Douk Audio U2 Pro DDC - Poorman DDC for an affordable & clean digital signal
Oct 18, 2022 at 2:59 AM Post #346 of 577
Oct 24, 2022 at 5:54 AM Post #347 of 577
After reading a lot of praise on this DDC, I purchased one out of curiosity to test it with my Denafrips Pontus II. It was also an opportunity for me to test for the first time I2S input of my Pontus II. I also purchased a low noise power supply and a good HDMI cable. Honestly, when doing A/B tests, I don't hear any improvement in sound compared to playing music directly to my DAC. My best guess is that this DDC would improve the sound of low end DACs, but now high end ones. Do you agree?
Do you think that the sound will improve with burn-in of the DDC and I2S input of my Pontus II?
 
Oct 24, 2022 at 6:58 AM Post #348 of 577
Do you think that the sound will improve with burn-in of the DDC and I2S input of my Pontus II?
What is your USB host?

Did you during tests of U2Pro unplug USB cable from Pontus? (!)

With standard clocks burn-in period is few days, even hours, not a long wait, so I expect your result soon. Did you test with external power supply as well? A standard 5V regulated phone charger can make a difference. However in this configuration I don't recommend using a stock cable, it has a ferrite choke. Better one is a plain cable (sans ferrites) and a place of powering a charger should be close as possible to the PC with both (PC and U2 Pro) power cables tight together. Hope it helps.
 
Oct 24, 2022 at 7:46 AM Post #349 of 577
I'm using Windows 10 LTSC and it doesn't provide a native driver for the U2 Pro. Is the driver mentioned on the Douk site (3004 v.4.13.0) still the only one to use, as it seems a little on the old side -)

Also does anyone know how to edit it to allow for control over buffer settings? The above driver from Douk provides a simplified xmos box without the option of changing settings.
 
Last edited:
Oct 24, 2022 at 7:57 AM Post #350 of 577
What is your USB host?

Did you during tests of U2Pro unplug USB cable from Pontus? (!)

With standard clocks burn-in period is few days, even hours, not a long wait, so I expect your result soon. Did you test with external power supply as well? A standard 5V regulated phone charger can make a difference. However in this configuration I don't recommend using a stock cable, it has a ferrite choke. Better one is a plain cable (sans ferrites) and a place of powering a charger should be close as possible to the PC with both (PC and U2 Pro) power cables tight together. Hope it helps.
Hi,
U2 Pro is connected to the streamer IfI Zen Stream through USB. Yes I unplugged USB cable when testing because I know that it is recommended to have one input plugged at once
I first tested with stock cable and a normal charger, then with an IfI iPower2 power supply
My full setup: Zen Stream> U2 Pro> Pontus II > Line Magnetic LM-508> Monitor Audio Gold 300
 
Oct 24, 2022 at 12:08 PM Post #351 of 577
Hi,
U2 Pro is connected to the streamer IfI Zen Stream through USB. Yes I unplugged USB cable when testing because I know that it is recommended to have one input plugged at once
I first tested with stock cable and a normal charger, then with an IfI iPower2 power supply
My full setup: Zen Stream> U2 Pro> Pontus II > Line Magnetic LM-508> Monitor Audio Gold 300
Right, you did well and.... Zen Streamer is a low-noise device, it is a reason. Most people use PC, it is a big source of a noise, this is why DDC gained popularity.

In this case sound could be even degraded as
Douk Audio onboard clock become a master, while Pontus has ultra-low jitter clocks I think. Now replacing it with standard oscilators, reclocking in Pontus bring jitter close to the internal, but low frequency jitter is still passing through. To get any improvement you would need to order Douk Audio with Crystek oscilators, but Pontus has still an advantage of having a quality power supply feeding his own oscilators.

I think such long explanation was needed. Cutting long story short, to get an improvement having a quality DAC like Pontus and a low noise USB source, a poorman DDC is not good. If you don't want to spend $$$ on a real DDC, then ground loop redirectors should work better in your case, but only devices that do not break USB asynchronous data delivery, like iFi Defender.
 
Last edited:
Oct 28, 2022 at 9:06 PM Post #352 of 577
I was curious about the upgraded clock options, so I recently acquired a DDC with TCXO oscillators. Its relatively cheaper than the Douk with TCXO.
https://www.aliexpress.us/item/3256...2pIv1lr&gatewayAdapt=glo2usa&_randl_shipto=US

The difference with the Douk with standard oscillators is significant. More details, bass texture, better reverb. If my non-musician ears can sense the differences, then I would say, upgrading the clock is worth it, if the DAC is resolving enough. I have now ordered a Douk/Leaf audio with femtosecond clock. Aliexpress was selling it significantly cheaper than Ebay, so I grabbed one. Since I will have both the original and upgraded versions, I will compare between the two, once it arrives.
https://www.aliexpress.us/item/3256...2pIv1lr&gatewayAdapt=glo2usa&_randl_shipto=US
 
Oct 28, 2022 at 10:24 PM Post #353 of 577
I was curious about the upgraded clock options, so I recently acquired a DDC with TCXO oscillators. Its relatively cheaper than the Douk with TCXO.
https://www.aliexpress.us/item/3256...2pIv1lr&gatewayAdapt=glo2usa&_randl_shipto=US

The difference with the Douk with standard oscillators is significant. More details, bass texture, better reverb. If my non-musician ears can sense the differences, then I would say, upgrading the clock is worth it, if the DAC is resolving enough. I have now ordered a Douk/Leaf audio with femtosecond clock. Aliexpress was selling it significantly cheaper than Ebay, so I grabbed one. Since I will have both the original and upgraded versions, I will compare between the two, once it arrives.
https://www.aliexpress.us/item/3256...2pIv1lr&gatewayAdapt=glo2usa&_randl_shipto=US
Keep us posted!
 
Oct 29, 2022 at 5:00 AM Post #354 of 577
I was curious about the upgraded clock options, so I recently acquired a DDC with TCXO oscillators. Its relatively cheaper than the Douk with TCXO.
https://www.aliexpress.us/item/3256...2pIv1lr&gatewayAdapt=glo2usa&_randl_shipto=US

The difference with the Douk with standard oscillators is significant. More details, bass texture, better reverb. If my non-musician ears can sense the differences, then I would say, upgrading the clock is worth it, if the DAC is resolving enough. I have now ordered a Douk/Leaf audio with femtosecond clock. Aliexpress was selling it significantly cheaper than Ebay, so I grabbed one. Since I will have both the original and upgraded versions, I will compare between the two, once it arrives.
https://www.aliexpress.us/item/3256...2pIv1lr&gatewayAdapt=glo2usa&_randl_shipto=US
I2S output in this DDC looks like an ethernet plug. Is that normal?
 
Oct 29, 2022 at 6:51 AM Post #355 of 577
I'm using Windows 10 LTSC and it doesn't provide a native driver for the U2 Pro. Is the driver mentioned on the Douk site (3004 v.4.13.0) still the only one to use, as it seems a little on the old side -)

Also does anyone know how to edit it to allow for control over buffer settings? The above driver from Douk provides a simplified xmos box without the option of changing settings.
So I guess carry on using that driver, then?
 
Oct 29, 2022 at 9:11 AM Post #356 of 577
I2S output in this DDC looks like an ethernet plug. Is that normal?
This is the old method to carry I2S sygnals, hasn't been successful. You can still find it in current Sonnet DACs like Morpheus. A quality breakthrough and popularity is only coming with LVDS signaling adopting HDMI connector.

This board has been replaced with HDMI version two years ago. It is why is selling at a low price with quality oscilators. Great value if you plan use only S/PDIF output.
 
Oct 29, 2022 at 11:41 AM Post #357 of 577
That’s right. Hugo 2 doesn’t support I2S. For me, it’s coax only.

I am surprised, how much HD800 shines with a quality audio chain. I thought, my audio chain was quite on the mark before, but after replacing with the TCXO DDC, it just separates all the sounds so much better.
 
Oct 29, 2022 at 1:03 PM Post #359 of 577
Did you need a driver with that XMOS?

With DAP and using Android, no. Most issues with drivers are relevant to the Windows platform, which I currently don’t use.
 
Oct 29, 2022 at 1:06 PM Post #360 of 577
Last edited:

Users who are viewing this thread

Back
Top