1.8V with a total of 24 ultracaps

    1-Ultracap psu 5V for Ian's FIFO II reclocker with a total of 4 ultracaps
    1-Ultracap psu 3.3V for Ian's DualXO board with a total of 8 ultracaps
    1-Ultracap psu 5V for Ian's RpiIsolator with a total of 4 ultracaps

    ** I am planning to use a total of 104 UltraCaps, but could be that I need more for a longer runtime. I prefer a runtime of AT LEAST 5 minutes for one UltraCap load **
    ** Since nobody did ANY measurements and calculations on drawn amperage from DA-M1 modules, I need to test and calculate all myself during the build **
    ** For future purpose I will share the measurements for all other interested diy-guys **

    48x Omron G5V-2-12VDC relays
    48x DIP16 precision IC sockets for mounting Omron Relays

    1x DC-DC converter CV/CC at 3.3V
    1x DC-DC converter CV/CC at 1.8V
    1x DC-DC converter CV/CC at 5V
    1x DC-DC converter CV/CC at 12V
    1x Timer-relay-board
    1x 19V-DC-9.6A adapter

    And, of course lots of pcb's, wiring and connection materials, wooden panels, copper tape and a full aluminium enclosure.

    Project will be based on RPI2/3 with AudioPhile version of PicorePlayer, which connects to LMS 7.9 server.
    Final product will be an Ultra-High-End Network streamer which, in the future, will be expanded with several other input formats, such as SPDIF and I2S so it can act as a standalone DAC.

    RPI2/3 has an Isolator board (HAT) on top (from Ian Canada) which outputs a galvanic isolated I2S and GND signal to the FIFO 2 reclocker.
    FIFO 2 reclocker has an Isolator board connected to it on the output-side, and Isolator board has a DualXO 2 board connected to its output-side.

    I2S signals from DualXO 2 board directly will feed the DA-M1 modules. Wiring will be as short as possible to keep jitter at a minimum.

    All needed power will be provided by Ultracaps, except for RPI itself, this will be a low noise switching supply. Maybe this one will change into an Ultracap psu in a later stage.

    Will keep you guys posted :)

    Last edited: Aug 4, 2017
  9. bballas
    "Good to hear this sounds good, bad to hear Kali doesn't work with DAC in Master-mode,,,"
    if I pulled out-in the sclk,sound come without noise or crap,but couple of seconds big big distortion in the middle section.
  10. abartels
    Hi guys,

    Yesterday I started to disassemble my MonsterDAC. That really did HURT :frowning2::frowning2::frowning2:
    Since my AK4495 chip died, I had to make a choice, revive the AK4495 and invest in a new DAC-board, or disassemble the whole dac (=Streamer), and reuse all the components.
    Well, I decided to reuse all components. And so it happened.....

    This was my initial MonsterDAC (in fact, a MonsterStreamer, based on RPI+Ian Canada FIFO2 kit+ PicorePlayer


    After reading this thread, contacting Balazs and ordering some stuf, this happened:

    20170502_193336.jpg 20170502_212343.jpg

    Sound was AMAZING, never heard anything better!!! Until, my AK4495SEQ-chip died.
    First I thought it was my own fault, maybe it got overvoltage, but after good measuring, and thinking on the past I came to the conclusion that I must have bought a defective one.
    From the beginning on my AK4495SEQ drew much more current at Left VREF in comparison to the Right VREF. Left channel in fact drew a factor 5 from it's normal current draw
    in the whitepapers,,,,,, So, probably that is why the Left channel of the chip died. Very sad :frowning2::frowning2::frowning2:

    So, yesterday evening I started to disassemble my beloved MonsterDAC:

    20170803_165235.jpg 20170803_165240.jpg 20170803_165250.jpg 20170803_165758.jpg 20170803_165803.jpg 20170803_171026.jpg

    I got left with a bare enclosure.....

    I put in a new wooden board, but I will have to remove this one because all stuff doesn't fit in enclosure. Will put copper on bare chassis without wood.

    After disassembling the MonsterDAC I started with assembling RPI+Ian Canada IsolatorPI AND starting to configure the Ian Canada FIFO II kit, in a manner it will fit ABOVE the RPI with IsolatorPI.

    20170804_105433.jpg 20170804_105340.jpg 20170804_105332.jpg 20170804_105316.jpg 20170804_105306.jpg 20170804_105153.jpg 20170804_105140.jpg 20170804_105134.jpg 20170804_105117.jpg 20170804_105104.jpg 20170804_105050.jpg 20170804_105029.jpg
  11. abartels
    This morning I started to disassemble all the UltraCap psu's so I could re-use all the components. After accomplishing this, I started to build the first UltraCap PSU for the new


    It needs 4 of these UltraCap PSU's, each one consisting of 2x 3.3V and 1x 1.8V

    20170804_123106.jpg 20170804_130637.jpg 20170804_130646.jpg 20170804_130654.jpg 20170804_141337.jpg 20170804_141340.jpg 20170804_150651.jpg 20170804_150657.jpg 20170804_150702.jpg 20170804_151105.jpg 20170804_151355.jpg 20170804_151359.jpg 20170804_151414.jpg 20170804_151426.jpg

    This took me a few hours to build. I decided to use Omron G5V2-12VDC relays. They have two sets of switching contacts (bifurcated) which I will put in parallel.
    Initial MAXIMUM contact resistance is 50mOhm (0.050 Ohm). In parallel this will result in 25mOhm which for this application is good enough for me.
    I have some used ones and some new ones, they all measure around 20 to 30 mOhms, so this will resulting in 15 to 20 mOhms which is great.

    In case of a relay will get defective, which I think will not happen that fast (max switching voltage for supplies is 3.45V at a max amperage of 500mA devided by 2 - because of parallel switching pairs - results in 250mA draw switching current.
    These relays can switch 2 Amps at 30VDC, so I wouldn't bother about 250mA at 3.45V..... But, JUST in case one gets defective, I took use of precision DIP16 IC sockets, the guilded ones, so I can put the relays in sockets.
    This way I can replace them very easily, JUST IN CASE :grimacing:

    After fetching me a cup of coffee I started to build Nr.2

    20170804_183936.jpg 20170804_183944.jpg 20170804_184006.jpg

    Then I put in all components which are needed to accomplish my ΛΓienStreamer

    It will look like this:

    20170804_193032.jpg 20170804_193044.jpg As you can see, the enclosure for my ΛΓienStreamer barely can fit all the components needed. This design takes use of 120 UltraCaps.
    All 3.3V PSU's for DA-M1 modules (8 in total) have 100F buffer, all 1.8V PSU's for DA-M1 modules (4 in total) have 400F buffer.

    Two 5V PSU's have 100F buffer each (for FIFO2 and IsolatorPI), one 5V PSU has 50F buffer (DualXO II board) and finally one 3.3V PSU has 50F buffer (for NDK NZ2520SD they draw 6mA only...)

    I'll keep you guys posted on any updates about my upcoming


    Cheers :beers::champagne::beer::champagne_glass::beers::cocktail::beer::wine_glass::beers::tumbler_glass:

    Last edited: Aug 4, 2017
    bunkbail likes this.
  12. bballas
  13. abartels
    Progress today of ΛΓienStreamer

    20170805_185835.jpg 20170805_185827.jpg

    Tomorrow is another day :)

    Last edited: Aug 5, 2017
  14. abartels
    Todays progress of ΛΓienStreamer


  15. bballas
    you need drink something!!!!!:wine_glass:
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