LiTe Dac Ah – Revisited. (and a PS1)

LiTe Dac Ah – Revisited. (and a PS1)

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This article follows on from Robert Powell’s original review of the LiTe Dac Ah, a budget digital to analogue converter from the Far East.  Its low price and high specification makes it a popular choice with the hobbyist, but can it give a little more if modified.

This article detailing modifications of the LiTe DAC Ah was originally published in Affordable$$Audio E-Zine in the May 07.  With kind permission of Affordable$$Audio and the Author Robert Powell I am pleased to re-publish it here.

In the May 2007 issue of affordable$$audio I reviewed the Lite Dac Ah. A cheap no nonsense Non-Oversampling Dac that I sourced direct from www.diyclub.biz

As a transport I used the Cambridge 640Cv2 that in it’s own right had received many accolades and “Best Buys” from the hi-fi press.

My impression of the LiTe was that it presented music in a different way to those players and Dac’s that used oversampling, particularly the Cambridge. The Cambridge is a very accomplished player, but those “difficult” discs are still…well “difficult”. I suppose you could say that it doesn’t suffer fools gladly. There was, for me, something about the LiTe that sounded more musical and seemed to get to the heart of the music.

I am a bit of a detail freak, but not at the costs of musicality. The LiTe seemed to be able to do both. My listening room means that I do not have to use more than 1Watt of power to get a reasonable listening level (yes, I have checked what1 Watt is with a db meter). Those who may remember my articles about the Sonic Impact (modified) and the Fostex back loaded horns, will realize why I can get away with 1 Watt (or less!) The reason for my explanation is that not long after I purchased the LiTe, I read on a forum that there was a circuit error in the manufacture of the Dac that caused distortion. I didn’t think that I had that problem and to my ears I could not hear any perceptible distortion, probably due to the level that I listened at.

In the same forum there were people that were ripping open their newly acquired purchases in order to mod them and improve the sound. Now I am a cautious kind of guy and even though I did not have any sort of warranty or friendly dealer that I could pop along to if the thing decided to give up the ghost, I was not about the start messing about with a new purchase.

I’m sure some or maybe even a lot of you will have read or heard about the hype over the last couple of years about the Sony Playstation 1. An on-line review magazine said, “You would have to spend over $6,000 to get a better player”. Sensational stuff.

I have been a little late in the day in catching up with the news. However my son had a lot of games consoles as teenager and I asked him if he could source me one of the early one’s with the phono outs (specified as models 1001 in USA and 1002 in Europe). He managed to get me a 1002 (said to have been hardly used?!) for $50. It was more than some were asking on e-bay, but if it sounded like £3,000 worth then it was a bargain.

If you wonder what this has got to do with the LiTe Dac, don’t worry, read on. Mick Fuerbacher has a site dedicated to the modifications required to make the Sony PS1 really sing. Interestingly enough the site that compared the PS1 to a $6,000 CD player were listening to an un-modified 1001 (through the phono outs).