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Gustard X20 DAC

Discussion in 'Dedicated Source Components' started by stuartmc, Sep 8, 2015.
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  1. Wynnytsky
    http://www.aliexpress.com/item/Asynchronous-USB-interface-DoP-over-SPDIF-DSD-I2S-over-HDMI-LVDS-SDIF-3-XMOS/1982763625.html
    I like that it uses a standard power plug (as does the U12), though it would be nice if it revealed the incoming sampling rate.
     
     
    Also, this guy is negotiable!
    https://app.audiogon.com/listings/da-converters-hydra-z-32bit-384-khz-usb-interface-2015-09-26-digital-77068-houston-tx
     
  2. MINORISUKE
    Connecting MX-U8 / Breeze Audio USB-DDC
     
    I am trying to use my MX-U8 with DAC-X20 via I2S (not HDMI LVDS I2S).
    A conversion board from "normal" I2S to HDMI LVDS could not be found as a product except Audio-gd, which has a different pin assignment and without DSDOE (PCM/DSD switching marker).
    An idea came up into my mind.  If I remove the internal USB-I2S board with PCI-e x1 card edge connector, I will probably be able to feed the I2S signal directly from MX-U8.
    Has anybody tried this?  I suppose this applies to DAC-X12 as well.  All I need is a pin assignment description of the card edge connector on DAC-X20 (X12) and an extension cable of PCI-e x1 sold on eBay for EUR 1.00 + shipping EUR 0.99.
     
  3. stuartmc

    I can't speak for the X10, but I had the X12 and it would stand to reason that if the X20 was clearly superior to my X12, it would also be a worthy upgrade to the X10.

    Earlier in this thread, I wrote about my direct comparisons of the X20 to the X12. After many more hours of listening, I still stand by those conclusions. The "auto" clock mode alone is worth the price of admission, but there is more.
     
    MINORISUKE likes this.
  4. hyperdanny
    hi everybody,
    first of all this lurker (until now) from Italy would like to thank all the swabbies and of course stuartmc for the invaluable load of info that this thread is providing about the x-20.
    I've been religiously reading it since the old thread was on, and you have done a great job in spreading the word about this "little brand that could".
    Since I am about to take the plunge and buy the x-20 in a few days, I would have a question...does any of you know if the HDMI connection of the X-20 would be compatible with the I2S transmission protocol (via HDMI connector) of my PS Audio Perfect Transport? (yes, I'm kind of an old-fashioned, physical-support lover kind of guy, and I am not giving up my 2000-cd collection[​IMG] ).
    I'll buy it anyway, since i think that the quality/price ratio in pretty unbaeatable, but for sure it would be nice to take advantage of the superior accuracy that I2S provides.
    From what little info I could get looks like the X-12 was indeed compatible, but I found nothing about the x-20 yet...
     
  5. MINORISUKE
    This is one of the FAQ.  Pin No.1/3 and 7/9 are inverted, resulting in the reverse phase of absolute polarity and the left/right channel swap.
     
  6. hyperdanny
     Was it here? I must have missed that..thank you.
    So, it would work , but it would invert the channels?
    No good...I guess I'll have to stick with the link I use now (AES/EBU)
     
  7. stuartmc
    They X20's I2S may be inverted as respects the pins on the PS Audio unit, but they matched up perfectly with the Gustard U12's I2S output (as one would expect) and also matched up perfectly with my Tanly DDC.  I suspect that most Chinese manufacturers use a similar pin  assignment for I2S in the hdmi format.
     
  8. hyperdanny
    Always about connections in the X-20..I saw that it has BNC too, and I've always been curious to try it, since according to many in the industry it's the best and most stable digital link after I2S..but: is the X-20's  BNC "Canare standard"?  It might be an effect of the pictures I saw, which are always taken from the side, but it looks a little different, a little square..
     
  9. stuartmc
    The BNC connector is indeed "standard." I have many bnc cables, but I still prefer I2S.
     
  10. Wynnytsky
    Phase invert has button or its in the x20's menu
     
  11. hyperdanny
    Thank you stuartmc.
    I'll explain my curiosity about BNC, since I don't want to seem just an "ask-ask-ask" kind of guy.
    Right now my PS Audio PWT is connected via XLR AES/EBU (Better Cables Silver Serpent bought in USA).
    Nothing sounding wrong about it, "but"..pretty recently I have come across some literature (principally, but not only,  by Parasound) that says, in a nutshell, that XLR was never intended for digital signals, and actually is wrong for it because of its 110ohm ratio.
    It sounds logical, and actually Parasound stands behind it not providing any XLR connection in their DACs etc.
    Then I read some PS Audio literature basically confirming this, strongly recommending a 75 ohm connection for the PWT best operation,
    Further research indicates that there's a consensus among experts about BNC being the more stable outlet, far better than RCA.
    Bottom line: I will want to compare this kind of transmission for the digital signal with the XLR I have now.
    I'll use X-20 with the XLR in the beginning, then I will order a cable from Italy's Neutral Cable (very well reputed local brand that makes, among others, affordable "real" 75 ohm cables with Canare connectors) . I'll get BNC on the DAC side and RCA on the PWT side .
    Thanks to your answer, now I know I can do it.
    Of course you're right in saying that I2S is even better, but the last few answers say that I can't do it between the PWT and the X-20..not with the L/R channels in their right place , at least.[​IMG] 
     
  12. Wynnytsky
    Mechanically you can only recover from phase by switching the wire colors on the back of the speaker, but that's not an option if there are more sources connected to your system (or if you use HP)

    Software like Jriver will swap as well, but the best fix is done at the source.

    I tried BNC adapters on coax cables and it was never better. I did as you and had bluejean cables put BNC on one end. It actually sounded better if I put an adapter on that going back to RCA. AES adapters on coax cables always sounded better to me, though using cables with fixed heads has to be best. That being said, we compared an acoustic zen coax cable with two AES adapters and it mated better to our system than a Gotham pure AES cable.
     
  13. MINORISUKE

    I think this menu "PHASE: NORMAL/INVERT" changes hot/cold pin of XLR output and nothing in RCA.  See the (Chinese) manual whose URL I posted before.
     
  14. hyperdanny
    ordered today from kidult!..a little worried about not getting a manual in English, I guess I'll have to google-translate the one in chinese kindly linked here..
     
  15. nc42acc
    Comparing the X20U to the Schiit Gungnir multibit the X20 wins hands down in my system. Plus it does every DSD file I throw at it. Much better detail retrieval and sense of space top to bottom. YMMV
     
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