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Jaycar - High Definition Audio Digital-to-Analogue Converter (First Impressions)

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Happy New Year to you all!!


I just want to get straight to the point if that is okay with everyone:


I've been a fond owner of my Fiio E9/E17 setup for my desktop for a good two years now. I was so delight 2 years ago when I bought this setup and was my gateway drug into this awesome hobby.


Now I've recently acquired a valve/tube amp from Fred_Fred an have been looking for a standalone Dac to replace the E9/E17 as an alternative setup.


Today I took my next step in this crazy hobby, I present to you Jaycar's Digitech Branded DAC/Amp:



I really want to show you all what this thing looks like so here are a few more pictures:



So it fits in the palm of my hand quite nicely, very light and feels rigid. Smooth edges and has a matte-like finish. I found the instructions quite interesting especially how they've wording things, even making reference about 'Audiophiles':




I've literally only just set this Dac up to my computer via Optical Toslink. The Dac a can support USB, Optical Toslink/Coaxial. RCA line out at the "Front" of the dac with your standard headphone jack. Volume knob is small and firm. Power is supplied either by USB or USB/Power supply cord. Overall quality is pretty good and it's pretty easy on the eyes!



Impressions: Ok so I've only just plugged it in and started listening. Immediately I heard a very soft hiss but nothing to offending, I was using my Ath CKM-500's as they are my daily's. Fired up Foobar and started to listen to one of my favourite albums 'Drink the Sea' by Glitch Mob.


Straight away I felt "relief", it wasn't terrible!! It sounded as good as the E9/17. Almost finishing the album I can say I wasn't disappointed.


The sound is good, the bass is very solid and on par with the E9/E17! the mid's are forward and vocals stand out more than it did on the E9/E17, the high's are very crisp and airy where I felt the E9/17 was sometimes grainy. The digitech seem to have a nice wide sound stage with better clarity than the E9/E17. Plenty of Volume with punch and authority (I understand IEM's aren't hard to drive) Musically it does things quite well and I can't hear any anomalies...very impressed! Overall I think I'll keep this Dac and can't wait to hook up the tube amp to it! Burn in has started...


Final notes: A few things I want to say about the Digitech is that it doesn't come with an of it's specs listed on the package or in the manual, you literally cross your fingers and toes and hope for the best! But like I said I'm pretty relieved that it didn't suck!


Now I know there are plenty of Dac's out there but I was fortunate enough to have a Jaycar very close to my home and just gone through Christmas I just wanted to walk in to a Bricks and morter store and buy something with my own hands. I didn't feel like ordering something online and play the waiting game. For $100.00 Aus I was quite happy to pay.


Ok, now I would like to open the floor to you Headfi'ers out there! Perhaps give it a go yourselves or ask questions. I'm always keen on new discoveries but please make it clear I AM NOT HYPING this product! I merely just want to share my findings with others and perhaps help those who were in the same position as I was!!


Thanks for reading! L3000.gif















post #2 of 8
Thread Starter 

Well, just want to report back after a few days of using this dac. It appears that I'm enjoying the sound this dac produces alot!


The soft hiss I first heard is gone and the overal harshness has settled down! This dac has more clarity and a smidgen better resolution than the E9/E17!


I would say the sound is more mellow/laid back and a bit more neutral compared to the warmth I hear from the E9/E17!


It's an enjoyable sound signature that I'm really starting to like. As for the soundstage, it has opened up abit further and you can really start to hear/feel the music stretch out more!


I really enjoyed the high's with this dac, it's got a lovely laid back but detailed sparkle without the piercing that I sometimes get with the E9/E17!


The mid's and low's has become more refined and handles heavy metal/rock/trance/DnB/Electronic very well.


The headphone amp definately pumps out a nice strong signal and is really impressive for what it is. It would be interesting to see if it can drive more demanding headphones.


I've now hooked up the tube amp to it and I must say this combination is going to be my main setup!! I enjoy it that much!


The little tube amp has added a beautiful warmth to the sound! Detail and clarity was amplified to an even nicer level! Like falling in love all over again.... L3000.gif


I'm really pleasantly surprised to find something like this from Jaycar. Especially for $100 Aus, I believe looking on the US site it's listed for about $60 which I think is a bargain!


post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 

Just an update with a nice pic...L3000.gif


My new setup!!! Really enjoying the new Dac with my wittle tube amp...a very nice step up from the Fiio E17/E9!! dt880smile.png

post #4 of 8

Hey! nice setup. Is there anyway to know which dac chip is used inside the jaycar dac? 100$ seems worth it. I'm considering this or something DIY.


Also how are the amps from freds amplifiers. Seems like good value.



post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 

Hey mate, I still have this Dac laying around.


My rig has changed over the seasons but I still have this dac on standby, now I'm using a Graham Slee Novo with a Fiio E10.


I'll open it up soon to see what dac it is using, I remember the opamp was something like a BB-2134 or something like that.


I plugged it back in to run with my Novo a few days ago and it still sound great (if not a bit laid back!). 


As for Fred's amps, after the little tube amp I bought the Cmoy BB off his Ebay store. 


I fitted a op627 as you can roll in new opamps with his design and it was amazing! 


Compared to the Novo, it was very transparent with amazing detail! I'd go to say that it was more aggressive than the Novo with sound quality on par but a tiny bit congested!


I'd seriously give one of Fred's amp's go if interested, also for the money you'll be getting a very nice amp!


Lastly, the Dac is definitely flat sounding or neutral, it presents the music very well with good sound stage. Also it can take a few different inputs, USB, Optical and coaxial.

Edited by volly - 3/9/14 at 3:41am
post #6 of 8

Oh wow. Thanks for the reply. I am thinking of getting a portable dac and amp soon for ~200$ . I think this settles it then or is there something better you suggest?

post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 

What kind of headphones/earphones will you be using with it? Sorry but I don't use my gear on the go!


But for $200 you'll be able to get something very decent although it will come down to what headphone or earphone you decide to use!

post #8 of 8

I use a brainwavz hm5, ad900x and a superlux hd681, but i plan to upgrade to a planar soon

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