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Can I use audio interface as main DAC? - Page 3

post #21 of 23
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This isn't really relevant to the original topic anymore, but I might as well ask a couple more questions here.

From what I understand, most modern DAC chips are almost the same and it is the op amps and resistors that cause "color" in a DAC. Is this right?

Also, are there any non-battery headphone amps that I could build under $60? I figure more than that and I might as well just buy a magni. Only requirement is an output impedance under 2 Ohms, as it's only driving IEMs.

edit: Well I can get a cmoy amp with good parts for $30 so I guess that answers that question.
Edited by DrGroove - 2/26/13 at 1:04pm
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post #22 of 23
DAC chips are not the same. it really depends on the engineer and design. a whole lot more goes into how it sounds than op-amps. some DAC don't even use them for the output stage.
    
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post #23 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrGroove View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeaj View Post

I think a single dynamic IEM driver shouldn't need much electrical damping. Those things are tiny. Usually these are minimally impacted other than losing some volume (which is fine) out of a source with higher output impedance.

It's not like those IEMs with crossovers galore and impedance all over the map.

Shouldn't the same principle apply regardless of size? I can't seem to find any user info since most higher end IEMs are BA rather than dynamic drivers.
I haven't gone through the math or really seen any calculations, but the mass of a very small driver is going to be less. I don't know if this is the right argument or a valid one, sorry. There are many other factors.

In practice, pretty much every dynamic IEM has a very resistive impedance plot.


Quote:
Originally Posted by DrGroove View Post

This isn't really relevant to the original topic anymore, but I might as well ask a couple more questions here.

From what I understand, most modern DAC chips are almost the same and it is the op amps and resistors that cause "color" in a DAC. Is this right?

Also, are there any non-battery headphone amps that I could build under $60? I figure more than that and I might as well just buy a magni. Only requirement is an output impedance under 2 Ohms, as it's only driving IEMs.

edit: Well I can get a cmoy amp with good parts for $30 so I guess that answers that question.
Different resistors have little effect usually, particularly if they're using ones that make sense. Same for op amps and other parts.

I think the DAC design and filter could have more of an impact, particularly for somebody with very good high-frequency hearing.

edit2: and really, aside from parts, as people mention it's more about overall circuit design and layout. Sometimes it's not so much the resistors, capacitors, etc. you lay down but the parasitic equivalent series resistance, unintentional inductance of a board trace, unwanted capacitance, nonlinearities of real-world parts.

People have done loopback recordings of music (play out of a DAC, into an ADC) via different DACs, level matched, etc., to try to see the difference in sound between different DACs. Often times, the differences are impossible to discern between those recordings, even for some very cheap DACs and audio systems. Sometimes there is some audible difference.


Yeah, just a single op amp buffer should be enough for IEMs, like a CMoy. A lot of op amps are cranky handling low impedance loads. If you want to be safe, just use a 4556, which is known okay and should be stable even at unity gain. For IEMs, you probably don't want any additional gain from the amp.

Some people say an audio transformer is a better idea, to step down the voltage.

edit: if you skip the batteries, you can source parts for an O2 (including shipping) for definitely less than $60 you forgo enclosure and front panel or figure out something else to use instead. With enclosure and front panel, in single-unit quantities, it should definitely be over $60.
Edited by mikeaj - 2/26/13 at 9:59pm
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