Miniature TDA1543 DAC Brings the Goods

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wushuliu

Miniature TDA1543 DAC Brings the Goods
« on: 17 Feb 2012, 11:02 pm »
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.

It's ridiculous you can get this kind of performance for $100. Ridiculous. :duh: 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.

Will report back after burn-in,

http://www.starting-point-systems.com/images/ConnectingBatteryDAC.gif[/img]
pt=LH_DefaultDomain_2&hash=item2ebb6c60d7#ht_3767wt_952]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

JohnR

Re: Miniature TDA1543 DAC Brings the Goods
« Reply #1 on: 17 Feb 2012, 11:29 pm »
Interesting :thumb:

ken

Re: Miniature TDA1543 DAC Brings the Goods
« Reply #2 on: 18 Feb 2012, 09:06 pm »
Lots of great feedback on ebay and will fit right in your shirt pocket for good measure as well.  Sounds pretty cheap and cheerful to me  :thumb:

playntheblues

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Re: Miniature TDA1543 DAC Brings the Goods
« Reply #3 on: 18 Feb 2012, 09:56 pm »
Thanks for the heads up.  I just ordered one to play with.  Are you running yours strictly on battery or are you using AC?
Guy

wushuliu

Re: Miniature TDA1543 DAC Brings the Goods
« Reply #4 on: 18 Feb 2012, 11:15 pm »
Thanks for the heads up.  I just ordered one to play with.  Are you running yours strictly on battery or are you using AC?
Guy

Using an SMPS that was lying around. Now that its given a good first impression I will connect to a 12v linear PS and then add a nimh 9v and see how it fares.

sonicxtc

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Re: Miniature TDA1543 DAC Brings the Goods
« Reply #5 on: 18 Feb 2012, 11:40 pm »
Okay,
normally I'd write this off as "Wow, this is amazing for a DAC I found inside a box of Cracker Jacks or a cereal box," but...

I read the designer's page. PLEASE whoever is suggesting we try this little beauty, a little more info.

Are you suggesting this is a serious DAC which can compete with other sub $1k DACs or get you most of the way there? I mean how good is good? Can you compare the sound to any other DACs?

Will this handle 2496?

How long will it run off a 9 volt battery?

I thank the OP. This is quite a find. I'm only asking these "dumb" questions because I'm actually looking to buy a dac for my main system.

Thank you and thanks for sharing.

roscoeiii

Re: Miniature TDA1543 DAC Brings the Goods
« Reply #6 on: 18 Feb 2012, 11:47 pm »
Well sonicxtc,

A lot will depend on what the rest of your system looks like, and what your musical preferences are. Loads of great affordable DACs out there right now. Be sure you have familiarized yourself with the advantages and disadvantages of NOS DACs. That is a biggie (just like passive vs. active preamps, and battery vs. AC). Much will depend on your preferences and the type of music you listen to.

Rclark


goldlizsts

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Re: Miniature TDA1543 DAC Brings the Goods
« Reply #8 on: 19 Feb 2012, 03:39 am »
Well sonicxtc,

A lot will depend on what the rest of your system looks like, and what your musical preferences are. Loads of great affordable DACs out there right now. Be sure you have familiarized yourself with the advantages and disadvantages of NOS DACs. That is a biggie (just like passive vs. active preamps, and battery vs. AC). Much will depend on your preferences and the type of music you listen to.

I had a NOS DAC a couple of years ago, which used the 1543 DAC.  It was sweet, warm, musical.  I loved it, until I foolished played with it, trying to improve it.  I replaced the output caps (Siemens), hoping to improve on the transparency and bass definition.  And, I regreted it.  I also misplaced the Siemens cap, so I couldn't go back.

Anyhow, on eBay, there are also similar DACs, doubling up with the TDA1543.  I wonder IF this configuration gives a better sound.  Anyone?

wushuliu

Re: Miniature TDA1543 DAC Brings the Goods
« Reply #9 on: 19 Feb 2012, 04:13 am »
Okay,
normally I'd write this off as "Wow, this is amazing for a DAC I found inside a box of Cracker Jacks or a cereal box," but...

I read the designer's page. PLEASE whoever is suggesting we try this little beauty, a little more info.

Are you suggesting this is a serious DAC which can compete with other sub $1k DACs or get you most of the way there? I mean how good is good? Can you compare the sound to any other DACs?

Will this handle 2496?

How long will it run off a 9 volt battery?

I thank the OP. This is quite a find. I'm only asking these "dumb" questions because I'm actually looking to buy a dac for my main system.

Thank you and thanks for sharing.

What roscoe said. The dac consumes ~100mA, so ~2+ hours provided you used 9v NiMH depending (divide the mA capacity of the battery by 100mA).

I am not saying this is a giant-killer, especially in what's now a crowd of Davids.

sonicxtc

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Re: Miniature TDA1543 DAC Brings the Goods
« Reply #10 on: 19 Feb 2012, 04:26 am »
Thank you all for the feedback. It is a feat regardless of ultimate sound quality.

wushuliu

Re: Miniature TDA1543 DAC Brings the Goods
« Reply #11 on: 19 Feb 2012, 04:27 am »
I had a NOS DAC a couple of years ago, which used the 1543 DAC.  It was sweet, warm, musical.  I loved it, until I foolished played with it, trying to improve it.  I replaced the output caps (Siemens), hoping to improve on the transparency and bass definition.  And, I regreted it.  I also misplaced the Siemens cap, so I couldn't go back.

Anyhow, on eBay, there are also similar DACs, doubling up with the TDA1543.  I wonder IF this configuration gives a better sound.  Anyone?

From my (limited) experience, the competence of the designer trumps the parts used when it comes to DACs. The Muse for instance uses 4X TDA1543 but falls short of this single chip board - at least in stock form. This Frenchman seems to know what he is doing and did not make the board just to sell. Then there are other factors that I believe fall into this mini's favor like the use of SMDs, which coupled with the minimal space used, significantly reduces signal paths and potentially minimizes issues which can affect larger PCBs with leaded components - but this is admittedly over my head so maybe someone else can chime in here. Plus the separate PS regulators for analog and digital is a plus and is pretty rare for this price range. Finally, unless he has some connection along with his other products, I don't think he is pulling much of a profit from these boards (I don't they're even listed on his website).

galyons

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Re: Miniature TDA1543 DAC Brings the Goods
« Reply #12 on: 19 Feb 2012, 06:58 am »
Looks like a low investment level for a huge bit of fun!! Keep us posted after you get some hours on it!

Cheers,
Geary

Rclark

Re: Miniature TDA1543 DAC Brings the Goods
« Reply #13 on: 19 Feb 2012, 07:10 am »
Can I ask, what is the point of having multiples of the same chip in there? What exactly is the point of that? I've seen dacs with 16 chips inside.

srb

Re: Miniature TDA1543 DAC Brings the Goods
« Reply #14 on: 19 Feb 2012, 07:56 am »
Can I ask, what is the point of having multiples of the same chip in there? What exactly is the point of that? I've seen dacs with 16 chips inside.

Here is one manufacturer's (LessLoss) explanation:
 
"The technical background you need to know is that at the audio output of a DAC chip you have a signal which is mostly current. The output stage of a DAC device always does something called I/U conversion. I/U conversion means conversion from current to voltage. You need to raise the voltage which comes out of the DAC chip. That's what I/U conversion achieves. Now, to carry out I/U conversion, you can do it actively or passively. If you do it actively, then the DAC chip's audio output leg is not under a load. But if you do it passively by means of an output transformer, then what happens is that the DAC chip's audio output leg receives a load. So one solution to overcome this is to use two (or more) DAC chips in parallel so that the DAC chips' output legs now generate a higher current (the curents are added). This higher current can then better handle the load presented by the transformer. This is the only reason multiple DAC chips are used per channel, regardless of what various marketing may state.
 
In the past, when the technology of DAC chips were limited to only 16 bits, this method also was used in order to better the linearity of the DAC chip's performance at low signal levels. However, this linearity issue is entirely moot now that DAC chip technologies have advanced to 24 bits. You may like to know that we have tried this method of stacking DAC chips. If you continue to add converter chips, then you run into distortion and noise due to overly complex design issues. The most elegant solution is to use one converter chip per channel, but to make sure it is the very best chip and to give it pristine, even ideal, electrical conditions to work under. This includes an active output stage of the best possible quality to keep all load off of the DAC output signal leg and to guarantee the best and cleanest possible I/U conversion"
 
Steve

Rclark

Re: Miniature TDA1543 DAC Brings the Goods
« Reply #15 on: 19 Feb 2012, 08:03 am »

 Fantastic, thanks!

sonicxtc

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Re: Miniature TDA1543 DAC Brings the Goods
« Reply #16 on: 19 Feb 2012, 02:16 pm »
Does anyone know how to get in contact with the DESIGNER of this little dac? An e-mail address? Feel free to PM me if you think it's not "okay" to publish it. Thank you.

playntheblues

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Re: Miniature TDA1543 DAC Brings the Goods
« Reply #17 on: 19 Feb 2012, 02:40 pm »
Here is the email I received after my purchase.  I assume he would like the advertising. 

sales@starting-point-systems.com

starkiller

Re: Miniature TDA1543 DAC Brings the Goods
« Reply #18 on: 20 Feb 2012, 03:56 am »
More info please for those of us to whom the term DIY means fire, lots and lots of fire :lol: Info such as is there a case avaialble?  Real world comparisons with other DAC's...etc...

wushuliu

Re: Miniature TDA1543 DAC Brings the Goods
« Reply #19 on: 20 Feb 2012, 08:47 am »
More info please for those of us to whom the term DIY means fire, lots and lots of fire :lol: Info such as is there a case avaialble?  Real world comparisons with other DAC's...etc...

No case. He will add a 9v connector for additional cost, and 12v power supplies (cheap SMPS or something like Pangea/Musical Fidelity 12v) are easy enough to find, so no need to DIY. Just won't be much to look at.