Cirrus Logic CS4385

All we are is dust in the win… eh, on the eval board.

Another post, another D/A converter. Yes, this is one of my soap boxes and hopefully I’ll be able to post something else soon. Sorry folks, we have to get through this… 🙂

This time I got my grubby paws on a Cirrus Logic CDB4385 evaluation board, featuring the CS4385 8-channel D/A converter. Tested channels 1 and 2.

FFT, 1 kHz


THD vs. level


Frequency response




IMD vs. level

The plot above shows that up until -2.5 dBFS, the DIM is totally dominated by noise. And from -2.5 dBFS to 0 dBFS it stays below -90dBFS. Very impressive.

FFT, DIM @ -2 dBFS


FFT, DIM @ -1 dBFS



These DIM FFTs are the cleanest we’ve seen yet! Maybe if I manage to clean up the power supply on the WM8741 we might be able to match this but for now, this is the state of the art in DIM performance.


Waveform, IMD @ 0 dBFS


Listening test notes

– very accurate, tight, neutral

– not overwhelming  (that is NOT negative!)

– flat sound stage

– when playing loud, voices seem to distort

– not overly dynamic


Overall this converter doesn’t immediately impress with any aspect, and that is usually very good. What convinces immediately is usually quite annoying in the long term. As for the sound stage, for me the WM is still king. How to prove that… remains a story for another day.

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