Northern AV Penang

Yes, the show was confirmed last night. Thank you to Wilson Teoh for including a newbie hi-fi entrepreneur into the show. This short post provides a preview of what will be demonstrated during the show.

Flagship AA Music Streamers

With three USB2 Isolator prototypes in good working condition, plus the TI’s EVM board with modifications, there will be two flagship music streamers on display to feed two different DACs: FCPGA-based DSD 4x upsampling DAC (Marantz SA-10) and a newly purchased R2R-based DAC. Another flagship streamer will be used by the other exhibitor sharing the same function room.

Flagship AA Music Streamer

How a reasonably good CD/SACD player sound quality compares to using its internal DAC through USB connection with AA music streamer will be demonstrated using Marantz SA-10.

Now about the new R2R DAC. There will be not enough time to get the new R2R DAC to fully break in – it needs 500 hours. It will sound better during the Gelombang show in Kuala Lumpur in early August. Picture below was sent by the seller in Hong Kong during quick check before shipment, tested while still wrapped in plastic. Any guess what DAC is this?

Newly purchased DAC will be used with the flagship streamer

Experimental Entry-Level AA Music Streamer

The earlier attempts of using Fractal Design Node 202 computer case resulted in overheating issues due to undersized heatsink to fit within Node 202 case. The selection of computer case is still pending. However, for this show, an experimental two-case solution will be shown. The idea is to gauge whether there is a market for such product. The USB2 Isolator prototype will be used here.

Experimental 2-case entry level streamer
3-rail linear PSU
Front view of experimental entry-level streamer
Rear view of experimental entry-level streamer

If there is enough interest (i.e. its sound quality is good enough and acceptable), a new custom computer case will be designed and developed. It will be offered as a single-case product.

AA USB Audio Cable

I was ready to purchase another expensive USB Audio cable from UK. However, I decided to experiment building the cable myself. Tried different solid-core pure silver cable with different gauges and from different manufacturers. Also tried different USB A and B plugs – they really matters and make very big difference to the sound quality.

USB Audio cables
USB Audio cables plugs and sleeves

The characteristic impedance of the differential data lines were measured using Vector Network Analyzer. The goal is to make it as close to 90 ohm impedance by adjusting the twists for data lines.

USB cable impedance measurement with VNA

If you bring your own USB Audio cables, I will let you compare and hear the difference with the recently developed AA USB Audio cables shown above.

The AA USB audio cable will made-to-order per length specified by customer. Please note that for USB audio cables, the shorter the better. The data lines use solid core 5N pure silver wire. Each cable will be hand-made with the characteristic impedance measured.


Details on price and configuration options will be published before the show.

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By Anwar

Dr. Anwar Ali is a consultant in the area of Operations Research / Decision Science. During his free time and as a side business, he builds high-performance and moderate-cost music streamer.