Sunday, April 27, 2014

Tweaked ES9018 Sabre-Lundahl LL1570XL

Yesterday I had a chance to swap 80Mhz clock to 100Mhz clock, now Amanero USB with sabre can sing DSD files fluently, not still as good using SPIF, need to build Amanero isolator board from
and maybe tweak the power supply for Amanero.
But for now sabre with 100Mhz clock sound better than 80Mhz clock, I dunno why, I have not measuring equipment, just two ears :)

My friend loan me a pair of Lundahl LL1570 XL, so why not try it on my Sabre :)
and, yes the result is amazing. I put 10k parallel with Rifa 10uF, bypassed with Vishay MKP1837 100nF and vishay MKP1830 10nF cap between primary CT to chassis ground as mentioned how to put Lundahl LL1684.
Amazing staging and tonality, but too much polite sound for my ears.
I need a little more dynamics.
Maybe I must try tube stage(s) after v/i transformer, or push pull tube circuit using output transformer.
still need a lot of learning.
cheers and happy monday everybody!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Tweaked ES9018 Sabre

After comparing this DAC to my reference DAC, EAD DSP9000 Mk III, I feel my hand made ES9018 cannot bring the high notes as good as EAD, and the lower bass not punchy.
I try simple tweaking, changed the first supply capacitor from Kendeil K-05 22.000uF to be 6 pcs Panasonc FC 1000uF for analog regulator.
the result is good, detailed high notes but still not punchy bass.
This time I try to put 2pcs Elna Silmic II 2200uF, and yes, after 30 minutes running, there detail of high notes and punchy bass.
Now my ES9018 very good in staging position and detail. but i think this journey still on the road and need a lot of my spare times.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Sabre ES9018 DAC hand assembled by Indonesian

Finally, my DAC.. almost finish.
Just the SPDIF input only for now, already installed Amanero USB board but not yet upgrade the clock, I installed 80 Mhz CMOS TCXO 3.3v which is cannot playing DSD files fluently, hiss (like burst of white noise) when changed from tracks.
Hifiduino confirmed that.
I learned a lot to build this DAC,  new technology which is capable to blend between hardware (ES9018 it self, power supply design regulator design, transformer v/i out, spdif TTL...) and software (Arduino) and don't forget the metalworks
This is my first journey soldering SMD parts, micro controller.
now let the pictures talk...