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Audiophile-sounding DAC for almost no money

0DAC - delivers engaging, immersive sound with a pricetag at least two orders of magnitude from commercial audiophile DACs

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Several years ago, a blogger 'NwAvGuy' introduced a DAC design named 'ODAC'. 'O' meant 'objective' because it was designed to achieve the best objective criteria (measurements, in particular THD+N). My design is the complement of that, designed entirely for listening enjoyment with little regard for measurements. The broader aim is to make audiophile sound quality a commodity so everyone gets to get off on the music. Wave a cheery 'goodbye' to fatiguing digital sound! The BOM cost is low (sub $10) and the circuit board area modest (75cm^2) - to keep both down it has only I2S input. The output stage is a single-ended classA buffer which can drive low-impedance headphones direct if desired.

The name of this design is 0DAC, pronounced 'lingDAC' (zero = ling in Mandarin).

To get a great sounding DAC its important to choose a DAC chip with lots of potential and ignore most of the datasheet specs. 'Having potential' means a simple as possible chip, without the usual bells and whistles which have been added to DAC chips in the past couple of decades. Going back to the 1990s most DAC chips were just that - DACs and had neither on-board digital nor analog filters using opamps. Both of these kinds of filters have the potential to screw up the sound so you do not want them on the chip where its impossible to bypass them.

Philips started a trend with their 'Bitstream' DACs of including on-chip filters and on-chip opamps (SAA7320). But for a while in the 80s and 90s they produced some excellent chips without all that extra fluff - for example TDA1541, TDA1543, TDA1545 and TDA1387. Burr Brown similarly had their PCM-series DACs, culminating in the PCM1704 where by most listeners' ears they'd already started to lose the plot, being seduced by numbers - PCM63 seems to be the pinnacle of their art. Analog Devices have had great designs too, the most recent being AD1865.

I've so far mentioned only audio-targeted DACs but there are others which are pure DAC chips - I've samples of an ancient one from ADI, the AD768. It's an example of a DAC targeted at the communications market, a field which in many ways holds more promise for great sounding D/A than does audio nowadays. TI/BB and Intersil also have offerings in this arena. Of the audio chips I've mentioned, all are out of current production so if you want to have a viable manufactured product you have to look beyond audio to find your chip. Schiit did exactly that in their multibit DAC designs, going to the medical/industrial segment. Metrum too started off with an industrial DAC chip from TI/BB but since have gone over to custom resistor arrays buried inside modules. Hobbyists though aren't constrained by production volumes and so have rarely had it so good with the wide choice of recycled devices on the secondary market.

I must confess I have a real soft spot for Philips (now NXP or even Nexperia) - partly because my first few CD players were Philips (they and Sony together being the innovators of the CD format) but also because their IC designs rock, and not just in DACs. Take in the realm of amps their in-car offerings (TDA8566 for example - I have a design for an amp using it here : Hi end chipamp). TDA1541 has been done to death by DIYers (Thorsten Loesch and Pedja Rogic have commercial product too) - how to choose from its many tweaks? TDA1545 has some DIY designs extant (Peufeu's 'Extremist' is here - TDA1545 DAC) - having listened to my own designs I've abandoned this chip on SQ grounds. TDA1543 has literally dozens of DIY projects and commercial boards/boxes (Lite DAC-AH is my favourite). Strangely TDA1387 has been largely ignored to date - there's a few units on Taobao : L1387 DAC but nothing in the audiophile mainstream. In regard to the tech behind the chips, the TDA1387 takes some beating as it continuously recalibrates itself on the fly so doesn't require the usual extreme resistor matching achieved in other manufacturer's offerings by laser trimming. Its also absurdly cheap as the chips are recycled from old 'Soundblaster' PC cards.

Next up - NOS is my choice here for lowest BOM cost. NOS is a TLA for 'No oversampling' and the craze of NOS began with a Japanese guy by the name of Kusunoki (go here for his web presence, I'm not thereby endorsing his technical justifications - http://www.sakurasystems.com/articles/Non-oversampling-DAC.html) who wanted to bypass the digital filter in a DAC. In the history of Philips' CD players, oversampling has always been used, initially because when CD came out they only had production ready a 14bit DAC (TDA1540) and CDs have 16bits worth on them. So oversampling (4X) was used as a way to gain a couple of bits from the DAC through averaging out 4 faster samples to create one slower one. When the TDA1541 was...

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Schematic_Dorati_2022-05-13.pdf

Dorati is the evolution of Kubelik through deleting the opamps. So now it qualifies as a 'multibit DAC with fully discrete output stage'. Also it foregoes the inter-sample over headroom that was a feature of Kubelik and operates on a more convenient 12-15V power rail.

Adobe Portable Document Format - 185.19 kB - 05/24/2022 at 09:10

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Schematic_PhiDAC hex 5.26.pdf

Updated PhiDAC hex schematic - this one corresponds to the kits which are available for sale on DIYAudio. Minor updates to the level shifters and a swap from CJ431 to TL431 for improved reliability in case a DAC chip draws too much current.

Adobe Portable Document Format - 247.85 kB - 07/14/2020 at 10:56

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simple filter.zip

Gerbers for 3rd order (low cost) filter daughter board for PhiDAC hex. Using pre-selected TDK 7mm inductors.

x-zip-compressed - 44.62 kB - 05/13/2020 at 09:07

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7th order filter.zip

Gerber set for 7th order daughter board filter for PhiDAC hex. Using P14 ferrite cored inductors.

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gerber phiDAC hex.zip

Gerbers for 2020 updated version of PhiDAC - using 6 paralleled DACs and off-board filtering.

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View all 13 files

  • 2 × SLF7045T-470 Inductors, Chokes, Coils and Magnetics / Fixed Inductors, Chokes and Coils
  • 2 × SLF7045T-330 Inductors, Chokes, Coils and Magnetics / Fixed Inductors, Chokes and Coils
  • 14 × C3216X7R2A104K160AA Capacitors / Ceramic TDK 1206 100nF 10%
  • 2 × 220uF 16V Capacitor electrolytic
  • 4 × TDA1387T Data Converters / Digital to Analog Converters (DACs)

View all 11 components

  • Replacement for Kubelik - introducing Dorati

    Richard Dudley05/07/2022 at 12:43 0 comments

    Several dozen Kubelik kits have been sold now but when we came to re-stock some of the components for another batch we found the price of the opamps has gone up threefold. This is rather off-putting as they were the most expensive single item after the PCB and filter inductors. I became curious to discover how essential the opamps are in the scheme of things and whether a re-design to avoid them would have significant drawbacks. Certainly measurement-wise their application of lots of loop gain keeps the Sallen-Key unity gain buffer used for droop correction very low distortion. Experimenting shows sound quality does not suffer, its been clear for a few weeks now that  if anything there's a subjective improvement from their elimination.

    One customer managed to connect his Kubelik power supply backwards and, naturally enough his DAC died from that kind of abuse. As a result of helping him to get it going again I got him to remove the opamps and apply some wires to bypass them. He did eventually get sound out which says that everything but the opamps survived the polarity reversal. I can't help but think a DAC minus opamps would be more robust against simple DIY finger trouble.

    Seeing as passive I/V (as mentioned in an earlier log) proved to be lower noise than active, it follows there's no need for the first stage opamp, just a unity gain buffer to 'stiffen up' the output. The SE OPS already employed acts as a unity gain buffer so why not just use that without opamp assistance? Yes there'll be second harmonic distortion but that is normally subjectively benign. Sallen-Key filters also can be built with emitter followers for the buffer stage so not a big deal. What's the challenge is - with DC coupling the voltage shift through two stages is a rather daunting 2.4V which might be a problem for managing signal headroom. The alternative would be AC coupling which would call for an extra pair of coupling caps between stages. The best cap is no cap so it was worth aiming for DC coupling to see what turned up.

    Headroom is something to pay attention to, not just because of the DC shift. The LC filter has some peaking on its output, about 2dB according to simulation and this occurs at or near the corner frequency (~17kHz). So 25% extra swing is needed at the cascode MOSFET output. The final stage - the Sallen-Key filter used primarily for droop correction - is a major contributor to the noise due to the input resistors and the positive feedback at higher freqs. In simulation, above 10kHz or so the noise roughly doubles. The choice of Rs has the biggest impact on the noise, I wanted to use the lowest impedance commensurate with being able to drive the input without gobs of current demand in the preceding buffer stage. In the end I settled on 470ohm for Rs and this results in 32nF for the feedback cap, something achievable without too high a footprint penalty - two paralleled 0805 NP0s.

    Having built up and listened to a couple of prototypes, I feel confident this new design comfortably beats its predecessor, though quite why I'm not totally clear on. The SNR of the post-DAC stages has gone up about 5dB but even on Kubelik the number was extremely low for a 16bit DAC - in the region of -124dB. Schematic to be posted up once component values have been finalized over a handful of builds.

    Two of the earliest prototypes of Dorati, there's a difference in the resistor values in the S-K filter, just to explore whether that's audible.

  • Next generation Kubelik - Abbado

    Richard Dudley04/06/2022 at 09:35 0 comments

    Here's the evolution of Kubelik based on my investigations into why Kubelik lost out in dynamics in comparison with Deca DAC.


    The filter now uses two inductors per channel, beyond the filter there's now passive I/V with a unity gain buffer following. The bias to the output stage can be rich enough to drive high impedance headphones (150ohm and up) directly by virtue of beefed-up output transistors (SOT-89). So a neat solution for a DAC-amp. This can be purchased in built-up form, no kits as the caps in the filter need to be hand-selected.

  • Moving beyond Kubelik

    Richard Dudley04/05/2022 at 13:49 0 comments

    In a side-by-side comparison between Kubelik and Deca DAC, the latter wins out on dynamics, especially in the bass. I was very curious to find out what was going on to reduce the dynamics in Kubelik.

    First up I figured the filter might be the primary reason - Kubelik has a very simple, 3rd order (CLC) filter whereas Deca has a complex 7th order one. So I built variants of Kubelik with higher order filters, firstly 5th order then 7th order. These needed piggy-back PCBs on which all the extra inductors were mounted. Not a pretty sight!

    Results were that dynamics did improve but even the 7th order version of Kubelik didn't reach the levels of Deca DAC. So then I wondered if it was down to the opamp I'm using (OPA2209). I bypassed that, feeding the SE output stage directly from the I/V resistor - hence 'passive I/V' rather than active, just for the hell of it. Wow, a very large improvement - much more engaging sound! The level of improvement was very surprising.

    So was the lack of dynamics the opamp's fault? I decided it needed a 2nd chance, so I brought it back in, this time as a buffer rather than in inverting ('transimpedance') mode as is traditionally used for I/V. The engagement factor stayed. Hmmm.

    In simulation it turns out that the output impedance of the filter interacts with the opamp to increase the noise gain at certain frequencies with a traditional I/V stage. With passive I/V, the opposite happens - the noise gets reduced at those same frequencies. Seems like this is a plausible reason for the improvement in dynamics going from transimpedance to passive I/V. So then I wondered how much control I had over the frequencies where the noise was being reduced. Naturally, it depends on the filter and I found a 5th order filter had potential to reduce the noise close to the most sensitive range of our hearing (3 - 5kHz roughly). The Fletcher-Munson curves for our hearing thresholds vs frequency have a noticeable dip in that region. However, for some reason I also turned up ITU-R468 which is more relevant for noise (F-M is based on a single tone). In that standard, the peak of the weighting curve is a bit higher in freq, just over 6kHz.

    I wondered if I could design a filter which gave the lowest noise in the vicinity of 6kHz. From fiddling with the Chebyshev online filter designer (https://rf-tools.com/lc-filter/) the dip in the noise turns out to be a function of the ripple of the filter, not just the cut-off frequency. Going higher ripple allowed me to place a dip in the noise gain very close to 6.3kHz.

  • Introducing Kubelik

    Richard Dudley01/01/2022 at 11:14 2 comments

    My first incarnation of the 'Kubelik' design, using the architecture I set out in the previous post used a single TDA1387 DAC chip. Listening to this, it turned out to have a very engaging improvement in transparency over 'PhiDAC' - there was that sense of 'air' or 'bloom' which created an impression of an acoustic bubble between and behind the speakers. However while the HF was very good, overall I felt the sound was too unbalanced top-to-bottom, there wasn't sufficient 'presence' in the bass, a lack of spaciousness at the lowest frequencies which help depict the acoustic signature of a hall or recording studio. The overall effect is the presentation sounds a little thin.

    Increasing the number of chips to 3 did bring about improvement at the low end but it wasn't until I reached 6 chips that I felt there was a balance top-to-bottom, no more thinness. Going to more chips than six wasn't practical for a couple of reasons - there wasn't sufficient PCB space within the original confines of PhiDAC and also the dropping resistors (from 20V down to ~5V) couldn't be accommodated. In the end, thermal constraints restricted the DAC's supply voltage to 4.5V. Paralleling chips improves the signal-to-noise by 3dB for each doubling, so with 6 chips we have almost 8dB lowering of the noise and this reduced noise floor is most apparent in the bass. I'm guessing this bass-lightness of a stand-alone chip stems from it being CMOS where 1/f noise corners are rather notoriously high.

    I have a BOM, schematic and gerbers which I'll upload in due course. They're already available on the DIYA thread but its a long one to navigate. Kits may be ordered too.

    Listening to Kubelik in comparison to DecaDAC, the latter sounds distinctly blurry in the higher frequencies relative to Kubelik, however it does have the edge in bass performance. Whether that's down to lower noise opamps or a lower noise DAC PSU remains to be seen.

  • PhiDAC reloaded

    Richard Dudley06/16/2021 at 03:04 0 comments

    As the original PhiDAC dates back to 2019 and I've learned a little in the intervening time I was curious to see whether the design could be revisited.

    First up - the AD8017s I have discovered are noisier than I had thought due to my ignoring the -ve input current noise contribution. They are also a bit limited by the upper supply voltage of 12V. After attending to some discussion on DIYA I wanted to see if I could build in some headroom for handling 'intersample overs' - there was none on the original PhiDAC due to the relatively low supply voltage.

    TI have recently introduced some very nice (at least on paper) low-noise FET input opamps, in particular the OPA1656 and OPA1678. The latter appeals especially because its ultra-cheap. The design trade-offs with these opamps are rather different than with CFB types - their voltage noise is higher but there's no current noise to speak of so resistor values can go higher with only the resistor noise itself to be concerned about and not the opamp current noise into that resistor.

    With higher working impedance the inductor(s) in the filter need to be higher value, so I have to wave goodbye to those 0805s as their inductance doesn't go high enough. P14s look to be a reasonable choice as I can get them in better tolerances than even the 5% Fastrons from a local manufacturer. Fastrons can be a useful fallback.

    Higher working impedance means higher voltage swing at the DAC output - on PhiDAC the output swing was negligible as the filter impedance was ~33ohm. On this design I decided to use a 'cascode' MOSFET (aka common-gate stage) on the DAC's output - the output compliance then is limited by the breakdown voltage (and dissipation) of the FET. A 2N7002 is good to 60V but we won't need all that as opamps peg out around 36V typically. The cascode also means no level-shifting circuitry is needed on the DAC itself.

    Noise and noise-gain simulations have revealed that the MFB type output filter I'm using isn't the quietest - a Sallen-Key design shows lower noise gain for the opamp and hence should be lower noise in practice.

    Several listening experiments revealed that higher filter impedances made for a more dynamic sound - these listens though were done on the 'Deca DAC' with its bipolar opamp and multiple paralleled chips. With higher resistor values there is a limit to how much current we want from our DAC chips before we exceed the standard 2VRMS signal level. The OPA chips have an inherent voltage noise roughly equivalent to a 1kohm resistor so going lower than this seems counter-productive in the I/V stage - this sets an upper bound of 6 chips as 6mA*1k gives 6V peak-to-peak output. As to the lower bound, I was curious to hear how a single chip sounded so I built a single TDA1387 prototype for a listen. I'll report on that in the next log.

  • Phi DecaDAC - multi-multibit DAC for 2021

    Richard Dudley12/28/2020 at 04:24 1 comment

    Here is the latest incarnation of PhiDAC - by now it must be the 4th generation. This incorporates the latest discovery about noise in the I/V stage - on paper the analog stage is at least 12dB quieter than the 3rd generation PhiDAC. This translates into a wider soundstage (especially at the rear) and for some reason superior dynamics in the bass.

  • Further insight into paralleling DAC chips

    Richard Dudley12/02/2020 at 04:33 0 comments

    As one of my half-finished DAC projects involves a very large number of chips (72 minimum) I wanted a way to test individual DAC chips by listening before incorporating them into this design. So I designed and built a test board which accepted a single chip in a ZIF socket. I was shocked that this had more air and ambience apparent than the original PhiDAC (which also had a single DAC chip). My curiosity was piqued as previously I'd associated more ambience with more paralleled DAC chips. That is I thought I was lowering DAC noise by putting more chips in parallel, but this experimental single chip DAC threw a wrench in that hypothesis.


    Turns out that the I/V stage noise is far more critical than I previously believed - it needs to be better than the DAC chip's noise by a significant margin to release the full amount of recorded bloom. In the original PhiDAC I am using AD8017 preceded by a very low impedance passive filter (~33ohm). Its this combination of low impedance with the AD8017 which contributes noise and masks the low-level ambience. AD8017 being a current-feedback opamp has significant current noise at its -ve input and that is associated with a not-very low noise corner. AD829 as on PhiDAC hex does quite a lot better - similar voltage noise but lower current noise which allows for a higher impedance passive filter. Seems with 6 chips and AD829 that 47ohm is a bit on the low impedance side, 100ohm is closer to optimum. Of course there's a trade-off in going higher impedance - more voltage swing at the DAC chip output pins. 6mA into 100ohm is 600mV but the filter 'rings up' near the corner frequency resulting in about 5dB peaking so worst case just over 1V swing. TDA1387 lacks an AC compliance spec (TDA1543 gives 25mV) - its best to keep this as low as possible, how low really can only be determined by listening. When I went up to a 240ohm filter the SQ wasn't as good so 100ohm is about the sweetspot with AD829.

    An alternative chip for I/V is LT1028 which has >6dB noise improvement over AD829 in its voltage noise and so is better suited to the existing 47ohm filters. Changing the filter impedance is rather inconvenient since I have already a large stock of inductors for the existing design and would need to commission more values. Thus changing to LT1028 is the best way forward for now - the fact that it doesn't have the OPS stage bypass matters much less than the improvement gained from lower noise.

  • PhiDAC hex kits

    Richard Dudley05/30/2020 at 02:06 0 comments

    If you are curious enough to try your hand at a kit, you can go here for details of how to order : https://www.diyaudio.com/forums/vendor-s-bazaar/354799-phidac-hex-kits-pre-built-filters-new-post.html

  • PhiDAC hex - 3rd generation PhiDAC

    Richard Dudley04/23/2020 at 06:57 0 comments

    Have built up two of these so far - 6 paralleled DACs and a 7th order filter plug-in.

  • Is there a sweet spot for number of paralleled DACs?

    Richard Dudley03/19/2020 at 02:46 0 comments

    Having found improvement from 4 paralleled chips I was curious whether further doublings of chips would lead to even more improvements. Going from 4 to 8 chips necessitated lowering the noise of the I/V stage in order to get some semblance of a level playing field for comparison. Already I was using paralleled stages as the opamp I used wasn't particularly low noise itself (AD744) - this opamp was chosen because I was wanting to experiment to see if I could improve the HF cleanliness and AD744 is one of the very few opamps which allows bypassing its classAB output stage (OPS). I really needed a bipolar input, undegenerated input stage opamp with a bypassable OPS to get the number of paralleled stages down to a manageable size. The opamp also needed to be cheaply available on Taobao. After a fairly brief search, I landed on AD829 - a part I'd never come across before but which fitted the bill perfectly. It also has a considerable extra advantage in that it is compensated for a minimum gain of 26dB - almost unheard of in opamps. Even 'decompensated' opamps usually have under 20dB minimum gains. This 26dB figure turns out to be a perfect fit for the I/V stage - its also under half the price of AD744 so all round an excellent solution here. A single AD829 with its 2nV/rtHz noise figure is a good match for 4 DAC chips, to go to 8 needs 4 paralleled for the same noise level as I want to keep the output compliance voltage constant meaning halving the LC filter's impedance. It took some layout tweaking to get the AD829 stable whereas the AD744 gave no issues whatsoever, eventually I got the AD829 array working and sounding great, slightly better (by which I mean more engaging) with 8 chips than 4.

    So then what about 16 chips?

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Peter19500 wrote 12/21/2020 at 21:17 point

Thanks to Richard for the kit phi dac.  Perfectly wrapped and sorted.  Great job Richard.

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Peter19500 wrote 12/21/2020 at 17:56 point

Zloženie: 100% bavlna.

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Ben Familetto wrote 07/07/2020 at 21:26 point

Hello, in the BOM there is no value for C14, C15. Anyone know what they are supposed to be?

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Richard Dudley wrote 07/11/2020 at 08:48 point

Which BOM are you referring to?
 If PhiDAC revG then C14 is not fitted (NF) C15 is 100nF 1206 NP0 according to the BOM.

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Chris McNeil wrote 07/01/2020 at 19:06 point

Hey Richard, 

I've been reading your TDA1387 adventures with interest here and on DIYA. I am in the midst of a multi-amp project that will require 4 stereo DACs or an 8-channel DAC.

At this stage I'm testing various DAC possibilities with  a DIY angle.... in a comment in February you mentioned an offer of 10 parts kits for PhiDac for $50...given recent  Covid-enhanced budget restrictions that's an appealing offer but the DIYA thread linked to implies you've moved on from that. Or is that offer still good? If so, consider it sold and I may be back for filters, etc.at some point. 

Thanks!

Chris

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Richard Dudley wrote 07/04/2020 at 10:55 point

Hi Chris - interesting that you would like a multi-channel DAC, its something I've been considering doing for a while. No progress to report yet though. I will have to look to see if we have any of those $50 packs of kits left. Yes the design's moved on to a more complex filter than was used on that original PhiDAC.

<later> Checked and we do have some kits left, looks like 5 or 6 boards. Can do you a reduced price, let me know if you're interested.

OK Chris will drop you a line with price and shipping options.

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Chris McNeil wrote 07/08/2020 at 14:15 point

Hey Richard - cool deal. You can email me at chris at Thaut dot io. 

And, yes, I've become quite a fan of multiamping via analog active dbx crossovers and am looking forward to the joys of FIR via the MiniSharc based solution. I'm keeping the analog chain for low latency movie watching and full analog chain vinyl so it will be interesting to contrast the 2 approaches .... just need to build a good 16-in, 8-out RCA switcher box for A-B comparisons.

Thanks for all your work in optimizing the TDA1387 dac, very inspiring.

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Chris McNeil wrote 07/20/2020 at 22:59 point

Received the kits very quickly- thanks, Richard! I don't know how long until i get something together but I'm already very impressed with what seems to be one of the great values in DIY Audio-land.

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Richard Dudley wrote 07/28/2020 at 03:28 point

How are you getting on with your kits Chris?

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sunny wrote 05/30/2020 at 07:43 point

I want to provide a DAC for the csr8673 module to provide 3.5mm analog output. Can i use your project?

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Richard Dudley wrote 05/30/2020 at 07:52 point

I can't find CSR8673 but CSR8670 has I2S output so that will work.
 I2S output also is supported by CSR8675. Message me your email and I will send you the BOM, I've not released the latest one publicly yet.

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sunny wrote 05/30/2020 at 08:30 point

I typed the wrong word. It should be 8675. I found your production document, but I didn't find the BOM

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sunny wrote 07/05/2020 at 04:42 point

thank you ,my email is iampink@foxmail.com

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Matt Benjamin wrote 03/26/2020 at 23:50 point

Hi there;  suggestions on whether it's sensible to build a 2/2/19 phiDAC, or take a different approach to experiment with at this stage?

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Richard Dudley wrote 04/23/2020 at 06:48 point

It depends what your aims are - if you'd like the very best sound then build the latest PhiDAC hex. I have just uploaded the schematic, gerbers will come along in a week or so.

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g_arun wrote 10/19/2019 at 10:32 point

Sorry for stupid question. Does phiDac sound better than 0Dac? 

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Richard Dudley wrote 04/23/2020 at 06:49 point

Its not a stupid question - PhiDAC has tighter bass than 0DAC, but 0DAC has more clean high frequencies. Take your pick!

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andrea.lebon wrote 02/18/2019 at 15:08 point

how much is the cost of full project and how can i order it

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Richard Dudley wrote 02/18/2019 at 15:15 point

You can order a kit of 10 sets of parts for the PhiDAC if you like. Price will be $50. No kits are available for lingDAC so far. If you'd like the kit, please indicate your interest on the DIYA thread here : https://www.diyaudio.com/forums/digital-line-level/324933-lingdac-cost-effective-rbcd-multibit-dac-design.html

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nabildanial.93 wrote 09/08/2018 at 18:49 point

this project is abandoned?

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Richard Dudley wrote 01/08/2019 at 07:04 point

Nope, still on-going.

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alexandre zanol wrote 09/09/2017 at 10:26 point

Absolutely agree that Philips ICs rock! I have a soft spot for the TDA1543 for all the years of musical enjoyment I had with it. Now playing with the TDA1387 and I am thrilled with the potential of the chip. It is curious indeed that it didn´t find its way into CD players and stand alone dacs - I would say a marketing mistake by Philips, because the little guy is not limited (in performance) by its low power consumption.

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Richard Dudley wrote 09/09/2017 at 10:29 point

I have followed a similar path to you Alex it seems, I did love the TDA1543 for quite a while with its soft, analog style of sound. But after I'd tamed the CMOS chick I couldn't go back....

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alexandre zanol wrote 09/09/2017 at 11:01 point

Richard, the description is spot on. Cassette tape sound.

Onward with the '1387, I can´t wait to get more ambience, detail and some sweet highs with the analog filter :)

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Steven Clark wrote 09/08/2017 at 05:50 point

I can find simple parallel resistor ladder based DACs on digikey if I look.  Do they all have op-amps, or does something else disqualify them?

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Richard Dudley wrote 09/08/2017 at 06:01 point

Have a part number? I'll take a look then and let you know.
 In general ladder based DACs are too glitchy for audio, but some might be able to be made to work.

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Richard Dudley wrote 09/02/2017 at 13:46 point

Yes indeed, they can get the idea of what most systems with speakers are aiming for but mainly fail to achieve as their amps aren't transparent enough. Designing a speaker amp to deliver the goods this beast puts out is the next challenge....

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john.kenny wrote 09/02/2017 at 13:50 point

Right, so it's the project that will just keep giving with further downstream elements when people are ready - excellent!

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