Starting Point Systems Audio
Crowdfunding Campaign for a USB version of
my well know DAC 2 has ended... but...
The new DAC 3 is now available since January 2016 on ebay: a true R2R multibit DAC
with a reclocker (for the price of a reclocker alone)
- Audiophiles are talking about my DAC 2, on audiocircle
and on computeraudiophile
World has put it on its Christmas Wish
List !!! (January 2013 issue)
What is the Battery DAC™ ?
A low-cost portable DAC for
that pure vintage "analog" listening experience...
It fits in the palm of your hand, and can be battery operated,
so you can take it with you and have your friends enjoy it too !
DIR9001 + Battery power = GREAT SOUND !
Why did you
design this DAC ?
Nobody can be "told" what a good DAC is,
you have to hear it for yourself...
searching myself for the "perfect" DAC, I stumbled on forum
discussions about how these "vintage" DACs from Phillips sounded so
I was getting a little skeptical about those "natural" and "analog"
statements for the sound of those converters, but as so many people
seemed to make converging descriptions, I was left with the feeling
it was not just a legend...
I decided I had to build one, and
try for myself !
As the result was more than surprising... I told myself : wow, I got
to show that to my friends...
And what most of my friends said : "can you build one for me ?"
Call that a market study...
Why do audiophiles do not like the
sound of current oversampling DACs ?
Oversampling DACs are textbook correct, right
? So they should sound perfect, no ? Well ...
While it is true that oversampling DACs are textbook correct, if
you make the wrong assumptions about the human hearing system,
you may end up making mistakes, even if you do the math right !
Let me give you a simple example : it is generally assumed we
hear the spectrum of sounds, but can't hear the phase.
Now try "binaural beats" on Google and listen for yourself.
These clearly show the phase information IS sensed, AND remains
present far inside the brain.
So maybe the
spectrum-only approach to DAC design is not telling the whole
Traditional non-oversampling DACs from the past did not make any
assumptions about hearing mechanisms, they just tried to
replicate in analog what you fed them digitally as closely as
What are the main features of this
And what are the main goals of its design ?
- Extract the pure performance of the last built
non-oversampling true 16-bit TDA1543 DAC from Philips
- Optical & Coaxial inputs (leftmost switch on the photo)
- DIR9001 96 kHz SPDIF Receiver (lowest-jitter on the market -
- Supports sampling frequencies from 28kHz to 108kHz (continuous
range, including non-standard frequencies)
- TDA1543 16-bit DAC - the original from Philips®
- Passive I/V conversion
- No Op-Amp - direct output with 2Vpp (will drive any power amp
- Huuuge capacitors on the output path provides sub-Hertz cutoff
frequency (<0.3Hz on a 10kOhms input)
- Dual Stage power supply regulation (for a super low background
- Separate voltage regulator for the DAC and the Digital SPDIF
receiver (same reason as above)
- Battery-powered with a single 9V NiMH battery (optional - but
without it you must provide a clean 12V - 15V power supply)
- Smart battery charger on-board (quickly charges the battery
when depleted, keeps it charged at low current when idle)
- When both power switches are on, the battery is
recharged, and is also used to buffer the external power,
completely removing hum.
- Will Direclty drive any power amplifier
- Easy to carry around and make it listen to yours friends
- 2+ hours of listening on the battery alone
Why is the cost so low if it sounds
so good ?
Simple is beautiful...
The less you process sound, by adding unneccesary stages, the more
transparent result you get.
A minimalist non-oversampling DAC will achieve that goal, giving you
great sound, and low cost too.
What are owners of this DAC saying ?
This is the type of ebay evaluations I get
about my DAC ...
1x Battery DAC board (mounted & tested)
2x NiMH Batteries (one is shown in the picture for scale, two are
actually mounted inside)
Note : power supply is not
included (any 12V-15V wall transformer will do, laptop supplies
are ok too, car power also...)
If like me, you have the habit of
cranking up the volume knob of your amp just to check if the
device connected to it has its power on... don't do it with that
DAC ! It's background noise is so low (no kidding) it just will
fool you into thinking it's maybe not connected. Pressing the
"play" key on your CD transport or favorite PC software will
blow your speakers, kill your ears, piss-off your neighboors...
How do I know... Well, it happened to me...
If you don't fall in love
with this DAC after listening to 2 or 3 or your favorite tracks
with it, I'll refund your purchase without discussion.
Copyright © 2012-2016 Starting Point Systems.