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Gustard U16 - the first USB Interface featuring ESS USB chip

Discussion in 'Computer Audio' started by mtoc, Sep 15, 2018.
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  1. FredA
    I am starting to get a taste of how the u16 can sound after 90 hours of run time. The imaging is begining to be holographic. The sound is also very resolved and analog. The depth is now much improved. I feel the soundstage can still widen and bass extension can also improve. Otherwise, it is impressive. Again, very analog. I am VERY happy with it so far.
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2018
  2. FredA
    I use a usb cable with two trunks so the power line is perfectly isolatated from the data line.
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2018
    Jones Bob likes this.
  3. FredA
    Got to give it to you @Whitigir , thr r-7 really is over the top with a high-quality hdmi i2s source. I just can’t believe my ears. It is so smooth, detailed and with great soundstaging and imaging. It was already all this with the f-1, but things have stepped up one notch or two, it’s not subtle. Best sound out of the r-7 yet! I will soon improve the usb signal, so i should get yet another upgrade. So much delicacy in the highs, there are silky.
    Whitigir likes this.
  4. DACLadder
    Forgot about that! Thanks for the reminder...
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2018
  5. DACLadder
    Audio GD R2R DACs have always responded well to better HDMI I2S sources - from Master 7 to R7. The U16 driving I2S is no exception and definitely makes the R7 sound differently versus the Singxers. And that difference is more enjoyable sound. Tighter bass, less grain, smooth vocals, and great rhythm. The Gustard U16 is the best audio tweak I have had in a long while!

    @FredA Let us know what you find in way of HDMI cables.... thanks
  6. FredA
    I will for sure. I am very confident about the chinese 2.1 cable. I anticipate it will ve as good or better than anything out there. And one should never forget that close to 100% of the hdmi cables out there, whatever the brand, are made in China.
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2018
  7. PitBul34
    You can use similar 2-head USB cable for "cutting" the USB power line, this one handmaded by me:
    FredA likes this.
  8. rafabro
    My SoTm USB card has a switch to turn off the power. JCAT card also has a jumpers to do same thing.
  9. wwmhf
    You cable looks great! Very good idea. I assume the black type-a connector is for signal, the red is for power.

    I want to make one like your myself. I know where to buy type-a connector. Would please provide a source for that type-b connector?
  10. PitBul34
    Тhank you! Yes, red line used for power. Both lines (power & data) are isolated from each other by braided copper screen. There are a lot of USB connectors for DIY on Ebay, f.e.:
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2018
  11. darren700
    After reading through this thread yesterday I decided to purchase a U16 to use with my Audio-GD R2R7 since it seems several of you have had such good success with the combo.

    Based on what is stated here it sounds like the U16 I2S HDMI works with the Audio-GD R2R7 well?
    Did i understand correctly and the pinout is correct for Audio-GD I2S HDMI as long as I flash to newest V1.4 PSA Firmware?

    I also ordered one of those HDMI cable's FredA Linked to try and am currently trying to decide what other HDMI's to order to try.

    Im hoping the U16 is a step up from my current chain:

    Jriver PC -----> 2 Port Intel Ethernet Bridged ----> SOTM sMS-200 (Uptone LPS-1) -----> Audio Sensibility Statement Silver USB Cable 0.7m -----> Uptone ISOREGEN (Uptone LPS-1) -----> Uptone USPCB A>B Adapter -----> Amanero Combo 384 -----> Audio-GD R2R7

    thinking my new chain with Gustard U16 will be:

    Jriver PC -----> 2 Port Intel Ethernet Bridged ----> SOTM sMS-200 (Uptone LPS-1) -----> Audio Sensibility Statement Silver USB Cable 0.7m -----> Gustard U16 -----> HDMI Cable -----> I2S HDMI Audio-GD R2R7
  12. FredA
    The hdmi 2.1 cable should do a fine job. The primecables mamba series i use now is not bad at all. The only thing i am missing is some low end extension and it could come later on with burn in. I am at just over 100 hours. I will get the black mamba cable within the next few days.

    You are right. If you flash the ps-audio fw, you will be able to use the hdmi connection without any issue. Note however that there will be issues with the spdif ouputs with this fw according to another member. I for one don’t care as i prefer going hdmi.

    You should enjoy a very clear upgrade coming fron the amanero.

    A few minutes ago, i did not like the sound so much. It had become a bit edgy. The rpi had been running 24/7 for 3-4 days. After rebooting it, sound quality became better, almost as good as it ever was. Burn in can also cause temporary regressions.
  13. FredA
    Yep, the reboot did it. Listening to John Coltrane Bahia, i am getting quite emotional. Coltrane’s albums are tough to reproduce but when you get them right, they are just awesome. It’s not just Coltrane, the whole band is just splendid.
  14. darren700
    Thanks for the reply, im not worried about spdif anyways as like you i plan to use I2S Only.
    I actually ordered 2 Primecables Mamba (0.5m and 1.0m) to try also (surprised they were so cheap), this will be my first entry into I2S and I want to make sure I have several HDMI options on hand.
    I am excited to try something different with my R2R 7!
    Actually, I still have to stop being lazy and flash V3 firmware to my R2R7, running V2S currently but it sounds sooo good already! cant imagine it getting better but I know it can and will with V3 firmware and U16
  15. DACLadder
    Try the U16 with the R2R 7 firmware you are familiar with first. That way you will know what is happening with the sound. And actually V2S OS = V3S OS (no changes) as only NOS mode changes for V3S. However for V3A OS and NOS both change so give this one a try when comfortable.
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