Homemade Quality DAC Is Easy

About: I conduct the blog, YouTube channel, I am engaged in reviews of various electronics, completions, alterations. I especially like power supplies.

Intro: Homemade Quality DAC Is Easy

It all started with the fact that I decided to make my audio system better.

Step 1: What You Need to Build

I decided to make myself a quality DAC, in addition to my audio equipment.To do this, I first ordered a set of components and a printed circuit board on the Taobao website.

Step 2: Equipment

The set includes a high-quality printed circuit board, as well as a set of all necessary components except the USB-SPDIF converter board, I'll talk about it later.

The documentation for the assembly is not included in the kit, but all the necessary information is indicated on the printed circuit board, it will be very easy to assemble.

Some components that are more difficult to solder have already been installed on the board.

Step 3: Component Installation Part 1

First I install resistors and capacitors. In the process there was only one problem, instead of 470 Ohm resistors I was given a nominal value of 560 Ohm, but this is not so important and easy to determine.

Also, the quartz resonator should be soldered additionally.

Step 4: Component Installation Part 2

Next you need to install the diodes, they are all installed in one direction, making a mistake is hard.

Step 5: Component Installation Part 3

The installation of capacitors is also relatively simple, first we install the largest capacitors, the rest we put according to the markings on the board.

Step 6: Component Installation Part 4

It remains to install the connectors, just do as shown in the photo :)

Step 7: XMOS Board

If you want your DAC to have not only a SPDIF input, but a USB, then we buy a special card, a link to it and other components will be at the end of the review.

Step 8: Component Installation Part 5

If you bought a XMOS card, then install it and it. In the kit there were all the necessary connectors and mounting racks.

I ran into one problem here. One of the capacitors on the main board was too high and interfered with the installation. I had to solder one of the small yellow capacitors to another location.

But in the end everything turned out all right.

Step 9: Control Board

Since the DAC has a multitude of switchable inputs and several operating modes, a control and display board is provided in the kit.It is included in the total delivery.

Step 10: Component Installation Part 6

Here the installation process is exactly the same as it was before, all indispensable instructions are on the printed circuit board, the rest can be done from my photos.

Step 11: Component Installation Part 7

The last step of the general assembly is the connection of the wires and the display.

In the inventory we get such a set, we can assume that almost everything is ready.

Step 12: A Small Feature.

It turned out that immediately the device does not want to work, I had to close two contacts on the control board. They are needed to control the inclusion, but are not used here.

Step 13: ​The First Check

The first check showed that everything works fine.

Step 14: Choice of Transformer.

The board requires three supplies:

1. 2x15 Volts

2. 9-12 Volts

3. 9-12 Volts

1. The winding consists of two with a tap from the middle.

2, 3. Two independent windings.

The manufacturer often uses a 5-30 W transformer, but my tests showed that the board's consumption is very low and 5-10 watts is really enough.

Step 15: Housing

Usually all the assembled devices need a casing.

This time I decided to use the case from the satellite receiver, it turned out to be very convenient.From the body, I took out everything that was there, and some components were removed earlier.

Step 16: Housing 2

I install the board inside the case, some mechanical work may be necessary here.

Step 17: Housing, Alternative

On the seller's page there are ready-made versions of the case, you can simply buy it, but then it will not be so interesting to collect :)

Step 18: Front Panel

I had minor problems with installing the indicator on the front panel, I also had to use mechanical work.

Step 19: Finishing the Assembly

To make the power supply I used a circuit board, two transformers - 15 + 15 volts for one and two windings of 12 volts for the second.

Also I made a filter from interference on the input power supply.After that, I installed everything in the case.

Step 20: All Is Ready

As a result, I received a ready-made device. On the right side of the case there is a compartment for installing the access card.

At this point, I plan to place the output for headphones, and install an A-class amplifier for them inside the case.

Step 21: Drivers

If you plan to use the device with a USB connection, you will need drivers, you can download them from here, with no installation problems, you can install the latest drivers.

Step 22: Upgrade

Even after the assembly, I conducted experiments with the replacement of capacitors, since I had doubts about their originality.

Capacitors of another company were used, but it did not give any result, therefore you can leave those that have already been installed.

Step 23: Upgrade 2

Also I tried to replace the amplifier but tested, but also everything remained unchanged, I think that the amplifier is original :)

Step 24: Additional Information and Links

Video version of the review, in the end there is a demonstration of the work.

The main DAC board and control board - Link

XMOS board - Link

Great review in my blog (in Russian) - Link

Because of the fact that I can not buy directly on the Taobao website, I used an intermediary. Link for registration, a new buyer a discount of 10 dollars when buying for $ 50 or more. - Link

The Yoybue showed himself just fine, I recommend.

This product is also on the website of Aliexpress, but the price is higher..

DAC - Link

XMOS - Link

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    Discussions

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    MatthewM425

    3 days ago

    I notice that you have used a 2 pin power plug with no earth. That is OK if your project is double insulated. You have used a metal box to house everything so this is not double insulated. An earth is required for safety. If anybody else attempts this build please ensure you earth properly to avoid potential of injury or worse!