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Considering an all-in-one build

insider9

Well-known member
Sep 20, 2016
914
443
5,270
Concept

I'll probably start of by saying I'm not a massive fan of Class D... However recent assembly of Class T shoe box amp have given me some food for thought. You may also remember I built a Linux based streamer not that long ago. So I started wondering about a more serious build for an all-in-one amp/streamer/dac. The only problem is I wouldn't know what it sounds like until it's made. I'm both demanding and know what sound I like. Here are some components I'm considering. But as a concept Roon endpoint all-in-one or alternatively Rune streamer would be what I'm after.

Power stage

Anaview AMS1000-2600. Likely would use two modules bridged. If only using one module specs are 2x170Wpc (into 8 Ohms), 2x300Wpc (into 4), 2x500Wpc (into 2). Fun begins when used briged 580Wpc (into 8 Ohms), 900Wpc (into 4). Modules without a case are around £350 delivered . Would need a case another £50.

Streamer stage

Considering a RasPi working as a Roon endpoint. Hardwired to LAN.That's about £50 wouldn't need a case as it would all go into one.

DAC stage

Pi Dac Pro from IQ Audio looks the part and has a balanced connection which I could go straight board to board. Not planning on a pre amp stage, DSP volume control only. That's sub £50. The thing is it's not async. So this would need to be looked at. Not sure what to do with it or in fact if it would have big impact.

Summary

Say this all works I could have an all-in-one for under £1,000 that would deliver fully balanced dual mono 580Wpc (into 8) and 900W (into 4), DAC and streamer included. That may be a risk worth taking. But not knowing what it would sound like and whether I'd like it is not ideal.

May I have some input from you guys, please. Anyone did anything simiar? Or could you share any experiences? Thanks
 

spiny norman

New member
Jan 14, 2009
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insider9 said:
Not planning on a pre amp stage, DSP volume control only.
From experience of products with DSP volume control, I'd suggest coming out of the DAC at full level, swerving the DSP, and going for an analogue volume control using a decent potentiometer.
 

insider9

Well-known member
Sep 20, 2016
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But I really want to avoid a pot of any kind.

Looking at Roon these are 3 options. I wanted option 1 ideally, if not 2.

Use Device Controls[/b] causes Roon to pass volume commands on to your device via the device's driver. Exactly what happens next varies from device to device. If your device advertises a high-quality volume control over USB, it's likely that this is the setting that you want.

DSP Volume[/b] uses Roon's built-in 64bit dithered volume processing. This is a high quality option, but should not be your first choice for hardware that provides volume control natively.

Fixed Volume[/b] disables volume control from within Roon, sending a fixed-level output signal to the audio device. Use this setting if you plan to control volume elsewhere--for instance, on your pre-amplifier or AV receiver.

-----

Looking at DAC in question, I see this among specs.
Integrated hardware volume control (via ALSA)[/list]
 

daveh75

Well-known member
Jul 31, 2008
601
29
18,920
Why bother? When Hifiberry and B&O have already done all the hard work and at a fraction of the cost...

https://www.hifiberry.com/shop/beocreate/beocreate-4-channel-amplifier/

https://www.hifiberry.com/beocreate/

https://www.fastcodesign.com/90162328/bang-olufsens-new-release-isnt-a-speaker-at-all
 

insider9

Well-known member
Sep 20, 2016
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All the research I've done I somehow think Anaview could give me the sonic attribtes I like. ICE and Hypex not so much and at higher cost. Also nowhere near the headroom with these. And before you ask yes I'd really want so much power around 200Wpc at a minimum 500W+ would be excellent.

These would be interesting though if I wanted to do an active conversion. Which I'm not going to with my speakers but worth knowing about. Thanks
 

cheeseboy

New member
Jul 17, 2012
245
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0
can't comment on the amp. However the pi connects to the dac via i2c not usb, so shouldn't be too much of an issue if it's not async. Either way looks good to me, wish I could be faffed to do the same :)
 

Strictly Stereo

Well-known member
Jan 29, 2018
2
0
520
I am not sure exactly which DAC chip we are talking about here or if the board provides access to all of its features, but if you can access the on-chip volume control, I think you will find it hard to tell apart from a decent analogue volume control.
 

insider9

Well-known member
Sep 20, 2016
914
443
5,270
Strictly Stereo said:
I am not sure exactly which DAC chip we are talking about here or if the board provides access to all of its features, but if you can access the on-chip volume control, I think you will find it hard to tell apart from a decent analogue volume control.
It's a PCM5242 that say that it does have integrated hardware volume control (via ALSA). Since there's nowhere in the chain to introduce any noise or additional jitter. Digital is chip to chip and on DAC volume with balanced outs straight to amp. I'd expect this to be a better solution than majority if not all of analogue pots.

I've also seen ESS Sabre baords but not only I'm not a fan but also don't think I've seen them with balanced outs. At least at reasonable price. Ideally I'd want an AKM DAC chip but PCM and TDA would be my second choice.
 

insider9

Well-known member
Sep 20, 2016
914
443
5,270
I'd also consinder this AKM board



AK4497EQ with higher sampling rates and DSD but it would be directly from Chinese seller and I can't even see any specs posted like SNR. It's also over twice the price.
 

Strictly Stereo

Well-known member
Jan 29, 2018
2
0
520
insider9 said:
It's a PCM5242 that say that it does have integrated hardware volume control (via ALSA). Since there's nowhere in the chain to introduce any noise or additional jitter. Digital is chip to chip and on DAC volume with balanced outs straight to amp. I'd expect this to be a better solution than majority if not all of analogue pots.
That would be my guess, although I have not tried the chip in question. I have a product here which uses the volume control on a different, but related Burr Brown chip. I would not be surprised if they used the same design across different parts. It really is very good.

The AKM chip referenced in your other post has pretty amazing specs. I suspect this is the part that Hegel is using in its new H590 integrated amp.
 

andyjm

New member
Jul 20, 2012
15
0
0
insider9 said:
Concept

I'll probably start of by saying I'm not a massive fan of Class D... However recent assembly of Class T shoe box amp have given me some food for thought. You may also remember I built a Linux based streamer not that long ago. So I started wondering about a more serious build for an all-in-one amp/streamer/dac. The only problem is I wouldn't know what it sounds like until it's made. I'm both demanding and know what sound I like. Here are some components I'm considering. But as a concept Roon endpoint all-in-one or alternatively Rune streamer would be what I'm after.

Power stage

Anaview AMS1000-2600. Likely would use two modules bridged. If only using one module specs are 2x170Wpc (into 8 Ohms), 2x300Wpc (into 4), 2x500Wpc (into 2). Fun begins when used briged 580Wpc (into 8 Ohms), 900Wpc (into 4). Modules without a case are around £350 delivered . Would need a case another £50.

Streamer stage

Considering a RasPi working as a Roon endpoint. Hardwired to LAN.That's about £50 wouldn't need a case as it would all go into one.

DAC stage

Pi Dac Pro from IQ Audio looks the part and has a balanced connection which I could go straight board to board. Not planning on a pre amp stage, DSP volume control only. That's sub £50. The thing is it's not async. So this would need to be looked at. Not sure what to do with it or in fact if it would have big impact.

Summary

Say this all works I could have an all-in-one for under £1,000 that would deliver fully balanced dual mono 580Wpc (into 8) and 900W (into 4), DAC and streamer included. That may be a risk worth taking. But not knowing what it would sound like and whether I'd like it is not ideal.

May I have some input from you guys, please. Anyone did anything simiar? Or could you share any experiences? Thanks
An interesting project. Earthing and shielding is all when you are building something like this, so take time to build it properly. Using balanced links will help, but Google centre point shielding and star point shielding.

From a philosophical point of view, you are taking a digital signal, turning it into analogue to drive a digital pulse width modulator (the class D amp). Far better (IMO) to do without the analogue step and drive the output stages of the class D directly with the digital signal - effectively using the class D amp as a combined DAC and power amp all in one.

Its not a new concept, its how class Ds are widely used, and I recall NAD had a big hoopla about an amp of theirs that did this (rather neglecting to point out it was old hat).

Anyway, the point is you could throw the DAC away and half of the electronics in the class D. I am not sure I have seen DIY modules to do this, but it is an interesting step.
 

insider9

Well-known member
Sep 20, 2016
914
443
5,270
andyjm said:
An interesting project. Earthing and shielding is all when you are building something like this, so take time to build it properly. Using balanced links will help, but Google centre point shielding and star point shielding.

From a philosophical point of view, you are taking a digital signal, turning it into analogue to drive a digital pulse width modulator (the class D amp). Far better (IMO) to do without the analogue step and drive the output stages of the class D directly with the digital signal - effectively using the class D amp as a combined DAC and power amp all in one.

Its not a new concept, its how class Ds are widely used, and I recall NAD had a big hoopla about an amp of theirs that did this (rather neglecting to point out it was old hat).

Anyway, the point is you could throw the DAC away and half of the electronics in the class D. I am not sure I have seen DIY modules to do this, but it is an interesting step.
Thanks, no doubt there will be quite a bit of learning involved. Thanks for pointers.

As to going straight digital I haven't seen any kits like this. I think the NAD you mention was from M2 onwards. If so, I did have a brief listening session and it sounded, fast muscial and highly details. At least that's my recollection.

As to going in without D2A I probably prefer doing D2A as it allows for analogue preamp stage should I decide to allow for more inputs.

The project is becoming more likely as my mate likes the sound of shoe box amp that he's considering selling his main amp... watch this space :)
 

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