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Gustard X20 DAC

Discussion in 'Dedicated Source Components' started by stuartmc, Sep 8, 2015.
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  1. chrispiyux
    It would be nice if you already have the new USB card.
    Where did you order yours ?
  2. gulakpi
    Per BrainFood's request, I measured the power usage of the X20U.  
    The Brennenstuhl Watt meter reads 19.7W when the X20U is on but not in use.
  3. BrainFood
    Aww cool, thanks.
  4. Triplefun
    I ordered my original x10 from the same store. Note they periodically offer a discount or I suggest you approach them directly.
  5. SimonBromley
    I received my X20u today.
    For those in UK and EU, my X20u was delivered into me from an address 
    in Manchester, England. Therefore the current price of £ 579.00 charged 
    by Kidult on Amazon.co.uk DOES include all taxes and delivery.
    Anyway, the first thing I did was pop the lid off.
    The lid is a bit of a snug fit, and even when turning the unit
    upside down and shaking, it remained in place.
    What I did was push a small hex-key (mine have round plastic coated bodies)
    into a vent hole on one side. Twisted it lightly to one side to grip 
    the hole, and eased upwards. The lid then came off no problem at all.
    I checked the USB card and it is as per the one in the pictures that 
    feature the 2 x Accusilicon clocks (white stickers).
    Which looks like the one in the OP's pictures. So I assume that all X20u's
    have this card, and some sites are just using old stock pictures they already 
    had on file for their initial promotion, and simply haven't updated etc.
    The main differences I notice from the OP's unit, is that the internal PSU 
    cabling is now routed along the back of the main boards and not underneath.
    This makes a lot of sense, and something I was going to do had the unit 
    been wired as the OP's unit.
    Plus the I2S input receiver chip is a different model. The small capacitors 
    in the analogue output section don't appear the same as in the OP's unit. I'm 
    not quite sure what they are in his unit, but they are decent Panasonics in mine.
    Also, the central row of, what I think are relays, in the analogue section are 
    now red rather than purple, as in the OP's unit. However, these are still good 
    quality NEC devices. So all these substitutions are probably just a bit of fine 
    tuning from that original first batch.
    Also, there appears to be a change of power switch from the OP's unit, which has 
    been previously documented. With the filtering now facing the front panel, rather 
    than the rear, in the newer units.
    Overall, I'm very pleased with the value for money offered by the unit.
    How does it sound? Pretty good, but I'm going to leave it on for 4 or 5 days 
    solid before making any real judgments.
    Only thing I'll do to it initially is add some hefty extra screening between 
    the sections, and damping to the case.
    As for inputs, I'll be using the in-built USB card for a few weeks.
    I looked at the whole USB converter thing, and it's a minefield at the moment !!!
    I do rather like the look of the new Tanley unit, but I'm happy to wait until 
    it's been out for a while before making any final decision.
    In the mean time, I've ordered a WaveIO card and an Audio GD I2S to HDMI socket 
    converter card. Why? ... because the WaveIO is really cheap, well built, has a bunch 
    of functions ie:- USB header pins, I2S direct and isolated outputs, great clocks and 
    good quality power regulation etc. I may even put it inside the DAC, if I can hack into 
    the x20's internal I2S lines. We shall see. Anyway, it gives me something to experiment 
    and play with on the cheap, whilst the USB interface waters settle down over the next 
    12 months or so.
    Sure, I saw all the talk about the Breeze and Melodious offerings, and I'm sure they're 
    great products. However, anyone thinking about buying one of these to use on the HDMI port
    of the x20 should look into the subject carefully. The Breeze and Melodious ( as far as I 
    can tell ) use RJ45 direct I2S outputs, whereas, the x20 uses the HDMI method. This involves 
    converting the I2S signal into a differential output, which is then re-converted to I2S by 
    a receiver chip inside the x20. This is what I'm having to do with my WaveIO card. It's not 
    a major problem, as converter cards are only $20. But, you will need to power them with 3.3 volts 
    of good quality power, as well as house them. Plus, you have to make sure all the control 
    signals function as well as the I2S lines. Making the whole area a lot more complex than it 
    first seems. As different manufactures seem to use different pins for various functions
    because there's no formal standard to adhere to !!

    Of course the U12 will work fine, as it's a Gustard device.
    The other issue I have with the Melodious and Breeze reviews is that those who love them, are 
    virtually all using the devices in SPDIF mode. Now, I'm sure they're great products, but I2S 
    is a whole different ball game to SPDIF, and until I see reviews that actually include I2S output 
    quality etc, I'm going to hold back from on jumping on any bandwagons.
    Hopefully, Gustard will release a killer u12 v2 at some point, and I won't need to look any
    further. Then again, that new Tanley unit does look rather nice. If the x20 turns out to be a brilliant 
    performer, I may treat her to one of those ( as long as the price doesn't skyrocket )
    Anyway, that's my thoughts so far. I'll post again in a week or two with my opinion on 
    the x20's sound quality, once she's fully burned in.
  6. BrainFood
    Simon, thanks for the heads up on the Amazon link.  Mine should be sailing in tomorrow
    Question to anyone: JLsounds is a good source for the driver?
  7. wwmhf
    Looking forward to report on the the x20's sound quality.
  8. Triplefun
    When loading a new driver you need to ensure the old drivers are removed.
    I found this difficult in W10 and even USBDeview did not seem to work - http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/usb_devices_view.html
    I then used the drivers recommended by Gustard and posted by gulakpi (see post #300). The v3.2 install includes a driver delete.
    My X20u is now working once more.
    You can try the following v3.2 first, http://pan.baidu.com/s/1V7oJG
    In case it doesn't work, try the v2.6  http://pan.baidu.com/s/1ntDUtqp
  9. BrainFood
  10. chrispiyux
    Hi Simon,
    thanks a lot for the information of what's inside the X20u !!
    I also ordered from Kidult through Amazon.it (i'm in France) and received my DAC yesterday too :). So i'm now confident i would find the same USB card in mine. Thanks a lot.
    I had not much time to listen to it, but at first listening, i'm not disapointed.
    I've a question for the owners : does your remote power off the DAC ? There is a On/Off button on the remote (on top right), but it does nothing .
  11. gulakpi
    The On/Off button on the remote has no function!
  12. BrainFood


    It's just arrived and, ditto, mine's the same. Maybe someone could ask Gustard for the code to use with a universal remote?  Not sure if the on/off would then work but it would be good to have a back up anyway.
    Anyhow, seeing as the X20 only consumes 16.5 watts in operation (according to my meter), I will be more than happy to leave on permanently.  So no biggie.
    A couple of questions for the good crew: 
    The 3.2 driver (as posted above) doesn't seem to allow changing of buffer settings.  Where can one find a version that does?
    Is 'auto' (CLK mode) similarly beneficial for the internal USB as it is with outboard DDC's?
    Unsurprisingly, SQ is more detailed than my Sabre U2 async ES9023 but I will run in for a couple of weeks before commenting further.  Happy days [​IMG] 
  13. SimonBromley

    Like everyone else here, the power button on my remote does not function.
    The remote is obviously just some cheap generic device that Gustard have 
    bought in to keep the price down rather than having one custom made. 
    Which is fine by me. I'd rather the money went into the sound quality 
    side of things, rather than accessories. I've had a number of audio products 
    arrive in fancy custom made wooden cases or silk bags etc over the years, and
    always wished they'd just spent that money on better sound rather than unnecessary 
    bling !!
    Anyway, I find it unlikely that the X20 has any form of standby or remote
    power switching. I don't see any relays etc inside that could facilitate 
    this particular function.
    To me this is a non issue. If I want the dac on or off, I'm happy to use the 
    main power switch. Having the other functions on the remote is handy though, 
    and it'll be interesting to see if replacements will be available from 
    Gustard, as these little remotes inevitably end up getting lost or broken.
    As for the drivers. I haven't really spent any time using or optimising them. 
    Luckily, with my WaveIO card I get a licensed copy of the full Thesycon 3.26 
    windows driver package. But it'll be a few weeks before I get time to spend 
    messing around with all the options etc.
    Anyway, with about 24 hours on the X20 I can confidently say I will now be retiring 
    my trusty Copland CD player and selling it on to a friend who's been after it for a 
    while. The X20 certainly doesn't 'blow' it away, but definitely matches or outperforms 
    it on most levels (using 44.1 material). And, that's from an un-optimised PC, using 
    a £12.00 Belkin Gold USB cable. So hopefully, as the usb side of things improves, and 
    I start collecting Hi-Res material etc, things will just get better and better.
    Will give an update in a week or two once everything has settled in.
    However, to be able to purchase a fully balanced, dual sabre DAC, with volume 
    control, a stack of inputs and sound quality of this level for only £ 579.00 delivered 
    is pretty remarkable. And I can say I'm currently very happy I chose to go with the
    Gustard, rather than one of the better known UK/US products in this price bracket. 
  14. wwmhf
    I have downloaded the V3.2 from the link given. Thanks
  15. Triplefun

    Note the 'baidu' sites are in Chinese.
    When you access the site in your browser, click the 'download' symbol on the top of the page ..
    Then click the blue prompt box to process the download ..
    You will then be prompted to save the driver to your computer.
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