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Miniature TDA1543 Brings The Goods


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I came across a post on this little guy sometime late last year and forgot all about it until lately when I spotted it on ebay. Made by a Frenchman who was impressed enough with the TDA1543 to design his own dac. He appears to have other non-audio products and seems to know what he is doing so I took a chance. Runs on 9v and/or external PS. The 9v can even be used simultaneously to buffer the external PS. It's VERY small, maybe 2"x2", if that. Almost all SMD components. Clean, simple board. Delivery time from France was just over a week.

 

And it sounds marvelous. Out the box, depth and instrument separation is very impressive. Articulation of each note, reminiscent of the DACiT. No sign yet of NOS 'warmth' or roll-off. Instead it's agile and transparent but with the musicality of a NOS. And this is with a crappy SMPS. As good as any DIY or retail $500 DAC I have heard, for sure. It's easy to dismiss the engaging nature of a NOS dac until you hear it. Just sounds 'right'. This one is a delicate balance between the analog and the 'openness' of newer chips.

 

It's ridiculous you can get this kind of performance for $100. Ridiculous. Unfortunately I don't remember the forum where I read about this dac in greater detail last year, so I can't provide more info or feedback other than what's presented on ebay. You will not regret the purchase.

 

Will report back after burn-in,

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Non-Oversampling-NOS-DAC-TDA1543-DIR9001-SPDIF-Coax-Optical-w-9V-NiMH-charger-/200712937687?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_2&hash=item2ebb6c60d7#ht_3767wt_952

 

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This looks like an ad. What do others think?

 

Mac mini late 2009 to TC Impact Twin by firewire, two 2 TB external USB drives plus networked from D-Link 323 NAS for music storage. Ethernet and WiFi connected to Sonos, Squeezebox Duet, Apple TV2 depending on listening room. Main 2 channel system: Jeff Rowland Consonance preamp, Krell D/A, Belles 350a amp to Von Schweikert VR4 Senior Mk2 speakers.

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Er, you could start by looking for any previous posts I may have made on this or any other forum. That is, if google and search functions are not *too* much effort for you. It IS 2012, after all, but you can still let your fingers do the walking...

 

unbelievable...

 

 

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I apologize if I misread your post's intention. No need for a nasty reply.

Peace.

 

Mac mini late 2009 to TC Impact Twin by firewire, two 2 TB external USB drives plus networked from D-Link 323 NAS for music storage. Ethernet and WiFi connected to Sonos, Squeezebox Duet, Apple TV2 depending on listening room. Main 2 channel system: Jeff Rowland Consonance preamp, Krell D/A, Belles 350a amp to Von Schweikert VR4 Senior Mk2 speakers.

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"The reply suited the post, however."

 

Indeed and yup. Generally, unless you really know what you're saying and it's your business, you should probably ignore, at the worst. After all, it's not the most terrible thing to be duped into being courteous to a salesman.

 

I got a Muse Dac recently for a lark because it was so cheap; I needed something for a non-critical situation. It seemed well enough made, and uses four of those Philips chips and a good receiver. It cost about $60 on Ebay. It sounds quite good, but I haven't made any critical comparisons.

 

I figure if they (whoever they are) can make complete cd/dvd players with at least ok dacs for $50, I guess they should be able to make at least a pretty good dac for about the same price.

 

-Chris

 

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"a different flavor of ice cream"

 

In principle all DACs should sound the same regardless of price. Accurate to the source file.

 

But they don't, so they are all 'incorrect'.

 

Take ships funnels. In the days of the ocean liner the funnels were designed to keep smoke off the deck. But they were all different, so obviously no one had a clue how to keep smoke off the deck.

 

Or supersonic airliners. Uninformed people said the Russian one was a copy of the UK/France Concorde. It wasn't. They were both designed to have a similar flight envelope so looked much the same. If they were different one of them would have been wrong. They were both equally wrong about the economics of course.

 

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"None are correct." The problem with "none are correct" implies: and never will be. And I don't believe that is correct, possible but.... Why? Because you're assuming all will be as always has been in dac technology, or in anything for that matter, when you make that sort of statement about that sort of thing.

 

If we'd been talking about one specific way of building dacs then perhaps you'd be correct, but we're just talking about digital to analog conversion in general, not technology/knowledge to do said that is available currently. Not to mention that we've left out A/D altogether.

 

-Chris

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hey Wushuliu, I got one these because I need to down size for various reasons. I was very much influenced by your post.

 

I got it yesterday. So far it sounds very good. I'm using a Pyramid power supply that I had laying around, cheap but pretty good (linear non-switching). It's about ten times the size of the dac. I don't have a battery yet either.

 

Do you have more thoughts on yours? Has burn in made any difference? How did you set yours up, seeing it's just a board. I spent quite some time figuring out how to jury rig a set-up. I ended up drilling a hole through the board (which I was really reluctant to do because there's very little clear space) and almost hit a trace. Yikes.

 

I did sort of an odd SQ test with it against my V-Dac. This test wasn't meant for testing audio components, it's really part of audio engineering listening. Anyway the test I ran involved playing back either sine waves, or sounds (snare drum, tympani, and wooden block) at different bit levels 16 bits and down. The Mini dac did a better job than the V-Dac at 12 bits. IOW the 12 bit signal only exhibited the slightest artifacts, while the artifacts with the V-Dac were more prominent, not awful but clearly audible. With the mini, very careful listening was needed.

 

What this means, I have no idea. I think it's a good thing though, as it should sound better when signals are recorded well below 0db, as that's when significant bits are lost.

 

BTW, anything below 12 bits sounded really bad on both.

 

-Chris

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Has anyone else heard this DAC?

 

Could it be "ganged together in a group of 4 for a low-cost 8-ch out x 8 digital in m- ch DAC?

 

If so can 1 power be used or would I need 4 ps?

 

I've not done DIY, do I just need any small box to put/ mount it to?

 

Does it take m-ch digital eg dts or only stereo?

 

Thanks

 

-Caleb

 

C.A.P.Sv2-Mytek Stereo192-Twisted Pair Audio Buffalo III M-ch-Sennheiser HD800-Beyerdynamic T1-Lexicon MC12b-Theta Dreadnought-Infinity Prelude MTS-Sonos-JRiver MC-12TB DataTale eSATA

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For your information

 

I received the following reply from eBay seller to the above questions...

 

 

 

Hi,

If you have 4 DACs, you will get 8 channels, but it will take only stereo, not DTS or AC3, so an external decoder (or pc,mac...) needs to provide 4 SPDIF (optical or coaxial, and up to 96kHz).

Power consumption is about 0.1Amps per board, so in most cases, a single power supply will work just fine.

Regarding the enclosure, I could send you pictures that one of my customers sent me, if you provide an email that can accept relatively large attachments, it would help you figuring out some ways to mount it.

Best regards,

 

 

- leopardo42

 

 

 

 

 

 

My follow-up question...

 

Yes, I forgot this is spdif without USB . I guess I'd need a m-ch sound card with a multiple spdif breakout cable output. Have you done this? Is there one you know of?

 

Do these DACs accept external clock? Maybe using the soundcard described it will be the clock for each connected DAC?.. I'm not expert in that

 

I will post this discussion on the post above. You can reply here or there

 

Ps I've bid on one to try it out...

 

Thanks

 

 

 

-Caleb

 

C.A.P.Sv2-Mytek Stereo192-Twisted Pair Audio Buffalo III M-ch-Sennheiser HD800-Beyerdynamic T1-Lexicon MC12b-Theta Dreadnought-Infinity Prelude MTS-Sonos-JRiver MC-12TB DataTale eSATA

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i'v got the muse , nothing special stock or moded, i prefer one tda1543 chip dac like my moodlab dice . more natural.

 

i think i will try the french one , because it looks clear and simple. just swapp the 47uf electrolyte with 10uf Mkp and perhaps also the big tantalum caps on board with sanyo oscon .

 

i'v got a 9V CLC power supply 1.5amp so let's play :)

 

PC audio /Roon + HQPLAYER / HOLO Spring 2 / / DIY AD1 SET tube amp  /  DIY Altec 2 way horn Speaker

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I guess I'd need a m-ch sound card with a multiple spdif breakout cable output.

 

For making a multichannel output with number of stereo-DACs, you'll need a way to run multiple S/PDIF / AES/EBU outputs with common clock source, so that they don't run out of sync.

 

There are two ways:

1) Use multi-AES sound card, like RME or Lynx

2) Use sound card that supports multi-card combo and has clock synchronization support (some M-Audio cards, etc)

 

To minimize likelihood of problems, I'd recommend (1).

 

 

Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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" For making a multichannel output with number of stereo-DACs, you'll need a way to run multiple S/PDIF / AES/EBU outputs with common clock source, so that they don't run out of sync. " ...

 

 

...and do you think this is a worthwhile endeavor, or is there a m-ch dac board (preferably USB / FireWire) to simplify the project. DIY is new to me, but I'm up for a try.

 

-Caleb

 

C.A.P.Sv2-Mytek Stereo192-Twisted Pair Audio Buffalo III M-ch-Sennheiser HD800-Beyerdynamic T1-Lexicon MC12b-Theta Dreadnought-Infinity Prelude MTS-Sonos-JRiver MC-12TB DataTale eSATA

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do you think this is a worthwhile endeavor, or is there a m-ch dac board (preferably USB / FireWire) to simplify the project.

 

At least it's not expensive from DAC point of view. The interface card costs a bit more, but on the other hand can be used to bundle set of almost any stereo DACs into multichannel system. And with something like Mytek DACs can be used to play back also DSD64, including multichannel. And when used with a suitable single DAC (like Mytek) can be asynchronously clocked by using word clock.

 

Good side of RME HDSPe AES is:

"If Output Format Professional is chosen, the output level is almost 5 Volt. If deselected, the output signal will have a channel status compatible to SPDIF. As far as we know, every SPDIF device should be capable of handling an input signal of up to 5 Volt instead of the usual 0.5 Volt. Nevertheless the output level will be reduced to 2 Volt in this case."

 

DIR9001 used on the DAC board supports also AES and is 5V input tolerant. So just soldering a suitable connection cable is enough.

 

 

Signalyst - Developer of HQPlayer

Pulse & Fidelity - Software Defined Amplifiers

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I want to pursue the idea of multi-Chanel DIY DAC but don't want to divert this thread, so I've started a new thread on that topic here

 

http://www.computeraudiophile.com/content/Multi-Chanel-DIY-DAC-New-DIY-Your-Guidance-Please

 

I'd welcome your input. Thanks

 

-Caleb

 

C.A.P.Sv2-Mytek Stereo192-Twisted Pair Audio Buffalo III M-ch-Sennheiser HD800-Beyerdynamic T1-Lexicon MC12b-Theta Dreadnought-Infinity Prelude MTS-Sonos-JRiver MC-12TB DataTale eSATA

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received mine today , put 2 nimh battery in series , swap the two electrolyte output caps with Film ones. and fire .. first it sounds better than the muse , no contest here the chinese board sounds dull compare to the froggy"s dac . compares to the metrum it is not the same match , the metrum octave sounds bigger , with more details and larger soudstage . the mini 1543 sounds just right very neutral with a little touch of warm in the medium. voice sounds better with it like on the unlistenable album of Agnes Obel . so for the first hours of listening , it is a pleasant suprise to see this cheap red square dac sounding as good ;

NOs is not dead... :)

 

PC audio /Roon + HQPLAYER / HOLO Spring 2 / / DIY AD1 SET tube amp  /  DIY Altec 2 way horn Speaker

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Hey juanitox,

 

Did you try it before swapping out the parts? Some have said that this mini sounds ideal with it's original parts and swapping in "better" parts actually does harm to the SQ.

 

I love it, by the way, in its original form.

 

-Chris

 

P.S. I've heard this before (not about the mini), that so-called better parts are not always better for a given application.

 

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