The Seventy Nine Dollar DAC
Jim Williams
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#1
17th September 2008
Old 17th September 2008
  #1
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Last edited by Jim Williams; 18th September 2008 at 03:37 AM.. Reason: fixed part #
#2
17th September 2008
Old 17th September 2008
  #2
Hmm, tried the model number and nothing came up, and tried the source code and a $100 cable went into my cart.
#3
17th September 2008
Old 17th September 2008
  #3
Gear maniac
 
Chris Nighman's Avatar
 

Try 50-7774 thumbsup
#4
1st October 2008
Old 1st October 2008
  #4
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Jimbo's Avatar
Just got the box yesterday, and hooked it into the hifi. I'm using it for all my digital sources (CD, Satellite/XM, Airport).

Cool little unit, and sounds much nicer (stock) than the onboard conversion of the digital players/receivers.

I'm going to do the National opamp swap for kicks.

Jim, what audio market segment does the Burrbrown converter hit? All the proaudio stuff seems hooked on Cirrus and AKM.

Thanks for the headzup! thumbsup
#5
1st October 2008
Old 1st October 2008
  #5
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How does the sound quality compare to typical pro-audio DAC's? Can you put it on the same level as as particular unit out there?
#6
1st October 2008
Old 1st October 2008
  #6
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Jimbo's Avatar
I'll do an A/B against my Metric Halo converters and post what I find.
#7
1st October 2008
Old 1st October 2008
  #7
i think i will buy this for my new ITB mix room.

there is no sync for my other converters, but if its just for monitoring, i can't imagine that would be a huge deal.... right?
#8
1st October 2008
Old 1st October 2008
  #8
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Jimbo's Avatar
#9
1st October 2008
Old 1st October 2008
  #9
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Jimbo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by shaneoconnor View Post
i think i will buy this for my new ITB mix room.

there is no sync for my other converters, but if its just for monitoring, i can't imagine that would be a huge deal.... right?
You don't need to sync the DAC when monitoring.
#10
2nd October 2008
Old 2nd October 2008
  #10
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This looks pretty good - does anyone know if it is available in the UK? I don't havea credit card and that company won't take paypal :(
#11
20th October 2008
Old 20th October 2008
  #11
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Jimbo's Avatar
BTW, the discount code still applies -- I just checked the MCM website.
#12
22nd October 2008
Old 22nd October 2008
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimbo View Post
BTW, the discount code still applies -- I just checked the MCM website.
Thanks Jimbo, did you ever compare it to the metric halo?

I ordered the National chips as well coming on a slow boat from China...

What other mods would improve this? Recommend a different headphone chip?

thanxz
#13
22nd October 2008
Old 22nd October 2008
  #13
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Jimbo's Avatar
I still haven't compared it to the MH...sorry.

It's pretty far down on my list of things to do, especially since I'm not using it for recording work. For the Hi-Fi, though, it's been very, very good.

I don't believe there are any drop-in, replacement headphone amps available. I haven't, yet, performed the 4558 replacement, but I plan to soon.
#14
23rd October 2008
Old 23rd October 2008
  #14
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iomegaman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimbo View Post
I still haven't compared it to the MH...sorry.

It's pretty far down on my list of things to do, especially since I'm not using it for recording work. For the Hi-Fi, though, it's been very, very good.

I don't believe there are any drop-in, replacement headphone amps available. I haven't, yet, performed the 4558 replacement, but I plan to soon.
Well if you need a chip let me know, National is sending me 2 and I'll be glad to snaill mail ya one...once it gets here that is...just pm if you need it.
#15
23rd October 2008
Old 23rd October 2008
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
I'm lifting up the National LME49722 and putting in a couple of new ADA4898-1's on a Brown Dog so-8 dual to so-8 single adaptor. These are very good sounding opamps, new and very good specs. Report coming...

I've not found a pin compatible replacement for the 386 heaphone amp chips.
I also replaced those LED's with some Kingbrite blue, blue/green, red and green high output LED's. It lights up a dark room in cool colors.

All caps were changed to large value Panasonic FM types.

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades
Sounds interesting indeed....how would you rank this puppy next to a fireface AD? Meaning with Nationals or ADA chips......very curious if this might be a cheap as chips upgrade to my mix listening.....?
#16
23rd October 2008
Old 23rd October 2008
  #16
ok so i am sold, i will be getting one of these.

i still needa monitor switch and a mono fold down. how hard would it be to build a passive box that does that?
#17
23rd October 2008
Old 23rd October 2008
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
I found a nice budget converter. It's the model 50-7774 from MCM electronics.

[...]
A bargain recommendation from Jim Williams! A nice surprise. I suspect a lot of us are looking to stretch our pennies, these days.

Thanks, Jim!



#18
23rd October 2008
Old 23rd October 2008
  #18
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nice.
now if only one could get a nice A to D for recording to the daw,
at such a price..lol.
#19
23rd October 2008
Old 23rd October 2008
  #19
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Could I bother one of you knowledgeable techs to put one of these DAC together for me?... ( but with AES conectors..)....eh
#20
23rd October 2008
Old 23rd October 2008
  #20
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hmmmmmm.

I'm tempted to get one just to use in conjunction with my M-Audio Transit. It would mean I could go,

Laptop ---USB---> M-Audio Transit ---Optical---> 50-7774 ---1/8 Inch---> Littledot MKI headphone amp ---1/8 Inch---> DT880's

If anyone thinks that's a bad decision please say so. Would it be worth the improvement of D/A conversion from just using the Transit?
#21
23rd October 2008
Old 23rd October 2008
  #21
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Jimbo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaymz View Post
hmmmmmm.

I'm tempted to get one just to use in conjunction with my M-Audio Transit. It would mean I could go,

Laptop ---USB---> M-Audio Transit ---Optical---> 50-7774 ---1/4 Inch---> Littledot MKI headphone amp ---1/4 Inch---> DT880's

If anyone thinks that's a bad decision please say so. Would it be worth the improvement of D/A conversion from just using the Transit?
Depending on your laptop you might be able to skip the Transit. Macs have optical out on the 1/8" mini jack -- you need an adapter. I don't know about Dell and other makes.
#22
23rd October 2008
Old 23rd October 2008
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimbo View Post
Depending on your laptop you might be able to skip the Transit. Macs have optical out on the 1/8" mini jack -- you need an adapter. I don't know about Dell and other makes.
My current laptop has no optical out. I don't mind passing it through the Transit though, won't affect the sound quality I'd assume since it's all digital until it hits the 50-7774 DAC.
#23
23rd October 2008
Old 23rd October 2008
  #23
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Sounds interesting. I'm willing to give one a shot. Wonder how it compares to a DAC-1 or even a Mackie 400f...?
#24
24th October 2008
Old 24th October 2008
  #24
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Jimbo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by iomegaman View Post
Well if you need a chip let me know, National is sending me 2 and I'll be glad to snaill mail ya one...once it gets here that is...just pm if you need it.
Thanks Omega Man!

That's a nice offer, and I'll let you know...
#25
24th October 2008
Old 24th October 2008
  #25
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Jimbo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
I installed the Analog Devices ADA4898-1 on a Brown Dog 031101A header and put it in.
Jim, are you using two AD chips on that BD adapter, or is the adapter just acting as a harness (for pinout compatibility) between the ADA4898 and the main board?

Thanks!
#26
24th October 2008
Old 24th October 2008
  #26
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iomegaman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimbo View Post
Are you using two AD chips on that BD adapter, or does the adapter just acting as a harness (for pinout compatibility) between the ADA4898 and the main board?

Thanks!
I'm sorta following Mr. Williams here I ordered the browndog and AD parts today...still I wish there was good replacement for the headphone amp...I'll dig around myself...but I haven't gotten my DAC yet so I'm shooting in the dark til I see it.
Jim Williams
Thread Starter
#27
25th October 2008
Old 25th October 2008
  #27
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Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimbo View Post
Jim, are you using two AD chips on that BD adapter, or is the adapter just acting as a harness (for pinout compatibility) between the ADA4898 and the main board?

Thanks!
The 2 ADA4898-1 chips are soldered to the adaptor, then it's soldered down onto the pcb. It's a vertical mount adaptor, very clever. It fits well but I removed the tall 470 uf caps to make some soldering room for it. It also has pins for 8 pin dips on it as well.

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades
#28
25th October 2008
Old 25th October 2008
  #28
Gear nut
 

This may be a somewhat naive question, but would this $79 DAC be a significant improvement to monitoring through the built in converters on a DIGI 001?
#29
26th October 2008
Old 26th October 2008
  #29
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79 dollars ? now it's $ 105 !!

Supply and demand for ya..... did all you guys go out and buy this, or what ?

Jim, how much would you charge me to mod this like yours ? ( except for the LEDS and cosmetic stuff) Please pm if interested..
#30
26th October 2008
Old 26th October 2008
  #30
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This has unbalanced -10 dBV outs then, right ?

would the fact that the outputs are -10 dBV and not pro level +4 dBV cause problems for me in my studio ? Would I have to buy an unbalanced to balanced gizmo and bring the levels up to +4 ? how do you incorporate a product like this into a pro studio ? If used for mastering, would you send the output through a preamp ?
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