Very good sounding Dac kit

alexh

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I have been pleasantly surprised after completing a NOS Dac kit designed by DDDAC.com.

I built an Audio Note Dac 4-1 LE kit a while ago and was impressed by the sound.

I was then going to build one with dual power supplies, upgraded transformers etc but would cost a fair packet so I decided to sell the Dac to finance the new build.

As it was going to take a bit of saving up, I wanted something to play with while waiting for funds to build up.

Enter the DDDAC.

I took the plunge and bought a 4 stack, USB board, extra board for SPDIF input, the recommended power supplies and the Sowter transformer option.

It is not as simple to put together as the AN kit, you will need a case, connectors and switches etc but if you are a fairly experienced builder it will not be a problem.

How does it sound after the AN Dac? Very good indeed, I have ordered another 4 off Dac boards to make an 8 stack, and I have shelved the AN Dac project.

I has the sound of well sorted analogue, no listener fatigue, no CD`s that are not playable anymore. I have a Gerry Rafferty City to City CD that I use to try digital, If it sounds OK playing it, it will be good.

The cost is around £1300.00 which is a bargain as far as sound quality goes, I have heard nothing better to date.

If you are tempted you will not be disappointed by it, much recommended :)

 

alexh

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May I ask what you ordered?
Talk about missing the bloody obvious ........

It is the DDDAC 1794 NOS DAC.

I ordered 1 main board kit with the Wave IO USB input, 3 more Dac modules, 2 off 12v power supplies, 1 off 5v PS, 1 off DDDAC1543 SPDIF module and the two Sowter transformers.

Just for the hell of it I use AN Tantalum non magnetic 2w resistors for the IV conversion.

 

Brumjam

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Very interesting Alex. I've just ordered this kit albeit in basic form to begin with. The four board version of this DAC that I have heard was very impressive.

Let me know how it sounds with eight boards. Have you put yours in a case yet?

Cheers,

James

 

lordmortlock

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I believe our man Crimson Donkey uses one of these. I think he's pretty impressed with it.

 

adsa

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Sorry. I should have been more specific. I looked at the site and the stacked 1543 looks very tasty. Very interested in making my own. Thanks for starting the thread.

 

crimsondonkey

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I believe our man Crimson Donkey uses one of these. I think he's pretty impressed with it.
He does indeed!

P1010004.jpg


This is an old photo, I've fitted balanced connectors to match the circuitry on the Ayre preamp and its improved things further.

Credit must go to IanS1 who first took the plunge and then built mine for me. He has a 4 DAC board version with Mungdorf silver gold caps. We've tried both in my set up and the improvement is there, bit more weight and a bit more air.

We are now clubbing together to make a separate 'play-board' to experiment with. Keeping it as one DAC board and then using Tentlabs shunt regs and playing around with different IV resistors. To be honest I think that will yield more improvement than 4 boards, and of course we'll be able to find out soon enough.

Then we'll have a look at the Sowter transformers vs some exotic caps, maybe Duelund etc.

One things for certain, its the best digital I've heard, especially in Ian's system. I had no hesitation in selling my Wadia 581iSE (rrp £10k) once I'd heard the DDDAC!

 

alexh

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Hi James, Yes I have made a case for it machined out of billet Aluminium. I can send you the drawings for it if you can read DWG or DXF files. I need to fine tune the drawing beforehand as I got a couple of sums wrong that were picked up by the engineers.

It will cost around £600.00 unless you can do the machining but it is a nice strong case :D

I will try to get photo`s up together later.

 

IanS1

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Hi Alex, would love to see the case drawings, DXF no problem. I'll PM you my email address.

 

Crom

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Interesting thread. I started a DAC build a few months ago and it's still going strong. i ended up going for the Buffalo IIIse but looked at this exact model when I was working out which way to go. It would be great to have a bake off but mine isn't very transportable at the moment ;-)

I have almost reached the point where I need to start to think about boxes and alexh's machined aluminium sounds really exciting. I'd love to see the results and perhaps a group buy is an option?

I went through trying loads of IV capacitors and have ended up with the duelund coppers....oh my they're lovely!! I have 4 x Mundorf silver gold etc going if anyone's interested. I keep meaning to stick them on here.

I will get around to updating the thread at some point! Nice work!

 
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alexh

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I am a bit buried with work at the moment, but over the weekend I will fine tune the drawing for the case, there will be 2 options, one for the 4 stack and a taller one for the 8 stack.

I can ask about a group buy if wanted, I am sure there will be some saving on a few off. I will be able to send the DWG files to whoever wants them in case you have a friendly machinist.

 

Crom

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CAST's or Alexander's Crom ?
Casts: 2.2uF 630v. There seemed to be a special promotion on them a few weeks ago and I got them from Nick at hificollective. It does seem an insane amount of money to spend on capacitors but they do improve on the mundorf silver/gold/oil which I had before...and I thought they were great!!

- - - Updated - - -

there will be 2 options, one for the 4 stack and a taller one for the 8 stack.
Sounds amazing but maybe too specifically designed for the DDDAC for my requirements - if not I'm definitely interested - and anyway, I'd like to get something special designed for my own so it would be good to see what's possible and how to go about it.

 

Crom

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there will be 2 options, one for the 4 stack and a taller one for the 8 stack.
Sounds amazing but maybe too specifically designed for the DDDAC for my requirements - if not I'm definitely interested - and anyway, I'd like to get something special designed for my own so it would be good to see what's possible and how to go about it.

 

undarra

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This sounds like a good project, however is the performance as good for spdif input as usb? I've had a look on the dddac website regarding price etc. and couldn't see a spdif input board listed. Could anyone that's bought one let me know how much it was please. Many thanks, Si

 

undarra

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Me Again. Crom - If i decide to build one of these i might be interested in a couple of the Mundorf silver/gold/oils you have going spare. What values are they and how much would you be looking for a pair?

Thanks, Si

 

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