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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. wwmhf
    Your experience of increasing the buffer corroborates my opinion that U16 or its driver software has a shortcoming in utilizing/controlling the buffer for it to work better in demanding situations. SU-1 can control its buffer in a wide range via its driver software.
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2019
  2. zeid2
    My new U16 produces audible distortion even from 16/44 files. I feed it music data either from Fidata NAS or SOtM SMS-200 neo and the sound is distorted both from its I2S and AES/EBU outputs (never used simultaneously). I would appreciate any idea of what might be wrong. Firmware issue? My Singxer SU-1 as well the USB input of my Auralic Vega behave exemplary in the same conditions.
  3. zeid2
    Further to my previous remarks. I installed the new 1.61 firmware (the original was 1.4). Distortion in low res recordings disappeared but high res (176 and 192) recordings through HDMI output are heavily distorted (I tried all output settings to no avail) and through AES/EBU the sound goes for 20 to 40 seconds and then mutes. I have never experienced problems like this with any other similar product. U16 has a good potential with unbeatable price/performance ratio but it is an unfinished product which has been launched prematurely. I only hope that the next firmware update will correctly address all remaining weak points.
  4. FredA
    The u16 will reveal any recording distorsion. Any recording defect becomes obvious with it. Like with old jaz records, Does it do it with all recordings?
  5. zeid2
    No, it definitely was not in recordings. It was, I'd say, analog character of the distortion and I heard it best on audiophile recordings on voices (Jacintha, Norah Jones), it was rather prominent. I checked it on two totally independent rigs. When Gustard was removed from either chain and replaced by Singxer or by USB convertors in-built in my DACs, the distortion was not there.
  6. FredA
    It seems like the u16 is fussy with computers. It has some timing related issues which will manifest more with higher rates.
  7. zeid2
    I use no computers in either of my two chains. USB convertor is fed either directly from Fidata NAS USB output or from SOtM SMS-200 neo USB output which is preceded by Synology 216 NAS. No comps, only for control through Linn Kazoo or Kinsky.
  8. zeid2
    After several hours of careful listening I must admit that, with 1.61 firmware and from I2S output, the U16 mops the floor with anything I could put against it. Both on PCM and DSD. The sound is now crystal clear, detailed, dynamic, expansive, colourful, with "see through" quality. Just hope the 176/24 and 192/24 issue will be solved soon.
  9. wwmhf
    I think Fred's "computer" is in generic sense, "computer" can any device that reads/receives/processes data files of music. Or we can consider a "computer" just as a digital course.
    FredA likes this.
  10. motberg
    I am using Windows and no problem (so far) at any PCM sample rates.
    Could this distortion be Linux and macOS related? (I am pretty sure SOtM SMS-200 is Linux based..)
  11. PitBul34
    Me too. No problem at any sample rates.
  12. rafabro
    Same here, Win10, no problems
  13. batfier
    @motberg, PitBul34, rafabro

    what fw you are using?

  14. Ludique
    Let's hope these Linux/osx problems are not the reason ESS is so silent about the chip.
  15. rafabro
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