Home > DIY HiFi > Building the $99 ES9018 DAC Board (Part III)

Building the $99 ES9018 DAC Board (Part III)

It’s taken a long time to get this project finished. This would be my third ES9018-based DAC. Finally ordered some ceramic bypass caps and an oscillator. I wanted to do more before posting this, but that may take me more time than I thought…

You can read the previous postings here:



I will start with a “standard” 3.3V 100 MHz clock from Fox if for no other reason that these cost about $3 and readily available. These are the specs [link]:





Typical “standard” jitter numbers. Additionally,  I am not sure if ultra-low jitter clocks would really make a difference since the DAC itself has intrinsic jitter as the signal passes through the electronic components on its way through the device. If you look at the ESS evaluation board, they have implemented a lowly quartz crystal. Not even an oscillator.

Epson SAW oscillators


I also want to try the SAW oscillators from Epson [datasheet]. Unfortunately, the 100 MHz parts are not so easy to obtain in the US. They are available from Newark but charges $20 “transportation charge” for these parts.

According to myl8test [link]:

For asynchronous operation (the normal way you use the ES9018 chip), having tried over 6 clocks now, I’d recommend the Epson SAW 75Mhz 50ppm as suggested above. It’s actually better than the much more expensive Crystek CCHD-957 IMO. I even prefer it to synch from the CM6631A.

The 75 MHz parts are readily available from Digikey [link] as well as the 106.25MHz [link], for under $4. The 106.25 MHz is beyond spec, but some users have had good results with it.


Murata 0.1uF 50V X7R dielectric in 1206 size. Got these because they were CHEAP, under $3 for 100 pieces. (C0G dielectric, which are preferred for the signal path, would cost more than 10x-20x the price. For bypass, these are fine).

Here is some wisdom from Cypress on what to use for circuit bypass [link]

Decoupling capacitors should be ceramic type of a stable dielectric. For lower value capacitance, it is appropriate to use Class 1 dielectric capacitors, C0G (also referred to as NPO). Class 2 X7R should be used for the larger values.

It is recommended that 0.01-µF and 0.001-µF (pins 7 and 11 of CY7C68013A respectively) capacitors be used to decouple supply pins nearest the pair of USB transceiver circuits. The 0.001-µF should be C0G dielectric. This will help decouple the power supply at the frequency range of high speed USB switching.

The other power supply pins should be decoupled with 0.1-µF X7R capacitors.


Bypass capacitors on the DAC board

  • 4 positions for AVCC L (3.3V Analog)
  • 4 positions for AVCC R (3.3V Analog)
  • 2 positions for 3.3V Digital
  • 3 position for 1.2V (used 22 uF instead of 10 uF)


First time soldering SMD caps. Didn’t come out too bad. These are size 1206. Probably could have done 0603 caps too…


Here is the TPA AVCC V 1.0 supply (previously used in my BII DAC) on the other side of the board. In a previous post I had shown how to separate AVCC L from AVCC R. The AVCC module will be powered with 5V.


The large capacitors are 22 uF in value used to bypass the 1.2V supply. I am not very good with soldering, but these came out pretty good (at least in the photo :-))


Compare with BII construction, the BII uses CoG ceramic capacitors (more costly)


Decoupled the 1.2v lines by  piggybacking 0.1uF ceramic caps on top of the 22 uF ceramic caps. (the 1.2V lines do not have low value cap decoupling anywhere else)



As described in previous posts, I’m using Ian’s clock carrier board for the clock. This way I can easily change the clock in the board.


The board’s default power connection is to use the digital 3.3v which is shared with the DAC. FB1 connects the 3.3v to the clock. I will leave this disconnected as I plan to use a separate supply for the clock.


Opted to get the 4x TPS7A47 board from diyinhk.



The plan is to use the following configuration:

  • 5V: AVCC shunt regulator
  • 3.3V: Digital 3.3V and Digital 1.2V regulator
  • 3.3V: clock
  • Still leaves one supply available for other things such as the Arduino controller

The implementation is straight out of the evaluation board. The only differences are:

  • Voltage settings limited to 3.3V and 5V (although you can notice that there are three traces from the chip that are used to adjust the voltage and if you also cut the traces, you can have the following voltages: 1.4v, 3.3v, 3.7v, 4.6v, 5.0v, 6.5v, 6.9v. If you don’t cut the traces and just combine the jumpers, you can have 1.4v, 3.3v, 5.0v and 6.9v – In fact not very useful voltage values…)
  • Can take AC input (bridge rectifiers and smoothing capacitors are installed in the board)



  1. Coris
    June 26, 2013 at 21:00

    Is nice you think to try a SAW oscillator.
    You can get a 54Mhz one from me (for a reasonable price…) almost at once. If you can wait until august month, and if you will accept to go over the 100Mhz border, then I can make you available a 108Mhz SAW. This 108 Mhz have better jitter/phase noise figures (of course…).
    BTW, why is so difficult to get a 100Mhz oscillator in US? Digikey, Farnell, etc…?!

    • BlgGear
      June 26, 2013 at 21:45

      Hi Coris. I’ve been reading your work with the SAW oscillators. Here you can get 75MHz and 106.25MHz at under $4. But 100MHz no one has in stock. But thank you much for the offer. I’ll probably pick up the other frequencies when I order other parts. Is the 108 MHz much different from the 106.25?

      Regarding using larger caps on AVCC. I don’t know… The shunt was designed to use no additional caps on the outputs. I am also thinking of using large caps after the regulators, but again the TPS7A47 has been designed for speed so I don’t know if larger caps at the outputs would be beneficial or not…

  2. Coris
    June 26, 2013 at 21:04

    …Maybe you will want to try some bigger decoupling capacities, too…

  3. Coris
    June 26, 2013 at 21:10

    I mean bigger decoupling caps on AVCC. There is the clue to use such, and if using a voltage regulator…

  4. Coris
    June 26, 2013 at 22:23

    No, 108Mhz is not so different than 106. But Epson have now a new series of low jitter SAWs with figures under 1ps…

    • BlgGear
      June 27, 2013 at 04:42

      Do you have a link to the datasheet? thanks…

  5. Coris
    June 27, 2013 at 07:53

    This is one of the new Epson product XG-2102CA: http://www.eea.epson.com/portal/pls/portal/docs/1/1545655.PDF
    I`m not very sure how easy is to get it from usual providers. But one may try…

  6. Coris
  7. krafkloot
    November 9, 2014 at 14:19

    you really seem to be into ardiuno controllable Hifi
    there is somethin i would love to do, but haven´t seen any example yet:
    a i2s to spdif or AES/EBU converter which has arduino controllable volume control.
    I´d like to switch between 2 i2s sources and regulate volume, all via arduino.
    If you have an idea, i would be delighted

    • BlgGear
      November 11, 2014 at 03:23

      Can’t think of any chip that will do I2S to spdif and control the volume. Typically volume is controlled in the DAC

  8. September 14, 2016 at 15:52

    abogados online

  9. September 14, 2016 at 18:41

    Ryan Eagle Killed Kyle Eagle

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