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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. JaMo
    I got the G U16 delivered yesterday eve. Powered it up and after some minutes got it sounding through HDMI. .. Out of the box it sounded more than ok. I will investigate further around Your findings regarding firmwares and format issues.. Well, so far thing are fine. Solid box. Good feeling about it.
    DACLadder likes this.
  2. zeid2
    New U16 firmware appeared on the Gustard web site. No version number indicated, only 'U16 firmware upgrade'. Has anybody tried?
  3. rafabro
    What www adres?
  4. zeid2
    https://download.shenzhenaudio.com/Gustard/GUSTARD U16 USB Driver/

    Sorry, a false alarm, there is no new rom file. However, when I tried to install the new firmware and was looking for a new rom, I noticed that the current firmware in my U16 was clearly indicated as 1.61 96k, dated 3 Jan 2019. Hence probably the problems experienced with 192/24 files. I decided then to try to revert to firmware 1.4, this time with PSA I2S rom (I have a Denafrips Terminator R2R DAC fed through I2S input). Lo and behold, everything seems to be working as it should now - DSD 2,82 MHz, PCM 192/24 (I have no higher resolution files). The sound is clean, beyond any reproach. I decided not to touch the U16 anymore, now it works as I hoped for. I am sorry for my previous confused reporting.
  5. rafabro
    Oh, so shenzenaudio. Not the Gustard web side. I thought they finally made one :D
  6. peteg
    Good to know about the Terminator, on the U16 did you try the I2s default setting (gustard) going into the Terminator.
  7. Ludique
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2019
  8. Thenewguy007
    So 1.4 is the firmware to get?
    Anyone have a download link to it with instructions to install it?
  9. zeid2
    I finally reverted to
    GSD U16V1.4_0db.rom
    everything seems to be working correctly incl. hi-res files 192/24 and DSD 2,84 with the Termnator (through I2S). I do not have any 176/24 or higher DSD files.
  10. BernieB
    Just got my Gustard :) Sound quality so far is incredible, a real step up from amanero usb with isolators on my Audio-Gd R2R-2 dac.

    My main issues so far ( tested with all firmwares ):
    • For S/PDIF output, using HQPlayer with Roon is not pratical because switching tracks in Roon makes loud glitches and noise distortion, even if every tracks coming from HQPlayer are upsampled to PCM 192KHz. Upsampling in Roon at the same rate, leaving HQplayer out of the loop, works perfectly. I wish i could still use HQPlayer, i find its upsampling algorithms much superior to Roon's.
    • With I2S output, i get a layer of loud distortion on top of the music played, no matter the PCM sample rate. When Gustard is feeded with DSD files from my PC windows 10, music is coming though fine to my dac (except with small pop / noises / glitches in quiet passages, but that is Audio Gd R2R dacs having issues with DSD). Tried with 2 different normal hdmi cables (will receive a new 2.1 soon).
    My question : Is Gustard supposed to convert any feeded PCM sample rate to I2S / HDMI output ? I get the distortion only when feeded with PCM.
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2019
  11. DACLadder
    @BernieB My understanding HDMI I2S output supports everything. What version firmware are you using and do you have the U16 set for "PSA"? I have better luck on HDMI I2S with "1.4 PSA". But S/PDIF does not work with "1.4 PSA". And I did experience very inconsistent audio using 1.58 f/w with sampling rates above 96kHz. 44.1kHz CD rate always sounded great though. So went back to "1.4 PSA".

    With 1.4 PSA my experience with U16 issues has dropped considerably. Rarely do I get distorted audio but generally listen to 44.1kHz CDs to 96Khz PCM.
    BernieB likes this.
  12. BernieB
    Thanks for your feedback, i have standard "1.4" since "1.4 PSA" isn't working for S/PDIF. In both cases HDMI has loud distortion and is not listenable. From what i understand, it could be 3 things,
    1. My HDMI cable
    2. Audio Gd R2R-R HDMI input ( should i get latest firmware maybe ? i have the stock one)
    3. The Gustard internal converter that has issues converting PCM to I2S
    It is strange because Roon upsampled DSD works fine through PC > Gustard > HDMI > R2R-2 Dac.
    At least i can use it with S/PDIF, but i would have liked testing I2S on my dac.
  13. wwmhf
    I am up-sampling CD wav files to DSD in the following configuration

    Windows 10 + foobar2000 -> USB to U16 -> I2S to Gustard X20 DAC -> amp

    and I do not have issues for DSD64, DSD128. Playing DSD256 works but there are minor issues. Playing DSD512 works but with many issues so that music cannot be enjoyed anymore.
  14. wwmhf
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