S4 DAC in 2020

Recently, the S4 DAC went through a couple of changes.

The first is, we switched (“back”, historically speaking) from modern ENIG (electroless nickel immersion gold a.k.a chemical gold, on copper of course) printed circuit board to a more classic HA(S)L (tinned copper). Please refer to this page to learn about the differences.

Obviously, the ENIG is more practical for fine pitch parts, but the sonic difference we got by this move, which we did make successfully, is similar to that when you switch from the nickel/gold plated connectors to the ones without such corrosion protection.

The second change is about clocks. In January I replaced Kyocera with Crystek, and here you can read where are we now with this.

And finally, there is one small change at the S4 front plate: we added the Audial logo around the indication LED. This definitively does not alter the way the S4 sounds, but I do like the way it looks.

2 thoughts on “S4 DAC in 2020”

  1. When I saw 2020 update I half expected an HDMI I2S input. Will this ever come to an Audial TDA1541A DAC?

    Not a deal breaker I’m really just wondering. I2S input or BNC/coax with >96KhZ capabilities would be nice some day.

  2. Yes, the poll you see at right is there on purpose. But it won’t come with S4.

    Currently, I have no plans to go with TDA1541A beyond 96 kHz at S/PDIF.

    On the other side, I do am curious about how the TDA1541A may possibly work up to 192 kHz with 64-bit frame I2S. I’d guess it is actually possible, but what made TDA1541A work up to 384 kHz with Philips simultaneous protocol did not work here. So, it is on my to-do list, but it is no priority for now.

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