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