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Sheherazade DSD-PCM Sabre32 DAC

This is the ”reference” DAC in my audio system. It’s based on Twisted Pear Audio (http://www.twistedpearaudio.com/landing.aspx ) Buffalo III SE board and consist in my implementation for best use this module.
The heart of Buffalo III board is the ES 9018 ESS Sabre32 Reference DAC chip. Whith its amazing performance is probably the best DAC actually available. It can handle 32 bit PCM data via I2S input as well as DSD or SPDIF data with DNR of 135dB and THD+N of -120dB. To obtain a USB port and connect a personal computer as player for high-resolution files I use the Amanero Combo 384 module (http://amanero.com/). Amanero Combo 384 module support a sample rate of 44.1Khz 48Khz 88.2Khz 96Khz 176.4Khz 192Khz 352.8Khz 384Khz with output format I2S 32bit or DSD64, DSD128, on Windows DSD256,DSD512 too. For Mac OSX 10.6+ and Linux with UAC2 compliant kernel no drivers needed otherwise you can download KS/Wasapi/WDM/ASIO Drivers for MS OS XP to Win8 32-64bit. The Buffalo III SE board need a power supply of 5,25 V at 440 mA. I tested various type of power supply and in particular it’s “sound characteristics” and at last I adopted a mosfet shunt regulated type equipped with Schottky diode as rectifiers.
  
The Buffalo III board need an I/V stage buffer to match the differential current output from ES 9018 DAC. I tried various circuit and device ( tube, opamp, fet ) but the best performance I obtained with Triad HS-56V audio transformers, in 600:600 ohms configuration, connected directly in the +, – pin out on the Buffalo board. No DC current flow in primary side due the equal DC voltage on the +, – DAC sides. Usually a I/V low value resistor is put on transformer primary side but after various listening test I prefer to omit I/V resistor.
About the sound, I love this DAC. Very dynamic, open, spacious, wide and deep sound stage, realistic voices even with DSD, PCM high resolution files and also 16/44 khz music from CD. All kind of music is played at best quality very, very close to the best vinyl set up.  
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