• Hello and Welcome to HiFiVision.com - an online community for the home entertainment and tech enthusiasts!

    If you would like to ask a question, participate in a discussion and view attachments please Register yourself.

Soekris R2R DAC with Amanero I2S Converter

Subscibe to HiFiMART Newsletter

manniraj

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2011
Messages
2,768
Points
113
Location
Bangalore
Got the upgrade bug around 3 to 4 months back and wanted to upgrade from my present Audio-GD NFB15.32 to NFB-3. But looking at the cost of $499 + shipping + customs decided to go for a DIY DAC build with a budget of around 30k+. I already had a Pass B1 cabinet from bibin with a custom back panel to have my old ODAC USB port, which came handy with this build. So looked around to see which fits my bill and also should be good enough for an upgrade.

Then one of my friends gave an idea of the Soekris DAC which is a R2R based DAC board. Started to read about this on the diyaudio.com site where their is a very long thread on the different implementations of this board. Reading and looking at the builds it looked a very daunting task for me with limited knowledge on the DAC builds. But decided to take the plunge as the forum members are always there to help me out in the build :)
The cost of importing this board either from Denmark or US was coming out too costly with around $100 for just the shipping alone. Hence decided to get it through a friend for making economic sense in saving a huge cost in shipping. The DAC is a high quality converter with multiple inputs like TOSLINK, Coaxial and I2S. But you need to get the right components for these input sources to connect to the board. Regarding the comprehensive build you can refer to one of the best sites at hifiduino.com. This DAC can be programmed with different filters via its in-built RS232 protocol as well as the firmware updates using the same pins. I have not touched upon this on my DAC build so far and will plan to do that after sometime as I need to get a RS232 converter module over a USB as I do not have related input on my PCs. So I am using the stock board (1021-12 revision 2 with 0.99v firmware and the default filter). I think there are around 4 different filters at present for the newer revision board which can be programmed and chosen via Arduino boards :). Look at this site for a detailed explanation on the Arduino code with a simple LED display.
Regarding different filters and also mods on this board refer to this site who was a member of diyaudio.com site but no more a member and he has come out and started his own site with some superb work on the mods, testing, filters and above all giving measurements and any shortcomings.
Now the other components to complete this DAC like the I2S as I am interested in only the digital output from my music PC. Hence looked around the net and decided to go with Amanero I2S converter from Pisa, Italy who sells this as part of the group buy on the diyaudio.com site. So booked it on the group buy for Euro 39 including free shipping to India. I think it took around 2 weeks to reach to Bangalore and its a pretty small board 2/3rd size of a credit card. Looking at the voltage/current ratings of the DACs involved I went with a +/-12,0 RCORE transformer from EMD and thanks to Raghu in getting this done from Hyderabad. I should thank Omishra as well in helping me with the correct voltage ratings as per the power consumption of both the DAC boards and suggesting for the RCORE. Now comes the PSU which after multiple discussions with Sachin/Omishra decided to go with the CNC Phone PSU that we currently use in our builds. Thanks to Sachin in guiding on building this PSU and as its a very good quality one with dual outputs, so I decided to use one of the outputs for +3.3v,0 to power the I2S isolation power of the Soekris matching the voltage of the Amanero DAC and the secondary output for +/-12,0 for powering the Soekris.

Also I should mention that Jai1611 (Jaibir) also guided me in terms of the decision to go with this DAC build as well as keeping me informed about the new/latest version of the boards availability as the older version had some issues which was rectified and upgraded with new VREFs and caps.

Took a week in building the same in my old custom B1 cabinet from Bibin and goes well with my system. Listening impressions for me are in comparison to my Audio-GD is that it has clear highs and lows with a very wide soundstage and easy to listen to with superb vocal presentation. I think I took the right decision in getting this DIY DAC build and should be a worthy upgrade for long time to come in my system. Will run it for some more time and then plan to have a detailed listening session and till that time here are the build pictures.






 
Last edited:

spirovious

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 10, 2008
Messages
12,466
Points
113
Location
Mumbai
Congratulations manniraj, nicely shared your DIY experience.Happy to know that the sound quality is a plus than earlier DAC.
 

manniraj

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2011
Messages
2,768
Points
113
Location
Bangalore
Got a new custom made cabinet for the Soekris and also I build the Salas PSU to replace the B1 psu that I was using earlier. Thanks to Aminder of theaudiocrafts.com who made the custom cabinet based on my specification and also the custom front panel. I also got the input+switch board to pair with the Soekris DAC which fits underneath the Amanero I2S converter along with the BNC coaxial and Optical inputs. Now my DAC journey is complete :clapping:

Enjoy the pictures...






 
Last edited:

captrajesh

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Oct 18, 2009
Messages
5,411
Points
113
Location
Hyderabad
Super effort Manniraj. The cabinet looks fabulous; Please let us know how much it cost?
 

ajeshkumarts

Active Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2014
Messages
145
Points
28
Location
Dubai
Got a new custom made cabinet for the Soekris and also I build the Salas PSU to replace the B1 psu that I was using earlier. Thanks to Aminder of theaudiocrafts.com who made the custom cabinet based on my specification and also the custom front panel. I also got the input+switch board to pair with the Soekris DAC which fits underneath the Amanero I2S converter along with the BNC coaxial and Optical inputs. Now my DAC journey is complete

Vow... Great work... Cabinet looks amazing...
Of the two Knobs, one must be for source selection and the second one?
 

manniraj

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2011
Messages
2,768
Points
113
Location
Bangalore
Super effort Manniraj. The cabinet looks fabulous; Please let us know how much it cost?

Thanks Rajesh, the cabinet cost came to approximately 8k (as I had to get some more other parts for my build) and you can get more information from Aminder of audiocrafts.com.
 
Last edited:

manniraj

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2011
Messages
2,768
Points
113
Location
Bangalore
Vow... Great work... Cabinet looks amazing...
Of the two Knobs, one must be for source selection and the second one?

Thanks ajeshkumarts, the left knob is for input/source selection and the right one is the volume knob which I am not using currently. The Soekris DAC board has a passive volume in-built into the board. I can use that as a preamp with volume control if I need and also I just placed it there for aesthetic looks.
 
Top