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Sweet looking Resistor Ladder DAC!
1) Is the input upsampled to a certain frequency before being sent to the resistor ladder?
2) Would a adding a 3rd party quality linear power supply add any improvement to the sound quality?
Post #4 on Head-Fi (by Torq) addresses LPS. Short answer: it does improve slightly the noise floor and sound quality.
AliExpress here I come! The Audiophonics 5v USB LPS I like maxes out at 2.5A. So close, but no go!
I would imagine using a decent LPS and a your USB decrapifier of choice would work wonders on it. Let us know which LPS you end up with once you've heard it.
Would this LPS also work well with the Massdrop LCX?
Hey mtmercer, good questions!
1) We do use some integer-rate upsampling with linear phase FIR filters. This gives us a smoother output waveform and thus a smoother sound. Without the upsampling, we found that lower sample rates could have a harsher edge to the sound from the larger steps between samples.
2) The short answer is: yes! R-2R DACs, especially sign-magnitude versions, need precise, stable voltages for maximal performance. The RDAC has several power regulation circuits inside to stabilize the 5V DC we get from the supplied wall wart, such as the two precision linear series regulators next to the PLD on the top board. With these circuits, even the stock power supply gives good performance. With a better linear power supply, these regularization circuits don’t have to work as hard and the resulting voltages are even more precisely controlled, leading to more resolved sound.
The supplier stated it would be rated for 1.2 amps at 30V DC for the LCX which requires 30V DC and 1.25A. Based on that I would not recommend this model for the LCX. There have a larger model for $200 something that would have enough power though.
Many thanks for the comprehensive answer! Really appreciated, thank you!
This would be 1 option for the LCX.
Look what I found on AliExpress
But it that is almost $300 shipped so you have to wonder is it better to just get a more expensive amp to begin with.
Yes, you are absolutely right and your comment is spot on... shelling out $300 on a LPS for the LCX would be an overkill, considering the amp has basically the same price. Wonder if there's anything in the $150 ballpark or so...