I mentioned something about my primary DAC in a previous blog article (UpTone JS-2). This article describes in more detail how this unique, one-of-a-kind DAC come to be - an origin story! The KillerDAC is an old school DAC:
- DAC chip is a 16 bit TDA1541A S2 double crown (Taiwan) chip
- Tube rectifier (1x 5U4G)
- Valve output stage (2x 6DJ8/ECC88)
- I2S and S/PDIF inputs
The KillerDAC cannot decode DSD, nor can it play anything higher than 96 kHz/24 bits. This is old school red book DAC, and it sounds amazing to my ears. A device with no fancy marketing gimmicks, and it’s role is to solely playback beautiful music that can touch my soul.
Here it is in it’s current form:And to my eyes it looks stunning in the looks department too. But it didn’t start off like this.
This DAC was in a pretty poor condition when I purchased it second hand. It required a lot of work, a local Perth audiophile (Doncentric) offered his help fix it all up. And thus begins the amazing journey.
Don works and thinks at a very fast pace, and he he has that uncanny ability to maintain focus and pay attention to the tiny details. This is the state of the machine when I first got it . Some caps and wires (dried out and brittle CAT5 Ethernet cable) have already been snipped.I never kept a picture of the DAC in it’s original case as it looks ugly - just a simple black box. You can see the case cover as you read on. Bottom left is the DAC board, the previous owner stripped Ethernet cables and use that as hook up cables. While it is good (telfon is a good thing), the wires are solid core and it presents no ends of problems.