E1DA DACs Discussion Thread (PDV2, 9038S, 9038D, 9038X, HiFiToy, HPToy)
Oct 1, 2021 at 2:41 AM Post #1,351 of 1,428

Baten

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Can I use a 9038D as a DAC for my topping A90?
You surely can, it is intended for use as DAC, too. The A90 can be noise sensitive over single ended input, though.

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.
This is such an old myth and I hate it. Pretty much every modern device has an 'amp' or line level stage at the end of it for compatibility with upstream devices. Unless you are jamming a 1/4TRS to RCA splitter into a traditional head-amp's quarter inch output I really don't see the problem.
 
Oct 1, 2021 at 4:39 AM Post #1,352 of 1,428

SoundJedi

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You surely can, it is intended for use as DAC, too. The A90 can be noise sensitive over single ended input, though.


This is such an old myth and I hate it. Pretty much every modern device has an 'amp' or line level stage at the end of it for compatibility with upstream devices. Unless you are jamming a 1/4TRS to RCA splitter into a traditional head-amp's quarter inch output I really don't see the problem.

Are you saying double amping is OK? For example plugging a dap's 3.5mm output into an amp? I was told this could be dangerous and damage the gear.
 
Oct 1, 2021 at 8:12 AM Post #1,353 of 1,428

Baten

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Are you saying double amping is OK? For example plugging a dap's 3.5mm output into an amp? I was told this could be dangerous and damage the gear.
Any device with a preamp or variable volume control is just that. So no, not a problem. Worst case you can have ground hum. Maybe you got mistaken with 2.5mm or 4.4mm balanced, if you connect that to a balanced amp without any ground potential, you can damage gear because you need a ground for safe operation, be careful with E1DA 9038s for example.

9038d however is 100% safe. And in general, "double amping" is a silly term imo. Most outputs nowadays have a line driver or are amped somehow, most output stages are just that. It is much more rare to have an unbuffered, direct DAC output.
 
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Oct 1, 2021 at 8:27 AM Post #1,354 of 1,428

yawg

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Any device with a preamp or variable volume control is just that. So no, not a problem. Worst case you can have ground hum. Maybe you got mistaken with 2.5mm or 4.4mm balanced, if you connect that to a balanced amp without any ground potential, you can damage gear because you need a ground for safe operation, E1DA 9038s for example.

9038d however is 100% safe. And in general, "double amping" is a silly term imo. Most outputs nowadays have a line driver or are amped somehow, most output stages are just that. It is much more rare to have an unbuffered, direct DAC output.
Actually the output/line stage "makes" the sound not the DAC itself in my experience. So the DAC has no sound signature but its output stage sounds good or less good. Just my 2¢
 
Oct 1, 2021 at 8:53 AM Post #1,355 of 1,428

SoundJedi

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Any device with a preamp or variable volume control is just that. So no, not a problem. Worst case you can have ground hum. Maybe you got mistaken with 2.5mm or 4.4mm balanced, if you connect that to a balanced amp without any ground potential, you can damage gear because you need a ground for safe operation, E1DA 9038s for example.

9038d however is 100% safe. And in general, "double amping" is a silly term imo. Most outputs nowadays have a line driver or are amped somehow, most output stages are just that. It is much more rare to have an unbuffered, direct DAC output.

Thank you, this is good to know. Are you saying that in the case of the E1DA 9038 D the output is also amped when it's being used as a DAC?

I will test plugging my W2 into an amp today and see what happens!

And yes I would never try to plug a balanced output into a non balanced input. I'm glad I was warned about that a long time ago, probably avoided some silly mistakes hehehe.

Edit: I did plug my W2 into the Xduoo05 Plus and it works perfectly well. Nothing blew up and the sound is wondeful! Thank you for this, it's exactly what I wishing for with the W2.
 
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Oct 1, 2021 at 12:58 PM Post #1,356 of 1,428

Baten

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Thank you, this is good to know. Are you saying that in the case of the E1DA 9038 D the output is also amped when it's being used as a DAC?

I will test plugging my W2 into an amp today and see what happens!

And yes I would never try to plug a balanced output into a non balanced input. I'm glad I was warned about that a long time ago, probably avoided some silly mistakes hehehe.

Edit: I did plug my W2 into the Xduoo05 Plus and it works perfectly well. Nothing blew up and the sound is wondeful! Thank you for this, it's exactly what I wishing for with the W2.
Great to hear :wink: but I meant 2.5/4.5mm to balanced cables can be dangerous too. You can kill the 9038S doing that. XLR cables have a pin for grounding which portable devices can lack. If something bad happens using 2.5mm to dual XLR, for example, the potential can't flow away and the device can be toast. Not right away, but it can happen over time of use.

No such problem using 3.5mm to 3.5mm or RCA connection.
 
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Oct 13, 2021 at 7:13 AM Post #1,357 of 1,428

Susiban

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I think the E1DA has DAC mode available on the presets on the Tweak app? Can't remember? So you can use it as a standalone DAC I think? But I sold mine a while back.

Compared to phone or iPad, the E1DA 9038D definitely improved the bass response, noticed more thump. You could say macrodynamics are good. Also has good details.

But it sort of lacks air but only a bit? Dry? Don't know how to express it. Maybe its placebo this part.

Correct me if I am wrong about presets? Thanks.
 
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Oct 13, 2021 at 8:35 AM Post #1,358 of 1,428

Vijay74

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I think the E1DA has DAC mode available on the presets on the Tweak app? Can't remember? So you can use it as a standalone DAC I think? But I sold mine a while back.

Compared to phone or iPad, the E1DA 9038D definitely improved the bass response, noticed more thump. You could say macrodynamics are good. Also has good details.

But it sort of lacks air but only a bit? Dry? Don't know how to express it. Maybe its placebo this part.

One reason why you would want to get a different dongle is volume knob/buttons, you can get more steps to get it to the volume you want. Its a screw**** relieve for those with OCD haha.

Correct me if I am wrong about presets? Thanks.
On HPToy app I don't see any DAC only option. I Only see different preset EQs (in some cases specific to HPs/IEMs). Unless any one of them makes it DAC only?
 
Oct 13, 2021 at 10:39 AM Post #1,359 of 1,428

Susiban

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On HPToy app I don't see any DAC only option. I Only see different preset EQs (in some cases specific to HPs/IEMs). Unless any one of them makes it DAC only?
I think its on the Tweak9038 app only, again can't remember but I am sure you can run as standalone DAC. I could be wrong been six months or so since I last had it.
 
Oct 13, 2021 at 10:59 AM Post #1,360 of 1,428

Susiban

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But mine was 9038D so not sure about others. The previous guy said about grounding. I think stereo 3.5mm has (+ + ground).

Balanced is normally (+ - + -) no ground. So the previous guy @Baten explains this. I am not an expert but have basic understanding.
 
Oct 13, 2021 at 11:33 AM Post #1,361 of 1,428

Baten

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But mine was 9038D so not sure about others. The previous guy said about grounding. I think stereo 3.5mm has (+ + ground).
Balanced is normally (+ - + -) no ground. So the previous guy @Baten explains this. I am not an expert but have basic understanding.
Yes. It is as you say. 3.5mm and 6.3mm have grounding provided, that's the standard. 4.4mm can also be wired for it, but the cable needs to be made properly (wouldn't trust any one chinese cable to have grounding on 4.4mm, it can be made + - + - just like 2.5mm if they don't bother).

E1DA products use 2.5mm so you need to be careful, best to just plug headphones into it and don't plug in anything else.
 
Oct 13, 2021 at 12:58 PM Post #1,362 of 1,428

Vijay74

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But mine was 9038D so not sure about others. The previous guy said about grounding. I think stereo 3.5mm has (+ + ground).

Balanced is normally (+ - + -) no ground. So the previous guy @Baten explains this. I am not an expert but have basic understanding.
OK!
Got Tweak9038 app pro version and now I can see DAC presets, though may need to read about them and test them out. I have 9038D that has 3.5 mm out only. Will try to play around with this app.

PowerDac v2.1 can be controlled by HPToy app and has 2.5 mm bal out output (comes with 2.5 to 3.5 mm adapter).
 
Oct 13, 2021 at 3:44 PM Post #1,363 of 1,428

Susiban

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Yep also E1DA 9038D is 3.5mm OMTP output.

There are 3 types of 3.5mm outputs:

TRS is + + ground

TRRS(OMTP) is + + mic ground

TRRS(CTIA) is + + ground mic

Both OMTP and CTIA are basically 3.5mm jacks with mic, only difference is the order they are in as shown above.

So E1DA 9038D works perfectly fine with TRS and TRRS(OMTP) jacks.

To make it work with TRRS(CTIA) jack you need to use a OMTP/CTIA converter. And voila you can use all 3 output options.

When you use TRRS(CTIA) jack with 9038D with you just get a muted sound.

For example Blon 03 cable with mic sounds muted if plug it straight into 9038D because it has 3.5mm CTIA jack.

So you have 3 options in this case choose any:

1. Change cable to normal 3.5mm TRS jack

2. Change cable to 3.5mm TRRS(OMTP) cable

3. Use OMTP/CTIA converter

Hope it helps.
 
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Oct 13, 2021 at 4:26 PM Post #1,364 of 1,428

yawg

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OK!
Got Tweak9038 app pro version and now I can see DAC presets, though may need to read about them and test them out. I have 9038D that has 3.5 mm out only. Will try to play around with this app.

PowerDac v2.1 can be controlled by HPToy app and has 2.5 mm bal out output (comes with 2.5 to 3.5 mm adapter).
You can only add tube-like distortion in the DAC, not switch off the amp. IMHO the E1DA is almost perfect and you can only color the sound but not make it sound "better".
 
Oct 14, 2021 at 9:41 AM Post #1,365 of 1,428

0RF30

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I think the E1DA has DAC mode available on the presets on the Tweak app? Can't remember? So you can use it as a standalone DAC I think? But I sold mine a while back.

Compared to phone or iPad, the E1DA 9038D definitely improved the bass response, noticed more thump. You could say macrodynamics are good. Also has good details.

But it sort of lacks air but only a bit? Dry? Don't know how to express it. Maybe its placebo this part.

One reason why you would want to get a different dongle is volume knob/buttons, you can get more steps to get it to the volume you want. Its a screw**** relieve for those with OCD haha.

Correct me if I am wrong about presets? Thanks.

Dac mode in Tweak9038 app doesn't short the amp stage, it's just made to avoid clipping at 100% volume when used connected to an external amp (problem pointed out on ASR if I remember correctly). You'll achieve the same setting -0.5 dB in max volume of the app, less a PITA than switching modes every time.

On HPToy app I don't see any DAC only option. I Only see different preset EQs (in some cases specific to HPs/IEMs). Unless any one of them makes it DAC only?

HPToy is made for Powerdac (which is not a DAC+amp, but a FDA, so... no DAC mode, of course), not for 9038D/SG3.
 
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