The Seventy Nine Dollar DAC
#151
18th May 2009
Old 18th May 2009
  #151
Gear nut
 
Cpartipilo's Avatar
 

Hi Guys,

I did the mods this weekend and to my (very) untrained ears it sounds really good. Of course i have never heard other "really good" studios to compare. Anyway i'm satisfied with the result.

I tested it against my RME ADI8-pro and it has much better frequency response, sounds more full in the low and high end.

I replaced most caps with Panasonic FM's and replaced the 2 ceramic disc caps for Panasonic ECQ-P 0.1uf. Upped the power supply caps from 2200uf to 2700uf. replaced most tantalums with FM 47uf and replaced the opamp with the 2 ADA4898-1 in the brown dog adapter. changing the opamp became easier than i expected. Of course i destroyed the original op amp but i was not going to use that either way. I also bypased the 47uf that replaced the tantalums with Panasonic ECQ-P 0.1uf in the back of the board.

When i have a chance to order some of the high end 0.1uf caps i'll try them there to see what difference i get.
Can anyone recommend other bypass caps besides the MIT that jim recommended already?

I forgot to order the 100uf caps but didn't realize it until i had taken one out next to the ADC chip so i put in an extra 470uf one i had. I don't know if this was the right thing to do based on the design and the specs of the DAC chip. If it's not right and i should go back to 100uf please someone let me know.

Gear Pr0n to follow:
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#152
20th May 2009
Old 20th May 2009
  #152
any chance to get this in germany?
#153
20th May 2009
Old 20th May 2009
  #153
Gear nut
 
Cpartipilo's Avatar
 

#154
20th May 2009
Old 20th May 2009
  #154
Lives for gear
 
jackinthebox's Avatar
 

[QUOTE=Jim Williams;3596596]I installed the Analog Devices ADA4898-1 on a Brown Dog 031101A header and put it in. It sounds great. Much better than the National LME49722MA. It has better low end depth and extension, much better top end details.


I may have found an alternative which negates the need for a brown dog. Having not tried the 4898 i cannot do a direct comparison but it seems to be a vast improvement already. It was fitted by my neighbour Sven Olsen (chillisoundworks@ymail.com) I've yet to upgrade the caps so it's not fully customised yet. The replacement part is an Analogue Devices AD8599 which isn't as easily available apparently, unless you have a trade account with Analogue Devices. It's a dual chip so it fits directly surface mounted onto the board without the need for a brown dog. Here's a pic for anyone who's interested. I really need to get the brown dog version as well for a decent comparison. Waiting for the chips to arrive now.

[IMG]<a href="http://s669.photobucket.com/albums/vv55/jackintheboxmusic/?action=view&current=DSC00177.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i669.photobucket.com/albums/vv55/jackintheboxmusic/DSC00177.jpg" border="0" alt="Jackintheboxstudios"></a>[/IMG]


Have you any experience of this chip Jim?

Cheers

Jackthumbsupthumbsupthumbsupthumbsupthumbsupthumbsupthumbsup
Jim Williams
Thread Starter
#155
21st May 2009
Old 21st May 2009
  #155
Gear Guru
 

Thread Starter
The AD8599 is a very low noise audio dual opamp. I use them for apps that folks want quiet yet soft tops. It is slower, a 15 v/us slew rate vs 65 v/us slew rate for the ADA4898. It also does not have the output current either.

I find it to sound soft with transients, less bass and top end extension than the 4898.The LME49722 is a better choice if you don't want to mess with adaptors.

A single version, the AD8597 is also available.

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades
#156
22nd May 2009
Old 22nd May 2009
  #156
Lives for gear
 
jackinthebox's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
The AD8599 is a very low noise audio dual opamp. I use them for apps that folks want quiet yet soft tops. It is slower, a 15 v/us slew rate vs 65 v/us slew rate for the ADA4898. It also does not have the output current either.

I find it to sound soft with transients, less bass and top end extension than the 4898.The LME49722 is a better choice if you don't want to mess with adaptors.

A single version, the AD8597 is also available.

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades
Thanks for the info. Perhaps i should have hung on and got the part you recommended. Or maybe i could get another convertor! If only i had more digital outs on my multiface!
#157
29th May 2009
Old 29th May 2009
  #157
Gear maniac
 

I'm interested in this converter!
My question is, I'm planing to connect it to a speaker selector that has balanced inputs. So that means I'm gonna have to get rca to xlr cables. Is there a downside to this? Will it work properly? Or do I need to get a unbalanced to balanced converter?

Thank you for your time!
#158
29th May 2009
Old 29th May 2009
  #158
Lives for gear
 
Jimbo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by radlid View Post
I'm interested in this converter!
My question is, I'm planing to connect it to a speaker selector that has balanced inputs. So that means I'm gonna have to get rca to xlr cables. Is there a downside to this? Will it work properly? Or do I need to get a unbalanced to balanced converter?

Thank you for your time!
It will work fine.
#159
29th May 2009
Old 29th May 2009
  #159
Gear maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimbo View Post
It will work fine.

Thanks Jimbo!

Have you or anybody compared it to the stock converter in a Mac Desktop is there a significant improvement?
#160
29th May 2009
Old 29th May 2009
  #160
Gear nut
 
Cpartipilo's Avatar
 

i am using a Rane balance buddy with mine but it worked fine without it also.
i just wanted to bump the level to +4 but it puts out a good signal.
#161
29th May 2009
Old 29th May 2009
  #161
Lives for gear
 
Jimbo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by radlid View Post
Thanks Jimbo!

Have you or anybody compared it to the stock converter in a Mac Desktop is there a significant improvement?
Nope, but I have done a direct A/B against the converter in a late model Marantz DVD player (nothing fancy), and the $79 DAC was clearly superior (pun intended) -- and that was using my home hifi.
#162
29th May 2009
Old 29th May 2009
  #162
Lives for gear
 
iomegaman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by radlid View Post
Thanks Jimbo!

Have you or anybody compared it to the stock converter in a Mac Desktop is there a significant improvement?
Not sure if this comparison is even warranted.

A desktops audio path is generally a parenthetical addition that probably avoids significant quality for the sake of mass production and small footprint.

There is also a lot of DC noise inherit in a desktop, so a stand-alone converter with a decent psu/isolation path will almost always be a better choice.

I have A/B's this against Lynx, Apogee, Edirol, MOTU, and without a scientific test it held its own quite well.

You will definitely hear detail that is missing in a desktops D/A path.
#163
29th May 2009
Old 29th May 2009
  #163
Gear maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by iomegaman View Post
Not sure if this comparison is even warranted.

A desktops audio path is generally a parenthetical addition that probably avoids significant quality for the sake of mass production and small footprint.

There is also a lot of DC noise inherit in a desktop, so a stand-alone converter with a decent psu/isolation path will almost always be a better choice.

I have A/B's this against Lynx, Apogee, Edirol, MOTU, and without a scientific test it held its own quite well.

You will definitely hear detail that is missing in a desktops D/A path.
Very informative.

Thank you!
#164
30th May 2009
Old 30th May 2009
  #164
Gear interested
 

Hi Jim,
a little response on Your below quote:

[QUOTE=Jim Williams;4207509]The AD8599 is a very low noise audio dual opamp. I use them for apps that folks want quiet yet soft tops. It is slower, a 15 v/us slew rate vs 65 v/us slew rate for the ADA4898. It also does not have the output current either.

I find it to sound soft with transients, less bass and top end extension than the 4898.The LME49722 is a better choice if you don't want to mess with adaptors.]

I have tried the LM's from National and unfortunately to my ears find them very to extremely clean, but also 'lifeless' IE. bit plain with no musical sparkle where present/needed.

I have some of Your recommended AD single chip's on sample order with Analog and look very much forward to a listen to that solution. Many thanks for making me/us aware of this option.

I do find with the AD8599 adaptation, a sound image very close to Your quote. I have for other applications had very, very good results with the this chip. What is also apparent is that the unit quite desperately is in need of better capacitors in the signal path... (bass is unpresent and resolution needs improving - have a grim suspicion with the tantalums for starters). So hopefully owl is up for that 'Doctoring' as well as Your recommended AD chips on the nice Brown dog adaptor.

Many thanks and best regards
Sven R. Olsen aka 'Dr' O
Chilli Sound Works
#165
3rd June 2009
Old 3rd June 2009
  #165
Gear nut
 

...

Why does it appear that the $79DAC costs $105? Did the price increase or did I miss something?


--thanks
#166
3rd June 2009
Old 3rd June 2009
  #166
Lives for gear
 
iomegaman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by platypipros View Post
Why does it appear that the $79DAC costs $105? Did the price increase or did I miss something?


--thanks
You gotta catch it on sale...there may be a discount code...I dunno...I got mine with a code and it reduced the price.
#167
3rd June 2009
Old 3rd June 2009
  #167
Lives for gear
 
Piedpiper's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
They are, I use them in my speaker crossovers and my console's stereo mix buss.
They are too big to fit in this box. That's why I went with the MIT's.

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades
Anything available in a primo film cap in something like 24-50V?
#168
3rd June 2009
Old 3rd June 2009
  #168
Gear nut
 

...

Quote:
Originally Posted by iomegaman View Post
You gotta catch it on sale...there may be a discount code...I dunno...I got mine with a code and it reduced the price.

ohh, I see...well anybody gotta discount code they are willing to offer up? I tried the source code that was mentioned but it did not work.
It would much be appreciated as this thing just fits into my budget, (with cables and replacement chips etc...).

--thanks
#169
4th June 2009
Old 4th June 2009
  #169
Lives for gear
 

Okay,even $105 has got my attention. So ,I have zilch ability with modding anything and I am wondering,how does this little puppy sound as is? If the mods do make that much of a difference is anyone here with skill(besides Jim,of course Jim would be good too)willing to do a job for some $cratch? Also,IF the answer is no(so be it) do you guys think that I would hear any major improvement running from my M-Audio 24/96 via the spdif cable with this box as is? It's almost worth the $105 just to see.....I said ALMOST!

Thanks foamboy
#170
7th June 2009
Old 7th June 2009
  #170
Lives for gear
 
Jimbo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by foamboy View Post
Okay,even $105 has got my attention. So ,I have zilch ability with modding anything and I am wondering,how does this little puppy sound as is? If the mods do make that much of a difference is anyone here with skill(besides Jim,of course Jim would be good too)willing to do a job for some $cratch? Also,IF the answer is no(so be it) do you guys think that I would hear any major improvement running from my M-Audio 24/96 via the spdif cable with this box as is? It's almost worth the $105 just to see.....I said ALMOST!

Thanks foamboy
MCM probably accepts returns.
#171
7th June 2009
Old 7th June 2009
  #171
Lives for gear
 
sunflute's Avatar
 

Or you can just order this one:

The Beresford TC-7510 DAC

This is a highly modded version of the MCM one.

Peace
Marco


Quote:
Originally Posted by foamboy View Post
Okay,even $105 has got my attention. So ,I have zilch ability with modding anything and I am wondering,how does this little puppy sound as is? If the mods do make that much of a difference is anyone here with skill(besides Jim,of course Jim would be good too)willing to do a job for some $cratch? Also,IF the answer is no(so be it) do you guys think that I would hear any major improvement running from my M-Audio 24/96 via the spdif cable with this box as is? It's almost worth the $105 just to see.....I said ALMOST!

Thanks foamboy
#172
16th June 2009
Old 16th June 2009
  #172
Gear interested
 

Has anyone here tried the resistor mods yet for the MCM $79 DAC? Maybe someone here can explain what jumping those two resistors does(r11 & r14), and if it is even necessary with the AD4898 op amp Jim Williams suggested. I can't find anything other than the PDF on the Beresford site.

Here is the PDF I'm referring to: http://www.beresford.me/Downloads/Mod21.pdf
Thanks,
JC
Jim Williams
Thread Starter
#173
16th June 2009
Old 16th June 2009
  #173
Gear Guru
 

Thread Starter
#174
20th June 2009
Old 20th June 2009
  #174
Gear addict
 
muddy's Avatar
 

jim, what do you think the likelihood is of an m-audio fw1814's modifications being the same (or similar) to this unit's? on the other hand, do you think the components and/or mod's that it needed would be obvious? has anyone here (outside of bla) successfully attempted to upgrade one? i'm thinking of maybe practicing on this box. and please excuse the naivete of my questions .


ml
#175
13th July 2009
Old 13th July 2009
  #175
Lives for gear
 

Hope this thing's worth its seven pages (just pulled the trigger on one myself to see what the fuss is about).

I saw a request in here for a BOM of the mod parts. That would be great if anyone can. The exact Mouser/DigiKey part numbers are always nice to know.

-Thanks for all the other info on it!
#176
25th July 2009
Old 25th July 2009
  #176
Gear maniac
 
Blu Exile's Avatar
 

I don't have the soldering to attempt to MOD this DAC. (I can barely fix cables) I need a good D/A and I was looking at an older Lucid DA 9624 for like $350 used, or one of these modded. Anybody know how those two would compare ?

I was checking Ebay for one of these models premodded and was sure I would find one.... I don't think I had any luck though. I'm kind of nervous about buying from that one beresfoot overseas site.

If anybody has one of these they're already modded I'd be interested in buying it .
#177
26th July 2009
Old 26th July 2009
  #177
Lives for gear
 
Faderjockey's Avatar
Not sure what the Lucid sounds like,.. But the MCM killed RME even stock..with the mods it sounds great..

I still like my D/A on the Dangerous D-Box better.. But something like MOTU or RME I think this MCM will beat it.

If your trying to be any kind of audio engineer You need to learn to Solder.. It's not hard. But learning just that then repairing or fixing things will make you a better engineer.. It's amazing how the audio side will improve just from you doing all your own cables and learning to fix things..

I was preached to many years ago for the same thing..And it did pay off.
#178
30th July 2009
Old 30th July 2009
  #178
Gear addict
 

I received my Beresford TC-7510 today, currently using it as a headphone amp. Still needs to burn in, but already sounds very very nice. Not sure if I'll ever mod it.
#179
31st July 2009
Old 31st July 2009
  #179
Gear Head
 
Gus Elg's Avatar
 

I plugged in my MCM DAC yesterday and listened to a couple of records... first impressions are that it's a decent DAC - on par with my M-Audio Profire 2626 and the Presonus Central Station I used to have. It does not sound as good as my Lavry DA10 or Apogee Trak2 DAC w/option, but it was only $85 after all.

A question for Jim Williams or any others that may have analyzed the circuit more than I have:

I see the 4558 opamp on there, and also the LM386's. The DAC has a variable output and a fixed output, and the volume control affects the variable out and the headphone out. Is the variable out fed by the 386's? Is the 4558 for the fixed output only? I looked at the board but eye tracing circuits on double-layer SMD boards is pretty difficult and my scope is at my other workplace across town...
Jim Williams
Thread Starter
#180
31st July 2009
Old 31st July 2009
  #180
Gear Guru
 

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gus Elg View Post
I plugged in my MCM DAC yesterday and listened to a couple of records... first impressions are that it's a decent DAC - on par with my M-Audio Profire 2626 and the Presonus Central Station I used to have. It does not sound as good as my Lavry DA10 or Apogee Trak2 DAC w/option, but it was only $85 after all.

A question for Jim Williams or any others that may have analyzed the circuit more than I have:

I see the 4558 opamp on there, and also the LM386's. The DAC has a variable output and a fixed output, and the volume control affects the variable out and the headphone out. Is the variable out fed by the 386's? Is the 4558 for the fixed output only? I looked at the board but eye tracing circuits on double-layer SMD boards is pretty difficult and my scope is at my other workplace across town...
You are correct. Do replace that 4558 and the caps for best sonics.

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades
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