We got our board pictures from the factory and have posted all of them below! We also go through the board and point out all the features.
First photo is the overview. Two full size SD card connectors on the top right corner are not there to make things clear. It will be soldered later.
We have a dedicated U11 IC which handles the M.2 hard drive access, which leads the market. We also have the latest XMOS audio process (UX1) there to make sure of minimum jitter and stable performance. (No China branded player currently has that)
We have very nice MELF high quality resistors on the lower right of the board near the analog output section, which are almost never seen on other cheap DAPs. For IEM configuration backers, the precision of these analog resistors will be even higher.
UA1 and UA2 with several JFET become the good pair of dedicated balanced output in current control mode. Extra fast slew rate with very, very low THD.
A new power management IC working with USB "C" connector will make the fast charging possible. All USB C fast chargers will work with Wave very well.
Interesting factoid: The unit will be approximately 350 grams heavy. Final measurements will be announced when we have everything built.
Q&A: Why don't you use AKM DAC IC?
ANSWER: The AKM is a wonderful DAC. However, the AKM only allows the voltage output. Whatever type of signal goes in, that exact signal comes out. Using the ESS DAC IC allows us complete control over the analogue section, enabling us to custom craft our specific sound signature we're known and loved for.
Second photo is the overview of the other side. You can see the dual ES9028 DAC IC around the top left corner. We have some very nice MELF resistors around these DAC IC too.
Also, like SONY for their flagship DAP, we put some super caps for DAC section. An enormous benefit for good sound. We can also see the customized, four black connectors for the SOM.
A nice SATA connector on the neck of the L shape of PCB.
Supercap (super capacitor) that Sony uses.
Very low noise and low ESR, also good for instant current demand.
This PCB is double thickness copper in 8 total layers! Very state of the art.
Second photo: There are four connectors all pointing down. From right to the left is:
1. USB C which will let this DAP works as the computer's DAC, transfer files and also enable fast charging.
2. Single-ended output
3. The Line-Out output combo with SPDIF optical output connector (which is a NICE feature very, very few DAPs have). This could make Wave work as the digital audio output to home stereo system, and also work as Line Out music source to the home audio system.
Interesting factoid: The Wave allows bypassing the battery, so you can run it as normal off the PC like the other Geek Outs allow. (excluding the V2+). The music doesn't have to stop while you recharge!
4. The fourth connector hasn't soldered yet. This is the Balanced output connector.
Third photo, zoomed in to top right part:
You can see three buttons there: Up, Down and Play/Pause.
There is a connector J_BAT which makes our battery serviceable. (which we promised)
A volume knob is there (which is the only new thing we add in this version) to reflect a lot of requests from backers who hoped to have a knob instead of buttons for volume and navigation. (this will not cause a delay)
There is also the SATA connector for M.2 SSD hard drive. (Yah!)
So in next two weeks, we will do the through test and install firmware to see how it goes. In the meantime, we also start the integration test with Chassis/SOM and WiFi.
Interesting factoid: You can use your smartphone to control the Wave via Wi-Fi. No getting up from your chair to change your music! Bluetooth control from your smartphone is planned at a later date.
These pictures show how we assemble it. (this is a 3D rendering)
We're sorry it took so long to get this update to everyone, but we hope you're as excited by it as we are! We look forward to updating you as more information gets to us and we begin making in-house progress.
- Larry and Jarek