High performance regulators for the Buffalo DAC and IVY

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Paul Hynes

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Hi Folks,

I have had a number of enquiries for a full regulator kit for the new Buffalo II DAC and IVY III modules. Unfortunately the DAC and I/V modules require rather a lot of very high performance regulators to achieve the optimum performance that the Sabre DAC/IVY combination is capable of. A full set of high performance regulator modules adds up in the cost department. My offer of a quantity discount for the full kit price for the Buffalo 32 was well received and I am offering a similar discount for the Buffalo II and IVY high performance regulator kits. For those who wish to upgrade in stages rather than buy a full kit I have also listed the individual regulator prices.

Individual prices :

For Buffalo II
Z1703v3 shunt regulator for replacing LT1763-3v3 on DVCC                £30
Z1703v3 shunt regulator for replacing TP’s shunt reg on AVCC             £30
S1701v2 ultra low noise series regulator for VDD                                 £36
Z1A-05 medium power shunt regulator module for VD                         £60

For IVY III
Z1A-15 shunt regulator                                                                    £60
Z1N-15 negative shunt regulator                                                       £60

Full Kit prices :

For Buffalo II
2 off Z1703v3 shunt regulator for replacing LT1763-3v3 on DVCC         £60
2 off Z1703v3 shunt regulator for replacing TP’s shunt reg on AVCC      £60
1 off S1701v2 ultra low noise series regulator for VDD                          £36
1 off Z1A-05 medium power shunt regulator module for VD                   £60
Normal total                                                                                    £216
Less 25% Discount                                                                            £54
Buffalo II discount price                                                                    £162

For IVY III
3 off Z1A-15 shunt regulator                                                            £180
3 off Z1N-15 negative shunt regulator                                               £180
Normal total                                                                                    £360
Less 25% Discount                                                                            £90
IVY III discount price                                                                        £270

Insured carriage and packing cost will vary depending on order quantity so I will quote this individually. Lead time also varies depending on work load so check at time of order. Payments can be via Paypal by sending funds in GBP to paul@paulhynesdesign.com.

These regulator modules can also be used with the ackoDAC and any other Sabre DAC projects. If you have any applications questions about using these regulators with the Buffalo and IVY modules feel free to discuss them on this thread so everyone can learn and have an applications resource to refer to for their upgrades. I will check the thread regularly and chip in when required. If you prefer not to post on forums just e-mail me and I will help where possible.

Regards
Paul
« Last Edit: 5 Jul 2011, 11:47 am by Paul Hynes »

HAL

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Re: High performance regulators for the Buffalo DAC and IVY
« Reply #1 on: 10 Feb 2010, 02:12 pm »
Paul,
Have you tried any of the regulators with the TPA Opus DAC kit?  Would be interesting to hear opinions of these for the WM8804 S/PDIF, Opus and Ballsie boards. 

Thanks!

Paul Hynes

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Re: High performance regulators for the Buffalo DAC and IVY
« Reply #2 on: 10 Feb 2010, 03:12 pm »
HAL,

I cannot give you first hand experience with the Opus kit. However I have not yet heard of a situation where my regulators have not given a good audible upgrade. All I need are the voltage requirements and load current parameters to set an optimised regulator up for your requirements. With this information I can give you a quote. Include the shipment destination and I can quote for shipping too. If you find that the regulator upgrade is not giving a worthwhile improvement in audible performance you can always send the regulator back for a full refund including carriage both ways.

Regards
Paul

HAL

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Re: High performance regulators for the Buffalo DAC and IVY
« Reply #3 on: 10 Feb 2010, 03:37 pm »
Paul,
Thanks for the reply.  Will be building the Opus DAC kit and looking at the power requirements.


poseidonsvoice

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Re: High performance regulators for the Buffalo DAC and IVY
« Reply #4 on: 11 Feb 2010, 11:58 pm »
HAL,

.... If you find that the regulator upgrade is not giving a worthwhile improvement in audible performance you can always send the regulator back for a full refund including carriage both ways.

Regards
Paul

Except you won't be sending it back  :wink: :eyebrows:

Anand.

Spirit02

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Re: High performance regulators for the Buffalo DAC and IVY
« Reply #5 on: 8 Apr 2010, 07:10 am »
Hi Paul,

Just wondering what current the shunts are set to supply 'by default'?

Cheers,
Phil

Paul Hynes

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Re: High performance regulators for the Buffalo DAC and IVY
« Reply #6 on: 8 Apr 2010, 12:47 pm »
Hi Phil,

The current settings vary depending on the dissipation capabilities of the regulator power devices. The input voltage and output voltage setting will dictate the range of available currents. This needs to be assessed based on application.

The standard Z17 type mini shunt regs typically provide a minimum of 80 ma at low voltages. I can beef this up for a Z1703v3 if it is fed from a 5 volt rail, by changing the current source device to a larger die version and adjusting the current setting resistor to suit the up-rated device. I have had a Z1703v3 with 5v input providing 200ma without thermal issues. The 1206 size surface mount resistor near the leadout wires sets the regulator current.

I usually set the Z1A/Z1N shunt regs to 230ma unless otherwise requested. There is a large 1W surface mount resistor on the track-side of the board that sets the regulator current. These regs can provide 500ma with the input voltage set to around 6 volts higher than the output voltage.

If you or others wish to adjust the available current of these regulators the current setting resistor value can be changed and I will be pleased to advise regarding adjustment. To ensure that the regulator power devices remain within ratings I would prefer to check operating parameters such as regulator input voltage as well as load current requirements and regulator output voltage before advising which resistor value to use.

Regards
Paul

Spirit02

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Re: High performance regulators for the Buffalo DAC and IVY
« Reply #7 on: 13 Apr 2010, 01:48 pm »
Hi Paul,

That's helpful, thankyou.

I presume then that the Z1P(A?)-05 in my possession is currently set to 230ma?
According to the Buff2 manual, VD supply requires '5-5.5V and approximately 290ma'.

I'll be feeding the Z1P-05 from a 15VA 2x9V transformer, into SF12/panasonic FC-based CRC. Will have exact voltage readings tomorrow.
What value resistor should I use to supply 350ma? Any particular type you recommend?

Cheers,
Phil

Paul Hynes

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Re: High performance regulators for the Buffalo DAC and IVY
« Reply #8 on: 13 Apr 2010, 04:10 pm »
Hi Phil,

The Z1A board was designed before I began expanding my range of regulator modules and when it was time for stock replenishment I re-named it Z1P to match the coding arrangements I now use.

The 1W surface mount resistor on the track side should read 3R3 to give around 350ma available for the load. This is what I set the reg at for Buffalo Vd regulation. Can you confirm this resistor value as I have had a couple of customers with the wrong setting for other projects. Your regs were part of a large batch made with different settings for different projects and I fear they may have been mixed up when packing. If this is the case I do apologise and will send you replacement resistors by Airmail.

Regards
Paul

Spirit02

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Re: High performance regulators for the Buffalo DAC and IVY
« Reply #9 on: 14 Apr 2010, 01:55 am »
Your regs were part of a large batch made with different settings for different projects and I fear they may have been mixed up when packing.
Hi Paul,

It is in fact 4R7 :(

What will this be supplying?

Cheers,
Phil

Paul Hynes

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Re: High performance regulators for the Buffalo DAC and IVY
« Reply #10 on: 14 Apr 2010, 08:13 am »
I'm so sorry Phil,

I have sent you standard issue which will give you around 235ma. I will send some 3R3 in this mornings post. I will make sure it goes by a fast air survice.

If anyone else has been sent the wrong item get back to me and I will ensure things are corrected for you. If you are not sure about this, the symptom of restricted current availability is that the regulator cannot reach the voltage it has been set for as the load is trying to draw the regulator circuit operating current.

Regards
Paul


Paul Hynes

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Re: High performance regulators for the Buffalo DAC and IVY
« Reply #11 on: 15 Apr 2010, 09:31 am »
Hi Phil,

I air-mailed you a couple of resistors yesterday morning. However they may be delayed as I noticed that airports across the UK are closed due to large dust clouds from the Icelandic volcanic eruption passing over the country.

If you want to get your project running quickly just fit a 3R3 1W 1% resistor in place of the 4R7 on the board. If you can't find 3R3 1W locally, you could wire 2 x 6R8 0.5W in parallel or 3 x 10R 0.3W in parallel. There are no dynamic current changes through this resistor so you can use a small wire wound resistor if this is more convenient.

Regards
Paul

Spirit02

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Re: High performance regulators for the Buffalo DAC and IVY
« Reply #12 on: 15 Apr 2010, 01:03 pm »
Hi Paul,

Thanks for the mail.

The only 1W 3R3 ones I can readily get locally are 5%...

Cheers,
Phil

Paul Hynes

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Re: High performance regulators for the Buffalo DAC and IVY
« Reply #13 on: 15 Apr 2010, 01:15 pm »
Hi Phil,

5% will be fine to get you going until the ones I have sent arrive. The worst case tolerance will still give you approximately 330ma.

Regards
Paul

Spirit02

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Re: High performance regulators for the Buffalo DAC and IVY
« Reply #14 on: 15 Apr 2010, 01:26 pm »
Fantastic.

Cheers for the help :)

Spirit02

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Re: High performance regulators for the Buffalo DAC and IVY
« Reply #15 on: 16 Apr 2010, 06:11 am »
One last question...

3.3V mini-shunts have 3 pins - I / O / AG
The 1.2V one has I / O / G

How do these correspond to the holes at the Buffalo end, which are marked VDD/GND/VD (1.2V one),
 VDD_XO / GND / VD (3.3V) and VD / GND / DVCC (also 3.3V)?
Ditto for the Sabre supplies too - DVCC/AVCC/GND/VD.

Cheers,
Phil

Paul Hynes

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Re: High performance regulators for the Buffalo DAC and IVY
« Reply #16 on: 16 Apr 2010, 12:43 pm »
Hi Phil,

I still haven’t managed to get a Buffalo II module yet so I haven’t been able to set one up with the high performance regs to check all the current levels. The kit of regs is based on orders made by experienced modders upgrading Buff II and I haven’t had much feedback yet.

Looking at the TP Manual and the module board shown on the TP website, Russ states that he has a VD terminal on the supply headers. I assume this means all these VD terminals are connected to the VD input on the left of the board. This is convenient as you can use each VD terminal as the input feed for the local regs input lead.

3.3V mini-shunts have 3 pins - I / O / AG
The 1.2V one has I / O / G

The AG terminal refers to the adjustment terminal on three terminal regs with the LM317 pinout. On the mini-shunt this terminal is the ground terminal. Components used to set LM317 type adjustable regs are not required with the mini-shunts.

How do these correspond to the holes at the Buffalo end, which are marked VDD/GND/VD (1.2V one),
 VDD_XO / GND / VD (3.3V) and VD / GND / DVCC (also 3.3V)?
Ditto for the Sabre supplies too - DVCC/AVCC/GND/VD.

For installation on the Buff II board you will need to insulate the leads on the miniregs to avoid shorts when wires are crossed over. PTFE or Teflon sleeving is good for this.

On the miniregs the corresponding pins are :

I = VD
O = VDD or VDD_XO or DVCC or AVCC
G = GND

Adding all the possible mini shunts on the TP board will require an increase in the available current from the VD 5 volt supply to allow for the extra current draw from VD. I have sent you two 3R3 resistors in the mail earlier this week. When you change the current setting resistor on the Z1P-05v regulator solder one 3R3 resistor in place first then solder another 3R3 resistor on top of it effectively putting it in parallel to give 1R65. This will set the Z1P output current to around 730ma.

I hope this helps.

Regards
Paul

Nikola

Re: High performance regulators for the Buffalo DAC and IVY
« Reply #17 on: 21 Aug 2010, 08:14 pm »
I feel the urge to share my experience with the regulators that I got from Paul, smiling all the time that I am writing.

 In the email I sent to him I used the word PROFOUND to describe the change I heard after installing them and I will still use capital letters when I describe how happy I am, this is some of the best money I have spent in so many years in audio, thank you so much Paul!

Now, the Buffalo II is one fine DAC, I have described elsewhere how happy I was with my Audio Syntesis DAX-2, EAD DSP 7000 Mk3 with rare PCM63 Y grade chips but the ESS Sabre chips is really so good at bringing music to life that I just had to buy the Buffalo II and play with it. I had a friend design a tube I/V stage for me and not optimal as it is it still sounded so good that I was already questioning the superiority of my Exemplar 3910 - the finest RB sound I had heard to date. Then I read about the PH regs and the favorable reviews they get and I decided to try them as there is a 60 day money back guarantee. I had to wait some 2 months as Paul is making everything by hand but when I first turned on the Buffalo after the install I was really amazed at what I was hearing - beautiful details, fantastic decays, absolute transparency! If anyone is serious about getting out the best of the Buffalo II they ought themselves to hear what these small regs can do, obviously the chip is very sensitive to power delivery. Music is so much more involving now and I invited some friends to confirm that I have not lost my mind and all of them could not believe what they were hearing, we all got goosebumps on several track - I am one very happy guy at the moment, suddenly I get back to the idea of just listening more to music instead of tweaking (have you had that feeling recently? with me it happens when I like the way my system sounds).  Again, I had great expectations from Paul's set but it has surpassed them in every way, thank you very much man!

Last but not least I would like to thank Phil (Spirit02) who was very helpful and patient and made the install a breeze with his instructions, great guys, you two!
« Last Edit: 22 Aug 2010, 08:09 am by Nikola »

poseidonsvoice

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Re: High performance regulators for the Buffalo DAC and IVY
« Reply #18 on: 21 Aug 2010, 08:19 pm »
Paul makes the finest shunt regulators, hands down.

That's some pretty awesome digital pedigree you have there. Nice to see the Buffalo II hold its own, and of course with the help of Paul's regulators.

I'm a customer for life as long as he supports diy'ers.

Anand.

flocchini

Re: High performance regulators for the Buffalo DAC and IVY
« Reply #19 on: 22 Aug 2010, 03:31 pm »
Nikola:

Can you post pictures?

Thanks

Bob