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Gustard X20 DAC

Discussion in 'Dedicated Source Components' started by stuartmc, Sep 8, 2015.
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  1. hyperdanny
    hi everybody.
    I have a question about the X-20's volume control..that fact that it has one implies that it's also a preamp, right?
    Does anybody know how to exclude this function?
    I have the x-20 connected to my Classe' CP-800 preamp and I don't need a double volume control...actually it's rather confusing, operationally speaking..
     
  2. Triplefun
    See post 148 http://www.head-fi.org/t/780385/gustard-x20-dac/45

    Hello guilders0.
    I own a x12 but afaik I think this aspect is not different.
    The volume control is in the digital domain, so setting it to 0 should be equivalent to 'disabling' volume control.
     
  3. hyperdanny
    thank you very much Triplefun....one day I need to go through this whole 3d and copy/paste all the posts that explain the "inner works" of the x-20...it's better than a manual.
     
  4. Triplefun
    My X20U has finally arrived and more than exceeds my expectations. It replaced the X10 and I had no trouble getting Foobar on W12/64bit to work using the same driver (v26), ASIO proxy and DSD128. The improvements are noticeable and easily justify the investment. Make sure you get the latest ASIO W10 proxy 0.8.3.
     
     
    image.png
     
    I also suggest the Foobar Jam 1.3 and Jam 2 skins produced by FlipOut69 http://flipout69.deviantart.com/art/JAM-v1-3-407758948. Just drag and drop your albums / directories on the front page for playback.
     
    I highly recommend the following store http://www.aliexpress.com/item/GUSTARD-DAC-X20U-Super-Ultimate-HIFI-DAC-2xES9018-XMOS-USB-384KHZ-DSD64-128/32415678915.html?spm=2114.01020208.8.46.ZVJHWD from whom I have bought both the X10 and X20u. They provide great service including technical support on the product. They will also process payments using Paypal. Use the Aliexpress message centre.
     
    And many thanks to Stuartmc for his useful insights into this 'ultimate' DAC.
     
  5. stuartmc
    Congrats on your new DAC.  Once you have some break in time on it, be sure to share with us your impressions. I'd be very interested to see if your A/B comparisons to your X10 are similar to mine with the X12.
     
  6. gulakpi
    I'll will be using this DAC via USB on my PC under Windows 10 + Foobar.  
    So far I read nothing about problems operating under Win10.  Does the DAC come with the necessary drivers for USB, ASIO, DSD etc.?
    Thank you!
     
  7. Triplefun

    Hi
     
    I am using X20u on Windows 10 64 bit with Foobar 2000 1.3.9 and USB connect
    I was able to get the X20u running on one PC but am having trouble with my notebook - so not plain sailing.
     
    There are lots of web sites explaining the Foobar DSD install
    http://www.psaudio.com/ps_how/how-to-play-dsd-files-on-foobar/
     
    But many of the required component files and ASIOProxy  have been updated and there seem to be compatibility issues. I have installed the original versions I used for my DAC X10 and everything is now working ...
     
    1. X20U USB driver - see http://jlsounds.com/drivers.html for XMOS driver options. I am using v26 with no issues
     
    2. foo DSD input - see http://sourceforge.net/projects/sacddecoder/files/foo_input_sacd/. I am using 0.7.1.
     
    3. ASIOProxyInstall - see the 0.7.1 DSD input sacd zip above  file which includes ASIOProxyInstall-0.7.1.2.exe
          
    4. foo DSD output - see https://www.foobar2000.org/components/view/foo_out_asio component 2.1.2.
     
    odessamarin likes this.
  8. DBB1
    I own the Gustard x12 dac and found it superior to the NFB7, which I returned after a one month evaluation. Here is a link to the thread. http://www.head-fi.org/t/530055/audio-gd-nfb-7/60#post_7215352
     
  9. Triplefun

    Be careful - the Gustard outputs 4.6V on the XLR
    This is excessive and will distort most preamps which typically require < 1v.
     
  10. Triplefun
     
    The X20u is a significant improvement over the X10.
     
    I use Foobar on Win10/64 with Sox upsampling to 192k and DSD128 output. The dedicated notebook connects to the X20 via a $50 USB cable (0.5m) and the X20 to my AVM PA5.2 pre using 0.5m XLR cables. Speakers are magneplanar 1.7.  I am not using any room correction although I am looking at a MiniDSP.  The X20 is set to slow with auto clock. I have reduced the output volume by -10db although I think I should be using less. Compared to the X10 the X20 sounds a lot smoother, greater definition at low volume, better dynamics, wider sound stage with better front / back imaging. Most importantly it is a lot more satisfying knowing you have two Sabre ESS9018 rather than just one [​IMG]. Unfortunately I have sold the X10 so I can no longer do a direct A/B comparison. Another observation is MP3 files sound a lot thinner compared to the X10.
     
    My only other comparison is with an Arcam DV88+ which I use for CDs. The CD playback is much improved when played through the X20 via coax compared to the DV88+ DAC (4x 24 bit multi-level delta sigma DACs in dual differential mode). Biggest difference is the greater definition, followed by improved depth and clarity of the bass and a sharper sound stage.
     
  11. escucalin
    Hello Gustard X20 owners; and future owners.
    I am a proud owner of this amazing DAC.
     
    As anyone here i always wonder if there is room for more; so:
    I am attempting to broaden the filter or phase menu entries with custom FIR Filter or any DSP correction i might think of. To make things short: is it possible to extend this dac's menu entries with such dsp functions ; or at least suggest them and get a firmware upgrade?
     
    Best regards to all Gustard fans.
    Thanks.
     
  12. Triplefun
    I have not heard of a DAC implementing DRC but I could be wrong
    You can apply FIR filters to Foobar prior to upload to the DAC which means only PC audio will be processed
    Or purchase something like minidsp which can be placed between the preamp and the power amp with the advantage you can provide a managed feed for the sub
    I have yet to configure and install my minidsp and am a little concerned the impact it will have - yet another analog to digital - dsp - digital to analog process.
     
  13. escucalin
     
    I am aware of the convolution engines available but it is out of the scope of my intended question; And for doing so; i apologize;
    I would rather dare to wish for a firmware upgrade that would take advantage of this DAC immense processing power provided by its ALTERA MAX II CPLD  controllers more in the lines of  an enriched pallet of filtering and phase manipulation 
    in addition to the minimal existing options (phase normal/invert or normal/sharp band limiting filters).
     
    As a slightly related topic i determined that:
    Using a APx585 the THD+N ratio added by using  VLC or FOOBAR or any other player via the Windows's 7 or 8.1 direct sound was way under any acceptable threshold (0.05% in the 20-700Hz domain) while using a wasapi event on Windows or Daphile the linux dedicated player; delivered the expected ~0.002% THD+N reflecting of course in significant better sound.
     
    But my goals are more in the lines of the possibility of improving the existing powerful platform of this DAC without any additional digital sound processing or rather the possibility of enriching the already mentioned available options.
     
  14. Chodi
    Could someone explain why this dac only does native dsd 128 over usb? The xmos input certainly specs to support higher rates and so does the Sabre dac?
     
  15. stuartmc

    It does natively support the higher rates, as is shown on the first post where the full specs are listed. The highest DSD rates are, however, only supported over the I2S input.
     
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