HiFiMeDIY Sabre USB DAC Digital to Analog Audio Converter 96khz/24bit ES9023+SA9023 + USB to Optical Converter
- Sabre DAC Technology
- 96khz/24bit USB input
- Small, lightweight design
- Output on 3.5mm headphone jack
- Volume level adjustable with computer hardware keys
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Top Customer Reviews
The HiFiMeDIY Sabre DAC is an external USB D/A audio converter designed by the DIY community and based on the entry level ESS Sabre ES9023 D/A chip and the ubiquitous USB 2.0, full-speed compliant Tenor TE-7022L audio streaming controller from the Galaxy Far East Corp. (GFEC). The HiFiMeDIY DAC is a device of remarkable simplicity but in the same time a model of efficient circuit design. Power is supplied by the USB to a Linear Technology LT1763 low-noise, low drop-out (LDO) micro-power regulator while all other functions: USB control, data retrieval, pin-addressing, clocking, oversampling, D/A conversion, low-pass filtering, etc., are split between the Tenor and the Sabre chips. This arrangement eliminates the necessity for any other processor (dedicated to some of these functions) on the circuit board. The data transfer in the HiFiMeDIY DAC is synchronous (the USB data link is controlled by the computer rather than the DAC). This is, arguably, not the best arrangement for audio purposes due to jitter issues (this jitter issue depends greatly on the other duties of the computer's processor.) Nevertheless, the Tenor chip features integrated phase-locked loop (PLL) to support single crystal operation (12MHz) and has some buffering capability, which helps mitigate jitter to some degree.Read more ›
UPDATE: May 2016
I can't believe I've had this for two years, but it's safe to say I will never buy a big box DAC again. I have it back on my main system now, as it still performs better than any other DAC I've worked with. I got a mini one, and made a custom headphone cable for my AT Q702's, which now plug directly into a usb jack, which is lovely. Still highly recommended!
UPDATE: April 2014
After having the device for a couple months, I decided to buy another one to tinker with. I was able to separate the power from the USB host, and use a rectifier I made that was connected to a molex output from the PSU on my computer, and the sound became even more transparent. I'm going to be re-wiring the device to have RCA connectors on it, so I can use is like the Halide DAC. This little device is very DIY friendly, and I would recommend to anyone who has some knowledge in personal digital audio to test it out!
My computer soundcard is so noisy, when a song got quiet or a track was changing, you could hear the sound-card in the computer generating noise as it took resources from the CPU. It was very distracting, especially when playing games. I heard it both on my PC, as well as my Mac Mini, so I decided to do something about it.
I've been looking for an external-from-the-computer DAC for a while now, and I have used the Peachtree DAC-iT, Emotiva XDA-1, Halide DAC HD, among others, however I was annoyed at how large and expensive they were.
Then I found this little guy. It reminded me of the Halide DAC in size, however this DAC is 90% cheaper!Read more ›
So, before spending beaucoups $$$ on any of the more esoteric or renowned DAC units that had gotten good recommendations, the cheapskate in me took a chance with the HiFiMeDIY Sabre DAC. Being so inexpensive, even if it didn't offer any great improvement, I wasn't tossing out a lot of cash. Well, I definitely have no remorse about purchasing this HiFiMeDIY DAC. This unit is not only a great bargain, but it truly delivers the goods. Its sound quality now brings my digital music to a level that comes a lot closer to rivaling my other music sources (note: I said closer to, but not equal).
Yes, it's cheaply made, but it plugged in and it worked right out the box with both Windows XP and 7. It has a few quirks which are probably related more to one of the computers I use than the DAC. Anyway, I immediately noticed a distinguishable enhancement over the standard output, although not a huge 'night and day' difference in sound, but a pleasantly noticeable improvement.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Doesn't seem to do much sound improvement. I really don't have a lot of Hi Res audio, just some flac. The Volume on my Yamy R s202 seemed to be louder using the DAC though. Read morePublished 12 days ago by John T
If you want to improve the sound coming out of your desktop or laptop, this is the best $42 you can spend. Turns even 128k MP3s into comparative sonic wonders. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Peter Kastner
A high-performance DAC for a small price. A clear improvement of its especially when connected to a conventional amp, performance is less clear with digital amps... Read more
Absolute gem. Recessed, in a positive way, no harsh sounds anywhere. Beautiful treble, fantastic mids, and tight, controlled bass; always a pleasure to listen to. Read morePublished 7 months ago by sharmelan
I purchased this DAC partially based on the reviews and partially based on price. I have two other DAC/amps, a Nuforce Icon HDP and an Emotiva Stealth DC-1 at home, but wanted one... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Neil O.
For the price and ease of use, this sounds really terrific. Not the warmest, most euphonious sound ever, but really unbeatable at this price point. Read morePublished 9 months ago by fredlf
Just got this a few days ago. Its appears as "SPDIF Interface" and "SABRE 24/96 DAC_DigiT" under the playback device list.
1. Read more
This little DAC is definitely worth the money if you have a decent pair of headphones to go along with it. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Brandon