AUDIOPHONICS DAC I-Sabre ES9038Q2M Raspberry Pi / I2S & SPDIF / PCM DSD Micro USB Power Supply

AUDIOPHONICS DAC I-Sabre ES9038Q2M Raspberry Pi / I2S & SPDIF / PCM DSD Micro USB Power Supply
-19%
Audiophonics offers you the successor of the DAC I-Sabre 9028, this time with the ES9038Q2M decoding chip. This version offers outstanding sound performance, thanks in particular to the HyperStream II architecture, traditionally reserved for professional devices.

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Audiophonics ES9038Q2M

DAC I-Sabre ES9038Q2M Raspberry Pi / I2S & SPDIF / PCM DSD Micro USB Power Supply

Audiophonics ES9038Q2M DAC I-Sabre ES9038Q2M Raspberry Pi / I2S & SPDIF / PCM DSD Alimentation Micro USB

Audiophonics offers you the successor of the DAC I-Sabre 9028, this time with the ES9038Q2M decoding chip. This version offers outstanding sound performance, thanks in particular to the HyperStream II architecture, traditionally reserved for professional devices.

Increasingly stunning audio quality

In line with its predecessors, the ES9038Q2M offers exceptional sound performance thanks to components selected to ensure the highest accuracy and precision in reproduction, without making it aggressive. This version is based on recognized technologies. It also takes advantage of HyperStream II, significantly improving the dynamic range while limiting jitter and unwanted noise. The board also includes an ultra-low phase noise clock for the ES9038Q2M.

Audiophonics ES9038Q2M DAC I-Sabre ES9038Q2M Raspberry Pi / I2S & SPDIF / PCM DSD Alimentation Micro USB

An autonomous system

Like the previous ES9028Q2M, the ES9038Q2M was designed to be mounted on a Raspberry Pi, in order to offer the best possible output quality. It is compatible with other GPIO Raspberry Pi format cards, but not only. It can also be connected to any I2S or SPDIF source (USB interface, DSP...). The card offers a hardware volume control that can be controlled by encoder, with an OLED display, allowing it to operate completely autonomously. The installation of specific drivers is optional, the latter allowing you to control the volume or change inputs from Linux.

An improved user experience

Thanks to an integrated microprocessor, the I-Sabre 9038Q2M is able to automatically detect the format and sampling rate of the source and automatically adapt to it. It automatically detects if the source is in 16bit, 24bit or DSD DoP. This CPLD chip control maintains high stability while preventing decoding problems and the appearance of artifacts while listening.

Efficient analog output

The I-Sabre ES9038 has two bipolar operational amplifiers NJM 2114, powered in 9V for the current / voltage I/V conversion section, which allows a high quality analog output. A last AOP NJM 2214 used as a buffer finalizes the analog output stage and ensures optimal restitution.

Audiophonics ES9038Q2M DAC I-Sabre ES9038Q2M Raspberry Pi / I2S & SPDIF / PCM DSD Alimentation Micro USB

A complete solution

This converter has all the potential to evolve into a complete solution. For example, an OLED screen dedicated to displaying the source, volume, bitrate, etc. can easily be added. It will also be possible to add an encoder to control the volume of the DAC to avoid the quality losses inherent in volume software management.

This product contains only the DAC Audiophonics I-Sabre ES9038Q2M. The Raspberry Pi, OLED display and rotary encoder are sold separately.

Audiophonics ES9038Q2M DAC I-Sabre ES9038Q2M Raspberry Pi / I2S & SPDIF / PCM DSD Alimentation Micro USB

An efficient power supply stage

Powered via a 5V Micro USB input, the DAC has a particularly well-designed power supply stage that ensures a stable signal while reducing residual noise. For this purpose, the PCB integrates a Mornsun DC/DC converter, followed by two LT7809/7909 linear controllers dedicated to the analog part, which is supplied with +/-9V.

In addition, as with its predecessor, the Raspberry Pi is powered directly via the GPIO port, thus avoiding multiple connections.

The board also has two ultra-low noise voltage regulators dedicated to the DAC to isolate it from the main power supply. The DVCC voltage is generated from an LP5907 (regulation <6.5µV), which generates the Vref 1.2V of the DAC, which is a critical voltage. The AVCC voltage is generated from a dedicated ADP150 regulator (regulation <9µV).

Audiophonics ES9038Q2M DAC I-Sabre ES9038Q2M Raspberry Pi / I2S & SPDIF / PCM DSD Alimentation Micro USB

Dedicated driver integrated in RPI kernels > 4.19.34

Used in conjunction with a Raspberry Pi, the DAC I-Sabre ES9038Q2M will provide a complete dematerialized reading solution. The support of the driver by the Raspberry Pi kernel from version 4.19.34 allows an easy installation as well as access to hardware volume control, filter management and input selection (I2S/SPDIF).
(dtoverlay=i-sabre-q2m in config.txt)

To date (July 2019), the driver selection is integrated in:

MoOde Audio

MoOde Audio

MoOde Audio is an MPD-based solution like Volumio. It allows the playback of files, radios, UPnP streams and even Qobuz (controlled in UPnP).

DietPi

DietPi

The DietPi software solution allows you to use Logitech Media Server / Squeezelite and/or Roon. It is also an efficient basis for installing other applications that will require some computer knowledge (SSH connection) to go further.

piCorePlayer

piCorePlayer 5.0

piCorePlayer is a powerful, accessible and fast to set up Squeezelite LMS interface. It allows to configure in depth all the functionalities of the DACI-Sabre to exploit all the possibilities offered by the card.
You will find the complete setup tutorial here.

Interface de contrôle AlsaMixer sous DietPi

Alsamixer under DietPi control interface.

Volumio compatible

The ES9038Q2M driver is also compatible with the Volumio solution via a manually installable plugin. Volumio offers an efficient and very intuitive web control interface, ideal for beginners. It is the ideal option to easily obtain a powerful and easy to use audio player / decoder.

You will find a tutorial to install the Volumio plugin on DAC ES9038Q2M by following the link below:

Audiophonics ES9038Q2M DAC I-Sabre ES9038Q2M Raspberry Pi / I2S & SPDIF / PCM DSD Alimentation Micro USB

Controling DAC functions with I2C

This DAC card has a micro-controller which is very helpful to set basic functions. Any user can control it with an Arduino or any I2C controler for in housing integration.

The card allows multiple control thanks to 4 possible I2C addresses that can be reached with jumpers JP1 & JP2 :

I2C Address

  • Without jumper : 0x48
  • JP1 : 0x49
  • JP2 : 0x4A
  • JP1 & JP2 : 0x4B

Once connected the following registers are accessible (read-only) :



Registers functions

  • 0x20 : Volume from 0 to 100
  • 0x21 : Mute 0x00 = Mute OFF, 0x01 = Mute ON
  • 0x22 : Filters :
    • 0x00 = brick wall
    • 0x01 = corrected minimum phase fast
    • 0x02 = minimum phase slow
    • 0x03 = minimum phase fast
    • 0x04 = linear phase slow
    • 0x05 = linear phase fast
    • 0x06 = apodizing fast
  • 0x21 : Mute 0x00 = Mute OFF, 0x01 = Mute ON
  • 0x24 : Entrée 0x00 = I2S, 0x01 = SPDIF


Excerpt of Arduino code for volume control

Adresse_I2C = 0x48;
VarVolume = 50;
Wire.beginTransmission(Adresse_I2C);
Wire.write(0x20);
Wire.write(VarVolume);
Wire.endTransmission();

Formats PCM / DSD pris en charge

The DAC I-Sabre is compatible with 24bit 192kHz with the RPI-DAC driver and up to 32bit 384kHz with its driver and distributions using an optimized audio kernet (Volume, DietPi). It can also read DSD64/DSD128 DoP with solutions such as Volumio and Logitech Media Server.

It can also read DSD64/DSD128 DoP with solutions such as Volumio and Legitech Media Server. The S/PDIF input accepts a PCM format up to 24bit 192kHz and up to DSD128 DoP. The I2S input supports 32bit 768kHz in PCM and up to DSD512 DoP.

Support for DSD on Logitech Media Server with piCorePlayer requires prior configuration. This tutorial describe the setup process.

Using an Allo Kali in addition to an Allo Kali is not compatible with DSD mode.

Audiophonics ES9038Q2M DAC I-Sabre ES9038Q2M Raspberry Pi / I2S & SPDIF / PCM DSD Alimentation Micro USB

Audiophonics ES9038Q2M review by The Hans Beekhuyzen Channel

Technical characteristics

Specifications
Product typeDAC Module
DAC ChipES9038Q2M
Supported sampling ratesPCM up to 32bit 768kHz (Max 384kHz via GPIO Raspberry Pi)
DSD up to  DSD512 DoP (Max DSD128 via GPIO Raspberry Pi)
THD0.002dB
THD+N-108dB
Output level-1.54V RMS / 2.24Vpp
Power supply5V DC via Micro USB
Inputs1x I2S GPIO (pinout RPI-DAC)
1x I2S
1x SPDIF

1x I2C (RPI)
Outputs1x Stereo RCA

1x I2S for OLED (MCU)
1x I2S (RPI)
1x SPI (RPI)
Dimensions90 x 57mm
Weight42g

Audio Precision Measures

Audiophonics ES9038Q2M DAC I-Sabre ES9038Q2M Raspberry Pi / I2S & SPDIF / PCM DSD Alimentation Micro USB

OLED Screen / Rotary encoder/ I2S / SPDIF wiring diagram

Audiophonics ES9038Q2M DAC I-Sabre ES9038Q2M Raspberry Pi / I2S & SPDIF / PCM DSD Alimentation Micro USB
Winstar 16x2 Screen Pinout
ES9038Q2M PinoutWinstar 16x2 Screen Pinout
Pin 61
Pin 22
Pin 264
Pin 345
Pin 246
Pin 2211
Pin 1812
Pin 1613
Pin 1314
IR Receiver
GPIO 26 (Pin 37)OUT (IR Data Receiver)
 
Data sheet
InputS/PDIF
InputI2S
InputI2C
InputI2S
OutputRCA
OutputSPI
OutputI2S
DAC ChipES9038Q2M
Max sampling rateDSD512
Max sampling rate768kHz
Channel2 channels (Stereo)
 
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AUDIOPHONICS DAC I-Sabre ES9038Q2M Raspberry Pi / I2S & SPDIF / PCM DSD Micro USB Power Supply
Audiophonics offers you the successor of the DAC I-Sabre 9028, this time with the ES9038Q2M decoding chip. This version offers outstanding sound...

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