View Full Version : Completed my DAC

06-05-2003, 08:51 AM
After a lot of deliberation over what motherboard I should purchase I have built my own dBpowerAmp Audio Center :D

By utilising (pinching!) various old PC parts and purchasing a few new bits I have created a small silent system solely for MP3 playback but with the capability of being used as a DivX and DVD player when hooked up to my TV.

This mainly consists of:

Via Epia M10000 Motherboard
80Gb Seagate Hard Disk
256Mb DDR Ram
12" TFT Screen

The motherboard includes TV out, soundcard and network card :cool:

After chatting to other people I was advised to get the Small Epia Mobo as it was cheaper and a lot quiter than a Shuttle. I dunno what these people call quiet, I had to do some minor modding to silence the beast :headbang:

This pretty small PC is set up to use the best Mp3 Player around, dBpowerAmp, with the best skin DigitalBlade (naturally :D ), outputted to my Hi-Fi system. It's controlled via a pinnacle PC TV Remote allowing full access to the player from away from the computer. The 12" screen (picked it up for 50, bargain) is used to output the OSD I added to the latest version of my skin, so you can read the track details from the other end of the room.

All in all I'm pretty pleased with the results, especially after some modding it is now silent :D


06-05-2003, 01:47 PM
Success :)

06-06-2003, 09:22 AM
It's more of a DMC dBpowerAmp Media Center :D

Pinched a mates Digital Camera and got some pictures:




06-13-2003, 06:04 AM
ahhhh.... a new "dac" is borne :D

well this could be the first to be classed as a "complete dac" system?

anyhow it looks really cool Paddy.

I am a long way off completing a dac system. although i have thought about just picking up an old second hand system to test things out on.

there is some details missing?

is it networked to your main system? you have the pinnacle card installed on the Epia?

06-13-2003, 06:17 AM
Thanks Razgo, in answer to your questions:

Yeah I'm using a crossover cable to network it to my main system, mainly for file transfer. But now that I've copied across all my MP3's I don't have much use for the connection, but it's handy to have :D

The remote is just using the infra-red input thingymajig which is conencted to the serial port. No need for the capture card to be installed, plus a downside with the Epia's is that they only have 1 PCI slot, which is being used to output to the TFT screen.


P.S. The onboard audio sounds just as good as my SoundBlaster card in my main Rig :shocked:

06-13-2003, 06:23 AM
i have thought about just picking up an old second hand system to test things out on

Also the Epia systems are pretty cheap. I went for the top of the range system as I wanted it for DVD and DivX Playback as well, but if all you want is MP3, then you can go for the bottom of the range systems, a small Hard Disk and some memory and you sorted for just over 100 (UK).

Case wise, if your feeling adventurous :cool: you can utilise an old video recorder or broken DVD player :D

06-13-2003, 06:36 AM
hmmmm.... some interesting things for me to think about there.

i didn't realize the infrared thingy could be used seperatley on another system. but i guess you just need the dll file for girder? or you need to install the pinnacle software too?

I won't need dvd playback as I have a dvd player. so for me i think i would only be using it for sound output only.

in actuall fact i might not even put in a cd rom or burner. i think it might be easier to just network when i add to dac.

06-13-2003, 06:40 AM
well i found one for a little over AU300.00



06-13-2003, 08:26 AM
also, do you think it is possible to run one of those external hardrive setups on the Epia system?

06-13-2003, 10:16 AM
For the little Infra-Red thing for the remote just plug it in and install Girder with the dll driver file, you don't need any of the Pinnacle software.

If your not using a CD drive you may be able to get away with a laptop style PSU which will be passively cooled so no noise :D

I got my stuff from here (http://www.mini-itx.com) a UK based company, but it may be helpful to you for informatoin + prices.

external hardrive setups

Not sure what you mean, but I assume network setup will be the same as usual (Dunno much about networking!). If you share your hard disks on your main system and then map these to drive letters through explorer then you should be able to access them remotely. That way you can get away with a small Hard disk with just windows and DAP :) I heard a rumour of someone booting off a 512Mb Flash Card :eek:


06-13-2003, 10:23 AM
Btw, I'm not saying that an Epia is the best bet, but my main brief was to create a small system that was completely silent (or as close as possible) and the system I built works great. It all depends on what the use is, as an MP3 Jukebox it is perfect, low power, so can be fanless and very small 17cm*17cm!

07-25-2003, 08:11 AM
what type of audio card does it use to output the sound?

I know there is a big difference between using my audiowerks card which has 2 RCA outputs for audio as opposed to my SB livevalue! card.

07-28-2003, 08:18 AM
what type of audio card does it use to output the sound?

I know there is a big difference between using my audiowerks card which has 2 RCA outputs for audio as opposed to my SB livevalue! card.

Hi Razgo,

I'm just using onboard audio at the moment!

The motherboard only has 1 PCI slot and I'm using it to output to the 12" TFT screen. (It can be expanded to 2 using an expansion card, but no cases support this yet!)

For more info about the motherbaord + audio check out http://www.viavpsd.com/product/epia_m_spec.jsp?motherboardId=81

The onboard audio sounds pretty good, just as good as my SB Live card on my main PC. They are both amped through a decent seperates system and that makes a big difference.


03-15-2004, 07:49 AM

04-28-2004, 02:02 PM
any updates on this? since it's bean 12 months :)

04-28-2004, 07:07 PM
Hasn't changed too much, got a DVD drive for it and a 5.1 surround decoder, so can watch DVD's in their full glory. It now has pride of place in the lounge with a 15" monitor instead of the LCD display.

Who needs a TV :D

04-28-2004, 07:44 PM
wow, that's fairly complete then. DVD and music entertainment center :thumbup:

05-13-2004, 09:40 AM
i'm new here. just wondering if there is a reverb plug-in that i can download. i like the eq that this player has but wish it had a reverb dsp. any ideas? :cool:

05-13-2004, 10:24 AM
not that i know of. when dirx is supported then we should have access to all the 3rd party plugins we want.

and welcome to the dbpoweramp forums :thumbup: