Diyinhk new dac “ES9018K2M XMOS DSD DXD 384kHz USB DAC with Bit-perfect volume control and SPDIF input”
Anybody looking at this new one?
Wondering if this will work with i2s without the Xmos?
Is the spdif select and input option dependent on CMOS module to work?
It’s not clear if the clock is on the dac board or only on the Xmos module?

Would be great to know if this would work as a network player with volumio and switchable to spdif as a dac. No USB required.

Did you (or anyone else) try this? Did it work? Did the DSD also work on I2S?

Tread carefully here. Tried it and, long story short, the bit perfect volume does not appear to work on Linux. At least, I was unable to get it to work - after input from some luminaries and DIYINHK itself - who essentially said they had not tried it on the Linux platform.

Ended up going the Hifiduino route for volume control digitally. And there was an issue there as well - if you use the modified firmware DIYINHK XMOS board then there is an I2C conflict which leads to horrible jumps in volume when the sample rate changes. With much helpful investigation and advice from BlgGear at Hifiduino the solution appears to be to buy the K2M and the non-modified USB board (either the standard one or the isolated version) and implement the very elegant Hifiduino solution which allows remote volume control with the aluminum Apple remote, ESS 32-bit digital volume control, LCD display and the ability to manipulate all the digital filters in the K2M.

I used an Adafruit Pro Trinket 3V (so did not need logic level converters) and one of Adafruit’s quarter size perma proto boards - everything fit neatly, including the two pots for contrast and backlight brightness, with a little cutting of traces. Mods to Hifiduino’s code were straightforward - mainly to accommodate the lack of pins 2 and 7 on the Pro Trinket. And yes, it sounds great!

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Michelangelo - have you tried the B+ with the ESS 9018K2M? Or any ESS 9018?

I had the K2M working with a B and Volumio 1.3. But cannot get sound out of the B+ with the K2M via I2S. Using pin 12 for BCK, pin 35 for LRCK and pin 40 for data. Is there a different driver required for the ESS?

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No, did not try yet, but might do so.
Would be nice if we can get additional detailed info here from people who did.
For example, would like to know if the board without the USB addon would work with i2s as is?
Is it enough to connect spdif to the dedicated pad and it would it be selected automatically if spdif signal is present?
Currently I would like to avoid sw mode and programming.
Tnx for sharing

I try to connect ES9018 (DIYINHK board + 48Mhz XO) to RPi B via I2s, but it work only with resample option turned on to any sampling rate. When resample is disabled volume is at max with lot’s of distorsions.
In Runeaudio there is no resample option and Es9018 cannot work at all. I have tryed all mpd output settings but always same result - no sound or very distorted.

DerekR are you satisfied with this DAC? I am about to buy it start collecting all the components needed and I would really like to have an opinion on how it sounds.

Sent from my Oneplus One

If you speak french, this link may interest you … s-mesures/
and that one too : … de-es9018/
ok it is not exactly the same board but you can find some interesting informations. :wink:

Am I satisfied with this DAC? Yes, it is a noticeable step up over the ESS9023 and TI 5102 boards I have. Noticeable improvements in bass definition, instrument separation and resolution in general - especially seems to make lyrics easier to make out. YMMV.

What components are you collecting? I currently use it with an Alix 2d2 board running Voyage MPD and it compares reasonably with more expensive DACs - flawlessly plays 24/192 and DSD64. However, I have not had a lot of success with the Raspi/Volumio package via I2S - hence my post above. I suspect it’s a driver issue but I await more expert opinions…

If you’re collecting the parts to implement the Hifiduino control then go for it - great bang for the buck - but ensure that if you’re going for USB input you buy a USB to I2S board that can do DSD and DXD and does not have any modified-for-volume control firmware.

I believe the requirement to turn on re sampling is a known issue - at least that was what Michelangelo said to me in a post elsewhere on this forum. What version of Volumio did you use and what I2S driver when you had it working?


I am planning to buy the kit from diyinhk which includes the XMOS usb. I am also planning to buy the power supplies from the same website (TPS7A4700 based), plus two toroid transformers from a local manufacturer.

I am not interested in volume control, arduino etc. I just want the simplest setup possible using USB.

My current setup is a weiliang AK4399 based (not diy) with changed Opamps.

That’s fine, I think it’s an excellent value for money DAC. Just to reiterate, do not buy the kit with the “modified XMOS firmware bit-perfect volume control” USB board. Get the DAC by itself then get one of the two USB-to-I2S boards available. My choice would be the $99 isolated board as it is DSD and DXD capable. An Amanero is also known to work - as tested by BlgGear on Hifiduino. Drop a note here on your impression when you get it going.

Hi Derek,

i am confused with regards to the xmos boards. The one inluded a option in the kit is isolated and dsd dxd capable: … nd_led_pcb

Don’t buy the one you quoted above. The firmware in the XMOS isolated board that is part of that kit has been modified and this seems to be a problem. Buy the K2M DAC separately then buy the non-modified isolated DSD/DXD XMOS board ($99) separately.

Buy this XMOS board … 18k2m.html I.e the PCB only, not the kit.

Also, don’t forget you have to buy a +/- 12V board and two 3.3V supplies - the new 3.3 V Analog Devices-based boards are supposed to be lower noise than the TI ( … _green_pcb). Sorry if I’m stating the obvious.

Highly recommend buying the JFET based opamp as well, I find it sounds better than the supplied 5532. … rsion.html

Finally, if your local transformer manufacturer does R-core transformers then try an R-core as against the toroidal - they are quieter and preferred for preamps/DACs.

Thank you very much for your reply Derek.

I have ordered the kit, being confused that the xmos are the same. I have now asked to change it and let’s see their reaction.

When you say problem what do you mean? Is there any link I can read? I am not interested in volume control at all. volume mixer is always disabled in mpd.conf in my setups and i change the volume from my amps.

With regards to power supply I bought: … 5v-1a.html

and … -1ax4.html

I haven’t bought any trasnformer yet, but there’s no greek manufacturer that makes rcores unfortunately. If I want rcore I will have to trust ebay and this is something I am afraid of.

Those power supplies will work fine.

I outlined the problem with the modified XMOS board in an earlier post on this thread. It would seem the ‘bit-perfect volume control’ kit is aimed at Windows/Foobar owners primarily. I would love a Linux expert to prove me wrong…

So, for those who do not wish any software control, there is no need for the modified-for-volume-control XMOS board - better safe than sorry.

For those who would like to leave a ‘preamp’ out of the equation and don’t mind a little DIY, try this DAC with the Hifiduino implementation. This gives you the built-in ESS volume and filter control. Just use the non-modified diyinhk USB XMOS DSD/DXD board - or your USB-I2S board of choice.

I think the K2M/Hifiduino implementation is a really good bang-for-the-buck DAC/preamp utilizing all the features of the ESS 9018 Sabre including 32-bit volume control.

Thanks for your reply!

Do you believe that if I do not touch the volume and I leave it disabled in mpd.conf that I will experience any problem with this?

The mpd.conf configuration doesn’t matter, the problem is that, with the modified XMOS USB board, there is an I2C connection to the K2M (the SDA and SCL pins) and when there is a change of sample rate the XMOS sends a chip reset to the DAC via this I2C bus. If you read the description of the non-modified XMOS board it mentions not connecting the I2C pins. Unfortunately it seems you can’t run the modified board with the I2C disconnected (I’ve tried) so I suspect you will have issues.

I will say that I have not tried a Pi and Volumio via USB but I don’t think it will behave any differently to the Alix as it is the modified XMOS chip that is sending the reset, nothing to do with the transport. I will try and hook a Pi up later today and confirm.

The first part of the dac is ready and I admit that I am really satisfied!

Ι had a small accident and the xmos board was about to burn (something was wrong with my led pcb - I have removed it now). Now it works ok but in order to be sure I ordered the separate xmos as suggested above to also have the option to play with arduino.

I am also waiting for an lme49880 opamp to try. The second stage will be to put it on a nice enclosure. I am thinking of creating one from scratch using wood and plexiglass but I haven’t decided for sure yet.

Looks good! Can you confim that the DAC works with the Raspberry Pi (B/B+) over I2S?
I have ordered the same DAC and power supplies, but without the XMOS board.
And does playing DSD files work as well?