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Tiny DAC, Big Sound, Evolved – Stoner Acoustics UD100 / UD110 / UD120 - Page 4

post #46 of 1146
Bad news frown.gif

Got my UD100 today. First thing it did was break my AD700s, then it broke itself.

I plugged my AD700s into it. Played some music, it was way too loud obviously so I thought I'd plug it into my MBE+ instead. The trouble arose at this point. I couldn't get my AD700s' plug to come out! It was stuck on the last pin. I wiggled as gingerly as I could but it just wouldn't come out, and in the end I had to yank it quite strongly. The result was that the tip of the plug came apart from the ring/sleeve, and sound doesn't work in the right channel of the UD100 any more.

I'll have to email Mr. Stoner to see what to do from this point, but I guess the moral is that anyone else buying one should be careful of catchy pins on the 3.5mm jack.'



Edit: hey guys, Stoner Acoustics are going to send me a replacement, and also posted a Youtube video showing how to remove your plug if it gets stuck in the jack:


Thumbs up for customer service and good business beyersmile.png
Edited by bcpk - 10/2/12 at 8:56am
post #47 of 1146

StoneAcoustics said it would take a month to get to the US...

post #48 of 1146

bcpk, really sorry to hear about this. The headphone jack is obviously just an off-the-shelf part used by Stoner Audio and it seems that the one in your unit was defective. 

 

Plugging and unplugging the the cable from mine has been no issue (as you would expect!).

 

Let us know how it works out. He seems like a nice guy so i expect that he will help you.

post #49 of 1146

Did you try it with some USB Isolator, to see if improves something?

post #50 of 1146
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bcpk View Post

Bad news frown.gif
Got my UD100 today. First thing it did was break my AD700s, then it broke itself.
I plugged my AD700s into it. Played some music, it was way too loud obviously so I thought I'd plug it into my MBE+ instead. The trouble arose at this point. I couldn't get my AD700s' plug to come out! It was stuck on the last pin. I wiggled as gingerly as I could but it just wouldn't come out, and in the end I had to yank it quite strongly. The result was that the tip of the plug came apart from the ring/sleeve, and sound doesn't work in the right channel of the UD100 any more.
I'll have to email Mr. Stoner to see what to do from this point, but I guess the moral is that anyone else buying one should be careful of catchy pins on the 3.5mm jack.
]

Re-terminating the AD700 shouldn't be too much of an issue. I don't think you break the mini plug on UD100, more likely you just bend it out of position so it doesn't contact the pin correctly anymore. In that case, bending it back will fix it. In worse case, maybe a retouch on solder join as well.
post #51 of 1146
Hey, thanks for the kind words guys. The pin did actually snap off the 3.5mm female of the UD100, I saw it when I took off the shrink wrap. Thankfully Mr. Stoner is going to send me a replacement. I am confident it wasn't anything wrong with the AD700s plug that caused it since I had to take it out my PC first before I put it into the UD100.

I will put a new plug on the AD700s when I get a chance!
post #52 of 1146

Wow.  I only just plugged it in, and audio memory is generally pretty faulty, but this is a beautifully detailed dac.  I won't be able to properly compare it to my other stuff until maybe tomorrow, but right now with it plugged into just a Fiio E5 (a little guy that measures pretty well), I am digging the sound.  Very impressed with the sound.  This combo with my E5 definitely is a clear step up from a Nuforce uDAC which was what I have been using at my office.

 

Now the "unfortunately."  I think I have the same issue as bcpk.  While not an issue yet, the cable I plugged into the UD100 is firmly lodged in there.  I will cut off the heatshrink to see if I can see what the problem is, and hopefully I can save it without breaking either the plug or the jack.

 

But still, this is an incredible value.

post #53 of 1146

In case anyone has a plug that sticks (seems to be common with Neutrik plugs), Stoner Acoustics just put up a youtube video showing how to pull the plug out:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=riw9FOvVfI4

 

A twist and a tug seems to work, as I was able to remove my plug, but I worry about the longevity of the socket if it catches so much.  I will probably try to mod mine into a larger housing with better connectors at some point (or permanently link it to something).

post #54 of 1146

Yep, they sent it to me as well. If only I had known to use that technique beforehand! Good video.
 

post #55 of 1146

Well, A/B'ing a DAC isn't easy, as it it tough to switch seemlessly.  I was testing the UD100 against the Nuforce HDP DAC, using the Nuforce as a headphone amp and also a preamp going to my two channel set up.  The UD100 seems more forward and slightly more dynamic than the HDP.  Detail retrieval and soundstage seem similar so far.  Both are similar in nature, remaining fairly neutral.  Not sure which I prefer, but it is amazing that this little $50 DAC is right up there in quality of sound with a $450 piece of equipment, which was already considered quite a value.

 

The UD100 is by far better than the Nuforce uDAC.  Better clarity, dynamics, etc.  uDAC is warmer which I do like, but just doesn't have the punch that the UD100 provides.  This comparison was done using a Cmoy that I built.  

 

I am not adept at describing things that I hear very well yet, as I have only begun to listen critically recently.  Definitely a recommended buy for anyone looking for a DAC.  Wish I had had this at the mini-meet that I went to last weekend, as it would have been great to see how this did against some nicer DACs with better headphones and amps.

 

Great find ClieOS!

post #56 of 1146

For some reason with the Beyer cans I have they make the soundstage even less deeper. On some records the vocal is either singing inside or at the back of my head.

 

Anyways, great DAC for the price.


Edited by madriz - 10/27/12 at 6:39am
post #57 of 1146
Quote:
Originally Posted by FraGGleR View Post

Well, A/B'ing a DAC isn't easy, as it it tough to switch seemlessly.  I was testing the UD100 against the Nuforce HDP DAC, using the Nuforce as a headphone amp and also a preamp going to my two channel set up.  The UD100 seems more forward and slightly more dynamic than the HDP.  Detail retrieval and soundstage seem similar so far.  Both are similar in nature, remaining fairly neutral.  Not sure which I prefer, but it is amazing that this little $50 DAC is right up there in quality of sound with a $450 piece of equipment, which was already considered quite a value.

 

The UD100 is by far better than the Nuforce uDAC.  Better clarity, dynamics, etc.  uDAC is warmer which I do like, but just doesn't have the punch that the UD100 provides.  This comparison was done using a Cmoy that I built.  

 

I am not adept at describing things that I hear very well yet, as I have only begun to listen critically recently.  Definitely a recommended buy for anyone looking for a DAC.  Wish I had had this at the mini-meet that I went to last weekend, as it would have been great to see how this did against some nicer DACs with better headphones and amps.

 

Great find ClieOS!

 

Very nice, now I look even more forward to receive my UD100. In the meantime I will over and over practice the quick twist and pull technique so my motoric hand skills will be at the correct skill level ;-)

post #58 of 1146
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jupiterknight View Post

 

Very nice, now I look even more forward to receive my UD100. In the meantime I will over and over practice the quick twist and pull technique so my motoric hand skills will be at the correct skill level ;-)

 

Or just plan to leave a cable permanently hooked up.  Once I got my cable unplugged (had a Neutrik like in the video), I tried a different cable hoping it would be better.  Unfortunately, it is worse.  No twisting and pulling has been able to get it dislodged.  I am pretty sure if I pulled any harder, I will break the solder joints on the board.  Stoner Acoustics is currently trying to get a hold of the connecter that I use to see if there is a new trick I can try to dislodge it.  At worst, it is my good cable so not too much harm done.  I suppose if I wanted to risk damaging my UD100, I could simply desolder the jack.  

 

While it negates how small this is, I have thought about putting the UD100 in a small metal case with RCA's and a USB female jack for better shielding and ergonomics.  I will update when Stoner gets back to me.

 

I still think it is a tremendous value of a DAC and Stoner Acoustics have been quite responsive.

post #59 of 1146
Thread Starter 
I tried a Neutrik and it seems to be the only plug that gets stuck (but able to pull it out by pulling and twisting at the same time). The rest of my cable with generic plug have no problem whatsoever.
post #60 of 1146

My Brief 1st Impressions:  

 

This is an audible upgrade over feeding the headphone-out of my Macbook Pro into the A2 and A5 speakers with stands.  The treble extension and presence is a little better with UD100 vs with the MBP alone or with my original uDAC, with a slightly bigger and less forward soundstage too.  In the past I've written that the original uDAC was just a little too dark with the Audioengine speakers, and I had switched to the DACport until I got my uDAC-2 and Audioengine D1.  The uD100 is a good match for these speakers.

 

But overall, the uDAC-2 and Audioengine D1 line-out both seem to have a little bigger soundstage than the uD100, with the DACport surpassing even those in soundstage depth and size.  Still, for $50 it shouldn't sound this close to the $130-170 DACs via line-out.  These all seem to have fairly comparable levels of detail (not including the original uDAC).  I do not think the UD100 is in the same league as my HDP with S11 PSU.  I know the S11 PSU makes the HDP sound more refined and holographic, but I can't compare things with the stock PSU right now because it's been misplaced.  Based on my past comparisons of stock HDP to the uDAC-2, and knowing where uDAC-2 stands vs the uD100, I don't think I would say that the uD100 is on par with the HDP as a DAC only.  Still, the UD100 is surprisingly good for the price (and size).

 

I do really wish that the volume could be controlled by the computer, or that it had some kind of physical volume control.  Instead I have to reach behind the A2 speakers to adjust the volume, or use a Westone in-line attenuator between the DAC and the speakers, which hurts clarity slightly.  Compared to my old $49 Headstage DAC cable (a PCM2706 by itself) the sound is also miles ahead.  But at least the Headstage DAC cable can have the volume adjusted via the PC system volume control, and it's using the same USB receiver chip as the UD100.

 

I bought the same TF card reader to transplant the DAC into later, but TF reader showed up in lime-green instead of black, so it's a little more fun but less professional looking.  No pics until I get this DAC installed.  I'm going to try feeding the UD100 into my SR-71b balanced amp in the next few days, and try it with my LCD-2 and HE-500.  More to come later (when I feel like it).

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