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Zhaolu 2.5 - Page 3

post #31 of 150
I will have pretty much the same setup when and if I get this DAC. Only diff. would be the Soundcard... Looking forward to it! Thanx for the mini review. Make sure you pm me when you found a good amp, and tell if the balance issue is resolved.
post #32 of 150
Originally Posted by JazZy
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=
You could just lower the volume on the computer. Sure, you'd lose some dynamic range but I doubt it would be noticable. Then you can turn the volume control up higher.
post #33 of 150
I thought going from the digital out, the volume coming from the comp doesn't matter?
post #34 of 150
I'm runnign my DAC directly to my amp, and it sounds much better because my preamp sucks.

I'm using ASIO4ALL so the windows mixer is off (there are no dings, beeps, etc) and I lower the volume with foobar's volume control. It sounds really pretty damn good to me.

HOWEVER. When I close foobar, ASIO4ALL becomes inactive, and the noises go straight through to the amp. If you're not careful, you can send dangerously loud sounds to the speakers. It's also quite noisy this way because any hiss/hum from your system is essentially amped at full volume, while you're volume control is reducing the the music only.

I just ordered a pair of these scott endler attenuators for $80. I'll attach them to the back of the amp, knock them down a few clicks, and hopefully be good to go.
post #35 of 150
Originally Posted by Spare Tire
Doesn't the citypulse DA7.2x have a switch that can switch between NOS and OS?
No. It has a switch that can turn on and off the upsampling feature. It's an oversampling DAC regardless.
post #36 of 150
And what about that Stello DA100? Same story?
post #37 of 150
Originally Posted by Spare Tire
And what about that Stello DA100? Same story?
All upsampling DACs are classified as oversampling DACs by virtue of their design philosophy; while they function slightly differently (oversampling works with integer multiples and is debatably more "artificial,"), they do similar things as well. They're simply different approaches to the same relative goals. NOS DACs use entirely different kinds of DAC chips, and are based on an entirely different design philosophy. They're another step in the logical progression of "less is more" in audio today; 'the less messing with the signal, the better' kind of thing. Some argue that upsampling renders information that was not otherwise available in the standard 44.1khz sampling rate of CDs, others argue that this is simply a perceived difference and a sonic signature. But I digress. Point is, for a DAC to do both, it'd require two different chips. I'm not familiar with the DA100, but somehow I doubt Stello designed it that way.
post #38 of 150
hopefully a US distributor like ifiaudio will carry 2.5 later. Btw, the third DAC option has been removed on that site.
post #39 of 150
Originally Posted by JahJahBinks
hopefully a US distributor like ifiaudio will carry 2.5 later. Btw, the third DAC option has been removed on that site.
He's had them stocked for some time, couple weeks or more. I bought one from him the day he got them.
post #40 of 150
i will read before postingi will read before posting
i will read before posting

post #41 of 150
ps: i like it, seems they may have done some of the "essential" mods for you; simpler design, i never liked the "interchangeable" dac idea, but i seriously doubt there'd be much reason for either 1.3 or 2 users to jump on it; rather pisses me off that it's more expensive, i mean pretty much all they did is take stuff OUT; as predicted, this device is getting more costly each generation cuz of its reception around the world, not that that changes the fact that it's still a smokin hot deal though

ps: i like the idea of revising something right away that you find flaws with, it's a nice diy-type of feel to it (certainly nothing like mainline usa and european manufacturers; and likewise with warranty and build quality)
post #42 of 150
post #43 of 150
Originally Posted by ihira
there are 10 units on ebay from diykits hk

alright, i'm not kidden around, somebody buy one and come talk about it or i'll come to your house and beat up your kitten

edit: sean saves all the kittens

post #44 of 150
My dogs would eat you before you EVER touched my kitten.
post #45 of 150
my kitten would put the smack down on your hounds (she beats on my dog regularly)

..........ok i'm done...................i promise
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