Cheapy Chinese DACs

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Fretless
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Cheapy Chinese DACs

Unread post by Fretless » Tue Jan 01, 2019 2:21 pm

In need of something that can give me remote volume control for my TV's cobbled-together audio system. I have spotted this on AliExpress:

Image

Only costs about 15 pounds and looks similar to Doc's cheapo-DAC but then with remote.

Should be coming in a week or 2. :dance:
Main: NVA: P50sa - SSP - A40 - LS6 - Cube2
Pi: Allo DigiOne Signature/Volumio/Tomanek LPSU/Jitterbug
DAC: Metrum Acoustics Musette CD Transport: Cambridge CXC
Headphones: AQ NightHawk & NightOwl Amp: Schiit Magni-3
DAC: Cambridge DacMagic Plus + Sbooster LPSU

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Dr Bunsen Honeydew
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Re: Cheapy Chinese DACs

Unread post by Dr Bunsen Honeydew » Tue Jan 01, 2019 2:28 pm

Get a good Chinese Linear Power Supply for it, makes LARGE improvement.

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Fretless
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Re: Cheapy Chinese DACs

Unread post by Fretless » Tue Jan 01, 2019 2:29 pm

Will check it out Doc, Thanks.
Main: NVA: P50sa - SSP - A40 - LS6 - Cube2
Pi: Allo DigiOne Signature/Volumio/Tomanek LPSU/Jitterbug
DAC: Metrum Acoustics Musette CD Transport: Cambridge CXC
Headphones: AQ NightHawk & NightOwl Amp: Schiit Magni-3
DAC: Cambridge DacMagic Plus + Sbooster LPSU

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Fretless
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Re: Cheapy Chinese DACs

Unread post by Fretless » Wed Jan 09, 2019 12:37 am

DAC is in - fun watching the AliExpress tracking system and following the thing all the way from China.

Sitting now in place in my TV setup - Toslink from Television to DAC and then outputting to a pair of Creative computer speakers on either side of the screen with a huge old Sony subwoofer stashed behind.

Just got a normal wall-wart powering the unit for now, but the SQ is nice and clear with good definition of voices and effects, music does come across more naturally than before as well.

Nice to have remote volume control again, the unit increases it in steps and I don't hear any distortion or nasties. After about an hour you could hear the unit settling in and becoming smoother.

When I have some time I'll try running it in a music-only system. For now I'm very happy with it.
Main: NVA: P50sa - SSP - A40 - LS6 - Cube2
Pi: Allo DigiOne Signature/Volumio/Tomanek LPSU/Jitterbug
DAC: Metrum Acoustics Musette CD Transport: Cambridge CXC
Headphones: AQ NightHawk & NightOwl Amp: Schiit Magni-3
DAC: Cambridge DacMagic Plus + Sbooster LPSU

_D_S_J_R_
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Re: Cheapy Chinese DACs

Unread post by _D_S_J_R_ » Wed Jan 09, 2019 10:09 am

Be very careful with the mini-usb socket if that's what powers it. They don't seem to last long if used a lot. Price is excellent though and I didn't know about it. I've rescued the QED thingie for now fortunately, but would be good to have a spare with switched inputs.

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Fretless
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Re: Cheapy Chinese DACs

Unread post by Fretless » Wed Jan 09, 2019 10:17 am

I had already broken the USB socket on a NuForce uDac3. They aren't up to being intensively used.

This current unit gives you remote-control switching between Toslink and coax. The USB socket is only for power supply purposes.
Main: NVA: P50sa - SSP - A40 - LS6 - Cube2
Pi: Allo DigiOne Signature/Volumio/Tomanek LPSU/Jitterbug
DAC: Metrum Acoustics Musette CD Transport: Cambridge CXC
Headphones: AQ NightHawk & NightOwl Amp: Schiit Magni-3
DAC: Cambridge DacMagic Plus + Sbooster LPSU

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Classicrock
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Re: Cheapy Chinese DACs

Unread post by Classicrock » Wed Jan 09, 2019 10:41 am

Has anyone opened one of these up to see what DAC chip they use. Might be similar to some expensive kit?

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Dr Bunsen Honeydew
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Re: Cheapy Chinese DACs

Unread post by Dr Bunsen Honeydew » Wed Jan 09, 2019 10:59 am

Karatestu has pulled a fiver one apart, can't remember what he said apart from everything is very small and surface mount and hard to work on.

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karatestu
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Re: Cheapy Chinese DACs

Unread post by karatestu » Wed Jan 09, 2019 11:53 am

I can't work out from the markings on the dac chip what it is. Nobody on pfm could either. :cry:

6688A8CT is the only marking on it. It is a 28 leg surface mount affair.

:roll:
Naim, Linn & Harbeth fanboy

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Fretless
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Re: Cheapy Chinese DACs

Unread post by Fretless » Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:06 am

Well, that didn't last long.

From the indicator lamps, the unit appears to be working still - but without any output. Tried both coax and optical sources, output to both RCA and 3.5mm jack. Nothing. No sound.

There was a problem that I saw had affected more people running (other) stereo DAC's from TV sources; if you use a HDMI link from a satellite/set-top box then sometimes the Dolby encoding of the audio signal can disrupt the optical digital output from the TV, causing the DAC to lose synch on the data-stream. Mostly this seems to affect those with older Samsung TV's (like me). This happened to me a couple of times in the last 2 days. Just a case of power-off the DAC and restart. But at a certain moment it wouldn't do anything anymore.

Another possible fix is to use only non-HDMI inputs (SCART, component - with less-sharp picture definition) and this might avoid the digital confusion.

Anyway - DAC is dead. Don't know if I can be bothered to replace it.
Main: NVA: P50sa - SSP - A40 - LS6 - Cube2
Pi: Allo DigiOne Signature/Volumio/Tomanek LPSU/Jitterbug
DAC: Metrum Acoustics Musette CD Transport: Cambridge CXC
Headphones: AQ NightHawk & NightOwl Amp: Schiit Magni-3
DAC: Cambridge DacMagic Plus + Sbooster LPSU

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