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Soekris discrete R2R DAC?


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Finished building the first one of the DAM1021. This is the .05% resistor version. Runs on +/- 9VDC rails. Amanero USB/i2s receiver. It's hard to beat for the money.  

2nd DAM1021 build close to being complete, waiting for a 1-foot USB cable. This one is with the DAM1021-12 board, the one the uses .01% and .02% resistors which can be visually identified by the

It lives. Sounds very nice. The Amanero interface causes drop-outs and nasty plops on Fs change, which isn't very nice. The word is that a certain Chinese USB->I2S interface by one Diyinhk doesn't

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2nd DAM1021 build close to being complete, waiting for a 1-foot USB cable.

This one is with the DAM1021-12 board, the one the uses .01% and .02% resistors which can be visually identified by the blue resistors in the R-2R ladder. 

The TPA Cronus/Hermes re-clocking and isolator is probably an overkill here given the DAM1021 already provides both functions on the board. The power supply for the DAM1021 is based on TPS7A3301 set for 9.3VDC rails. Based on my experience I would not skimp on the PS for the DAM1021. The extra power supply is needed for the Cronus/Hermes. 

 

DAM1021-12.JPG

DAM1021-12 - 1.JPG

DAM1021-12 - 2.JPG

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The last part finally came in so here is the finished build.

I did run into a weird problem using the Cronus/Hermes/Amanero with this DAM1021 - the combo plays music through Audirvana fine but had serious dropout issues when playing YouTube and Amazon videos. I was able to find a few Amanero CPLD/CPU firmware combinations that seems to have addressed the issue. I started a thread over at DIYAUDIO on this topic. Right now I am using CPLD firmware "slave_for_1080" and CPU firmware "CPU_1099c".

Even though the DAM1021 has its own isolator and re-clocker I feel subjectively adding the Cronus/Hermes is an improvement over using Amanero alone.

  

DAM1021-12 - front.JPG

DAM1021-12 - rear.JPG

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With a pre-built LM317/337 based PSU, it took me less than 30 min. to get the first DAM1021 to start playing music with a SPDIF input and a digital volume wired. It plays both PCM and DSD.

The sound is hard to beat for the money. 

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^ Starting to get interested in these myself. I know you were getting some of the buffers for something Michael, but had you thought about using a ubal board for the balanced on the DAM1021 instead of the opamps Soekeris is using?

Also, did you have any luck finding a Mac serial cable (USB->serial)? I thought it was for dealing with the DAM1021?

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Ordered a USB - serial cable but have not received it after several weeks so have not tried configuring the filter files etc. using a Mac yet.

Also have not tried the diamond buffer nor the unbal-bal with the DAM1021 yet. I built this DAC for my son to use at school with the single-ended Dynalo so really not intend to max it out. Although I will likely be exerimenting with it.

I personally did not find the OP based balanced output as bad as some have made it out to be on the web. 

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would love to test this vs a TPA Buffalo III or pro.  I listened to the yggdrasil at canjam and it didn't wow me but can't vouch for source material and the headphones were Audeze LCD-3 I think then switched to some Mr speakers model.  I think the amp was the ragnarok

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