R2R DA M1 Ultracap powered build

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  1. abartels
    Don't worry, I definitely did :ksc75smile:
  2. abartels
    Todays progress of :alien: ΛΓienStreamer

    20170808_151320.jpg 20170808_151332.jpg

    Many small steps finally leed to one giant leep for mankind :relaxed:

    Cheers :beers:

  3. abartels
    Todays progress #2 of :alien: ΛΓienStreamer


    Cheers :beerchug:

    bballas likes this.
  4. abartels
    Progress of :alien: ΛΓienStreamer

    As you can see in the 8th to 12th pictures, Murphy visited me last weekend, just after I almost finished everything. Measurements showed faults in 2nd banks of 5 psu's,,,,,
    I didn't notice this before because all banks started charging,but not all second banks..... And, there were 3 soldering joints of the 2500 or so, that weren't 100%.
    This meant I had to disassemble the whole streamer............................. I wasn't amused...............

    Finally, yesterday evening I finished all (hardware) work, as you can see.

    Still need to clean enclosure, as you probably noticed already, hahahaha

    For now, Ian Canada's IsolatorPI and FIFO II kit doesn't work in combination with PicorePlayer 3.21 I have to investigate this, and probably I have to go back to version 3.02 or so.
    I had troubles before configuring newer PCP versions with I2S / Ian's stuff, hope I can solve all again. If not, I will divert to Allo isolator + Kali, but I really hope I can get Ian's stuff to work since it really is best SQ fifo available!!!

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    As soon as it's working I'll post a first listening impression!!


    @Balazs :

    Ioan from Allo.com told me those DA-M1 modules are NOT master modules, they act as slave and could be used to connect to Kali!!!

    I suppose you connected something the wrong way?
    Maybe you configured Isolator HAT as Master instead of Slave??



    Last edited: Aug 28, 2017
    Currawong likes this.
  5. abartels
    Hi guys,

    ΛΓienStreamer is running for 9 days continuously now without any interruptions. Sound Quality surpassed MonsterDAC 2 days ago, but it still needs burn-in time and improves day by day!!

    First impressions from 2 days ago:

    Dead-quiet black background, very natural and life like sounding. Just everything MonsterDAC had in it, but just B E T T E R :)

    Will wait a few days before writing a review!

  6. bballas
    Great Alex!!!
    What I'm thinking now after burn-in and improved usb chain (with total 15 pcs u cap power supply)?
    Source materials has bad quality. Some phenomenal.Not much.
  7. abartels
    :alien: ΛΓienStreamer is running for 21 days continuously now with only a few short interruptions.

    Still, even after 500 hours of burn-in, I can hear improvements now and then. It seems R2R needs a very long burn-in period.

    How does :alien: ΛΓienStreamer perform in comparison to my UltraCap powered AK4495SEQ MonsterDAC?

    20170906_214902 (2).jpg

    Well, since both are Ultracap powered, and both have all voltage rails separately powered, it is a very interesting comparison which leads directly to AK4495 vs DA-M1 R2R :smiley:

    There's only ONE other difference between the two which we have to keep in mind, and that is the output stage. AK4495 has discrete FET output stage, and DA-M1 R2R has a very High Quality output transformer instead.
    I can't compare between the fet stages and the output transformers, so we must keep this in mind.

    To start with, I was very fond of my MonsterDAC. From the beginning, the first build, which was based on 10x R-Core, 11x EMI/RFI filters and all seperate LT3042 based psu's, it sounded very open and its tonality was VERY lifelike.
    After upgrading to Ultracaps, all just went better, a huge improvement I must say. Since the Ultracap upgrade I couldn't imagine any DAC could sound better at all, have better tonality or other aspects.

    Hmm,, upgrading to DA-M1 R2R modules made me wonder, hahahaha

    I must say, my heavily modded AK4495SEQ-pcb (with 6800uF caps on VREF, which makes AK44xx have VERY good tonality and tightness in lower frequencies) has exactly the same sound character as DA-M1 modules.
    At least, in the way I powered AK4495SEQ and the DA-M1 modules. No differences at all in tonality. I must say, the guys at AKM REALLY did a VERY good job!!!!!

    Now, how is :alien: ΛΓienStreamer performing?

    Well, to take the short route, everything just is better, more lifelike, the magical word is: R E A L I S M
    The performance is, yes, Alienlike, very very open, very visual, realistic in the best sense of the word.

    Soundstage projection:
    Another thing I immediately noticed was its rock solid sound stage, its pinpoint precision. Voices and instruments aren't "moving on the stage", they are tightly "anchored in concrete".
    This is a property, which Delta Sigma dac chips don't inherit. As good as it gets, DS chips tend to "wobble" voices and instruments. The better the implementation the better the precision,
    but still, projection is not rock solid. When listening to a very good implemented DS, like my MonsterDAC, this behavior does not get up immediately, until you compare it to a good implemented R2R.
    This is were R2R shines too :smiley:, If something is moving around in the sound stage, it just IS moving around, OR the sound engineer has been tampering around..... :smiling_imp:

    About dynamics:
    A test yesterday concluded that all psu's for DA-M1 can power the 8x DA-M1 for about 4 hours without any problems!!!! It is very obvious there isn't any limit at delivering current or such.
    All 1.8V psu's can deliver 11 Amps continuously, and more than 60 Amps pulse. All 3.3V psu's can deliver 22 Amps continuously, and more than 120 Amps pulse.
    Voltage levels staying really really stable, without taking use of voltage regulators or such... Maybe it is because of this, not sure, but dynamics are as realistic as tonality as presentation.

    I still do switch every ten minutes between the banks because psu's for DualXO II board draws too much current and I don't want relays switching at different times.
    If I would create a more powerful psu for DualXO II I could handle a VERY long runtime, even up to 5 hours if configured more tightly. But for now, a runtime of 10 minutes is OK with me.

    SQ recordings:
    Sometimes recordings which always sounded bad do sound very good, while others which sounded always good, do still sound very good but not better then that.

    There are exceptional good recordings which always sounded very good and now really excel, like "Muddy Waters - Folk Singer" and many others.
    Mostly live recordings, and especially unplugged recordings sound best, but studio works like all the Yello cd's, or the Boris Blank cd's, do sound very good too.
    Of course there are many others too.

    Because of the very realistic sounding albums like the "Muddy Waters" one, the difference between those and "normal" sounding ones can be HUGE.
    Sometimes this can lead to disappointments because of our expectations, and sometimes this can lead to surprises too :smiley:

    For me it seems to be a sort of an end-station, at least it seems so for now. There aren't any discrete R2R modules available who perform better, at least no DIY ones.
    I would love to build an :alien: ΛΓienStreamer based on Transient DAC2 modules, but they aren't available to the DIY market. Only OEM manufacturers can buy those.
    That said, there's playing something in my mind to start a small business and manufacture Transient DAC2 based, Ultracap powered :alien: ΛΓienStreamers, but I am
    not sure if that will happen ever.....

    In my opinion, discrete R2R based dac's are THE future. Nothing better available until today. Not sure of the Mola Mola dac though, I never heard this one.
    About powering low power consuming and low voltage stages: Ultracaps are the best of the best. If needing higher voltage, it is rather complicated to manage,
    but below 8.1V (3 cells in series) or 5.4V (2 cells in series) or 2.7V (1 cell) it is very good doable to power a few hundred of milliamps.

    A big T H U M B S U P for @Balazs who started this thread and who pointed me in the right direction!!!!! Thanks man!!!!!


    bunkbail likes this.
  8. bballas
    Great Alex!!!!!!
    My short burn in periods(2 hours per day ) little sucks(slow).
    Example,a week ago the sound accurate,middle strong,forward, but not so soft,emo,deep, or silky.
    Now,just amazing!!!!! I got everything.deep,wide,airy,lifelike,separated,detailed,silky,holographic......
    I never thought my gears So GOOD!!!!!!

    Much more recordings became really enjoyable.60-70-80`s hits also!!!!

  9. bballas
  10. abartels
    lots of ucap supplies needed for usb stuff...
  11. bballas
    no.sparky board one big3amper,iso regen 8v,and singxer f1 5volt
  12. bballas
    i think only you and me read this topic!haha!!!
  13. abartels
    yes, I am afraid we do, hahahahaha

    :alien:Stupid people :alien:
  14. gstew
    Definitely not true!

    Greg in Missisippi
  15. abartels

    Hi Greg,

    Yesssss, we're not alone :)

    Did you build some ultracap based psu's yourself by now? How are your findings?

    :alien: ΛΓienStreamer is on a completely other level than all I experienced in the last 40 years or so.

    Compare it with top-of-the-bill (100K+) analog sets, and add digital resolution and dynamics.....

    If you didn't try it buy now, please do so, you wont regret it! Try to avaoid any kind of regs, just use enough F to keep all stable.


    Alex in Maastricht - the Netherlands
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