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Old 15th February 2012
  #5
That's a lot of scratch for an essentially out of date DAC design.

You have Analog Devices AD1853 DAC chips, obsolete and replaced by the AD1953/55 DAC's as used in my Bricasti M7 reverb. An ESS or BurrBrown PCM/DSD1792A chipset easily beat this.

Then there are Lundahl output transformers, their specs are worse in phase reponse and THD than several DAC chipsets. A Jensen JT-11-BMCF would solve that, but it's too big to fit that case. Why iron is used in a DAC other than to color or flavor the sound is not clear to me, unless that is the desired result.

There are several SOIC opamps, unknown types. Add a few surface mout electrolytics, maybe it's servoed.

The deal breaker is the gold plated XLR connectors. That is a sure sign appearance is paramount. Plating the shell of an XLR adds nothing to the sound or quality, it's cosmetic.

If anyone wants the sound of this for one hundred bucks, send me an email. I have an Analog Devices AD1853 DAC eval pcb wired up with a power supply and ready to plug and play. It probably has better opamps installed, I did add good ones. If you want that Lundahl sound, just patch it into one and there you go, $9,500 saved.

It just won't be as pretty.