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Zhaolu 2.5 - Page 2

post #16 of 150
Thread Starter 
from the coem forum linked above..

Quote:
Just received an email from Zhaolu!

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Quote:

D2.5 includes digital circuit module, line level module, power module and headphone amp module.

Digital Circuit Module : The digital circuit module of D2.5 integrates all the following parts: SPDIF signal input shaping, digital signal circuit acceptance (CS8416), digital-to-analog integrated circuit(AD1852 or CS4398) , CPU control circuit and digital power second phase voltage stabilizing circuit. It enables the digital signal path to reach optimization and reduces the interference of noise, which also completely prevents the intercross interference with other circuits.

Line Level Circuit module : It adopts the first order LPF circuit with outstanding phase characteristic. We won't use the balance output interface for the composition effect. Thus, the characteristics of phase and frequency are improved.

Power module : The first grade stable voltage of digital power and lowpass circuit power are integrated in this module, which the former adopts IC to stabilize the voltage with faster speed and the latter power supply adopts improved servo voltage stabilizing circuit.

Headphone Amp Module : It is totally the same as the D2.
Looks like the headphone amp is just the standard one, not the upgrade as in the photo.

edit: woot 900th post. at least it was informative
post #17 of 150
there are 10 units on ebay from diykits hk
http://cgi.ebay.ca/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?...MakeTrack=true
post #18 of 150
Hm, too bad it still looks like the old D2.0.
post #19 of 150
Do you guys think this'll be worth upgrading to from the D2.0?
post #20 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by neonextgenazn
Do you guys think this'll be worth upgrading to from the D2.0?
I doubt anyone will know until someone buys it and makes a comparison.
post #21 of 150
So, I'm thinking about getting this thing. I need something better than my audigy ZS2. You guys think this would do it?

Also, which version do I get? the AD-1852, or the CS-4398?

I'm a total newb at this stuff, thnx guys!
post #22 of 150
Quick little comment here on the new Zhaolu 2.5. I've got a good 75 hours on a 2.5 CS4398 unit so far and I must say it's sounding quite good. I noticed the new 2.5's do have those DC blocking caps again which I have not shorted or removed at this point and already it's surpassing my 2.0 WITH shorted caps, to these ears in my system. The resolution and soundstage is staggering. Admittedly out of the box the 2.5 sounded to me like a 2.0 before shorting those caps but after break in and hitting the 50-75 hour mark I noticed the sound has opened up and fleshed out BIG TIME. Couple things that come to mind other than the increase in soundstage size and depth the bass seems extremely tight and detailed, better than that of my 2.0, and the treble is cleaner and more natural. I had listened to mostly to the AD1852 board in my 2.0 because it just seemed to work best with my system (tube amp and HF-1) because I found the CS4398 (while excellent) to be a bit darker and subdued to my ears, although they were both very close. However, with the new 2.5 CS4398 model I am enamored with this DAC chip now! It sounds quicker and more defined to me now and more open with better bass depth. Everythng seems so resolved.

I plan to let it break in for another day or so to get a good 100 hours on it and then take a critical listen before shorting those DC caps. Remembering what the difference was after shorting those caps on my 2.0 I'm guessing doing the same in the 2.5 will reap similar benefits and I have an inclination this will propel the performance to stellar territory. I am yet to unplug the stock headphone amp and front panel LED's as well. Also I am just using the stock 2604's at this point but have DY2000 or OPA2107's to roll in as well. I think Zhaolu made great strides in this revision with going back to the modular approach as in the 1.3 but implementing what they learned from doing the 2.0. Removing the XLR's, while it's unfortunate we lost a nice feature, the signal path is free of passing through one less opamp and associated circuitry. Oh, also I noticed that COAXIAL is now the DEFAULT digitial input where Toslink was the default in the 2.0. So if you unplug the front display and use coaxial that is a nice convenience there (I use coax).
post #23 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean H
Quick little comment here on the new Zhaolu 2.5. I've got a good 75 hours on a 2.5 CS4398 unit so far and I must say it's sounding quite good. I noticed the new 2.5's do have those DC blocking caps again which I have not shorted or removed at this point and already it's surpassing my 2.0 WITH shorted caps, to these ears in my system. The resolution and soundstage is staggering. Admittedly out of the box the 2.5 sounded to me like a 2.0 before shorting those caps but after break in and hitting the 50-75 hour mark I noticed the sound has opened up and fleshed out BIG TIME. Couple things that come to mind other than the increase in soundstage size and depth the bass seems extremely tight and detailed, better than that of my 2.0, and the treble is cleaner and more natural. I had listened to mostly to the AD1852 board in my 2.0 because it just seemed to work best with my system (tube amp and HF-1) because I found the CS4398 (while excellent) to be a bit darker and subdued to my ears, although they were both very close. However, with the new 2.5 CS4398 model I am enamored with this DAC chip now! It sounds quicker and more defined to me now and more open with better bass depth. Everythng seems so resolved.

I plan to let it break in for another day or so to get a good 100 hours on it and then take a critical listen before shorting those DC caps. Remembering what the difference was after shorting those caps on my 2.0 I'm guessing doing the same in the 2.5 will reap similar benefits and I have an inclination this will propel the performance to stellar territory. I am yet to unplug the stock headphone amp and front panel LED's as well. Also I am just using the stock 2604's at this point but have DY2000 or OPA2107's to roll in as well. I think Zhaolu made great strides in this revision with going back to the modular approach as in the 1.3 but implementing what they learned from doing the 2.0. Removing the XLR's, while it's unfortunate we lost a nice feature, the signal path is free of passing through one less opamp and associated circuitry. Oh, also I noticed that COAXIAL is now the DEFAULT digitial input where Toslink was the default in the 2.0. So if you unplug the front display and use coaxial that is a nice convenience there (I use coax).
Nice sean.

I bet it will open up more without the blocking caps.I wish they would get away from those darn blocking caps.
post #24 of 150
Can anyone enlighten me? What dac philosophy does the zhaolu 2.5 follow? Oversampling? Non-oversampling? Upsampling? Can the oversampling be turned on and off? Does the line-out pass through any amping stage? Etc.
post #25 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spare Tire
Can anyone enlighten me? What dac philosophy does the zhaolu 2.5 follow? Oversampling? Non-oversampling? Upsampling? Can the oversampling be turned on and off? Does the line-out pass through any amping stage? Etc.
The Zhaolu uses oversampling and it cannot be turned on and off (never heard of a DAC that can do that myself). There is only a handful of non-oversampling DAC's out there, the vast majority oversample. It does not upsample but it can take a signal up to 24/192 and process it. There are two line outs on the Zhaolu: One is fixed that comes straight from the DAC's analog outputstage and the other one comes from the headphone amp and where the signal is then volume controlled and allows one to use the Zhaolu as a bonafide preamp (to drive an amp and speakers for example).
post #26 of 150
Wow, it hasn't even been a year yet since the Zhalou 1.3 was all the rage around these forums (I almost ordered one when I went to HK in January) and we already have two new updates. Has the price changed much?
post #27 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by TooNice
Wow, it hasn't even been a year yet since the Zhalou 1.3 was all the rage around these forums (I almost ordered one when I went to HK in January) and we already have two new updates. Has the price changed much?
It has been almost a year sense i introduced the Zhalou 1.3 to this forum.The dac has gone through several upgrades.Most of the upgrades are positive except the use of dc blocking caps that should be bypassed for better sound.

The price has changed ,but it is still very resonable.
post #28 of 150
I am still waiting for the third DAC option to be available, when do you think that will happen?
post #29 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean H
The Zhaolu uses oversampling and it cannot be turned on and off (never heard of a DAC that can do that myself). There is only a handful of non-oversampling DAC's out there, the vast majority oversample. It does not upsample but it can take a signal up to 24/192 and process it. There are two line outs on the Zhaolu: One is fixed that comes straight from the DAC's analog outputstage and the other one comes from the headphone amp and where the signal is then volume controlled and allows one to use the Zhaolu as a bonafide preamp (to drive an amp and speakers for example).
Doesn't the citypulse DA7.2x have a switch that can switch between NOS and OS?
post #30 of 150
Just got my 2.5 a couple days ago. I Paypal’d Eddie on the 25th and got it on the 29th, much faster than I expected for something from HK!

Some background info about my ears and setup:

I don’t consider myself a super audiophile; I probably miss most of the nuances in sound. Also forgive me for not using proper audio terms ^^; I am, however, quite anal about detail and stringed instruments (love that resonance).

My setup prior to the 2.5 was just a x-fi extrememusic -> A900. I place about an equal priority on gaming and music/video. Right now I have the 2.5 connected to the x-fi via the Belden 1505F cable, am using the power cable supplied by Eddie, and have the A900 connected to the built in headphone amp. The 2.5 has the CS4398 chip with AD-08 and 2 LT1057 opamps.

Anyway onto my mini-review:

Two things stood out immediately when I first listened to the 2.5: the soundstage and bass. Before my A900, I had a V6 so I was amazed by the A900 soundstage. The 2.5 manages to expand it even further! The bass has a lot more impact and sounds much deeper without losing detail.

I have no idea how to evaluate the midrange so I’ll skip that. Treble also sounds a bit more extended and airy, although I might be confusing that with the wider soundstage. Whatever it is, it wasn’t an obvious in-your-face change like the expanded soundstage and improved bass.

One negative though: the volume control knob. I listen at around normal speaking sound level, maybe slightly higher. This means I cannot turn the 2.5 volume knob very high, and on the low end the sound is not balanced at all. The right channel will be louder until a certain threshold, which is somewhat louder than what I would like for extended listening =( I guess this will give me an excuse to find a nice amp. Aagrhgh, I’m starting to spend way too much on audio D=
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