Sonore DIY USB Interface - USB to i2s interface

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vortecjr

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Sonore DIY USB Interface - USB to i2s interface
« on: 29 Jul 2014, 02:30 am »
PRODUCT DESCRIPTION
The Sonore DIY USB Interface is a high-performance DXD/DSD128 capable asynchronous USB interface designed for DACs using the ESS Sabre chip. The asynchronous USB receiver is powered from USB allowing for complete isolation of the oscillators, re-clocking and oversampling/filtering (including ground) from the source.  Crystek CCHD series ultra-low phase noise clocks are used for the lowest possible jitter. On the "clean" side of the board, the Crystek oscillators (45.1584/49.152 MHz), the FPGA running the oversampling filter (OSF) and the re-clocking circuit, are powered from a user-provided ~5 VDC source.
A unique feature of this interface is the (optional) onboard OSF.  This filter oversamples to 352.8/384, using specially developed proprietary digital filters.  The filter design takes advantage of the high power available in the FPGA to incorporate a sophisticated partial minimum phase filter, which greatly reduces pre-ringing, while still providing excellent stopband rejection (anti-aliasing).

The USB Interface can also be used with other I2S/DSD DACs.



STANDARD FEATURES
Custom 8x/4x/2x OSF using a semi minimum phase design for reduced pre-ringing
Jumper to allow bypass of onboard regulator for direct 3.6 VDC
Multiplexed DSD/I2S
   Bit Clock=Bit Clock DSD
   Word Clock=Data L DSD
   SData=Data R DSD
   Master Clock=Master Clock
Onboard sample rate LEDs
Onboard power LEDs
Onboard signal lock PCM/DSD LEDs

SUPPORTED PCM RATES
44.1 KHz-384 KHz

SUPPORTED DSD RATES
2.8 MHz (DSD64) - DoP, native (via ASIO)
5.6 MHz (DSD128) - DoP, native (via ASIO)
11.2 MHz (DSD256) - native (via ASIO)
22.5 MHz (DSD512) - native (via ASIO)

COMPATIBILITY
Native support on Mac OS 10.6 and later
Native support on Linux with UAC2 compliant kernel
Support for Win XP to W8 32/64 bit
 
SPECIFICATIONS
Power input: 5VDC, ~300 mA
Width:  74mm
Depth:  104mm

DISCONTINUED
https://sonore.us
« Last Edit: 23 Feb 2019, 11:09 pm by vortecjr »

4est

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Re: Sonore DIY USB Interface - USB to i2s interface
« Reply #1 on: 29 Jul 2014, 08:24 pm »
Can you tell us a little more about your OSF? For instance, how is it selected and does it interact with a DSD stream?

bibo01

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Re: Sonore DIY USB Interface - USB to i2s interface
« Reply #2 on: 29 Jul 2014, 11:46 pm »
A very interesting board indeed!

I have a few questions...

- Is it possible to power independetly also the "dirty" side of it?

- Is it possible to bypass USB circuit and enter directly through I2S from a mini PC? Can you please give the exact pins.

Given your extensive knowledge with Linux and the product is looking at the DIY community, may I suggest to develop Linux drivers for native DSD 256-512 (non DoP) as well. This OS now supports native DSD playback.

Q3Di

Re: Sonore DIY USB Interface - USB to i2s interface
« Reply #3 on: 30 Jul 2014, 12:11 am »
Jesus R,

How does it work? Is it used to convert USB to I2S?

I connect my MPD music server to DSD DAC via USB. My DAC has I2S connection via RJ45 (Not HDMI), will this USB Interface work as a bridge between music server and DSD DAC (such as PS Audio)?

Will it be installed as a stand alone converter in its own case? Is there a PCI version to plug in the mainboard and output I2S instead of USB?

Thanks,
Jimmy

vortecjr

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Re: Sonore DIY USB Interface - USB to i2s interface
« Reply #4 on: 30 Jul 2014, 12:51 am »
Can you tell us a little more about your OSF? For instance, how is it selected and does it interact with a DSD stream?

You turn it on or off via an onboard dip switch. The OSF only interacts with the PCM stream.

vortecjr

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Re: Sonore DIY USB Interface - USB to i2s interface
« Reply #5 on: 30 Jul 2014, 01:12 am »
A very interesting board indeed!

I have a few questions...

- Is it possible to power independetly also the "dirty" side of it?

- Is it possible to bypass USB circuit and enter directly through I2S from a mini PC? Can you please give the exact pins.

Given your extensive knowledge with Linux and the product is looking at the DIY community, may I suggest to develop Linux drivers for native DSD 256-512 (non DoP) as well. This OS now supports native DSD playback.

Thanks, we put a lot of work into it. You would have to get pretty creative to independently power the "dirty" side of the board. You don't need to go though the trouble IMHO. Also, if you do it wrong you will only end up polluting the clean which we have gone through great trouble to keep clean. I would prefer not to get into bypassing the USB front end. You may want to look at HQ Player and NAA for DSD256 and DSD512.   

vortecjr

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Re: Sonore DIY USB Interface - USB to i2s interface
« Reply #6 on: 30 Jul 2014, 01:28 am »
Jesus R,

How does it work? Is it used to convert USB to I2S?

I connect my MPD music server to DSD DAC via USB. My DAC has I2S connection via RJ45 (Not HDMI), will this USB Interface work as a bridge between music server and DSD DAC (such as PS Audio)?

Will it be installed as a stand alone converter in its own case? Is there a PCI version to plug in the mainboard and output I2S instead of USB?

Thanks,
Jimmy

Yes, it converts USB to i2s.

Your Northstar DAC is one of those DACs that might be a pain to get working via i2s. 1. The Northstar's i2s input has traditionally been a 5V input that is not very common with most i2s sources being 3.3V. 2. You need to confirm the multiplexed i2s/DSD pin assignment. 3. There may be an issues with the oscillator rates in combination with the Northstar DAC.

The PS Audio DAC would be a much better DAC for use with this board. You will need an i2s to LVDS i2s converter board. I may be able to supply these for you.

These boards are DIY for the time being. For a ready made LVDS i2s source look at the Sonore Rendu project: http://www.rendu.sonore.us

I have some boards that output the PS Audio format from a PCI (not PCIe) card slot on a PC. However, understand that this solution is far superior.

flowerpot

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Re: Sonore DIY USB Interface - USB to i2s interface
« Reply #7 on: 30 Jul 2014, 03:47 am »
Is there a pinout(3.3V) to indicate DSD/PCM beside the LED ?
Is the regulator used LM1117 ?
Also the bypass onboard regulator has to be 3.6V ? Will it work with a 3.3V supply ?

Thanks

bibo01

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Re: Sonore DIY USB Interface - USB to i2s interface
« Reply #8 on: 30 Jul 2014, 08:02 am »
Thanks, we put a lot of work into it. You would have to get pretty creative to independently power the "dirty" side of the board. You don't need to go though the trouble IMHO. Also, if you do it wrong you will only end up polluting the clean which we have gone through great trouble to keep clean. I would prefer not to get into bypassing the USB front end. You may want to look at HQ Player and NAA for DSD256 and DSD512.
An NAA is Linux based and can do DSD in DoP mode only, so up to DSD128 is available.  :(
For I2S connection I was just thinking of going from an NAA (small ARM based platform) to your board...

barrows

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Re: Sonore DIY USB Interface - USB to i2s interface
« Reply #9 on: 30 Jul 2014, 02:14 pm »
I have been using this board for months, and do not expect that folks will find improvment via independent powering of the USB/Computer side of this board.  Remember, the I2S output is fully re-clocked on the clean side of the board, so any jitter originating on the dirty side will be eliminated.
But that being said, this is DIY, and I understand the desire to experiment.  For a competant DIYer, it would not be too hard to provide independent power for the USB side.  To do so would require board level mods: cutting the +5VDC trace from the USB jack and adding  wires to your power supply.  Also note, if you want to independently power the USB receiver like this, in order to maintain the isolation, you will have to provide a fully independent power supply, with its own isolated ground and dedicated transformer, otherwise you will not have any isolation.  But hey, it is DIY so feel free to experiment.

barrows

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Re: Sonore DIY USB Interface - USB to i2s interface
« Reply #10 on: 30 Jul 2014, 02:19 pm »
An NAA is Linux based and can do DSD in DoP mode only, so up to DSD128 is available.  :(
For I2S connection I was just thinking of going from an NAA (small ARM based platform) to your board...

I would not recommend attempting this.  Are you just looking a way to isolate and re-clock I2S?  If so the Ian FIFO project over at diyaudio.com is likely what you are looking for.  The reclocking on this baord is really going to require that the original I2S stream is created using the local masterclocks.

barrows

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Re: Sonore DIY USB Interface - USB to i2s interface
« Reply #11 on: 30 Jul 2014, 02:27 pm »
Is there a pinout(3.3V) to indicate DSD/PCM beside the LED ?
Is the regulator used LM1117 ?

No, and no, and please do not expect us to reveal all the parts chosen and other proprietary details of the board.
 
Also the bypass onboard regulator has to be 3.6V ? Will it work with a 3.3V supply ?

If you want to bypass the first stage of onboard regulation, a 3.6 VDC supply is required, with ~300 mA of current capability.  The board works exceptionally well using the onboard regulation and a 5-6 VDC supply.  But of course, being DIY we expect people to experiment.

Thanks

barrows

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Re: Sonore DIY USB Interface - USB to i2s interface
« Reply #12 on: 30 Jul 2014, 02:37 pm »
Jesus R,

How does it work? Is it used to convert USB to I2S?

I connect my MPD music server to DSD DAC via USB. My DAC has I2S connection via RJ45 (Not HDMI), will this USB Interface work as a bridge between music server and DSD DAC (such as PS Audio)?

Will it be installed as a stand alone converter in its own case? Is there a PCI version to plug in the mainboard and output I2S instead of USB?

Thanks,
Jimmy

This product is a DIY PCB only.  We are not making finished components with it (at this time).  The board is being sold to the DIY community.  So, experienced DIYers might make a separate USB-I2S converter with this board, that is up to them.
We developed this board with the intent that it is best used by being placed directly in a DIY DAC build, where it can take advantage of very short I2S leads (without the need for creating LVDS I2S signaling, which adds jitter), and where it can reliably become the masterclock source for the DAC, resulting in the lowest possible overall jitter level.

barrows

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Re: Sonore DIY USB Interface - USB to i2s interface
« Reply #13 on: 30 Jul 2014, 02:40 pm »
You turn it on or off via an onboard dip switch. The OSF only interacts with the PCM stream.

4est:  Just to add for entire clarity.  DSD will play fine with the USB interface's OSF either "on" or "off" and the DSD stream will just pass through unchanged.  With ESS based DACs, I think once they hear it almost everyone is going to prefer the USB interface OSF to using the first stage OSF (FIR filter) in the ESS chip for PCM.

vortecjr

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Re: Sonore DIY USB Interface - USB to i2s interface
« Reply #14 on: 30 Jul 2014, 10:23 pm »
An NAA is Linux based and can do DSD in DoP mode only, so up to DSD128 is available.  :(
For I2S connection I was just thinking of going from an NAA (small ARM based platform) to your board...

Your right about HQ Player and NAA. I know what you are trying to do with i2s, but the board is set up for USB input:)

Jesus R

UPDATE: testing PC driver next. 

4est

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Re: Sonore DIY USB Interface - USB to i2s interface
« Reply #15 on: 31 Jul 2014, 12:36 pm »
Thank you Jesus and Barrows. Lately I have been upsampling via HQPlayer. Have either of you compared the onboard OSF to HQPlayer's? It is good to know that I would not have to flip a switch to go from PCM to DSD and back. I noticed a USB shield in your B3SE build Barrows. Is that available for this? It seems prudent...

Also, there are two switches in the DIP. Are they both for OSF?
4est:  Just to add for entire clarity.  DSD will play fine with the USB interface's OSF either "on" or "off" and the DSD stream will just pass through unchanged.  With ESS based DACs, I think once they hear it almost everyone is going to prefer the USB interface OSF to using the first stage OSF (FIR filter) in the ESS chip for PCM.

barrows

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Re: Sonore DIY USB Interface - USB to i2s interface
« Reply #16 on: 31 Jul 2014, 03:12 pm »
4est:  One detail to consider is this.  The ESS 9018 needs its onboard OSF to be "on" to process DSD, so depending on set up, you may need to toggle this switch to playback DSD.  How one might do this is up to them (DIY).  In my DAC, I run synchronous clocking: masterclock comes from the USB interface.  This allows me to play PCM 44.1-384 with the USB OSF "on", and the ESS OSF "off", to playback DSD I then need to turn the ESS OSF "on".  Because I like simple solutions, and I control my volume by knob anyway, I am just adding a switch to my DAC to toggle the ESS OSF on/off manually (I do not want to add the complexity of software control internally in my DAC).  If one added an Arduino style controller, one could then control the ESS DAC functions from there.
Everybody can have lots of fun comparing different oversampling schemes.  Since there are literally an infinite number of possibilities if one starts doing oversampling in a computer first, it would be impossible to compare them all.  We wanted to make a relatively simple (to use) hardware solution which would allow folks to have a better sounding option than the stock filters in the ESS chip-without having to resort to really tweaky playback means (not that there is anything wrong with that for some folks).  Additionally, I suspect some people, in some systems, are going to like converting everything to DSD128...

edit: the other switch on the USB interface is currently unused...
edit 2: sharp eye on that "shield", it is actually a piece of RF damping material I added.  Honestly I certainly cannot tell if it helps subjectively, but it does not hurt.  It is a DIY I thing I made using ERS paper and some other materials.  I like to experiment a fair amount with RF damping.

flowerpot

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Re: Sonore DIY USB Interface - USB to i2s interface
« Reply #17 on: 3 Aug 2014, 02:37 am »
Is there a possibility for the built in OSF to go 704/768 ?

barrows

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Re: Sonore DIY USB Interface - USB to i2s interface
« Reply #18 on: 3 Aug 2014, 03:52 am »
Is there a possibility for the built in OSF to go 704/768 ?

Going to the 16x rates involves a compromise: to do so within the limited power of the FPGA would require that the filter design be somewhat compromised in terms of precision.  We prefer to have the better filter design possible with the 8x filter.

flowerpot

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Re: Sonore DIY USB Interface - USB to i2s interface
« Reply #19 on: 11 Aug 2014, 08:50 am »
i just received this board... plug into my mac its not detected.... The USB PG led is light up though but nothing happens... some jumpers i need to connect ? The output voltage from the voltage regulator on the USB PG shows ~1.26V.