E1DA DACs Discussion Thread (PDV2, 9038S, 9038D, 9038X, HiFiToy, HPToy)
Sep 20, 2021 at 7:49 AM Post #1,336 of 1,371

davehutch

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You're mixing things. What you're saying is true for E1DA Powerdac which use FDA (full digital amplifier) chip (Ti TAS5558). 9038D and 9038S use DAC (ES9038Q2M) + Amp architecture.

[EDIT] Unless I missed something, E1DA Powerdac is the first headphones dedicated FDA - the first I hear about anyway. I own two speaker amps using this tech (IAMD V200 and D.Sound D310) which are pretty amazing considering the price. Same goes for PDV2.
Yes, you are right. I have the PD 2.1. I bought it as the tech was very different to standard DACs so wasn't aware that the 9038 had a DAC in it. My mistake
 
Sep 27, 2021 at 12:51 PM Post #1,337 of 1,371

oneula

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other than the 3.5 unbalanced adapter any major sound/power differences between the E1DA original and V2?
 
Sep 27, 2021 at 4:36 PM Post #1,338 of 1,371

TheTalbotHound

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E1DA 9038S vs Luxury and Precision W2 Comparison.

Treble: Treble has some added splatiness to it on the W2, especially with cymbals. Treble on the W2 is a bit harsher. Cymbal pitches on the E1DA definitely sound slightly clearer. E1DA's treble feels more natural and realistic than the W2's.

Transients: E1DA Definitely has snappier transients. W2 felt soft in comparison, across the whole frequency range. Bass felt snappier on E1DA definitely.

Separation: The whole mix feels a bit more clearly separated out on the E1DA. W2 feels slightly more like one blob.

Detail: Very similar. Because of its treble E1DA presents it better though.

Noisefloor: W2 wins, but Qudelix is on par with it and has EQ.

Given my recent experiences with the Qudelix 5K, i think the differences between these 2 are mainly down to ESS vs Cirrus modulator designs. Even with upsampling filters, these differences were apparent.
 
Sep 27, 2021 at 4:56 PM Post #1,339 of 1,371

SoundJedi

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E1DA 9038S vs Luxury and Precision W2 Comparison.

Treble: Treble has some added splatiness to it on the W2, especially with cymbals. Treble on the W2 is a bit harsher. Cymbal pitches on the E1DA definitely sound slightly clearer. E1DA's treble feels more natural and realistic than the W2's.

Transients: E1DA Definitely has snappier transients. W2 felt soft in comparison, across the whole frequency range. Bass felt snappier on E1DA definitely.

Separation: The whole mix feels a bit more clearly separated out on the E1DA. W2 feels slightly more like one blob.

Detail: Very similar. Because of its treble E1DA presents it better though.

Noisefloor: W2 wins, but Qudelix is on par with it and has EQ.

Given my recent experiences with the Qudelix 5K, i think the differences between these 2 are mainly down to ESS vs Cirrus modulator designs. Even with upsampling filters, these differences were apparent.

Thank you for the impressions! What iem/hp did you use?

My impressions were quite different, even though both are great.

I need to compare them again tomorrow, maybe I shouldn't sell that E1DA after all...

Also, is this out of Android or iPhone? On my Samsung S10+ E1DA didn't connect too well to UAPP, which is my main Audio app.
 
Sep 27, 2021 at 5:17 PM Post #1,340 of 1,371

TheTalbotHound

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Thank you for the impressions! What iem/hp did you use?

My impressions were quite different, even though both are great.

I need to compare them again tomorrow, maybe I shouldn't sell that E1DA after all...

Also, is this out of Android or iPhone? On my Samsung S10+ E1DA didn't connect too well to UAPP, which is my main Audio app.

I used HD600 and Moondrop S8 to compare the two, both with and without EQ. Comparison was done using grouped zones in Roon so there was as small a gap as possible between listening to one and then the other. I did this comparison from my MacBook using Roon.
 
Sep 27, 2021 at 5:23 PM Post #1,341 of 1,371

SoundJedi

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I used HD600 and Moondrop S8 to compare the two, both with and without EQ. Comparison was done using grouped zones in Roon so there was as small a gap as possible between listening to one and then the other. I did this comparison from my MacBook using Roon.

Got it thanks. This is getting me very curious as my (quick and dirty) observations out of UAPP were quite different, especially bass control and layering/staging. I was using ThieAudio Monarch.

I'll give it another go tomorrow with an easier to drive iem and a can.

One thing that's hard to beat is the E1DA size. So cool.
 
Sep 28, 2021 at 5:49 AM Post #1,342 of 1,371

Frederick Wang

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Hey guys, I haven't been on this forum for a while. I used to have a 9038s, probably the first edition. Liked the unit, but cannot tweak its volume on my MacBook.

Is that problem solved with new powerdac v2.1? Thanks!
 
Sep 29, 2021 at 5:58 AM Post #1,343 of 1,371

Vijay74

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Hey guys, I haven't been on this forum for a while. I used to have a 9038s, probably the first edition. Liked the unit, but cannot tweak its volume on my MacBook.

Is that problem solved with new powerdac v2.1? Thanks!
I don't have lightening to USB Type B cable so cant test it but when connected to Windows PC, I can control volume via application, Windows sound and HPToy app on mobile for PDV2.1. Thanks!
 
Sep 29, 2021 at 3:06 PM Post #1,344 of 1,371

nishan99

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I have the 9038SG3 and I am wondering if my phone (galaxy s21+) is powering it to the full specs?.
I don't have any issues running it and I don't get any weird messages while using it either.
 
Sep 30, 2021 at 9:24 AM Post #1,345 of 1,371

SoundJedi

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Spent some time with the W2 and E1DA 9038SG3 today.

First of all, both are great devices and offer high quality listening experiences. Let's also remenber that the W2 costs 3x the price. So read the below with that in mind.

I started with a full size headphone, a Final Audio D8k that's easy to drive but needs proper power to really show its qualities. Both devices manage to drive it but neither can tap into its full potential. Those small dongles won't drive your demanding HP to an optimal listening experience, but they will drive them.

The following observations are using:

1- An easy to drive detail monster iem (ThieAudio V14)

2- A hard to drive budget iem (Urbanfun YSS) and

3- An easy to drive budget iem (Tripowin Mele).

UF YSS and Mele are both 1DD iems, V14 has 14 BAs per side. The impressions are quite consistent:

- Bass: E1DA bass is boomier. W2 bass has similar body but more control and texture. Feels faster and more detailed. Both are extremely satisfying.

- Mids and Vocals: vocals feel more natural with W2, E1DA vocals sound very slightly artifical in comparison. Vocals are also more forward on W2. Again, both offer very satisfying experiences.

- Treble: no major difference as far as I could hear. E1DA might have slightly more treble energy.

- Stage: E1DA feels deeper and higher, but W2 is wider, and it's not subtle.

- Micro details: Clear advantage to W2, E1DA is still extremely capable but W2 is exceptinal.

- Separation/Layering/3D: again clear advantage to the W2. There's more separation and 3d sound.

- Comfort and practical use: both are extremely easy to use. The E1DA companion app is helpful. E1DA wins the form factor as it is tiny, the size of a thumb. It amazes me how such sound can come from such a little device. W2 wins in terms of practicality with its physical volume and menu buttons. It's also a safer experience as you don't risk accidentally plugging it in with the phone set to high volume. W2 also feels more premium, and it better be at that price! W2 also offers both balanced and single ended output while E1DA devices can only be either SE (D) or balanced (S).

Neither have line out option. And while that's fine for the balanced E1DA 9038SG3, I feel it's a missing feature on the W2 as it has a 3.5mm jack. The DAC is absolutely top class and manages to be musical and detailed throughout the FR. It's a shame it can't be plugged into a capable amp, it would have been a killer function.

E1DA is a wonderful little device that's going to be hard to beat for the price. It would make anyone looking for a good daily dongle extremely happy. Punches well above its (tiny) weight. The W2 is a premium device that offers extra musicality and ease of use but comes at a high price. Both easy recommendations depending on needs and budget.
 
Sep 30, 2021 at 9:02 PM Post #1,347 of 1,371

baskingshark

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Can I use a 9038D as a DAC for my topping A90?

Technically, that would be "double amping", as the 9038D already has an amp inside.

I mean the electronics are probably not gonna be damaged, but a lot of older audiophiles in the past told me that double amping can introduce noise from the first amp and amplify it on the second amp. Not sure, maybe check with the others who are more knowledgable with electronics.
 
Sep 30, 2021 at 9:12 PM Post #1,348 of 1,371

Joao Paulo Martins

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Technically, that would be "double amping", as the 9038D already has an amp inside.

I mean the electronics are probably not gonna be damaged, but a lot of older audiophiles in the past told me that double amping can introduce noise from the first amp and amplify it on the second amp. Not sure, maybe check with the others who are more knowledgable with electronics.
Thanks for the answer. Gonna wait for other head-fiers, but cant find any tiny device that is only DAC. Audioquest dragonfly have headphone amps built in too. So I guess I will stick with the 9038d with a 3.5mm to RCA adapter.
 
Sep 30, 2021 at 10:01 PM Post #1,349 of 1,371

baskingshark

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Thanks for the answer. Gonna wait for other head-fiers, but cant find any tiny device that is only DAC. Audioquest dragonfly have headphone amps built in too. So I guess I will stick with the 9038d with a 3.5mm to RCA adapter.

There are a lot of DAC only devices. Eg Khadas Tone Board, Schiit products, JDS Labs products, SMSL products, Topping products.
 
Sep 30, 2021 at 10:04 PM Post #1,350 of 1,371

SoundJedi

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Thanks for the answer. Gonna wait for other head-fiers, but cant find any tiny device that is only DAC. Audioquest dragonfly have headphone amps built in too. So I guess I will stick with the 9038d with a 3.5mm to RCA adapter.

The 9038D is probably your best answer. I have the 9038SG3 and the W2 and I wish I could use any of these as a pure DAC.
 

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