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Gustard X26 Dual ES9038PRO DAC with ESS USB chip

Discussion in 'Dedicated Source Components' started by mtoc, Jan 23, 2019.
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  1. Cortes
    I bought a Gustard U16 interface, and the construciton is very good. This DAC looks very well made as well. But in same price range we have the RME ADI-2 DAC which has solid measurements behind, and this X26 must have something to offset the risk of purchasing from HK with respect to Europe/US.
    Baten likes this.
  2. spacequeen7
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2019
    Baten likes this.
  3. thomaspf
  4. rafabro
    These tells nothing so what's the point?..
    motberg likes this.
  5. spacequeen7
    You can roll opamp with this DAC so it depends what's in it ,THD+N should be in 0.000x % ballpark
    motberg likes this.
  6. peteg
    Can you?
  7. spacequeen7
  8. peteg
    Good, man they look close together.
  9. Xymordos
    Don't think they're DIP 8 opamps - from this photo it looks like some transistors

    Also, if you download the manual from their Taobao page, it shows the specs inside:

    模拟输出:(Analog output)
    频率响应:20-20kHz /+-0.1dB (Frequency Response)
    动态范围: 125dB (Dynamic Range)
    声道串扰:-137dB @ 1kHz (Channel Separation)
    THD+N:<0.0006% 20-20kHz
    RCA 输出电平:2.5Vrms (VOLUME 00dB)
    XLR 输出电平:5.0Vrms (VOLUME 00dB)
  10. allhifi

    Gustard X-26: Interesting. Technically sophisticated -perhaps too much so; "messing" around with 'in-house' digital filtering could prove disappointing.

    I suspect it takes some serious engineering 'chops' to design a world-class digital filter that performs better than ESS 9038's built-in Options ????
    That may be a tricky proposition by itself. I just don't see how Gustard has the engineering prowess to pull that off (successfully)? Better than ESS Corp?

    The (very) nice feature of the X20PRO (I use) and X-22? is that user can choose dig. filter of choice; a few Linear, a few Apodizing, etc. And, to excellent effect.

    On the X-26, I'd caution all (except those who have lots of spare cash) to trek carefully with this one. A fuller, complete interior photo would serve Gustard better -in fact all of us better.

    What is the consensus of the X-22 ? (Peteg -here's looking at you kid ! lol)

    I believe much greater information is required (from Gustard) with respect to X-26's digital filtering -and whether ESS's (filter) options remain available ?

    (You can't beat the construction/build quality of it -or so it appears, nor the very sensible/affordable price.
    I know the X-20PRO is beautifully put together.)
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2019
  11. spacequeen7
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2019
  12. allhifi

    Count your blessings -the X20PRO is an excellent DAC ! It is better than 90% of available DAC's; it uses (and has used (for near two-years) the excellent, next-gen ESS chips (9028pro) that the likes of Mytek have just recently implemented in their $2K+ Brooklyn + DAC !
    It remains a beautifully built, flexible and great-sounding DAC. Have you seen the interior pic's/layout ? Very nice. And those digital inputs -including i2S !! (a input to crave/die for).

    And how much was your investment? $2K (US$), $3K (US$) ?

    There's no reason to doubt X-26 should be excellent -a step up. BUT, maybe not? The X20 has a history/long-list of very satisfied users -including myself !

    If I decide to 'upgrade' my DAC, the X-20 shall remain.
    Good luck finding anything that approaches its quality/sophistication -and sound of this awesome sub $1K DAC -if not for Gustard's higher offerings, I'd extend that to $2-$3K !.

    You'll love it !

    Enjoy ....

    spacequeen7 likes this.
  13. MLGrado

    This is BIG. Most ESS solutions are happy to use the ASRC and its accompanying PLL for jitter reduction. BUT... if you can use a buffer and re-clock the audio after the I2S output of the USB chip with an excellent clock, and use an identical clock as master for the ESS ASRC system, THE ASRC will act synchronously, as long as the clocks and accompanying jitter stay identical or within tolerance.

    Not that letting the anti-jitter system as built into the chip isn't great... it does a KILLER job of eliminating any jitter left remaining on the audio clock output from the Asych. USB receiver. But in my book, extra isolation with a buffer, and cleaning up the input signal to the point little to no jitter reduction is required (and less DSP on the signal) is a good thing.

    I may be incorrect, but I think the late Charlie Hansen was a proponent of this way. And others.
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2019
  14. allhifi
    SQ: A bit different to the topic you bring forth, but wold you know if the X-26 DAC (Gustard) has user selectable Digital Filter options (aka ESS 'filter's; 7 or so) or whether one must select one of Gustard's (3) proprietary filter choices ?

  15. Xymordos
    Their Taobao page says it bypasses the inbuilt filters and can only select from their new filters.
    spacequeen7 likes this.
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