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)