Pretty striking resemblance, although different chips and stuff could have been used. At any rate, even if it is a perfect clone, I haven't seen anyone who has tried the Xiang Sheng and can comment how either would sound compared to other things like an Aune or Zero or Compass. There is one Xiang Sheng on ebay right now for $187 shipped which would be the best deal of all (although if it were identical, I would still get the Maverickaudio since it is black).
Maybe maverick audio would be willing to let one of the vets in these forums do an inhome trial to generate some feedback dialogue.
Well that's not surprising. But maybe they both are rebrands/clones of the Xiang Sheng Dac-01. The GF was only released this month. The Xiang Sheng has been out for some time now. Also GF is already known for re branding other Chinese products(ex.various Yaqin tube amps and buffer), and selling them for much much more. Not sure which one is the original between the three but based on when each one was released, and past history, IMO both the GF and the MAV may be knock offs. But that's just my opinion.
Hmm. So basically it is the same thing as the Grant Fidelity Tube DAC 09 and most likely the Xiang Sheng Dac-01. One factory, same multiple DAC's. From the post on AudioKarma.org, I couldn't help but think that the distributor was saying, yeah its identical, but maverick audio is shady, we are not, so buy from us. I don't know if its right to maverick audio shady, but it doesn't seem like anything was done wrong in ordering a bunch of DAC's and rebranding if there wasn't some sort of exclusivity rights done for Grant Fidelity.
Still not sure what to make of it as we still don't have anyone so far that has heard any of them. Still think the Maverick one looks the best
Stick with Pacific Valve IMO. They are well trusted distributor of their products and they do have warranties and for servicing you deal with Pacific Valve. That's just my opinion if I wanted one of these DAC/Amp combos.
And the slight increase in price from Pacific Valve makes sense to me with an upgrade in the NOS tube. But why get a re-brand with no obvious change or any disclosed changed. Just get the Xiansheng from a distributor with a solid reputation here.
Ok, I took the plunge. This is exactly what I've been looking for, and for $200, with free shipping and two-week trial, I thinks it's worth a chance.
I spent almost a year working in Sweden and came back at the end of March. I would have loved to have had a component just like this over there. Having a DAC and a preamp to allow using my laptop as a source for some speakers, that doubles as a headphone amp, would be perfect. When you're living out of two suitcases for that long, something like this one box solution would make it much easier to stay sane. Now that I am back home (and without a job), I have been looking for a low-cost preamp and DAC to use for my second system. Due to money constraints, I've had to sell my Rogue 99 Magnum and several other pieces.
I don't know if I have the golden ear that the rest of you have, or if I am as demanding when it comes to headphone gear. But I've seen more than a few here shell-out similar $$$ for low-cost headphone amps from China, and then replace all sorts of circuitry components. It's what many of you love to do, really, and that's great. But I would caution anyone right now, that if you think you are going to get something for $200 that will rival, say, a similar Ray Samuels product, you are mistaken. You can get a really good deal sometimes, but you still get what you pay for.
It's good for us to be wary and critical, but at the same time, in this economy, I can see why a new upstart may have reservations about sharing his recipe. All of the established companies tell their basic components, but when its your capital invested in the launch of a new product, well, I can see why Ryan might want to be cautious too. I suspect that that will change over time.
I'll attempt to do a write-up worthy of these pages, but I'm no journalist. But I think there would be nothing better than to discover the next really cool, inexpensive product, and with time maybe some of you can figure out some nice upgrades to make this an even better value.
Just to make it clear, I don't know Ryan, and have only exchanged an email via eBay asking about shipping and asking for a picture of the inside. I have no other experience with him, and am not connected with him or his company in any way.
So, I ordered it tonight, just before this post. When I get it I will add to this post and then sometime afterward, after a little time to get acquainted and to burn it in, I will do a write-up.
I have HD600 cans and a Squeezebox v3 to try out with this baby. I'm looking forward to it!
jmzzz01, you are the man. I applaud your decision and can't wait for your thoughts. I don't expect miracles, but if it can approach something like the Compass, which is supposedly a good value, then I might risk it along with you. Hopefully it is something that, stock or very little additional investment, can be something that I can grow with as a DAC when my headphones grow up and need better amplification.
BTW, has anyone asked if it can be used as either a standalone DAC or Amp? Pretty important if someone is buying with growth in mind.