AUDIOPHONICS EVO-SABRE PACK DIY Balanced DAC 2xES9038Q2M & Streamer

AUDIOPHONICS EVO DAC Kit DIY DAC 2xES9038Q2M Fully Balanced & Streamer for Raspberry Pi 4
This is the kit version WITHOUT Raspberry Pi. It includes all the elements (electronics + case + options, including remote control & power supply) allowing to assemble an almost functional SABRE-EVO DAC.

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2 Years warranty

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More info

This EVO-SABRE pack does NOT contain a Raspberry Pi 4!

This EVO-DAC kit can run in pure DAC mode immediately after being mounted with a Raspberry Pi.
ATTENTION: In order to take advantage of the network drive function of this product, you will need to install an Audiophonics software image containing the scripts for the display and the network. These are available here : Images EVO-SABRE DAC

EVO DAC

Kit DAC 2x 9038Q2M 32bit full balanced 768kHz / Streamer Raspberry Pi 4



This is the kit version WITHOUT Raspberry Pi. It includes all the elements (electronics + case + options, including remote control & power supply) allowing to assemble an almost functional SABRE-EVO DAC.


This do-it-yourself kit lets you mount your own balanced DAC based on an ES9038Q2M chip combo.

With its 100% aluminum housing, its dual screens, its rotary selector, its remote control and its extensive connectivity, this kit is a perfect opportunity to grasp the essentials of a latest generation professional quality high-fidelity decoder.

This Do It Yourself approach brings vast possibilities. The DAC EVO-SABRE card is indeed equipped with all the necessary connectors to accommodate a Raspberry Pi (supplied). This extension transforms the DAC into a real dematerialized playback solution, capable of streaming your high definition audio files from a multitude of different sources thanks to generous connectivity, wired (coaxial S / PDIF, optical, USB audio, USB storage) as well as wireless (Wi-Fi, bluetooth 5.0 with all relevant audio protocols). To go even further, the caseeven allows easy access to the video connector and the SD support of the Raspberry Pi 4 card.

All you have to do is choose & install one of the many free software reading solutions and connect the card to an amplifier or active speakers to benefit from a complete high-fidelity package, rich in functionality and ready to use. 'employment.


ASR Review

I am happy to recommend the Audiophonics EVO Sabre given the unique functionality, form factor, and performance.

 test by the measurement forum Audio Science Review

EVO DAC Sabre audio circuit

Double DAC ES9038 integrated in balanced mode


The EVO-Sabre is a high-precision DAC using two 32-bit ES9038Q2M Sabre chips integrated in dual Mono mode: each of these chips see its computing power 100% dedicated to a single channel of the stereophonic signal. This achieves a sound restitution of exceptional clarity with tremendously low crosstalk.

This component belongs to ESS flagship series and is among the best current hardware solutions for high-fidelity audio decoding. It uses HyperStream 32 BIT 768kHz architecture with native DSD support. Each one of this chips is also equipped with advanced reconstruction filters and uses some of the finest dithering techniques available on the audio market.

ESS ES9038Q2M SABRE DACs are also very popular thanks to their ability to operate volume with almost no consequences on the audio bitrate.

The board works in balanced and single-ended mode and offers both a balanced stereo output on 3-pole XLR connector and an single-ended stereo output on RCA connector. The module can thus be ideally suited to most integration scenarios and will easily find its place in minimalist audio projects as well as in very complex Hi-Fi installations.

XMOS U208 USB Interface


The USB-B input (USB-2) works with a XMOS U208 USB interface. This is a reference component in the field of high-fidelity music, with digital streams supports up to 32-bit 768kHz as well as (native) DSD512.

Definitely designed for high-resolution, this asynchronous USB interface has a computation capacity of 1000 MIPS all of which is dedicated to the processing of your digital audio signals with minimal jitter and noise.

When the DAC EVO-SABRE is used in conjunction with a Raspberry Pi, this high-definition USB input allows to immediately interface digital audio streams to RPI I2S up to 384kHz / DOP 128.

FGPA Altera Max


Unlike its predecessor, the EVO-SABRE has several inputs driven by an independent interface.

SPDIF signals are handled by a FGPA Altera Max capable of performing clean processing of the digital input streams. These digital signals are interfaced in I2S to each of the two DAC chips, which represents a significant gain in performance compared to previous generations.

The SPDIF inputs support PCM signals up to 24/192 as well as DSD 128 DOP streams.

Microcontroller autoconfiguration


Thanks to an integrated microprocessor, the EVO Sabre automatically detects the format & the sampling rate of the signal source and will automatically adapt its configuration to provide the best listening performance without requiring any user intervention.

This control by CPLD chip maintains great stability while preventing decoding problems as well as the appearance of audio artifacts.

It also enables a continuous decoding of playlists with heterogeneous file types without having to worry about reconfiguring the DAC to benefit from optimal audio quality.

RaspDAC EVO interface



Dual Screen


The kit comes with two separate screens. The EVO SABRE audio circuit display (left) is a 1.3 "128X64 OLED screen. It simultaneously displays the active input, the sampling rate and the volume as defined by the DAC ES9038Q2M chip controller. This first display is useful to check in real time that the processing of the audio files is going as planned and in the best conditions.

A second 3.12 "256x64 OLED screen is connected to the Raspberry Pi (if present) in SPI (CN4). This secondary display can retrieve in real time the playback data at the software level (Dietpi / LMS) in a similar fashion to what our RaspDac Mini already do. This function requires that the EVO uses one of our custom distribution or that the user uses a custom display script. 

Front controls

A switch located on the front panel allows to turn on / off the system properly while preserving the integrity of the storage media (OS on SD card in a Pi & hard disks). It is backlit when the module is in stand-by mode but powered to indicate that the circuit is ready for operation.

The rotary encoder on the far right is directly connected to the volume control of the DAC chips. It allows easy and precise volume adjustment the from the device front panel.

I/R Remote control


The infrared receiver communicates both with the microcontroller in charge of driving the DAC chips and with the Raspberry Pi if the EVO-SABRE is used in network drive mode with LIRC configured. The remote control (included) thus centralizes most of the playback functions for great ease of use.

The input selection, volume and standby functions, as well as the filters adjustements are handled by the integrated microcontroller, while the play / pause, previous / next functions are transmitted to the RPI (requires LIRC configuration on GPIO 04)

Web App / LMS


Used in conjunction with a Raspberry Pi 4, the EVO-SABRE ES9038Q2M becomes a complete dematerialized streaming solution, capable of running the best network streamer / playback solutions. This opens up a lot of options for controlling the device (playback, recovery of audio files on a NAS, online streaming service) via the network (simple web browser accessible from any connected object, dedicated applications, or your own scripts) to cover the full spectrum of possibilities and realize the full potential of your audio installation.

The pinout is the most common, compatible with the RPI-DAC driver and present in all distributions.

It is also possible to use the driver for the I-Sabre 9038, found in the Raspberry PI kernel from version 4.19.34. 
This function allows access to the parameters of the DAC chips (volume, hyperstream parameters, filters) directly via the RPI and its softwares interfaces (in addition to access via remote control and controls on the front of the device).

RaspDAC EVO housing

The RaspDAC EVO kit is delivered with its dedicated custom box. The latter is machined from 100% aluminum, a light, robust material that blocks any interference that may affect the audio.

The housing is pre-drilled (spacers and connectors). Its assembly comes down to fixing the various panels using the supplied hardware.

Rear panel

Ports audio Sabre Evo Audiophonics

From left to right, the connector panel has a balanced XLR output as well as an unbalanced RCA output.

Then there are the digital inputs of the DAC with coaxial connector, optical connector, USB-B input and bluetooth antenna.

Finally, the connector panel is equipped with a Jack DC input dedicated to the power supply, then the RPI 4 connectors (RJ45, USB-3, USB-2, HDMI video output as well as connector for SD card dedicated to the operating system. ).

Both outputs (RCA & XLR) are active simultaneously.

The rear cover of the supplied housing is drilled to match the connectors of the RPI 4.

Optimized power stage


Powered by a DC 9V jack connector, the module operates from a particularly well designed power stage which allows to ensure a stable signal while reducing residual noise.
For this purpose, the PCB has a Mornsun DC / DC converter followed by two voltage regulators 79M08 / 78M08 dedicated to the analog part with is powered with +/- 8V.

The card has a separate 5V power stage dedicated to the Raspberry Pi. In this scenario, the RPI is supplied directly via its GPIO port, avoiding the need to add more connections and cables. Every configuration uses the minimum amount of cables for increased ease of use.

The card also has Ultra low noise voltage regulators dedicated to the conversion stage in order to isolate the DACs from the main power supply.

The DVCC voltage is generated from an LP5907 (regulation <6.5µV), which generates the DAC 1.2V Vref which is a critical voltage.

The AVCC voltage is generated from a dedicated ADP150 regulator (regulation <9µV).

Specifications

Specifications
Typekit DAC
Puce DAC2x ESS ES9038Q2M
ArchitectureBalanced
Audio InputS/PDIF Coaxial
S/PDIF Optique
Bluetooth HQ
USB-B (XMOS)
I2S GPIO (pinout RPI-DAC)
Audio OutputRCA unbalanced stéréo (2V RMS)
RXL balanced stéréo (4V RMS)
Sampling rate

USB : 768kHz / DOP256

RPI I2S : 384kHz / DOP128

SPDIF : 192kHz / DOP64

Power Supply9VDC (2A minimum) sur connecteur jack DC (Alimentation 4A fournie)
Idle consumption700ma
Interface USBXMOS U208
FGPAAltera Max
Housing100% Aluminium
Dimensionsmain board : 120 x 225 mm (Hauteur max : 32mm)
main display : 40 x 134 mm
Whole device: 185 x 300 x 55 mm
Weight1.3kg

Measurements FFT





Parts included

EVO Sabre kit pièces fournies Raspdac
EVO SABRE Modulex1
Main display pcbx1
Secondary display pcbx1
Display connectorsx2
Remotex1
Bluetooth antennax1
Power supply 4Ax1
Power cablex1
Front panelx1
Rear panelx1
Side panelsx2
Top platex1
Bottom platex1
Screen coversx2
M3 countersunk Phillips screw (panels mouting)x16
M3 countersunk hex screw (DAC board bottom mounting)x6
Spacers M3x 10 Female - Female (DAC board bottom mounting)x6
M3 x 5 domed screw (DAC board top & rear panel mounting)x10
M3 x 4 domed screw (display mounting)x4
Brass spacers M3 x 4 (display mounting)x2
Cable for display connectingx1
Brass spacers M2.5 x 12 (RPI mounting)x4
Domed screw M 2.5 x 5 (RPI mounting)x8

Cylindrical wood screw M3 x 10 (XLR / Optical connectors mounting)
x5
M3 x 16 countersunk screw (SD card extension attachment)x2
M3 x10 washers (Secondary screen mounting)x2
Clamp for SD card extensionx1
Flat axis aluminum button 25 x ⌀6mm Blackx1
Extension for micro-SD connectorx1
Micro HDMI to HDMI panel-mountx1
2.4GHZ SMA 3dBi Male RF Antennax1
Polyurethane feet 3M 20x8mmx4
 
Data sheet
InputOptical
InputGPIO
InputSPDIF
InputBluetooth
InputUSB
OutputXLR
OutputRCA
DAC / ADC ChipES9028Q2M
Max sampling rate768kHz
Max sampling rate384kHz
ColorBlack
Remote ControlYes
Streaming services & Network protocolsSpotify Connect
Streaming services & Network protocolsQobuz
Streaming services & Network protocolsWeb radios
Streaming services & Network protocolsAirPlay
Streaming services & Network protocolsTidal Connect
Streaming services & Network protocolsSpotify
Streaming services & Network protocolsTidal
Streaming services & Network protocolsDLNA
 
Delivery

We deliver all over France, and internationally.
To find out the amount of shipping costs, simply go to your cart once you have added the desired products.
To discover our different services and delivery options, click on the following logos :

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Average votes
3.8 / 5
5 reviews
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Note :
 5/5
Date :
Good quality, great fun
Good quality DIY product. Although the delivery took some time (international shipment), the package arrived safely and complete. It was a great fun to do the assembly. All parts were there, and putting it together was a great fun. You should be careful, though, as some online info may be outdated or not precise (I recommend to watch out and double-check pin layouts especially while connecting displays). But if you anything like me, loving DIY and audio this should be no stopper! You will have fun putting it all tog ether.
The quality of the sound is great. However I have not experienced any noticeable improvement when comparing the DAC via OPTICAL with RCA input from the Arcam CD17 on Arcam A28 and KEF speakers. I concluded that the DAC quality is on pair and I would have a hard time to say that the DAC exceeded what I'm already getting from the Arcam set. The differences, if any are very very subtle (in softness mostly).
Nevertheless, I am happy to see that I can stream any audio now, with the quality I was expecting (on pair with my audio gear). All in all I'm satisfied, especially that it requires some DIY work ;)

Things that could improve: documentation (for less skilled DIY enthusiasts - seems like the docs refer to the different version of the DAC board), international delivery time.
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This review has been posted for AUDIOPHONICS EVO-SABRE PACK DIY Balanced DAC 2xES9038Q2M & Streamer
Note :
 5/5
Date :
Great hardware
I have been using this device with Volumio and the plugin (v309) for the past 10 months or so. Sound is great, directly into a Hypex amp over XLR cables. It also functions as a volume controller and I don't think I can hear much degradation at low levels compared to a dedicated LDR volume controller I had previously: Software is Ok but still has some minor bugs and hasn't been updated for a while as of writing.
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This review has been posted for AUDIOPHONICS EVO-SABRE PACK DIY Balanced DAC 2xES9038Q2M & Streamer
Note :
 0/5
Date :
Software not good!
I don‘t recommend from point of Software. The hardware seems to be fine but the device operation lead into disappointment. The first issue is a jumping volume sometimes you change the input. Mainly if you switch to the Pi input. It jumped to 100% which is annoyingly loud. The second issue is that none of the Pi distributions worked as expected. I tried all three. Some show issues withe second display, some cannot read from my Synology NAS and the playback via Pi is not that stable as expected. The only stable App was Picoreplayer which obviously cannot drive the second display without sophisticated programming and Linux knowledge. Good hardware with bad software is not worth that amount of money!
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Message from Audiophonics service
Hi,
This is obviously indeed not the product for you and we understand your frustration.
This DIY kit is intended for people capable of ensuring manual assembly and having the computer bases necessary to modify the software solution at leisure and according to their needs.
The images we offer are only intended to serve as an example and we are not the developers.
Picore is indeed one of the most stable and lightweight solutions available on Base PI and is 100% compatible with this hardware solution (yes indeed the second screen does not display anything by default).
Do not hesitate to contact our after-sales service staff if you wish to return it for a refund.
This review has been posted for AUDIOPHONICS EVO-SABRE PACK DIY Balanced DAC 2xES9038Q2M & Streamer
Note :
 5/5
Date :
Second display for Moode
To use the second display with Moode Audiophonics provide the solution here: https://github.com/audiophonics/Evo_Sabre

Thanks for doing this
 (0)
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This review has been posted for AUDIOPHONICS EVO-SABRE PACK DIY Balanced DAC 2xES9038Q2M & Streamer
Note :
 4/5
Date :
Great Product but...
The EVO-SABRE is performing verry well.
Unfortunately the adapted software for moode is outdated and the 8xx train is not supported. So the secound display is not working any more.
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This review has been posted for AUDIOPHONICS EVO-SABRE PACK DIY Balanced DAC 2xES9038Q2M & Streamer
 
AUDIOPHONICS EVO-SABRE PACK DIY Balanced DAC 2xES9038Q2M & Streamer
This is the kit version WITHOUT Raspberry Pi. It includes all the elements (electronics + case + options, including remote control & power...

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