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B³II DAC: Bare Bones Buffalo II DAC

I have decided to first use Buffalo II without any external tweaks. I appreciate the engineering effort that Russ and Brian at TPA have invested in this latest implementation of the ESS Sabre32 DAC and believe they have selected the best components for a balanced approach (meaning that all components work at similar levels of performance -also meaning that for any meaningful performance increment you would have to change everything to the next level of performance).

This is what I plan to use for this initial listening phase:

Power supply: single “wall wart” modified to output 5.4V (the regulator is a LM317 class, so it was a matter of changing the adjusting resistor). I also salvaged a DC jack which has been implemented with ferrites and capacitors for EMI filtering.

Output connectors: balanced cat-5 through RJ45 Ethernet jacks

Output stage: none. I’ll swallow the 12db THD penalty. But will connect directly into a balanced amp. Besides the amp best specification for THD is -82db whereas the Sabre32 in voltage mode has a THD specification of -108db. I doubt I will miss those 12 dbs :-).

Control: AC1 (later I will work on an Arduino Implementation)

AVCC shunt is installed on the back of the board, bare bones doesn’t mean I eliminated the AVCC regulator 🙂

(IVYIII: What I really want to do is to use IVY as the input stage for Hypex amps, replacing the input buffer and connecting directly to the UCD module)

  1. Rosendorfer
    April 1, 2010 at 18:21

    Dear GLT

    So hire You are…

    I was missing new posts at Your “old” blog…
    Anyway more info on B3II please…

    Did You try to see if there are some differences about SPIDF and I2S input from Musiland to BuffaloII..???


    • Hifiduino
      April 1, 2010 at 22:02

      Hello… Not there yet. Haven’t hook it up yet, but first I’ll try spdif and then I2S. I’m trying to figure out what connectors to use (the screw terminals are kind of too bulky for my taste…

  2. Russ White
    April 2, 2010 at 03:16

    Why use any connector. You can solder directly if you like. 🙂

    • Hifiduino
      April 2, 2010 at 03:42

      Hi Russ :-). I hate unsoldering later. That GND pin is going to be hard because it is a heat sink :-). I want to try spdif, I2S and DSD

  3. Rosendorfer
    April 2, 2010 at 15:23

    Dear GLT

    You are unbelievable !! You have got this nice shining toy for more than a week and “Haven’t hook it up yet” ….
    Be aware I’m thinking about sending You some of my photos..I just have got nice stuff to practise my photo skills.
    And it’s green and shiny… ;).

    All the best

  4. Hifiduino
    April 2, 2010 at 15:29

    Hi Rosendorfer, almost there…. 🙂

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