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Gustard X20 DAC

Discussion in 'Dedicated Source Components' started by stuartmc, Sep 8, 2015.
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  1. Chodi
    Not to draw this out but that was my point. It only supports those higher rate over I2S input. Doesn't that require that you have yet another device between the computer and the dac to generate that I2S signal? I am not aware that most computers have an I2S port? Sorry if I am a bit confused about this. My current  Sabre dac takes a direct input from usb and plays native dsd 256 and 512. No I2S conversion necessary. Or am I missing something here?
  2. gulakpi
    Thank you do much for the useful info!
  3. Simoon
    I am glad you asked this. 
    I recently purchased this DAC (had it about a month) and would love to try to get DSD 256 and 512 from it.
    Hopefully someone will respond. I sent an email to the Chinese distributor, and they were clueless.
    Other than that, this DAC really does sound amazing on 44.1 from my CD, and hi res PCM and DSD 128.
  4. stuartmc
    You will have to get a USB-DDC device like the Gustard U-12 that will accept your computer's usb output and then convert it to an I2S output to your X-20. It's really worth it I think, because these outboard devices do sound better to me than the daughter card that is built into the X-20.
    ckZA likes this.
  5. Chodi
    That's what I thought. So if you buy the X20  with the U12 you add about $180 to the cost of the X20. Got it.

    It depends on drivers.  DAC-X20U (including USB input) is up to DSD256 native via USB, but not to DSD512.
    It does not matter if you use U12 or not.  The setup for U12 can be used by DAC-X20U as well.  All you need is just to change the USB cable.
    If you definitely want DSD512, I think combo384 with its Win driver would be the only option.
  7. scontin
    After reading all of these posts, I'm truly undecided.
    Now remained in contention just 2 DAC, the Gustard X20 and the italian EAM Lab Musica D101 (http://www.eamlab.com/musica-d101---dac.html)
    Unfortunately I can't make a direct comparison ...... Better quality software (maybe) or better bullet-proof construction (sure)?
    Hard to say ....
  8. Chodi
    At least Gustard is a company that has established a positive track record. I never heard of EAM Lab. They may have a wonderful product but there is really no information on the page you referenced. They only have two distributors so I'm guessing they are a very young company? How did you hear of them?
  9. scontin
    Not so young ..... there are there for 15 years, but before they were engaged in pro audio market (systems for concert and discos), only 4 years ago they started to enter the Hi-end audiophile market with their ampli.
    Being Italian, I had the pleasure of meeting the designer and listen to their electronics............. indeed see them build [​IMG]
    Unfortunately they haven't found serious distributors, especially in USA.
    Italians generally are unable to think in world's terms...................... [​IMG] 
    For example http://www.monoandstereo.com/2013/05/eam-lab-italy-at-munich-high-end-show.html
  10. Simoon
    The ebay and Shenzhen Audio listings claims only up to 128 via native USB. The U12 also only claims up to 128.
    The listing only claim 256 and 512 through the I2s input from Windows only.
    Have you tested 256 DSD using the native USB?
    Yes, of course, I have tested this.
    So long as you use the attached driver 2.26, the USB input plays up to DSD 128 in DoP.
  12. Triplefun

    See https://translate.google.co.nz/translate?hl=en&sl=it&u=http://www.ilgazeboaudiofilo.com/t27301-dac-musica-d101-di-eam-lab&prev=search
    Price of the EAM is 1500 euro, which is twice the X20u price on ebay (http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/GUSTARD-DAC-X20-Super-Ultimate-ES9018-XMOS-HiFi-USB-DAC-384KHz-DSD-DOP-Decoder/171979612393?_trksid=p2045573.c100033.m2042&_trkparms=aid%3D111001%26algo%3DREC.SEED%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D20131017132637%26meid%3D81a903ae12114407a9c589748b0fe305%26pid%3D100033%26rk%3D3%26rkt%3D4%26sd%3D301817190106 )
    This seems a lot to pay for DSD 256/512.  There is a diminishing return. I could hear a small difference (smoother) between DSD 64 and DSD 128 on the X10. I think this would be less on the X20 given it is more refined than the X10. Whether an additional 700 euro is justified is up to you.
    You won't find much music available commercially at DSD256 or higher. The storage will also be uneconomical. Native DSD128 recordings are spectacular but still very much the exception.
    Go with the X20u - you won't be disappointed.
  13. scontin
    It's not question of DSD.
    But general quality, construction and technical solutions adopted by EAM.
    All of these things according to me near the EAM to VEGA Auralic, 
    And it's known thing that power supply and quality determine the sonic footprint of Sabre 9018...............
    More quality = more naturalness
    P.S.: Not 1500, but 1800 euros :frowning2:  This is the correct street price.... 
  14. Simoon
    Your previous post said up to 256 via USB, not 128.
    I am getting 128 with no problems via USB. I am interested in 256 or 512, which, according to Gustard, needs I2s input. 
  15. Triplefun

    well if you look at the internal displays I would say the X20u is of a better quality in wiring, board construction and isolation than the EAM
    But I like the X20u because I have one
    And specifications etc aside, at the end of the day it is how they sound
    And with the X20u I have no complaints
    And I have not heard the EAM
    You will also probably get an element of personal sound preferences
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