Buying a Zhalou DAC from Hong Kong
Jun 5, 2007 at 7:08 PM Post #16 of 52

Progenitor

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Elephas /img/forum/go_quote.gif
An AD2000 would be an excellent choice.
evil_smiley.gif



I would love to get the AD2000! Having a headphone at that price range must be so nice...the jump to a nothing to the A900 is amazing, so I am guessing it's the same kind of jump going from the A900 to the AD2000.

Thanks for the suggestion of Kingsound wovenhand. I may consider buying the G&W AT-F100 there.
 
Jun 5, 2007 at 9:30 PM Post #17 of 52

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Just got an email from Eddie confirming everything:

Unit (AD-1852) $1480HKD
Upgrade headamp $330 HKD
Mod Black gate $342 HKD
Total $2152 HKD

Is there anything else Eddie can do for me that can improve sound quality?

Thanks again everyone!

*edit* I was reading the "mod your zhalou" thread (that thread is way too long!), and saw a lot of post regarding the DC cap mod (example here:
http://166.90.205.111/forums/showpos...&postcount=357)

This was written back in June 2006 so I am wondering does it still apply now? Is it something I should ask Eddie to do?
 
Jun 5, 2007 at 10:58 PM Post #18 of 52

bordins

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Progenitor /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I was reading the "mod your zhalou" thread and saw a lot of post regarding the DC cap mod. This was written back in June 2006 so I am wondering does it still apply now? Is it something I should ask Eddie to do?


Your Zhaolu will sound a lot better when you remove these DC-blocking caps (Ori's basic Zhaolu mod). Ori detected these caps on the Zhaolu D-2.0, they were not present on the Zhaolu D-1.3.

The purpose of DC-blocking caps is to prevent DC surge to damage the DAC chips from wrong output opamp installation (backward). Many D-1.3 units in China were sent in for claims. Eddie would insist you to keep these capacitors. However, this mod is very easy to DIY though.
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Jun 5, 2007 at 11:46 PM Post #20 of 52

d-cee

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Progenitor /img/forum/go_quote.gif
So it sounds like something I can try asking Eddie, but I should expect to do myself then?

Thanks for the quick answer! This place is a goldmine.
biggrin.gif



if you ask him he will probably do it, i think i remember reading that he's done it for others

but he will probably not accept warranty claims from opamps put in backwards
 
Jun 6, 2007 at 12:29 AM Post #21 of 52

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I really am not one for DIY anyway so I doubt I will rip open the Zhalou!

This is just thinking about the future, but am I right to say that if I have a nice amp, and this zhalou, this system will out grow my A900.
 
Jun 6, 2007 at 5:58 AM Post #22 of 52

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Have him do the DC blocking caps mod. I did not mention this because he most likely will not support the warranty if you roll op-amps and yes it does make a difference in sound (both the DC mod and the op-amp rolling). Is he quoting you prices for a D2.0 or a D2.5 ? I was not aware the 2.5 had an upgraded headphone amp yet perhaps it does though... Eddie moves pretty fast LOL. If it is a D2.0 I would say grab it from all I have heard the D2.0 has a much better PSU configuration. Im not familiar or have heard the A900 but the Zhalou really is a bargain and many use it with much more expensive headphones very happily
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BTW 2152 HKD = 275.59 USD as of ....now. Sorry about your wallet. Also the Blackgates need alot of burn-in before they really sound great. Keep us up to date with things.
 
Jun 6, 2007 at 8:09 AM Post #23 of 52

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I just ordered a new DAC board from Eddie LOL. Not listed on his stock but he has it , an AD board for the D2.0 I have. Gotta love how he stocks up on parts. I would love to go to HK and get it. but.....
 
Jun 6, 2007 at 8:36 AM Post #24 of 52

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Eddie did the DC blocking cap bypass for me, but he stressed heavily that I'd make sure I knew what I was doing when switching opamps. He really emphasized that I'd use caution.
smily_headphones1.gif
Great guy I must say, a pleasure to deal with!
 
Jun 6, 2007 at 12:40 PM Post #25 of 52

d-cee

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Sinwerm /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I just ordered a new DAC board from Eddie LOL. Not listed on his stock but he has it , an AD board for the D2.0 I have. Gotta love how he stocks up on parts. I would love to go to HK and get it. but.....


yeah, i was surprised when i emailed him in hope that he'd have a D2.0 CS4398 board and turns out he has a few left lol very please
smily_headphones1.gif

Quote:

Originally Posted by wovenhand /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Eddie did the DC blocking cap bypass for me, but he stressed heavily that I'd make sure I knew what I was doing when switching opamps. He really emphasized that I'd use caution.
smily_headphones1.gif
Great guy I must say, a pleasure to deal with!



indeed! you can cook your DAC otherwise. and totally agree, despite the language barrier he's great to deal with
 
Jun 6, 2007 at 8:17 PM Post #26 of 52

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Sinwerm /img/forum/go_quote.gif
BTW 2152 HKD = 275.59 USD as of ....now.


Luckily I earn GBP rather than USD
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Since the pounds is so strong at the moment the whole shebang comes to £139 which is still quite a bit of money but acceptable especially since I can see this lasting me quite a bit!

I believe he's quoting me from the 2.5A. This is a picture of the amp he's going to be putting in for me:
http://i86.photobucket.com/albums/k8...u/IMG_0417.jpg

Why are both of you after D2.0 AD & CS boards? is there something special about them?

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sinwerm /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Keep us up to date with things.


That I will! I hope I can compile all of my experience and knowledge gained from this all in one post for future zhalou newbies. It would be proper to give something back to the community even tho it's small.
 
Jun 8, 2007 at 7:10 PM Post #27 of 52

Sinwerm

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If that pic you posted of the amp is the discrete headphone amp from the D2.0 you should be very happy with it , I would post it over at the mod your Zhaolu thread just to make sure. Im not that familiar with what it looks like but someone there will know , it is supposed to be very good for the money.

The reason we are tracking down the different DAC boards themselves is the D2.0 can switch out DAC boards by just unplugging no solder needed. Different sound characteristics. The AD board I ordered was about 43 USD shipped.

The only thing I could think of at your level of mod left is to ask Eddie if he has any LM 4562 NA op-amps he can put in , they work really well. Or you can order them free (10 USD) for shipping from National semiconductors "sample program". That and decent quality power cord and IC and an good Coax or optical cable.
 
Jun 12, 2007 at 12:32 AM Post #28 of 52

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Sinwern: Thanks so much for your informative reply! My family is heading to Hong Kong as we speak and I should be receiving the unit late next week...can't wait!

For now I've bought myself the x-fi xtrememusic because I've just found out that the audigy 2 I've got is actually just the audigy 2 value. Looking at your signature you are using the x-fi as digital source for your Zhalou. I've just bought this cable:

http://www.ebuyer.com/UK/product/86056

(I know, it's not an audiophile brand - but the cable was effective for free).

I gather that I'll also need a 3.5mm to Coax converter. However, I am unable to find example of this. Can you point me out to the right direction.

Also, do you have problem playing back DVD or playing games on your x-fi? I guess I am a little confused as to what kind of signal the x-fi will output in those situation (DTS, AC5, etc, etc), and whether those signals would be processed by Creative's DAC before reaching the zhalou's dac?

Thanks so much for answering all of my questions for me! I really feel like the users I support for my day job :p
 
Jun 12, 2007 at 6:30 AM Post #29 of 52

d-cee

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Progenitor /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I've just bought this cable:

http://www.ebuyer.com/UK/product/86056

(I know, it's not an audiophile brand - but the cable was effective for free).

I gather that I'll also need a 3.5mm to Coax converter. However, I am unable to find example of this. Can you point me out to the right direction.



you just need a 3.5mm mono to RCA adaptor. Pretty sure they exist. Might have been better to get a 3.5mm mono > RCA cable instead

Quote:

Originally Posted by Progenitor /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Also, do you have problem playing back DVD or playing games on your x-fi? I guess I am a little confused as to what kind of signal the x-fi will output in those situation (DTS, AC5, etc, etc), and whether those signals would be processed by Creative's DAC before reaching the zhalou's dac?


not sure about DVD/games, but I know that the x-fi in music mode has the option to select "bit transperant" mode, or something similar, which is what you want. By using the SPDIF output you're bypassing the internal DACs, however it's the DSP (digital sound processor) that you'd be more worried about in this case, as if I am correct every other mode besides music creation mode has some freaky deaky 3D sound effects and stuff that mess with the signal before spitting it out
 
Jun 12, 2007 at 6:04 PM Post #30 of 52

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Pretty much what d-cee said there are 3 modes the X-fi work in for music put it in Audio creation mode and in the settings at the lower left of that screen set things like this.
1. Clock to 44.1 kHz
2. Digital I/O selected
3. Playback set to Bit-matched
4. Decoder set to use external decoder

On the main page also on the far right in the blue box turn EAX of and I use the 2/2.1 setting for speakers but you can try the headphone one it just seems a bit odd for my ears.

The rest of the setting you can play with but this should give you the bit-perfect output and disable the DSP from the X-fi to let the Zhaolu do the work. Just check these settings every now and then since the creative software can have a mind of it's own now and again.

Here is a link where I got mine good cable for the money http://www.ramelectronics.net/html/RCA-mini-spdif.html

I pretty much use this setting for everything and have not had a problem with DVDs it just breaks it down to 2ch from what I can tell sounds quite good actually. For games I usually leave the Zhaolu off and let the regulare speakers I have to the directional stuff with EAX in game mode. You can set and save all this stuff in the different modes.

You would be better of with a coax with RCA and 3.5 plug as stated though , 3.5 is a pretty small jack and when you put an adapter on the RCA it gets pretty long and can cause strain to the jack. I take a look their are some pretty cheap coax's made for this not bad quality at all. Good luck.
 

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