Twisted Pear Audio Opus DAC

A long time friend of mine, Ian, sent me his newly finished Twisted Pear Audio Opus DAC. The Opus is a DIY DAC based on the Wolfson WM8741 chip. The nice thing about the Opus kit is that the boards come already pre-assembled. All you need to do is make a proper wiring connection, put it in a case, and you’ve got yourself a high end, working DAC.

The Opus sound reminds me a lot of the Cambridge Audio DacMagic. It has that smooth WM8740 sound that I also find on the Teclast T51 player. It’s like a more expensive version of the DacMagic, as I didn’t remember the DacMagic to have a soundstage performance as good as the Opus, although I don’t have the DacMagic around to do an A-B comparison. Compared to the HRT Music Streamer II+, the Opus sounds smoother and less grainy. However, the HRT has a better imaging performance, more depth in the soundstage, better center focus, and overall a more analog sound.

The USB receiver module is also from Twisted Pear, but it’s limited to 16/48, where the HRT is able to do 24/96 Asynchronous via USB. Dimension wise, the HRT is also much more compact than the Opus. This current configuration uses two separate DAC module for separate channels, one power supply unit, and one USB receiver unit. The output is fully balanced. Some modifications include black Cerafine output caps, Telefunken 1A diodes, and Vishay Dale power resistors.

It is not the prettiest looking box, but I enjoyed the sound very much.

Internal shot. On the top left is the USB receiver module. On the bottom left is the WM8741 DAC module. There are two modules for separate channel stacked on each other. On the bottom right is the power supply module.

Power supply.

USB receiver.

DAC section.

The enclosure.

Two XLR outs, USB digital input, AC input is via the blue Neutrik Powercon connector, and an On/Off switch on the bottom right.


The Opus DAC modules can be purchased directly at Twisted Pear Audio.

Twisted Pear Audio Opus DAC
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11 Comments

  • Reply December 22, 2010

    Brian

    Is that all? I demand moar!

    • Reply December 22, 2010

      Mike

      Lol.. any further discussion/questions can be done here in the comments section. B)

      • Reply December 23, 2010

        Brian

        Do you think it’s better than the DAC in your modified Grace?

        • Reply December 23, 2010

          Mike

          Yes, I think overall the Opus is the better DAC.

  • Reply December 22, 2010

    Cortes

    Mike,
    now that you are testing USB DAC's, Do USB cables matter?. I've been reading all kind of opinions, and I would like to know from a reliable source like you whether makes any sense to spend $100 in an USB cable or it's just a ripoff compared to a $3 WalMart cable.

    thx.

    • Reply December 22, 2010

      Mike

      I have never tried those fancy USB cables. Personally I've been using whatever comes with the DAC. Sometimes I get a really short one that I like to use with my laptop so I have less wire mess on the desk. 🙂

  • Reply February 7, 2011

    Dsa

    how did the I2S signal from the usb module get split into the 2 DACs?

  • Reply December 23, 2012

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