This was a little project I put together after looking around the net for a good DIY project, trying out a couple of DACs along the way. I really liked the sound of the Wolfsons and looked around for a board using these chips. The board I purchased was as a kit from ebay designed by Weiling. The DAC board is a DAC7 which uses Wolfson WM8805 digital receiver and dual WM8741 DAC chips.. The full kit was inexpensive and fairly simple to solder up in standard form but when it arrived I threw away most of the supplied components and used much higher quality types during it’s construction.
Upgraded components include; Panasonic FC for DC filtering, NewClassD low noise regulators, high power regulators for the audio LPF from a Korean ebay seller (sellarz), OS-CON caps, Black Gate NX-Hi Q caps, Black Gate N caps, Black Gate FK caps, Elna Silmic II caps, Elna Cerafine caps, Wima & panasonic polyprop caps and Takman audio metal film resistors. I really went to town on this DAC board even using up old Black Gates I had sitting around stored in my parts tray. The Black Gates really work their magic in this DAC.. I built 2 of these boards one with Black Gates and one with just OS-CONs. The difference is huge in terms of sound quality.
I used a pair of LME49720 ICs in the LPF stages and OPA2134 for feedback. The DAC sounded fantastic and sounded even better when run-in after a couple of weeks or so. Then I tried the Burson V4 modules in this DAC and the performance went up a couple of gears. Soundstage was wider, deeper, higher and delivered a more natural presentation, which was absolutely fantastic. I fitted the newer V5 modules from Burson Audio and again I can hear another improvement over the V4. They are more refined without becoming clinical sounding or harsh on the ear. All the mirco detail and dynamics were present, which would be impossible to reproduce from normal ICs.
Definitely an improvement over the previous versions. I’m a massive fan of these OP amps. I’ve also used them in 4 mono-block power amps, and they took them into another league. Highly Recommended.
In other other areas of this DAC, I’ve used separate R core transformers, 2 for the DAC and 1 for a dedicated clock power supply. with a USA Bybee in line feeding another DIY board ‘The Flea’ which supplies a very clean power supply to a TXCO connected to the WM8805 on the DAC board. This clock board is a great upgrade, simple & cheap to build and works extremely well. – performs better than a pre-built clock from another supplier I tried. Loads of info of this on the net… check it out.
On the mains side, this project uses a high grade furtech IEC socket with a Hi-Tuning silver fuse, DIY mains filter conditioner (Lukasz Fikus – Lampizator inspired) AMB of America switch circuit with relay board and all wired with Cardas litz cable..
I hope this gives people some insight of what can be achieved for the average DIYer like me. The Burson OP amps have to be a MUST for any mod or project in my opinion as they really do elevate equipment into another league.