Home > DIY HiFi > B3II is Operational

B3II is Operational

Got it working with TPA’s AC-1 controller. Had to do some hacking as it was muted at power-up and I think it needed an IR remote to un-mute. So I disabled the mute in the code.

Also, using SPDIF input from the MUSILAND device, and no output stage. It connects directly in voltage mode to the amp.


Initial impressions compared to OPUS (with the analog powered with Placid). This is from memory as I kind of don’t like A/B because it is very time consuming and tiring. This is also the reason I use words like “seems like”…

  • Top end seems more “polite”. This was the first thing I noticed
  • “Inner” detail seems improved. For example instrument decay seems more present, especially with piano
  • Some recordings where the drums sounded a little to artificial, now sounds more natural
  • At this point I can’t say the bass is much different from OPUS
  • (I often don’t pay much attention to sound-stage which is the area where other users have noticed improvements)
  • After I get used to the sound, I’ll make improvements to the power and output stage

Some more impressions:

  • There seem to be an overall increase in “inner” detail across the board. This result in more “texture” in the music. Some recordings seem to have more improvement than others.
  • Seem to notice that in some recordings, there is more “focus” on the different sound (is this what is attributed to less jitter?). In some recordings, this seems to increase the definition of the location of the instruments and vocals. I think this is also called “instrument separation”
  • I don’t notice whether the sound-stage is wider than with OPUS
  • Definitely a very rewarding DIY experience.

Further impressions

  • Vocals seem more forward (closer to the listening position) in the soundstage. I know I said that I don’t pay much attention to soundstage, but this is something that is apparent. Audiophiles seem to equate forward vocals to “better”.  However, while experimenting with speakers x-overs, I’ve been able to move the vocals forward by a larger amount.  I think Buffalo excels in other areas as described above.
  • I’ve been listening to tracks that previously thought were not  well mastered. Now with Buffalo, they do sound better,  more natural.
  1. Russ White
    April 3, 2010 at 22:56

    Good work.

    It is very very simple to use the IR remote. Any universal phillips type should work just fine.

    The mute was probably enabled because of the state of the FRAM. I can improve the code to include some sort of first time start up marker.

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