NwAvGuy: ODAC Released

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Bear

NwAvGuy: ODAC Released
« on: 24 Apr 2012, 04:47 am »

For those interested:   NwAvGuy.com

jmc207

Re: NwAvGuy: ODAC Released
« Reply #1 on: 18 Jun 2012, 04:42 pm »
That little ODAC DAC board looks very interesting and definitely "Cheap and Cheerful", though it probably performs way out of this category. I'm seriously considering getting one and using RCA outs instead of the 3.5mm jack.

http://www.jdslabs.com/item.php?fetchitem=39

wushuliu

Re: NwAvGuy: ODAC Released
« Reply #2 on: 18 Jun 2012, 06:14 pm »
That little ODAC DAC board looks very interesting and definitely "Cheap and Cheerful", though it probably performs way out of this category. I'm seriously considering getting one and using RCA outs instead of the 3.5mm jack.

http://www.jdslabs.com/item.php?fetchitem=39

You should go for it. Can't judge by the price because of the diy aspect. The assembled version is $150, so if it was a proper retail unit by a reputable company and nice enclosure you'd end up in the ballpark of the $450 Peachtree DACiT, which also happens to use the same chip and punches above its weight.

The enclosure-less board is so light and small it just needs a mini usb adapter to connect directly to the computer, eliminating the usb cable from the equation (direct connection sounds much better) - then solder the output of your choice.

EDIT: Just like to add that the designer of the ODAC appears to have really put a huge amount of effort into pulling the best measured performance out of that chip and board design. Have to appreciate the lengths to which he outlines why he did what he did. He's evangelistic (actually that's an understatement) about the science, but as long as it sounds good who cares.

http://nwavguy.blogspot.com/2012/04/odac-released.html
« Last Edit: 19 Jun 2012, 03:01 am by wushuliu »

Noseyears

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Re: NwAvGuy: ODAC Released
« Reply #3 on: 22 Jun 2012, 05:33 pm »
Finally
People on budget were waiting for this, we will see how good it performs the Nwavguy Objective philosophy applied on this design. 

dB Cooper

Re: NwAvGuy: ODAC Released
« Reply #4 on: 23 Jun 2012, 01:17 am »
Keeping my ears to the ground for the ODA desktop headphone amp too. Might go DIY on that one. The ODAC I will probably go pre-built.

wushuliu

Re: NwAvGuy: ODAC Released
« Reply #5 on: 25 Jun 2012, 07:37 am »
I have a few hours on it. Not sure how I feel about it. It does some things really, really well. I would say the guy accomplished his goals. Detail is addictive, it's dead quiet, noticeable channel separation, instruments come close to sounding real but IMO overall it lacks weight, upper mid a little lit up and overall slightly dry or mechanical sounding, but that could be speakers coming into play synergy-wise. Still think my Hiface two/TDA combo has a more natural and 'musical' presentation, but will give the ODAC more time - it does the hear-every-single-pluck of the string thing so well. Too bad no SPDIF input.


JohnR

Re: NwAvGuy: ODAC Released
« Reply #6 on: 25 Jun 2012, 09:16 am »
Interesting comments. I've only heard one ESS DAC (inexpensive - Calyx Coffee) and my impressions there are very similar to yours on this DAC.

wushuliu

Re: NwAvGuy: ODAC Released
« Reply #7 on: 25 Jun 2012, 05:25 pm »
On one hand the ODAC makes me want to hear the pricier ESS Sabre dacs, but on the other even if the HF2/TDA1543 doesn't have the detail I get no compulsion for upgraditis and the ODAC cannot compete in the midrange to my ears. I'm sure others will disagree.

wushuliu

Re: NwAvGuy: ODAC Released
« Reply #8 on: 26 Jun 2012, 07:35 pm »
I just added an external linear power supply to the ODAC and the performance improvement is immediate. No longer sounds strained and now the soundstage is nice and wide (I am using speakers not headphones). Overall 'clinical' quality is still there but certainly could be due to other factors. So power is definitely a factor in my case.

jmc207

Re: NwAvGuy: ODAC Released
« Reply #9 on: 26 Jun 2012, 07:54 pm »
I just added an external linear power supply to the ODAC

Any details on how to add an external power supply? Which linear supply, how to connect it, etc. is what I'm asking.

Thanks, John

wushuliu

Re: NwAvGuy: ODAC Released
« Reply #10 on: 26 Jun 2012, 09:21 pm »
Any details on how to add an external power supply? Which linear supply, how to connect it, etc. is what I'm asking.

Thanks, John

I used this usb extension and connected with a Jerome 5v linear supply. Unfortunately Herbach no longer sells the Jerome, but any 5v wall wart is a good start. I then solder on the correct adapter size to fit the extension or just solder on the wires directly.

http://www.streakwave.com/itemdesc.asp?ic=5VUSB&eq=&Tp=

DanBa

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Re: NwAvGuy: ODAC Released
« Reply #11 on: 27 Jun 2012, 07:36 am »
The Android-powered smartphone Samsung Galaxy S III interworks with the ODAC:

https://plus.google.com/107354758331405644147/posts/PCaM42irMeU
http://pastebin.com/Jjq4xnT3]http://pastebin.com/Jjq4xnT3

Samsung Galaxy S III > digital audio stream >> USB DAC "ODAC" >> amp "O2" >> headphones



wushuliu

Re: NwAvGuy: ODAC Released
« Reply #12 on: 29 Jun 2012, 07:02 am »
Ok so some of the clinical tonality was indeed due to other factors. Some people are also reporting weird results via usb as far as sound quality. That said, with the external supply it does sound very, very good. No giant-killer by ANY means but very good, especially if you are a 'clean freak' regarding sound quality. With just usb power I say don't bother - with the exception of the Dacport LX all usb powered dacs I've heard suffer from the same lightweight, slightly brittle delivery. Too bad those Herbach Jerome power supplies are NLA (luckily I've got a couple), they have come in real handy. Anyhoos $100 well spent.

this_is_vv

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Re: NwAvGuy: ODAC Released
« Reply #13 on: 3 Jul 2012, 03:55 pm »
i guess any 5v wall adapter can inject good power in it? am i right to guess...

i jsut ordered this dac ....


V

wushuliu

Re: NwAvGuy: ODAC Released
« Reply #14 on: 4 Jul 2012, 06:07 am »
Got the Dragonfly DAC. Same sound signature but much more refined. No external power needed, sounds great out the box. No digititis, vocal clarity is impressive and pull you in, nice percussive energy. Still lightweight and a little 2 dimensional, but it's about as good as I could ask from a dac given its limitations. I popped it in and stopped analyzing after only a minute, always a good sign. BIG thumbs up. :thumb:

adydula

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Re: NwAvGuy: ODAC Released
« Reply #15 on: 8 Jul 2012, 11:19 am »
I am going the opposite direction from high dollar dacs and amps to the 02 Amp and ODAC..

I posted this in the headphone section but its really a cheap and cheerful solution compared to what people are paying for 'top dollar' stuff that to me doesn do that better than these items can do...

"Spent the last few months building my PC music aka Home Theater PC and learned a lot about this area of audio / video and listening to Keith Dont Go right now as I type from inside of JRIVER media center....listening to bit perfect audio via a pair of LCD 2's and Grado 325's...really awsome.

The amp I amp using to drive the LCD's in this environment is a AVA Insight  + ....vs my Schitt Lyr. The Dac is a HRT MSii+. (ODAC on order...so we will compare it to this in a few weeks and report back).

So whats the next adventure, well I have been reading alot and I am going to spend the vast sum of $144 for the Objective Headphone amp and another $99 for the Objective DAC....just to see how it compares to what I have...but gosh what I am listening to right now is really close to perfect as I have heard...for cans..

This amp will run on batteries for the start to see how it sounds etc...the dac just came out and is already sold out of the first run.

The design comes from someone called NWavguy,  he has a blog and seems to have lots of measurements etc...its a DIY project for a little less as well....but the time to order and build is a pain to me at this time...so instant gratification...

Will post my findings later this month (July) when I get the amp and the new dac...

All the best
Alex
 

eclein

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Re: NwAvGuy: ODAC Released
« Reply #16 on: 8 Jul 2012, 11:29 am »
Look forward to your findings as I think you will be pleasantly surprised how good a few hundred dollars can sound. I don't have ODAC but I've heard tremendously positive things about it. Enjoy!

adydula

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Re: NwAvGuy: ODAC Released
« Reply #17 on: 8 Jul 2012, 11:31 am »
Hope this is ok to post here, if not i will move to a seperate O2 amp thread...but seeing how these (2) items are tied closely together thought you would not mind...

The O2Amp: Cost $144, build ...JDALabs. Much cheaper if you build it DIY etc...but for $144 complete with batteries etc....all u need is an AC to AC charger NOT a AC to DC one...(2 batteries included, rechargeable ones).

First impresion, "hey this is Sooooo Small!!" lol

Holy Crap Batman...this amp is a real GEM. Been listening for 3 hrs with Audeze LCD2's and Grado 325i's...

One word 'Superb'...well maybe another 'Excellent'...music is really 'clear' yes thats a bit of the same ole. same ole, like the veil has been lifted, but in this case even my Grados compared to my LCD2's are sounding better than ever before...I am totally amazed as to how good this amp sounda or better yet doesnt sound......

Its really hard to imagine that this little amp can drive my LCD's to very high levels on pure batteries!!

The main reason I bought this as stated before is can anything this inexpensive and small be any good....well it is. You can AB this with many if not all amps and I would bet you would be fooled or hard to guess which one was playing etc...its that good.

Its very neutral and does not get in the way of the music....really shines compared to my Lyr which I really like alot....its more well 'clear' and very, very articulate....

Crap the bass, sounstage, imaging its all there and its more dependant on your headphones, the amp doesnt get in the way..

Feeding it with an asynchronous DAC the HRT Music Streamer ii +.
I will try the O2 Dac at the end of the month, they are all sold out...

The price of admission here is really superb...its a giant killer of an amp for sure....

I dont sell these or make any money on these!!! Yes my opinion may change over time but in this hobby where high dollar stuff is touted as the way to go... its extremely refreshing to see such high quality stuff for such a comparitively low price.

The neat thing is I can take the dac and amp and go from one pc to another in the house or at work and have world class sound on batteries...

Its supposed to play 7-8 hrs on the 2 re-chargeable batteries and run with an AC to AC adapter not AC to DC....if running on the Adapter it charges the batteries whie playing....there is no charging light or any indication of where the battery charge level is, when they run low it shuts down..

No turn on thump, a small turn off thump...not any real issue.

Listening to Dire Straights Live Album Alchemy...while I type...'Superb' ..I like that word!   

Ok back to some more critical listening...._

I will report back on the sound quality in more detailed compared to my LYR and other Preamp head section...if your just starting out A $144 dollar amp anda $99 ODAC....ie $250 spend $200--$300 on a set of decent cans and ypu can have world class sound from a PC.....aint technology wonderful..

All the best
Still Smiling!!
Alex
   


wushuliu

Re: NwAvGuy: ODAC Released
« Reply #18 on: 8 Jul 2012, 06:11 pm »
Another tip for the odac: lose the usb cable, get an adapter. Well definitely toss the stock JDS cable. It increases the digititis. I swapped with a smaller but just as cheap cable to good effect. However in other forums Jkeny has turned me on to replacing a usb cable with an adapter whenever possible. You'd be surprised how much more natural and effortless a usb dac will perform with this extremely inexpensive tweak. My wireworld starlights have been on the bench since using adapters. In this case I used this one from Amazon for the odac and it's night and day vs stock usb cable. Now on par w/ Dragonfly - still not as refined (or 'sweet' as another person put it) but digititis is 99% gone and more importantly it has superior detail/transparency, into i-never-heard-that-before category. This is *without* the external supply btw. On another forum someone suggested maybe my PC has usb power issues, which is certainly possible, but the Dragonfly and other dacs have performed admirably with no problems; but an adapter always improved performance. Regardless, anyone with a usb dac owes it to themselves to use an adapter instead of their usb cable if space permits. You may be surprised.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00825QS88/ref=oh_details_o02_s00_i00




adydula

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Re: NwAvGuy: ODAC Released
« Reply #19 on: 8 Jul 2012, 06:54 pm »
ok so what your saying is to plug this gadget into the ODAC and plug it into the pc and leave it hanging off the pc....then attach your output cable to the amp....from the out on the DAC with a cable.

So the usb cabe length is now gone but depending on where you pc is etc the cable from the output of the dac to the amp may be long or longer...etc

On the sweetness etc...I have many pieces of audio 'stuff' that seem to add or detract to the sound....I have always wanted gear the is neutral, ie doesnt sound sweet, soft, hard etc....just a piece of straight wire with gain... this little amp with its low output impedance doesnt get in the way at all....garbage in garbage out, good stuff in good stuff out.... I hope the ODAC does as well..from what i here it does...2 more weeks!!

Alex