I2S and Sabre es9023 DAC

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I2S and Sabre es9023 DAC

Postby dant100 » Mon Jan 06 2014 15:53

Hello all,

I'm trying to put together a Volumio system using the following components:
Raspberry Pi
Sabre es9023 DAC that Michaelangelo suggested in his post back on Raspyfi (http://www.raspyfi.com/building-my-reference-dac/)
2.5" HDD (full of tasty lossless music, mostly ripped CDs in ALAC)
Pi-Supply power switch
16x2 LCD screen
Wifi dongle

I then need to find a suitable power supply with multiple rails and voltages, an amp (I currently have a OPA2132 DIY one I made a few years back which isn't great) I'm thinking of getting an O2 for this). Finally a nice enclosure to house it all. This will then be a portable (albeit needing mains power) music centre which I can plug headphones into and block out the outside world!
I might look at including a battery to run it without mains as well so it could work in the car or in the garden.
I'll post some photos and updates as I crack on in the proper section of the forum.

My current issue is getting the RPi to talk to the 9023DAC over I2S. The DAC in question doesn't have a MCLK onboard so will not do asynchronous audio. Mike was using the XMOS USB to I2S board with his project, which provides the clock, but I don't want to buy/use this board just to get the clock, when the Pi can now output the I2S itself.
Has anyone managed to find a way of generating the MCLK signal from an external source? Or is there a way to make a DIY clock using a crystal?

If anyone else is looking into this your thoughts would be appreciated. I currently have a nice shiny new DAC and no way of listening to it. I have been using a FIIO E17 so far which is ok, but I'm aiming higher.

Loving your work Michaelangelo.

Cheers all

Dan
P.S. Yes I am aware I am trying to build a huge ipod! But it will sound so much better!
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Re: I2S and Sabre es9023 DAC

Postby npejcic » Mon Jan 06 2014 21:31

MCLK generation is not simple task. Good guidelines You can found in this doc:
https://www.xmos.com/en/download/public ... 1.1%29.pdf
PAGE 17

This is simplest method with two NC7WZU04 invertors but you must select manually which clock out is connected on ES9023 MCLK in.

ES9023 have high immunity to clock jitter, so this method is feasible. This is my theoretical opinion, not practical. I never tested this.
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Re: I2S and Sabre es9023 DAC

Postby dant100 » Tue Jan 07 2014 09:07

Hi npeJclc,

Thanks very much for the info.
That seems to be a bit difficult to achieve, looks like I might have to find another DAC with a built in MCLK and sell the 9023, unless I can find another use for it.

Anyone know how the HiFiBerry compares to an ES9023? Does it have a MCLK onboard?
I would get the ODAC but it doesn't do 24/192.

Thanks
Dan
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Re: I2S and Sabre es9023 DAC

Postby Mark_H » Tue Jan 07 2014 19:35

I am also interested in how to generate the MCLK signal. Another DAC PCB suggested by Michaelangelo gives the option to install an oscillator (ES9023 DAC by DIYINHK)
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Re: I2S and Sabre es9023 DAC

Postby hifiberry » Wed Jan 08 2014 19:21

I did tests with the PCM5102 and the ES9023 for the HiFiBerry project. I decided to use the PCM5102. One can talk a lot about "sound", and many people will have different opinions about it. But pure signal-to-noise measurements on the Raspberry were much better with the Burr-Brown chip. In this test, the ES9023 was externally clocked.
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Re: I2S and Sabre es9023 DAC

Postby npejcic » Wed Jan 08 2014 19:41

I agree with hifiberry. I done my I2S board with PCM5102 and compared it with DIYINHK ES9023 DAC with external clock. Testing is done in same acoustic ambient. PCM5102 sound slightly better or same depend on music which is playing. This is my subjective feel.
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Re: I2S and Sabre es9023 DAC

Postby michelangelo » Wed Jan 08 2014 22:09

Love this conversation! Extremely talented people talking about my favourite passion!
I think we "audiophiles" are bad educated from marketing practices. We do look only to brands and names, even when it comes to chip, ignoring that the implementation is what really matters.
I suggest this reading to everybody:
http://nwavguy.blogspot.it/search?updated-max=2012-05-09T22:09:00-07:00&max-results=1

Anyway when I'll find the time, I'll try to connect an ESS9023 (also 9028, just to show off :D ) with an external clock
http://www.ebay.it/itm/HPRC-331-High-Precision-Low-Jitter-Audio-Clock-with-Ultra-Low-Noise-Circuit-/330924147727?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4d0c9dc40f
and report my thoughts .

I'm also preparing a in dept review of all 3 i2s dacs you guys sent, think they are awesome and they really have something special. I'll make an article on italian audiophile newspaper Audioreview on that. Thanks for such amazing pieces of silicon joy!
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Re: I2S and Sabre es9023 DAC

Postby npejcic » Thu Jan 09 2014 10:41

michelangelo wrote:I think we "audiophiles" are bad educated from marketing practices. We do look only to brands and names, even when it comes to chip, ignoring that the implementation is what really matters.


This is very true... most people think that price of audio device is the most important parameter for good sound.
We try to demystify this :)
Raspy + Volumio + I2S DAC sound very good. What about Amp and Speakers?

We prepare to publish soon, one of the best and simple to make HiFi amplifier which can compare with several thousand euros brand amplifier.
It's named BatoMM. My friends in Serbia construct it and make prototype about one year ago, and now it's in test and measurement phase.

What is special on this amplifier: Audiophile most problem and financially demanding is interconnection cable between amp and speakers (some is more than 1000Euros!!!). BatoMM have OPTIONAL small signal cable for feedback from your speakers connector and if you use this feedback you can use any cable (let's say for refrigirator :)). This feedback make correction for loses on cables and sound is much better with feedback.

This projects is open-source, and material is priced about 100 Euros (stereo amp, power supply) without case.

Only thing for buy then is good sound speakers. I am not suggest to DIY, because it's very demanding task :(
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Re: I2S and Sabre es9023 DAC

Postby benjiv » Mon Jan 20 2014 14:47

Hello,

I have a similar problem. I have Raspberry Pi + Sabre es9023 DAC suggested by Michaelangelo.

First of all : I have no sound card when invoking alsa -l or alsa -L
Which drivers I have to load to run this DAC ?

Secondly, the question of master clock MCLK. If I choose to connect an external clock, what would be the correct value of this clock ?

I'm a totally beginner, sorry for all this questions (and for my poor English)
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Re: I2S and Sabre es9023 DAC

Postby Stark3 » Fri Jan 24 2014 06:52

Regarding external master clocks, it would depend on the maximum frequency rate of the audio file you'll run through the DAC. If you're going to mostly run CD-quality music (16-bit / 44.1kHz) files through it, then any clock with frequency 11.896MHz above will do. If you have hi resolution audio files (24-bit 48kHz - 96kHz), you'll need at least a 24.576 MHz clock. (From what I've read though, for asynchronous operation clocks in the 40 plus MHz range sound the best)

This was the only entry in EBay that I could find for such an external clock :
http://www.ebay.com/itm/24-576MHz-Low-Jitter-Clock-Module-for-CD-players-/160328936831?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2554596d7f

I haven't tried it for myself so I can't vouch for its quality, but that's probably the only way you can go unless you can DIY your own solution.
Last edited by Stark3 on Fri Jan 24 2014 07:08, edited 1 time in total.
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