Gustard X22 DAC

Discussion in 'Dedicated Source Components' started by mtoc, Nov 3, 2017.
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  1. mtoc
    More serious designed than the previous models, although still no WCK ports.

    I've heard that it had been compared to
    the Vivaldi DAC in a private setup (final protoytpe).
    many stuff at that range are cheaty, but DCS I would say is worth it (if you really into high end)
    street price is around $18,000.
    asaik, the X20/p never had been doing this comparison during the production.

    there'll be a X30 features dual ES9038PRO, a ESS USB interface (in the sense of vs-ing XMOS) and a digital transport/network player. A good CD/SACD transport (CD transport and CD player are not the same thing) will still out perform those PC-sourced/digital players, architecture more advanced.

    DCS and Chord are both discrete d-s but different, while DCS has less residual noise.

    a good analog preamp is a must since digital vol reduces the vol while the noise (residual noise, I am not gonna type the residual anymore) remains the same. with analog preamp it reduces the vol and the noise (the noise of source) at the same time. good preamps could have less noise (noise of itself) than any DACs (anyway) so it has advantage.
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2017
  2. TPSRA
    The ESS build in volume control have access to digital signal's data path and the noise floor is lower then -135dB, that means it's lossless for 16bit tracks when your volume is within -40db.
    So unless your amp is so powerful you have to turn the volume very low, digital volume control pretty much is good enough if not better for most people.
    24bit and 32bit tracks? Na that's not for normal people :jecklinsmile:
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2017
  3. peteg
    Wonder if the X30 will be this year.
  4. rafabro
    How you know this name? Where can I read about X30?

    X22 looks simplified against X20, same poor capacitors, accusillicone clock...I was hoping for real progres here...
    Rhamnetin likes this.
  5. polarbearjorin
    Gustard X22 DAC is a single ES9038PRO + XMOS solution.

    Front Panel:
    Rear Panel:

    PCB Layout:

    ES9038PRO Close-Up:

    XLR and RCA Output:

    Altera MAX Series CPLD:

    Accusilicon AS318-B100:

    xmos usb module:

    Enjoy It.
  6. allhifi

    So, where are we (collectively ) with the X-22 ?

    Better than X-20PRO ? Worse? About the same ?

    A quick glance at the circuit board reveals a 'steam-lined' (chip-oriented) architecture -similar (but more advanced) to the Mytek 'Brooklyn +' design.

    Considering some of Chord's (Watt-designed) highly regarded DAC's also use minimal real-estate (and a rather Plain-Jane power supply), perhaps there is some real validity to the understanding that "digital" (unlike the best analog circuits) benefits greatly (operates distinctly) from minimalist/micro design opposed to judicious use of standard fare "discrete" electronic parts/components.

    Could the Gustard X-22 follow this rationale (design choice) ? I learned of the X-22 only 12-hours ago (December 18, 2017). How 'new' is this thing anyway? Any reviews yet ?

    Keep in mind that the ESS 9038PRO can be used directly to Analog Out stage ! In other words, a analog output amplifier/stage is thus not required -if desired. This in itself can confer considerable benefit; whether it takes several (9038's) cascaded I know not. I suspect there will be several DAC's available in 2018 that will exploit the 9038 for all it's capable. of course, currently, there are a few DAC's that use the 9038 -the least expensive example the Oppo model. Since no one is raving about that DAC, I believe it will take some time for the best designer's to "massage it" to their liking. Then again, perhaps it does not represent (one of) the best of the best (single-bit) designs ?

    Anyyywway, has anyone had a chance to evaluate this thing -or does it remain "soon-to-be-released ?

    Rhamnetin likes this.
  7. peteg
    I believe it has a ship date of 12/20/17 (I pre-ordered). I've been looking at this dac for a while and for under 1k you get a well designed dac & chip.
  8. allhifi
    Nice (about pre-order) ! (I therefore see this is a brand (spanking) new device/model)

    No doubt there will be a break-in/settling period. Even so, I'd be really interested in any initial thoughts on the unit. Merry Christmas to you ! lol

    I'm guessing the X-22 will be an upgrade to the impressive X-20PRO. However, it would have been nice (sensible?) to include Wrd.Clk in/outs.

    We (I) anxiously await the delectable details on your (hopefully before 25-th) x-mas present.

    Enjoy ...

  9. Thenewguy007
    Is this advertised as a direct upgrade to the X-20Pro?
  10. allhifi
    I wish I knew. Complete internal photo's would also be most welcome -the power supply section, for example.

    In fact, more 'tech-talk' regarding the (analog) output stage -if there is one or it's a direct from dac-chip driven (or internal/user option for either) would be of interest. Among much more.

    It is rather unassuming that Gustard would introduce this model with such little lead-up -considering the success of the X-20 series.
    Whereas the ESS 9028PRO chip (a drop-in replacement for the '9018' predecessor), the 9038 appears to be a entirely different beast -depending on how it's utilized. It's clear to note that the chip (in/of by itself) is no guarantor of fine SQ; the Oppo 'Sonica' DAC an example.
    I suspect, the '9038' power supply options (dac-pins) requires a thorough re-thinking/analysis of that which comes before and after this silicon and that designer's/engineers must thoroughly evaluate/re-evaluate these contributory elements.

    However, in the hands of both talented and inquisitive designer's, variables that account for either great (or barely passable) performance shall surface throughout 2018.

    And, MQA-compatibility ?

  11. allhifi
    So much rumor of an X-30. Is this a verified lead (product offering) ?

  12. peteg
    Just a rumor, could be X22Pro. My X22 has shipped.
  13. canthearyou
    Looks to be direct competition to Matrix X-Saber Pro. I had the opportunity to have both the X20 Pro and X-Saber Pro for comparison. The Gustard won in every category except aesthetics. I sold the Matrix.

    FYI: I got both amps within a couple hundred dollars of each other.
  14. allhifi
    Oh man, what is ETA ?

    Will you share here (once received/connected) ?

  15. allhifi
    Wow. Great to know. My brother (argghh) has the X-20PRO, not I. As I just began streaming or the need for an external DAC, I did begin (and remain) with the Schiit Modi-2 Uber.

    Can anyone tell me what "I'm missing" (lol) ? Should/will the Gustard X-20PRO DAC blow it out-of-the-water?

    P.S. Note to self; xmas gift to self is OK.
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