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Buffalo III DAC

Buffalo III DAC, top layer

Buffalo III DAC, bottom layer

Starting from May of 2008, TPA has introduced new version of the Buffalo DAC about one year apart: Buffalo, Buffalo32, Bufflao II. Buffalo III is the 4th generation.

Whereas Buffalo II aimed maximizing the performance afforded by the Sabre32 DAC, Buffalo II aims at maximizing the features that are available in the Sabre32 DAC while retaining all the performance of Buffalo II.




BII (B2)

DAC Digital Power External (Tridents) Built-in LM1763 regulator with ferrite filtering
DAC Analog Power External: AVCC board External: AVCC board
Microprocessor Power Built-in, separate from DAC power Built-in, tapped from DAC power
SPDIF Inputs 8 separate sources, selectable 1 (Auto detect)
SPDIF Signal Comparator None. Requires that SPDIF signals be TTL-level (3.3v) Built-in. Can by bypassed
I2S Inputs 1 Source, 1-2-4 channels (1) 1 (Auto detect)
DSD Inputs 1 Source, 1-2-4-8 channels (1) 1 (Auto detect)
Output configuration Mono, stereo, quad and 8-channel, depending on input configuration (2) Mono and stereo
Volumite support Global volume control (not per channel) Global volume control (not per channel)
On-board dip-switch configuration 16-switches for input/output configuration control, filter selection and modulation bit-depth control 4-dip switches for MONO/Stereo, FIR filter (fast/slow) and IIR filter (PCM/DSD)
Arduino Support No limits on input/output configuration (3) Cannot support quad and 8-channel because the input pins have a fixed configuration
PCB 4-layer with routing and bypassing optimizations over B2 4-layer
Board Size 2.1” x 3.7”; same hole pattern as B2 2.0” x 3.3”


  • (1) Sabre32 supports a single source clock (PCM or DSD bit clock) for I2S and DSD no matter the number of channels. It can support up to 4 I2S input L+R channels and 8 DSD channels. Supporting multiple I2S or DSD sources requires external MUX. Another way to understand this capability is the following:
    • I2S can support dual-dac (Quad-channel), quad-dac (STEREO) and 8-dac (MONO)
    • SPDIF and DSD can support single-dac (5-to 8 channel),  dual-dac (Quad-channel), quad-dac (STEREO) and 8-dac (MONO)
  • (2) As shown in the layout diagrams, you can fix the input and output pin configuration with jumpers. This requires matching that configuration with the on-board dip switches
  • (3) B3 obviates some of the need for an external controller because the on-board 16 switches enable a wider range of selection as compared with B2. Support for a display, however, requires an external controller such as Arduino or the forthcoming AC2
  1. Takaji
    May 24, 2011 at 21:42

    Any idea on when this will be available? I’m interested in buying a Buffalo; maybe I’ll wait for the Buffalo III?

  2. BlogGeanDo
    May 24, 2011 at 23:48

    I would guess within the next two months? I think I read somewhere that the next batch will be Buffalo III

  3. Florin
    May 27, 2011 at 06:18

    Hi, I guess this will also be cheaper than the Buffalo II, being that there are no regulators on board?

  4. BlogGeanDo
    May 27, 2011 at 18:10

    I hope so. But with the great demand they have, there is little incentive…

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