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Audio-GD DI-20

Discussion in 'Computer Audio' started by soundlogic, Oct 29, 2019.
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  1. rsbrsvp

    I realise that point- but at the end of the day they are both digital transports. If I have a USB and SPDIF input on my dac- would this product using spdif output better the SOTM USB TXultra using usb output?
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2019
  2. FredA
    On an audio-gd dac, definitely,
  3. Wynnytsky
    USBUltra is a USB regenerator that necessitates a 2nd USB cable. And assuming you currently go
    computer=>USBUltra=>DAC USB

    the question should be, which of these possibilities will sound best:
    DI20=>DAC coax/acss/i2s
    DI20HE=>DAC coax/acss/i2s
    USBUltra=>DI20=>DAC coax/acss/i2s
    USBUltra=>DI20HE=>DAC coax/acss/i2s
  4. rsbrsvp
    I would be afraid to add the SOTM to the chain if using the DI20HE. I do not like multiple recclocking devices in one chain. At the end of the day both the SOTM and the DI-I20HE are reclockers only that one outputs by SPDIF and one outputs by USB. I do not know technically which has the better clock but the SOTM is famous for their incredible reclocking technology. The Audio-gd does have that incredible built in power supply and the SOTM will need a fantastic external power supply to compete with that.

    By the way- anyone ever try a Shirt Eiter? I have one and it is SUPERB... Don't be fooled by the low price.......
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2019
  5. PLGA
    Under my experience, I2S input of the Audio-GD DACs is MUCH better than Amanero USB (isoleted). So, it makes the DI-20 (HE or not) a very good upgrade like any other USB to I2S converter.

    My R8 DAC is fed via I2S from Gustard U16, wich regarding some forum members is no match to the DI-20, but nevertheless it is a considerably upgrade against the Amanero USB input. So I guess if you use the SOtM USB Ultra and you have an Audio-GD DAC, you will have to use the Amanero USB input and that would be a downside.

    Just to mention, I have the SOtM SMS-200 Ultra Neo SE feeding my Gustard U16 (DI-20 on its way) and I also have the W4S USB Reclocker RUR (not connected to the USB chain right now). Last week I made a test and I connected the RUR, between my SMS-200 and my U16, and I didnt like the results. It made the sound worse. I know the SOtM USB Ultra is on another league, but the RUR is also well regarded among audiophiles and it made a noticeable difference when I used the USB output of my Noteboook, but not now that I have the SMS-200.

    I dont know about the Schiit Eitr, but I guess it should be similar to the RUR, but changind USB signal to SPDIF wich I believe is a downside.
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2019
    motberg likes this.
  6. Loukiz
    Hi PLGA,

    I currently also use a Gustard U16 (DI-20 is already shipped) and have it currently connected via USB from my MacBook. I was never sure if there was an additional benefit of using a USB reclocker in addition to a USB/SPDIF converter. But since you mentioned that the W4S worked well with your Notebook as a source, this seems like an interesting option.

    On the Audio-gd homepage it is already described that the DI-20 acts like an USB Interface and isolator at the same time ("Built in the 150M high speed isolator between USB interface and FPGA signal processor.") and of course it performs reclocking of the signal, so the question would be if there even can be an additional benefit from a USB reclocker (e.g. W4S).
    motberg likes this.
  7. PLGA
    Well, the RUR improved the sound noticeably when it was between my PC and the DAC and it also did it between the PC and the U16. I think the RUR should do it also before the DI-20, but Im not 100% sure.

    Just to mention, the RUR also improved with a LPS, but even with an LPS it was no match to the SOtM SMS-200 Ultra Neo. I guess the biggest improvement you can have is with a dedicated streamer/bridge, getting rid of the computer USB signal, its crap.
    aumont00 likes this.
  8. TitaniumDust
    I saw your post and didn't see any replies, so I thought I'd share my limited knowledge in case it helps. It is my understanding that 1.5m length applies to BNC as well, though I've never tested it myself as I only own 1.5m cables. As for the Audio Sensibility cable you referenced, I have several of their cables and they are a bargain for the price. I have their OCC Copper ICs and an OCC silver headphone cable for my LCD-X. My current BNC cable is made by VooDoo Cable but is also OCC silver. The OCC silver cables are so clean-sounding and don't have any harsh brightness, and I don't think you'll find a better price than Audio Sensibility. I simply can't recommend them enough and all my future cables will be coming from them. The Statement SE silver cable would be truly excellent, and the Signature Silver cable would easily be an end-game cable.
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2019
    Pappas3278 likes this.
  9. darren700
    Thanks for the reply and the info. I assumed the rule was the same for BNC but i wasnt sure. I agree that audio sensibility cables are fantastic especially considering their price. All my power cables, interconnects and USB cables in both my headphone setup and speaker setup are Audio Sensibility. I went with OCC Copper statement for all my interconnects and power cables, but OCC Silver statement for the USB cables. I even had Audio Sensibility make me OCC Copper ACSS cables for between my R1 and Master 9 in my headphone setup. (wanted copper to maintain warmth with my headphones)

    I actually own a 1m Statement RCA Coaxial cable that sounds great that I purchased for connecting my Marantz CD6005 to my R2R-7 (now connected to DI-20) (note I purchased this cable before I knew the 1.5m rule)

    I have been very happy with the HDMI I2S from DI-20 to R2R-7 and it does native DSD perfect so im doubtful I will invest in a nice BNC cable unless other people find it significantly better than I2S as I want to maintain native DSD.
  10. jimmychan
    Has any body get the Ext. Clock in work? I tried connect to C16 and another clock source of 10MHz, the Clock LED of DI-20 was lit but no sound.
  11. JaMo
    Yes, I have it running flawlessly right now. In fact it worked right out of the box, fresh started. I am using an Oscilloquartz (Sine wave).Question: -with the C16... -Have You tried the both types of outputs?
    motberg likes this.
  12. jimmychan
    Yes, I tried both outputs.

    Do you notice the improvement of EXT. Clock? What kind of level the EXT. clock can improve?

    Interesting thing is the EXT. Clock IN work with "Serial" Mode Only (Ext. Clock is C16)

    Condition: RPi4B USB > DI-20HE > i2S > Audio-gd Reference 1
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2019
  13. DACLadder
    1.5m coax rule? If a longer cable sounds better then you may not have matched impedances - source, connectors, cable, load. The 1.5m rule is just a bandage where impedance mismatch causes signal reflections at the load to not mix and distort the incoming waveform rise/fall time. A longer cable moves the mismatch reflections out in time to not interfere with the incoming wave. But a longer cable also has more attenuation and smears (slows) risetime of the wave and causing more jitter.

    I've seen examples where a longer cable helped uncontrolled impedance interfaces like TTL I2S. I think Steve at Empircal Audio sold "tuned" cables that improved TTL I2S. But if you match impedances all power is absorbed by the load and no reflections.

    Here's an example of what signal reflections do to nice square waves from the transmitter.

    I like BNC connections as you get true characteristic impedance. RCA connectors can be anything. 50 ohm BNC connectors and cables have more dielectric material (white plastic) than 75 ohm. See the pic below... You will notice the DI-20 BNCs have the proper impedance characteristics (75 ohm SPDIF, 50 ohm CLK out, 10Mhz in).

    Last edited: Dec 5, 2019
  14. soundlogic
    Can anyone share thier approximate shipping notification/times from the date they sent payment? My order for the DI20HE was placed on Nov. 29th and other than a confirmation, at my urging, of receipt of order...I have not heard or received any updates. Thanks for your replies.
  15. JaMo
    It takes longer now than earlier years. I ordered among the first units. My DI took 9 days from "shipped inform"(16 nov) to tracking# (21 nov) to delivery (25 nov). I'm living in Sweden so it routes via Germany.
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