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Starting Point Systems portable NOS DAC

Discussion in 'Portable Source Gear' started by cjg888, Mar 12, 2014.
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  1. stellarelephant
    Hi Haden2866, can you tell us how you like your new French DAC with 4x chips? From my understanding the DigiOne gives a world class low-jitter Coax signal, so my guess is that you will fare well without additional reclocking. I would love to hear your listening impressions.
  2. Haden2866
    Hi, yes thanks for the reminder. I have had a bit of time with my new DAC but not as much as I need. Also, it comes with 2 pairs of op-amps, both LT1028 and AD845 which I haven't listened to yet.
    There's a whole project thread on DIYAudio for this DAC - it's been heavily modified by user Malefoda over a few years, having originally begun life as an 8x TDA1387 piece of budget Chi-fi. Kudos to Malefoda and to abraxalito over there for spotting it's potential and their respective efforts. Can I post a link on here? It's easy enough to find anyway if you search on 8x TDA1387 and is an entertaining read if you are interested or curious about DIY.
    Bear with me and I will come up with some impressions eventually. Just spent the past week cramming what should be a 6 month course to sit an exam this morning - feeling somewhat ragged.
    To keep on topic I should add that I will compare this other NOS DAC to the SPS DAC3 being discussed here.
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2018
  3. jambul
    i love to hear the nos dac chip, i modified for my self or a friend dap (fiio x3, aune m1, zhisan z1 z2, teri player) using tda1387 (1-4 but i think 3 is the sweet spot for stacking the chip) + transistor (bjt of jefet used) resistor IV converter (i prefer this than an opamp IV Converter), i try ad1862 once sound really good mostly in low register and transient but can not fit the case hahaha

    willing to try to put AD1865 on zhisan z2, im waiting the material to come.
  4. automojo
    If your looking for a versatile, (but large) quiet 12 volt (25 amp)power supply, check out the Parts Express Buy Outs. Yes, its a switching unit, but it's filtered very well, and is extremely quiet. It's a over kill, but @$48, it will power just about anything. I use a outboard adjustable voltage regulator to bring it down to 10,9 or 5 volts when needed.
    Don't let the switch mode scare you, it's over built, over filtered, and quieter then any of the linear power supplies I currently own. Check out the BenchMark article on linear vs switch mode power supplies. The size is a drawback, but the performance in my case is work the drawback.
  5. richard51
    Can i use it for the french battery dac tda 1543 ?
  6. Haden2866
    Yes, the SPS DAC takes 12-15v
    richard51 likes this.
  7. gvl2016
    12-24V to be more precise, the DAC3 one at least.
    Haden2866 and richard51 like this.
  8. automojo
    It’s a bit of an overkill for sure, but the price is right
    You can use it for a multiple of uses because of the high amp rating
    Has a 12 volt socket, plus binding posts
    Pretty cool unit!!
    Well worth the price of admission!!
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2018
    richard51 likes this.
  9. richard51
    thanks to all of you...
  10. gvl2016
    You can have a nice linear Pyramid or Tripp Lite bench PSU on Amazon for about the same amount of money, I see no reason to spend about the same for switched mode unless you really need those 24 amps.
  11. stellarelephant
    Funny that the NOS trail has led us to the same place. I am also active on DIYA and after learning about the 1543 here, I have spent the last few days trying to wrap my head around some approaches to modding the 1543 DACs, and finally stumbled on abraxalito's exploits with the 1387. This is the thread you are talking about, right? Rumors in the air suggest that the 1387 sounds more like the old favorite 1541 chip than even the 1543. Hmmm. I hope you aced your exam and now get some time to relax with your music and find out. :)

    I really want to leave behind my Mac as a source, and switch to a RPi music server. I love what Allo has been doing for the RPi lately...creating these very "disruptive" products that smash through the price/performance barriers. Having the DigiOne like you would probably make it easiest to swap DACs in the chain but I have seen some nutters swearing that it is even more desirable to go straight i2s from RPi to DAC and skip the Coax conversions. While searching on eBay for the DAC you bought, I came across this i2s-only TDA1346 x8 board. Could be killer paired with a RPi with a Kali reclocker. "Strong analog sound" reads the Chinese translation. :)

    BTW I like the looks of that recommended PSU, Automojo. Seems like very good quality. I agree with you that SMPS can be awesome with good filtering. Lately some of the amp builders on DIYAudio have figured that out, and maestros like XRK971 are using them instead of huge transformers even for (noise sensitive) Class A amps.
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2018
    Haden2866 likes this.
  12. Haden2866
    Yes, that is the thread.
    RPi is certainly a good way to go - amazing what can be achieved for, well, pocket money nowadays. Volumio is terrific - there are other OS that I haven't tried.
    On the basis of shortening the signal path then yes, i2s direct to DAC makes sense. Audiophonics in France also do a similar TDA1387 DAC HAT - claims to have clock on board. Tempting. Not sure how to fit a Kali on as well.
    Back on topic, I swapped in the pair of AD845 and had a brief listen. This TDA1387 DAC sounds quite different to the SPS DAC3; still a very natural sound with great timing but without holographic imaging to the same extent. More impressions later.
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2018
  13. stellarelephant
    I wonder if the holographic imaging of the SPS is due to a better implementation, or some possible advantage in clarity from a single chip, or maybe just the 1543 itself versus 1387?

    Sorry to be OT but I thought this may be of interest to you NOS fans...a DIYAudio member has just freely released a DIY DAC PCB design using a single TDA1387 and a Raspberry Pi hat form factor. With some DIY effort this could yield a nice NOS DAC that can be slaved to a Kali, for minimal cost. I'll start another thread for further comments about it :)
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2018
    richard51 likes this.
  14. gvl2016
    IMO 1543 is just slightly colored in some funny way that makes it sound holographic.
  15. richard51
    I am no engineer but if you listen to the opinion of this french designer I think the sound attribute of this dac results from his minimal design with an already good chip... each time someone introduce new electronic parts there is a trade-off with the noise floor... It is my opinion also but I know nothing in audio electronic.... This SPS dac I bought it precisely for this minimal design, and I dont regret it..... My experience is that his performance is way enhanced if you lower the noise floor upward ( perhaps a costly power supply, me I used lithium battery with a cleaner electrical grid).... I try that and the result is that there is no relation between his performance in my house and some negative critics about his limitation .... My system does not cost 10,000 dollars,but my system is very good amp+speakers or headphones, this dac at his price for me is the deal....I dont bother anymore for a dac...

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