i have several Pro V3 here (very impressing items!) and want to improve the analog output sound performance with using an external DAC (PCM5102 or Sabre ES9023 or similar).
The questions is: does the volume control still work over the I2S connection (so the board should “manipulate” the I2S data for volume control) or is there always a full range volume output on the analog outputs of the external DAC?
Thanks for your help!
I have three Arylic boards all with external DAC boards, an ES9023 (Arylic board) a ES9018 and a PCM5102, all of them 12S connection, They all respond to the app volume controls.
thanks a lot for this useful information!
This sounds great because then there is no separate volume control neccessary. So the I2S data seems to be internally modified to contain the volume information.
But i am wondering about that because if a I2S amplifier is used (e.g. a Wondom amp), the volume control seems not to work. But in both cases only the I2S data stream is used…any ideas?
BTW: do you have a favourite DAC of your 3 types?
It’s a bit subjective, to me the ES9023 and PCM5102 are pretty much on par. To my ears the ES9018 is more detailed.
If I get another Arylic Pro board would like to try an old school Phillips TDA1543 or 1545 NOS DAC - if I can find a suitable board with I2S input
I think ES9018 is a very good choice too, i have heard some positive feedback before.
For the moment, i have decided to try a direct I2S input amplifier to get rid of the D/A-conversion. I will design a pcb for it and will have a look if a DAC + analog input class D amplifier or a class D amplifier with direct I2S input will sound better.
HI This is interesting. Why would you bother to connect the very cheap very low performance DAC TDA 1043 (from '91!) 16bit, data CLK frequency max 9.2MHz that does not even compare with the very ‘basic’ MV Silicon’s one that’s on the V3 board. (32 bit ++).
The biggest obstacle you would face is due to the clock frequency limitations of the 1043, I seriously doubt it can handle the I2S signal from the V3, that’s using a 11.288 Mhz clock as mentioned in the arylic manual.
The ES9023 is a very good and affordable solution according to the specs and my experience… the 5102 is from the Burr Brown design line of Texas Instruments which targets the professional audio market and shows a very very long experience (they very seriously challenged the consumer brand DACs like Philips in the CD golden times… being way above in terms of performance, signal processing and chip foundry process, hence the acquisition by TI).
Keep, enjoying playing with sound!
Sorry, i don’t understand what you mean. A TDA1043 isn’t an old “DAC”, it is an old volume control IC:
My “problem” is that i want a high quality solution with included amplifier to realize multiroom applications. Same as the A30+, but with more audio quality performance. The A30+ uses the internal low quality DAC and feed the onboard low cost analog amplifier.
But it is possible to get much more quality out - first way is to use a DAC like the ES9023 and feed a low noise amplifier or to use the digital I2S output and feed an amplifier with that digital stream. I think the last way is the best because the D/A conversion is not needed.
oh sorry my mistake, I thought I was replying to Steve1 and, as he wrote 1543 NOS DAC… ., victim of my brain that went too fast in my recollections…TDA 1543 instead of 1043… !!! a digit makes the diffrence. You are write! and tda1043 is of no use!!! and the other TDA neither…
Hi This puzzles me as the I2S pins on the V3 board are directly connected to the A31 WiFI audio board (small board with the WiFi antenna connector), where the main chip there - the MT7688 - has no DSP possibilities.(checked the specs of the A31) So I hardly see how volume control can be achieve on the I2S available port. On the main board. it’s done by the DSP DAC chip MVsilicon BP1064 (volume EQ etc…).
Your experience, Stefan, with the Wondon amp is more like what I’d experienced with my own set up. I have a V3 pro connected to a ES9023 and no volume control is possible via the ap except 0 &100%… I took the route of a digital amp with analog inputs(TPA3255) quite modified, and a manual potentiometer based volume control.
Sorry this doesn’t help…
I have no Wondom amp, i am still at the planning phase,
And now I am at the beginning point…Steve wrote above that an attached I2S DAC has volume control, you write that it doesn’t work.
My boards are connected to DAC boards, then to a external amplifiers, I can control the gain from the app or from the amplifier, I usually set the amp gains to mid way and then change remotely from the app to the desired volume levels on the separate devices/rooms.
Yes, I think you nailed it, enjoy playing with sound! I’ve been doing that off and on over a few decades. I have no formal training in electronics, only a hobbyist.
For critical listening and hi-fidelity, I still prefer my vinyl collection but for background sound and/or entertaining the Arylic streaming is more than adequate.
They are good, but I consider them as mid-fi, as you are obviously aware by adding DAC’s you can improve the sound quality of these boards. I am happy with the DAC boards that I have tried, but don’t write off non-oversampling DACs just because there is more modern technology, to me they can never be out of date if they sound great.
I have previously owned a SPDIF input TDA1543 DAC and now regret selling it. True, the specs of Delta Sigma chips may look better on paper, however IMHO they are incomparable to the naturally musical sound character that you get without a lot of digital filtering or oversampling.
Regarding the I2S clock frequencies, that’s something that will need further investigating.
do you have the I2S DAC attached to a Pro V3 board or another board?
Maybe this is the difference regarding the functional/non-functional volume control between you and Nobu.
I have the Pro V3 here, that would be a KO-criteria if only 0% and 100% volume is possible at the app control.
The DACs are directly connected, attached pic shows the ES9018 DAC board
Thanks - seems to be a Pro V3 board?
Hi both of you, Stefan & Steve. GOOD NEWS !!! the V3 Pro board I connected to the DAC seems to have a PB since I tried to connect the ES9023 board to a Mini V3, and … volume control is operating!!! sorry for all this confusion. Thanks to you I can now change my set up and remove the manual potentiometer once I succeed debugging my V3 Pro. Well done folks!
Stefan you can go ahead without further fear…
thanks a lot for the input - so we have a final solution
I will start designing a pcb with an direct I2S input amplifier…i will come back soon.
BTW: what do you mean with “PB”?
I couldn’t agree more with you concerning the vinyl’s feeling and analog (good) sound devices. And yes, Arilyc’s A31 + MV8048/8064 based devices are mid-Fi you are totally right!. There are better than FM radio, though. It’s a good solution for a day to day use for ‘easy’ listening with the multi-room features. This replaces, in a way, the system I had based on a stereo local FM emitter I designed and I used for decades to broadcast in the whole house (&more).
The TDA1543 generation based devices (CD players mostly) used a very sharp analog filter to remove the artifacts of digitization (Shannon/Nyquist theorem) which could be designed to give more ‘warmth’ to the aggressive D/A raw conversion. I remain a little bit frustrated by the CD quality anyhow whatever solution is used… This also comes from the job done by a lot of the sound engineers who shifted quite radically to a less ‘human’ way of engineering recordings, using dynamic & compression to an extrem.
Looking in detail at I2S specs on the Arylic board the TDA should work as the 11.288MHz clock is the master clock, (for DSP or other type of connected devices that need an external clock) but the serial bit clock useful for the DAC is 2.8Mhz below the max of 9.6 Mhz for the TDA1543…
the devil lies in the details… and details in sound reproduction are key.
But finally the more important factor is to be able to get the sound our ears/brain will enjoy…
Thanks for the reply, very informative and good luck with the Pro board. I would suggest contacting Arylic and informing them of the problem that you have.
I’ll keep you informed re my experiments with NOS DAC’s!
I must say that it was good to share thoughts with you