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New to audio with new gear: The Xiang Sheng DA-03A. Don't think you know this one.

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Hi, this is HKondor, hi-fi audio noob, short-time lurker first-time poster over here.

 

Thought I was quite a big music fan (who isn't?) and somehow never cared for sound quality. I mainly listen to rock, blues rock and heavy metal. Got suddenly interested in audio gear and within a short couple weeks dug into the forums and bought my first serious -albeit entry level- desktop setup to see what the fuss was all about. I can't believe what I was missing after all this time. Laughing out loud on my first listen, if you know what I mean. Ears hurting now but the headphones are not coming off.

 

So, I wanted to share some info on the gear I got. It seems this has been flying below the radar.

 

Since I live in HK thought of getting a good value for money, Chinese DAC to pair with my brand new Alessandro MS-1s. After some eye-opening process where the OEM distributor (re)brands where discarded I found an offering from Xiang Sheng for an DAC/amp combo that seemed to tick all the boxes. I was pretty much about to pull the trigger on the DAC-01A, when I found the DA-03A. This seemed to improve on some of the shortcomings of the previous model (better DAC chip, better tube) and for about USD 150 I thought I'd give it a shot despite the lack of reviews and online info. Below are the specs of what I got for your perusal. Sounds great so far!

 

Sampling IC: CS8416, PCM 1794

 

Output OP amp: OPA2604 x 1, LF353N x2

 

Output tube: 6N3

 

Sampling frequency rate: 32, 44.1, 48, 88,2, 96, 192K

 

Input: Toslink + 2 SPDIF. I decided against the optional TE7022L or SA9027 modules to add the USB input. If resolution is gonna be 24/92 with those I might as well stick with the Toslink for a cheaper solution.

 

Output: Headphone + OP amp + Op amp & tube buffer. 

 

I would be interested in hearing your opinions on the specs of this DAC. Feel free to ask any questions, I'd be happy to provide pictures and details if you are keen to investigate.

 

HKondor  


Edited by HKondor - 3/9/14 at 10:40pm
post #2 of 12
Sure, I am keen to investigate. Post 'em.
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 

Cool, I'm quite curious to learn more about this. I'll open the case and post some. Maybe dropbox public links as I don't have picture posting rights yet.

post #4 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by HKondor View Post

Cool, I'm quite curious to learn more about this. I'll open the case and post some. Maybe dropbox public links as I don't have picture posting rights yet.

Oh well, why don't you post some about topics of interest to you because there's no hurry.
post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 

Don't worry about it. I'm going through the obsession stage of a new found interest :) 

 

Here go the pics if you want to have a look. Wouldn't be surprised to find clones of this out there.

 

https://www.dropbox.com/s/xju973jd7wrba1b/2014-03-10%2013.57.04.jpg

 

https://www.dropbox.com/s/cfo302h0wlywxwn/2014-03-10%2013.57.21.jpg

 

https://www.dropbox.com/s/xcuuje68uy4hs2u/2014-03-10%2013.57.33.jpg

post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 

I've posted the pics with the links. May not get approved so maybe repost later on :)

post #7 of 12
OK. Good luck.
post #8 of 12

Isn't that the no-brand version of the Maverick Audio DAC-Amp?

post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 

As far as I know the Xiang Sheng DAC-01A and DAC-02A are the original products re-branded by Mavericks as Tubemagic D1 and D2. The one I got (DA-03A) I have not been able to identify under another name.

post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claritas View Post

OK. Good luck.

Links passed, check out post above. 

post #11 of 12

So, do you guys recommend the DA-03A? I wasn't able to find any reviews on it yet.. Not too many sellers on ebay as well. It seems price is ~$240 now.

post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 

Well I have few comparables to measure this against. However, I can tell you that it sounds better than all my apple devices, including an ipod mini which is the best sounding on the bunch. I'm not sure whether the sound improvement is due to the DAC or the AMP part as the DA-03A is an integrated DAC/AMP.

 

Versus the ipod mini the DA-03A seems to provide better dynamic range, better instrument separation, better soundstage, more power and just overall a better quality of sound to all instruments and voices, not sure what's the audiophile word for that. My current setup is imac to DA-03A via fiber optic cable and Alessandro MS1. I thought there was no point in getting the USB adaptor; if the frequency is going to be capped at 96K then optical is a cheaper solution. Disregard the jitter comments. Zero jitter over here.

 

In summary I'm happy with it and will not be buying another DAC for at least a couple years. Might get new cans next year though. And new IEMs :)

 

If you get it please let us know your impressions, good luck with the hunt.

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